Of the current four Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian and US Open use hard courts, French Open is played on clay, and Wimbledon, the only Grand Slam to have always been played on the same surface, is played on grass. The Australian Open switched from grass to hard courts in 1988 and in its early years the French championship alternated between clay and sand/rubble courts. The US Open is the only major to have been played on three surfaces; it was played on grass from its inception until 1974, clay from 1975 until 1977 and hard courts since it moved from the West Side Tennis Club to the National Tennis Center in 1978.
Balls wear out quickly in serious play and, therefore, in ATP and WTA tournaments, they are changed after every nine games with the first change occurring after only seven games, because the first set of balls is also used for the pre-match warm-up. As a courtesy to the receiver, the server will often signal to the receiver before the first serve of the game in which new balls are used as a reminder that they are using new balls. However, in ITF tournaments like Fed Cup, the balls are changed in a 9–11 style. Continuity of the balls' condition is considered part of the game, so if a re-warm-up is required after an extended break in play (usually due to rain), then the re-warm-up is done using a separate set of balls, and use of the match balls is resumed only when play resumes.
Begin with the grip. The most common grip in tennis is the eastern forehand; the eastern forehand grip is also the best choice as you learn to play tennis. Use it for your forehand drive and the majority of your shots. Place your hand flat on the racket strings, and then slide your hand down to the handle. Wrap your fingers around the racket. Your first finger should be forward slightly as if you were holding the trigger of a gun. Keep all tensions out of your fingers. The eastern forehand grip is often called the “shake hands” grip by those who have just begun to learn to play tennis, because, in essence, you are shaking hands with the racket. For most people, it is the preferred grip for serving — particularly, when you first learn to play tennis.
My name is Kingsley Johnson and I began playing tennis at 6. I have been teaching since I was 16 years old in Jamaica. I also played professionally for the Jamaica Davis Cup team from '95-2000 and the Orange Bowl in Miami in 1999. Since 2004, I've taught in Las Vegas, Massachusetts, and Hawaii. I enjoy introducing the fun of tennis to all levels and also helping students hone their skills so that they can take their game to the next level. Whether it is for just getting yourself out there to exercise or to win tournaments, I am the coach for you. ... View Profile
This is Kirill’s twice-a-week way of reminding me, however inadvertently, that I started playing tennis too late. Footwork is key to tennis, and taking short strides as you are approaching the ball sets in place the underpinnings of everything that might lead to a good shot. Short steps allow one to be neither too close to nor too far astride the ball. But short steps are not what you learn when you spend your childhood playing football and baseball and basketball.
By the 1960s, Budge and others had added Pancho Gonzales and Lew Hoad to the list of contenders. Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. Gonzales said about Hoad, "When Lew's game was at its peak nobody could touch him. ... I think his game was the best game ever. Better than mine. He was capable of making more shots than anybody. His two volleys were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique."
"The biggest drawback of asphalt courts is not that they crack, for even a post-tensioned slab may crack from shrinkage or even develop minor structural cracking, but that the cracks continue to widen year after year," says Kolkmann. "I have seen asphalt courts with cracks as wide as 2 to 3 inches, making them a hazard to the players. The advantage with a post-tensioned slab is that it will not allow the crack to widen, but will keep it compressed to a very thin line."
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