Roy Emerson Tips

Four rookie pros

Day #4 of Newk’s camp again started out chilly (55 degrees) and the forecast was for rain all day; so it was modified play inside on the four covered courts for another day!

Emmo Says …

  • When you feed the ball in practice and warm up, use the stroke you most need to practice
  • Practice half volleys by yourself by dropping the ball in front of you, bending your knees and stroking a half volley over the net
  • If you practice on a wall, make sure to still actively move your feet
  • In serving, try to drop your grip as low as possible on the handle and grip it lightly
  • The serving power will come from that loose wrist allowing you to drop the racquet head and then come forward
  • On the backhand, bring the head of the racquet back – not high at your shoulders – but at the same level as the ball
  • And, come through with a stiff wrist and slow, easy motion … with minimum follow through
  • Try to get 85% of your first serves in
  • And strive to NEVER miss a return of serve
  • On the backhand volley, take the ball way out if front of you
  • Move your feet, move your feet

Morning Matches

We started off with all the doubles matches; and Jim B ended up in the first group at 8:15 a.m. (!) and playing against the very tough Kangaroo team of my good friend Willy Hoffmann and very challenging lefty Rob Delman (NYC).

The lighting on the indoor courts is poor, the courts are slick/fast, and Rob Delman had a great lefty serve.  Are those enough excuses?  They stomped us 8-1.

I was frustrated enough that I then hit on the indoor backboard till I worked up a good sweat; and then went back to my room to take a nice hot shower.

Indoor Sessions

We then went inside and in the later afternoon and did hitting drills … with Wayne Ferreira and Mark Philippoussis on the opposite side of the net!

That was followed by the BEST exhibition match in my 15 years at camp… Wayne Ferreira and Mikael Pernfors vs. Johan Kreik and Mark P.  While there was some showboating (Pernfors performing like a Swedish Monsor Brarami), there were incredible shots and gets that had the crowd cheering.

Team Results

While our Wankers are leading in the half match played today, as are the Kangaroos, tomorrow (weather permitting) we will complete the two half matches.  Which means, any team can win.  So we shall see.

Wednesday Night

After a Mexican night dinner, I presented the second Senior Moment award of giving away a copy of my “Senior Tennis” book (which is available in Newk’s pro shop).  After my prelude talking about Emmo and my dealing with prostate cancer nearly 12 years ago, it was awarded to my good friend Willy Hoffmann, who just got an “all clear” on his year-long challenge of bladder cancer.

That was followed by a fantastic video production created by Byron Miller highlighting the Four French Horsemen from the early days of tennis.

And by popular demand, Roy Emerson told three of his classic stories that had both the first-time rookies and veterans alike laughing.

Then the annual Australian Boat Race (the team beer chugging competition) Commissioner Doc Al Eden went over the teams and rules and was then held in the bar at the same time as the Sox/Dodger game.  I went to my room to watch, but I would assume it was won, as usual, by Newk’s ‘very experienced’ combined Kangaroo/Wanker team.

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4 thoughts on “Roy Emerson Tips

  1. George — as it turns out, Newk’s team was routined by the opponents. Freshman Captain Kriek led us to a great victory!

    Marc, thanks for the correction… maybe it was that last glass of wine that clouded my memory! george

  2. George, do not let the lack of comments discourage you – very interesting and entertaining to hear the daily detail – just nothing seems to need adding – enjoy the experience and keep telling us about it

    Winder, thanks for the positive feedback. I never know who likes what. george

  3. If you , get a chance, send my regards to Emmo. I worked his Laver-Emerson Tennis Clinics right after I graduated from college in 1974. I was in a full leg cast (from a skiing accident) up until I had my interview for the job-and worked his clinics at Waterville Valley, April Sound (Texas) and Pinehurst, NC. He was a great teaching mentor to me since I ended up being a career collegiate head tennis coach for over 35 years…and even after retiring, still coach part-time at Colby-Sawyer College (who just won the GNAC Championship this past weekend. I attribute some of my coaching success to what I learned from Emmo (and his Davis Cup teammates -Laver, Mal Anderson, Fred Stolle, Ray Ruffles, just to name a few).

    Lynn. Will do! George

  4. Thanks for passing along the Emerson tips. Chilly and wet in Kansas City today but hit on an indoor wall for an hour trying to implement some of the strokes. Felt good.

    Great! Thanks. George

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