Andy Murray at Sanchez Casal Academy

Belgium chose to play the upcoming Davis Cup final on clay, Andy Murray‘s “worst” surface. Clay doesn’t really suit Belgian players David Goffin and Steve Darcis, but they probably think this surface is their best chance of beating Murray.

Even though the world number 3 has only won his first two titles on clay this year, he is a 3-time Roland Garros semifinalist (he lost to Rafael Nadal in 2011 and 2014, and to Novak Djokovic this year) and has spent 3 years training at the Sanchez Casal Academy in Barcelona.

In 2002, aged 15, he left Scotland for Spain. He had made the decision to train abroad the previous year, after a discussion with Rafael Nadal, who had been telling him about his four-hour-a-day hitting sessions in the heat of Majorca and his practices with former world number 1 Carlos Moya. Andy was then practicing only about 4 hours a week.

At the Academy, under the tutelage of tennis guru Pato Alvarez, he learned how to play on clay, and when he could attack. The Sanchez‐Casal system that splits the court into 3 zones: defence, transition and attack, improved Murray’s patience and movement.

Murray partied with Alvarez in 2005, he explained at the time that Alvarez wanted him to be less aggressive and play like the Spanish players, and that’s not the way he plays.

A few pictures taken at the Sanchez Casal Academy in November 2004, two months after Andy’s US Open junior title.

Andy Murray and Pato Alvarez

Andy Murray and Pato Alvarez
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Rafael Nadal, 2015 US Open

For the first time in his career, Rafael Nadal wasted a two sets to love lead and lost to Fabio Fognini 3-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4. He will finish the year without a Grand Slam win for the first time since 2004.

Nadal has struggled since his return from injury last year and has only won 3 minor tournaments (Buenos Aires, Stuttgart and Hamburg), and suffered early exits at Wimbledon and the US Open. Do you think he will bounce back and win a Slam next year? Please share your thoughts.

As for Fognini, he is the first Italian to reach the last 16 since Davide Sanguinetti 10 years. He will face another Spaniard, Feliciano Lopez who defeated Milos Raonic.

US Tennis Open 2015 326

US Tennis Open 2015 336

US Tennis Open 2015 338
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Arthur Ashe Kids Day

Serena, Rafa, Roger, Novak, they all took part to the traditional charity event that mix tennis and entertainement, and judging by their big smiles, they had a great time:

Youngers cheer; oldsters chatter

Arthur Ashe Kids' Day

Arthur Ashe Kids' Day
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Mardy Fish and Rafael Nadal

Enjoy a few pictures of Rafael Nadal praticing with Mardy Fish, who is playing the last tournament of his career.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

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NikeCourt steal the show in New York City

Tennis legends and up-and-coming players met on the street-turned-court in Manhattan to celebrate the 20 years of the Guerilla Tennis commercial featuring archivals Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

#tbt Hard to believe it has been over 20 years since Pistol and Andre Agassi pulled this off. Nike Tennis is coming 8.24 on Nike_NYC snapchat to #stealtheshow

Posted by Pete Sampras on jeudi 20 août 2015

Check out the video and a few pictures below:

NikeCourt steal the show

Serena, Rafa, Maria and Roger enjoying the action:

NikeCourt steal the show

Serena Williams:

NikeCourt steal the show

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Serena 2015 US Open Nike dress

A first look at Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal night kits.

World number one Serena Williams will don the Nike Premier Dress while on court in New York. She will complete the look with her signature shoe, the NikeCourt Flare:

Serena Williams

5-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will sport the Nike Premier Maria Dress:

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

2-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal will take the court in the Nike Premier Rafa Crew and Nike Gladiator 7” Printed Short:

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Nadal will wear his signature shoe, the Nike Lunar Ballistec 1.5:

Rafa Nadal 2015 US Open shoes

The Fall 2015 NikeCourt collection is now available on nike.com/nikecourt

Stay tuned for pictures of Nike day outfits and follow our 2015 US Open coverage.