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How Can We Win If No One Will Go to the Net?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com A few weeks ago, I received a text from a 4.0 player who was clearly perplexed about her last CTA match and wanted to solve the puzzle on the tennis court. Strangely enough, not many of my students have inquired about this particular dilemma, and I had tremendous compassion about her recent problem. “Doug, it was so weird facing this last team because they elected to play from the baseline the entire match, and it threw us a curve, no doubt,” my student explained. Hey, it is always tough when we face a strategy ... Read More »

Do You Value Your Team Captain?

Tennis

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com “Oh, no way. I wouldn’t want to be captain of this team under any circumstances,” Sandy remarked after practice. Most CTA or USTA participants are well aware of the number of challenges team captains have each season with a wide variety of issues. Most importantly, a large majority of the players are cooperative and support the captain and the pro. Depending on the team, the captain plays a large role in the success of their team. A dynamic captain will assist in the following: Team roster Practice day and time Practice ideas Players attending ... Read More »

Are You Ready for a Great Tennis Invention?

This new ball machine  makes for an easy workout. SUBMITTED PHOTO

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com I don’t know about you, but I love conveniences. It’s been a long time since I walked through my bank to do a transaction. Heck, I seldom go into a fast food restaurant to do a quick order because I love the drive thru. Walgreens has made their pharmacy so convenient that one may pick up their prescriptions at the drive through window. Awesome! The new Pick-Up Wall for tennis ball machine enthusiasts may be the most incredible new invention because it is so easy to get the best workout, and there is little ... Read More »

The American Tennis Hall of Fame to the Rescue!

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com If you are a dreamer, you are going to love the true story of Iowa farmer Mark Kuhn. As a youngster, he and his grandfather would listen to Wimbledon broadcasts on their shortwave radio, and that stimulated his dream to build his own grasscourt, someday, in the middle of the family farm in little “ole” Charles City, Iowa! And, as one would expect, Mark and Denise Kuhn, dealt with a number of naysayers as they expressed their reservations about their idea to build a state of the art grasscourt on the farm. Never deterred, ... Read More »

Did Social Media Doom McEnroe?

Tennis

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Shocked? Yes, sort of because we had heard that USTA Player Development Director Patrick McEnroe signed another contract extension to remain in his current post. Tennis pros from all over the country were upset because USA men’s tennis has fallen off the grid, and there is little hope around the corner for an American male to win a Grand Slam in the near future. Now, back to Mr. McEnroe. Whether it is Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, pros are bitter that Patrick was appointed Davis Cup Coach and Player Development Director because he is not ... Read More »

Does the Game of Tennis Need More Changes?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Change for the sake of change. Does the collegiate game really need a complete overhaul to attract more fans? Not too long ago, every single college tennis match was the best two out of three contest, and each match counted to determine the final score. For quite a long period of time, the order of play was consistent. Each university fielded six singles matches, and then the day was concluded with three doubles contests. Clearly too many duals were decided after the singles play and that rendered the doubles meaningless. So, in the mid-1970s, ... Read More »

Do You Have the ‘IT’ Factor?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com There is an abundance of outstanding athletes in this world, yet some stand out from the rest of the pack. We are riveted by their excellence. In examining this incredible group of “IT” athletes, a few of these elites rise to the top: Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Edwin Moses, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Steve Prefontaine, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Tom Seaver, Reggie Jackson and Willie Mays. What is the balance between genetics verses blood, sweat and tears? How did these athletes ... Read More »

Is It Possible to Hit the Big Ball?

Tyler Owens and Matt Browne won the Open Men’s Doubles Title. SUBMITTED PHOTO

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The desire to knock the cover off the ball appears to have hit all levels of tennis. With technology moving at such a fast rate, I really shouldn’t be surprised that so many tennis players desire to play quick points — whether they win it or not! Sometimes, I want to blame the sports shows because they condense a game down to one or two plays, and viewers are programmed to a quick fix. Here’s one more shocking revelation: Men and women have different styles on the tennis court. Unfortunately, men, hitting just one ... Read More »

Is Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘10,000 Hour’ Theory Valid?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Ever since my directing stint at the prestigious Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, I’ve been on-court coaching a huge variety of students, and it has fueled my creativity to write more tennis articles. It is easy to have fresh ideas when one is so involved in the game of tennis, and most players make the same mistakes no matter where they hail from or whether they are young or old. The problem for so many tennis players is they fail to truly understand their limitations; mistakes are inevitable, but the count will ... Read More »

Matt Browne Topples Billy Bush in Celebrity Doubles Match

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READMY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Skeptical, yes. Curious, sure. I always wondered how “Entertainment Tonight’s” Billy Bush moved up the line to secure such an awesome job in the television world. It surely can’t hurt to be a part of the Bush family; George H. W. Bush was President No. 41, first cousin George W. Bush was President No. 43 and first cousin Jeb Bush was the governor of Florida. Billy Bush, like his famous cousins, has a solid educational background as he attended the prestigious St. George’s School in Newport, Rhode Island, and then attained his degree at Colby ... Read More »

How Can My Opponent Be the Umpire?

