If time and finances permit, adult beginners should take a beginner tennis clinic and hit lots of balls, period. The clinic should be augmented by private lessons. After the basics are in place, find someone to hit with who can control the ball and see if he or she can practice with you. Take more clinics and hit balls … get exposure to hitting while you work on grip technique and footwork. Set a goal to get into the next level within 6-8 weeks.
I wanted to do something difficult. That was why I wanted to try tennis. I had been good at things. I was still good at things. I didn’t need a hobby, or a way to meet people. I wanted to get better at something; it had been a long time since I’d sensed that. I wanted to learn something that I would not be learning by reading; I had been reading all of my life, had spent the better part of four decades reading for a living. I wanted, one last time, to struggle at something I could control because the last real struggles were going to be ones I could not.
If you have played the game of tennis long enough you know that the highest wear item on your racquet by far is your grip. Not only is subject to constant wear and tear by changing hand positions and by sliding your hands into position on it, but it also rubs on the court surface on occasion and is exposed to sweat and the elements too. It’s no wonder these have to be replaced very often on a tennis racquet.
By 1975, aluminum construction improvements allowed for the introduction of the first American "oversized" racket, which was manufactured by Weed. Prince popularized the oversize racket, which had a head size of approximately 110 square inches (710 cm2). Howard Head was able to obtain a broad patent for Prince, despite the prior art of the Bentley Fortissimo (the first oversize, made in Germany of fiberglass) and the Weed. The patent was rejected by Germany but approved in the USA. The popularity of the Prince aluminum oversize had the side effect of popularizing rackets having other non-standard head sizes such as mid-size 85–90 square inches (550–580 cm2) and mid-plus sizes 95–98 square inches (610–630 cm2). Fairly quickly, midsize frames began to become the most-used frames in the pro tours. Martina Navratilova popularized the midsize graphite racket, with her wins using the Yonex R-7, the first midsize graphite racket made by Yonex. Nearly at the same time, however, she said the "jumbo" rackets (midsize included) should be removed from the sport for making it easier. She said she would use them only because other players could, as they were tournament-legal. Fewer players chose to use oversize rackets, and some switched to midplus frames after their earliest career for more control. Fiberglass frames also had a brief period of limited popularity, making fewer inroads among top players than aluminum. Also, the earliest composites, such as the Head Competition series, used by Arthur Ashe, were made without graphite. These were more flexible than a typical early graphite composite but stiffer than wood, fiberglass, and aluminum.
I too began tennis as a retirement activity at age 65. I am now 74 and have found that I can only play with people at my age and level. I get nothing from watching a young, experienced player smash the ball past me and standing in front of every shot I hit, no matter where I aim it. If you would like to correspond and chat and compare notes further, I am at email@example.com. My name is Al Salganick.
But it’s not all downside, emotionally, a reckoning with limits and failure, that I’m feeling when I’m playing with Kirill. I have improved, and am proud of that. Being able to spend a couple of hours each week playing with a gifted athlete — and a natural teacher — is gratifying in and of itself. There is also, for instance, the patience I feel at times — patience, finally, as I near 60 — when Kirill and I are rallying for 8 or 9 or 12 or 15 shots. He has a way of sensing when I have found a rhythm (he has told me as much) and he will start hitting with more pace, and I will feed off it, and then he will alter his shots — topspin, flat, slice — to make me take the ball in different strike zones, high to low. And as I at once concentrate but do not overthink; move quickly but without restless tension; and am neither consumed with winning the rally nor anxious about losing it, I am as serene in a moment as I have ever been or am likely to be.
The origin of the term "racket" is unclear. According to a popular belief first published by tennis player Malcolm Whitman in 1932, the expression comes from the Arabic term rahat al-yad, meaning "palm of hand". Modern research however, holds this thesis in a highly questionable light. Instead, the term is more likely to be derived from the Flemish word "raketsen" which is itself derived from Middle French "rachasser", meaning "to strike (the ball) back".
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The head-light balance point is rarer in professional tennis than it once was, as the sport has converted to larger-headed rackets, stiffer rackets, stiffer strings, more western grips and accompanying stroke production, and more topspin. The head-light balance point is most optimal for the serve and volley style with a continental grip. Serve and volley is no longer a viable option for nearly all professionals as the mode of playing for most points in a match. Head-heavy rackets became popular, mainly with recreational players, primarily with the introduction of the Wilson ProFile widebody racket. The head-light balance makes volleys and serves easier to produce, while groundstrokes are less stable. The head-heavy balance makes groundstrokes more stable, which typically increases the player's comfort for swinging harder to add power, but makes serves and volleys more cumbersome. A head-heavy balance also puts more stress on the elbow and shoulder.
While traditional sets continue until a player wins at least six games by a margin of at least two games there are some alternative set scoring formats in use. A common alternative set format is the eight or nine game pro set. Instead of playing until one player reaches six games with a margin of two games, one plays until one player wins eight or nine games with a margin of two games. A tie-break is then played at eight or nine games all. While the format is not used in modern professional matches or recognized by the ITF rules, it was supposedly used in early professional tours. It is commonly utilized in various amateur leagues and high school tennis as a shorter alternative to a best of three match, but longer than a traditional tie-break set. In addition, eight game pro sets were used during doubles for all Division I college dual matches, until the 2014–2015 season.
I’ve spent years in attempts to understand tennis techniques and secrets that few people ever learn in tennis lessons. Most competitive junior tennis players have the privilege of time and money to develop and learn tennis techniques, but maybe you don’t. Tennis techniques are an important part for every tennis player and even small changes in tennis technique can result in big improvements.
In the U.S. in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda with a sphairistikè set. She became fascinated by the game of tennis after watching British army officers play. She laid out a tennis court at the Staten Island Cricket Club at Camp Washington, Tompkinsville, Staten Island, New York. The first American National championship was played there in September 1880. An Englishman named O.E. Woodhouse won the singles title, and a silver cup worth $100, by defeating Canadian I. F. Hellmuth. There was also a doubles match which was won by a local pair. There were different rules at each club. The ball in Boston was larger than the one normally used in New York.