Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Democracy of Tennis - Tennis is for Everybody!

Did you know that according to the Racquet Sports Industry and the USTA, more people are playing tennis than ever before?

In absolute numbers averaged over the past 2 years, almost 30 million people play tennis in the USA.

And more minorities and people of ethnic backgrounds are also playing tennis than ever.

And thanks to initiatives such as the USTA "10 and Under Tennis", the "Quick Start" program and the White House "Let's Move" project, more kids are being encouraged to play than ever.

And tennis has become a global sport too - perhaps second only to soccer.

For example, in early 2011, the Top Ten women's singles players came from 10 different countries. And at the end of 2011, the Top 50 men's singles players came from 24 different countries.

Even disabilities do not stop someone from playing tennis! Wheelchair tennis is played at all the Grand Slams and in 58 countries.

Tennis is simple, fair, easy to understand, and is not expensive to play and requires no fancy equipment.

As admonished by the great champion Bill Tilden in "How to Play Better Tennis" (1950): "I urge you - play tennis! Tennis is the most valuable sport any individual can learn . . . It is a game than can be played practically from the cradle to the grave - and it is apt to aid in postponing the latter many years . . ."

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Tennis Serve in Animation

Did you ever see the tennis serve in animation?

Here's a short video showing us exactly that.


Video: The Tennis Serve in Animation By: citiclinic

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Most Feared Servers in Tennis

Who do you think is the most feared server in tennis today?

Is the dominant factor speed, spin, consistency, placement, disguise or something else?

Below is an analysis of the top 30 most feared servers in tennis.

1. Roger Federer
2. Clark Graebner
3. John McEnroe
4. Jack Kramer
5. Maurice McLaughlin
6. Gerald Patterson
7. John Newcombe
8. Stefan Edberg
9. Lew Hoad
10. Neale Fraser
11. Kevin Curren
12. Slobodan Zivojinovic
13. John Isner
14. Milos Raonic
15. Bill Tilden
16. Steve Denton
17. Greg Rusedski
18. Michael Stich
19. Mark Philippoussis
20. Richard Krajicek
21. Joachim Johansson
22. Andy Roddick
23. Don Budge
24. Boris Becker
25. Ellsworth Vines
26. Roscoe Tanner
27. Pete Sampras
28. Gopan Ivanisevic
29. Ivo Karlovic
30. Pancho Gonzales

Bleacher Report:
The 30 Most Feared Servers

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tennis Quote of the Day: Boris Becker and Chess

"I used to prepare for my tennis matches by playing chess, and it would get my mind stimulated and focused before going on court. It was essentially a mental warm-up.

Like in tennis, strategy is very important in chess. It's a one-on-one situation, and it is very important to always remain one step ahead of the opponent.

Mental energy is hugely important for success in tennis, and chess is the perfect way to tune the mind in to the stresses and strains of the game."

- Boris Becker
December 06, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Modern All Court Game - A few remarks by Bill Tilden (circa 1920)

Here are brief remarks and observations from one of the game's great players of the past - "Big" Bill Tilden in the 1920s - who foresaw the development of today's modern All Court Game.


"The All Court Game - The Future in the Forecourt"
(*Excerpts from Match Play and the Spin of the Ball, by Bill Tilden, Tennis' first great superstar)

"What is this all-court game? What does it include? First, I claim it must include all the standard strokes; service, both slice and twist; drive and chop, both forehand, backhand, volley and smash. Second, it must include varied depth. No longer will consistently deep driving prove a satisfactory standard. Today one must vary distance as well as direction. The short shot has its place in modern tennis just as much as the deep one. Third, the all-court game demands varied spin of the ball, with which to change pace.

Every player must be able to both undercut and topspin his ground shots. Fourth, there must be controlled speed. Please note the word "controlled." Speed alone will not suffice; it must include sufficient control to vary it according to the opponent you face. If I were to attempt to define the all-court game tersely, I should say: you must be able to vary your game at will, both as to direction and depth, speed and spin.

What is the future of the tennis game? Have we reached the ultimate development of the game in the champions of the present? As one of the champions of today, I see vistas of progress ahead, of which I glimpse only a bit, but which the champions of tomorrow will have explored and developed.

What are these lanes of progress? Not from the backcourt. Not from the net. It is rather in the use of the forecourt for sharp angled shots, in the use of the mid-court volley, the half volley and rising bounce shots, that future progress lies. Every player who desires to succeed in the future must equip himself with every shot in tennis, and then strive to explore the mysteries of the forecourt.

The future lies ahead with its tantalizing glimpses of unexplored roads of progress. Would that I were not an old dog who finds it hard to learn new tricks, for I would gladly attempt to explore some of the roads. In fact, I may try it anyway. The young stars have their chance. To them I say, go out into the highways and byways of the game and bring back, developed, those interesting but imperfect shots that today lie on the edge of our modern tennis in its all court games."

Video Tribute - Bill Tilden