Getting Up Close And Personal With Simona Halep

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

With pro tennis enjoying a brief respite following the completion of the pandemic-interrupted 2020 season – and just weeks before the 2021 season begins in Australia – Simona Halep has posted a near half-hour video documentary, “3 mm,” produced by Banca Transilvania.

Just what is behind a performance athlete? Halep shows us in “3 mm.” The film goes into great detail to show the World No. 2’s mental and physical side of tennis. We see her interact with her coach, Darren Cahill.

We hear Halep’s inner voice throughout the film:

”Ever since I started out in tennis, things came hard for me. I mean, I had to suffer before I could rejoice. In my point of view, this was an advantage in shaping my personality. It helped me keep my feet firmly on the ground.

”It’s a fact – I won the Grand Slam. I’ve won certain important matches, with major players. It’s no accident. 

“When I prepare for tournaments, when I work out, I put in 100 percent. And I’ve been like this my whole life.  If you want everything work out very well – because perfection doesn’t exist – you have to get totally involved.

“Tennis has been my whole life up to now, because everything I do on a daily basis is in the name of tennis.”

According to the producer, it’s “a documentary about hard work, courage, performance and sacrifice.”

After the video (presented in Romanian with English subtitles) posted on Halep’s social media platforms, she wrote: “Hope you guys enjoy … and now you know a little of what goes on inside my head during matches.”

To watch “3 mm” click on link below:

Australian Open start confirmed for February 8

After plenty of speculation and negotiation, Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has confirmed February 8 as the start date for the 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne. In an email Tiley sent to players, agents and management teams, he wrote:

“Players will have to quarantine for two weeks from January 15, but the Victorian Government has agreed to special conditions for AO participants – agreeing that they need to be able to prepare for a Grand Slam. There will be strict conditions, but after quarantine, players are free to stay where they want, go where they want, play lead-in matches and then compete in an AO in front of significant crowds in a great Melbourne atmosphere for the first time in many months.

“We know it hasn’t been easy for anyone in tennis. We will also pay for charter flights, player and entourage quarantine costs, meals and accommodation. Player accommodation will be covered for their entire stay until they are finished at the AO. We will pay the full $71M AO prizemoney and are working with the tours on a redistribution with large increases to the early rounds and a likely first round purse of $100K.

“Obviously, Tennis Australia can’t do that without considerable financial pain. It won’t be easy. COVID-19 has hurt us financially this year similar to everyone else’s experience. As mentioned, to remain solvent we are going to have to take a large loan and line of credit. But we think it is critical for global tennis, the player group and the fans that the AO proceeds to help stave off any potential atrophy in our sport.

“Amid so much ongoing global uncertainty, we think the clean bill of health in Melbourne is a unique opportunity for our sport, players and fans to show the world tennis is alive and full of hope and promise regardless of the pandemic.”

WTA rebrand drawing much positive support

With the WTA’s comprehensive rebrand roll out on Wednesday, women’s tennis is garnering much attention on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. A number of different WTA tournaments and players have posted their support. Here is a sampling of them:

Kiki Bertens, Netherlands / I play for the inspiration.

Donna Vekic, Croatia / I play for the style.

Karolina Muchova, Czech Republic / I play for the courage.

Elise Mertens, Belgium / I play for the passion.

Sloane Stephens, United States / I play for the next generation.

Mutua Madrid Open / Honoring the past, present and future

Katrina Adams, former WTA tour player and Immediate Past President, USTA

What they’re sharing on social media

Alizé Cornet / Jeu concours de Noël

Gaël Monfils / Off to Spain to train

Jannik Sinner / Impressing my fitness coach