New start at BNP Paribas Open in October

October 24, 2021

Thom Billadeau will begin working with Katie Volynets after the US Open. After years of coaching Alex Lebedev, Collin Altamirano, William Genesen among others, Thom will move back to the WTA side.

Alex takes the back draw at ITA Fall Nationals

November 12, 2018

Overcoming a week that started with an ankle roll, a first round loss because of blisters on his hands that made it almost impossible to hold his racquet, and perhaps most importantly, what all this can collectively do to your mindset, Alex won the back draw.


Time for some training at ND, then in California with Collin Altamirano, Jenson Brooksby and teammate Axel Nefve to prepare for a couple of Futures followed by the college dual match season.  I’m very proud of this guy!

And what about Alex asks everyone

November 10, 2018

Alex is in Surprise, Arizona at the ITA Fall Nationals.  Head coach, Ryan Sachire is in charge at this tournament.  Alex has been playing well this fall and this is the last tournament of the college fall season.  He lost a tough first round match.  He was playing very well, won the first set and then lost the next two sets as the blisters he was suffering on his hands made it virtually impossible to hold the racquet.  I would post the pictures he sent me of his hands, but they are gross.  🙂

So, the trainers there worked some with a special tape and he is playing the back draw.  He has done very well, beaten some top players and is now in the semi-finals.

You can watch his quarter final against Tim Ruehl at the following link:

And see his semi-final or follow the score on Saturday at:

Very proud of him and how he is playing!!


A day in Singapore, now in Bangalore

November 10, 2018

Had a very nice day at the tennis conference in Singapore.  Thank you to the AAC for a very warm welcome.  I’m pleased that they enjoyed my keynote speech and the panel presentation.  Thank you also to the people at the Ritz Carlton there for welcoming me warmly.  It was very nice to see a number of people who have become friends.  I wish my schedule would allow me to spend some time to experience more of Singapore.  I’m always making these quick trips in and out.

Now, I’m in Bangalore.  Collin and I are getting settled into our routine for the week.  Collin is in the main draw here and will play a qualifier on Tuesday.  This will give us the opportunity to have several more days of practice.  Collin arrived a day before me and practiced at the courts as they were just starting to get the place organized.  I’ll post some pictures tomorrow, but this is a facility that is only used a couple of times a year for tournaments and it goes through quite a transformation.  When Collin arrived, the transformation had not really begun yet.  Yesterday we had two good practices, really trying to get used to the courts.  The newly resurfaced courts are medium slow, but because Bangalore is at about 3000 feet, the ball flies a bit and since this is their cooler and dryer time of year, the ball travels through the air quite fast.  Takes a bit of time to get used to.  But Collin has done great!  We practiced with a guy from Australia today and played some sets.  Same will happen tomorrow and Monday.

The hotel we are at is very nice.  They have a wonderful buffet breakfast of great Indian food, and if one likes, American breakfast too.  We have been pretty much sticking to the Indian side of things and it’s really, really good.  Onion masala Dosa, Sambar, Idli, Upma, and pongal.  We have been slowly adjusting to the time difference and so Collin and I are among the first to the restaurant at 6:30 am.  Today, by the time we got back from practice which was at 8:00am, the breakfast was still going, so we at an early lunch.  Tonight we will eat the dinner buffet.  Looking forward to that!!

As, I said, we are getting adjusted to the time difference.  Collin took a nap today after lunch, I tried and failed.  We went off to a very high end mall today.  This is a land of have’s and have not’s, this is definitely an area where the have’s are located.


You definitely feel you could be in any big city, many of the same shops.  Very up market.

Getting from the hotel to the courts is an adventure.  It’s a five minute drive which can take as much as 25 minutes.  The traffic congestion here is beyond what anyone who hasn’t been here can imagine.  To say the driving is aggressive, would be putting it mildly.  And to walk there you literally are competing with the cars, scooters, bikes, and jitney drivers.  I will try to post some pictures and/or video to give you a flavor of what I mean.

