Feeling inspired by Wimbledon? H&F’s Emma Lewis caught up with Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Mixed Doubles champ Martina Hingis on court, to let you in on the hottest tips so you can hit the court with confidence.
Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach and owner of Mouratoglou Tennis Academy near Cannes in the south of France (mouratoglou.com) has these tactic tips:
- Think about hitting your balls higher over the net – use topspin (brush the ball with an upwards motion as you hit your shot) to help keep the ball in the court, as using topspin helps it dip back down.
- Keep hitting the ball cross-court (ie diagonally) most of the time, as this gives you the biggest space in which to hit the ball.
- Try to make your opponent move east to west and north to south within the court when you get the chance.
- If you try to control the ball too much, it’s the best way to miss; but you can point your non-racquet hand to where you want the ball to go and hit the ball in that direction.
- Don’t forget your sunglasses if you’re playing in the sun – they’ll keep your eyes more comfortable and less tired and lift the quality of your view.
Martina Hingis, recent Wimbledon mixed doubles winner with partner Jamie Murray, helps us improve our technique.
- Create circles with your racquet as you swing – bring it up and back before you hit the ball, then follow through up and over your shoulder.
- Hit the ball when it’s just in front of your body to create more power [than if you hit it when it’s beside your body].
- In a two-handed backhand, make sure your left hand takes the strain – your right hand is just helping to guide the racquet (or vice versa if you’re left handed).
- Hold the racquet quite loosely when you serve (think 3-4 out of 10 in terms of pressure) so you can snap your wrist at the end of the movement.
And a few doubles tips:
- If you’re playing doubles, imagine you and your partner are joined at the hip by an invisible piece of string – if they move, you move with them.
- If a ball’s hit down the middle of the court, the player whose forehand side it is should hit the ball.
- Don’t turn to look behind you when you’re in front and the ball is hit towards your partner – you won’t have time to react to the ball if it comes to you next.
Patrick Mouratoglou and Martina Hingis are ambassadors for polarised Hawaiian sunglasses brand Maui Jim, official eyewear supplier of the ATP World Tour; uk.mauijim.com.