Friendly Tennis Match with TFN

Darren Chin of the Tennis Friendz Network (TFN) was nice enough to ask our Regentville Tennis players for a friendly game. I will be coordinating this event with Darren. We have not set a specific time and date and everything is still tentative, but it has been generally agreed that the match will be held in about a month's time.

I have appointed Apollo as Captain and Arnelio as Vice Captain of Team Regentville. Their main responsibilities will be coordinating the team's training schedule as well as naming the team and player selection for this friendly.

The Players... Whitney

Whitney is Filipino and an engineer by profession. He has been working in Singapore for about 4 years and has been playing tennis for about 10 years. He is one of the latest additions to "Team Regentville"

His greatest asset is his serve and his big forehand which he uses to set up the point for a winner. I have not played against Whitney before, but simply by watching him play, I realized that his game revolves around on these two main fundamentals. I certainly don't want to be on the receiving end of his killer forehand or huge serve!

The Players... Abel

Abel is a Filipino health care professional who has been working in Singapore for about 4 years. He has just recently gotten back into tennis after a long layoff due to health problems which nearly ended his tennis career.

I am happy to have Abel back playing with us in Regentville again, as it was him who had pushed and inspired me to do some exercises to get back into shape, when I had some health problems of my own. For this, I am internally grateful to him for his kind gesture. His actions by giving me a skipping rope had somehow motivated to get back in shape, as well as to embark on this journey of self realization. It made me more determined to get my health and fitness back that shaped me to be a better tennis player.

This blog is a tribute to Abel as true friend and motivator!

The Players... Rico

Rico is a Filipino health care professional who has just recently started working in Singapore for about a year now. His speciality is doubles play, and he is a great asset to anybody partnering him and a great threat to anyone playing against him.

He has all the classic playing attributes of great doubles player. A good kick serve, great reflexes at the net and a monster overhead smash which he can execute from any part of the court. From close to the net shots, mid court or deep behind the baseline. He is without a doubt the best "Smasher" in Regentville due to this ability. This guy can smash from anywhere! I sometimes feel that if he had a choice or preference, he'd rather to hit most of his groundstrokes with smashes!

I nicknamed him the "Master Blaster" due to his smashing style which resembles a "Michael Jordan" like slam dunk! Forget also about trying to outvolley this guy, as he has lightning like reflexes at the net. It is very difficult to try to past him or lob him as well. You might be a victim of an angled drop shot or one of his fabled slam dunks smashes if you were to accidentally lob short!

The Players... Dennis

Dennis is a Filipino health care professional who is currently a Singapore Permanent resident. The first thing I have to say about Dennis, is this guy has LEGS... He can really run!!! and boy, can he RUN... His style resembles that of Michael Chang and I must say that he is one of the fastest players in Regentvile and his never say die attitude has stunned many of his opponents on numerous occasions.

Dennis does not have very big shots, but what he lack in terms of shot making is covered up by his hard running and determination to run down every ball. I have seen him get impossible shots which I feel not even Chang could get! There were also several times his opponents turned their backs on him after a huge serve or a huge shot which they thought were outright winners and were impossible to return. They
were left scrambling after that, as Dennis was there time after time again running down those impossible shots and hitting winners from almost impossible angles! He kinda reminds me of the Adidas Motto "Impossible Is Nothing". The moral of the story never, ever, turn your back on this guy! Underestimate him at your own peril...

His racquet of choice the Babolat Pure Drive Plus (Andy Roddick's Model).

The Players... Sandra

Sandra is Singaporean a homemaker who shares a great passion and enjoyment for the game of tennis. She is arguably the best ladies player in our Regentville Tennis circle and has experience playing in a couple of tournaments. She can easily hold her own against many of the guys playing in Regentville and is no push over in any sense. If you play against Sandra, never think it is gonna be an easy ride!

Sandra's greatest asset is her fantastic ground strokes both from her forehand and double backhand sides, which she wield with great accuracy and power. She has very pacy serves from both her 1st and 2nd serves so don't expect any sitters from her! On the contrary, short balls, floaters and sitters from her opposite end are a most welcomed as Sandra will punish her opponents with her powerful put away groundstrokes.

She has lot's of speed and stamina too, and she uses this with good effect to set up points for her groundstrokes. I find her to be also a very intelligent and thinking player, able to easily vary her shot selection to her opponent's hitting style and exploit their weaknesses.

The Players... Carl

Carl is a Filipino professional working as a manager in an engineering firm. He has been based in Singapore for a couple of years now and is a Singapore Permanent Resident. I consider Carl one of the best players in Regentville as he is the symbol of absolute consistency. He rarely makes mistakes and constantly outwits his opponents with his intelligent playing style. I find him always a step above his opponents in these two aspects.

Carl's weapon is without a doubt his consistent and smart play which are his two biggest attributes. One should be also wary of his signature killer top spins! I call him the "Spin Doctor" for this ability to generate incredibly high bouncing top spins that keeps his opponents running from left to right behind the baseline. I had once asked him about this signature shot of his which he wields with great precision and accuracy on both sides of his forehand and double handed backhand. He mentioned that he picked it up playing on the clay courts in the Philippines, as the region he hails from had primarily clay courts instead of the usual hard or shell courts which were common in the Philippines.

His racquet of the choice the Wilson nCode n1 racquet with a super oversized frame which greatly compliments the "Spin Doctor's" style of play... The Doctor's in the house, feel free to consult him... :)

Phol & Jayson advances to the FTC Semis...

Phol and Jayson overcame a sluggish start to eventually overcome their opponents advancing to the semi finals of the Filipino Tennis Club (FTC) doubles event this evening at the Tanglin Tennis Center.

