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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 21, 1902, Image 11

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1902-09-21/ed-1/seq-11/

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Always bold tha racquet, tightly io
that It cannot turn In. tha hand, and If
your opponent tries a fast gams as well,
always atand behind the serving: lino to
receive a swift ball. This gives you a
better opportunity to reach It. no matter
how fast the service. In the* swift games
In vogue to-day ..one very rarely ever
"plays net" <. In singles. If you do your
-opponent Is likely to smash or to volley
right: over your head.'
Thl3 'is another good point to remem
ber. In "serving the ball never step closer
¦ than two inches to tha serving line.'
whlchi means tha extreme outer 11ns of
the- court. Many beginners scora against
¦themselves all too frequently by slmpla
neglect of this rule.
In* playing doubles always play on your
own side of the court. If you don't you
will constantly Interfere with your part
ner, but the more direct reason for this
will be quickly aparent to you If your
opponents suddenly decide to play a cut/
or a smash game.
The player at tha net should stand fa
the first line of the alley and after serving .
his partner should run up; so that both
may play reasonably close to tho net.
This Insures an equal chance, no matter
whether their opponents volley, driya
smash, cut or chop.
But once again let me say that this
means swift work, with no time for
thought of stray curls or a waist band
divided against itself.
But gins — never mind your looks. Tha
fun of the game la more than compen
sation enough. The Park . courts ar»
truly tha best spot in all the park—
and Just at present the most pop-alar—
which proves it. v^v
This means that you • must have
strength— speed, endurance, . coolness —
a tremendous reserve force. : - :; A
This in turnlneans that delicate, fragil*
women can never be expert tennis play
ers—though, there Is perhaps; no ' 6ther
¦port at which all these elements in an
evenly balanced physique may be so
quickly and pleasantly acquired— for It
Is a fact that tennis develops every mus
cle in both the arms, and chest arid, back
particularly, for which reason it., is an ex
cellent form, of exercise- for. girls'^th
weak lungs or insufficient bust ; . ¦ ; ; ,
And after you have learned ; to .get: the<
ball over the net learn next how and
where to place it. The one : ';rule ts| to
place It as far from your opponent as pos
sible, in order to tire him by: eontfiiual
pursuit Even if you haven't a swift
stroke, good placing li often>Just as ef
fective In winning games. .V .
After 'you have mastered this art then
is the time to develop speed. Learn then
to hit the ball as hard as you can. Tha
harder you can hit it the better.' Drive
drive with all your might At "first you
may drive the ball altogether too- far out
of the court, but with practice you will
soon learn to* place It with baffling skill.
A swift ball, accurately served. Is tha
most difficult by far to return.
Learn to play easily.
fhough It Is best to cut the ball Just «?«*
the net. It takes long practice to mak»
it perfectly. ''&'.''¦'
Perhaps, however, the most ' difficult
stroke of all is the back-hand drive—
which means a swift return fri>m th«
left side. Plenty of fore© can,,be got
into the stroke by anybody, but it re
quires great skill to place the '^ball at
will with a back-hand drive.
And that, by the way, is a ppint that
must n*t be overlooked. Learn how to
place the ball properly and accurately.
Indeed, the beginner should 'learn first
of all where the court is. That sounds '
like a very foolish and exaggerated state
ment, but It Js truly amazing how many
beginners cut and slash at the ball with
out having the slightest idea where it is
going to go when they hlt^lt
' The naxt thing to learn is to get the
ball over the net.' No matter what else
you may feel' Is necessary -keep this in
mind at all times. It 1$.; getting the ball
over the net that wins games— no mat
ter how you get it over. ''.:.!/
'that the beglnvter will understand .them,
both the chop and the cut are executed
in much the same manner, with a half
"downward, half horizontal slash at the
ball, which is neither the drive, the vol-
TENNIS LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS
- THE SUNDAY CALiIi.
The cut can be used with almost equal
effectiveness whether your opponent " is
near the net or at the back* of the court.
ley or the smash, but a combination of
all three. It is more like whipping at
the ball than striking: it squarely as In
the drive.
The chop and the cut are the hardest
and the most effective strokes in tennis.
The choD stroke is used when your."op
ponent is away back. ia^the court. , It
is as* difficult to describe j the secret of
it as it is to execute- It, but when prop
erly done the j ball goes Just over the net
and bounces. "dead" or doesn't bounce at
all. ,
The cut Is much the same. The object
of the cut is to make the ball go over the
net with that | peculiar < little ' rotary mo
tion which causes it to bounce In an en
tirely opposite "direction from .the way
that would naturally, be expected. This
is where the_rule of waiting for the ball
to bounce comes in so handy. " >v^7--
As nearly as I can describe them, so
of the court. "Care must be taken, how
ever, not to drive it outside the scoring
line, or your opponent-will score against
you on your own error, as in ping pong.
In both games, as you know, the scoring
is the same.'. .'.-_. ¦ . . . : r'-v^ "¦V? ;'¦'¦
. The volley is used when your opponent
is close to the , net. To execute it you
strike the ball .with ;a swinging . upward
motion, which - drives it high above the
head and far out of his reach in the rear
. The smash is always used when you are
close to the net. It is executed with a
swift short-arm stroke to drive the ball
straight down., A good smash ball prop
erly executed la practically r unreturnable,
for the 'ball can be delivered with incred
ible speed and accuracy.
.Until you get accustomed to the game
use the lightest racquet obtainable.' This
will relieve much of the soreness that in
variably follows the first two~or.thre«
games. -¦;. •..•¦•'
But : to 'return to the explanation of
technical points.
sity of thp muscles of -the shoulders and
