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What's the Best Tennis Racquet for you?

"BestReview" spends thousand of hours testing, playing and analyzing tennis racquets.  The buy the products with their own money, don't take any free products, and aren't paid for suggesting one over the other.  In fact, all of these racquets are quality equipment - some just work better for different styles of players than others.

So figure out what style of player you are. How often do you play?  How big are you, how small, how strong, how old or young--these all figure into your game style.

Click here and you will access the research BestReviews has done on tennis racquets. It's interesting.



Tennis Doubles—that says it all. Well, not all. Besides having two players on each side of the net …there are other differences from singles.

The first rule in playing doubles: talk to your partner—nicely.

Offer encouragement not criticism, be polite-you are partners not opponents, and wear matching outfits, if possible, that shows “we are a team!” Of course, you can’t win all the time, but you can enjoy playing doubles – all the time.





Second rule:  Learn to poach and hit volleys!!

After-all, one of you will be playing at the net! The whole idea of doubles is to come to the net and volley!  In singles, you don’t do a lot of volleying, usually.

How about other rules? – are they the same as singles? Yes and no.

First and foremost, the court size is wider. Alleys are in play!

Ok. There are 4 players. Who serves first?

Serves rotate from team to team, but instead of a two player rotation (singles) a four player rotation (doubles) is noted and maintained throughout a set.  In other words, the server in doubles tennis can choose to serve from anywhere behind and along the baseline from the center mark to the doubles sideline on the team's end of the court.

In the set(s) that follow, teams can decide which player will serve first for their respective team and establish a new rotation. Strategy comes into play, but my advice is to let the best server on your team serve first.

Now another choice—to receive or serve, and who does what? This will be answered by who plays add court and who plays deuce court. There are a lot of opinions on this but I would say put your strong forehand in the deuce court.  If you one of you is a lefty-that’s a no-brainer put the forehand in the middle. (get it? Their strong forehand is their left hand).

And one more….tie breakers. 

Basically, singles tie-breaker scoring and guidelines are maintained in the doubles tie-breaker, but there is an exception. Similar to singles, the two-point rotation starts after the initial point is played out and the serving rotation is maintained.

What next???  Strategy and tactics

“A wise and well thought out series of doubles tennis tactics must be executed if a team wishes to progress to a higher level of play. Combined with the appropriate doubles tennis tactics and strategy, a team should also consider forming an organized plan of attack to beat their opponents.

Tennis doubles tactics begin the moment a team steps on the tennis court. Every movement and shot choice must be carefully placed to defeat an experienced team of doubles experts.”

---- Doubles Tennis Rules---The Spirit of Teamwork - Communicate to Dominate'

That’s right out of the play book. But for amateurs this rarely happens.

When you decide to play doubles, take a lesson or two to practice the new court formations: Like, where do you stand in regards to your partner, close to the net; at the baseline? When do you “switch”, when to poach--Learn to poach!! 

Be honest. In doubles, players have a better view of ‘out” balls, “let” serves, and balls on the line,   If you don’t have a good view, support your partner.  Make good calls.  But remember—if you and your partner differ on a call—it’s always GOOD.




Ouch! My elbow hurts!             

Tennis elbow, also known as lateral epicondylitis, is a common injury seen in many tennis players and in individuals in other professions as well. It is caused by overuse and often occurs on the dominant arm. The pain occurs due to the tendons being overworked, and because of this, they can become inflamed and cause pain with certain motions. This injury affects the outside of the elbow, and the tendons involved attach the extensor carpi radialis brevis, (the lateral epicondyle is the bony part of the elbow that sticks out).

Now I know it may be tennis elbow, now what?

The key word in the above paragraph is “overuse”.

In tennis, this injury is commonly irritated by improper form and backhand shots, and it can occur more frequently if you have the tendency to grip the racket tightly during shots, which engages this muscle.

Tennis elbow can also arise from other repeated shots as well. If you serve with a snapping, turning wrist motion to develop power and spin, it can strain these muscles and tendons. Forehand shots that involve a lot of wrist bend have a similar effect.  Talk to your tennis pro to find out how to correct improper strokes.

So what are the 7 symptoms of “lateral epicondylitis”?

1. Elbow Pain – in the area of the elbow.

One of the most common symptoms of tennis elbow is pain in the area.

