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December 1, 1999
Court Characteristics can help you!

Welcome to the next Tennis Lesson Hotline...Online!

Send new tennis names for the online lesson to tom@tenniswarrior.com.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and have a merry and safe Christmas holiday.  I can not believe it's almost 2000.  Putting 00 on my checks and everything else is going to seem weird!!!  I feel like we're starting over again at 0!

Below is a lesson that explains some of the simple characteristics of the court that you can use to your advantage.  Hope you enjoy it! 

Note: Any typos are there on purpose for people who like to find them!

Tom's Online Tennis Lesson

Welcome to the tennis lesson hotline, sponsored by Tom's Tennis Tapes, "educating players one mind at a time." I'm Tom Veneziano. This lesson lasts approximately two minutes and changes on the first of every month. 

In this lesson I will give you some simple information which if used properly can be extremely beneficial to your tennis strategy. The tennis court has certain characteristics that many players know, but really do not use to their advantage.

Did you know when playing doubles the court is eight feet longer cross court than down the line.  This means in doubles if you hit a ball down the line and it sails four feet out, it would have been in if you would have hit it cross court!  The same is true for singles.  You have more area to hit to cross court than down the line.

The principle here is obvious.  Hitting down the line is a lower percentage shot than cross court.  Yet, I constantly see players hitting a high percentage of their shots down the line in both singles and doubles.  Either because they do not know any better, or are winning on the level they play on and do not realize their mistake.  Failing to recognize that as they move up to another level the down the line shot will not be effective. 

Not only is the court shorter down the line, but the net is also higher!  The net is three feet high in the middle and three feet six inches on the sides.  With these two facts in mind, the court being shorter and the net being higher when hitting down the line, your strategy should be to hit a higher percentage of your shots cross court.  As simple as this sounds, I have seen many excellent tennis players overuse the down the line shot.  Do not be guilty of this infraction.  If you would like to hit down the line, here are a few pointers to help you select the correct times in doubles: 

1. Your opponent is poaching (running across cutting off the ball you hit) a lot. 

2. The net person can not volley that well.

3. To surprise your opponent and keep them off balance.

In singles it is a totally different story.  The best time in singles is when you are on the baseline rallying with your opponent and you have not wandered too far from the middle.  If you hit down the line you give your opponent the angle away from the side you are on, but since you were positioned close to the center you will be able to cover the shot your opponent has angled.

In contrast, if you go down the line when you are positioned wide on the baseline, your opponent can angle and immediately put you in trouble.  You are so far to one side of the court it will be tough to cover the angle on the other side!  Besides who wants to do all that running.  You may be thinking, why can't they hit an angle if I hit the ball cross court to them.  The answer is, they can!!!  But, they have to angle it back toward the side you are on. You will do a lot less running that way. 

Remember, whether playing singles or doubles use the characteristics of the court to your advantage.  The net is lower and the court is longer hitting cross court. 

If you're interested in receiving more tennis information, a brief description of my audio tapes, prices, and testimonials are listed below. Thank you. 

Your email tennis coach, 


1999 Tom Veneziano, 10855 Meadowglen #1022, Houston, TX 77042

What others are saying about my tapes!

"Tom deals with the thinking end of tennis like no one else. It's almost too difficult to explain, you have to experience it. He has an uncanny knack for getting right to the heart of the matter. You come away thinking, that's right: it makes sense!"

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"It's interesting to note that everyone can use these tapes from beginner to championship level. You can apply the information to whatever level you play on." 

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"Tom and I have been friends for over twenty years. It's not surprising to me players talk so positively about his tapes. He's always possessed exceptional athletic ability along with an unusual analytical mind. Tom simply likes to think! At times he would drive me crazy, but he was the driving force behind my journey into tennis. I'm 6'1" and Tom is 5'6" but I could never beat the little imp! All joking aside, if Tom's thinking is on audio cassettes, you should listen! You'll never view tennis the same way again!"

Sam Lacava, Tennis Professional, Stewartsville, N.J. 

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