A Thread of Order is a tennis newsletter that covers technique, strategy, psychology, motor learning, match analysis, and more. I use gifs and images to highlight important aspects of the game so you can better understand why players win (and lose).

Most pieces are driven by the question: What really moves the needle on performance?

Why Subscribe?

A lot of tennis coverage is shallow. Writers often focus on the character and emotions of players because they lack a deeper understanding of the game itself. Good writers can get away with this. I don’t know much about writing, but I do know tennis, and through A Thread of Order, I aim to reveal hidden details that mainstream coverage ignores.

Here’s a sample of what you can expect:

How Alcaraz adjusted his movement to his forehand in his famous win over Djokovic in the 2023 Wimbledon final.

Why Federer’s use of reactive brakes made him a beautiful mover.

And how your grips influence hand dominance and hip turn on a two-hand backhand.

What’s up with the title?

The title is inspired by a quote from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian:

“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.”

In this spirit, A Thread of Order looks for answers. Great performance has a signal.

Who writes this?

A Thread of Order is written by me (Hugh Clarke). I’ve been playing tennis since I was six years old (three if you count Totem Tennis). I played college tennis for Pepperdine from 2009-2012 and have been coaching, watching, and obsessively thinking about the game ever since. I am currently completing my Masters in Sports Psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. My thesis involves interviewing a host of top-30 ATP coaches. Fast facts:

  • One-handed backhand

  • Hates stepping on lines

  • Weapon of choice: Dunlop CX 200 Tour

  • ATP Spirit Player: Dan Evans

You can find me on Twitter here.

Email: athreadoforder@gmail.com

What subscribers say:

“I just love the way you break down tactics and technique and pair it with match analysis along with longer form player career and trend analysis.”

— Neal

“Great job with the work you’ve done. It’s many levels higher than the standard news reporting, and the analysis is great for a student of the game or an avid fan.”

— K Lee

“This is exactly the kind of tennis writing and analysis I can’t find anywhere else. Football, basketball, soccer and baseball all get this level of coverage and detail, producing a higher level of discussion and conversation around the games. Please write more.”

— Peter Short

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I write about pro tennis. Technique, strategy, motor learning, and the mental game.


Tennis coach based in Montreal. Studying a Masters of Sport Psychology at McGill. Interested in motor learning, strategy, technique, and the mental game. Twitter @ThreadOrder.