Tennis

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Unless you are playing in a Grand Slam tennis tournament or a Master Series pro event, your opponent will be calling the lines in your next USTA or CTA match. Is it possible that your tennis foe has so much power? There is no way to sugarcoat this topic. With no umpires in sight, you have to rely on your opponent to call the ball as honestly as possible. However, tennis players are not the only participants who must deal with this fate. Here is an example of how crazy rules are in the great ... Read More »

No More Let’s: What’s Next?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Last week, I attended the Southern Conference college tennis championships and walked away with several observations. One, the service ‘let’ has been eliminated. Due to rampant cheating, the rule had to be changed. Translation: Most of the kids possess big flat cannonball serves and the balls barely clear the net. If the foe is too competitive, he will yell ‘let’ whether he hears the net cord or not. What is the downside of the new serving rule? It is conceivable that the hard-serving player may hit the top of the net and it may ... Read More »

Time to Raise Elbows

Matt Browne is raising his
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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Ironically, when I grew up playing tennis on the Har-Tru (clay) courts at the Milwaukee Town Club (former home of the United States Clay Court Championships) back in the late 1960’s, we never had to contend with high-bouncing tennis balls. Sure, many of my peers had nice, well-groomed American Twist serves, but no one commanded vicious topspin groundstrokes that routinely bounced above one’s shoulders. In my era, there was such a premium on the serve and volley strategy that points were relatively quick. Conversely, in the present game, foes constantly battle from the baseline ... Read More »

Myers Wins Pro Title at Hideaway Beach

Tennis

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The big stage never looked better; no wind, no humidity and 175 enthusiastic fans cheering on 28 talented Southwest Florida professionals during the finals at Hideaway Beach. Tye Myers, who grew up in Naples and now is a club pro at both Eagle Creek and Hideaway Beach, needed enough of his A-game to edge out the stiff competition as he won the number one title by one game! His biggest competition was Benji Kendall, former tennis star at Penn State University and Lynn University. Kendall boasted a flashy and bombastic forehand drive and ‘dipper’ as ... Read More »

Hideaway Pro tennis tournament coming

A solid, steady player.

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Earlier this month, Hideaway Beach hosted the 4th Annual Open Doubles Tournament and it showcased some of the finest tennis players in our area; 3.0 through 4.0 divisional stars exhibited their many talents over a two-day period. On Wednesday, March 26 at 4:30 PM, the Hideaway Beach Tennis Club will be running the finals of the prestigious Pro league, and they will be using a different format than what was done over a 20 week period. Prior to the playoffs, players often played with their favorite winning partner and they played one two out of ... Read More »

4th Annual Hideaway Beach Open

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Doug, I’ve played USTA tournaments throughout the state (Florida), and this is the best organized event I’ve attended,” entrant and former champion Monson Douglas offered Sunday afternoon. Not only did we have the largest draws in the four-year history but we had the greatest talent as well. The weather was picture perfect with 80 degree temperatures and literally no wind, and the players responded with stellar play. Finally, we had record crowds cheering their friends on Saturday and Sunday — a minimum of 200 players patrolling the grounds around the beautiful tennis center at the ... Read More »

This pro exemplifies the never-say-die attitude

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com We’ve all heard the cliché: The postman always delivers the mail whether it be rain, sleet or snow, right? Well, I think I have another profession with the same never say die attitude: tennis professional. Meet Hideaway Beach tennis pro, Leslie Holmquist Browne, who exemplified the real meaning of mental toughness despite incredible odds. Even though Leslie had a previous injury to her finger (she gashed her finger cutting a tomato and it hit the artery), she had it wrapped to the max and was armed and ready to go. However, midway through her ... Read More »

Hideaway Beach, Marco YMCA host big tournaments

Noreen Pitts and Carrie Masci.

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com The Hideaway Beach Club is hosting its Fourth Annual Open Doubles Tournament March 1-2, and is offering the following events: Men’s and Women’s 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 divisions. Each team is guaranteed two matches, logo t-shirt and lunch. The first 16 teams to sign up in each group are offered a spot in the draw. Here is the list of our 2013 winners: Women’s 4.0, Rachel Schenk and Jackie Pham; Women’s 3.5, Noreen Pitts and Carrie Masci; and Women’s 3.0, Margaret Kimberly and Ibit Scott. In the Men’s divisions, the 4.0 champions were Mike Piro ... Read More »

How can amnesia be a good thing?

Rafael Nadal is able to overcome mistakes by employing his tennis 'amnesia.' photo by Doug Browne

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com As long as I can remember, the word amnesia had negative connotations. More recently, just about every major network magazine broadcast (“Dateline,” “20-20”) showcased certain amnesia cases that left the viewer scratching their heads. For example, a father of four is found 1,000 miles away and cannot remember his past life, or the woman from Michigan who strangely ended up in Key West homeless and unable to recall her former life. In each situation, it is hard for the observer to imagine how a person could completely erase their past lives and embark on a ... Read More »

Is your mental game up to par?

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READ MY TIPS Doug Browne dbrowne912@aol.com Wow, the post-Christmas weather was spectacular, and the players were excited to perform in front of a huge Hideaway Beach Club crowd. More than 125 people were ready to watch the big winner-take-all doubles battle between Naples-own (Hideaway Beach summer Head Professional) Tye Myers and his new practice buddy, Matt Browne. They competed against two tough European stars in a two-out-of-three sets battle. The European pair started out quickly. They broke serve, and then held in dominant fashion as Myers scrambled to win his serve and stop their momentum. Once the score was knotted ... Read More »