Crucial Point & Games

In tennis, the latter stages of any game and any set, especially from the ninth game onwards, are critically important due to the scoring structure and the psychological dynamics involved. This phase of the set is pivotal for building or maintaining momentum.

And let’s not forget the drama of tiebreakers! And how to handle those pesky negative thoughts!!

We have updated our Psychological Strategy pages to include these key stages and games, ensuring you’re well-prepared for these crucial moments.

The Crucial Fourth Point

The Crucial Ninth Game


Goldfish Strategy: Overcoming Negative Thoughts

Thursday Ladies Badge Training Notes 11 Apr

Refresher training notes from Thursday Apr 11 posted.
PW required to access.








Thursday Ladies Badge Team 2 Training

Manly Thursday Ladies Badge Team 2 training





Coach Tim

The Tennis Whispherer is pleased to welcome Coach Tim!

Tim was born in Sydney but journeyed with his family to the United States in the late 1970s, where his passion for tennis blossomed in the competitive junior circuits of the Missouri Valley.

Throughout his collegiate tenure, Tim honed his skills at the Muir Tennis Academy, a cradle for top-tier US junior talent. Having returned to Australian shores, Tim’s zeal for the game remains undiminished. His dedication to teaching mirrors his commitment on the court, striving to unlock the pinnacle of performance in every student he coaches.







Ladies Badge Team 5 Training

Manly Saturday Ladies Badge Team 5 training.

Running Down Lobs

Running down a lob in tennis demands not just physical agility but also sharp mental acuity and refined technique. For advanced players like Axel and Anthony, who typically employ a semi-western grip for their ground strokes, integrating specific grip adjustments into their response to lobs can be crucial for maintaining both defensive resilience and offensive potential. Here’s how to masterfully run down a lob, with special considerations for players using a semi-western grip:

General Strategy for Running Down Lobs

1. Anticipate and React Quickly: The moment you discern a lob, swiftly evaluate its trajectory. This rapid assessment and movement towards, but not directly under, the ball are fundamental to positioning yourself optimally for the return.

2. Side Movement: Veer diagonally towards the side of the lob’s path rather than retreating straight back. This approach not only keeps the ball within your field of vision for better judgment but also mitigates the risk of the ball landing behind you—a common pitfall when running directly backwards.

3. Get Behind the Ball: Strive to position yourself slightly behind the baseline or where you anticipate the ball will descend. This setup, akin to preparing for a ground stroke, affords you greater control over your return by allowing for adjustments based on the ball’s speed and bounce.

4. Lift and Carry Through: Employ a low-to-high swing to propel the ball back into the air, ensuring a high finish to your swing. This not only facilitates a deep return, compelling your opponent into a defensive stance but also gives you time to reposition for the next play.

5. Aim High and Deep: Your lob return should aim to drive your opponent backward, complicating their aggressive shot-making. Achieving depth and height with your lob can be a tactical maneuver to reclaim point control, particularly against net-assertive opponents.

Special Considerations for Semi-Western Grip Players

For players wielding a semi-western grip, such as Axel and Anthony, Coach Tim outlined the essential adjustments to manage lobs:

1. Grip Adjustment for Lob Returns: The semi-western grip, while beneficial for generating topspin, requires modification for lobs. Slightly altering the grip or the racket face’s angle by using your wrist prior to the lob can make a significant difference.

2. Open the Racket Face: Prior to the return, ensure the racket face is moderately open to counterbalance the semi-western grip’s tendency to close the racket face. This adjustment is pivotal for getting underneath the ball, particularly from stretched positions or outside the usual striking zone.

3. Finish Skywards with Follow Through: Highlight a follow-through that ascends skyward, propelling the ball high and deep into the opponent’s court. Visualize the wrist action akin to “drying your fingers,” as in basketball, to facilitate the necessary lift and depth on the lob. This technique not only aids in depth and height control but also in buying crucial time for repositioning.

Incorporating these nuanced strategies and adjustments, particularly for semi-western grip users, enriches a player’s capacity to hit lobs effectively. It transforms a defensive scenario into an opportunity to regain and dictate the point, offering an offensive edge even from the back of the court.

Badge Draws

Saturday Men’s Team 4

Saturday Ladies Team 5








Ladies Badge Team 5 Practice

Manly Saturday Ladies Badge Team 5 practice.

Thursday Ladies Badge Team 2 Training

Manly Thursday Ladies Badge Team 2 training





Ladies Badge Team 5 Practice

Manly Saturday Ladies Badge Team 5 practice.

What’s the Origin of the Scoring System in Tennis

Tim inquired about the origins of tennis’s unique scoring system.

Responding with expertise, Tony R, our knowledgeable historian and avid student of the game, shared his findings: “Greetings, Tim. After investigating your query regarding the tennis scoring system’s origins, it appears to stem from the 12th-century French sport ‘je de paume’ (handball), where the face of a clock was used for scoring—0, 15, 30, and 45. When rackets were introduced, the score of 45 was adjusted to 40, and the game eventually came to be known as tennis, or ‘tenez’ in French.
A classic example of the French making things overly complicated!”

Appreciation to Tony!



Where you stand on the doubles court really, really matters!!!

Where you stand on the court to start the point in doubles really, really matters!!!
FOCUS: Positioning of the Returner’s Partner.
The Returner’s partner is by far the most challenging position to play on the doubles court. The other three players all get to hit the ball before they do. The Returner’s Partner will often react to what somebody else has done instead of attacking themselves.
When the server is hitting their 1st serve, it is imperative to be neutral or defensive with mindset and positioning. A quality first serve will pressure the returner and bring the Server’s Partner into play.
So, let’s look at the following scenario and pinpoint why the serving team won the point.
Herbert is serving, and his partner, Mahut, is at the net. Peers is returning, and his partner, Polasek, is positioned INSIDE the service box.
This is where the percentages immediately drop for the returning team to win the point – even before the first serve has been hit. Polasek is standing in a highly aggressive position with two feet inside the service line. That’s more acceptable when facing a second serve, but it’s rolling the dice against a first serve.
Why? Reaction time.
If this first serve goes in and Peers is under pressure, Mahut will be swarming the net and looking to put the ball right at Polasek because he won’t have enough time to react to hit the ball back over the net.
Herbert makes a quality first serve out wide to Peers. Now, Peers possesses an excellent backhand return, but look how his feet are together on this occasion, and he is reaching for the ball.
He has a tough shot. How do we know? Look at Mahut at the net. He is picking up on all the same signs and knows it’s tough for Peers to beat him down the line. So he is cutting to the middle of the court early to go and put the ball away.
Source: Brain Game Tennis