nodot nodot
Hardscrabble Scramble
November 2001 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 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
Hardscrabble Scramble Banner


Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Check Your Angles

Mike Whittington Photo
Mike Whittington

What is the most important thing in determining which way your shot will go? It is the angle of the racquet face at contact. You can have the most beautiful swing in the world but if the racquet face is not in the proper position to match your swing, you've lost all control of the shot.

That is why it is so important to know your grips and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Let me give you an example for those of you with one handed backhands. Go out and hit a few forehands and then try a backhand using your forehand grip. Notice how the racquet face is open and you have very little support since your hand is more on the hitting side of your racquet. This small upward turn can have a great impact on where the ball is going to land. What about those of you that have big Western or semi-Western forehand grips? Try that same grip on a low volley and you'll probably see that many balls go into the net unless you quickly turn the racquet.

Sometimes a player just doesn't have enough strength for a tough incoming ball. If your opponent hits a strong shot to your forehand and that shot has more power than you have strength, it will turn your racquet and thereby changing the angle of the racquet face. You might be swinging in the right direction but if the strings aren't striking the ball in the proper place you will be losing control.

In lessons I see players try to make big changes at times a minor adjustment will do. Let your racquet do some of the work for you without trying to muscle the ball. A good drill is to play mini court with players at the service line. Let the ball bounce but keep your backswing and follow through to a minimum. You'll notice you are hitting a groundstroke with more of a volley stroke. Gradually move back a step at a time and increase the length of your swing. If you make it a gradual move you'll probably see that your racquet angle stays where it should and your swing is simpler. In match play you might want to generate more racquet head speed or spin but this simple drill will help you gain control and learn how keeping a good racquet angle can get the ball going in the right direction.

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.
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