​Absolute Tennis

"Tennis: the most perfect combination of athleticism, artistry, power, style, and wit." - Martin Amis


TENNIS PLAYERS MOVE UP, back, left, and right at varying speeds with different types of footwork. They hit the ball fast or slow, deep or short, high or low, flat or with heavy spin. They play against a variety of opponents whose style of play can range from relentlessly aggressive to incredibly patient. During a match, emotions can quickly swing up and down and concentration may fade in and out. The spectrum of physical and mental skills required in tennis is broad, so when Marty Smith told me about his plan to write a comprehensive tennis instructional book, I thought it was a terrific idea. His book Absolute Tennis appreciates the wide-ranging nature of the sport and is a great read for tennis enthusiasts both new and experienced to the game.

Acknowledging the fact that tennis is a very athletic game, Marty starts by discussing balance, the kinetic chain, and movement. Next, he takes you through grips and each phase of every stroke, giving you insights to improve your technique and play your best tennis. At each step, he pairs his instructional text with engaging individual and frame-byframe photographs of the world’s top players to illustrate his explanations. Federer’s serve, Nadal’s forehand, Djokovic’s return, and Murray’s backhand are a few of the strokes that are highlighted. Marty discusses not only the strokes of today, but also explores strokes that may be used in the future. Viewing tennis through the prism of the game’s increasing speed, athleticism, and serving prowess, he explains how swings could evolve and makes a compelling case for three unconventional shots. Following the chapters on the key athletic principles and the strokes, Marty dedicates the last third of the book to strategy, the mind, and fitness. Successful tennis players “think” well on the court and his chapters on singles and doubles strategy provide tips on how to play smart. Additionally, his extensive chapters on psychology and fitness will teach you how to focus the mind to compete in a more consistent and confident manner as well as how to train your body to move faster and last longer. Back in my day, we did not have access to advice on psychology, stretching, nutrition, etc. that are now such an important part of training for the elite athlete.

Marty’s goal is absolutely clear. He wants to teach you a tremendous amount, all while entertaining you with his holistic, practical, and forward approach to tennis. So read on to gain a deeper understanding of tennis and learn how to improve different parts of your game. If you put his advice into action, you will have more fun on the court and win more, just as his many students over his decades of coaching have done.

- Fred Stolle - Winner of 19 Grand Slam singles and doubles titles and member of the international Tennis Hall of Fame.

Explore the Book

Sample Tips

Here are a sample of photos and summarized tips from Absolute Tennis

Sample Coach's Boxes

The coach's boxes in Absolute Tennis add depth and perspective to the chapters focus. Here are a few examples from the book.


Read ahead some excerpts from the book.

Great Strokes

Here are some of the great strokes analyzed frame-by-frame in Absolute Tennis.

Future Strokes

Tennis has evolved. What changes might the next 50 years bring?


Here you can find our customer reviews.


TENNIS IS MY LIFE’S PASSION and work. The sport has been so generous to me, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with you in Absolute Tennis. Whatever your motivation for reading the book, my hope is that you learned a lot, are enjoying your tennis more, and are playing better than ever.

Of course to raise your game, the knowledge you gained from this book has to be combined with hours of practice. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and this is particularly true in a skillful game like tennis where small deviations — like being a degree or two off with the racquet face — can result in an error. Improving your game takes mindfulness, commitment, and resolve. I urge you to be patient with the process; you will be very glad in the long run.

Remember too that it is important not to be overly critical of yourself. Judging yourself too harshly will hurt rather than help you. Instead, practicing and playing matches with a sense of gratitude and a smile will lead to more time on the court and faster improvement. The right internal approach is to salute your dedication and savor your progress along the way; raising your level of play is an accomplishment of which you should be very proud.

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“With detailed explanations of the strokes illustrated by photos of the greats, and in-depth discussion of tactics, psychology and fitness, Absolute Tennis helps players achieve their best game. Marty Smith is an outstanding teacher and his advice will work for you as it has for his many students over his decades of coaching.” - Fred Stolle, winner of 19 major single and doubles titles and member of the International Tennis of Fame

“Marty Smith is not only an enthusiastic and wise teaching pro with boundless knowledge of mechanics, technique, and strategy. He is also a cutting-edge theorist. This is a book for recreational players, promising young players and their parents, club pros, college-level coaches or anyone who grasps that clear, comprehensive understanding is a means to improvement. Absolute Tennis will transform your game – and could well transform the game itself.” - Gerry Marzorati, former editor of The New York Times Magazine and author of Late to the Ball

“Absolute Tennis is the definitive modern tennis instruction book. It covers tennis with advice that is interesting, incisive, and useful. There are the chapters on psychology and fitness that my friends on the pro tour will find helpful, while the chapters on strategy and strokes will guide recreational players to play smarter and hit the ball with more power, control, and belief.” - Alex Bogomolov, former top 40 ATP singles player

"A well written, completely comprehensive guide to the sport of tennis. This books seems to cover it all, across the three main sections within it - body, strokes, and mind. The photographs were really well executed and added a lot to his explanations and discussions. Very fun and forward-thinking chapter on strokes of the future. Also appreciated the chapters on singles and doubles strategy. Clearly, Smith has both a passion for his sport and a rare ability to write about it well!! A must have resource for any tennis player, aspiring or experienced!" - Amazon Customer

"As a former tennis professional player I thought I knew all there is to know about tennis strokes, however this book tought me the tricks and tips behind the mechanics. Absolute tennis is an amazing text book about how and why of tennis strokes filled with great explanations and great practice drills. I now use these tips to be a better tennis coach and I fully recomend the reading to begginer and advanced players as well as coaches. There is a little bit for everyone to enjoy and learn." - Amazon Customer

"This is a great book for all players, from beginners to advanced players. Absolute Tennis deals comprehensively with all aspects of the game, and includes illustration shots of pro players that really help to make the points clear. In our family are players of different ages and abilities, and this book has been very useful to all of us. It has helped us to think about strategies in a new way, and to understand developing aspects of the game. It has improved our play, and also enhanced our experience as spectators. We highly recommend it!" - Amazon Customer

"This is a fantastic book for all players at all levels. It is full of robust information and photos that make it truly helpful in understanding tennis technique. Marty is an insightful writer and an inspirational coach and his command of the game is evident in his terrific book." - Amazon Customer

"I love this book. This is clearly the best tennis book I've encountered for players at all levels. Entertaining to read while valuable from an instruction perspective as well." - Amazon Customer

Great book...so informative and creative…great pictures and intelligent insight. (Amazon customer)

I brought this book hoping I could understand tennis techniques better. I’ve always loved tennis, but I started playing recently. Unlike the author, I am far away from being a pro, but his tips and guidance make me feel that I can get there one day. It’s very easy to read, and invaluable reference, with amazing and effective photos. It helps you understand the different strokes and techniques. Amazing tennis book! (Amazon customer)

I have read many tennis books and would consider this to be one of the best. As a tennis instructor I find the instruction to be excellent. (Amazon customer)