Saturday, January 1, 2011


  I trust that this, my first dissertation on the fundamentals of tennis, will be found useful by both novices and experts alike in the tennis world. I am trying to arouse interest in the student of the game of tennis by a somewhat lengthy discussion of match play, which I trust will cast a new light on the game of tennis.

I will turn to the novice in my opening article and write of certain matters which are second nature to the experienced tennis player. The best tennis equipment is not a lot of use for the beginner even if he really is trying to succeed. Nevertheless, one has to purchase good quality; it is a saving eventually, as high quality material far outlasts poor quality gear.

It is vital always to wear tennis apparel when playing tennis. The question of choosing a tennis racquet is a much more serious decision. I do not like to force a certain brand of racquet upon any player, since all the famous brands are of excellent quality. However, the weight, balance, and size of the handle are the really important considerations when choosing a racquet frame, while good stringing is essential to obtain optimum results.

After having selected your racquet, make a firm resolve to buy only quality tennis balls, as a regular bounce is a great aid to advancement, while a "dead" ball is of no use at all. If you really desire to succeed at tennis and progress rapidly, I strongly urge you to watch all the good tennis you can. Observe the play of the leading players and try to copy their strokes. Read all the tennis instruction books you can get your hands on. They are a great assistance.

Much more tennis can be picked up off the tennis court in the study of theory and in watching the top players in action, than can ever be learned in one's own actual play. I do not mean that you should miss opportunities to play tennis, far from it. Play tennis whenever possible, but try when playing to put into practice the theories you have read about or the strokes you have seen.

Do not allow yourself to become discouraged by slow progress. The way of playing some stroke you have worked at for weeks in vain, will suddenly come to you when least expected. Good tennis players are the result of hard work. Very few players are born geniuses at the game. Tennis is a game that pays you dividends all your life. A tennis racquet is a letter of introduction in any city.

The brotherhood of the game is universal, since none but a fit sportsman can succeed in the game for any long period of time. Tennis offers relaxation, excitement, exercise, and pure enjoyment to the person who is bound fast to his job until late afternoon.

The order of development that produces the quickest and most lasting results is: a. Concentration on the game. b. Keep the eye on the ball. c. Foot-work and weight-control. d. Strokes. e. Court position. f. Court generalship or match play. g. Tennis psychology.

Concentration. Tennis is played first with the mind. The most perfect racquet technique invented will not suffice if the directing mind is wandering. There are many reasons for a wandering mind in a tennis match. The main one is loss of interest in the game. No one should play tennis with any hope of real success unless he cares sufficiently about the game to be willing to do the drudgery necessary to learn the game correctly.

Jack it in right now if you are not willing to work very hard. The weather, conditions of play or the murmurs in the gallery usually confuse even very experienced match-players playing in new surroundings. Complete and utter concentration on the game is the only cure for an erring mind, and the quicker that lesson is learned the more rapid the improvement of the player.

The surest way to keep a match in mind is to play for every set, every game in the set, every point in the game and, finally, every shot in the point. A set is merely a conglomeration of made and missed shots, and the man who misses the least is the final winner.



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