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Tennis Tips

Play Tennis like a Professional!

How to hold the tennis racquet

It is surprising the number of recognised ways you can grip a tennis racquet. This table shows the types of grip and what shot they are used for, advanced players will adjust their grip to hit the perfect shot whether its serving, volleying, hitting ground strokes, or slicing.

Type of gripThe basic forehand grip is known as the Eastern grip, it is otherwise called the ‘shake hands grip’ because you hold the racquet as if you are about to shake hands with someone…



How you stand is one of the key factors that contribute to the perfect shot in tennis. You need to be able to position yourself to hit the ball correctly and earn the point. By improving your footwork you give yourself a better chance of not only hitting the ball but doing so with good execution. The earlier you get to the ball = the more time you have to choose how to hit the ball (crosscourt, down the line, backhand, forehand, deep or short). Incorporate speed drills and footwork patterns into training sessions that will give you the edge when it comes to footwork.


Roger Federer has, arguably, one of the best forehand strokes to date. He is not especially strong so its clear that muscle power is not behind the success of his swing. His technique, however, is flawless and allows him to produce the tennis he is reknowned for. To initiate his stroke he uses a ‘unit turn’ and turns his shoulders sideways. By rotating his body it means he is creating angular momentum to create more power and topspin. The angle of your swing should be from low to high and you should be transferring your weight in a forward and upward direction.

 Backhand swing

What is important to remember about the backhand swing is that the body should initiate the motion, leaving the hands and racquet to do minimal work. You should aim to fully extend the arm and racquet so that on contact with the ball you will get a clean fluid shot.


Global Tennis Tournaments


There are 4 major tennis tournaments, known as the Grand Slams, that are the most important events of the tennis calendar. They offer the biggest prize money as well as the biggest crowd and media coverage. They are:

  • The Australian Open (mid-January) – Hard Courts
  • The French Open (May/June) – Clay Courts
  • Wimbledon (June/July) – Grass Courts
  • US Open (August/September) – Hard Courts


A tennis player achieves a ‘Grand Slam’ when he/she wins each of the 4 tournaments in the same calendar year. The only players to win a Grand Slam (singles) are:

  • Don Budge (1938)
  • Maureen Connolly (1953)
  • Rod Laver (1962 & 1969)
  • Margaret Smith Court (1970)
  • Steffi Graf (1988)


Other important tennis tournaments include the Olympics, the ATP (mens) and WTA (womens) Tours and the Masters 1000 Tours.


Rules of Tennis



What do I need to play tennis?

Balls, grips, racquet and strings are a good start. Clothing should be easy to move in and trainers are a must. Some tennis players are reknown for their fashion taste on court however as long as you can move freely in the clothing it is suitable.


The basics…

Singles game

  • The server is decided by the toss of a coin before the start of the match
  • The server must stand behind the baseline and inbetween the centre line and singles sideline (single sideline = narrow court)
  • The server serves for the entire game, not just the first point
  • Service must be delivered diagonally to the opponents side of the court
  • The server has 2 attempts to serve (a fault = the ball touches the net, the server steps on the baseline…)
  • After every point the server swaps to the other box (i.e right to left)

The Court


Standard Game

A tennis match can be the best of three sets (first player to win two sets wins the match) or the best of 5 sets (first player to win 3 sets, wins the match). A player wins a set when he wins six games (provided he has defeated his opponent by at least two games).

Points          Score Called

0              =           Love

1              =           15

2              =            30

3              =            40

4              =         Game








A History of Tennis


It is believed that the earliest appearance of the tennis that we play today can be traced back to a 12th Century game devised by French monks called ‘jeu de paume’ which means game of the hand where they would hit the ball to one another using the palm of their hand. It was in the 16th Century that the racket was introduced. The game soon spread from France to England where Henry VII and Henry VIII promoted the building of courts as they enjoyed the sport so much.

It was not until the Victorian prosperity of 19th Century England that the game of tennis recognised today began to take shape. It became popular with the upper classes and outdoor courts were built in the grounds of stately homes. In 1877 the first tennis tournament was organised by the All England Club using a rectangular court, a net and service boxes. By 1882 the specifications of the game had evolved into their current form.

Why is Tennis still popular today?

Tennis is now a billion dollar industry that is played across the globe and is ranked in the top 5 of the most popular sports worldwide. It is physically demanding, mentally stimulating and has some of the best athletes in the world as ambassadors…

Tennis in popular culture!