Instantly acquire all the knowledge you need to pass as an expert in the world of tennis. Know what to say, what not to say, what to do on a court, and what excuses to make if you can’t lay a racquet head on a ball. Never again confuse top spin with a slice, or a squash shot with a tweener. Bask in the admiration of your fellow tennis players as you pronounce confidently on the merits of the windshield wiper, the reverse forehand and the run-around. Above all, know exactly how to hold your own against the sort of tennis nerd who probably emerged from the womb reading a copy of Inner Tennis. And never wear a headband.
DON’T SAY ‘You CANNOT be serious...you guys are the absolute pits of the world!’
DO SAY ‘I was trying out an extreme version of the extreme Hawaiian and something just went “ping” in my wrist. Never been the same since.’
Author: David Whitehead began playing tennis as a child. It seemed to him to be more civilised and less brutish than sports like rugby and bare-knuckle fighting, and it was also readily available in sunny San Diego, California, where he then lived. So young Dave got better at tennis than at other pursuits, such as school, and when a mediocre US university needed to make up the numbers of itstennis team, he gladly accepted an offer of a scholarship. Eventually, he took and somehow passed the United States Professional Tennis Association certification test in 1980.
After playing and preaching tennis etiquette for many years, it occurred to him that he might share his knowledge about the game with the sort of misguided and undeserving people who hadn’t yet sought his services as a coach. So in a burst of unaccustomed idealism and overt greed, he wrote The Tennis Junkies’ Guide (To Serious Humor) - an ‘unheralded classic’, in the words of Mrs Whitehead. More than three decades after becoming a pro, Dave is still working on his backhand.