The Ten Commandments of Tennis

tilden1 001Thanks to Pelican Bay staff friend Bruce for giving me a copy of this great old Top-Flite card, highlighting Bill Tilden and his “Ten Commandments of Tennis.” It is pictured here; and notes on my singles tournament match today follows it.

The basics of the game 90 years later are still the same – and take special note of #5: nothing worse than a smelly tennis player!

Notice two other things…tilden2 001

• It was distributed by “A.G. Spalding & Bros., Albany, NY.” The original Spalding sports company was established by Boston Red Stockings pitcher A.G. Spalding in 1876.

• And, how many balls is Mr. Tilden holding in his hand, getting ready to hit a ground stroke… three?!!

And, we should all listen to what he says in #10… tennis is supposed to be played for the fun of it. Which one do you like?

My Match Today

As the #4 seed in this week’s Florida Super Senior Grand Prix tournament at the Palm Aire Club, Sarasota (many of the big names are not here), I had a first round bye yesterday and my first match today at 1 p.m.

So DeDe and I drove up two hours this morning and I hung around for 2.5 hours waiting to play my match; and it showed early!

During the warm-up and first game vs. hard-hitting Klaus Essele of Germany (via Siesta Key, Florida), he was hitting forehands, backhands, and solid serves… while I felt heavy-legged and starting thinking about the consolation bracket (DeDe observed the same).

But I just tried to get one more ball back in play; and that got me back into my groove. I ended up with a solid 6-2, 6-1 victory and move onto the Quarters tomorrow vs. #5 seeded Jay Bortner.

Tonight, we are off to the Bonefish Grille, right next door to our Hampton Inn!

For the link to the tournament and all the results and draws, please click HERE.

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7 thoughts on “The Ten Commandments of Tennis

  1. Great advice from Tilden. Thanks for posting–As to holding three balls while hitting, there is a story that once, at Forest Hills, Tilden carried four balls in his left hand at the start of a service game and then hit four aces in a row. Have no idea if that’s true or just tennis lore.

  2. GEORGE!!!!
    That is SO neat. Thank you for sharing.

    #6 speaks to me 🙂

    Marc – glad you liked. and, too bad those Dutch men and women cant skate too well!!! george

  3. I was going to say, ” I believe he hit 4 straight aces in a game at the Nationals, but as for Holding 4 balls… ” Then I blew up that picture. He’s holding three balls. That shows me he sure held four balls when he served. Because who the heck holds any balls when he’s receiving… I did see him hit once and what I got out of it was How Fast he moved After he hit the ball. His feet were a Goddam Blur. Never saw anything like it. That was, what I could see, what made him so great, plus how well he hit the ball. So my guess is he kinda shoulda have included ” Move your Feet ” as one of his top ten…

    Bob – It is one of MY top ten (Emmo preaches “have happy feet”) tks, george

  4. I am tempted to question Commandment number 2, but, having won far fewer majors than Big Bill, I will keep my mouth shut. Cheers George!

  5. i found this at an ESPN site: “The play was the thing for Tilden but the more he won the more his other weaknesses showed. He would arrogantly hold four balls in his hand at once, serve three aces and then throw the fourth aside and walk away, a move many opponents naturally found distasteful. “

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