Kirill is no longer a club pro full time. He has begun working in commercial real estate at an office in Manhattan, limiting his coaching to the weekends and a few nights a week. I meet him once in a while for lunch or dinner, and one night last month at the Oyster Bar, he was explaining to me how the cold calls he made to potential customers as he tried to get their business was a lot like tennis — how, when you are playing a new opponent, you have to feel him out, and how ultimately it is up to you to control the exchange as best you can and come away a winner. Most of all, he emphasized, you can never lose confidence.

A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time. By a large margin, an Associated Press poll in 1950 named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century.[95] From 1920 to 1930, Tilden won singles titles at Wimbledon three times and the U.S. Championships seven times. In 1938, however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the Grand Slam, and won six consecutive major titles in 1937 and 1938. Tilden called Budge "the finest player 365 days a year that ever lived."[96] In his 1979 autobiography, Jack Kramer said that, based on consistent play, Budge was the greatest player ever.[97] Some observers, however, also felt that Kramer deserved consideration for the title. Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before the start of the open era, Kramer was the best male champion.[98]

Female players tend to struggle more with the serve than male players and it comes down to a number of factors which include natural strength, throwing mechanics and the amount of time spent practicing serves. For guys, it’s normal to spend hours upon hours serving but for girls it seems to be common to focus more on their baseline game and develop their serves later on in their teens and even later.
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