Trailing 0-2 at the start, they managed to hold the nerves and kept Regentville's hopes alive by breaking back and forcing the game into a 7-7 tiebreaker after a closely contested game. They eventually took the set (7-4) in the breaker to advance to the semis which will be held next week. The Regentville Tennis Blog salutes the both of you for your progress to the semis! Keep up the good work guys!

Tennis Related Links & Blogs

I am currently in the process of adding tennis related links and blogs to the regentville tennis blog. If you happen to know of any good tennis sites or blogs which you think should be included here or I have left out. Please let me know so that I can add them into my list of links. Please bare in mind that in keeping with the relevancy and interest of all viewers to this blog, which is strictly related to all regentville tennis players, tennis meet ups groups and anything about tennis locally in Singapore or worldwide, I will be ONLY excepting links for tennis related content.

I have received many emails from viewers all around the world commenting about my blog, I would appreciate any constructive feedbacks or suggestions on how I can further improve the regentville tennis blog. I have also been writing to individuals who own personal tennis related blogs for link exchanges but somehow many were unresponsive to my appeals to link my blog to there's which can be pretty tough, as the
regentville tennis blog is merely a fledging site that has just been up for a couple of weeks. I believe around 3 weeks to be exact...

In case, I will be
persevering in my aim to get to know more people locally as well as internationally to spread the joy of the wonderful game of tennis!

Good Luck to Phol & Jayson!

The Regentville Tennis Blog wishes the Best of Luck to Phol and Jayson in today's Quarter and Semi finals of the Filipino Tennis Club Tournament (FTC). More details about their upcoming match this evening will be posted at a later date...

Happy Birthday Arnelio!!!

We had a belated birthday celebration for our good pal Arnel this evening... His actual birthday was on the 24 August. He turns "twenteen" on this day...

On the menu tennis (as usual) food and drinks... Okay it's unhealthy, rich food after tennis, but for Arnel it's well worth it!!! Here are some snapsnots of the event... Group photo from left to right: Myself, Dan, Arnel (the birthday boy), Ernie, Jayson, Joey, Serene, Sandra & Phol.

Babolat Pure Drive Love it or Hate it?

From my early teenage tennis days, I have used a vast array of different racquets. I starting playing tennis when I was in secondary school sometime around 1989 or so... Those were the days of the Prince Thunder Stick and Prince CTS Lightning, Michael Chang's famed Prince Graphic Classic which had the famous vertical bar running horizontally across the neck of the racquet, the Puma Boris Becker, Andre Agassi's Orange Donnay Pro One's, Pete Sampras' Wilson Pro Staff Classic, and a couple more famous racquet synonymous to star players of that era. These were before even Wilson came up with their famous Hammer series racquets. I did like their catchy line in the hammer series ad of "Nail Your Oponent"!
Racquets that I have previously used: There were more but most likely I forgot which ones... :)

Dunlop - My first ever tennis racquet - Can't Remember the model.
Donnay - Ultimate Pro Oversized (Orange), Pro One Limited Edition Mid Size.
Head - S6, i-prestige
Yonex - The blue one Zina Garrison used...
Yahama - Secret EX 110 (Sabatini Model), Secret 08 & Proto 02 series.
Wilson -
Traid 6.0
Babolat Pure Drive Plus + (Andy Roddick Model) - My Last Racquet...
Babolat Pure Drive Standard (Carlos Moya Model) - Present racquet (see above)

I have used some great racquets in the past, I must pay tribute to those which really developed my game like the Yamaha Secret EX 110, The Head i-prestige and the Wilson Triad 6.0. The others were just okay but the worst of the lot for me was the Donnay Ultimate Pro which was an absolute disappointment at a huge price...

After playing with the Wilson Traid 6.0 which I would classify as a control type of racquet which
needed alot of manual power to generate pace. It was heavy and when it came to long rallies lot's of power would be required to just generate a good amount of pace which in the end would dry up your energy reserves very quickly. I needed something with a little more juice as I am a "hit and run" kind of player and wanted a stick that would be able to end the point quickly for me. I noticed lot's of players using racquets which had the two horizontal double stripes which I knew to be a brand called Babolat. I didn't really pay much attention to them as when I started tennis back in the late 80s and early 90s Babolat were only known for their strings and grips much like what Tecnifiber and Gamma are known for these days, although they do make racquets.

I also realized that there was one Babolat model in particular, which seems to be much more common and popular amongst the pros. It had a cool luminous blue tone to it, and the biggest server on tour Andy Roddick was weilding it to great effect. I soon found out that this
Babolat model was called the "Pure Drive". It was not only one of the hottest racquets on tour, but one of the hottest racquets in terms of racquet sales here in Singapore. I quickly concluded that this racquet must be really something, as if it was crappy, nobody would be buying, using or let alone even endorsing them! I know there would be definitely a caveat for the pros, as each of their racquets in terms of cosmetics visibility looks the same, but they are customized to their individual liking in terms of the weight, balance and swing ratio although most manufacturers would swear that the factory model and the ones their pros use are exactly the same. That aside, I was already tempted to know more about this model or hope to demo it someday.

The chance to try it came along when Apollo snapped his strings and he borrowed his housemate's Pure Drive. Since I was playing with him that day, I took a chance to demo the racquet. To date, I had only held it unstrung in some sport stores. Although strings are relatively lightweight, a strung and unstrung racquet feels very different it terms of the balance. I had a bad wrist injury then and was recovering from it, the Pure Drive at that time felt very heavy and my wrist hurt slightly when just holding it. This thus gave me the impression that the Pure Drive was NOT the racquet for me. Since Apollo had the racquet that day, I grabbed the chance at trying it out for a full demo of it's capabilities!

