Irena Pavlovic – One Tough Tennis Player!

What do you get when you look into star tennis player Irena Pavlovic? The total package, of course! She was born September 22nd, 1988 — and yes, that means that this star definitely has a lot of years left on the tennis courts. It’s a good thing too, because she’s definitely on fire right now.

Pavlovic is of Serbian descent and hails from Paris, France. She was moved to Paris at the age of three and definitely considers it home. To date she has won three singles and 13 doubles events under the umbrella of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). This string of victories has given her a World Ranking of 202 — not bad when you think about the other star tennis players she’s up against!

You might wonder where Irena’s star tennis power comes from, and the answer is simple: rigorous tennis training. She trained under Monica Seles as well as Christophe Serriere and Patrick Mouratoglou.

So far, Pavlovic has earned nearly $150,000 in prize money over her career, and she turned pro in 2004. Not terrible when you realize that her star power has also led to some sponsorships and other goodies too.

Speaking of goodies, let’s go back to the victory part — you have to look at her singles career as well. In the ITF, she has three singles wins — two of them on hard courts and just one on a grass court.

She has played more doubles than singles, winning 13 of those matches. At the top of her game, she had a world ranking of 116 — still not bad at all. Even though her ranking has fallen a bit since those days, Irena is still a very powerful tennis player. Pavlovic has even played at the French open, but she lost to Akgul Amanmuradova. Still, even with these losses on her plate, you can tell that Pavlovic will have a great career — just look at her statistics. She’s definitely not perfect, but the potential for increased greatness is definitely there!

One point that makes these tennis bios so worthwhile is that they give would-be female tennis players a bit of inspiration. It can be tough to practice tennis day in and day out and to deal with the natural injuries that follow, but it’s really all worth it in the end. You never know — you really could become as great as Irena Pavlovic in the long run — just keep training hard!

The Mental Game

Tennis is a game of strategy and concentration. You will not be able to consistently win matches without both of these.

Strategy and Tactics

It is best to come to a match with some sort of strategy/tactics for beating your opponent. However, these may well change as the match progresses and so it is best to have a few plans available. For example, if you are playing from the baseline and being soundly beaten, it would be best to change tactics and try coming to the net more.

There are some some basic strategies that are invariably good to follow:

  • playing high percentage tennis and getting as many balls back as possible
  • aiming for your opponent’s weakness
  • keeping your opponent guessing by using variety
  • returning the ball early
  • making your opponent run
  • hitting the ball deep

Concentration

Without developing concentration you can never reach even half of your potential. Concentration means shutting out all extraneous thoughts and thinking only of what is going on in the tennis court. If you lose concentration during a point, you will most likely not watch the ball closely onto your racket and therefore mishit the ball. When your concentration is rock-solid, your footwork, technique and timing all come together. You are also less likely to ‘choke’ on important points because you will be thinking about the right things (such as tactics), rather than the wrong things (such as the score).

Concentration is something that can be developed by practise. The great champion Bjorn Borg was famous for being able to maintain his focus for long periods and this was something he had developed through practise and fitness.

Tennis Umpires

What you Might Not Have Known about Tennis Umpires

The tennis umpire is a really important part of the game and most spectators tend to forget about their existence. All officials that will do this job are going to be certified by a national association and there are different badge levels that can be gained. International certification is going to allow the umpires to participate at really high tennis events like those in WTA or ATP tours. Contrary to what you might believe, there are many people that are helping in supervising a regular tennis match and even more when talking about professional tournaments.

Tennis Umpire Types

The most known type of tennis umpire is the chair umpire. He is considered to be the final authority and can overrule the decisions of other officials in the event that clear mistakes happen. The name of the umpire is given by the fact that he will be seated in a really tall chair that is located in the middle of the court, right next to the net post. These officials are responsible for completing scorecards, timing players and check the activity of all other umpires.

