Hit the ball with an “up and over” action as if you were throwing the racket at it — and, after hitting the ball, follow through with your swing. This follow through will propel you forward into the court, prepared to hit the returned shot. Good! You’re progressing well in your efforts to learn to play tennis! If you’re unhappy with your serve — perhaps even miss the ball when you swing — don’t worry; this is common when you first learn to play tennis.
The stiffest graphite racket that has been sold is the Prince More Game MP, which is rated at 80 RA on the industry-standard Babolat measuring equipment. The Prince More series used two pieces (a top side and bottom side of the racket, or a left side and a right side) and no grommet strip. Prince had briefly used a design without a grommet strip in an early version of its "original" graphite oversize. The most famous user of a More series racket was Martina Navratilova, who returned to play doubles in her 40s, using a Prince More Control DB (a midplus) for her initial wins in the mixed doubles at Wimbledon and the Australian Open with Leander Paes. She had used the stiffer More Game MP prior. Navratilova later switched to a design by Warren Bosworth (the founder of Bosworth Tennis) which had a customized asymmetric grip and an unusual geometric head shape. Stiffer rackets typically offer more power and control at the expense of increased ball shock, which can lead to injury or tennis elbow aggravation. Typically, power and control are at odds. However, in the case of stiff rackets, less energy is dissipated by the racket deforming, transmitting it back to the ball. Control is improved because there is less deformation. However, a player's overall power level may decrease due to the need to moderate ball striking effort to reduce discomfort and even injury. Although known as a hard hitter in her younger years, in her 40s she was known more as a precision player who used finesse (and especially tactics) more than power. In fact, the last doubles partner she won a major with in mixed, Bob Bryan, remarked on how slow her serve was, despite how effective she was on the court. Navratilova also used string that was much softer than what anyone else on tour used (thick uncoated natural gut), to help compensate for the stiffness of her racket. The vastly higher injury rate in tennis (when compared with the wood era) is, in part, due to the increase in stiffness, both of the racket and of the strings.
The modern tennis court owes its design to Major Walter Clopton Wingfield. In 1873, Wingfield patented a court much the same as the current one for his stické tennis (sphairistike). This template was modified in 1875 to the court design that exists today, with markings similar to Wingfield's version, but with the hourglass shape of his court changed to a rectangle.
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The head-light balance point is rarer in professional tennis than it once was, as the sport has converted to larger-headed rackets, stiffer rackets, stiffer strings, more western grips and accompanying stroke production, and more topspin. The head-light balance point is most optimal for the serve and volley style with a continental grip. Serve and volley is no longer a viable option for nearly all professionals as the mode of playing for most points in a match. Head-heavy rackets became popular, mainly with recreational players, primarily with the introduction of the Wilson ProFile widebody racket. The head-light balance makes volleys and serves easier to produce, while groundstrokes are less stable. The head-heavy balance makes groundstrokes more stable, which typically increases the player's comfort for swinging harder to add power, but makes serves and volleys more cumbersome. A head-heavy balance also puts more stress on the elbow and shoulder.
The third and fourth tier of men's tennis tournaments are formed by the ATP World Tour 500 series, consisting of 11 tournaments, and the ATP World Tour 250 series with 40 tournaments. Like the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, these events offer various amounts of prize money and the numbers refer to the amount of ranking points earned by the winner of a tournament. The Dubai Tennis Championships offer the largest financial incentive to players, with total prize money of US$2,313,975 (2012). These series have various draws of 28, 32, 48 and 56 for singles and 16 and 24 for doubles. It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four 500 events, including at least one after the US Open.
It was a thought — being a tennis player — that first came to me five years ago when I was months from my 55th birthday. It wasn’t that I imagined I was going to become an athlete. I am a tennis fan, and I turn on ESPN and attend the United States Open each year with the understanding that the men and women I love to watch are, as they were not when I was a boy, a breed apart: selection for size and intense training and competition from early childhood is increasingly creating a sort of warrior class in sports. I wanted to become a very good recreational player. Someday.
Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume ("game of the palm"), which evolved into real tennis, and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe. In June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-de-Marne and following a particularly exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was also suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who had a court set up at the Louvre Palace.