Initial Impression:

It was the most damped racquet I have ever felt. Bare in mind, I have used so many different kinds of racquets but this one feels like you are hitting at a cotton tennis ball. There was practically "no feeling" when you hit the ball! Even when you connect at the sweet spot, it still gave you that same damped feeling. I would later find out that this was what Babolat credited to it's famed "Woofer" technology. Some individuals don't like this feeling as they rather "feel" their shots bite into their strings especially when hitting with spin. I was very impressed with the racquet and was soon on my list of items to purchase.

I did more research on the Pure Drive on the web. I would highly recommend this site called Tennis Warehouse for reviews from Pros as well as positive and negative feedback from customers. I also visited to get more information on this racquet. I quickly realized that there seems to be two different models which are totally identical in cosmetic appearance, but the only difference was their lengths. The Pure Drive Standard and the Pure Drive Plus. There is no way you can tell the difference by it's outwards appearance. You only could tell by the small + (plus) symbol at the neck of the racquet as well as the additional one inch length when you compare the standard and the plus model side by side. You might think that small one inch difference does not make much of a difference. But mind you it does, and by a great margin!

I thus decided to get the "Plus" model for it's extra reach... Big mistake! While the Babolat Pure Drive Plus (+) had it's pros as well as cons, it did not dawn upon me that a slightly longer racquet was more suited to an individual who uses a double handed backhand. It is harder to swing with a single handed backhand with a longer racquet, I personally found that out the hard way. But while I lost the ability to execute my single handed backhands effectively, it gave me additional reach running for shots using my back hand slice with great effect. I could also volley better with the additional reach and it gives you an outstanding forehand which you can unleash with great effect, this racquet had alot of Juice!!! The great difference which was most noticeable, was the huge serve that it could generate almost so effortlessly. Andy Roddick can generate lot's of pace with his serve with any racquet due to his great technique, but I personally feel that this racquet compliments his game as it is really suited for a big server. You can easily serve bullets with this racquet and if you are naturally a big server who plays with a two handed backhand this is THE racquet for you!

I finally came to the decision that although the Pure Drive Plus gave me lots of power, I needed my backhand drive back in my game and didn't just want to be held back with a defensive backhand slice shot. I eventually sold the Pure Drive Plus for $100 (half the price I paid for it originally) after about 2 months and decided to go for the Pure Drive Standard. instead.

The Pure Drive Standard was a totally different animal altogether! I thought it would play the same as the Plus, but again I was dead wrong! It was a totally different feel and it lacked the heft and power of the plus which was evident when I first picked up and hit with the racquet. One inch could really make a difference in the racquet! So don't judge the book by it's cover. It took me sometime to get use to the shorter racquet and gradually I got my backhand drive back, but it was seriously lacking the power which will do the damage. I finally fixed this problem by using the Toalson Hybrid (Apex) strings which was strung at 56 pounds. For me, only this combination of the string type and tension was the key to the success of my racquet in terms of power generation. I was lucky to find the right combination as I was getting slightly frustrated with the Pure Drive Standard.

The other glaring problem with this racquet which I feel that should be highlighted to Babolat is that their grip sizes are not only larger by one size compared to other makes, but are generally larger than other Babolat models! A Pure Drive 4 1/4 is equivalent to a 4 3/8! A side by side comparison with a 4 1/4 grip size (which is my current grip size) with the Pure Drive and Pure Control (Red color) shows a great difference. A 4 1/4 Babolat Pure Control has a smaller grip size compared to a 4 1/4 Babolat Pure Drive! I feel more comfortable holding gripping the Pure Control. I believe this is a manufacturer or quality control defect but apparently all the Pure Drives Plus and Standard comes with this larger than usual grip when I was both using them. This has problem has also been highlighted by the Tennis Warehouse Review as well as the user feedbacks. I constantly take note of this problem every time I visit stores selling the Pure Drives, the new batches also have this same problem.


The Babolat Pure Drive Standard has indeed improved my game significantly. It has given me the ability to finish the point quickly without expanding too much energy. The only major problem with this racquet is the grip size which Babolat should review accordingly. I have suffered alot of mis-hits due to the lack of the ability to grip the racquet tightly due to the larger grip size. I believe that to get the correct grip size for me, I should be looking for a 4 1/8 Pure Drive but it seems that the distributors for Babolat don't carry this grip size here in Singapore as I have inquired at many sports shops about the availability of a smaller 4 1/8 grip size to no avail... :(

Since my recent elbow injury which I believe was attributed to the larger grip size, I have removed the original grip and replaced it with two regular over grips. I is slightly better now, but now I feel the wooden bevel of the grip. In the past I used the original grip with the thinnest overgrip which I could find which was the Tourna grip stretched tightly over the original grip. This however did not help as my injury suggests...

If any Babolat distributors, representatives or executives stumbles upon this blog, I strongly urge them to do something about this as I truly believe that they have designed a truly wonderful racquet despite of this glaring problem!

Out of Action with a busted elbow...

I am sad to say that I have busted my elbow playing tennis yesterday... I am feeling excruciating pain in my playing elbow. Even while I type, there is some pain. I believe it could be tennis elbow which I had before. It was cured simply by switching racquets. The last racquet which caused me that problem was the Donnay Pro One Limited Edition mid sized racquet which was a very stiff racquet...