back and removes all danger of spraining
them. •; .;¦ V
the greatest precision in driving, Just as
the full free arm stroke relieves the ten-
Always Jiold the racquet as near the "
extreme eifd of the handle as possible:
This gives you greater reach, as well as *
¦*» . ¦ ¦ .'¦-.¦'¦¦
Let your opponent do all ths smashing
until you , have mastered the first rudi
ment of the sport
Nearly all beginners have this fault :n
common. They don't seem to realize that
they are ruining all their chances of suc
cess by flagrant violation of this very sim- \
pie little rule. And it is ofttlmes difficult \
to make It clear to them that in" giving the
ball a good chance to bounce well, the
leisurely player not only Insures himself
greater precision In returning it over the.;
net, but is enabled thereby to play a moro
masterly, game, besides . saving strength •
and ' energy. I - • . ¦ . • ¦ .
to* follow at all times. Always let the ball
bounce If you ar^' playing in the back
court, and take y/ir time in returning it.
Don't be in a hurry to hit it quick.: Wait!
There is lots of time. The ball will conie^.
rlgh-t up to you if you will only let \.\..*$r~
For comfort wear extra heavy stock
ings. If you don't, your feet are apt to
Of course, you will get hot and flushed
and tired and more or less ruffled, and be
draggled generally, but the chief thing In
tennis Is to get the ball back ove~r the
net as fast as your opponent can drive or
place it on your own side. You will quick
ly discover very ,early In the game
if you are a beginner that It takes all of
your beet thought and energy to accom
plish this result without worrying over
little matters of dress.
Don't worry about your personal appear
ance. Tou can't play good tennis if your
mind is actively concentrated on an un
ruly curl that will persist, despite your
best efforts to control It, in playing tag
with the wind.
Don't wear high heel shoes, or a skirt
bo long that you have to keep one hand
constantly engaged In holding it up to
keep from stumbling over it.
This does not mean that you should not
look trim and r.eat and well dressed, but
your shirt waist must be so loose that
when you reach for a high volley the
action will not necessarily start the seams
at the sleeves or make an ugly gap at the
belt.
Don't wear tight clothesf
And. girls, let me Impress upon you at
the very outset that freedom of move
ment, absolutely unrestrained In every
muscle, is the first essential to success in
tennis. Indeed, the question of appropriate
costume must be your first consideration.
There Is scarcely an hour of any day
when they are not crowded with players
cf all ages— but, oh, such playing as most
of the beginners do indulge in! They play
all over the court, driving the ball hap
hazard everywhere but within the lines
prescribed by the rules of the gam*. I
think this fault with girls lies in the fact
that they do not dress properly. They
hamper themselves with their clothes, and
then expect to become experts.
It Is the reactionary influence of ping
pong on tennis Itself that Is «o surpris
ing, for In a greater degree — a far greater
degree— than Is generally supposed ping
pong is responsible for the sudden and
growing popularity of tennis In the courts
at Golden Gate Park.
solely of the possibilities for dainty
rowEic* which it afforded, nor of the
.hitherto unsuspected opportunities for
'flirtations that resulted seriously. There
would be no need to epeak of those things
here. Every girl learned them for herself
very early in the ping-pong craze, and
made the most of the game.
PING-PONG, childish Imitation of
tennis though It is. has done won
ders for our sex. Every girl ought
to be'* very clad that she learned
It, though I'm not thinking now
Then there is the underhand drive,
wherein you bring the racquet round and
up, knocking the ball high above the net
for a volley serve. In executing the
underhand drive, take lots of time and
don't strike the ball until It Is falling close
to the ground.
That, indeed, is a very excellent rule
The next is the side drive, which means,
as the word indicates, a horizontal sweep
at the ball coming straight toward you,
on a level with the waist or shoulders.
Those wonderful little experts, the Button
sisters, all use the side arm drive almost
exclusively, and it. is truly amazing to
behold what power they can impart to
their long sweeping side strokes.
The drive Is a big free arm stroke from
the extreme end of the court, and may be
divided into three different classes. First
there is the high overhand drive— a swift
whole arm motion to strike a ball high
over your head.
For a chop or a cut ball, use only the
forearm from the elbow to the wrist. This
movement gives that peculiar twist to the
ball that is always so baffling to the be
ginner, for whose benefit perhaps it were
best to explain at once the distinction
between a drive, a volley, a chop, or a cut
ball, and a smash.
Always use the whole arm for the driva,
for such a movement gives the greatest
force possible to the stroke.
The skirt to be most serviceable should
be ankle length, of medium weight. With
this wear a loose fitting shirt waist with
plenty of elbow room, and your suit is
complete. I never wear a tennis cap or
hat. It is so much more comfortable
without one, and Instead of the ordinary
shirt waist with the sleeves rolled up,
which always makes a bulky and awk
ward wad in the hollow of the forearm, I
always wear an elbow sleeve shirt waist
cut low at the throat. Besides being
pleasantly cool and airy, It gives the arms
free play, and that is the most important
Jhing of all in good tennis. Whatever else
you may. do, see that you wear nothing
to Interfere with the elbows. And that is
one of the first rules In the game. Always
hold the arms 'as free as possible. Let
them ew'lng as loosely /and as disjolritedly
as a doll's arms, so that you can cut,
chop or 'smash the ball with equal alert
ness and facility. This very looseness,
paradoxical as it may seem, Insures the
greatest precision.
blister badly. I have found that It, to
much more comfortable to wear two pair
of stockings when playing, for the reason
that a fast game requires so much rapid
and ceaseless foot work, which Is even
more trying than the tax on the muscles
of the racquet arm. With these are won,
of course, the regulation flat soled tennis
shoes.
11

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