Sunday, March 2, 2008

Re-born Ginepri with new coach

Former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri is now working with Jose Higueras. The former top ten player runs a training center in Pam Springs is a fan of hard work and so he encourages Ginepri to put more hours in the gym and on the court training."I think I'm better overall than in '05," Ginepri told reporters, referring to the stellar season that has been his yardstick ever since. "I attacked that whole match. When you're feeling like that, it's easier to take risks."

"Robby needed focus and discipline," Jim Courier said. "He's a very gifted athlete, but he was, self-admittedly, floating and wondering how he was going to resurrect himself. Robby's an unfinished product, and Jose is one of the best at finishing players."

"I had my doubts that he was going to go through with it," Higueras said. "But he's a good competitor. He doesn't like to lose. There's no reason he can't get back [to the top 20] unless there's a lack of doing the things on a daily basis that I think professional tennis players should do."Ginepri isn't a natural net player, but "he should be able to use his court position and good ground strokes and rally pretty confidently," the coach said. "I want him going to net more, not to intercept but with an advantage."

"He was working his tail off," Patrick McEnroe said. "He was grinding away with the boys and when he wasn't doing that, he was off at the gym or doing extra drills with my assistant, Jay Berger. He was obviously in great shape, and there's no doubt that Jose has gotten his work ethic back going.

"Robby's in that mid-age range where you realize you've been around for four or five years, you've had a couple good years and a couple of terrible ones, and you think, what am I going to do to maximize these next few years? Jose was the perfect guy for him."
Ginepri, who played a couple of Davis Cup matches in early 2004, said the trip was important for him. "Sitting there on the sidelines watching the matches and being intense with them every single point is definitely a feeling that kind of brought me back to life a little bit more," he said in San Jose last week.

Before any newfound fitness, technique or confidence could be put into play, however, there was another setback. Illness and a neck injury knocked Ginepri out of qualifying for two Australian Open lead-up tournaments and short-circuited his plans to start the year strongly Down Under.
His ranking plummeted to a five-year low of No. 171. "It was definitely disheartening," he said.

"The more matches I get, the more confidence I'm going to build, and obviously when you have confidence, it's a lot easier to play and take care of matches, take care of points and do the right things on the court that you've trained to do," Ginepri said before beating Blake.
"When he's playing his best, Robby plays a style similar to Agassi -- taking the ball early off both wings, returning very well, constantly putting pressure on his opponent with aggressive, high-percentage tennis from the baseline," McEnroe said.

Ginepri is training with Higueras again this week, and the coach said things are going well. "In San Jose, he tasted that feeling of winning again," he said. "That doesn't come for free. I hope he understands that he wouldn't have gotten there without what he's been going through the last few months."


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