Centering the Opponent- Deep and Down the Middle

Jack Kramer (hopefully you have one of the old Wilson Kramer autograph wooden frames) played deep and down the middle when in a rally.  Note, with his serve and volley game, rallies were less frequent, but if he was stuck in a neutral position, he favored deep and down the middle. Deep and down the…

Continue Reading →

One Handed Topspin Backhand

Dominic Thiem plays Stefanos Tsitsipas in the ATP World Finals on Sunday We will enjoy a demonstration of full throated one handed topspin backhands Heavy crosscourt exchanges And the match may revolve around the boldness and precision when either threads the needle up the line Both have deadly forehands  – but the backhand exchanges will…

Continue Reading →

Bianca Andreescu – “She plays different than other players. That’s why she’s good.”

Bianca the problem solver. Belinda Bencic on Bianca Andreescu: “She won Indian Wells, Toronto, she’s final here. I’m not very surprised about this. She has put together great results. For me it’s not a surprise. I think she’s a very smart player on the court, plays different than other players. That’s why she’s good.”  Her…

Continue Reading →

Our Game is Played in a Box

Yes I am a tennis nut – and have played taught and studied the game for a long time I am now believing that the single most misunderstood element of the game has to do with court position and shot selection. Said more clearly, players have more options when moving forward and fewer options when…

Continue Reading →

The Art of Winning and the Second Shot Pass

There is a connection here. The second shot pass is a basic strategy when your opponent takes the net – for your do want information about their volleying skills This play works best when the volleyer is centered which then reduces the volleyers natural angles. But in the main, this play creates pressure, challenges the…

Continue Reading →

The Other Side of the Net Download this Video Some time ago I was in Sacramento watching the Power Shares tour event – Courier, Sampras, McEnroe and Blake. James Blake beat John McEnroe in the finals – Mac having beaten Courier, and Blake easily beat an injured Pete Sampras (who was looking very slow on court compared to the other…

Continue Reading →

Priming – The Art of Winning

Create patterns to discover the opponent’s weakness Always listen for advertisements

Continue Reading →

The Tradition Continues – Segura – Connors – Djokovic

  Novak Djokovic captured his third consecutive Australian Open title.  Crushing David Ferrer 62 62 61 in the semifinals, and wearing down and then beating back the challenge of Andy Murray 67 76 63 62.  The end the fourth set of the men’s final showcased a dominant and domineering Novak Djokovic and a dispirited but…

Continue Reading →

ETI 020 | Power Lines

Ours is a game of managing errors, of keeping the ball in play, and with each and every shot always playing the percentages.

Play the ball close to the line, you encounter the risk of an error. Play the ball close to the line when the opponent is out of position, now the reward may outweigh the risk.

But worse, sometimes it is possible to lose points simply because you are never truly taking any risks.

With this in mind, consider the line of the incoming ball, and whether you return the ball back along that same line – and this play will always minimize errors. You are playing essentially as a wall. But if you change the line, such that you take a cross court and return if up the line, or you take an up the line and return it cross court – in those instances you are changing the line of play.

If the opponent hits the ball much harder (setting up a power line) then your decisions become much more important, said another way certain decisions expose you to much more risk.

I recommend always play back along incoming cross court power lines – minimize risk, let them change the line.

Continue Reading →

ETI 015 | Lobbing along the line of your shadow

In addition to consistency, control, spin and power, much less trying to produce your best tennis when the chips are down, a large part of the game includes your precise awareness of the conditions – meaning the direction of the wind, as well as the location of the sun.

The next time you are on court with the sun high in the sky, but equally when it is at your back, take special notice of your shadow. As the sun moves through the sky the line or alignment of the shadow will change.

Continue Reading →

ETI 008 | Pressuring the Second Serve

“You are only as good as your second serve.”

I know, I do write about this quite a lot, but I believe it – and in nearly every instance the statistics of the professional matches support the idea.

The match winner always wins more points on their second serve, and the match loser will always lose more points on their second serve.

Continue Reading →