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Read My Tips


Did Roddick retire too soon?

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne First, tennis fans had to absorb the retirement of Kim Clijsters; perhaps one of the most popular pro tennis players in the history of the game. Then, a few days later as he celebrated his thirtieth birthday, American tennis standout, Andy Roddick announced his retirement – effective at the end of the US Open tournament. In the age of declining American pro tennis stars, Roddick stood alone at the top for the better part of his entertaining career. During one stretch, he led the American Davis Cup team to a title as he went undefeated ... Read More »

Practice makes you perfect if…?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne In order to move to the next level in tennis, players have to be committed to outstanding practice sessions combined with tournament play. However, the vast majority of players often takes the safer route and only play “practice matches.” Unfortunately, when we practice with friends, most people still have a need to win and probably won’t try new things. But, if players desire to graduate to a higher level, they must be willing to radically change their practice sessions. If only two people are available to practice, the couple must focus on doubles drills and ... Read More »

Call me crazy but I have to pick Murray

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne Okay, I’m either a real optimist or just a huge Andy Murray fan but I think he is due and will win the 2012 US Open men’s singles title. The problem with my latest prediction is that future Hall of Famer Roger Federer is once again, the top player in the world and he just knocked off Murray at this year’s Wimbledon Championships. The way I see it, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have been trading places lately and it’s time for Murray to sneak in and nab his first Grand Slam title. Let’s just etch ... Read More »

Why do we have pros in the London Olympics?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne Without a doubt, the biggest complaint about the professional tennis circuit is that it runs far too long. The Australian Open starts the year in January and we still have the Davis Cup Final in December. And now, we have the current professionals participating in the London Olympics which will add yet another tournament to their current schedule. Back in 1992, the United States wanted to prove their basketball dominance so they assembled the “Dream Team” and they completely destroyed everyone on their way to the Gold medal. Now, 20 years later, it seems foolish ... Read More »

WATER COOLER TALK: Will Roddick win a round at Wimbledon?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne If I have to watch another women’s pro match and have to listen to that obnoxious screaming, I just might have to nix the volume and go mute! Now, here is the good news…Thanks to tennis legends Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, among others, who have constantly urged tennis officials to take a stance and change our current rules as far as excessive grunting is concerned. Let’s face it, when we are forced to watch Victoria Azerenka and Maria Sharapova square off, it is virtually impossible to focus on the tennis because we are bombarded ... Read More »

Is it possible to play too much tennis?

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne With tennis professional parents, we were so mindful of our children playing too much tennis; the last thing we wanted was our kids to hate the game we grew up to love! In order to make sure we were following the right path, we consulted numerous coaches and parents before we started the plan. The real irony is that it is pretty darn easy to know what to do – all one has to do is be tuned into your child. For example, if little junior insists on hitting balls against the garage door, it ... Read More »

Ratings changes: Is it time to panic?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne Uh, oh, it is that dicey time of year where anxious tennis players find out if they are going to stay put or will stay on their current teams. If you are a CTA league participant, coordinator Vivian Welsh publishes her new list; a small percentage of players must adjust as they may either move up a level or in a few cases, move down to a lower level! Now, If you are the select few who must move down, pause a moment and understand it is just a game. Heck, it is quite possible ... Read More »

Yes, even young Pete Sampras listened!

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  “Come on, you have to move your feet or it’s not worth our time,” I sternly remarked to my slow-moving teenage student. “Go, go, go, you can get to that ball,” I continued. One of the greatest coaching challenges is when the young student just doesn’t want to be on the tennis court. There is that very delicate fine line where the coach needs to push the player but not drive too hard because you don’t want to lose the student forever. As luck would have it, one of my adult friends was watching with his ... Read More »

The two-handed backhand: The far superior stroke

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne To me, it is not the great debate: Which stroke is better for the tennis player – The one-handed backhand style versus the two-handed backhand stroke? It appears the only real argument for the one-handed backhand is the reach argument. Proponents of the one-handed stroke claim that the two-handed stroke is inferior when moving to sharply hit wide balls. However, this opinion is easily disputed. Most important, there are just too many solid reasons why we should coach new players the ‘two-hander’ versus the one-hander: • Service return • High balls • Consistency • Reliability ... Read More »

Typical target species when fishing the flats and near shore areas of the 10,000 Islands

FOLLOW THE FISH Capt. Pete Rapps There are so many different species of fish that we catch here in the 10,000 Islands and the Everglades National Park. Some fish that are targeted for food purposes, depending on their open season, are Redfish, Snapper, Trout, Flounder, Mackerel, Tripletail, Cobia, Pompano, Snook, Grouper and more. Some fish we target for sport. Tarpon are a great sport fish that are never eaten, however others like Snook, Permit, & Shark are mostly targeted for sport and sometime for food. Others like Ladyfish, Jacks, & Catfish can be considered sport, however are typically just bi-catch ... Read More »

