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Thursday, 09 July 2015 03:18

Adults Winter Round Robin 2015

Adults Winter Tournament 2015 (Pic’s included)

On Sunday we had our Adults Winter Tournament and it was a blast. As usual there were 4 divisions with 6 players battling it out in each group. The playing conditions were perfect for tennis. The sun was out and not a hint of wind. It was shaping up to be a wonderful day.

After the speech and the rules were set out it was time to play. Best of 8 games for 5 matches each player and the 2 top point scorers play out the final for the trophy… and the glory!

Unfortunately we were missing Tony Strachan for his infamous BBQ so I had to make do. A few BBQ steaks and veggies were had, even a few beers. There's nothing better to slow down the footwork o


The cool kids...


Division 1

It was a class of regulars including David O’D who won the Division 2 round last comp. In the end John M. defeated friend Matt B. 6-3 to clench his first Four Season Tennis trophy. John uses the unconventional double handed forehand and backhand which maximises power although it was a close match. Not bad for a hangover.


Division 1 Winner John and Matt


Division 2


Two first-timers were contenders for the trophy in Div. 2. Marc F. from our Social Tennis and Marcelo H. Playing in his first tournament in Australia. Marc took it out with a 6-1 victory. It was nice to see Marcelo using the serve volley tactics but Marc had slightly more power which clenched the victory.


Division 3

It was regular players all around in Division 3. All play in our tournaments, social tennis and/or do lessons. It was the most evenly scored division of the day. In the end Ash P. defeated Rachel O’C 6-3 for his second FSTS trophy. Might have to be division 2 next time Ash.


Division 4

After waking up in Brisbane Kate B. flew into Sydney with only one thing on her mind… tennis tournament! Making a late entrance Kate ended up playing a final against the Frenchman Eric A. who eventually defeated her 5-3.


Thank you to all who participated in the tournament and those who came down to cheers friends on. It was a wonderful day and I hope to see everyone next time.

Plus, here are some more pics...


Published in Blog

Use the tennis tactics and strategies get help win you next tennis game.

This article will give you a simple tactical game plan to get you over the line in your next match. Keeping your strategy simple when playing matches is key. It’s easy to get disheartened when expectations are too high and you will ultimately end up losing the match.

Strategy 1 - Strengths and Weaknesses
Tennis players approach their matches in different ways. Some just hit and hope. Some over think their game plan, making it too complex, thus becoming negative in their approach when they can’t accomplish their goals. Some work out their opponents weaknesses and use their strengths to exploit them. The last approach is the best and most likely to pay dividends. It is also the first strategy I want you to implement in your next match.

Look for these obvious weaknesses in your opponent:

  • Backhand - Keep it deep to the BH, or slice low and make them bend their knees. An awesome approach is to hit a high looping topspin ball, bouncing deep in the corner. This forces the opponent to hit on the rise from their weaker shot. This will also give you time to either recover from a wide ball or approach the net. Mix it up and use variety.
  • Second serve - Step up on it and hit the ball early to force the opponent on the back foot. This cuts their reaction time and helps you dominate the point or at least puts it on an even playing field.
  • Volley - Most of today's players are baseliners and can’t stand the net. Bring them into the net where they don't feel comfortable. Expect unforced errors, slow feet and weak returns. Once at the net hit the ball for a passing shot, lob, or straight at them.
  • Slow Movement - If your opponent is not getting in position to hit the ball, is slow to recover, or just generally slow around the court this is often because of bad footwork or lack of fitness and conditioning. Do the obvious, take advantage by hitting to the open court. Make them move their feet to get to the ball. Even body shots work a treat because they can’t move out of the way.

Strategy 2 - First Serve
The second strategy is to get the first serve in to play. The returner is mentally on the back foot for the first serve, and you’re under less pressure. Take advantage of the mental pressure the opponent is feeling by being consistent and making them play the ball every time.

You can build this consistency by:

  • Dropping 20% of the power off the first serve or adding a little spin. Keep a firm pace so they will still have to work for it. Don’t lollypop the ball in so they can crush it.
  • Increase your margins by having a half metre buffer between where the ball bounces and the line. Also clear the net by at least half a metre. You don’t have to hit the lines.
  • Take your time between serves. Breathe, bounce the ball a few times to reset and think about where you’re hitting the ball and which type of serve you will use.


Strategy 3 - Crosscourt

The third strategy is to hit crosscourt. Don’t even think about hitting down the line. This simple placement strategy will keep you in the point and still allow you to attack. This crosscourt strategy works particularly well on the return of serve because it puts you in the point and neutralises your opponent therefore setting up a level playing field.

Be aware that it can become an easy read for your opponent after a while. If you pull your opponent wide or see them lagging to get back into recovery position then you can hit down the line to the open court to keep them honest.
The crosscourt shot is a high percentage shot because there is more length of court to hit to and the ball travels over the lowest part of the net. Also your body is naturally rotating crosscourt.

