The Backhand Triple Threat

by Mandy Shephard on July 06, 2016

The Backhand Triple Threat   Week one of Wimbledon 2016 is complete – all 7 days of it.  Typically, there are only 6 days of competition during the first week.  However, due to a huge amount of rain, the traditional Sunday “day of rest” was a day of action.  Another effect of the cold and wet conditions, was the effectiveness of drop shots. When grass is dry and the temperatures are warm, drop shots are still a good play due to the lower bounce of grass.  Under cold and wet conditions, drop shots are deadly!  The heavy use of the..

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The Middle Ball Follow-Up Shot

by Mandy Shephard on April 07, 2016

The Middle Ball Follow-Up Shot   The most common strategy of attack I see among junior tournament players I see is an age old tactic: hit the forehand to the opponent backhand.  More specifically, hit the biggest topspin forehand you can hit to your opponent's backhand.  Because of this very predictable attack, I spend a lot of time training my players to work on a two-shot response that not only defends this attack, but can win the point in just one more shot.   The idea of using a big topspin forehand groundstroke to attack an opponent's supposedly weak backhand..

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The Half Volley: Mission Critical Tool for Modern Tennis Net AttacksWhen you think of shots that ATP Pros are hitting a lot these days, atomic bomb serves, light speed forehands, and stonewall returns of serve are quick choices. One shot not at all associated with “modern tennis” is the half volley. That's something that McEnroe, Rafter and Edberg, and any old school serve and volley players used to hit, right? That's true, but the combination of grueling physicality and stiffer-than-stone polyester strings have made the half volley a necessary tool for ATP Pros. It's also a shot that aspiring junior..

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Quick Serve Fix: Avoiding the Palms Up!

by Mandy Shephard on February 03, 2016

Quick Serve Fix: Avoiding the Palms Up!   Here's a very easy, yet powerful serve tip that can make an immediate impact on any recreational player's serve, even tomorrow!  Serve starting positions and wind-ups involve a lot of personal style, and I let the players I coach develop their own style on both.  However, regardless of personal style, one thing effective servers on the ATP and WTA Tours do, is known as the palms down motion.  That is, throughout the serve, the serving hand palm points downwards until the point of contact.  Here's a quick example of what I mean:..

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The Roger Federer SABR Tactic: Can It Help Your Game?

by Mandy Shephard on October 29, 2015

The Roger Federer SABR Tactic: Can It Help Your Game?   Earlier this summer, stories of ATP #2 Roger Federer's “new sabre shot” or his “new trick” started coming out in the press.  The heaviest coverage of it came right after the ATP Masters Cincinnati tournament, where he used this tactic to take the title over ATP #1 Novak Djokovic.  This return of serve technique (and strategy) is a bit tricky, but not only has it helped Federer break a few more serves, but it can be of benefit to recreational players as well.   So what is a “sabre..

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Backhand Slice: Always In Style

by Mandy Shephard on September 28, 2015

Backhand Slice: Always In Style   When you hear the term “backhand slice” mentioned by Tennis TV commentators, it's often either preceded or followed by the term “old school.”  With Roger Federer making the finals of this year's US Open Men's Singles Championships and Roberta Vinci pulling off the upset of the century in the Ladies Semifinals, the backhand slice got a ton of air time.  While Federer and Vinci are known as the best at this shot, it's a shot used by most every single pro tennis player in every single match, both singles and doubles.  That's been true..

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