As it happens, I was reading a ruefully captivating new memoir called “Swimming Studies,” by a onetime contender for the Canadian Olympic team, Leanne Shapton, which explores how growing up a competitive swimmer formed her habits of heart and mind. Years later, her daily rhythms and life choices, her nightly dreams, her understanding of duration, pleasure, pain and reward, remain informed by her hours in the training pool. Swimming strokes carved the contours of her inner life, and it’s not at all clear she is thankful for that. Of course, Andre Agassi, in his memoir, writes of how the aloneness of singles tennis — the very thing that imparted to Kirill a kind of Emersonian self-reliance, as he understands it — just enlarged his loneliness. You never know.
One of the many types of affordable racquets available to you is a junior tennis racquet. These are designed primarily for younger players, and they come in relatively small sizes in order to accommodate these players. It's never too early to start learning and practicing tennis, and with junior racquets, people of all ages can get in on the fun. Not only are these items short in length, but they are also comprised of lightweight materials that allow for smooth, maneuverable motions when swinging. These racquets typically range in size from 19 inches to 26 inches. Even though these tennis items are meant to be used by younger players, a junior tennis racquet can be used by anyone who prefers the feel of a smaller racquet.
This discussion is very timely for me because not only is it helping me stabilize my game, my daughter is now six and showing interest in “Playing tennis.” When she was four and five that meant catching and sweeping the ball along the floor with a racket back and forth with me, and now it means gripping the child’ racket her aunt brought her with both hands and hitting FH on the soft coach’s ball I toss or hit softly to her. She is a natural leftie, and I showed her a LH grip with two hands, but often she uses the RH backhand grip instead, and I just let her go with it. What is amazing to me is how good her balance is and how well she steps in and rotates through the stroke, pulling the racket through. She is already an accomplished dancer and seems to understand how her body moves, and that clearly helps, but her synthesis of gripping, which she was taught, swinging, which she imitates, and rotating with balance is just natural.

Many players around the world struggle to get their body weight going into the serve and don’t use their back leg to help them generate extra power on the serve but also balance the body once they land. By kicking back your right leg (left leg if left handed) when you land onto your front foot, you are helping the body to balance and that extra push from the ground during the upward phase on the swing will help you generate extra power on the tennis serve.
From a poor defensive position on the baseline, the lob can be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon, hitting the ball high and deep into the opponent's court to either enable the lobber to get into better defensive position or to win the point outright by hitting it over the opponent's head. If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an overhead smash, a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point.
If you've tuned in to the Australian Open to catch the action but are feeling a little confused by what's happening on the court, don't fret. Tennis scoring can seem complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll feel like a seasoned fan. Here's a primer on scoring as the tournament heads toward the finals — so you can keep up with the matches!

An advantage set is played until a player or team has won at least 6 games and that player or team has a 2-game lead over their opponent(s). The set continues, without tiebreak(er), until a player or team wins the set by 2 games. Advantage sets are no longer played under the rules of the United States Tennis Association,[17] nor in the Australian Open starting from 2019;[18] however, they are still used in the final sets in men's and women's singles in the French Open, Wimbledon, and Fed Cup. Mixed doubles at the Grand Slams (except for Wimbledon) are a best-of-three format with the final set being played as a "Super Tie Break" (sometimes referred to as a "best of two" format) except at Wimbledon, which still plays a best-of-three match with the final set played as an advantage set and the first two played as tie-break sets.
It wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, and the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent.[6] It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, which is now known as real tennis.[7] During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England.[8]
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