Eight Kentucky High Schools* converged on Seneca Park and Saint Xavier High School to contest the 2019 Kentucky High School Duals on March 22nd and 23rd. Each school contested 3 dual matches following a 6 singles matches and 3 doubles matches format. I noticed a few things:
- The really elite players have a lot of firepower in their games, but they mainly win by giving their opponent very little to work with during a rally. They do not push the ball by any means, but they would rather hit with great depth and work over an opponent’s shot (normally a backhand) than simply blast away. A lot of teen players have not acquired the virtue of patience, but top tennis teens have
- Lesser players either fail due to swinging for winners too soon/often or due to pushing the ball. In a match between these two groups, the pusher tends to win unless a player willing to bash happens to be in the zone.
- Self-confidence and a willingness to compete can steal a few courts. Playing with effort is something everyone can put forth regardless of skill level so this is a great thing for players of all levels to adopt.
- Finally, players who have grown up with today’s strings tend to all have fairly impressive forehands. Still, many players give up a lot of real estate on court and judicious approaches to the net during a rally can expose players who are not natural movers.
* The eight high schools included the winner Manual (Louisville), Saint Xavier (Louisville), Trinity (Louisville), North Oldham (Greater Louisville), Henry Clay (Lexington), Ashland Paul Blazer (Near the KY-WV border), Covington Catholic (Greater Cincinnati Area), and Simon Kenton (Greater Cincinnati Area).