nodot nodot
Circle Game
April 1997 Article

Contact to Greg Moran

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

Get Greg Moran's book Tennis Beyond Big Shots at Amazon.com

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Circle Game By Greg Moran


Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot


Greg Moran Photo
Greg Moran

Sooner or later you'll step on the court and be facing an opponent much tougher than the one you see across the net. An opponent who can turn simple drop shots, which you have always put away, into unreachable winners.

This same opponent will transform lobs, that were once routine overheads, into balls that float just over your outstretched racket, and serves which you once attacked suddenly, with his help, become unreturnable. The opponent's name: AGE!!!

To both the professional and recreational tennis player age is that unspeakable word which signifies an inevitable decline in one's athletic ability.

While everyone experiences the onslaught of age at different times, the symptoms are always the same. Shots which were once easy to reach are now difficult, recovery time between matches is much longer and nagging injuries become more frequent and lingering.

At a recent stop on the "LEGENDS" tour I had the opportunity to speak with some of the games all-time greats as well as experts in the medical and fitness professions to get their thoughts on everyone's "toughest opponent."

Dr. William Lewis, a Connecticut based Sports Medicine specialist who serves as an advisor to the U.S. Olympic committee says that, "One of the main reasons that people don't live longer, healthier lives is that they are unwilling to follow a healthy and active lifestyle. Such a lifestyle would include proper diet, rest, and exercise."


"As you get older it is essential to make changes in your eating and exercise habits", says Lewis. Tennis legend Cliff Drysdale agrees. "I've had a solid change in my diet over the last few years," says the 50 year-old Drysdale, "and the results have been tremendous."

Drysdale, a former top ten player and U.S. Open finalist gave up all red meat, whole milk and eggs and began to eat more fruit, chicken and fresh vegetables.

"I'm also off sodas, which I used to live on," says Drysdale. "These changes in my diet have helped me to lose weight and my cholesterol has dropped down to 240. That was about six months ago, I imagine now that it's even lower."

Other legends such as Stan Smith, Ken Rosewall, and Owen Davidson, all have made similar changes and report vast improvements in not only how they feel but also in their level of energy on the court.

Davidson, 51 says "I very rarely eat red meat anymore, never drink milk, and I eat a lot of vegetables and chicken. I also cut out salt and butter."

Ken (Muscles) Rosewall, age 60, is in the fifth decade of a career during which he has won four Australian Open titles, three French Championships and two U.S. Open titles. At the age of 39 Rosewall surprised the sporting world by reaching the finals of Wimbeldon and the U.S. Open, two of the games most prestigious events. Now competing on the Seniors circuit Rosewall describes his nutritional philosophy as being "everything in moderation."

"Australians have always been big meat eaters and as a younger person I ate a lot of meat, eggs and drank a lot of milk," says Rosewall. "As I've gotten older, I've cut down on meat, eggs, cheese, butter and milk and have tried to replace them with lots of salad and fruit."

"About 7-8 years ago I cut back on salt, sugar, butter and red meat", says former world champion Stan Smith. "I'm not a fanatic about it but I'm now toying with the idea of cutting out meat altogether. I try to eat lots of fish, chicken, and I occasionally splurge with dessert. As I've gotten older I've become more aware of the evils of sugar, red meat, salt, etc and have tried to cut down."


In addition to proper nutrition, the "super" seniors are strong advocates of regular exercise. The phrase, If You Don't Use It, You'll Lose It, is very appropriate. "Unfortunately, as people get older they seem to cut back on their physical activities", says Stan Smith. "There are other priorities in your life and it becomes difficult to stay as active as you once were."

Smith, the world's top ranked player in 1971 & 72 says that, "As you get older you must work harder to stay in shape and injury free" and encourages players of all ages and levels to develop healthy habits as early as possible.

"A lot of it has to do with how you were brought up", continues Smith. "If you've done the right things early on such as lifting weights, stretching, etc, I think that you can play at a high level for a long time.

"Unfortunately most players, professionals included, haven't done this. They haven't kept their dominant side as strong as it should be or done the weight training to balance the muscles on both sides as well as different parts of the body. This is something that we are trying to instill in the kids involved with our Junior Development programs with the USTA. If we can convince them to develop good habits at an early age, then they'll be able to play at a high level for a long time."

Many, such as Rosewall and Davidson, still prefer tennis as their number one form of exercise and play as often as possible. "I used to do a lot of running", says Owen Davidson "but that was very hard on the body so now I try to get up 3-4 mornings a week at 6:30 and play for an hour with one of my assistants."

Former doubles champion Bob Lutz, puts himself through a vigorous workout on a stationary bike virtually "every day for 40 minutes to an hour," and Cliff Drysdale has designed a rigorous exercise program during which he does "25 minutes of resistance training, followed by 30 minutes on a stationary bike."

"Rarely does a week go by when I don't work out at least three times", says Drysdale who is also a commentator for ESPN and ABC-TV. When asked how, with his busy schedule, he finds the time to work-out, Drysdale responds firmly by saying "I MAKE THE TIME."


"As people age, their muscles lose their flexibility and become more prone to strains and sprains," says Kevin Cleary, President of the One to One Fitness Corporation. "Muscles will tear when they are not warmed up properly or when they are overtired. Thus, it is important to stretch your muscles not only before, but after exercise."


"Just as important as nutrition and exercise are rest and recuperation", says Dr. Lewis. "After playing a few hard sets of tennis or exercising vigorously the body is worn down, tired, and prone to injury."

Listen to your body", continues Lewis. "If it feels tired, it is. If something hurts, it's injured. Take a day or two off. If the pain or fatigue doesn't go away within a reasonable amount of time, see your doctor."

Growing older doesn't mean you have to trade in your racket for a graphite shuffleboard stick. Smith, Rosewall, Davidson, Lutz and Drysdale and thousands of lesser known players are successfully combating the aging process and playing good tennis well into their eighties and nineties. By following a few simple guidelines you too can become a "Super Senior"



  1. Watch what you eat and drink
  2. Warm-up and stretch before exercise
  3. Cool down and stretch after exercise
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Listen to your body
  6. Get plenty of rest
  7. Have regular physical examinations


  1. Red meat
  2. Dairy products
  3. Tobacco/alcohol
  4. Salt
  5. Junk food

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Mortal Tennis/Circle Game Archive

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Greg Moran, all rights reserved.

Greg Moran is the Head Professional at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, Connecticut. He is a former ranked junior and college player and certified by both the USPTA and USPTR. Greg has written on a wide variety of tennis-related subjects for numerous newspapers and tennis publications including Tennis, Tennis Match and Court Time magazines. He is also a member of the FILA and WILSON Advisory Staffs.

Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Greg by using this form.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Australian Open Tickets
Dallas Open Tickets
Delray Beach Open Tickets
ATX Open Tickets
Mexican Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
Credit One Charleston Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Citi Open Tennis Tournament Tickets
Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tickets
National Bank Open Womens Tennis Canada Tickets
Odlum Brown Van Open r Tickets
Tennis In The Land Tickets
US Open Tennis Championship Tickets
Laver Cup Vancouver Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
October 2022 Tennis Anyone: Patterns in Doubles by John Mills.
September 2022 Tennis Anyone: Short Court by John Mills.




"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Tennis Server receives a commission on all items sold through links to Amazon.com.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy