All You Need To Know About SAT: Part 4

Written by: Helen Donohoe


***Helen Donohoe, M.S.Ed., is a teacher of English and French in the Hamilton/Burlington area. She holds practice SAT sessions on Saturdays on an informal, drop-in basis at Cedar Springs Racquet Club where she is a member, long-time tennis hacker and aficionado.

In this section of the website we will be publishing short paragraphs on various aspects of SAT. Please leave your questions/comments here, and Helen will be happy to respond to any specific concerns from students/parents***


In the last issue of “All You Need To Know About SAT” we asked you, our readers, to complete a very entertaining matching activity, using adjectives that appear regularly on the SAT. Below please find the correct answers and see if they match yours.

Answers :

1c     2g     3f     4b     5h     6a     7e     8d

All of these words turn up regularly on SAT. As your SAT studies progress, these words will become like old friends!

If you have not already begun your own vocabulary lists, start with these. The average student in grade 11 likely knows two or three of the words in the matching activity. That’s not enough for SAT! Some words are obvious, like comedic; the first five letters appear in the word comedy and as Djokovic is known as a bit of a joker, you can quickly make the connection.

The root of the word voluble is volume so when you think of the loudest shrieker on the tour, it’s usually Sharapova.

Tenacious is a word you should know. It comes from the French tenir – to hold/hold on to and thus means someone who never gives up – an apt description for Nadal.

How about the word urbane? As soon as you hear the definition – smooth and polished – the only choice is Federer! Yes, the root is urban, meaning city dweller.

I wish I could apply the word urbane to my compatriot Murray but as soon as you read the definition of lugubrious – exaggeratedly or affectedly mournful and over-dramatic, I’m sure you’ll agree that that is a much better fit!

The first three letters of the word irascible also begin the word irate. As Serena is known for her short fuse, you get the connection.

And now to the inscrutable Stosur……can you ever read her emotions? (Perhaps it’s those omnipresent sunglasses that act as a mask.) The root word is scrutinize – to examine closely. The prefix in at the beginning of the word changes the meaning to the opposite, i.e., someone who cannot be scrutinized or figured out.

You could say that quite few of the top tennis players are loquacious, especially during those repeated interviews when some of them never know when to stop talking, but one of biggest chatterboxes is undoubtedly Wozniacki.

Even if you don’t agree with my matches…..just learn the words!

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.