Posted by: drspartalis | 18/02/2009

An Introduction

Tennis has been a significant part of my life since I was a child growing up on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus.  The mild Mediterranean climate allows for year-round outdoor play.  The predominant court surface type on the island is red clay.  As junior players in the 1960’s, my friends and I trained together at the Larnaca Tennis Club and competed in tournaments throughout the island, including my favorite the Trodos Open held annually near the highest altitude of the island in the Trodos Mountains.  The highlight of my young playing days was a visit by one of the All-time greatest players, The Rocket Rod Laver.  The Rocket spent a day at the Larnaca Tennis Club to give a junior clinic.  My friends and I had a chance to speak to, exchange ground strokes with, and shake the hand of the great champion. 

Following the birth of my two sons in New York, I soon found myself getting back into the sport of my youth as a hitting partner, chauffeur, and sports injury doctor.  Without any influence from me, my eldest took a great liking to the sport and the disciple of training and competition from the age of six.  Soon thereafter both my boys were training with coaches and playing in local tournaments in the New York area during the school year and in Cyprus through the summer months.  Their love for the sport has never waned and they keep me up-to-date with the latest developments and newest players.

Let’s open the discussion with a comparison of today’s top players with those of previous eras. 

The marked athleticism of today’s top players together with the significant advancements in racket technology give evidence to a shift in the spirit of the sport away from a demonstration of high-level skill, precision, and strategy and towards more of a test of strength and endurance.  This is a theme that I will return to regularly, and I encourage you to present your ideas on the sport as well!


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