Tennis legend Andre Agassi once said, “Tennis uses the language of life. Advantage, service, fault, break, love – the basic elements of tennis are those of everyday existence, because every match is a life in miniature.” To learn tennis, you must understand this quote by Agassi.
You are here reading this because you love tennis, or at the very least you have an affinity for it, an itch that just won’t go away. It is not hard to see why, since there is an intriguing element to the sport. It is a practical game that has beauty and elegance when played with fluidity and grace.
If you are having a bad day, is there anything better than picking up a racquet and thumping a ball, letting the frustration leave your body in one swooping rush? It seems like a deeply satisfying sport and listening to the ‘thwack’ of the ball against the racket resounds that emotion. Tennis is without a doubt, mindfulness in motion.
This deeply satisfying sport can often seem prissy and frilly, with finicky etiquette and tiny clothes. It could seem like a sport for the elite. But do not let that deceive you. It awakens a primal feeling – to hit the ball with the strength you did not know you possessed, right at the sweet spot in the middle of the racquet and see it fly high over the net following a perfect trajectory. Make no mistake, tennis is most definitely a sport for the masses. Every one can love and play tennis.
Did you know that September 23rd is Tennis Day? Or that the game’s proper name is actually “grass tennis”? Well, now you do. While these were just simple fun facts, there are so many things to know about how to play tennis and are you confused about where to start? Well, this article can be a good place to begin with. Here is a rundown of 10 hot tips from tennis experts to help you shape up your game.
#1. Early preparation
The faster you get back to your position before the ball comes back to your side of the court, the better it is for you. Lightning-fast reflexes come in handy in this sport. Turn your hips and shoulders quickly to face the ball before it can catch you unaware. Keep your tennis racquet back in position.
If you’re willing to learn tennis well, you better do some early preparations!
#2. Exaggerate your follow-through
Try exaggerating your follow-through, you do not even need to think – just hit the ball.
Most players, no matter what sport they play, can improve their game by just following through even when they get a little nervous or when their opponent is in control of play.
#3. Only 2 bounces, that’s it
Serena and Venus Williams’ father and earliest coach Richard Williams, told the girls when they were six and seven years old, “Don’t think, just run and hit the ball.”
Get it in your mind that you will never let the bounce ball bounce twice. Force yourself to run for the ball even if you think you will not reach it in time.
#4. Hit recover
If you watch the tapes of the pros – it actually looks like they are recovering in the middle of their hit. Of course, there is no need to go that far in the beginning. For now, just hit, finish and get back to position.
#5. Out rally the opponent
Kim Clijsters said,” You don’t have to hate your opponents to beat them.”
You can just win points by keeping the ball in play till your opponent fumbles and misses. Consistency and depth in play are key. Avoid any unforced errors on your side by playing it safe, while at the same time hitting the ball deep enough so that your opponent does not get a chance to play aggressively. You need to outlast them.
#6. Play aggressively
Channel your aggression from the start of the point, hit the ball hard and try to catch balls early. You need to force your opponent to start playing defensively and continue to push them back until you force them to make a mistake or hit a winner. You can start the point with an aggressive serve or return and then continue to attack by stepping into the court, catching the ball on the rise, and driving it back with force.
#7. Attack the opponent’s weakness
It is not enough to be aggressive, because if your opponent has a strong defence, they will be able to give it back as good as they get anyway. By all means, go after your opponent’s weakness and try to break it down. Forcing the opponent to hit their weaker shot as much as possible will definitely give you an edge. It i
#8.Play to your strengths
In the game of tennis, they say you are never really playing an opponent; you are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is a real joy.
The easiest way to improve your performance is simply by hitting your best shots more often.
For example, if your net game is better than your baseline game, then you need to try to get to the net as soon and as much as you can.
#9. Bring the opponent to the net
A lot of players do not feel comfortable at the net and forcing them to play there will put them into a vulnerable position. This strategy is especially useful against very consistent players who do not hit the ball hard but will rarely miss from the baseline. But for this, you need to strengthen your play by the net first.
Hitting the short balls with a slice swing will always be more effective.
#10. Use variety to your advantage
Needing to continually adjust is far more difficult than returning similar shots over and over. Using variety in your play is a great way to force your opponents to make mistakes or hit short balls that you can attack. The factors that you can vary are spin, depth, height, direction and speed. You can work in their combinations too for an effective strategy.
It is funny how they say tennis is a racquet sport in which two players compete to see who has the shortest temper, the worst memory, the poorest eyesight, and the slowest timing. But in reality, it can easily turn into your go-to addiction. It is therapeutic and nurtures discipline in you.
For tennis aficionados such as yourself, perhaps moving from the TV screen matches to the tennis court might just be the best move yet.
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