nodot nodot
Tennis SET
May 2003 Article

Latest Tennis SET Article

Tennis SET Archive

Send a message to Jani

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!

You will join 25,000 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!

Player Profiles:
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Jelena Jankovic
 ... more profiles
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Grigor Dimitrov
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
 ... more profiles
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

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.
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.
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:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Tennis SET
Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Ahead Of The Game

Jani Macari Pallis, 
Ph.D. Photo
Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D.

If you visit this column then you know that I typically delve into various technical aspects of tennis. This month I just want to share some thoughts about the blessed accessibility of this sport. Over the last 6 weeks I have been traveling a lot - mostly for fun, volunteering my time to a couple of sports engineering efforts.

The travel started in late March. For the last few years, Sara Ferrita Jarvi, who is the director of public relations for USA Tennis New England, and I have both volunteered time to speak at a "Careers In Sports" day for high school girls sponsored by the New England Women's Fund. (I'm originally from New England.) About 250 girls plus their coaches attend and there's always a waiting list to this event.

When I saw Sara this year, she generously gave me a tennis calendar with images of different recreational tennis players on it. There was one shot of a group of senior - very senior - men's players. "Boy", I thought, "look at these guys, straight backs, great physiques; AND they must be in their late 70's or early 80's - amazing!" I knew that the father of one of our company's former employees is a senior men's title winner. So when I got home I shot the picture over to her and said, "Your dad know any of these guys?"

"Dad's the third one from the left", she said. "How old is your dad now," I asked? "He's 94," she said (and I know that his doubles partner is about 2 years old than him). So I was wrong - these players in the photo were in their 90's!

Two weeks later I was in Boca Raton, Florida watching the US wheelchair tennis hardcourt championship which is always an awesome experience. If you have never watched wheelchair tennis before it is an amazing sport. No, let me correct myself - I think it classifies as an extreme sport. There's no time to lay the racquet in your lap, so players push the chair's wheels with the racquet in their hand. There are no 2-handed shots, because the wheelchairs have no brakes, so the non-dominant hand holds the wheelchair in place during the stroke.

Now, let's fast forward. Last week I spent some time at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs - an awesome area in the shadow of Pike's Peak. The OTC is an inspiring place, especially for youngsters, as are the Olympic and Paralympic games. I was invited as a technical expert in sport aerodynamics to talk and work with the US winter sports coaches for a few days - an honor, yet also a humbling and sobering experience. I was one of the few individuals at this meeting who had NOT represented their country in the Olympics. Two of the other technical experts are legends in their own right. Dr. Sam Colbeck, who was with the US Geological Service for years, knows everything there is know about snow and ice rheology and Dr. Chet Kyle is considered by most to be the father of human powered vehicles.

These coaches and athletes are amazing committed folks with extremely challenging equipment, environmental and material science technical issues. For a minute, let's put aside the environmental conditions these national winter coaches have to deal with - although, one group described 10 days where it was -35 degrees (yes, that's negative 35 degrees Fahrenheit) at their Lake Placid, New York training center. -35 degrees! I was asking myself which fluid dynamic, let alone physiological processes, stop working well at those temperatures. Accidents at the speeds the bobsled, luge and skeleton (all different forms of sleds) travel can be catastrophic and even fatal.

Last night, on his way home to Maui, Barry Spanier, one the best windsurf sail designers in the world, called to chat. I opened up my copy of this month's Windsurfer magazine and there's a major story on the gender gap. Windsurfing, like many sports, can be a difficult sport for women and kids to get started in because of the weight of the gear. It can be difficult to even carry the gear to the water and you need a good deal of upper body strength. And it also goes without saying that you have to find the right wind and water to sail.

Many of the other sports I discussed in this column are expensive to get started and participate in due to the cost of equipment. Also, would you like to know how many books have been written on the luge? None, that I could find. In tennis we have many, many written resources available to help us learn the sport as well. This all made me appreciate that in a 3-mile radius from my house there are probably 10 tennis courts. We have a sport that truly is accessible.

I often think, well - actually complain - why haven't we solved this or that problem in tennis yet. Why don't we have better, cheaper analysis tools for coaches? Why isn't there a definitive answer on tennis elbow? Why isn't there a ball that doesn't fluff up when it rains?

But the past weeks have made me appreciate the accessibility and longevity of tennis. It is truly a sport for all ages - from very young children to competitive players in their 90's. It is accessible to men, women, kids and individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities.

I really look forward to and hope that I can make a contribution in winter sports. These were an amazing group of people. However I came back appreciating the game of tennis even more.

