Out of print, but still readily obtainable used from Amazon.com.
Power Tennis is a pleasant little book, combining beginning tennis instruction with a lot of photos, mostly good, of Maureen Connolly demonstrating the strokes. Although it is too brief to serve alone as a beginner's only instruction book, it would make a nice supplement to others, and is a good addition to any collection of works about women's tennis greats. Power Tennis also benefits from having an index.
How I Learned to Play Tennis (pages 1-4)
Tennis has been the most important thing in my life ever since I first picked up a racquet at the tender age of ten. Our home is located only two doors from San Diego's prominent University Heights playground and it was there that my career began. Attached to this public playground wre three white-stained courts, and each day on my way to play tag in the sand piles I would stop and watch players hitting balls back and forth. One day "Lil Mo" decided she would like to try her luck at this game, so I started picking up balls for the local tennis professional, Wilbur Folsom. This ball-girl routine became a daily habit and soon the coach handed me a racquet and said "Go to it." That's just what happened! I started by returning balls to his pupils and learning how to scramble from one side of the court to the other.
When I was ten and a half, mother bought me a $1.50 racquet to enter my first tournament. Up to that time, she had no idea that I was even vaguely interested in this sport--much less wanting to play in actual competition. But since this racquet meant everything in the world to me, she was sweet enough to purchase it.
My "debut" was in the La Jolla playground's thirteen-and-under division, and I will never forget the thrill of playing my initial match or the good case of "jangled nerves" that also played quite a part. By some stroke of fortune, I happened to reach the final round but was then soundly trounced by a good little player, Anne Bissell. I still remember the score, 8-6, 6-2. I was very disappointed at losing and knew right then that someday I wanted to reach the top in the tennis field. From then on in, it has been work, work, and more work with practice sessions beginning at 9:00 A.M. and winding up around dinner time...
When I was eleven years old, the Balboa Tennis Club gave me a complimentary membership in their junior development program and that was one of the luckiest breaks possible. Here was the opportunity to play with the best club members, both male and female, and this improved my game 100 per cent... In addition to the Balboa Club, I was also given membership and help at the beautiful La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and the popular Los Angeles Tennis Club. I only wish that all clubs in the United States would adopt junior aid programs because through them the champions of the future are developed.
In my second year of tournament tennis, I met the world-famous coach, Eleanor "Teach" Tennant, at the Beverly Hills Tennis Club. I was playing in the Pacific Southwest tourney at the time, and my good friend and tennis enthusiast, Mrs. Curt Tree, arranged the introduction. I remember being quite nervous when "Teach" told me to wander into the opposite court and return balls to her. One thing still stands out in my mind--that was swatting every ball as hard as possible to try to impress this great coach. The Irish must be luckybecause a good percentage of my returns found the baseline and sidelines. How, I'll never know! Eleanor offered to take me as her pupil, and for six years we worked hard and long on my game. "Teach" revised my entire stroking production and taught me innumerable points on strategy and court sense from the back court. At first my strokes were awkward and loose and my footwork was atrocious. She quickly gave me exercises to strengthen my wrist and arm and insisted that I learn to dance so that I would "get off the dime," as she put it. One of Eleanor's greatest teaching assets is that she understands the individual player and knows how to deal with her temperament and moods. She used to "key me up" before a big match with a pep talk because with my particular type of game I have to be extra sharp, a little nervous, and on my toes to get the best out of my shots. She was also excellent in spotting an opponent's weakness and advising you how to take advantage of it.
This past year I have been working with two other "greats" in our sport: Australia's Davis Cup captain, Harry Hopman, and the former world's doubles champion, Lester Stoefen. "Hop" began working with me during my 1952-53 tour of his country. He concentrated mainly on my volleys and overhead, and with our daily practice sessions they improved tremendously. We continued working together during our tour of Europe and on the States' eastern grass-court circuit. Sometimes during the important tournaments I would be overanxious and worried about certain shots. Then this master tactician would take me out on the court and tell me to "thrash" him a set. Of course, if I could win one game during the whole match it was a miracle but "Hop" would make me laugh and I would relax and start timing my shots more accurately.
It is very easy to become "overplayed" in tennis due to all the pressure of strenuous matches, so a day off or some "easy tennis" is the best thing in the world to make you hit your groove again...
"On clay, Chris [Evert] and Maureen Connolly are close. Maureen hardly ever lost a match, winning Wimbledon at 16, 17, and 18... She and Chris are very similar-- great, great baseliners. If anything, Maureen might have been a little swifter and quicker around the court than Chris. Maureen would have beaten Martina [Navratilova] on clay. Its questionable whether Maureen would have beaten her on a hardcourt. On grass I like Martina."|
Bobby Riggs, quoted in Tennis Confidential by Paul Fein
"Whenever a great player comes along you have to ask, 'Could she have beaten Maureen?' In every case the answer is, I think not."|
London Daily Telegraph tennis correspondent Lance Tingay
Maureen Connolly page at the International Tennis Hall of Fame
Find more books by or about Maureen Connolly at Amazon.com
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Tennis pages at quickfound.net:
- Tennis Training Book Excerpts:
Power Tennis by Maureen Connolly
Lawn Tennis: The Game of Nations by Suzanne Lenglen
Top Flite Tennis by Mary K. Browne
Tennis For Anyone! by Sarah Palfrey
My Life and Game by Bjorn Borg
How to Play Tougher Tennis by Jimmy Connors
Tennis by Pancho Gonzales
Tennis Strokes and Strategies from Tennis Magazine
The Handbook of Tennis by Paul Douglas
High Tech Tennis by Jack L. Groppel
Tennis Science for Tennis Players by Howard Brody
- Tennis News and Links
- WTA 2004 Desktop Wallpaper
- Justine Henin-Hardenne Desktop Wallpaper
- Maria Sharapova Desktop Wallpaper
- Anastasia Myskina Desktop Wallpaper
- Anna Kournikova News and Links
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- Martina Hingis News and Links
- 2004 WTA Player Interview Videos
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