By this I mean do not get easily downhearted and discouraged. Fight pluckily to the end, however things are going against you. Courage and pluck are wanted above all things to carry you successfully through your matches. Never say die, however hopeless the score may sound against you. If you are very done up, try not to make it too obvious. Your opponent may be just as played out as you are. Seeing your signals of distress, she will buoy herself up and continue the struggle with renewed hope and vigour.
This maxim is rather difficult to explain. What I mean is, you should vary your manner of play and re-adapt it in order to counteract your opponent. Upset her usual game by your tactics. It is always a great mistake to keep up a method of attack or defence if it is proving unavailing. If necessary, keep your own method of play continually on the change. A change of tactics has often meant a change of fortune in the game. Never let your opponent know what you are going to do next; do what she would least expect. Always try to make a stroke. Give her plenty of the strokes you know she doesn’t like. I have often felt myself improving an opponent’s weak stroke by pegging away at it. It gives her plenty of excellent practice, of course, and when you find she is beginning not to mind it so much, give it a rest. When you go back to it you will probably find it successful again. Use your brain, and always know what you are trying to do. Play with an object of attack and defence. Do not merely return the ball aimlessly; let each stroke have its little work to do to complete the whole victory. This is difficult, I know, but it is so much more fascinating, and is, I am sure, the way the game was meant to be played. There is much science that can be brought into lawn tennis, always something new to learn. And that is the reason why we never tire of playing it.
RACKETS, COURTS, DRESS, AND TRAINING
A good lawn tennis racket is indispensable; indeed, to use a weapon of inferior make is to court failure from the start. You cannot be too particular to have a really well-made racket. Fortunately there are now so many good makers that it is a player’s own fault if she is not suitably equipped. It may be a little more expensive to buy a really first-class racket; but the few extra shillings are well worth while if you mean to take up the game seriously, and to get out of it all the enjoyment you can. Personally I always play with a “Slazenger” racket, preferring their make to any other; but there are many other good manufacturers.