USPTA Pro Reviews: TopCourt vs TheSkills vs MasterClass vs Udemdy

Watching Tennis Lessons from Tennis Legends

Online and streaming entertainment may become the superglue that holds tennis fans over this long Winter. The Australian Open and ATP Cup have been pushed back to Feb. Indian Wells has postponed after March. Will we see Top 10 Tennis in the USA before Miami?

After spending many hours over several weeks watching the latest online streaming tennis, here's this month's breakdown for each platform's pros and cons below. Opinions expressed are purely that of this site alone - which do not necessarily reflect those of the USPTA.


The academy gets even deeper with talent, adding even more star-studded this month. Filming for the next season' has recently wrapped in Florida. So with editing and post-production, they should land on-screen soon after in 2021.

My Personal Holiday Streaming List and Favorite Shows:
  • Disney+ (The Mandalorian)
  • Netflix (Queen's Gambit, The Champions - if you enjoy the Office)
  • CBS (Young Sheldon, Amazing Race)
When it comes to the "Marvel Universe vs DC Comics debate" - we're a solid Marvel fan, so your miles may vary with your superstars. Fans should compare TopCourt for free then you be the final judge!

2021 Instructional Tennis Showdown Competition - Round 2

To give our tennis fans a full comparison, we personally reviewed nearly all of the other major online platforms each month that features tennis video packages. Some legends who have a large fan base created their own video products. Free previews with a money-back guarantee.

TheSkills - Maria Sharapova

Topics: Warmups, Drills, and Mental Toughness
Length: 20 chapter lessons, 1.5 hours
Skill Level: Intermediate (3.0-3.5+)
Coach's Rating: B+

Pros: You learn a lot about Maria and her life, mindset, and strategies. Solid warm-up routines. Good suggestions for tweaking certain shots and key focus points. Her monologues are clear.

Cons: Costs more ($69?) for just her one course alone?! Wait for a sale or promo. Players must have all core shots in their bag to get the most out of this series. The vast majority of the videos feature her personal reflections on her own career.

We recommend Maria fans to try the 7-day free trial offer with the All-Access package. Try the other sports stars' commentary. The multi-sport pros give good pep talks to motivate home athletes. For me, it's still too new and needs more talent in the lineup to compete effectively at this price.

MasterClass - Serena Williams

Topics: Fundamentals and Technique
Length: 9 chapter lessons, 2 hours
Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate (2.5-3.0+)
Coach's Rating: B

Pros: Great Filming, lighting; In-depth narrative; Beginner-friendly. MasterClass packages a very wide range of (non-tennis) topics and subjects with gurus of their own craft.

Cons: Focuses heavily on one stroke - the serve. Fairly basic tennis advice.
The student ability to get video critique and review period is over;

Note: We found TopCourt's Gold membership has many interactive features. Gold students get access to many more tennis pros for Q&A, plus even a chance to attend future live filming events.

Udemy - Andre Agassi Academy

Topics: All Strokes and Player's Mindset
Length: 10 chapters, 1 hour
Skill Level: Intermediate to advance (4.0+)
Coach's Rating: A-

Pros: Love Agassi's lectures; great stories and clean format. Invaluable tips for the tournament players; Udemy certificate included; lifetime access for review. Only ~$15 on sale. A proponent of education, I support his efforts and would recommend his course.

Agassi's bestseller autobiography "Open" is my definitive must-read. Vital if you want to deeply understand the life of any tennis pro.

Cons: Limited angles; the video quality is limited to only 1080p. Students should be familiar with tennis basics and fundamentals before starting. Only about an hour's worth of content - wish there was a sequel.


TopCourt goes A-Team with their Champions and Coaches 

ATP and WTA heroes are joining the TopCourt team lineup for 2021 including Karen Khachanov, Madison Keys, and Kyle Edmund.

WTA Triple Threat of Former World #1's: Venus Williams, Chris Evert, and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Each earning at least two dozen grand slams in their careers.


Hall of Famer Nick Bollettieri (coach of Agassi, Courier, Seles) joins ranks with Paul Annacone and Brad Gilbert. Stacking a century's worth of tennis wisdom, they have guided several strong talents into the path to becoming future world champions.

TopCourt Revisited, 6 months later - areas for improvement?
Perhaps we've gotten too much content?! Like Netflix, you won't be able to easily digest it in just a few sessions. It now has a library of over a hundred total episodes, while still revealing about two more players each month.

Narrowing the field might have to come in the future. Some episodes I ended up skipping over because of my difficulty with a few player's accents.

TopCourt recently added new sections called "Top Picks" (recommendations) and "Trending" (popular). To get our users launched, we listed our starter video pack of picks from TopCourt.

Our Wish List features for tennis enthusiasts:
  • A voice-over replay explaining a player's technique while he/she is hitting in slow motion.
  • Pros rallying full speed against each other in live points. Play analysis by TopCourt coaches.
  • Visual cues to pick out the one truly excellent shot example from all the other good ones.
  • Feedback Mechanism: a rating system to allow fans to give "likes" at favorite video keyframes.
TopCourt's growth is the most comprehensive and promising out of all the platforms screened to date. There is a lot of value to a solid team and building a strong, well-balanced group of players. It's the chance to display the player's own authentic self while offering budding talent the opportunity to build a bigger fan base online.

Best of all, TopCourt still offers our free 14-day trial to test it out, so try it today!
We're eager to see new upcoming updates, players, and share our opinion here in the next round.

Honorable Mentions

YouTube Tennis Channels

YouTube is great for watching highlights and replays. But it's a mixed bag when it comes to quality lessons and developing your own tennis game properly.

A few YouTube channels I enjoyed:
The wild west of tennis content.
Everyone has their own ideas and style. There is a lot of "click-bait" too and often lessons are over-simplified into 3-5 min videos with flashy titles but the quality of content has a very wide gap and some ideas are oversimplified.

The negative is that you might learn the wrong technique or make bad assumptions if you try to learn purely from YouTube. Recording yourself and doing a visual comparison with a pro is recommended.

Fuzzy Yellow Balls - the OG

Wil Hamilton started the online tennis training idea about a decade ago. The target audience I would say is 2.5-3.5 players who want to learn the Tactics and Strategy behind singles and doubles. Some of the content is starting to show rusty and a few stale courses after many years.

There is a lot of chalkboard talk (he loves to talk) and his X's and O's start feeling like a scene from a football huddle. Some may like that play-calling style, especially if you're playing leagues or tournaments below the 4.0 level

Others may find it too verbose with his commentary with magnets on the whiteboard and not enough illustrated examples that are live real-time action on the court.

Top Tennis Training

The UK blokes Alex and Simon explain almost all their shots with a back-to-front camera angle in their British accent. Most of the content is broken down by them talking about stroke analysis.

They might be strong players but their videos do not always translate to improving an amateur's game. Players starting tennis are advised to learn the fundamentals prior to emulating their advanced technique. I found this complicated comprehension and misses some basic progression steps needed for new players' improvement.

Whether you are a junior or advanced adult player, finding the right coach to emulate is the key!

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