Yes, natural ability helps a tennis player, but I have observed firsthand how professionalism and detailed pre-paration can take a player to the highest levels of our sport. Let’s start with priorities. In Novak’s and the Bryan brothers’ cases, they have families, sponsor commitments, and they are all big on social media. Still, they have their priorities in order in what they want to accomplish each day in training, whether on site at a tournament or at home during a training block. It gives them self-respect and confidence to be 100% prepared before they walk onto the court.
Being organized is absolutely crucial. The Bryan brothers are extremely efficient with their on-court time. They are a well-oiled machine and have a specific purpose each day. They know exactly what they are trying to do with their games for a particular court surface or upcoming opponent. At age 39, they are in a very good state of physical conditioning. Their intensity on the court is amazing. In a 90-minute practice, they might take only 3-4 water breaks and they are always very short. The drills that they do combine a lot of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. Come watch a practice with the Bryans and you will see why they are the greatest doubles team in history!