Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player who is unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will.
While traditional sets continue until a player wins at least six games by a margin of at least two games there are some alternative set scoring formats in use. A common alternative set format is the eight or nine game pro set. Instead of playing until one player reaches six games with a margin of two games, one plays until one player wins eight or nine games with a margin of two games. A tie-break is then played at eight or nine games all. While the format is not used in modern professional matches or recognized by the ITF rules, it was supposedly used in early professional tours. It is commonly utilized in various amateur leagues and high school tennis as a shorter alternative to a best of three match, but longer than a traditional tie-break set. In addition, eight game pro sets were used during doubles for all Division I college dual matches, until the 2014–2015 season.[31]
Tennis is played on a variety of surfaces and each surface has its own characteristics which affect the playing style of the game. There are four main types of courts depending on the materials used for the court surface: clay courts, hard courts, grass courts and carpet courts. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) lists different surfaces and properties and classifies surfaces into one of five pace settings:[5]
A denser pattern is often considered to deliver more control, at the expense of spin potential. A more open pattern is often believed to offer greater potential for power and spin. However, how much power is produced by a player can be strongly influenced by how a player adapts to the characteristics of the racket. Some players may hit harder with a dense string pattern, producing faster shots because of the added control from the dense pattern. Rackets, including those of much of the wood era, are marked with a recommended string tension range. The basic rule is that a lower tension creates more power (from the trampoline effect) and a higher string tension creates more control (less string deformation which results in a more predictable the power and angle of the departure from the string bed.) Some professionals used small-headed rackets with flexible-material strings (natural gut) strung at very high tension. Examples include Pete Sampras and Björn Borg. Some used large-headed rackets with very inflexible-material strings (kevlar). Andrei Agassi is an example. Many professionals during the standard wood era strung at relatively low tension and used natural gut string; both decisions were to increase the trampoline effect for more power. By contrast, almost every professional player today uses the much stiffer polyester string in their much stiffer rackets which also have larger heads and which tend to be lighter. Madeline Hauptman sold a line of rackets, called the MAD RAQ, which featured a Star of David pattern (a six-pointed figure consisting of two interlaced equilateral triangles), as it used three strings instead of two for stringing the racket. This pattern is used in snowshoes. This stringing pattern was said to feature less string notching, improving string lifespan. It was even claimed that many pro shops refused to carry the racket because less string breakage would reduce string and stringing service sales. It has also been claimed that the racket is more difficult to string than a two string racket. However, the Wilson T-2000-type requires a great deal more time for stringing than a typical racket and rackets of that series were very popular. Whatever the cause of the failure of the MAD RAQ in the marketplace, it was the only time a snowshoe pattern was used in tennis. Hauptman switched her racket line to a two string diamond pattern (PowerAngle). This pattern had already been used in much earlier rackets but had not had much popularity. It is said to be easier to string than the MAD RAQ but does not have the benefit of reduced string notching, at least not to the same degree. The claim is that this diagonal pattern offers more comfort than a traditional square pattern.
A grip is a way of holding the racket in order to hit shots during a match. The grip affects the angle of the racket face when it hits the ball and influences the pace, spin, and placement of the shot. Players use various grips during play, including the Continental (The "Handshake Grip"), Eastern (Can be either semi-eastern or full eastern. Usually used for backhands.), and Western (semi-western or full western, usually for forehand grips) grips. Most players change grips during a match depending on what shot they are hitting; for example, slice shots and serves call for a Continental grip.[72]
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]
Throughout most of tennis history, racquets were comprised of laminated wood with smaller heads of about 65 square inches. It was not until the late 1960s that steel and aluminum started to be used by professional players like Jimmy Connors. Since the late 1980s, graphite and carbon fiber are the main materials chosen for crafting racquets that are used by professional and amateur players alike. These racquet materials allow the frame of the racquet to remain lightweight but stiff enough for increased control and stability.
In August 2007 the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in 2009. The Masters Series was renamed to the "Masters 1000", the addition of the number 1000 referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament. Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment. The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a 500-point event. The Madrid Masters moved to May and onto clay courts, and a new tournament in Shanghai took over Madrid's former indoor October slot. As of 2011 six of the nine "1000" level tournaments are combined ATP and WTA events.[89]
The decision to install a top-of-the-line concrete court is just the beginning, however. You also need to evaluate your site, determine the type of playing surface you want, choose a surfacing system, and even pick out a color scheme. The next step is to find a qualified, experienced contractor who can install the court you want at a fair price. Here are some of the basics you need to know before getting in the game.