Which brings me to the point of congratulating to Dr. Paul Roetert, Director of Administration for USA Tennis High Performance. Dr. Roetert received the 2002 Tennis Educational Merit Award from the International Tennis Hall of Fame (this is basically being named into the International Tennis Hall of Fame as an educator). Others who have received this very prestigious award include Zina Garrison, Vic Braden, sport psychologist Dr. Jim Loehr, Dr. Jack Groppel and Dr. Howard Brody. Dr. Roetert's books Complete Conditioning For Tennis (with Todd S. Ellenbecker) and World-Class Tennis Technique: Master Every Stroke (with Dr. Jack Groppel) are big favorites and in particular Complete Conditioning For Tennis has been on the Tennis Server's bestsellers list frequently. Dr. Roetert was the USTA liaison to our tennis sport science project with NASA and also served as an advisor to the project. Vic Braden once wrote me that Paul was one of the few folks in the tennis business open-minded enough to support such a project - which was very true. Paul has always tried to help make things happen. As well, there have been conversations over the years where I've just been taken back with one of his thoughts or insights and just said to myself, "Now that was just brilliant!" He's been a mentor to many and is just a really nice guy. And by the way that "youngster" in the backcourt on the cover of Tony Trabert's book, Tennis Past 50 is Paul.

Last, good thoughts and a speedy recovery to USA wheelchair tennis gold medalist and 10-time US Open singles title winner Randy Snow recovering from major surgery. If you haven't read it already, Randy's book, Pushing Forward about his life will make you laugh one minute, cry the next and reflect throughout. So good wishes to the guy who lights up the court with his smile and loves to make everyone laugh.

Until next month ... Jani

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Tennis SET 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 Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D., all rights reserved.

Dr. Jani Macari Pallis is the founder and CEO of Cislunar Aerospace, Inc., an engineering and research firm in San Francisco. In addition to her engineering practice, she has led two collaborations between NASA and Cislunar, creating educational materials on the aerodynamics of sports for pre-college students and educators. As the head of NASA's "Aerodynamics in Sports" project, she has led a team of researchers investigating the aerodynamics, physics and biomechanics of tennis. The group has conducted high speed video data capture at the US Open and research of ball/court interaction, footwork, serve speeds, trajectories and ball aerodynamics. Pallis received a BS and MS from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MS in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in mechanical and aeronautical engineering from the University of California, Davis. She is a member of the Executive Committee of The International Sports Engineering Association.

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


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
US Open Tickets 8/25-9/8
Davis Cup USA vs Slovakia Tickets Chicago 9/12-9/14
Swiss Indoors Tickets Basel 10/18-10/26
Australian Open Tickets Melbourne 1/19-2/1
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA 3/11-3/22
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami 3/23-4/5


Tennis MindGame

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:
August 21, 2014 Between The Lines: Preview U.S. Open 2014 -- Focus Youth Brigade by Ray Bowers.
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
Tennis Warrior: The Little Tennis Girl Who Could by Tom Veneziano.
August 2014 Tennis Anyone: Try To See The Big Picture by John Mills.
August 2014 Turbo Tennis: My Most Useful 'Quick Fix' Tips!!! by Ron Waite.
July 6, 2014 Between The Lines: Glory At Wimbledon 2014 by Ray Bowers.
Tennis Warrior: The Great Tennis Divide by Tom Veneziano.
July 2014 Tennis Anyone: Prevention by John Mills.
July 2014 Turbo Tennis: Perfect Volleys by Ron Waite.
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.




Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
AT&T National Golf Tickets Bethesda MD Washington DC Congressional Country Club
US Senior Open Golf Tickets Omaha NE Omaha Country Club
Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tickets Akron OH Firestone Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
Dick's Sporting Goods Open & Tim McGraw Tickets Endicott NY Enjoie Golf Course
Solheim Cup Tickets Parker Denver CO Colorado Golf Club
2013 Presidents Cup Tickets Dublin Columbus OH Muirfield Village Golf Course
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Augusta GA National Golf Club
2014 US Open Golf Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort
2014 Ryder Cup Tickets Auchterarder Scotland UK Gleneagles Golf Course

  Featured Tickets:
PGA Championship Golf 7 Day Pass Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Monday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tuesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Wednesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Thursday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Friday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Saturday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Sunday Final Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club

  Featured Tickets:
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Sunday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Saturday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Friday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Thursday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets 4 Four Day Badge Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Monday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Golf Tickets Final Round Sunday Fourth 4th Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Third 3rd Round Saturday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Second 2nd Round Friday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets First 1st Round Thursday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Monday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Weekly Pass Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort 2014

"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
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy