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Good Strokes for Senior Folks By David Staniford

What to Watch for on the Courts at Wimbledon

It’s that time of year again – Wimbledon time – when many of us are glued to the TV watching great matches every morning live from the All England Club.

Most of the top players find the grass very slippery and slick the first week. As the courts dry out by the second week, the footing – and play – improves.

On grass – for the men, especially – the serve is a weapon. You’ll see many of the top men serving wide or at the body, using the bounce and slide of the ball off the grass. Watch for Serena and Venus Williams to win some easy points with accurate power serves.

Playing on grass courts requires a special kind of timing to return serves. The ball can skip through lower or higher, depending on the server’s intent. Most of the top players spend a lot of time in the weeks after the French Open just getting used to the irregular bounces. Watch for the good returners such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to hit their stride in the second week. In doubles, watch for the Bryan brothers to hit a lot of quality low returns to get points started on the grass.

So, take the time to watch some great matches with all the tradition of Wimbledon. Celebrate top tennis with a “Breakfast at Wimbledon” on the final Sunday. Be sure to serve up Pimm’s and strawberries and cream. Wimbledon’s famous drink is: Pimm’s liqueur, ice, ginger ale, add a twist of lemon and a dash of gin if desired, to taste, in a tall glass, then add a slice of cucumber to be truly authentic. Very refreshing after a warm day on the courts. 

David is a former No. 1 player at the University of Oregon, where he earned his Ed.D. A student of movement studies at the universities of Sydney and London, he has more than 40 years of experience as tennis professional, college coach, professor and administrator. An Apex award recipient, David has authored several books including, Natural Movement for Children and Natural Tennis (second edition).

20 • July 2014 •

David Staniford and Suzie Kaeding work with tennis players who took advantage of the free clinic offered at the SLV Recreation Center.

SLV’s Thriving Tennis Community Continues to Expand and Grow


he French Open and Wimbledon are great events for drawing even novice players into the excitement of the game and the admiration for the ability, stamina, and athleticism of the players.

The Savannah Lakes Village Recreation Center joining the Tennis Industry Association, PTR (largest global organization of tennis teachers and coaches), and the USPTA’s Tennis Across America contributed to the excitement of engaging beginning and returning players to the game.

Tennis Committee

David Staniford, with the assistance of player Suzie Kaeding, worked with the eight participants who took advantage of a free clinic at the RC. Peggy Thomas, who identified herself as a golfer, shared that she was delighted to have the chance to give tennis a try. “I wanted someone to show me the basics to see if I could do it,” she said. “The clinic was very good. I was glad to see others on my level.”

By Lana Snellgrove

Playing on a grass court is a different experience than playing on either clay or hard surfaces that we have here at SLV. Enjoying the challenge of grass court play, Mike Lusby enlisted three other local players to join him on a trip to Southern Pines, a small town adjacent to Pinehurst, N.C.

“We had a devil of a time at first because of the quickness and low bounce off of the grass … we took as many balls in the air as we could,” Lusby said. Brian Aufderheide, David Staniford, and Aaron Watson joined Lusby for the three-day tennis adventure. “It is worth the trip to realize what the pros have to do to adjust their game [to the grass surface].”

One of the exciting advantages of the SLV Tennis Program is that there are players at every level from beginners to competitive players. Three levels of mixed doubles have teams playing in the summer season. Mixed doubles teams afford players the opportunity to play competitively with men and women playing together. In July the ladies teams and the men’s teams will take to the courts with combo teams (partners are rated at different levels).

SLV’s thriving tennis community continues to expand and grow in numbers and in opportunities for play at every level. The numbers and the enthusiasm support the assertion that tennis is truly the game of a lifetime. 

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