The feeling and pain I had in the past was slightly different however to the one I am experiencing now. I felt some pain sometime last week but thought it might go away... Unfortunately, it didn't. I stopped playing for a couple of days and tried playing again yesterday. While hitting a forehand I felt excruciating pain shot up my elbow, actually it seems originating from just above my elbow joint which is a throbbing/numbness kind of pain. I guess I would have to lay off a couple of weeks to avoid some serious injury. I have thus devoted more of my spare time contributing to the
Regentville Tennis Blog :)

INTERNATIONAL TENNIS NUMBERS (ITN) - description of standard

INTERNATIONAL TENNIS NUMBERS (ITN) - description of standard

The chart below is the description of abilities for each I.T.N. level as provided by the International Tennis Federation.

General competitive level

  • Currently holds or is capable of holding an ATP / WTA ranking.
  • A world-class player who is committed to tournament competition on an international level and whose major source of Income Is tournament prize-money.
  • Has extensive professional tournament experience.
  • Can analyze and exploit an opponent's weakness.
  • Can vary strategies and style of play and is capable of hitting dependable shots In stressful situations.
  • Usually a highly ranked national player.
  • First and second serve can be relied upon in stressful situations and can be hit offensively at any time.
  • Has developed good anticipation for both returns.
  • Can pick up cues from an opponents preparation, toss, back swing and body position.
  • Capable of hitting dependable shots in stressful stations.
  • Can attack, counter-attack and defend effectively with both forehand and backhand.
  • Can play a full range of shots.
  • Hits slice or drive approaches.
  • Anticipates well at the net and has good court sense.
  • Can use angles or play deep effectively.
  • Volleys aggressively.
  • Overhead is invariably a winner.
  • Backhand overhead is also strong.
  • Improvises and passes very well off both sides and from the return of serve.
  • Is able to use the two-shot passing combinations very effectively.
  • Good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot, consistency or attribute around which a game may be based.
  • The player is 'match wise', plays percentage tennis and can regularly hit winning return of serve or force errors In the return of serve from short balls.
  • Serve Is placed effectively with the intent of hitting to a weakness or developing an offensive situation.
  • Has a variety of serves to rely on.
  • Good depth, spin and placement on most second serves to force a weak return or to set up the next shot.
  • Can mix up aggressive and off-paced return of serve with control, depth and spin.
  • Forehand Is strong with control, depth and spin.
  • Uses forehand to set up offensive situations.
  • Backhand is used as an aggressive shot with good consistency.
  • Has good direction and depth on most shots.
  • Has developed good touch.
  • Varies spin.
  • Approach shots are hit with pace and a high degree of effectiveness.
  • Can hit most volleys with depth, pace and direction.
  • Plays difficult volleys with depth.
  • When given the opportunity, the volley Is often hit for a winner.
  • Overheads can be hit from any position.
  • Hits mid-court volleys with consistency.
  • Consistent on passing shots and hits them with pace and a high degree of effectiveness.
  • Can lob offensively
  • Consistent play, capable of generating power and spin effectively and has begun to handle pace.
  • Has good anticipation, sound footwork and covers up weaknesses well.
  • Can control the depth of shots and is beginning to vary game plans according to opponents.
  • Although tentative on difficult shots, this player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve.
  • Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
  • Has an aggressive serve and commits few double-faults.
  • Power and spin can be used effectively to set up offensive situations, especially on first serves.
  • Second serves are typically well placed and deep.
  • Often hits aggressive return of serve.
  • Can take pace off with moderate success in doubles.
  • Can chip and drive and chip and charge with success.
  • Very consistent (dependable) forehand.
  • Uses speed and spin effectively.
  • Controls depth well, but tends to over-hit when rushed or when pressing.
  • Offensive on moderate shots.
  • Backhand can control direction and depth but may break down under pressure.
  • Has a reasonable slice.
  • Approach shots hit with good depth and control.
  • Can handle a mixed sequence of volleys.
  • Has depth and directional control on backhand volley.
  • Can consistently hit volleys and overheads to end the point.
  • Developing touch and good footwork, however the most common error Is still over-hitting.
  • Able to lob defensively and offensively.
  • Able to pass the net player with a reasonable amount of effectiveness.
  • Good consistency (dependable strokes) including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, although rallies may be lost due to impatience.
  • Ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success.
  • Developing court coverage, experienced and tactically aware but not yet playing good percentage tennis.
  • Occasionally forces errors In return of serve when serving.
  • Teamwork in doubles is evident
  • Placement of both first and second serve is evident
  • First serve is often hit powerfully.
  • Some use of spin.
  • Has a dependable return of serve
  • Can return with depth In singles and vary the return in doubles.
  • Forehand is consistent and hits with depth and control on moderate shots, but placement can suffer when under pressure.
  • Backhand can direct the ball with consistency and depth on moderate shots.
  • Developing spin and may be able to use a bit of both topspin and slice.
  • Follows aggressive shots to the net.
  • Has depth and control on the forehand volley.
  • Can direct backhand volleys, but usually lacks depth.
  • Is developing wide and low volleys on both sides.
  • Can put away easy overheads
  • Can poach In doubles.
  • Beginning to finish point off.
  • Can hit to an opponents weakness.
  • Able to lob defensively on difficult shots and offensively to set up the point.
  • Has achieved improved stroke consistency with directional control on moderate shots but with little depth and variety.
  • Court coverage is improving yet there remains some hesitancy in moving forward.
  • Is developing teamwork In doubles.
  • Starting to serve with control and some power.
  • Developing spin.
  • Can return serve consistently with directional control on medium-paced shots.
  • Forehand is quite consistent, varied on moderate shots and is played with directional control and some spin.
  • Backhand is hit with directional control on moderate shots however difficulty Is experienced on high and hard shots, which are often returned defensively.
  • Will use either backhand drive or slice almost exclusively.
  • Is developing approach shots and starting to look for the opportunity to come In to the net.
  • More aggressive net play.
  • Can direct forehand volleys, controls backhand volley but with little offence.
  • Has difficulty in putting volleys away and in playing half volleys.
  • Is capable of covering some passing shots and typically uses proper footwork.
  • Consistent overhead on shots within reach.
  • Can lob fairly consistently on faster paced shots.
  • Developing basic passing shot ability but has difficulty in playing a pass with the backhand.
  • Fairly consistent when hitting moderately paced shots but Is not comfortable playing all strokes and can lack control when trying for direction, depth or power.
  • A singles match will be played almost exclusively from the baseline, whilst the most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.
  • Is developing a rhythm, although is less consistent when trying far power.
  • Second serve is often substantially slower than the first serve.
  • Can return serve with reasonable consistency with the majority returned to the middle of the court.
  • Forehand is fairly consistent with some directional intent but has little control of depth.
  • Backhand Is starting to become fairly consistent on moderate shots with most of the balls directed to the middle of the court.
  • Approaches the net when play dictates It but needs to improve its execution.
  • Has a consistent forehand volley, but is less consistent on the backhand volley.
  • Has difficulty volleying shots played low and wide.
  • Sometimes caught out of position and can tend to take too large a swing.
  • Can lob fairly consistently on moderate shots and often uses It on the return of serve Instead of a drive.
  • Learning to judge where the ball is going, although court coverage needs to be improved substantially.
  • When playing with other players of the same ability this player can sustain a short rally of slow pace with modest consistency.
  • Usually remains in the initial doubles position during doubles play.
  • Attempting a full swing.
  • There is little difference between the pace of first and second serves.
  • Gets the ball in play at a slow pace.
  • Toss needs to be more consistent.
  • Can return a slow paced serve.
  • Will often have an abbreviated follow through.
  • Forehand form is developing.
  • Player is positioned and prepared for moderately paced shots.
  • Backhand grip and preparation problems may be evident and the player will often choose to hit a forehand instead of a backhand.
  • Approaches the net only when forced to.
  • Needs to spend more time at the net to build some confidence.
  • Is currently uncomfortable at the net, especially on the backhand side and will frequently use forehand side of the racket face to play backhand volleys.
  • Can make contact on overhead.
  • Can lob intentionally but with little control.
  • Will often play back to the opponent.
  • Needs on-court experience.
  • While strokes can be completed with some success, stroke weaknesses are evident.
  • Is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play, although needs better positioning and may even prefer to play both back.
  • This player has begun to engage in match play.
  • Is learning the basic rules and scoring.
  • Service motion Is not continuous and needs more co-ordination.
  • Toss needs to be more consistent and controlled.
  • Double-faults are quite common.
  • Return of serve needs to be more consistent in order to reduce unforced errors.
  • Will attempt to return almost exclusively with forehand.
  • Forehand needs to have a more complete swing and more directional intent
  • Reluctance to play backhand is clear and experiences several technical problems on this side (i.e. grip, swing, contact).
  • Not yet familiar with approach and net play.
  • Will look to play forehand volley exclusively and has problems making contact on overheads.
  • Experiences difficulties lobbing intentionally.
  • Is not accustomed to playing a pass and will typically hit the ball straight back to the opponent.
ITN 10
  • This player is starting to play competitively (can serve and return / rally) on a full court using a normal ITF approved ball.
ITN 10a
  • The player is able to rally with movement and control.
  • The ITN 10.a to 10.c categories will usually involve playing in a modified environment e.g. using transition / soft balls on a reduced court and / or using adapted rackets as appropriate.
ITN 10b
  • The player has developed some simple tennis-specific skills in hitting an oncoming ball regularly, however rallying with movement and control is not yet achieved.
ITN 10c
  • The player is in the early stages of tennis skills development and is primarily learning simple tennis co-ordination tasks / exercises.



