Good Vibrations: Beginners need not apply with this oddly-shaped modern tennis racket. The 98 square-inch head has the same iconic – which is to say strange – shape that Yonex has been pushing for years, yet this one feels much more normal for intermediate and advanced players. The sweet spot is larger than usual, but still smaller than many choices. It’s a bit weighty at 11.5oz but Yonex seems to have used the extra weight to good effect with their Dual Shut System which uses the grommets near the handle to dampen bad vibrations for cleaner hits. It actually seems to come alive the harder you swing so it works well for playing an aggressive defense. While it shines against power hitters, trying to get the top spin to make a really heavy ball just won’t work. [Purchase: $199]
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) conducts a junior tour that allows juniors to establish a world ranking and an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) or Women's Tennis Association (WTA) ranking. Most juniors who enter the international circuit do so by progressing through ITF, Satellite, Future, and Challenger tournaments before entering the main circuit. The latter three circuits also have adults competing in them. Some juniors, however, such as Australian Lleyton Hewitt and Frenchman Gaël Monfils, have catapulted directly from the junior tour to the ATP tour by dominating the junior scene or by taking advantage of opportunities given to them to participate in professional tournaments.
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, 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. The fans attending the matches preferred the traditional rules, however, and in 1957 the tournament reverted to the old method of scoring.
Generating effortless power on the tennis forehand is right up there on any tennis players wish list. The trouble is when most players think about generating more power they tighten up, their muscles get stiff and they try to muscle the ball. In this video Top Tennis Training coach Simon Konov will help you get more power on your forehand with one simple trick.
I accept your thesis — kids & adults learn tennis differently. But there’s a corrolary: As someone who began tennis 10 yerars ago as a retirement activity, I’m confronted by others in my over-70 age group who — I swear — began hitting tennis balls before they could walk. There’s no way I can catch up with them. Should I give up, & just play with others “at my level”? [This is a serious question.] Or should I attempt one-person drills with the aim of improving?
Simply put, kids combine the technical analytical instruction with their desire to be comfortable (which is nothing else than the body’s signal of telling you what is a natural way of generating force), while adults do everything in their power to perform the movement “correctly,” even when it doesn’t feel comfortable and it doesn’t produce any natural force.
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.
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The rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye.