Melbourne VIC, Australia, 13 April 2017 | Tennis Australia

Off to play in an Easter tennis tournament tomorrow? We wish you the best of luck and offer some nuggets of wisdom from 22 times Grand Slam doubles champion, Todd Woodbridge.

How should you prepare to play on grass when you have been hitting for most of the year on synthetic, clay or hardcourt?

If you can’t get on court the best grass warm-up is to practice half volleys and volleys against a wall. Half volleys can help you with the short backswing and follow through needed to pick up low shooters on the grass.

Should you play mixed with a relative? Who should call the shots?

It’s okay to play with sons and daughters but avoid playing with your wife. It’s protocol for ladies to walk around the net post first and men usually serve first. Overheads are for the men but fellas – don’t try and do too much!! Not every shot is yours.

In social comp, is it acceptable to blast the person at the net if it’s a woman, or serve as hard as you can to her?

Come on guys never hit straight at the lady!! It’s okay to hit the ball around them and, on serve, spin is more effective than power anyway.

How do you contend with the local who has grown up on the courts and has one in the back paddock?

Watch what they do on grass they often know where the dodgy bounces are so if you can’t beat them copy them.

How do you handle the 10-year-old up-coming Australian champion who sledges you at change of ends?

Talk them up on the way out. At the change of ends, tell them how amazing they are! What a future they have. They will start to overplay to impress. Been there and done that, as a junior I mean.

Should you drink before you compete?

One beer might help the electrolytes. But three will have you cramping in the third set so save it for after the victory speech.

Is it okay to play bare feet?


Should you fill up on the country club sandwiches or Devonshire teas? What should you eat to optimise your performance?

Curried egg sandwiches are good if you’re playing singles! Otherwise salad sandwich on brown bread and bananas between matches will keep the fuel burning efficiently.

How do you handle a moonballer?

Moonballers don’t like being brought forward, use the drop shot or short chip then hit a hard drive. If you leave them in the baseline they can out rally you all day.

A slice ‘n dicer?

Try to get the ball above shoulder height. Slicers’ grips are made for low balls and can’t control anything above shoulder height.

A chip ‘n charger?

Keep first server percentage up high and make sure you have plenty of depth on groundies. Also, most club players smash terribly so post high lobs to push them back. Rod Laver’s coach Charlie Hollis used to say, ‘60 ft is better than 80 and 89 ft is better than 60’. Translation: the higher the better.

If you get a prize for winning, is it impolite to auction it on eBay?

There’s only so many pot pourri bowls and glasses you can use. Auction and get what ever you want, you won it.