Tennis: The Mario Way

Last Friday some of the MyTennisLessons staff swapped their rackets for video game controllers to test our skills at Mario Tennis, a 2000 video game developed by Camelot and Nintendo 64. Today we reveal the winners and losers at Mario Tennis and give you some tips should you and your friends decide to play.

Winner: Dan

An experienced gamer, Dan breezed through the competition, dominating both Michael and Jesse. The only match he lost was when he was forced to play doubles with me. Dan attributes his success to his tennis coaches and their guidance throughout the years. “If it wasn’t for all those years taking tennis lessons as a kid,” he said, “I wouldn’t have been as dominant playing as a flying turtle.” (Note: MyTennisLessons coaches are not certified as Mario Tennis instructors.)

Loser: Me

As a first-time player I was lucky if I was able to rally more than two shots with my opponent and reaching anything that wasn’t hit directly to me was pretty much impossible. I also had a habit of running in the opposite direction of the ball, but this strategy proved to be somewhat effective when playing doubles with Dan because it allowed him to hit every shot. I console myself by remembering everyone is a beginner once.

Best Sportsmanship: Jesse and Michael

As you can see from the video, Jesse behaved very sportingly during the Mario Tennis competition. He almost never lost his cool and respectfully shook hands with Dan after their match. Jesse also wins the award for best facial expressions. “No cameras, please,” said Jesse, when reached for comment. Sorry, Jesse, it’s too late. Michael also never raised his voice when playing. Fortunately for him, the cameras were not yet rolling during his match.

Most effective shot: Slice Serve

Both Michael and Dan agree the slice serve is the best way to ace your opponent and win an easy point. To achieve the slice serve, press B on the controller. I know it sounds difficult, but in time you’ll get the hang of it.

Least effective shot: Drop Shot

“It only works if person is way behind baseline,” our champion Dan wisely advised.   

Best character: Boo

“That Boo guy is pretty scary,” said Michael, referring to the ghost’s vicious fangs and evil red eyes. Boo is the best character because he levitates above the court and floats instead of runs to each ball. (Don’t you wish you could do that?) According to the Mario Tennis website, Boo’s playing style is “tricky” and he can “quickly catch balls with a ghostly ability.”

Worst character: Daisy

You know that person who has a really obnoxious grunt after every shot? That’s Daisy. Sorry, Mario Tennis creators, but the sound effect you programmed for her is pretty unbearable. When playing as Daisy, you might want to put the game on mute.

How was our Mario Tennis experience overall?

“On one hand I was overcome with delightful nostalgia of my childhood playing Nintendo 64,” John said, “but on the other I was a bit anxious with the aggressive yelling coming from Jesse and Michael. Mario Tennis brings out the true character of a man and it isn’t always pretty.”

So now it’s your turn to play Mario Tennis. Have a good attitude, remember to press B on your serve and let us know how it goes. Remember: With any competitive game, the most important part is to have fun.



I grew up in a tennis family with three younger sisters as doubles partners. If you enjoyed a blog post of mine or want to know more, feel free to email me at Thanks for reading and staying connected with MyTennisLessons!
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