Crosscourt hitting is the essence of percentage tennis, which every tennis payer should aim for.
Some tips for hitting crosscourt:

  • Hit the ball in front of the body and around 45 degrees away from the body to ensure the racquet can follow through towards where you want to ball to go. It’s nearly impossible to hit the ball crosscourt with any pace or spin from behind or beside your body.
  • Hit the ball with an open stance or semi-open stance footwork. This allows a good contact point and easy body rotation into the ball.
  • Have your racquet head come around the outside of the ball to create the crosscourt angle.
  • Follow through the ball towards the crosscourt direction.


Use this simple game plan to take into your next match. It is easy to execute and will definitely steer you towards a win:

  • Know what your strengths are so you can use them to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses
  • Get your first serves in
  • Hit crosscourt
Published in Blog
Monday, 16 March 2015 21:07

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Published in Blog
Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

5 Common Forehand Mistakes Tennis Players Make

Simple Tennis Corrections for Forehand Mistakes


Sometimes small adjustments to your technique will pay huge dividends in your game. Here we’re going through 5 common forehand errors that are a must change for anyone looking to improve their technique and stop making unforced errors.


1 - Using The Wrong Tennis Grip


Back in the olden/golden days of tennis the continental grip was used for just about everything from forehand, backhand, volleys, serve and all inbetween. A good example in the 1970’s is John McEnroe who used the continental grip on his forehand. But with the pace, athleticism and equipment of todays game, a whole lot of changes have been made to keep up and play better tennis. One of which is the grips.


Today’s standard grips to use on the forehand are the eastern forehand grip and the semi-western forehand grip. Often grips are a hybrid between the 2. Some players still also use a full western or close to.


The eastern forehand grip is the grip used to hit flatter balls and considered a more traditional grip. Some players who use the grip include Roger Federer and Pete Sampras.


The semi western grip is now the most popular grip used, especially by professionals. Some of whom include Rafael Nadal (although his is sneaking towards the full western grip), Andy Murray and Djokovic and Sam Stosur


Depending on what court surface you play on, who you play against, your swing and what feel natural will determine which grip is right for you.


2 - Closed Stance Footwork


The most common forehand footwork errors include:

  • Stepping across the body with the left foot before hitting the ball which. This closes the body off to the court too much and inhibits body rotation thus power and swing length, and recovery steps

  • Stepping forwards into the ball with the right foot opening the body to the wrong side of the court. This opens the body too much and making a take back non existent.


Modern footwork has us using open and semi open stances, unlike the closed stances of yesteryear. Depending of your court positioning, try and keep a gap between your legs if facing the net. For instance, if stepping for a wide ball step out with the right foot, loading the leg and  driving up through the leg.


If you need to step into the court you can step forwards into the court and there be no gap, so long as the left leg doesn’t step across the right. There are variations such as the walking/hopping crossover forehand used on short wide balls and return of serve.


3 - No Body Rotation


As mentioned in the footwork, if you don’t turn the body, you don't get any swing on the ball or power in the shot. After the split step use the right foot to step open and turn the body out. From here move into position and hit the ball. There are different variations depending on which direction and how far you have to move but basically speaking turn the body as soon as possible.


Some cues to help turn the body include:

  • Pointing at the ball

  • Looking over your left shoulder

  • Point the butt of the racquet towards where you want to ball to go

  • Face the side fence (beginner)


4 - No Topspin


If you're not hitting with any topspin chances are you have the wrong grip, incorrect swing or poor preparation. This can even result in backspin if you’re not careful. Topspin in when the ball spins forwards, putting more air pressure on top of the ball, making the ball dip into the court. This means you can clear the net by a safe distance but make sure the ball falls into the court before the baseline of the other side. It also allows the ball to jump up and forwards after the bounce.


Topspin if used well can increase your consistency hugely and it also allows you to control the pace of the ball.


For maximum topspin use a semi western or full western grip, although the eastern forehand grip can still generate a lot of spin. The simple principle remains come from below the balls contact point, brush up and over the ball, finish the follow through. Try to make the ball spin forwards.


5 - No Follow Through


Follow throughs can differ greatly among players. Just look at Nadal’s over the head compared to Andy Murray’s below the elbow follow through. The grip has a lot to do with the follow through, so does your court positioning as well as where your contact point is, where you want to ball to bounce and how much topspin you hit with.


For a beginner we generally teach ‘over the shoulder’. This gives a definitive point to finish to. However as swing get more advanced and players use different grips, follow throughs change. When using an eastern forehand grip, over the shoulder or between the shoulder and elbow is the general finishing point. With a semi western or full western grip finishing the swing over the head or between the the shoulder and elbow is the go.


If finishing over the shoulder, a good checkpoint it to ‘catch’ the racquet at the end of the swing. This ensures the body rotates and the left arm swing through as well.


When using a western variation your swing is more of a wave or windscreen wiper action as opposed to the closed off racquet head in the eastern grip.



So check your forehand next time you’re playing and see if you’re making any of these errors. They are pretty simple to correct with some time, coaching and repetition. Remember there is not 100% way of hitting the ball. Every player has their own idiosyncrasies and way of hitting. See what works best for you.

