Future Trends in Tennis:
This new series of articles are thought experiments about the future of tennis--where the sport could be headed, at the club and competitive professional level, in the teaching and coaching realm, and even in the more distance future with the evolution of machine intelligence. Let's start in this first article by discussing the evolution of players.
If coaches can predict the next evolutions, they can be on the cutting edge in player development, building players with advanced skills who can compete better in the present era. Players can then buy into this foresight, developing and practicing skills that will give them a competitive edge in the future.
Anticipation of Future Technique
Imagine, for example, having an impenetrable two-handed backhand, a heavy topspin forehand, and the fitness level of Rafael Nadal—not now but back in the 1970's. That was the game of Bjorn Borg, a genius who had technique that anticipated the future of tennis. He was a player ahead of his time.
In the 1980s, players like Jimmy Arias and Sergi Bruguera continued this anticipatory trend with forehands that were decades ahead of their time. The point is that the spoils go to the players and coaches who can predict future trends and train those skills before others either see the trend or admit there is a trend in that direction.