Is American Tennis Dead? It’s been a graveyard for the men this year and for quite some time

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  1. Frank Silbermann

    What bothers me more than the decline of American tennis is that, thanks to changes in equipment, rules, court surfaces, and training conditions — playing tennis using the correct technique seems to be dead. The only exception is perhaps tennis in the very oldest age groups.

    By “the correct technique” I of course am referring to the techniques that my instructor _told_ me were the correct techniques — the correct ways to hold the racket for the forehand and backhand, the correct stance, the correct ways to swing — when I took up the game in 1974. This was not just him, but it was the overwhelming consensus of all tennis instructors, instruction book writers, and tennis magazine instruction columnists.

    Ed Faulkner’s book is probably the most comprehensive and definitive source for information to distinguish between correct and incorrect techniques:

    Nowadays people refer to correct techniques as “Old School” — which they distinguish from what they call “Modern Technique.” But actually, the modern forehand is the way Jack Kramer hit it; I know because Kramer already wrote (or had ghostwritten) a magazine article about what he referred to as “the modern tennis forehand” back in 1960. (Jack Kramer was the world champ about 65 years ago. Maybe what they do now should be called “post-modern.”)

    But with higher-bouncing court surfaces, ultra-light oversize high-powered rackets, professionalism and tennis academies for juniors, people who still use the correct techniques are simply no longer competitive.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Interesting perspective, Frank.

  2. robert

    how do we get the “best” athletes into tennis…has USTA addressed that issue

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Robert, It is not always easy with so many options in the US.

  3. Vito Fortuna

    What is the main difference between the American way of teaching tennis and the Spanish i.e. Footwork; Rythim; defense


    • Jeff Salzenstein

      In general, The American way is more technical and Spanish way is more focused on footwork and patterns.

  4. Patrick Brahana

    Question: Why are so few male college players making it on the pro tour? I can only think of two in the top 50: John Isner and Stevie Johnson.


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