Pete Sampras's serve, Roger Federer's forehand, Richard Gasquet's backhand - all three had one thing in common - grace. Infact almost all pros have that poise just before contact. Even Marat Safin's booming serves had that quality; it is that quality that separates the wheat from the chaff. By grace, I mean looking unrushed which means getting into a position early. Federer at his peak looked the most unrushed player on the circuit, yet his court coverage was on par with the best. How? Because he could anticipate the ball so well, his first step gave him the extra time.
It makes sense to do better than to do more.
As an amateur tennis player, I remember our coach shouting at us to make the groundstrokes look effortless. Two years on, i feel it is the single most important thing in tennis. Ofcourse you would need a sound technique to make it look "effortless" whether its a serve, or a groundstroke or a volley.
It really is a beautiful game. Tennis with its subtleties can sound too complicated, I find it fascinating. There is biomechanics intertwined with a feel for the ball. Andy Murray with a "drop shot here, a drop shot there" has an amazing feel for the ball. It is scary the control the pros possess. They can virtually place the ball on a coin.
Its a real shame that tennis in this country is an elitist's game. I mean for proper coaching and membership of a club, you have to pay through your nose. The last few years have seen many academies opening up trying to bridge this demand -supply gap. With greater awareness through media, rising disposable incomes and most importantly increased emphasis on fitness, tennis is only going to grow here. As with just about everything in this country, pricing will be the key.