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My day with the UPENN tennis team

READ MY TIPS  Doug Browne  dbrowne912@aol.com 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 dbrowne912@aol.com 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 dbrowne912@aol.com 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 dbrowne912@aol.com 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  dbrowne912@aol.com 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  dbrowne912@aol.com 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 dbrowne912@aol.com 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 »

Competitive league to shut down, unless…?

Doug Browne With our world moving at such a fast pace, one wonders how some things just never change? Just take a peek at our technological field with the recent inventions: IPOD, I Phone, IPAD, Satellite radio robotic surgery, I could go on and on. But in the tennis world and in particular league tennis, we seem to be missing the big picture. If we can break it down and make it real simple; no one playing league tennis is going to receive huge prize money or be sent to the next Grand Slam event. Therefore, all of our league ... Read More »

It’s only a rectangle – Learn how to run great tennis mixers!

Doug Browne If you are running the tennis program at a Golf and Country Club, it is inevitable that the two sports will collide. Fair or not, golfers and tennis players often clash but it is imperative to understand the differences. For one, I’ve never met a tennis pro who didn’t want to unwind on the golf course. Most of my close friends shoot well below 90 and just love the game. And when it comes to the social scene, golf has so many incredible advantages; proven handi-cap system, innumerable ways to run a scramble (‘Closest to the pin, ‘three ... Read More »

Does your brain get in the way of your success?

Doug Browne Doug, did you see the latest tip in Tennis Magazine?,” one of my enthusiastic stu­dents asked me recently after one of our work-outs. My main concern is that the student is on the right track; she is begin­ning to do the essential items to win ten­nis matches but due to her curiosity she just may screw things up. In other words, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as people tends to over analyze cer­tain bits and pieces and then they become mentally slower on the tennis court. For example, my improving student is rapidly becoming ... Read More »

Novak Djokovic: From jokester to World Champion!

By: Doug Browne It’s impossible to comprehend what Novak Djokovic has accomplished this year; 10-1 against both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and winning three out of four Grand Slam singles championships. Just a few summers ago, when Federer surpassed Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam record, we were watching the rise of Rafa Nadal as he not only dominated the French Open but he had just won his first Wimbledon crown. No one in the tennis world felt that Novak Djokovic would hurdle over both Federer and Nadal let alone dominate each one. With Djokovic having ‘double-fault-itis’, heat exhaustion problems and ... Read More »

McEnroe versus McEnroe – big brother or little brother?

READ MY TIPS By Doug Browne Gosh, as long as I can remember, the tennis experts continually debate the plight of USA tennis. Do you remember the 1994 Sports Illustrated article by Sally Jenkins that proclaimed, “Is tennis dying?” Fortunately, the sport of tennis has come a long way since the epitaph was written but Americans are panicking because our current stars are fading and many are unsure if we have a new crop of players coming up the pike. Good or bad, the person in charge of resurrecting our USTA junior program is Patrick McEnroe. McEnroe, the younger brother of controversial ... Read More »

Matt Browne, Max Eppley gain finals at Pro event on the Vineyard

By Doug Browne Last week, the Farm Neck Country Club, located in Oak Bluffs, Mas­sachusetts, hosted the $5,000 Pro Doubles Challenge which featured top teams from New England and Florida. Matt Browne, former number one player at Lely High School, teamed up with the Merrimac College top dog, Max Eppley of Wesley Chapel, Florida, for this presti­gious event on the “Island.” The new team of Browne and Eppley knocked off the McCue brothers – An­drew competes for Tufts University out­side Boston and Brother Tim was a former teammate of Max’s at Merrimac College in Andover, Massachusetts. In the semi-finals, Browne and ... Read More »

Don’t be too stubborn to change your losing game

By Doug Browne Usually your big serve and ferocious forehand does the trick; one stroke sets up the other and before you know it you are in the winner’s circle. But, on this particular day (ask Swedish star Robin Soderling about this as he just lost at Wimbledon in a big upset to a teenage star) your usual strategy has failed. Not only have your weapons failed to live up to their promise but the man on the other side of the net is getting all the breaks! Certainly, if a tennis challenger has played hundreds of matches, he has encountered ... Read More »

Do you know the golden rules of doubles?

In order to consistently win on the doubles court, we must follow some basic rules to ensure victory: Get your first serve to the player’s weakness at least 60% of the time. The serve and volley player should hit their first volley in front of the service line in order to hit a penetrating volley. The serving team must be active at the net. Poach and fake poach often! The receiving team needs to be consistent to develop a rhythm in order to break serve. Don’t over-hit your returns – be steady. The receiving team must command a good lob ... Read More »

Tennis professionals Minarich & St. John honored in Collier County

By Doug Browne Last week, Pelican Marsh tennis director, Pete Minarich was honored as the 2010 Collier County USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association) Professional of the year and will officially receive his award at the Florida state convention in Port St. Lucie next month. One of the many reasons, Minarich was sited for this prestigious award was his relentless and tireless pursuit of one of the most popular events in the area: The Naples/Ft. Myers Tennis Challenge. Minarich, as the tennis director at the Bay Club in Pelican Bay, organized the first county challenge almost thirty years ago and ... Read More »

No more volleyball – We’re supposed to be playing tennis!

By Doug Browne Let’s face it, most tennis enthusiasts love to watch a fast volley exchange during a great tennis match. Most of us get transfixed when we witness a player’s fast-hands, quick feet and razor-sharp accuracy. However, I am not referring to a fabulous fast net exchange; my criticisms stem when four players are well positioned at the net and fail to hit a volley with a good purpose. In other words, one should not venture into the net if he is not intending to hit a winning volley. As a rule, if a player is a bit tentative, ... Read More »

The serving team: It takes two to tango!

By Doug Browne “Without a doubt, if a serving team wishes to be dominant the net player must be aggressive. Former Davis Cup Coach and ATP player, Tom Gullikson (he and twin-brother Tim were one of the best doubles teams in the 1970’s and early 1980’s) had one specific goal when his partner was serving – Try to earn two points every time his brother was serving. Specifically, he had two distinct moves that enabled his teammate to hold serve: Poach or fake-poach. Great net players poach, the net person moves from his side of the court to the other ... Read More »