Tennis sims have come a long way since Pong. OK, so Advantage Tennis doesn't feature waiting around for the rain to stop or whinging letters from Star Trek fans to Points of View moaning that Wimbledon has postponed The Next Generation (Get on with it - Ed) but in many other ways it's spot on - men jiggling around just before the serve like they want to go to the toilet, tantrums over bad shots, terrible refereeing decisions, and vile blue indoor courts where the ball whizzes past your ear before you have a chance to move.
Advantage Tennis attempts to capture all the excitement of World Tournament tennis. You start a tournament seeded 100 and try to make your way up the ranks by winning games. There are tournaments held all over the world - Australia, North America, England (yep, Wimbledon's in there), both indoors and outdoors. After each tournament, depending on how well you've done, you come away with a little extra dosh which you can spend on extra tuition to brush up on the shots of your choice.
So, let's go and thrash a few hairy-
Combinations of the two produce lob and drop shots. Simple, huh? Well, no actually. The games soon become incredibly fast, and often you find yourself still rooted to the spot wondering how you could ever have been expected to reach a shot. The answer, of course, is to have played a better previous shot in the first place and then positioned yourself correctly for an easy return -a bit like in real tennis! - but that's always been an aspect of the game that's been lost on me.
OK, fine, I though, I'm prepared to persevere - what I hadn't reckoned with were the incredibly muddly controls. Sometimes your player just refuses to budge in the middle of a rally - a couple of times I even caught him running off in the wrong direction for no reason! Also, trying to judge the angle to hit the ball is next to impossible - 'hold down the button to increase the angle' say the instructions; you might as well tilt the screen for all the good it does most of the time.
Which is a shame because at times the game is quite addictive, and can be good fun. The animation is fluent, with some great dives and reaching shots; there are some nice touches such as a player stamping on his racket after a particularly bad shot too.
Saving your player allows you to work your way p the rankings over a number of weeks, and then there's always two-player mode, normally the saving grace of these games. This one's fine, or would be, but if both of you are hopeless the game quickly becomes dull; this is one of those occasions when a computer opponent is actually preferable.