In a tennis game we also have the line umpire, which is responsible for calling shots related to assigned lines. The game will show between 1 and 9 line umpires and every single one will be assigned by chair umpires. An out call is signaled verbally and physically by an arm extension.

Other Officials

In tennis games we also have referees and chief umpires. Referees are officials that have to make sure that competition will be fair and ITF rules are respected. All tournament play is supervised and this includes conduct of coaches, players, administrative crew and even spectators. Referees are called when a player will dispute the decision of a chair umpire. In addition, these officials will have to make sure that tournament draw will follow competition regulations and even supervise match scheduling. The referee will also be the only authority that can suspend play because of weather problems or any other concern.

The chief umpire will appoint or replace/reassign line umpires and chair umpires. These professionals are always going to be present in the large professional tournaments. They are responsible for hiring and recruiting officials and during tournament the chief umpire will assign other umpires to different courts. Scorecards are going to be collected by this person at the end of a much and then offer journalists factual information that might be requested.

Tennis Clay Court

What You Should Know About the Tennis Clay Court

The clay court is one of the 4 tennis court types. It is made out of crushed brick, stone or shale. The one grand slam tournament that is renowned for using clay courts is French Open and it can be said that such a playing area is a lot more popular in Latin America and Continental Europe when comparing with other regions. A tennis clay court will be cheap to construct but more expensive to maintain on the long run.

Types of Tennis Clay Courts

There are five types of tennis clay courts that you can play on. The first one is the Red Clay Tennis Court. In most cases red clay will be made out of crushed brick and then covered with other crushed particle toppings. This surface type will not absorb water with ease and that is why it is mostly common in Latin America and Europe. It is rare to find true natural red clay courts as they will be hard to dry.

The second clay type is Green Clay. It is really similar to the red variety but it will be harder and faster. Its subsurface is packed and then covered with toppings. Such clay courts are usually popular in USA, although different courts are also available in other parts of the world.

You might also end up playing on Maroon Clay courts, which are similar to green clay courts. The US Men Clay Court Championship is held on Maroon courts and it is a part of ATP.

Blue Clay courts are currently not used in official competitions but they do exist. The idea of having blue clay was proposed by Ion Tiriac, owner of Madrid Masters. The idea was to create a special blue clay tennis surface as the main sponsor of the event has visual promotion material that is blue. At the moment, Madrid Masters is not played on blue clay but there is one court that has been created for players to test the new surface. According to Manuel Santana, director of Madrid Masters Open, the only difference between blue clay and red clay is the color and everything else is exactly the same. A guarantee has been offered that the properties of the soil are not changed.

The last type of tennis clay court is the Yellow Clay court. It is really similar to regular red clay courts and the Copa Sevilla is an ATP event that is played on Yellow Clay.

Tennis Racquets

What You Need to Know About Tennis Racquets

The tennis racquet is by far the most important piece of equipment that is utilized in this sport. Players are going to spend a lot of time in choosing one that fits them perfectly and the top players are actually actively involved in development and testing for new technology that is applied by manufacturers. The problem is that most beginners fail to understand the importance of the racquet and they will not understand why others are performing better than they are.

A tennis racquet is made out of a grip (which is a handle) that will be connected to an elliptical frame through a neck area. The frame will hold a tight matrix of strings that are pulled close to each other. In the first 100 years of modern tennis, the racquets were all of the same size and made out of wood. Strings were being constructed out of animal gut. We then saw the introduction of laminated wood, which offered a little more strength. The real revolution in manufacturing started with the appearance of metal and then the use of ceramics, lighter materials like titanium and carbon graphite. Strings eventually evolved too and nowadays they are made out of synthetic strings. This added a lot of durability.

Modern Tennis Racquets Rules

In modern tennis we saw the introduction of different rules that showed how tennis racquets should be like. The guidelines have to be respected or the player can be disqualified. For starters, the hitting area will need to be as uniform as possible and always flat. The hitting area frame cannot be longer than 19 inches and wider than 12.5 inches. In addition, the racquet needs to have an even size, shape and even weight distribution. You cannot add energy sources to the racquets and you should never offer instruction, communication or advice during matches with the use of this tool. These rules have evolved from others in the past. As a simple example, the frame length used to be a maximum of 32 inches till 1997.