Unit 10 National Stadium 15 Stadium Road Singapore 397718
Tel: 65-6348 0124, 6348 2246 Fax: 65-6348 2414


With a growing base of tennis players in Singapore, the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) feels that that there is a need to grade the level of players in Singapore so that all recreational and competitive tennis players, including the players in the inter-club tournaments will have an international rating. And when is that going to happen? STA aims to implement the ITN by the end of next year. This means that effective January 2006, all tennis players who want to participate in the local tournaments must have an ITN. Players in clubs will be graded by the clubs' resident coaches while players in clubs with no resident coaches and players who do not belong to any clubs will be rated by STA's panel of coaches.


STA will be organising an upcoming ITN workshop for NROC registered coaches to be ITN assessors. Kindly contact the STA office for more information.


The ITN is an international number that represents a player's general level of play. The rating system based on ITN will provide a method of classifying skill levels of tennis players' globally which in turn can help:

• to encourage more playing of tennis.

• to unite tennis under a common rating language.

• to implement a national tennis rating system in Singapore .

• to promote a variety of tennis competition formats, which are linked to the tennis rating system.

• to give more options for finding compatible playing partners and therefore more enjoyable competitive play.

• to facilitate the movement of all levels of players between countries.

Under this system players will be rated from ITN 1 – ITN 10. ITN 1 represents a high level player (holding an ATP/WTA ranking or of equivalent playing standard) and ITN 10 is a player who is new to the game.

In time it is hoped that every tennis player in Singapore will have an ITN.

Are you ready to help rate the Tennis World?

The ITN……..

What's your number?!

Thailand Open Tennis 2005

History of the Thailand Open:

The Thailand Open is the only major ATP event that has graced South East Asian soil and has the ability to bring in top notch players like Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, Tim Henman and many more. Click on these links below for more information on the Thailand Open Tennis Tournament.

