You are here

William Henzell Diary

To start with, a video from yesterday's play at the the German Open, where German Steffen Mengel beat former World and Olympic Champion Wang Hao from China. Proof that very, very tall players can do well and perhaps the beginning of the end for Wang Hao. When top Chinese players Ma Lin (2008 Olympic Champion) and Wang Liqin (3 times World Singles Champions) began losing to much lower players, it didn't take long until their international careers were over.

Mengel vs Wang Hao

The Commonwealth Games team (will be played in Glasgow in July / August this year) was announced last week, which was one of my goals for the season. With qualifying successfully out of the way already, I have been able to move on and focus on the other main tournaments for the year. The next of which is the Oceania Cup in Bendigo in 3 weeks’ time. It's the biggest prize money event on our schedule with $5,000 for the winner.

Unfortunately I won't be participating in the World Team Championships in Japan in late April due to work commitments. It's the first World Teams that I've missed since my first in 2001 however I'll be taking long periods of leave from work for the Com Games so it came down to priorities in the end.

I've gone into maintenance phase on my game in training. That kind of implies that you have built up something beforehand (and are therefore maintaining what you've built up) which I feel like I've done but not to the extent I would have liked. However I've now moved into practicing the strengths that I'll need to be functioning well at the upcoming tournaments.

So it's a back to basics approach of focusing on the few strengths and tactics that are most important to me. I feel like they are:

- the ability to change direction on my shots. Being able to mix between attacking down the line or cross court is a big part of my game. Players are much better when they know where the ball is going so any doubt I can create in their mind means part of that battle is won.

- return of serve. Lots of backhand sidespin flicking, long pushing and short pushing exercises.

- first attack of the rally. Seems obvious but sometimes you just need to go through the motions of practicing these over and over again. There isn't much I find more frustrating when playing than if I am making mistakes on first attacks).

I do feel my game coming together now, after starting at rock bottom in early January when I started training again after a few months off. It will be a matter of keeping my motivation up at the tournaments and of getting the simple parts of my game right when it counts.

Published date: 
Sun, 03/30/2014 - 12:15