It is challenging to obtain a precise racquet head angle when you are off balance. When you lean, the angle of your hand in the grip stays consistent, but the angle of the racquet in relation to the ground changes.
Picture Serena Williams at the U.S Open, bouncing the ball, preparing to serve. She breathes in and begins moving the racquet backwards with her right arm while lifting her left arm to toss the ball.
TENNIS FANS ARE SOMETIMES AWESTRUCK by a professional’s spectacular stroke, but they often overlook what happened before the shot that made it possible: movement.
Grips are the foundation of every tennis swing, or, as the great Rod Laver once put it, “The grip determines everything.” Your grip will influence the amount of speed and spin on each ball you hit.
Sampras’ powerful serve allowed him to ace opponents or to put himself in a dominant position early in a point by either forcing a weak return or moving his opponent out of position.
Chapter 6: Return of Serve
Unless your opponent is very skilled at disguising their serve, the ball toss can help you determine what spin is coming your way.
Federer and Nadal not only share the desire to dictate play with their forehand, but also share commonalities that all great forehand players possess and that are discussed in this chapter.
A full backswing should result in your chin resting near your right shoulder. Even though your shoulders are relaxed, your full backswing should place some tension in the back of your right shoulder to spring the racquet forward faster.
Chapter 9: Drop Shot and Lob
The drop shot is best hit when you receive a waist-to-chest high ball. It is hard to control a drop shot on a ball any higher or lower than this.
Chapter 10: Approach Shot
Your success at the net is directly related to the strength of the shot you hit immediately before: the approach shot.
Additionally, compared to your ready position at the baseline, your body should be in a lower crouched position, achieved by bending the knees and widening the stance. This lower body position drops your center of gravity and facilitates fast movement.
Chapter 12: Future Strokes
Some of these strokes evolved because new equipment increased the speed and spin of the ball, while others resulted from player’s improved athleticism and size.
Champion players have shot patterns that make the best use of their strongest strokes. For instance, Federer uses his slice backhand to keep the ball low and move his opponent inside the baseline and then uses his forehand weapon to hit deep to the open corner.
Controlling the net as a team is an important goal in doubles. First, because there is such little time to react to a volley, doubles teams who attack the net well together can make the opposing team constantly feel rushed and defensive.
IT IS TRUE THAT DEVELOPING THE STROKES and learning the strategies discussed in the previous chapters will give you an edge over your opponents. However, tennis is also a gritty mental sport, and if you are not focused and resilient, you will lose matches that you should win based on your strokes and knowledge.
Tennis is a uniquely athletic sport that re quires a special type of fitness. Tennis players need agility to maintain balance on a difficult volley or wide ball, quick bursts of speed to run down shots hit all over the court, and the en- durance to last a long match.