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The next item on your racquet checklist is string. Pre-strung tennis racquets are great for beginners and recreational players. More advanced players may opt to customize their string material, gauge, and tension to their personal playing style. Natural gut tennis strings are considered the best, which is why many advanced players use them, but they tend to require frequent changing. Synthetic strings are great for recreational players as they achieve a happy medium between durability and playability. In terms of gauge: Thicker strings last longer but thinner strings feel better to most players. Experienced players tend to prefer lower string tension in their tennis racquets because it yields more power, while greener players benefit from the increased control of high-tension stringing. Regardless of your preference, be sure to adhere to the racquet manufacturer’s tension guidelines. Plan to have your racquet restrung at least once per year, and a good rule to follow is: However many times you play per week is the number of times per year you should restring your racquet. So if you play twice per week, have your tennis racquet restrung twice per year. If you play seasonally, make sure to time your restringing so that it occurs just before the season starts.

Now that you know the basics about the game, it is time you start practicing with your tennis buddy. There is nothing like whacking a ball after a hard day at work to relieve stress. However, as a tennis coach, I do not encourage you to whack the ball because you will end up picking balls rather than rallying with your buddy. I strongly encourage that you start slow. You can start from the service line and then gradually progress to the baseline. So plan regular meetings with your tennis buddy.
In most professional play and some amateur competition, there is an officiating head judge or chair umpire (usually referred to as the umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire has absolute authority to make factual determinations. The umpire may be assisted by line judges, who determine whether the ball has landed within the required part of the court and who also call foot faults. There also may be a net judge who determines whether the ball has touched the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made.[59]
A volley is a shot returned to the opponent in mid-air before the ball bounces, generally performed near the net, and is usually made with a stiff-wristed punching motion to hit the ball into an open area of the opponent's court. The half volley is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground.[78] The swinging volley is hit out of the air as the player approaches the net. It is an offensive shot used to take preparation time away from the opponent, as it returns the ball into the opponent's court much faster than a standard volley.
The drill went like this: He began feeding balls to me, rapidly, 20 or so a minute, to my left, to my right. They arrived close to my body at first, then farther away, then farther and harder. At the moment his racket was about to make contact with the ball, I did my split step, a reaction maneuver that entails hopping in place, spreading my legs shoulderwide and landing on my toes, ready. I stepped toward the net, taking the coming ball out of the air with a volley. Then I backpedaled once more to the T, volleying forehand, then backhand, forehand, backhand, on and on for three, four minutes — an eternity.
On 21 May 1881, the oldest nationwide tennis organization in the world[20] was formed, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association (now the United States Tennis Association) in order to standardize the rules and organize competitions.[21] The U.S. National Men's Singles Championship, now the US Open, was first held in 1881 at the Newport Casino, Newport, Rhode Island.[22] The U.S. National Women's Singles Championships were first held in 1887 in Philadelphia.[23]
You definitely want to base your tennis racquet buying decision on your skill level too. Here are some examples. You probably don’t need to buy a $200 tennis racquet if you just want to go out and volley some balls with a friend to see if you like the sport. Also, if you are an advanced player who likes a little extra power and a racquet that helps you put you more spin on the ball as you return it, then a $70 tennis racquet is probably not going to fulfill that need.
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This article is very helpful. I played tennis quite a bit during teenage years and now I am getting back in to tennis in my 40s. My serve and backhand feels very natural but my forehand feels really awkward right now. I started to focus on technique and it’s not going well. After reading this, it makes me think that I should focus more on timing and position with comfortable swing and come back to technique once some of the rust wears off.
Advanced players improve their performance through a number of accoutrements. Vibration dampeners may be interlaced in the proximal part of the string array for improved feel. Racket handles may be customized with absorbent or rubber-like materials to improve the players' grip. Players often use sweat bands on their wrists to keep their hands dry and head bands or bandanas to keep the sweat out of their eyes as well. Finally, although the game can be played in a variety of shoes, specialized tennis shoes have wide, flat soles for stability and a built-up front structure to avoid excess wear.
The tiebreaker – more recently shortened to just "tiebreak", though both terms are still used interchangeably – was invented by James Van Alen and unveiled in 1965 as an experiment at the pro tournament he sponsored at Newport Casino, Rhode Island,[23] after an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to speed up the game by the use of his so-called "Van Alen Streamlined Scoring System" ("VASSS"). For two years before the Open Era, in 1955 and 1956, the United States Pro Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, was played by VASSS rules. The scoring was the same as that in table tennis, with sets played to 21 points and players alternating five services, with no second service. The rules were created partially to limit the effectiveness of the powerful service of the reigning professional champion, Pancho Gonzales. Even with the new rules, however, Gonzales beat Pancho Segura in the finals of both tournaments. Even though the 1955 match went to 5 sets, with Gonzales barely holding on to win the last one 21–19, it is reported to have taken 47 minutes to complete.[24] The fans attending the matches preferred the traditional rules, however, and in 1957 the tournament reverted to the old method of scoring.

Very simply, find yourself a certified and reputable teaching professional (“pro”) and take a handful or dozen lessons over the course of a few weeks to jump-start the learning process and help you retain and apply the instructors teachings. Don’t be surprised or alarmed if the pro has you doing some things that feel awkward, or asks you to change the way you’ve been doing things before. He or she may have you doing certain exercises or “drills” that are designed to develop specific skills that, to you, may seem impractical or odd, but which actually work. Be patient, be alert, be attentive, Listen and apply as much as you can. Finally, come prepared to each lesson by having practiced at least once or twice since the previous lesson, and bring water and a towel, sunglasses, sunscreen and a cap to prevent sunburn and heat exhaustion.


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