Play Better Tennis

In the history of tennis instruction, researched by John Carpenter, 2 champion brothers from England, R.F. Doherty and his younger sibling, 1897 Wimbledon Champion H.L. Doherty, described in a 1903 book how they played, recommending the open stance. In 1904, a self-appointed “expert”, an attorney by the name P.A. Vaile, wrote a book called “Modern Lawn Tennis” in which he contended that tennis was played closed-stance, as in cricket and golf. This notion was then exported to the USA, and cricket replaced by baseball, which fortified also the theory that a tennis groundstroke is a linear, forward effort. To this day, these two erroneous concepts, closed-stance and hit forward through the ball are still thought to be the most acceptable way of starting a child in tennis. Compound this with the idea that you have to prepare early, and you have three immediate barriers to the ease and naturalness of…

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