It didn’t work for General Custer and it won’t work for you

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne One of the key tactical mistakes doubles teams frequently make, is that they completely underestimate their opponent’s ability to execute a variety of shots during a big tennis match. Inexperienced doubles teams assume that all doubles teams will hit lobs when they are in trouble and this is simply not true. “There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry.” George Armstrong Custer. Over the course of the last five weeks, I have viewed four different tournaments and have also observed several league matches and I have noted one huge mistake ... Read More »

My day with the UPENN tennis team

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne There is just nothing like being a college coach. In this case, a part-time assignment but nevertheless, an experience that I will never forget. In my everyday life as a club pro, it is illegal to talk to my players when they compete in match-play. Whether it is a USTA/CTA match, coaches are prohibited to talk to their students. No complaints. However, NCAA Division I tennis allows coaches to “do their thing” during match-play as long as it does not affect the flow of the game. In my past, I was lucky enough to be ... Read More »

Hideaway Beach Open doubles tournament

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne The 2nd Annual Hideaway Beach Open Doubles tournament featured 94 tennis players from all over Collier County and beyond. The following tennis facilities were represented: Hideaway Beach, Fiddler’s Creek, Marco Island Racquet Center, Marco Island YMCA, Cape Marco, Eagle Creek, Player’s Club, Pelican Bay and the Longboat Key Club in Sarasota. This year, we added the 4.0 divisions – in both the men’s and women’s events, the winning teams were undefeated. In particular, Ann Campisi and Jackie Pham were unbeatable this past weekend as they braved the sweltering heat and finally the wind to capture ... Read More »

Do you know how to put the ball away?

Doug Browne With all the power in today’s game, there is a lot of pressure on tennis players to put the ball away in dramatic fashion. Unfortunately, a good majority of tennis competitors do not have the right skills to execute winners all over the court. If I had to pinpoint a good place to hit a winning stroke, it usually occurs at the net. The key is to understand your opponent’s tendencies so well that you can predict his next move. For example, if the server is able to hit forceful serves down the middle near the “Texas ... Read More »

2nd Annual Doubles Open returns to the Hideaway Beach Club

Read My Tips Doug Browne Entries have already rolled in from the Player’s Club, Fiddler’s Creek, Eagle Creek, and Island Club and of course, Hideaway Beach for the 2nd Annual Open Doubles event at Hideaway Beach beginning Friday, March 2nd. Due to the success of last year’s event, past participants already sent in their entries last week; the first sixteen teams in each division are automatically placed in the draw and each one after number 16 will be placed in a waiting list!  Here are some of the key particulars:   New, new, new – 4.0 doubles for men and women.  In 2012, ... Read More »

Wayne Bryan and the USTA

READ MY TIPS Doug Browne If you have time and a lot of patience, and perhaps some perseverance, tennis coach/author Wayne Bryan (father of successful twins Bob & Mike) offers a number of strong opinions about the United States Tennis Association and college tennis. To be fair, I am an acquaintance of Mr. Bryan and I have spent considerable time talking tennis with him over the past ten years or more. He is a refreshingly honest, passionate man who has earned the privilege of offering keen insights about the state of the game today. Wayne Bryan’s book, “Raising Your Child ... Read More »

Do you know the 10 Commandments in tennis?

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne Please forgive me as I may sound like I am preaching but I feel it is necessary to point out crucial tennis etiquette information as many tennis players begin preparation for both USTA tournaments and local league competition. A group of tennis friends have assisted me in our new 10 Commandments of Tennis and here is our first list: • Thou shall be kind to thy doubles partner. • Players must be fair and honest with their opponents. • After a tennis match, invite your opponents for lunch. • No profanity on the tennis court. ... Read More »

My husband wants me to hit my serve harder, what do I do?

Doug Browne Most of my male friends have been playing all kinds of sports since early childhood and are still in good physical condition. Additionally, many of my buddies stand six feet tall or greater and often weigh over 175 pounds. Whether they are playing a pick-up weekend basketball game or they have playing in a golf tournament, they have immense sports talent. When the boys finally hit the tennis court, they possess a big first serve (maybe it goes in 40% of the time and they just love whaling on the ball regardless where the ball lands. Now, ... Read More »

Is Sportsmanship Dead?

By Doug Browne On Thanksgiving Day, of all things, Detroit Lions defensive star Ndamkong Suh lost his cool and stomped on his opponent’s leg well after the whistle had blown the play over. It was bad enough that this young player affected his team’s ability to win the game but during an interview hours later, he tried to justify his poor judgment. Unfortunately, this recent display of poor sportsmanship is not an isolated incident. We continually observe excessive acts of athletes behaving badly. In tennis it often starts out with a small gesture as the opponent does not hit the ... Read More »

Tennis players beware – technique matters!

Doug Browne  As a working tennis coach, it is common-fare for me to watch hours of competition each week. Without a doubt, a player’s stroking deficiency affects his ability to implement solid strategy during match play. In other words, even though the doubles alley is left wide open and it is clear that the opponent should place his shot in that direction, too many times recreational players simply cannot find the mark. Here are a few stroking problems that I am referring to: • Player ‘pokes’ instead of strokes the tennis ball. • When the player sets up for the ... Read More »