Published in Blog

Tennis Drills

In this article we look at some exciting drills for hitting partners who do the same old stuff week in and week out. Give your game some direction, objectives and strategies!

Most intermediate tennis players I coach have a hitting partner they train with at least once a week. This gives them an opportunity to practice the technique or tactics we’ve been working on at that week’s tennis lesson.

Having a hitting partner is the most cost effective way of improving your tennis shots, for you and your partner as well.

Tips for practicing with a partner

  • Get a partner at your standard or preferably slightly stronger than you. This will often bring your game up to their standard. Just as playing someone weaker might throw your game out a little.
  • Book a regular time for practice. Whether it’s weekly or fortnightly, make a commitment and stick to it. Practice drills are as important as match practice.
  • Use different venues and court surfaces. This will test how you adapt your game to changing conditions and will benefit those who play tournaments around town.
  • Have a few different hitting partners of varying styles. Examples include a heavy topspin hitter, hard flat hitter but also someone who you really enjoy hitting with. It keeps the game fun ;)

In this first edition of quality drills for hitting partners we’re going back to the old saying KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid. Some try to get too fancy too soon. If you can’t keep long rallies at simple angles, you need to work on that first. Some of the drills can be performed with a ball machine but I’ve written them out in a partner format.

Drill 1 - Crosscourt

Crosscourt is your bread and butter. To be able to stay in a match for more than 2 shots you need to have a solid crosscourt shot.

The benefits of a crosscourt ball are more length of court to hit to, you hit over the lowest part of the net and with the body naturally turns across the court. More importantly for the intermediate/advanced player is that you don’t have to recover as far as if you played a down the line ball. This will be explained further in our court positioning post coming soon.

The Tennis Drill:

Place a cone or drink bottle in opposite corners of the court about 1 metre in from the baseline and single lines. Simply try and hit the bottle on the other side of the court. You’re looking at rallying 20 balls in a row. The bounce should be in the vicinity on the bottle, or at least deep than the service line. A 20 ball rally is a benchmark you should aim for.

To add a competitive element to the drill play first to hit the others bottle over 5 times.


Rally 4 balls crosscourt then the point starts. Then rally 6 balls then play, then 8 etc. Aim for 20 ball rally then play the point. You can score if you want.

Drill 2 - Unforced Errors

Tennis matches are won and lost on unforced errors, not winners as some like to play. Getting the ball in one more time, even as a lob or soft shot is better than hitting an all or nothing last ditch hit.

The Tennis Drill:

  • Play the point out full court
  • Each unforced error is a strike
  • Winners and forced errors don’t count
  • 3 strikes and you do 10 burpees and repeat.
  • This also builds fitness and adds pressure, especially after a few sets of burpees.


1 - Have one player covering doubles court and the other on singles as shown by the red rectangles. Same rules apply with strikes etc.

2 - Add rule if you win on a volley you can minus a point off the strike score.

Drill 3 - Doubles Approach

This one is for the double players out there. Most weekly tennis competitions around these days have a doubles and single element and this is a great drill for teaching when to get to the net and play a strong volley under pressure.

Doubles tactic numero uno, get to the net. I see a lot of social doubles and too many people either hang back at the baseline or in ‘no man’s land’. Generally social payers start in the neutral doubles positioning of one person at the net and one on the baseline. From here any short ball that pulls you into the court or if you hit a strong enough ball to get the other players out of position, or give yourself enough time to get to the net, get to the net. If you have the option of hitting to a baseliner as opposed to a net player you should nearly always play to the baseliner.

The Tennis Drill:

  • Play the point out crosscourt including the doubles alley. RED AREA
  • The ball must be hit back crosscourt if it bounces on your side.
  • If you play a volley it can be placed anywhere in the full doubles court BLUE AREA, meaning it should be put away.
  • Assuming the opposition can return the volley the point is played out full doubles court.
  • Play an approach shot that makes the opponent play a bounced ball because it forces them to play a crosscourt ball back to you.


  • If the ball bounces before the service line you must approach no matter what. This adds pressure on whoever hits the ball short because you know the opponent is approaching and they have a hugely increased chance of winning at the net.
  • This drill can also be played down the line, doubles alley included, and full court singles

Within tennis training there are an infinite number of drills and variations. These are just a few of many more to come. I hope you have enjoyed these drills and keep on the lookout for more to come.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comment section.

Published in Blog

Congratulations to all our participants in the Autumn Adults Tennis Tournament.

With a big day of competition starting at 9am, 24 players battled it out in 4 divisions to make the finals. I huge BBQ was cooked up by Tony to keep the furnaces burning. Through the highs and lows our finalists for each division were:






The next tournament will be held on Sunday 29th June. To book check out


Published in Blog
Monday, 28 April 2014 02:42

Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the first post on the Four Seasons Tennis Blog.

We are excited to bring you tennis news and events, coaching tips and specials so stay tuned.


Published in Blog
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