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Get out Your Racquets, Spring Is Here

April 9, 2013 - World TeamTennis (WTT) Boston Lobsters

Spring Time With The Lobsters

Spring has sprung. The snow is gone. The days are longer. The team is set. Crustacean nation is putting away their jackets, getting out their racquets, and filling out their brackets.

March is the month when many get ready for the tournament or in the case of the Lobsters many tournaments.

Jill Craybas' tournament schedule for the month began in Indian Wells, CA. From there she moved on to Innisbrook, FL where her partner and former Lobster, Irina Falconi reached the semi-finals of the Innisbrook Women's Open. Finally it was on to Osprey, FL where she reached the round of 16 at the Oaks Club.

Eric Butorac continued his world tour in March where he played in two more tournaments. He played in the Sony Open in Miami and also reached the finals of the Dallas Tennis Classic with partner Dominic Inglot.

Amir Weintraub was the top seeded player at the one tournament he played, the Israel F6. He reached the semi-finals before being upset by Maximilian Neuchrist.

The Lobsters are gearing up for the season. It's full steam ahead!

Doubles Take: Time with Eric Butorac

Eric Butorac, with new Boston Lobsters teammate Jill Craybas, are seen playing mixed doubles at the 2008 US Open, where they made the semifinals. Eric Butorac has won 13 doubles titles on the ATP tour. Leading up to the Boston Lobsters season, he will share some tips on successful play. This week it's how to build teamwork:

Since playing on the tour often means switching partners somewhat regularly for any number of reasons, I have two rules that I use for myself and for teams that I coach. The first is whether it's a high five, a pound or whatever, my partner and I will always touch hands in between points. The main idea behind this is not only to show positive emotion, but rather to bring the two of us together. Teams will be more likely to communicate and strategize for the upcoming point if they've just touched hands.

The second rule is the concept of rescuing. When my partner makes a mistake, I have to physically cross the center line to give him a high-five. The same rule applies for him if I make the mistake. After making an error, the last thing I want to do is run to my partner and if he doesn't make the effort, we will likely be apart until the next point starts.

Buy into this philosophy, and you and your partner will be thestrongest "team" on the court.

Tour Update: Butorac Plays in and Talks About Miami

Butorac, who's entering his fourth season with the Boston Lobsters, competed in the recently-completed Sony Open in Miami. He and his partner, Paul Hanley, lost 7-6, 6-4, in the first round to Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram. Butorac shares his take on the tournament:

"Traditionally, it's known as the 5th slam," Butorac said, adding that as Larry Ellison has improved and added more money to Indian Wells, his tournament has stolen that title. Still, in the locker room, players refer to the Sony as the "South American Slam".

It's something that Butorac has noticed in previous trips. One time, he squared off against Ecuadorian Nicholas Lapentti and the atmosphere wasn't exactly what Butorac expected at an American tournament.

"It felt like I was in an away Davis Cup tie," he said. "When speaking to James Blake about this, he said a few years ago he played [Brazilian] Thomaz Bellucci and couldn't believe his fan support and that he never felt like such an underdog in his home country."

Butorac will now look to the clay court swing as he prepares for the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston on April 8.

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