11 Pro Tennis Tips for the Beginner

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It’s estimated that as many as 60 million people around the world play tennis.

If you’re thinking about making it 60 million and one, then we’re here to help.

Whether you’re a total beginner or just haven’t played for a long time, these tennis tips will help you improve your game.

Read on to learn more.

1. Use the Right Grip

First things first: you need to hold the racket correctly. 

There are a number of different grips that are used by amateurs and pros alike. They include the Continental grip, Eastern grip, Western grip, and Semi-Western grip.

You need to find a grip that you are comfortable with. The most common grip is the Continental grip, with the V between your thumb and forefinger lying at about 11 o’clock if you imagine your racket handle as a clock face.

2. Move Your Feet

One of the most important tips for tennis is to move your feet. 

Trying to play a shot when you’re not in the right position will almost inevitably lead to you making a mistake. You need to move to the perfect position to strike the ball cleanly and accurately.

3. Prepare Early

Once you’re in position, you need to prepare for your shot nice and early.

Preparing for the shot means pulling your racket back so that it’s ready to swing, and getting your body in the correct stance to play the ball. If you don’t prepare early then your shot will be hurried which will make it far harder to control. 

4. Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

When you’re about to hit your shot, it’s tempting to glance up to see where your opponent is and get a fix on where you’re going to place the ball.

The trouble is, taking your eyes off the ball makes it far more likely that you’ll hit a poor shot. Concentrate on keeping your eyes on the ball until the shot has been completed.

5. Follow Through

A good tennis shot is as much about the follow-through as it is about the shot itself. Watch a player with a single-handed backhand such as Dominic Thiem and you’ll see some truly beautiful follow-throughs. 

This isn’t done just for show; your follow-through will dictate the outcome of your shot. If you don’t follow through, your shot will be weak and far less accurate.

Completing your stroke properly is a key part of how to play tennis. Sign up for free tennis lessons if you want to ensure your follow-through is spot on.

6. Recover

Once you’ve hit your shot, it’s very tempting to just admire it or watch where it ends up. Doing so can waste valuable time.

As soon as you have completed your follow-through, you should be recovering. This means getting back into the right position on the court and into a ready stance so that you’re prepared for whatever shot your opponent plays next.

Practice recovering until it becomes second nature.

7. Second Serve

Arguably the most important shot in tennis is the second serve.

If your second serve is poor, you’re likely to serve a lot of double faults, gifting free points to your opponent. Your opponent will also take advantage of a weak second serve, putting you under pressure in the point immediately.

In addition, if you don’t trust your second serve, you will tend to be a bit more conservative with your first serve, meaning that you don’t win as many free points as you could.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

All shots will improve with practice, but the beauty of the serve is that it is something you can practice without the need for another player.

If you can’t find anyone to play with, spend some time hitting serves. You will eventually start to find a rhythm that works for you. The more serves you hit, the more confident you will become with your service motion.

When it comes to match play, all that practice will stand you in good stead.

9. Be Consistent

When playing tennis, the majority of points are won due to your opponent making a mistake.

If you watch the pros, they will sometimes hit clean winners, but the majority of the time their opponent will hit the ball out or into the net. These may be forced errors, but they are errors nonetheless.

You should therefore concentrate on trying to get every ball back into court, rather than going for big winners on every shot. You want your opponent to be the one that makes the mistake, not you.

10. Forget the Scoreboard

Tennis has one of the most unique scoring systems of any sport. It means that effectively, some points are much more important than others.

If you’re constantly thinking about the score, it can put you under real pressure during these crucial points. Instead of focusing on the current score, just play each point as it comes with the intention of winning every point you play.

11. Work On Your Fitness

Playing tennis properly is a lot of hard work. When Andy Murray first played at Queen’s Club, he collapsed with painful cramps.

After that, he went away and trained hard to become one of the most physically fit athletes on the tour. If he hadn’t done so, he would never have achieved the success he has had.

You don’t need to work to quite the same extent, but the fitter you become, the better your tennis will be.

Are You Ready To Play Tennis?

We hope that these tips for playing tennis have given you some pointers that will have you feeling more confident out on the court. Now all that’s left to do is get out there and play! Remember, the more you practice, the better you will become.

If you’re looking for more great content, then check out the rest of the site where we “serve up” plenty more!