Earlier this summer, I got to half-watch him play just a couple of courts away from where I was playing. The club had arranged a set of doubles pitting Kirill and another young tennis instructor against two players from the Pelham High School tennis team who had recently won the state championship in doubles. The two of them, terrific teenage players, had been playing together for years; Kirill had had a hand in their development. So what I was mostly interested in, honestly, as dozens of club members gathered on the veranda of the tennis house to watch, was how Kirill would deal with this, what the etiquette was. Would he be nervous or restrained?
In most professional play and some amateur competition, there is an officiating head judge or chair umpire (usually referred to as the umpire), who sits in a raised chair to one side of the court. The umpire has absolute authority to make factual determinations. The umpire may be assisted by line judges, who determine whether the ball has landed within the required part of the court and who also call foot faults. There also may be a net judge who determines whether the ball has touched the net during service. The umpire has the right to overrule a line judge or a net judge if the umpire is sure that a clear mistake has been made.
This is key to improving in any sport or anything you want to do. Play regularly. Go to your tennis lessons and then play with a partner and practice every week. Your muscles need it for conditioning and muscle memory. Practice the skills you learn and you’ll see yourself improving week after week. A club is a great place to do this. While you’re at it, don’t forget to have fun!
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The other type of tiebreaker Van Alen introduced is the "12-point" tiebreaker that is most familiar and widely used today. Because it ends as soon as either player or team reaches 7 points – provided that that player or team leads the other at that point by at least two points – it can actually be over in as few as 7 points. However, because the winning player or team must win by a margin of at least two points, a "12-point" tiebreaker may go beyond 12 points – sometimes well beyond. That is why Van Alen derisively likened it to a "lingering death", in contrast to the 9-point (or fewer) "sudden-death tiebreaker" that he recommended and preferred.
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The track at Astoria Park is currently closed for reconstruction as part of our Anchor Parks initiative to improve the quality of major parks across the city. While the track is under construction, we encourage you to join the New York Road Runners’ free weekly NYRR Open Run, which meets for walks and runs on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. north of the parking lot, by the pool. You can also look for NYRR Mile Markers to track your distance along a measured course in the park. Please visit our Capital Projects Tracker for the latest on our construction progress.
Even your choice of shoes, socks, and other clothing are important considerations when you learn to play tennis. As opposed to running shoes, tennis shoes are made to withstand side-to-side movement. They should have a herringbone tread for longer lasting protection and grip. Socks should be thick and able to absorb sweat, thereby preventing infections such as athlete’s foot. Generally, tennis clothing is white, a color chosen to best reflect the sun and keep the player cooler. (Wear the appropriate gear even when just beginning to learn to play tennis!)
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.
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