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.
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Keeping in mind that you will have to dedicate a lot of time each week with a private preferably to achieve this level. But if you have the money and mind to do this then you can do this no matter what age you essentially start at because you can play tournaments at any level except the pro ATP or WTA level because you need sponsors and dedicate time fully for that.
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.