It happened again the other afternoon. The thermometer on the side of the tennis house had reached 91 degrees, and there were just a few members playing on the club’s main upper courts. Down on the practice courts, where we were, there may have been a light breeze coming off the nearby westernmost reaches of Long Island Sound, but I couldn’t feel it, and the gray-green Har-Tru clay my sneakers grabbed for was powdery and uncooperative. Kirill was across the net from me, at the T between the service boxes, a wire cart at his side filled with hundreds of tennis balls. I was at the T on my side, already a little winded, trying not to fail.
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.
"Carpet" in tennis means any removable court covering. Indoor arenas store rolls of rubber-backed court surfacing and install it temporarily for tennis events, but they are not in use any more for professional events. A short piled form of artificial turf infilled with sand is used for some outdoor courts, particularly in Asia. Carpet is generally a fast surface, faster than hardcourt, with low bounce.
If you find reading boring then you can try watching free instructional videos on the internet. The best part about these videos is that it is made by tennis pros who are passionate about teaching tennis, so you won’t find the videos hard to understand. Between reading and watching the instructional videos, you will pick up important details about tennis on your own.
I have sought many cures for this. I have repeatedly watched a YouTube video of Roger Federer, in slow motion, ripping a one-hand topspin backhand and not lifting his head for a full beat after the ball has left the picture frame — it’s as if he is studying the contrails of a missile he has just launched. Early one morning last year at Wimbledon, I stood in the cool damp and watched Federer up close during a workout, doing much the same thing, repeatedly, as if he had no interest in whether a ball he struck cleared the net or landed in (which it mostly did, and did). It was — there is no other way to describe it — beautiful, in that unobtainable way.
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.
Some areas of this Site may require you to submit information in order for you to benefit from the specified features (such as newsletter subscriptions, tips/pointers, order processing and so forth) or to participate in a particular activity (such as sweepstakes or other promotions and so forth). You will be informed at each information collection point what information is required and what information is optional.
Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem, a solicitor and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road, Leamington Spa. This is where "lawn tennis" is used as a name of activity by a club for the first time. After Leamington, the second club to take up the game of lawn tennis appears to have been the Edgbaston Archery and Croquet Society, also in Birmingham.