News from the court
Well it looks like we start the new season off with everything as normal after
the results of the Aussie Open.
Djokovic shows his pedigree, being that little bit more determined than Murray
and Azarenka taking the ladies title although I am of the opinion that it was
gamesmanship going off for attention when the opponent was just one game
away from winning.
An interesting statistic for the men’s final was that Djokovic won 68% of the points on his second serve,
whereas Murray only won 32% so Djokovic won two out of three of all of the points - indicating perhaps
that if you can improve your second serve and build a solid forehand and backhand - you should win
The two top British girls moved up the rankings and there are a number of others who showed impressively
in their matches. I think there are going to be a number of upsets during the forthcoming season.
There has been much discussion over here in the UK regarding the money that is available from
Wimbledon and other sources, and how this is used by the LTA - we produce far fewer top players as
compared, for example with the Czech Republic who have a very tiny budget. This indicates that having
a lot of funds is not necessarily the answer, it depends very much on how the sport is conducted.
Improving your doubles play
The best position in doubles is for both players to be at or close to the net, however, this means being
put under pressure as volleyer's and it is important to know your options in these situations.
The volley you are likely to face, is either a high volley or a low volley and these straight forward rules
on where to place your volleys means you will be more successful against any opponent.
If you are in a position where the volley is above the height of
your waist, then you need to be offensive.
You should either attack the net player by hitting the ball at their
feet or angle the ball away for an out right winner.
The shot you take will depend on which of you receive the
volley - this opens up different opportunities.
A low volley is challenging and it is generally necessary to play
defensively. It is essential to get down to the ball and to hit
the ball deep and in general down the middle toward the baseline
player. The ball should be kept as low as possible and not to
give the opponent’s net player a chance to make a poach.
The objective is to stay in the point and to receive a better chance
to put the next ball away as a winner.
If both opponents are at the net, then you should volley low and
between them, the aim being to force them to put the ball up, or
even better to confuse them about who should take the shot
Using the Front Foot Hop
You get a short ball to your right hand side, or the opposite side should you be left handed. You want to
attack the ball and there is a great method allowing you to hit a challenging inside out approach shot
plus, maintaining your forward momentum towards the net. This is known as the front foot hop.
Having tracked the ball, you should start with the weight on your back foot, it is essential to maintain
the traditional neutral stance otherwise you will be unbalanced. An open stance will not work.
You will be stepping into the ball with your front foot and landing on the same foot. As you take your first
step you will be hitting the ball, so you should keep the ball well out in front of you.
Step into the shot and rotate your shoulders and hips, as you would on an open stance hit, do not lunge
into the ball. As you make contact with the ball you should lift off the ground so make sure you take a
long swing out towards your target.
To complete the shot land on your front foot, this allows you to maintain excellent balance and keep you
moving forward, plus it will not slow you down in your movement to the net.
SDSV1347 Serious Drill - Serve and Volley Tactics.
Serving and approaching the net.
First Volley + other volleys at the net
Overhead followed by a volley
The pro is at one end of the court ready to feed balls.
The player is at the opposite end.
The player serves - initially from the deuce court. Out wide.
Moves into the net and does a backhand approach volley crosscourt.
Does two more volleys as they approach the net.
This is followed by an overhead.
Followed by another backhand volley.
The drill can be performed from the opposite ad court.
Feeds can be adjusted depending on skill level.
WUGN2119 No Touching with Hands
Ball control on the racquet and quick movement.
Two hoops are placed on each side of the net, towards the middle.
Players are divided into two teams per half court.
Teams start in each baseline corner of the court.
Each team has the same number of balls.
On pro’s call ‘GO’ the first player picks up a ball, and puts it on
They run to the middle and put the ball on their own receptacle
without touching the ball.
They run back and tag their next player who does the same.
If they drop a ball on the way, they must pick it up and go back to
the start to then go again.
The balls can then be collected in reverse.
Until next month - enjoy your tennis