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Experienced players strive to master the conventional overhand serve to maximize its power and placement. The server may employ different types of serve including flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick American twist serve.
A reverse type of spin serve is hit in a manner that spins the ball opposite the natural spin of the server, the spin direction depending upon right- or left-handedness.
Some servers are content to use the serve simply to initiate the point; however, advanced players often try to hit a winning shot with their serve.
A winning serve that is not touched by the opponent is called an "ace". For a right-handed player, the forehand is a stroke that begins on the right side of the body, continues across the body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the left side of the body.
There are various grips for executing the forehand, and their popularity has fluctuated over the years. The most important ones are the continental , the eastern , the semi-western , and the western.
For a number of years, the small, frail s player Bill Johnston was considered by many to have had the best forehand of all time, a stroke that he hit shoulder-high using a western grip.
Few top players used the western grip after the s, but in the latter part of the 20th century, as shot-making techniques and equipment changed radically, the western forehand made a strong comeback and is now used by many modern players.
No matter which grip is used, most forehands are generally executed with one hand holding the racket, but there have been fine players with two-handed forehands.
For right-handed players, the backhand is a stroke that begins on the left side of their body, continues across their body as contact is made with the ball, and ends on the right side of their body.
It can be executed with either one hand or with both and is generally considered more difficult to master than the forehand.
For most of the 20th century, the backhand was performed with one hand, using either an eastern or a continental grip. The first notable players to use two hands were the s Australians Vivian McGrath and John Bromwich , but they were lonely exceptions.
Two hands give the player more control, while one hand can generate a slice shot, applying backspin on the ball to produce a low trajectory bounce.
Reach is also limited with the two-handed shot. The player long considered to have had the best backhand of all time, Don Budge , had a powerful one-handed stroke in the s and s that imparted topspin onto the ball.
Ken Rosewall , another player noted for his one-handed backhand, used a very accurate slice backhand through the s and s. A small number of players, notably Monica Seles , use two hands on both the backhand and forehand sides.
The half volley is made by hitting the ball on the rise just after it has bounced, also generally in the vicinity of the net, and played with the racket close to the ground.
If the lob is not hit deeply enough into the other court, however, an opponent near the net may then hit an overhead smash , a hard, serve-like shot, to try to end the point.
A difficult shot in tennis is the return of an attempted lob over the backhand side of a player. When the contact point is higher than the reach of a two-handed backhand, most players will try to execute a high slice under the ball or sideways.
Fewer players attempt the backhand sky-hook or smash. Rarely, a player will go for a high topspin backhand, while themselves in the air.
A successful execution of any of these alternatives requires balance and timing, with less margin of error than the lower contact point backhands, since this shot is a break in the regular pattern of play.
If an opponent is deep in his court, a player may suddenly employ an unexpected drop shot , by softly tapping the ball just over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast enough to retrieve it.
Advanced players will often apply back spin to a drop shot, causing the ball to "skid" upon landing and bounce sideways, with less forward momentum toward their opponent, or even backwards towards the net, thus making it even more difficult to return.
Muscle strain is one of the most common injuries in tennis. Muscle , cartilage , nerves , bursae , ligaments and tendons may be damaged from overuse.
The repetitive use of a particular muscle without time for repair and recovery is the most common cause of injury.
Tournaments are often organized by gender and number of players. Tournaments may be organized for specific age groups, with upper age limits for youth and lower age limits for senior players.
There are also tournaments for players with disabilities, such as wheelchair tennis and deaf tennis. Most large tournaments seed players, but players may also be matched by their skill level.
According to how well a person does in sanctioned play, a player is given a rating that is adjusted periodically to maintain competitive matches.
Average club players under this system would rate 3. The four Grand Slam tournaments are considered to be the most prestigious tennis events in the world.
Aside from the historical significance of these events, they also carry larger prize funds than any other tour event and are worth double the number of ranking points to the champion than in the next echelon of tournaments, the Masters men and Premier events women.
There are , more than any other professional tennis tournament. Grand Slam tournaments are among the small number of events that last two weeks, the others being the Indian Wells Masters and the Miami Masters.
Currently, the Grand Slam tournaments are the only tour events that have mixed doubles contests. Grand Slam tournaments are held in conjunction with wheelchair tennis tournaments and junior tennis competitions.
These tournaments also contain their own idiosyncrasies. For example, players at Wimbledon are required to wear predominantly white. Each event is held annually, and a win at one of these events is worth ranking points.
It is currently held in London, England. In August the ATP announced major changes to the tour that were introduced in The Masters Series was renamed to the "Masters ", the addition of the number referring to the number of ranking points earned by the winner of each tournament.
Contrary to earlier plans, the number of tournaments was not reduced from nine to eight and the Monte Carlo Masters remains part of the series although, unlike the other events, it does not have a mandatory player commitment.
The Hamburg Masters has been downgraded to a point event. It is mandatory for leading players to enter at least four events, including at least one after the US Open.
It is composed of about events and, as a result, features a more diverse range of countries hosting events. These events offer the largest rewards in terms of points and prize money.
The Premier events were introduced in replacing the previous Tier I and II tournament categories. Currently four tournaments are Premier Mandatory, five tournaments are Premier 5, and twelve tournaments are Premier.
International tournaments are the second main tier of the WTA tour and consist of 31 tournaments, with a prize money for every event at U.
Professional tennis players enjoy the same relative perks as most top sports personalities: Like players of other individual sports such as golf, they are not salaried, but must play and finish highly in tournaments to obtain money.
The following players have won at least five singles titles at Grand Slam tournaments:. A frequent topic of discussion among tennis fans and commentators is who was the greatest male singles player of all time.
By a large margin, an Associated Press poll in named Bill Tilden as the greatest player of the first half of the 20th century. In , however, Donald Budge became the first person to win all four major singles titles during the same calendar year, the Grand Slam , and won six consecutive major titles in and Tilden called Budge "the finest player days a year that ever lived.
Kramer was among the few who dominated amateur and professional tennis during the late s and early s. Tony Trabert has said that of the players he saw before the start of the open era , Kramer was the best male champion.
Budge reportedly believed that Gonzales was the greatest player ever. I think his game was the best game ever. He was capable of making more shots than anybody.
His two volleys were great. His overhead was enormous. He had the most natural tennis mind with the most natural tennis physique.
Before and during the open era, Rod Laver remains the only male player in history to have won the calendar year Grand Slam twice in and  and also the calendar year Professional Grand Slam in Andre Agassi , the first of two male players in history to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in singles tennis followed by Rafael Nadal , has been called the best service returner in the history of the game.
More recently, Roger Federer is considered by many observers to have the most "complete" game in modern tennis. He has won 20 grand slam titles and 6 World Tour Finals, the most for any male player.
Many experts of tennis, former tennis players and his own tennis peers believe Federer is the greatest player in the history of the game. As with the men there are frequent discussions about who is the greatest female singles player of all time with Steffi Graf , Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams being the three players most often nominated.
In March the TennisChannel published a combined list of the greatest men and women tennis players of all time. The rankings were determined by an international panel.
Sportswriter John Wertheim of Sports Illustrated stated in an article in July that Serena Williams is the greatest female tennis player ever with the argument that "Head-to-head, on a neutral surface i.
Steffi Graf is considered by some to be the greatest female player. Tennis magazine selected Martina Navratilova as the greatest female tennis player for the years through From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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For software term, see Breakpoint. Types of tennis match. List of tennis tournaments. Tennis male players statistics and World number one male tennis player rankings.
World number 1 women tennis players and List of WTA number 1 ranked players. New York University Press. Daily life in the Middle Ages.
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