Thailand Open Tennis Official Website
Thailand Open Tennis History

In the past, Singapore had seen it's fair share of exhibitions and challenger events. I remembered that there was something called the Honda Kah tournament a couple of years back and couple more of exhibition matches with the likes of Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang, Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl and a few more known players held at the Singapore indoor stadium that was in the early 90s.

Most recently they had the Heineken Open in 1999 where Marcelo Rios, Mark Phillippoussis, Michael Chang and Lleyton Hewitt were playing here in Singapore. Besides Rios and Chang none of the other players were known. From that tournament, bloomed Asia's best tennis player Paradorn Srichaphan, whom before then, I have not heard off. That was the first ever tournament I saw Paradorn play in, and boy could he play! I remembered that he was using an oversized Prince racquet. This was even before he switched to Yonex! None of the players then, were really known and the tournament would hardly classify as a real ATP tour event.

In 2003, the torch was passed down to Thailand, to the first and only country in South East Asia to have a full fledge ATP tournament called the Thailand Open. The draw in 2003 did not have much hype, and not much attention was paid to it. All of of a sudden in 2004, came a phenomenon called "Roger Federer" and where Roger went, the world of tennis would follow.

In 2004, Roger, after winning his 2nd Wimbledon crown was playing in this tournament called the Thailand Open? To tell you the truth I have never heard of it and didn't know that the 2003 tournament even existed! I was watching TV and noticed that top players like Roddick, Safin, Federer and Srichaphan were all playing in this tournament held in Thailand! For a brief moment I was stunned, hey these players would actually come all the way to the far east to play! Srichaphan was the only exception, as he was from Thailand, but these guys would actually come all the way here to play was amazing!

I was telling myself I needed to find out more... But that was about it, I didn't actually spent much time pondering how much the event would cost, as I assumed it would probably cost a bomb anyways... I remembered the last few events here in Singapore cost a couple of hundreds of dollars, and to having to fly to Bangkok and spend on additional airfare and hotel accommodations would be even more costly. Well at least that was I thought until Apollo called me on one Friday night wanting to watch the 2004 final which his favorite player Roger Federer was playing against Andy Roddick. It was the classic dream final all tennis fans would love to watch, as it was the World's Number One against the World's Number Two... How often does that happen?

I remembered telling him there was no way in HELL that we could get tickets for the finals, get accommodations and a flight to Bangkok in such short notice. Bare in mind, he called me on Friday night wanting to watch the finals on Sunday! Of course, we could pay for a first class air tickets to Bangkok, pay a premium price for a classy hotel and buy some black market tickets, but he told me that he was on a shoestring budget. It was only on that fateful Friday night that I decided to poke around to find out more about the tournament rates. To my surprise, they were relatively cheap by Singapore standards! We were looking at around 1,000 to 1,500 baht which is around $40 to $60 Singapore dollars respectively starting from the quarter finals onwards. (See prices taken from the Thailand Open website below.

Price Details:

300 Baht (per day)

First and Second
500/800 Baht (per round)

Quarter Finals
1,000/1,500 Baht (per round)

Semi Finals
1,000/1,500 Baht (per round)

1,000/1,500 Baht (per round)

Tickets available at

We then sourced for a couple of hotels and budget air carriers but unfortunately you would need to book your tickets well in advance and not at the 11th hour to get a confirmed seat. I told Apollo that it looks most likely that we would have to scrap the planned trip. He was left feeling disappointed. I felt kinda bad too, as if I was not that ignorant about this tournament, I would be on my way to Bangkok to witness the magic of Federer vs. Roddick. I watched the finals on TV that Sunday, and it didn't disappoint one bit. I promised myself that I will have to watch the tournament in 2005.

Come 2005, I finally did albeit being slightly late booking the tickets for the 2005 Thailand Open Semi Finals and Finals, I was a few days late confirming my ticket. By that time, most of the good seats were already taken. I was lucky to managed to get 3 tickets for the 2nd row seats which cost 1,000 baht a piece. Apollo, Serene and myself will be attending this event, as well as doing some sightseeing and shopping in Bangkok. Doreen, Apollo's wife, will be joining us for our trip but not attending the competition, as shopping in Bangkok interests her more :) Here's a screenshot of our seating arrangements for both the finals and semi finals. As you can see, most of the good seats are already taken.

We will be traveling by on a budget carrier Jetstar Asia which cost us around $167 and staying for 3 nights at the Asia Hotel which cost around 1,350 baht per night. That comes up to around $55 per night. Therefore the total cost for a 4 day 3 night trip to Bangkok with air fair, hotel accommodations and two days tournament tickets costs $167 (airfare) + $80 (tournament semi finals and finals tickets) + $55x3/2 =$83 (est) (based on twin sharing room for 3 night's hotel stay) and comes out to a total final tally for $330 Singapore Dollars per person! which is really cheap! On top of that, we are killing two birds with one stone! Catching an ATP Tennis tournament as well as doing shopping and sightseeing in Bangkok.

As for the seating you might ask why sit so far at the back... and not take the regular "blue" box seats in the image above. These smaller box seats are corporate boxes which are not open for sale to the regular public and only opened to corporations willing to fork out lots of $$$. Ticket Master is selling 3 various packages for the box seats. The Advantage (US$7,000 for 6 seats) , Champions (US$12,000 for 12 seats) and Masters (US$20,000 for 24 seats) membership that lasts throughout the entire length of the tournament. These seats are thus way beyond our league unless somebody sponsors us to get these fantastic seats :)

I will be documenting our trip for the Thailand Open semi finals and finals, as well as our shopping and sight seeing trip in this blog. Both Serene and myself are very familiar with Thailand as I am half Thai, (my mother is Thai) and father in Singaporean so I can speak the lingo as well as familiar with the places, sites and customs. Till then...