We will continue to adjust to the time difference and get ready to make some noise at this tournament in Bangalore!

Off to Asia

November 2, 2018

I’m off to Singapore to speak at the coaches conference and then join Collin for his final 2 tournaments of the season, Bangalore $150K and Pune $75K.  These tournaments will obviously determine Collins end of year ranking and therefor entry ranking for 2019.  This means these tournaments heavily influence whether we head to Australia for a Challenger in Playford, and then the Australian Open or whether we stay in the States and start the year here.  I will keep everyone informed and will try to blog a lot on the trip–about the food, the experience and about the great tennis.


Where have I been?

October 7, 2018

After a few years away from being in the tennis world full time, I returned this summer.  I continue to coach Alex Lebedev.  Alex is a senior at Notre Dame.  He plays at the top of the lineup there.  He is ranked 19 in ITA, (college tennis) and is 1250 ATP.  I also resumed some tour coaching working with Collin Altamirano, 300 ATP.  This is a collaborative coaching arrangement with his long time coach, Joseph Gilbert.

Very good win, very good playing

January 27, 2015

Sasha played a great match last night.  Lots of things coming together.  Great court position, great serving, figuring out that this is not a normal court and that you have to play differently, great competing!!  All those things equal a very good win 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 over a very talented Ukranian.  Interesting here that many of the players don’t have high ITF rankings, but they are very good, very talented.  They don’t travel a lot so they can’t build a good player record.  You have to take every player on the face of how they play, cause you don’t know too much about them.

I will blog some more later today since we have the day off (the advantage of a 7 day format at a 32 draw event.


January 26, 2015

Hi Everyone,

Sasha and I left our VERY comfortable wonderful apartment in Prague today (see pictures of apartment).  David (friend of the owner of the apartment who is Brittish and works as a chauffeur/apartment manager in Prague) drove us to the airport.  I have some sort of VIP program associated with my credit card that has a service at the Prague airport.  We were dropped off at a secure part of the airport and shown to our private lounge.  They took care of checking us in, getting our luggage checked, gave us munchies, had the Australian Open on TV for us, then they drove us to our plane and we got on.  VERY NICE.  (see pictures of lounge)  Nice short flight on Czech Airlines (A319).  We were met in Kiev by a very nice guy who lives in Kiev, Vadym, who drove us to Cherkasy.  Quite a long journey in the car actually (3 hours).  We got to the site and were warmly greeted by the tournament director (Olena) who speaks perfect English.  We signed in for the tournament.  The hotel and the courts are part of the same complex.  It is a summer place for sure on the banks of a river.  Rustic, but modern bathrooms, very good food, lots of clay courts (but of course those are covered with snow.  It has been snowing lightly since we arrived.  (See pictures of sight and of current winter scene)  We were shown to our Bungalow, which is very nice–quite large.  We went to dinner (Cabbage Salad, Kasha and Chicken)  Quite good.  We have hospitality here which means the tournament pays for our lodging and our food.  We got a practice court at 9:30pm for one hour and Sasha hit with Piers Foley from Brittain (they are playing doubles together at this event).  Weird practicing that late at night but when there are three courts you take what you can get.  So, when the order of play came out and indicated Sasha would play on Monday, we decided to take the opportunity to hit early morning as well.  So was not a long nights sleep, but a sound one–very comfortable.  Got up early to stretch and warmup for practice.  Had one full hour on court.  Sasha is getting used to the surface as much as one can get used to a surface with a couple of hours of hitting.

