Ask me anything about being a professional tennis player

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by fpeliwo, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    Hey Filip,

    Greetings from a fellow Vancouverite. Congrats on your success this year!

    Where do you train, when you're not travelling?
     
    #51
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Filip, hope you don't mind a technical question. The Tips section in this forum is dominated by advice by club players who have never played high-level tennis so this is a rare opportunity.

    What tips can you give about hitting a topspin forehand with the right balance of spin and pace (depending on the situation), and the control over the direction (down the line or cross court), even though the swing motion is approximately the same? In other words, what is the difference you consciously make to achieve a particular speed/spin mix and direction compared to another combination?
     
    #52
  3. Hidious

    Hidious Professional

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    Hi Filip,

    It is so generous of you to post on this forum! I became a big fan of you after i saw you win the Wimbledon JR title, live on RDS! I was instantly won over by your intense attitude and body language (and of course your game).

    I am very excited about the future of Canadian tennis, people here have been waiting for a Canadian breakthrough forever and having you and Eugenie as the 2 JR #1s is very exciting to say the least! Let's hope the successes can keep coming in the big leagues!

    Questions:
    1- Have you tried hitting on Eugenie (yes, on, not with) at the club and do you think I have a shot with her?
    Just kidding of course. On a more serious note:
    2- I am obviously curious about your gear. As a sponsored player, I am not sure you're allowed to divulge such info, but are you playing with a retail Blade? If so, any lead/modifications?
    3- You are not a big guy physically but i was amazed at the amount of power you could generate. The modern game is so geared towards power, do your trainers put a lot of emphasis on training in the gym or is that not really a priority for now?

    BTW, I am from Magog, QC and some of the other pros working for my organization (Tennestrie/Tennis Sherbrooke) told me you were suppose to make an appearance at the Hermitage Club this summer. I haven't seen them since; did either Jordan or Alex get a chance to hit with you?

    Thanks again and keep up the good work!
     
    #53
  4. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, (present time Novak Djokovic)
     
    #54
  5. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Haven't had the chance to play with them yet, though I've played multiple times with Raonic and Cilic (since his coach Bob Brett also works with Tennis Canada)
     
    #55
  6. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Generally its just me and my coach. I try to use the physios whenever they are available (usually just at the bigger tournaments).
     
    #56
  7. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I havent checked in a while, but I think Im around ATP#560 or so.

    Yes I've met Milos Raonic. In fact I've had many opportunities to hit with Milos at Grand Slams as well as during the Davis Cup tie against South Africa (I was a practice partner on the team). Played a few sets against him, had trouble off of his serve, but off the ground I can more than hold my own. ;)
     
    #57
  8. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I would say I'm away about 60% of the year. My parents never really accompany me on the trips, as its quite expensive.

    I actually don't take care of the travel arrangements, as Tennis Canada does that for me. They pay for pretty much everything, including flights, hotels, training. Without them I would not be able to travel like I have been for the past few years.

    My parents are far from wealthy, in fact they went into debt trying to support my tennis before Tennis Canada provided me with funding. All in all I am extremely fortunate to be able to play on the tour, and would not be able to if not for Tennis Canada's support, so I'd like to thank them.
     
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  9. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Up until this point, I have been using a stock version of the Wilson Blade BLX 98. I have started to experiment a bit with lead tape, but I am just in the early stages of trying it out, not far enough to use it in tournaments yet. So, yes, I use a stock version of the racket, SL3 mold to be exact.
     
    #59
  10. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    I just had a look at your recent Grand Slam record and it was very interesting.

    Wimbledon (traditionally, the fastest surface) : You win in 2 sets
    US Open (traditionally, the second fastest surface) : You win in 3 sets
    Australian Open (the third fastest surface) : You lose in 3 sets
    French Open (the slowest surface) : You lose in 2 sets

    It's a progression! You seem to like the faster surfaces better. Is that right or was it just a co-incidence of sorts?
     
    #60
  11. InvisibleSoul

    InvisibleSoul Hall of Fame

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    Greetings from another Vancouverite!

    I was having this discussion with a coworker a month or so ago.