The Players... Jojie

Jojie is a Filipino Singapore PR and have been working in Singapore for many year now. He is one of the most senior veteran players in our group and having played tennis for so many years, he has the experience the deft touches that will be able to put many of our younger players to shame. He is only recently starting into tennis again as he was sidelined by some old injuries.

Incidentally, "Uncle Jojie" as we fondly call him is Jayson's dad, so we also often get to see a father and son combination play together something which you don't often get to see in the same court. "Uncle Jojie" had also rub shoulders with former SEA Games tennis champion Felix Barrientos and had played together when in the Philippines.

The Players... Andy

Andy is one of the only Regentville players who "tours" different condos for regular games. Apart from our Regentville group, he plays with some other friends for various other condos island wide. He is Malaysian and is currently working as Senior Manager for a US based MNC dealing with computer software.

Andy's greatest asset is his hard running and "never say die attitude". He runs down and hits back at everything, even seemingly almost impossible shots. We call him the "Great Wall of China" for this reason.

Andy does not have very big shots, but his consistency as well as his ability to return everything back at his opponent makes him a force to be reckon with. He is one of the most senior players in our group and one of the fastest and most determined players I have ever seen. He personifies the saying "Old But Gold" as well as "Slow & Study Wins the Race".

The Players... Kenneth

Kenneth is a student with Nanyang Polytecnic majoring in Sports and Wellness Management. At 17, he is a tall player and still growing. At this age, he already shows great potential with his solid ground strokes and power play off the forhand and backhand sides.

He also has a formidable big serves and will throw it up now and then. His favourite player is Marat Safin and I guess his "big" game play emulates around the huge Russian style of play. Noisey by nature, you will always hear shouts of "Come On" and "Yeeaahh" when you play with or against him.

His racquet of choice, not surprisingly the Babolat Pure Drive Standard which he wields with great effect to drill those big forehand of his.

The Players... Ray

Ray is Singaporean and is currently serving his National Service. I find him the most "coolest" player in our Regentville tennis group, as nothing seems to really faze him, winning or losing. He always has a smile on his face and his jovial nature livens up the game.

Ray's game is based on a big serve and huge forehand which he uses with great effect. He is most comfortable at the back as he is a traditional baseliner. His favorite player is Juan Carlos Ferrero and is using the Wilson Hyper Hammer 6.2 as his racquet of choice.

Ray is currently in Taiwan for an overseas Army exercise and won't be joining us for around a month until he gets back. We will sorely miss his company. Take Care Ray! and do enjoy the great company of those sweet Taiwanese girls ;) Until then serve your country well my friend!

Phol & Jayson shrugs off 1st round jitters to advance to the Filipino Tennis Club Doubles Event

Phol and Jayson shrugged off yesterday's jittery start to their first doubles campaign and continued where they left off in the Filipino Tennis Club tournament held in the Tanglin Tennis Centre this evening by winning the last set 6-4. After going down 1-6 in the first set yesterday, they managed to win the next set 6-2 to set up a final decider. The final score was 1-6, 6-2, 6-4 in favor of Phol and Jayson.

Since their wasn't enough time yesterday, they had to finished what they started by finally taking the 3rd set after a tense initial battle. The score was tied at 3-3 when Jayson and Phol managed to break their opponents serve and was leading 4-3. Their opponents then broke back on Phol's serve and leveled the match at 4-4 a piece. Both Regentville players fought valiantly to break again and finished off strongly with Jayson serving for the match.

Congratulations go out to both Phol and Jayson for holding their nerves and keeping the flag flying high for Regentville. Serene, Doreen and myself was there to lead the charge and support our guys and we were not left empty handed...
We were treated to a fantastic display of courage as well as nerves. I had the privilege to take some snapshot this time with my better camera the Canon 300DSLR with a EF 70-200L F4 lens which produced some fabulous images. Since tomorrow is a start of another hectic working day, I will post more photos from the tournament in the days to come. Signing off for tonight... Nawin ;)

The Players... Jason

Jason is Singaporean and is currently doing his 3rd year in a local Poly. He is one of the two "Jason's" playing in Regentville the only differences between the two is in the spelling of their names as well as both their playing styles. The guys on court playfully call him "Noddick" out of jest :)

While "Jayson" is a hard hitting playing with style and finesse our featured "Jason" who is right handed with a double handed backhand plays a very patient game. His on court catlike movements when hitting the forehand and double handed backhand resembles that of Andy Roddick. His serving stance especially with the hopping backleg motions resembles that of Guillermo Coria. While he lacks the huge serving or Roddick, his ability to place the ball where he wants to during serves as well as to run down almost impossible shots are his greatest asset. He is only the only player I have seen being able to slide around on a hard court similar to that of clay! Fantastic feat for one cool dude...

His racquet of choice is the Babolat Pure Drive Plus. This is the same extended version which Andy Roddick uses. Although he moves like Roddick and uses the same stick as his, it is surprising his favourite player is not Andy Roddick! Jason in fact does not really have a favourite player but when I asked him whose style of play he liked most, remarked it was most likely Marat Safin, the big Russian player.

The Players... Joey

Joey whom I dub the "Sultan of Swing" is a Filipino national whom has been working in Singapore for a couple of years as an engineer. He is the other "lefty" in our Regentville tennis group. As his nickname suggests, Joey has long loopy graceful swings and uses them for both his forehand and single handed backhand.

Joey is one of the hardest hitters on court and once he starts grooving his shots, boy, you will be in some serious trouble! Being left handed, his huge wide kick serves has the ability to pull you off the court for easy put away winners or generate outright aces.
To top this up, he uses an extreme western forehand grip which comes up with so much topspin that you will often have to take his shots on the rise.

