nodot nodot
Hardscrabble Scramble
February 1998 Article

Hardscrabble Scramble Archive

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 16,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
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.
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
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
Hardscrabble Scramble Banner


Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Chip And Charge

Mike Whittington Photo
Mike Whittington

You've heard the expression chip and charge and if you watched last years U.S. Open you saw winner Patrick Rafter doing it at its best. But is it the shot for you and how could you use it? Learning a new shot or strategy could be the extra kick to give your game a boost and throw off that pesky opponent. It's a great strategy that lets you get to the net quickly and put pressure on your opponent to hit a good lob or passing shot. Sound like a shot just for the pros? It actually can be very simple.

I think chip shots (slice) are best hit using a continental grip. If you are thinking of using this aggressive play you are probably familiar with the slight neutral turn to the continental grip. When your opponent hits that shallow second serve, you move in, take a shorter backswing with a slightly open racquet face, and with a downward motion behind but through the ball. I would recommend you start slightly farther back to receive than you usually do so that you can get a moving start forward. If you ever watched Stefan Edberg you noticed how far back he stood yet he almost always was able to move into the return. You want to keep the momentum going so you can get to the net quickly.

You need to make sure to meet the ball well out in front so that you can get a good low shot and force the incoming server to hit up on his/her first volley. Be sure and turn sideways to the net and try to keep your non-racquet hand on the throat of the racquet until contact. Then let it fall behind you as you move in. Once you get that ball low and at his/her feet, the high volley you will get should be a piece of cake. If you are playing doubles, this would be a great time for your partner to make a move toward the middle to pick off that expected floater.

Chipping or slicing the ball can be a great way to negate that big serve of your opponent. A short backswing can help you use the power of your opponent to your favor and the slight spin can help keep the ball low. You might experience a few pop up returns until you get the feel for how open your racquet face angle needs to be -- but with a little practice you'll get the hang of it. Practice will keep you from having a chopping stroke or hitting late with an open racquet face.

So remember these basics:

  1. Use a continental grip
  2. Stand to receive so that you have room to still move forward
  3. Hit slightly behind and below the ball to get underspin on the ball
  4. Make contact out in front of the body
  5. Continue moving through the shot.

Try these tips and you'll be chipping and charging in no time.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Hardscrabble Scramble 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 Mike Whittington, all rights reserved.

At the time at which he wrote this column, Mike Whittington was a USPTA pro in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he served as director of tennis at the Hardscrabble Country Club.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tickets
Miami Open Tennis Tickets
Volvo Car Open Tennis Tickets
Wimbledon Tennis Tickets
Rogers Cup Tennis Tickets
Western & Southern Open Tennis Tickets
US Open Tennis Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
Smart Tennis by John Murray
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:
Tennis Warrior: Transcending Wrong to Become the Ultimate Tennis Warrior by Tom Veneziano.
March 2018 Tennis Anyone: Important Serve Tips by John Mills.
March 2018 Turbo Tennis: New Challenges by Ron Waite.
February 2018 Tennis Anyone: Common Tennis Tips That Can Help Anyone by John Mills.
February 2018 Turbo Tennis: The Five Absolutely Essential Things You Must Know Every Shot by Ron Waite.
Tennis Warrior: What Are Your Tennis Lessons Teaching You? by Tom Veneziano.




"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.


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