    We were wondering how your level as a top junior compares to some of the top long-time non-pros in town here, like Henry Choi and David Chu.

    Have you played those guys before?
     
    #61
  12. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    It's a tough question to answer, as the reasons for either success or failure are quite different for everyone. Some players didn't succeed were that they didn't train hard enough, others were set back because of injuries, and some others just never had what it takes to be a top pro from the start.

    My short term goals are to be around the top 500 by the end of this year, while the ultimate goal is to be the #1 player in the world and winning Grand Slams.

    I first tried playing tennis around the age of 5, but I didnt start playing on a regular basis until I was 7 or 8. Even then I only played a few times a week. I would say I got a lot more serious about my training when I was 10 or 11 years old. I don't really remember how much I played exactly back then, but it wasn't as much as I needed to, as I had trouble finding hitting partners.

    At the moment, a typical training day would include around 4 hours of tennis and 2 hours of fitness, although this can vary greatly depending on what we are focusing on at any given time.

    My dad definitely deserves most of the credit for developing me until I started working with Tennis Canada, midway through the year I turned 15. Afterwards, I started working with Guillaume Marx and Jocelyn Robichaud, who are still my coaches at the moment, as well as Kieran Foy as my fitness trainer.

    That last question is also tough to answer, as it really depends on the player's needs at the time. I would say its good to do about 50% lessons and 50% matchplay and sparring with other players, typically.
     
    #62
  13. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Basically I just try to do the same thing I would against anyone, which is to try to play my game rather than let him enforce his strengths. I don't want to give away too much about it as I will probably run into him on Tour (and I hope I will because we've had some epic battles haha).
     
    #63
  14. Doublebounce

    Doublebounce Professional

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    Here's a funny question. Do you regret dancing to Gangnam Style in Montreal? Do you find that harder to do than playing tennis in front of thousands of people?

    For those who have not seen the video, do a quick YouTube search.
     
    #64
  15. Prisoner of Birth

    Prisoner of Birth Banned

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    It'll be great to see that happen. Keep at it, you're shooting for the moon! :)
     
    #65
  16. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Most of the drills I do are focused on movement, speed, and consistency. We try to vary them when we can, but if I had to choose one, I would say its when my coach is at the net volleying, moving me all around the court, into the net and back to the baseline, side to side. I have to make 6 or 7 sets of 40 shots in a row generally, although that is open to change depending on what I need to work on.
     
    #66
  17. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Thanks! I'm not a very good dancer haha. Last week someone saw the video and told me "you dance well for a white guy." :???:

    I was very relieved after Wimbledon, mainly because I had lost the 1st two slam finals I was in, and I had finally reached my goal of winning a slam. That definitely took the pressure off of me when I played US open, although I did need to win that as well to guarantee myself the year end #1 ranking.

    I think the main improvement Tennis Canada has made was to create a training center where there is a structured program, training and competition wise, and where all the best players in the country are playing together, rather than being spread out around the country. Obviously the funding we get makes a huge difference and gives us many opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise.
     
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  18. gahaha

    gahaha Rookie

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    How often do you restring, what kind of strings do you play with?
     
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  19. Bjorn99

    Bjorn99 Professional

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    Hey there. I have coached someone who was number five in the world, and have trained quite a few pro athletes and I find your game very interesting Filip. Very interesting indeed. Do you mind if I make some suggestions to you?

    Beyond that, I will say that you bring some things to the table that I haven't seen in a long time. Incredible energy, bounce in your legs, intensity, hand to eye coordination etc... Much better than most ATP pros in fact. Which I am sure you are aware of.

    Obviously you have a lot of people overseeing your game, and normally outside suggestions are taken with a grain of salt, but I have been credited with seeing some things that most coaches in the world for some reason overlook.

    But first I need to know if you are open to it. Your game as you well know is very, very unique.

    If you like some of my information, the best of it would be email only.
     
    #69
  20. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    Great to have you with us, Filip! Hopefully, you can keep updating us about our progress, although be sure that we will keep a very close eye on you. I wish you the best.

    PS: Don't play Federer in the near future, though. :)
     
    #70
  21. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    This is astonishing since I read that you were a member of some very fancy and expensive club in Vancouver. Could you tell us where you played as a junior? What club was your base?
     
    #71
  22. TheCanadian

    TheCanadian Semi-Pro

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    I find this fascinating. Rafael Nadal was already playing 4 - 5 hours a day when he was a ten-year-old. I'm very impressed by your success considering that you didn't play all that much. How did you solve the problem of a lack of hitting partners? What type of drills did you do back then with your dad? What was his knowledge of the game of tennis? Was he a good player himself? It's interesting how many parents had a determinative impact on their children's development as tennis players. What do you make of that? Malcolm Gladwell in his bestseller Outliers cites scientific studies that purport to show that practice time is the biggest predictor of acquiring expertise in any field. Typically, 10 000 hours of practice time is required to be an expert in a field such as music or sports. In sum, it's not the nebulous quality called "talent" that makes one a champion but how much time one spends working/practicing. What's your take on this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    #72
  23. 15_ounce

    15_ounce Guest

    Hi Filip,

    Have you ever had a really bad injury? What did you do for recovery?

    Do you have some massages after a gruelling training?

    I'm allergic to any artificial sweeteners which are found in sports drink, do you have any other recommendation? I replace it with pure fresh young coconut drink. When I train, I also bring plenty of medjool dates with me and water as well.

    When I have any pain in my body I never take anti inflammatory pills, instead I drink Tian Qi ginseng, and eat plenty of healthy fresh food for recovery. I eat a lot of papaya, pineapple and other fresh fruit.

    I don't like taking food supplement such as protein, whey powder., etc. I want to eat as natural as I can. I like fish and seafood a lot. What about you?
     
    #73
  24. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Great thread, great idea.
     
    #74
  25. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I was a member at the North Shore Winter Club, which at the time wasn't nearly as expensive as it is now. Definitely not more than paying for court time.
     
    #75
  26. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I play with Luxilon Original. During tournaments I use a new string for every match, usually for every ball change. I generally play until it breaks in practice, or until it's too loose, which is every few days.
     
    #76
  27. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I definitely don't regret doing it, I just wish I had some time to practice it before having to go on court, haha.
     
    #77
  28. NadalDramaQueen

    NadalDramaQueen Hall of Fame

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    I don't have any questions but I would like to say congratulations on making all four finals in one year. I find it really impressive that you were able to win your final two after your first two losses.

    I wish you the best and I hope you make it to the top.
     
    #78
  29. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I have played both of them before, once each. I beat Daniel Chu in the summer of 2011 6-1 6-4, and Henry last winter, 7-5 6-2.
     
    #79
  30. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Oh sorry didn't realize you said David Chu. Never played him before.
     
    #80
  31. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    great to have you here.

    Maybe if you have some boring time you could come over to the tips/instruction subforum. there are some pretty heated discussions and the opinion of a pro would be very interesting.

    what do you think are your greatest assets in your game?
     
    #81
  32. CCNM

    CCNM Hall of Fame

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    Welcome Filip. I wish you good luck in your career. Hope you are able to become a big name in Canada and the world.
     
    #82
  33. Firstking

    Firstking Rookie

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    Great job on the TC podcast! :)

    And thanks for doing this Filip!
     
    #83
  34. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! Wished I had a better mic because I didnt sound too great. A late night out the day before didnt help the vocal chords either.... :p
     
    #84
  35. FEDERERNADAL13

    FEDERERNADAL13 Hall of Fame

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    Hi filip! I'm a 17 year old Canadian guy and a big fan of yours! Congrats on your career so far! I just have a few questions for you, if you don't mind:

    1. Out of everyone in pro tennis, who would you most like to beat?

    2. What's your favourite grand slam?

    3. How often do you spend time at the rexall centre in Toronto?

    4. What's your favourite shot?

    5. Kind of a proposition, not a question, but: If your ever in southwestern Ontario, would you consider meeting/hitting with some of your fans? :)

    Thanks for your time man! :)
     
    #85
  36. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Honestly, if I had to choose one person to beat, it would be either Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic, although I'm not quite sure who of those 3 I should choose :S

    They are all amazing in their own different ways, but Wimbledon is special to me, as I won my first slam there.

