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.
Mark Beede is a USPTA, PTR, and ATPCA certified tennis coach, manager, and educator. Born and raised in Maine, USA, Beede received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and law degree from the University Of Maine School Of Law. After practicing law for sixteen years, Mark changed careers to tennis and moved to Hawaii to work with the USTA–Hawaii Pacific section and the Hawaii Pacific Tennis Foundation. Beede then moved to Istanbul, Turkey, to work as director of coaching education and special projects with Gavin Hopper at his international academy of professional players and elite juniors. Beede has a grown daughter and ... View Profile
So, as you now know, learning to serve is essential as you learn to play tennis. Here’s how (for right-handed players — left-handed players should reverse the directions): Stand with both feet behind the baseline. Assume a sideways stance with your left foot pointed towards the right hand net post. Hold the ball in your left hand. Raise your left hand throwing the ball upwards about one foot in front of your left foot and about eighteen inches above your reach. While the ball in the air, move your racket back and up. Hit the ball at full stretch, with your racket arm straight, at the highest point possible. You are switching the weight of your body from your back foot to your front foot to give added strength to your shot.
Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time." Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived."
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.
Good Vibrations: Beginners need not apply with this oddly-shaped modern tennis racket. The 98 square-inch head has the same iconic – which is to say strange – shape that Yonex has been pushing for years, yet this one feels much more normal for intermediate and advanced players. The sweet spot is larger than usual, but still smaller than many choices. It’s a bit weighty at 11.5oz but Yonex seems to have used the extra weight to good effect with their Dual Shut System which uses the grommets near the handle to dampen bad vibrations for cleaner hits. It actually seems to come alive the harder you swing so it works well for playing an aggressive defense. While it shines against power hitters, trying to get the top spin to make a really heavy ball just won’t work. [Purchase: $199]
Experienced players strive to master the conventional overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The server may employ different types of serve including flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick (American twist) serve. A reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction depending upon right- or left-handedness. If the ball is spinning counterclockwise, it will curve right from the hitter's point of view and curve left if spinning clockwise.
All sessions vary depending on the level of the player, the type of training program and the duration of the session. I divide them into 4 parts (order may vary as well): 1) power and control on the court: I design a plan so that the player focuses on developing his/her power and strength to be in control of his game from the moment he/she steps on the court. 2) drills 3) serves: I focus a lot on serve because it is very important for the player to build confidence on his/her serve. 4) sets: Depending on the level of the player, I like to arrange sets so they are used to pay attention to every point, and work on their conc ... View Profile
A break point occurs if the receiver, not the server, has a chance to win the game with the next point. Break points are of particular importance because serving is generally considered advantageous, with servers being expected to win games in which they are serving. A receiver who has one (score of 30–40 or advantage), two (score of 15–40) or three (score of love-40) consecutive chances to win the game has break point, double break point or triple break point, respectively. If the receiver does, in fact, win their break point, the game is awarded to the receiver, and the receiver is said to have converted their break point. If the receiver fails to win their break point it is called a failure to convert. Winning break points, and thus the game, is also referred to as breaking serve, as the receiver has disrupted, or broken the natural advantage of the server. If in the following game the previous server also wins a break point it is referred to as breaking back. Except where tie-breaks apply, at least one break of serve is required to win a set.
To determine who serves first, you flip a coin or (more likely) spin a racket. Whoever wins the toss gets to decide one of four things: that she wants to serve first, that she wants to receive first, which side of the court she wants to start on (in which case, the opponent chooses who serves first), or that she wants to leave the choices up to her opponent.
The ITF's Play and Stay campaign promotes playing on smaller courts with slower red, orange and green balls for younger children. This gives children more time and control so they can serve, rally, and score from the first lesson on courts that are sized to fit their bodies. The ITF has mandated that official competition for children under 10 years of age should be played on "Orange" courts 18 m (59 ft) long by 6.4 m (21 ft) wide. Competition for children under 8 years is played on "Red" courts that are 11 m (36 ft) long and 5.5 m (18 ft) wide. The net is always 0.8 m high in the center.