Views from the court.
Money is always an issue - what ever we wish to do in this modern world
involves the spending of some hard cash and this is one of the area that I
believe is holding up the growth of tennis - particularly in the UK.
O.K. The LTA receive a large amount of funds from Wimbledon and have
built many indoor centres around the country, but the grass roots clubs
with few courts are where many of the basic talent comes from. It is
those clubs who find it most difficult to keep up with what is required in
order to grow the game.
My main club, where my daughter is Chairman. Held their annual general meeting a few days ago;
they are by normal standards quite a wealthy club, but when it came to the point of deciding what
to do on two courts that had run their time; the only option within their budget, was to resurface
There are other factors involved such as the number of courts a club has, but I have long been an
advocate of training juniors on clay courts, but these are expensive and also require regular maintenance.
If we look at most of the emerging tennis nations, the ones with the highest number of players in
the top 200 say - there are invariably those countries that have a lot of clay courts France - Spain -
South American nations, and the money we spent on indoor facilities does not provide clay courts -
these tend to be commercial centres who’s main interests lie in making money,
The end of the tennis year is now almost upon us and the final major event at the London O2 was
a big success with a huge number of spectators attending, this has meant that the event will be held
there for a few years.
So by the time the next newsletter comes out, we will once again be looking towards the Australian
I wish everyone a continued good tennising.
Tip for December.
What happens: Your opponent hits short crosscourt.
The tactic: Hit down the line for a winner.
Why this tactic: The flight time of the ball is too short, and the distance your opponent has to
cover to reach the ball is too far to make a play. Don’t be tempted to wrong-foot the opponent
by going cross court as that will leave them a wide open court.
Your opponent returns your deep cross court shot back cross court to you.
The tactic: Take a calculated risk and hit a short cross court shot.
Why this tactic: Your opponent is behind the baseline towards the side. They have to anticipate
that you may return down the line, so must recover towards the centre of the court. If you play the
short cross court play, it may well wrong-foot them.
Second Tip for the month
Controlling the centre of the court.
You should try to establish a dominant position in the centre of the court and make your opponent
run from side to side.
Club players can hit a number of slow balls down the middle of the court and win, but as you move
up the skill level, it’s less likely to happen. It’s even less likely at pro level due to the big forehands
employed by them.
Controlling the centre of the court entails keeping your own shots out of the centre of your opponent’s
court. Good players hitting from the baseline are really dangerous when given time to set up. You
should try to control the centre by using the whole of the opponent’s court.
Drill for December.
Following on November’s theme - here is another poaching drill.
SDOP5201 - Poach & Switch.
To practice the proper timing of a poach and covering the court
This can be either a pro fed drill or to use a ball machine.
All players except one start on the baseline on the deuce side.
The extra player starts just inside the ad side service box.
The pro or BM are on the opposite baseline in the middle of the
The pro feeds cross court to player A who may have to move
forward into the ball and returns it
On the second feed from the pro, player B moves diagonally to
poach the cross court feed.
Player A moves to the ad side of the court to take up the position
vacated by B.
Player B runs to the back of the waiting line and the sequence is
Player A receives a volley and player B an overhead before the second sequence.
Change side so that the players practice poaching from the deuce side
BMAP8505 Recovering from a Lob
To recover to a net position after being moved to a defensive
position by a lob.
This can either be a ball machine drill or a fed drill by the pro.
The pro feeds in the ball machine version in any case.
Players A & B start in a volley position in the deuce and ad. Courts.
The other players (C & D) in the illustration are outside the
court and shadow the movements of the players on court.
Targets can be set up depending on the skill levels of the players.
A lob is fed just past the service line on both sides of the court.
Players A & B move back to hit an overhead.
The pro will then encourage the players to move quickly to the net to play a volley each.
Players A & B then receive another overhead.
They exit the court and the next two players repeat the sequence.
Emphasize depth and placement of the two shots.