Category: Tennis Tips

Rafa Nadal Selects His Service Balls

Have you ever noticed that often, when a professional player is about serve, he will collect three balls, examine them and then throw one away. So what is happening here? It all comes down to hair. New tennis balls tends to have hair which is smoothed flat, whilst a ball that has had more play will be fluffy.

Tennis players may check three or more balls before serving so that they can select one smooth ball and one fluffy ball. They like to use a smooth ball for the first serve because the hairs are flattened down and therefore the ball should travel faster than an older ball. If the first serve goes astray, the player will use the fluffier ball for their second serve. Although these move more slowly, they are easier to control and so the player is less likely to concede a double fault.

Here you can see Rafa Nadal selecting the balls ready for his serve

If you have a Marbella tennis lesson you will be able to learn other techniques for improving your service game.

Using a Tennis Wall or Backboard

An excellent way to try to practise your tennis strokes is to use a tennis wall, also know as a backboard. There are three things you should think about when you come to practise using a tennis wall:

  1. Mark a target on the wall so that you have something to aim at with every stroke and always attempt to hit the ball onto the target. It’s important that you mark the target using something that can easily be removed when you have finished your practice session, for example some decorator’s masking tape.
  2. Decide on the number of bounces that you allow the ball to make before you return it. This forces you to use your feet to go forwards or backwards to get into position for the return.  A good idea is return the ball after two bounces which will give a more realistic time delay between the time the ball is hit and when you need to return it. It is important not to stay stationary and wait for the ball to reach you.
  3. Set yourself a goal for each practice session. The goal could be anything, for example, to hit twenty forehand shots in a row that are on target, followed by twenty backhand shots on target.

Jeannieross Barcia practises using a tennis wall