Then Kirill, to mix things up, lobbed one over my head. Move, think: I turned sideways, began running back using a crossover step, stopped, pointed up with my free right hand toward the descending ball, brought my racket back over my shoulder, contacted the ball with a wrist snap — and watched my overhead smash hook, decidedly, a long yard off the court.

Heavy Hitter: It should not be a shock that Roger Federer’s racket of choice is one that only a true surgeon of the court can use effectively. It has both a postage stamp-sized 90 square-inch head and a 12.6oz body that will feel like swinging a hammer to the uninitiated. The reason for the added weight is basalt graphite placed in the handle. It gives experts a better feel for the ball and helps counter-weight for really deep, powerful swings meant to stick the ball in the chain-link. Using this will feel like jumping into the deep end of the pool, but if you can master it, you can use anything. Net fighters and spin doctors will both have a lot of difficulty doing battle at the net while back court clubbers will find it to be a deadly weapon. [Purchase: $159+]


Great question. Thanks for asking it. Gut string really is great for tennis players that know how to use spin and other shot variations to their advantage. It also deadens the ball more than most other strings will so it helps prevent mishits too.We do not feel there is a synthetic string out there that will give you quite as a dramatic effect but that is changing a little. Some of the new synthetic types of tennis racquet strings that are coming out are getting close to the quality of gut string. So if you look in tennis pro shops or in tennis specialty stores you might be able to find a synthetic racquet string that is to your liking.
Thank you very much for this great analysis. I am 46 and started playing Tennis 6 months ago. I am a college lecturer and I have been playing 4 times a week. As you said practising gives me a lot to improve my game. Stressfull matches constricts our strokes definitely. Playing for fun is perfect. Your second point is also true; I can beat young players through my game stragety and tactics although their fitness level is far better than mine. Regards

Head size plays a very key role in a racket's performance characteristics. A larger head size very generally means more power and a larger "sweet spot". This is an area in the string bed that is partially more forgiving on off-center hits and which produces more ball-reflective power from string deformation, known as the trampoline effect. However, large head sizes can increase twisting, which makes off-center hits more difficult to control and can reduce a player's overall power production due to the playing compensating for the extra inherent power, typically with stiffer strings to reduce the increased string deformation of large heads. A smaller head size generally offers more control for many shots, particularly the service and groundstrokes aimed near the lines, but can lead to more shanks (wild misses, from hitting the frame or missing the sweet spot). This drawback is most common for professional players using single-handed topspin backhands, as well as for recreational and aged players at net. Shanking due to small racket head size is typically exacerbated by racket weight, which slows the reaction time, as well as, to a lesser degree, the racket's balance point. In professional tennis, currently-used racket head sizes vary between 95–115 square inches (610–740 cm2), with most players adopting one from 98–108 square inches (630–700 cm2). Rackets with smaller and larger head sizes, 85 and 120–137 square inches (550 and 770–880 cm2), are still produced but are not used by professionals currently. A very small number of professionals, such as Monica Seles, used 125 square inches (810 cm2) rackets during some point in their careers. Rackets with smaller heads than 85 square inches (550 cm2) have not been in production since the 1980s and rackets with larger head sizes than 137 square inches (880 cm2) are not currently legal for the sport, even though only elderly players typically choose to use rackets beyond 115 square inches (740 cm2) and it is nearly unheard-of for a serious player who is not elderly to choose a racket over 125 square inches (810 cm2). The WEED company, founded by Tad Weed, specializes in producing very large rackets, primarily for the elderly market. Rackets that are moderately higher in power production, moderately lower in weight, moderately larger in size, and which typically possess a slightly head-heavy balance are often called "tweener rackets."[11] Rackets that have the smallest heads in current use, the highest weights in current use, and headlight or even balance are referred to as "players' rackets". Oversize rackets, typically 110 square inches (710 cm2) in size, were once pejoratively referred to as "granny sticks" but resistance to them being seen as illegitimate rackets for younger players decreased dramatically with the successful use of these rackets by a small number professionals such as Andre Agassi and Pam Shriver. Originally, even midsize frames (85 square inches (550 cm2)) were considered jumbo, and some top players, such as Martina Navratilova and Rod Laver said they should be banned for making the sport too easy. Later, these same professionals, including John McEnroe, signed a letter supporting a switch back to wood frames, or a limitation to the original standard size of approximately 65 square inches (420 cm2). Perhaps the last professional to use a standard-size racket in professional tennis was Aaron Krickstein, known for the strongly-contested match against Connors at the 1991 US Open. He used a Wilson Ultra-II standard-size graphite racket also used in the 1980s by the hard-hitting teen Andrea Jaeger. The first oversize, the fiberglass Bentley Fortissimo from Germany, was praised by racket designers but was considered too large to be taken seriously by the small number of players who were exposed to it.
Sloping and drainage. Proper slope of the subgrade is critical to allow water drainage away from the court. The ground should be reasonably level, preferably on the same plane or higher than adjacent land. (The ASBA advocates a finished subgrade 4 to 6 inches above the surrounding ground.) If your site has a high water table, you may also need to install an underground drainage system. Options include French drains, properly graded gravel-filled trenches, geocomposites, and perforated drain lines surrounded with stone.
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Van Alen called his innovation a "tiebreaker", and he actually proposed two different kinds or versions of it: best-five-of-nine-points tiebreaker and best-seven-of-12-points tiebreaker.[23] The first lasts a maximum of 9 points, and awards victory in the set to whichever player or team first reaches 5 points – even if the other player or team already has 4; the margin of victory can be a single point. Because this "9-point" tiebreaker must end after a maximum of 9 points, even if neither player or team has a 2-point (or greater) margin, Van Alen also called it a "sudden-death tiebreaker" (If and when the score reached four points all, both players faced simultaneous set point and/or match point.). This type of tiebreaker had its Grand Slam debut at 1970 US Open and was employed there until 1974. Apart from being used for 5 years at US Open it was also used 1 year at Wimbledon and for a while on the Virginia Slims circuit and in American Colleges.

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.[99] 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."[100]


3. They often take only private lessons and play points when they play on their own – which means that they do not have enough repetitions in situations without pressure where they could automate their technique. In other words, they don’t practice enough – they only get more information in private lessons and do not groove the strokes in practice.
Well, as you learn to play tennis, you need to know how to continue the play. If the serve is successful, the play may continue with a variety of shots. Often, play will continue with groundstrokes. Groundstrokes are shots taken after the ball has bounced once. These can be hit with a forehand or a backhand stroke. The forehand stroke is made with the face of the racket, the palm of your hand facing the ball. The backhand stroke is made with the reverse side of the racket, with the palm of your hand facing away from the ball. To successfully learn to play tennis, you’ll need to learn to hit forehand shots; and to successfully learn to play tennis, you’ll need to learn to hit backhand shots.
The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye.
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