You have my dad and brother’s name! Yes, I agree that tennis becomes very technical. I have also struggled with being too technique oriented with my kids. Thanks to Tomaz, I have used feel and imitation a lot more. I think many people in the US are plagued with the notion that faster is better. There is this sense that children should grow up faster and that learning more earlier is better. This turns into the mentality of winning now is better than playing as well as you can later. The two-handed backhand is an example of this. A younger player is much more likely to win with a two-handed backhand at a younger age. The one-hander is very difficult to learn and requires strength and very good footwork. But as I told a local pro I think there is also a downside. By using two forehands it allows people to “cheat” on both sides. My son recently switched to a one-hander just before turning thirteen. It’s hard but he now realizes how important footwork is and his forehand has gotten better because the steps he uses for his backhand have transferred to his forehand. But he is like an alien. He faces almost no other one-handed backhands in competition. So yes, tennis teaching becomes technical because the adult (pros) forget how to think like kids. They also tend to want success fast. Europeans seem to take a longer view. Maybe because their cultures are much older than the American culture.
The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world. They are held annually and comprise, in chronological order, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Apart from the Olympic Games, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Hopman Cup, they are the only tournaments regulated by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).[82] The ITF's national associations, Tennis Australia (Australian Open), the Fédération Française de Tennis (French Open), the Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon) and the United States Tennis Association (US Open) are delegated the responsibility to organize these events.[82]

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The origin of the term "racket" is unclear. According to a popular belief first published by tennis player Malcolm Whitman in 1932, the expression comes from the Arabic term rahat al-yad, meaning "palm of hand".[4] Modern research however, holds this thesis in a highly questionable light.[5] Instead, the term is more likely to be derived from the Flemish word "raketsen" which is itself derived from Middle French "rachasser", meaning "to strike (the ball) back".[6]
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.
Kolkmann says that asphalt courts can also develop low areas over time due to settling of the soil or base under the asphalt surface. "With a post-tensioned slab, this area can be bridged and no settling will occur. In addition, concrete courts can often be installed on unstable soils where it would be cost-prohibitive to do extensive excavating and base work to support an asphalt court," he says.
Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005.[126][127] Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest player of all time."[128] Billie Jean King said about Navratilova in 2006, "She's the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived."[129]
Tennis is played on a rectangular, flat surface. The court is 78 feet (23.77 m) long, and 27 feet (8.2 m) wide for singles matches and 36 ft (11 m) for doubles matches.[48] Additional clear space around the court is required in order for players to reach overrun balls. A net is stretched across the full width of the court, parallel with the baselines, dividing it into two equal ends. It is held up by either a metal cable or cord that can be no more than 0.8 cm (1⁄3 in).[49] The net is 3 feet 6 inches (1.07 m) high at the posts and 3 feet (0.91 m) high in the center.[48] The net posts are 3 feet (0.91 m) outside the doubles court on each side or, for a singles net, 3 feet (0.91 m) outside the singles court on each side.
Choosing the right tennis racquet is the best way to ensure optimal performance, aside from practice and matches. This is why we at Midwest Sports stocks such a mammoth collection. We want you to find the best racquet for your game. Select among technical options including head size, weight, and balance. Do you prefer comfort, control or power? You can also browse by price and brand.

I am a very well versed USPTA tennis pro. I provide tennis instruction at all levels and for all ages. Wether you are a beginner, intermediate, advance, recreatioinal, club or tournamnet player, I have the right lesson plan for you. I have taught tennis for over 25 years and taught a wide varierty of students. From public facilities and private clubs to high school and unniversities. Wether you are starting new, hit a plateu or simply want to improve your game, I will taylor your lesson plan specific to your needs. Classes can be given in either English or Spanish. ... View Profile

This level and the pro level share a lot of similarities simple because things have gotten a lot competitive in recent years. NCAA level players sometimes go pro after graduating college like John Isner. So, they accept nothing but close to perfection from young aspirants. There are NIAA colleges that offer some partial scholarships and they do not have the same rigorous requirements as the NCAA but often times they are very small colleges which are always the second choice for most students.
Again, begin with the grip. Whether you choose to use a one handed backhand or a two handed backhand, it’s important to grip the racket closer to the top bevel with your dominant hand. For a two handed backhand, the non-dominant hand should grip the racket underneath the handle, and keeping your palm rested firmly on the racket handle. Fingers should be free of tension, and not too close together. The grip for the two hander should have your other hand adjacent to the first. It’s necessary to practice both the forehand and backhand tennis strokes as you learn to play tennis.
Learn to play doubles tennis. Doubles tennis has two players on each side instead of one. You’ll use the wider court dimensions, but the rest of the scoring and rules remain the same. The big challenge for doubles tennis beginners is to learn how to interact with a teammate. Ask other tennis-playing friends to teach you the best strategies for doubles tennis.[23]

Most people I come across with want to achieve that level and you can too with just little bit of hard work. Setup a weekly routine in which you play tennis at least 3-4 times a week, give one day to doing some cardio or some light weight lifting to strengthen your core. Having a strong core is vital to your shots. If you have a dedicated hitting partner then its but if not then try joining a club that is not too heavy on the wallet. You will find like minded people who have the same objective as you and are looking for hitting partners. This has the added benefit of increasing your social circle.

This is sometimes played instead of a third set. A match tie-break (also called super tie-break) is played like a regular tie-break, but the winner must win ten points instead of seven. Match tie-breaks are used in the Hopman Cup, Grand Slams (excluding Wimbledon) and the Olympic Games for mixed doubles; on the ATP (since 2006), WTA (since 2007) and ITF (excluding four Grand Slam tournaments and the Davis Cup) tours for doubles and as a player's choice in USTA league play.
Further, the patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is strongly believed to have been the catalyst, worldwide, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, pitches, greens, etc. This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others.[9]