We knew before we came that there were only 3 indoor hard courts and they were very fast, so no surprise about three courts for a 32 boys, 32 girls ITF event.  But the speed is astounding.  The surface is akin to a gymnasium floor.  WOW!  Of course, since it is a 7 day, 32 draw event there are days off.  Sasha plays 6th match on (not before 3pm).  Will actually be more like 7 or 7:30.  So we made the best of it.  When we arrived in Kiev I got some of the local currency.  I went to the bankomat and selected the highest number of Hryvnia that is displayed (of course every machine lets you enter your own number) but I took the preselected one.  Well it ended up being only the equivalent of $35.  Hardly enough to pay tournament entry fee and for our driver from Kiev to Cherkasy.  haha   Well, there will be a bankomat at the hotel surely!  NOT    So everyone is very kind and helpful here.  The tournament director said no problem you pay me later (she actually thought there was one on the site herself).  So, after eating breakfast, stretching, taking a shower and checking out how the schedule was going to unfold (SLOWLY) we had the front desk call us a taxi to go to the bankomat in Cherkasy (we are a few km outside Cherkasy and the center of town is about 10 km).  I should point out at this point that Sasha’s Russian has been invaluable to us here.  Some of the younger people here speak some english (a few speak good english), but without his ability to converse, we could make do, but it would be a struggle.  In any case we got a very nice guy as our cab driver, Sasha told him we wanted to go to the bankomat and to a nice store where we could buy water, fruit, and a few other things to have in our room.  He and Sasha chatted.  He was very curious about what Sasha’s parents thought about the situation in Ukraine.  Everyone is interested in the propaganda from the US vs. Russia etc.  He took us to the bank, then right around the corner to a very nice store.   A Very VERY nice store.  Good stuff, we bought two huge bunches of Bananas, a huge bag of oranges, sushi (funny), Vorenikij (big dumplings–some with cabbage, some with potatoe, some with cheese (sirnichkij), a bottle of wine, a small bottle (like one drink) of Russian Vodka, 12 huge bottles of water, a loaf of wonderful baked bread, butter, soy milk, muesli for around $30.  The people in the store were so helpful.  Genuinely helpful.  It was a store where things were displayed very professionally.  It could have been in Manhattan.  We asked the cab driver if it was a very high end store.  He said it was middle priced but known for good quality and has a good business, so things are all fresh because there is a lot of turnover.

We came back and had our first lunch in the room (the sushi–ok it wasn’t great, but Sasha liked it–it had smoked salmon in it) and the Vorenikij, and a bit of bread (great dark bread with carrot in it).  It was a nice first lunch.  When a player is playing a match later in the day and especially when you don’t know when your going to go on, it’s important to balance eating, moving around resting, and yet be ready.  The balance today worked ok.  Since we were on the court late last night and up early this morning, Sasha took a nap in the afternoon.  Then we had the hospitality lunch which was a good salad and some soup.  ALL the matches before Sasha on Court 2 went three sets, so at 6:30pm he ate again.  We were waiting around in our Bungalow and the referee called to say they were moving Sasha’s match to court 3.  We had 30 minutes to get ready.   to be continued tomorrow

PS.  Happy Birthday Maverick–  We saw all the pictures from the celebrations (we thing he likes cake and trucks).

PSS.  We are watching storm unfold in New York.  Here we have had about 6 inches of fluffy snow since we arrived.

PSSS.  Congrats to the guys at Notre Dame—we enjoyed watching the matches.  Tough loss in the end, but can’t get much closer than that.

Here are the pictures referenced in the blog.

Well played match but lost today

January 24, 2015

This was one of those matches where you wish the result was different, but from a coaching perspective the match was well played and you have something to build on. Lost 4-6, 4-6.  Sasha played aggressively which we have been trying to get him to do in matches (play as you do in practice), but Peter played a little better on the big points. ery aggressively. I’m very pleased with how he has played in Czech.  Hopefully we can build on it and he will play well in Ukraine where it will matter from a ranking perspective.  We will leave for Ukraine tomorrow.

Into the Quarter Finals

January 23, 2015

Sasha won his match today against a talented guy from Romania.  6-4, 4-6, 6-1   Sasha competed well in the first two sets and played very smart in the third.  On to the Quarters tomorrow.