2. Muscle Pain – forearm muscles.

3. Swelling - swelling around the elbow.

4. Tenderness - Because the tissues are attempting to heal themselves, the damaged area is often sensitive to the touch. Tenderness can occur in many of areas surrounding the elbow as well. This symptom can also be caused by muscle soreness.

5. Persistent Aching - Persistent aching is another one of the common signs of tennis elbow due to the trauma and deterioration that these muscles undergo, it is common for the arm and elbow to ache consistently.

6. Radiating Pain - Due to the fact that the other muscles in the arm are required to work harder to compensate, guard and protect the elbow to prevent further injury, and can experience overuse, it can cause discomfort in many other areas of the forearm, upper arm, and even up into the shoulder and contribute to this symptom.

7. Weakness of the Forearm - Due to the nature of this injury, if the arm begins to lose its strength, this trend often amplifies and will continue to get worse if you to use it often, especially in activities or with motions that cause pain or discomfort.

Are There Home Remedies for Tennis Elbow?

Rest; ice the area for 20 minutes twice a day.

•Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, or naproxen (Aleve) may help decrease the pain and swelling and help the healing. Call your doctor if symptoms persist. What is a week of rest compared to 6 months?




Take a lesson with Andre Agassi!

     This is an online course from one of tennis's best players!!  Click here.

Boost your tennis game in no time with this course from eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi. For the first time, one of the game’s all-time greats is sharing 20 years of tour experience to help you advance your skills and give back to the game that gave him so much.

These bite-sized lessons focus on only what’s most important to help you improve and see immediate results on the court. Andre not only covers specific techniques and strategies for all essential strokes, but also how to develop the mental tenacity and focus that sets a champion apart.

The course will help you:

  • Learn the fundamentals and improve every shot in your game including forehand, backhand, serve, volley, overhead, tweener, drop shot, and more

  • Understand best practices for racket grips, body positioning, and when specific shots are most effectively played

  • Identify the secrets of Andre’s signature moves: the two-handed backhand and return serve

  • Learn how to listen to the sounds of the game to read the ball and anticipate how it will move

  • Apply strategies that will keep your opponents off balance and unable to guess what you will do next

  • Practice Andre’s own proven drills to improve your skills, both alone or with a partner

  • Adopt the champion’s mindset that took Andre years to develop

Make a valuable investment in your tennis game with this course. With lifetime access, you can complete the course at your own pace, from wherever is convenient for you.

Who is the target audience?
  • Advanced-beginner and intermediate tennis players
  • Tennis fans and enthusiasts who want a better understanding of the game



GET A GRIP!! Tennis tip #10

  It's the most important connection you have to your racquet!  If your grip feels good, is just the right size, and is dry--that's a premiere situation!!

However, grips wear out, and gets wet. That means your hands will slip.  It's not uncommon to see a player carry 4 or 5 new grip tapes so they can change tapes by themselves. 

What's a player to do?

Here are a few suggestions: 

  1. Find out the optimum grip size for you. Then learn to wrap that original grip with grip tape. If that makes the grip too large, take off the original grip, or buy a smaller size then build it up with tape.
  2. Buy grips that soak up sweat and don't slip.
  3. Change grip tape often.
  4. Use tape on your fingers to enhance the strong connection.
  5. It's important to learn how to wrap your grip by yourself. It's not hard, it takes practice.
By having a comfortable connection to your racquet you will gain confidence in your game.



Tennis Tip #8 - How to Play in Hot Weather

It happens all the time - court temperatures can soar in just a few hours.  In order to maintain healthy athletes and have a balanced competition there are several heat rules in effect around the country.  The central valley has some of it's own.  There is a 10 minute rest allowed between 1 and 2 sets, and longer change-over times (90 seconds, will allow for the players to drink and rest a bit). No back to back 3 set matches for juniors. Ice should be available at the tournament desk or on site.

TACC play is different however since the breaks come between rounds allowing a limited time for play (total number of games and NO ADD), and all tournaments are played in one day. This format compliments player competition and family time, as well as giving players a variety of tennis situations with a variety of players!!