Choosing Tennis Racquets

It is highly important that you think about your game when you choose a tennis racquet. Different players are going to enjoy different racquets and this basically means that the only way in which you can see exactly what you like is to try some of them until a comfortable one is found. In addition, the price tags can be high with really good racquets so you need to choose wisely at all times.

tennis-drills-for-kids

How to Keep Tennis Drills Fun for Kids

Tennis drills are always different when thinking about children. This is due to the fact that they are going to get bored easily. Even if they enjoy the game, it can still turn into boredom. In addition, it is highly important that the tennis drills are going to be good so that skills can be developed properly. In most situations the bad moves are done by parents as they will want the child to improve really fast and this can lead to many possible problems. There is no denying in the fact that it is great to see improvements in the game of the child but you need to make sure that he/she will enjoy the tennis drill and that everything is fun.

What You Need to Do

The most important thing that has to be done is to create tennis drills that will keep the child interested and active at all times. Little downtime is the secret to success in this case. You will have to quickly move from a set to the other and movement needs to stay an important part of the practice. Tennis is definitely not a static sport and the drills have to both exercise shots and create stamina.

Every single tennis drill that you create should have a length of maximum 15 minutes. Kids will have limited attention span and patience so they are going to lose focus fast if the drill is too long or if it will be repetitive. Variety stands out as a really important factor that has to be taken into account. It is never a good idea to keep working on the same concept or stroke and on drills that have the exact same goals. This is perfect when the player is more advanced and not recommended when working with a child.

The Importance of Positive Feedback

Kids will get discouraged when they are not offered good feedback. Make sure that you offer enough positive feedback when the drill is over or when a good technique was used on a shot. Reinforcement is going to show the child that something right was done and will offer a positive environment for growth. The attitude will be stronger and this is something that is crucial in this sport.

The bottom line is that you need to keep the child motivated at all times and you need to make sure that he/she will understand why the tennis drills are done. Make sure that you use concepts that are not complicated and take into account all the advice that was mentioned above.

Modern Tennis

A Closer Look at Modern Tennis

It can be said that modern tennis appeared in Birmingham in the late part of the nineteenth century. The game was initially named “lawn tennis” and only the upper class played it. As time passed, this game managed to gain a wide popularity all around the world. However, the big rise in popularity only happened in the past few years and it eventually ended up being loved by millions. This is mainly due to the fact that it does not need much equipment and it is accessible to everyone. You can play it outdoors and millions of people are actually watching the game on TV and looking at the 4 grand slam events that are televised in every country.

Tennis can be played by 2 people that play one against the other or by 2 teams that consist of two players. In professional tours we have the game being played for 3 sets in women competition and 5 sets for men. The first one to win 2 sets, respectively 3 sets, will win. Every single set is made out of games and a game is made out of points. The interesting thing is that tennis is currently played on many different surfaces: hard court, clay and grass. The 4 grand slam tennis events see 2 being played on hard court (US Open and Australian Open), 1 on grass (Wimbledon) and 1 on clay (French Open).

Just like in golf, tennis rules did not change for a long time now. There are rules that have been developed hundreds of years in the past but this does not mean that modern technology does not play a big part in the sport today. It can be said that tennis is one of those sports that love technology so that everything is honest and fair. Electronic review technology is nowadays utilized in order to be able to challenge a point and double check if the decisions of the umpires or line judges were correct.

Tennis equipment evolution was also positively impacted by technology advancements. Nowadays the rackets that are used are really sophisticated and use a combination of silicone and carbon graphite. Even players get involved in the development of rackets. On the whole, this is a sport that is currently evolving while also sticking to the traditional rules that made it so popular. You can see hundreds of kids playing daily in different tennis fields and there is no indication that this will change in the future.

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