Joey is in and out of Singapore most of the time owing to his busy work schedule, but will always find the time to look us up when he is back in town.

The Players... Jayson

Young, Stylish Hard hitting and Brash... These immediately come to mind when I watch Jayson play. A second generation Singapore PR who is Filipino by descent, he is currently waiting be enlisted to the Singapore Armed Forces at the end of this year... Sigh :( there goes another one of our regular tennis kaki's (mates) ... As well as Jayson's stylish locks... :)

Jayson's game revolves around a glorious double handed backhand which he whips with astounding pace and it is this lethal weapon, that usually does the damage and sends his opponent scrambling from one end of the court to the other if the shot is not an outright winner altogether. Mixed with youthful energetic pace, deft masterful volleys and a wicked forehand, Jayson is a force to be reckoned with on the court. I can only foresee him getting better over the years since he is still so young, given such a raw talent at hand.

His racquet of choice is the Babolat Aero Pro Drive similar to that used of the "Spanish Bull" teenage sensation Rafael Nadal whom like Nadal, he wields with great effect. Jayson is the only one of two players in our Regentville group who uses the extreme western forehand grip which generates tremendous pace and top spin. I find this shot the most difficult to play and your sense of timing has to be near flawless. I really watch in great admiration when players use such an extreme exaggerated grip to hit with so much ease.

Jayson favorite player is surprisingly NOT Nadal, but the Australian Lleyton Hewitt whom he idolizes! Fortunately for us, Jayson only likes the way Lleyton plays and does not emulate much of Hewitt's on court fist and chain saw pumping "COME ON'S". In the picture above, Jayson imitates Nadal's famous "Bicep" victory war cry... "VAMOS"!!!

The Players... Daniel

Daniel whom we call "Dan" is a Filipino professional working as a Civil Engineer here in Singapore. He has been working in Singapore for over 10 years or so.

Being one of the only two "lefties" in our group, he uses his wide serves with great effect. His major weapon apart from him being left handed, is is lethal forehand as well as his well rounded consistent play. His favorite shot is the forehand down the line winner which he so often executes during doubles when the netter is not paying much attention. I rate him as one of the most consistent players in Regentville in terms of match play.

His racquet of choice is the Wilson Hyper Carbon racquet which gives him much of the added power and control needed in his game.

The Players... Arnelio Delos Reyes

Arnelio Delos Reyes, or "Arnel" for short. He is a Filipino health care professional and has been working in Singapore for 4 years. Tennis was a past time he picked up when he just started working in Singapore and now it has become not only his hobby, but an avid obsession. You can see hitting the tennis courts almost every other day. Much of his free time is spent researching on how to improve his game by reading up online tennis resources found on the web.

Arnel is the most funniest and craziest player that I would have to give the distinction of gracing Regentville's hallowed tennis courts. His game at times are spectacular,and I have no doubts about this shot making abilities. His actions however are at times bordering madness or even insanity which will always leave his opponents as well as partner (if playing doubles) reeling with uncontrollable laughter. Most likely whoever laughs more, will end up losing the point :) His off the court antics and showmanship will put many pro players to shame. If you are feeling down that day or just want to have good fun at the tennis court, Arnel is the person you should go look for he never ceases to amaze me.

Jokes aside, Arnel's game is based on his huge forehand and slice serve. He is right handed and plays with a double handed backhand. Players who make a mistake on hitting short will incur the wrath of his forehand. His slice serve is so deceptive as much pace is taken off when he slices the ball during the serve. You might think that it is an easy put away or sitter waiting to be exploited, but the truth is in fact that when the ball lands into the service box, it has an awkward low skid throwing the receiver off guard. The receiver will most likely have to slice short and that is where his huge forehand comes into the picture. His slice serve forehand set up shot is one of his biggest "one-two" point winning combination. Players who write him off do so at their own peril...

Arnel's racquet of choice is the Babolat Aeropro Drive. The main weapon wielded by Rafael Nadal the sensational teenage "Spanish Bull" and current 2005 French Open champion. Need I tell you who his favorite player is. Make a guess?

The Players... Apollo

Apollo or "Phol" as we often call him is Filipino and is an architect by profession. He has been working here in Singapore for the last two years and has been a regular at Regentville. He is one of the only players who has won an all Filipino club tournament organized by the Filipino community here in Singapore.

His favorite player is the current world's number 1, Roger Federer. But his style of player resembles more of the legendary Pete Sampras whom he emulates his playing style from.

He is right hander and plays with a single handed backhand. His major weapon is his big serve and flowing all court style. At the net, especially when playing doubles, his flick risk, half and angled volleys are a daily combination and he balances this well coming in with a huge first serve during singles competition.

His racquet of choice the hugely popular Wilson N-Code N61 95, strung at 60 pounds. Being more of a traditional huge serve and volley player, his previous and current racquets were all conventional mid sized framed ones. Previous to this, he was using the Wilson Pro Staff Tour 95.

The second photo on the right highlighting Phol's bio mechanics as he winds up and jump up into his huge first serve. Both feat are off the ground reminiscent of Michael "Air" Jordan as he floats off for a slam dunk...

My first entry

Well here goes my first entry... This is a group photo taken during one of our morning practice sessions. From left to right: Apollo, Daniel, Jayson, Kenneth & Myself...
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About me

  • I'm Nawin from regentville
  • Residing in Hougang Singapore
  • Racquets: X2 Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 (Main) X3 Wilson K Blade Tour 93 (Backup) Strings: Toalson Ultimate 115 Strung @ 48-50 pounds. Plays: Right Handed (Single Backhand). Shoes: mi Adidas Barricade V Apparel: Lacoste & Adidas Favourite Players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

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