In hot weather it's important to sip water, sit a bit, and cool down between change-overs.  Other tips for hot weather play:

  1. Bring a tennis cap that can be watered down. Put a few ice cubes in it too!
  2. Wear sunglasses.
  3. Bring a towel than can be wet and put it around your neck.
  4. Bring cool water out on the court so you can sit and sip.

It is possible to play tennis in hot weather if you learn to pace yourself, use the shade on court if there is any, remember to sip water, and wear sun-shielded clothes.  Pay attention to your body. IF you feel queasy, stop sweating, or get a little shaky--stop play.  It's OK.

Happy Bounces!!

    Tennis Tip #6 – Be Prepared!!

It can happen to any player….a string breaks. Oh No!  If you didn’t bring an extra racquet, you’ve got some options.

One:   Borrow one. That’s not always easy because racquets are expensive, very personal to the player (they love the strings, grip, weight, etc.) so other players may not be so keen on loaning one.

Two:   Check with the club to see if they have a loaner racquet. Not all club Pro Shops do, and they may charge a fee.  A tournament at a school won't have a Pro Shop at all!!

Three:  Buy a new strung racquet at the Pro Shop, if they have one.  It may not be the size, weight, string tension you like.

Four:  Withdraw. Terrible option. But you've held up play--- your opponent is waiting!!

To avoid all these scenarios, just bring an extra racquet!! Be sure to play with it in practice so you will be familiar with the weight, size, grip, etc.

In addition, bring water, snacks, a towel, a tennis cap, and extra socks. One more thing---be on time for your match. You certainly don’t want to incur penalty points!!


Tennis Tip #4 The Brain Game

Have you ever heard the expression, “I was in a zone. Everything came so naturally and easily!”?

Just like a roller coaster tennis is about momentum and automatic reactions. There are many reasons for this one of the most important-- our brain.

There are two sides (hemispheres) to every brain and they differ in function.  The left side is all about talking, identifying, and classifying things you are seeing and hearing. It talks to you—all the time!

The right side is imaginative, intuitive, and spatially free. It experiences sights, smells, spaces. It takes over while you are driving a car, if you are not talking.

When you step on a tennis court you are stepping into the perfect place for the right side of your brain to function! It sees spaces, areas, heights, and as you move around, the right brain is loving the senses, closeness to objects, the distance to the net, the sides and of course the ball!

The left brain doesn’t like it at all!  The action happens too fast to process! Too fast to calculate! Too fast to tell you what you should do or decide to do. So it gives up and shuts down and lets the right side take over---IN THE ZONE.

In order to achieve the Zone, practice so your strokes are automatic. You don’t have to think about how to move, swing, serve, ….it’s automatic. Let your right brain take over, you will love the experience.

Roger W. Sperry, “Lateral Specialization of Cerebral Function” 1973


Outfoxing a Lefty on the Tennis Court

Lefties are a real pain in the neck for righties on the tennis court. Left-handed players enjoy certain natural advantages. The biggest one is that for reasons nobody can really explain — at least not in lay terms — lefty spin serves are especially deadly.

Lefties also serve more comfortably in the ad court while righties naturally prefer the deuce court With most of the key break points contested in the ad court, lefties enjoy a slight advantage over righties, provided they can exploit it.

On the other hand (no pun intended), the most powerful and natural shot that most righties have — the cross-court forehand — goes to a lefty’s backhand. Advantage, righties. And for some reason, many left-handers seem to be a little stronger on the backhand than the forehand side. That makes them more versatile but less likely to blow you off the court with the most basic of weapons, the strong forehand.

Keep these simple tactics in mind when facing a lefty:

  • Use your cross-court forehand. Unless your opponent has a terrific backhand, or you have a shaky forehand, this bread-and-butter shot can really level the playing field.
  • Protect the wide side of the ad court during the serve. Lefties really like to go for angled, spin serves in the ad court. If you’re a righty, that’s also your backhand side. Make sure that you cover the wide angle, even at the expense of giving up the center of the service box. If your opponent can hit aces or unreturnable serves there consistently, so be it.
  • Serve down the middle. Because so many lefties like the backhand, take away her cross-court backhand return in the deuce court. Let her hit the backhand from the ad court, where creating a good angle is harder.



Tennis Association of Central California
The Valley's Best Junior Tennis Competition
5707 E. Balch  |  Fresno, CA 93727  |  (559)284-3815 Phone  | Contact: or
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