    I am almost never in Toronto, and when I am it's not to train at Rexall, as most of what I need is already in Montreal.

    I like to use my forehand to dictate, although I'm quite comfortable hitting any shot from either side, in any position.

    As far as that goes, I would consider it if I was in the area, and if I had any extra time on my hands.
     
    #86
  37. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Forgot to quote you the first time... Oops

    Honestly, if I had to choose one person to beat, it would be either Federer, Nadal, or Djokovic, although I'm not quite sure who of those 3 I should choose :S

    They are all amazing in their own different ways, but Wimbledon is special to me, as I won my first slam there.

    I am almost never in Toronto, and when I am it's not to train at Rexall, as most of what I need is already in Montreal.

    I like to use my forehand to dictate, although I'm quite comfortable hitting any shot from either side, in any position.

    As far as that goes, I would consider it if I was in the area, and if I had any extra time on my hands
     
    #87
  38. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I think that my game off the ground, movement/speed, mental/intensity and returns are probably my biggest strengths, although I feel like I can dictate with any shot.
     
    #88
  39. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I didn't really solve that problem until I moved to Montreal to work with Tennis Canada, so until then I was behind a bit, mostly on the matchplay aspect (I didn't have the chance to play as many tournaments as most other top-level juniors because of the expenses).

    With my dad, I would do the general feeding drills that everyone does, such as 2 crosscourt 1 down the line.

    I believe that hard work is the most important factor in becoming a top pro, but with that being said, talent is also necessary. In my opinion, there has to be some talent to begin with in order to achieve that level.
     
    #89
  40. JamieSafe

    JamieSafe Rookie

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    What was it like growing up? Did you spend most of your time in the same training center as Raonic?
     
    #90
  41. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I think that the highest ranking player I've hit with is Milos Raonic. I think he is an amazing player, and a great ambassador of Canadian tennis.
     
    #91
  42. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I used to train in North Vancouver, so I never got a chance to train with Dimitri. I like the pic :)
     
    #92
  43. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Forgot to quote it again...haha

    As I said, I trained in North Van, so I never got a chance to work with Dimitri
     
    #93
  44. FEDERERNADAL13

    FEDERERNADAL13 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the answers filip :)
     
    #94
  45. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Thanks! When I met Federer at the Champions' Dinner at Wimbledon, he spoke to me as if he knew me for years. He is such a great person, really takes time to talk to everybody. I definitely gained a lot of respect for him after that encounter. He is truly a class act.
     
    #95
  46. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Thank you! When I'm back in Canada, I train at the National Training Center in Montreal.
     
    #96
  47. Charlzz

    Charlzz Rookie

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    Who do you think is better at Gangnam dancing--you or Novak Djokovic?

    But seriously, what are you working on to get you to the top 100?
     
    #97
  48. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    I do not use any lead or modifications on my racket. I use a stock blx blade 98 SL3 mold, although I will be trying some lead tape modifying soon.

    Yes, physical training is almost as important a part of my training (if not as important) as tennis. These days you need to be extremely fit and powerful (not necessarily big, just strong) to compete with the top guys on the pro tour. It's a much more physical game than it has been in the past.
     
    #98
  49. KoolTennisKid

    KoolTennisKid New User

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    Hey, a hundred congratulations man!!!! i love your playing style, very aggresive and just full of that "spark" that we all need. just a quick questions, now that your a pro will you be planning to change any small part part of your game, equipment wise or like the way you play? And what is your current string set up and what tension?
     
    #99
  50. fpeliwo

    fpeliwo Rookie

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    Technical questions are tough to answer without physically demonstrating it, but I will do my best.

    Basically you need to get under the ball with your racket and legs, transferring your weight up and through the ball, in order to keep the pace and depth.

    As for changing direction, you need to be turned sideways as preparation, (this applies to every stroke) and use your weight transfer and hand/racket manipulation to direct the ball. Pretty much all you have to do is guide your racket and weight through the ball in that direction.

    Again, these are difficult to answer, as it is a lot easier to learn if you actually see somebody demonstrate it in person.
     

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