The strawberries and cream have been served and Murray Mania has gripped the nation once more. Yes, the Wimbledon Championships is back, only this year the contest is more thrilling and unpredictable than ever.
While Andy Murray has been charging through the competition and is in pursuit of his first Wimbledon trophy, his rivals have been dropping like flies. Rafael Nadal was the first to go in a shocking first-round defeat against Belgium’s Steve Darcis, then Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic all suffered exits in the second round.
With an endless stream of surprises from SW19, never has the slogan ‘dreams can come true’ rang so true. Inspired? Why not head out onto your local tennis court? Who knows, if you follow these tips, perhaps it could be you who is sending those big name players out in the first round in the years to come!
Begin by perfecting the basics
Before we think about trying to achieve a serve as ferocious as Murray’s or a smash as aggressive as Federer’s, make sure you know all the basics.
First thing’s first, you need to pick your perfect set of tennis rackets. Specialist stores, such as Millet Sports, offer such a wide variety of equipment that you may be puzzled as to where to begin. However, the trick is to select a lightweight racket and add to its weight and enhance its control with lead tape.
When it comes to heading out on court and beginning a game, one of the most important tips that can be given in tennis is for you to always keep an eye on the ball. You may think that this is a no-brainer, but you will be surprised how many times you or your opponent will look away just as the ball is about to strike your racket.
Opt to keep your focus right up until you have performed the return though and you will surely improve the accuracy of that last-gasp volley or punishing ground stroke.
The joys of a well thought out plan
In order to perform the vast array of shots which will bewilder your opponent and help you cruise to victory, it is important that you practice as many skills as possible in between matches.
Get your hands on a basket full of brand-new tennis balls then – you’re not going to get far if a ball stops dead as soon as it hits the floor, after all – and perfect every plan of attack you can use to your advantage.
On your serve for example, practice hitting the ball hard and then charging the net to fluster your opponent when they struggle to return your shot. You can also mix up a rally by hitting a ball from deep on the court and then charging towards the net in anticipation for a quick reply to a return.
Want more shots to your repertoire? Don’t forget to hit only slices with backspin (Junk Balling), go for a hard winner after a sequence of ground strokes (Rally and Wait) or how about sidestepping a shot that was intended for your backhand and shocking your opponent with a forehand stroke (Inside-Out Forehand).
Ensure practice makes perfect, not a false illusion
You should be using every minute of a training session to enhance an area of your game which you feel is lacking or needs a little re-tuning.
This view was echoed by Coach Ed, of Optimumtennis.net, who acknowledged in a post for Steve G Tennis: “Most players, even semi-pros, make the mistake of being in ‘hitting mode’ with no goal in mind for that particular session. Instead, what you should do is isolate exact areas of your game that need to be improved on.”
Utilise your practise time in this way and you will be well on the road to becoming a phenomenal tennis player with a name that will strike fear into the hearts of your foes.
You never know, it could soon be you who is sending the likes of Nadal and Federer packing in the early stages of future Wimbledon Championships.
© photo courtesy of Babolat