With Wimbledon fever about to strike, those inspired to dig out their dusty tennis rackets can now rediscover the racket-wielding sport.
Here are some top tennis tips direct from the pros to help you to unleash your inner-champ. Game, set, match.
Learn a backhanded backspin
“The backhanded backspin is an indispensable move found in the repertoire of all good tennis players. This shot allows you to defend yourself against powerful punches, attack at the right moment and change the inertia of the game to keep your opponent off balance.
For this, you have to be able to hit the ball well, and generate a good swing that does not make it lob too much, nor lose the force necessary to keep your opponent from counter-attacking during the game.”
Ramon Campuzano Rojas, Director of Puente Romano Tennis & Fitness Club, Marbella
Footwork is a key aspect to success in tennis and how you move on the court is arguably the most important part of the game; a lack of proper footwork makes it nearly impossible to advance to a higher level in the sport. Even if you are lacking in speed, you can still be quick and effective on the court given the correct footwork, not only reaching tough balls, but also getting in an optimal position to hit the best possible shot. Follow these tips to polish up your footwork on the court:
1. Ready Position
Before you start approaching the ball, players should always begin in the “ready position” with knees and hips bent, legs shoulder width apart and weight equally distributed on both toes. This position allows you to move easily in any direction and should be used when anticipating the opponent’s next shot.
2. Split Step
Once your opponent contacts the ball you should perform a “split step” which consists of a small hop from the ready position towards the direction of the ball. This step will prepare you for your shot and allow for a quicker and more explosive movement to the ball.
3. Effective Movement
Quick, light, short steps are key to reaching the ball early, since these precise movements are what allow you to get in an ideal position for a good shot. Always stay on your toes and avoid taking long, heavy strides to reach the ball.
Timo Sivapruksa, Head Tennis Coach at Thanyapura Phuket, Thailand
How to instantly raise your game
“It’s important to understand the best area to contact the ball. If the ball is too far away, you lose control and balance; if it’s too close, you can’t swing correctly. Getting the correct place to contact the ball will enable you to hit through the ball better.
Also choosing a suitable racket can make a huge difference; the main thing is to get a decent set of strings with good tension.”
Pat Cash, Wimbledon champion 1987