I cannot be the only one who has been thrown off by a ball that seemingly had a mind of its own, either lurching off the wall and away from the path of my stroke, or worse, straight into my body.  This degree of wonkiness –unique to court tennis amongst the racket sports because of the relatively large amount of friction between the ball and the wall – is the result of what we Americans call English, the English call side, and what the French call it is anyone’s guess.  Regardless of its designation, it is crucial to understand this aspect of the game if one is to progress to the highest echelons of the sport.    

In the ideal case, this understanding becomes deeply embedded in one’s muscles, so that one moves effortlessly to the intercept the ball’s path.  In the meantime, and as a supplement to bodily knowledge, it can’t hurt to understand a bit about the science of spin.  To read the full article, click here