picture via pinterest


As a 7-year-old girl I wished for a tennis racket for easter and I received a very bright yellow one. From that same day onwards, I used to play endless hours against our house wall, first with a soft ball and then with a regular tennis ball. Every once in a while, I was also able to convince my dad to hit some balls with me on the street. The true highlight though was being allowed to accompany him to the local tennis club. There I was only allowed to use the wall – again – while he played with his club friends. At least it was a true tennis wall and it happened to be just right next to the court where coaches were teaching lessons. So apart from hitting ball after ball hour after hour against the wall, I now started to observe and listen to what the coaches taught in their tennis lessons right next to me

Sometimes I wonder how indeed I never got bored with wall tennis as this went on not only for months but years. However, I always seemed to manage to invent new games like imitating different professional players for example. Sometimes I was Monica Seles playing everything both handed and sometimes I was Steffi Graf slicing my backhand. Sometimes I was only allowed to hit forehands and sometimes I painted circles on the wall trying to hit as precise as I could. Without really noticing I became better and better. When eventually I was allowed to participate in tennis lessons, I already had a very good level thanks to wall tennis

I guess today not many kids are attracted any longer by the tennis wall. At least from my observations, the wall in tennis clubs usually seems quite lonely. During lockdown though I started to realize that within the city, wall tennis has become more popular again. Actually, not just walls. The little opportunities the pandemic left, somehow made us appreciate public spaces again and use them in a more creative way. The other day I saw a couple that used their bike and a bridge pillar on a public sport court in the midst of Barcelona to build a simple tennis net with a very simplistic cord in order to hit some balls in winter sunshine. Totally loved it!! Yesterday in the park a family of four put up a simple tennis net on the clay court usually dedicated to petanque and started a soft ball mixed double

Coming back to the wall, it is not only during pandemics a very reliable and efficient partner. The tennis wall can be meditation, workout, fun, liberation etc. It can offer you a moment of happy solitude breathing some air and grasping a bit of sunshine while letting your mind wander. It is a workout that is physically demanding, efficient and also very good for coordination. Wall tennis can also be played in parties of two or even four. There exist some real games actually, which are a version in between tennis and squash. in that respect wall tennis does not necessarily have to be a party of one

So, do whatever you feel like and whatever local measurements allow you for the time being. To get started grab your canvas bag and pack a racket, three tennis balls, a bottle of water, a towel and a banana. Then hop on your bike, explore for suitable walls and share your experience with me … jenn@raquette.eu


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