Playing tennis is not just a case of the fittest and best shot player will win the game. Having the correct strategy to embrace your own game and work a way out how to beat your opponent with the tools you have available is vital.
Tennis strategy is one of the four main areas of the game beside technique, physical condition and the mental game.
Below we highlight some of the strategies you can adopt to win a game of tennis and overcome your opponent.
Strategy & Tactics
Broadly speaking the definition of tennis strategy is using your advantages against your opponent’s weaknesses to win more points.
Your advantages and your individual way of playing are called game type. Another view on strategy is that it’s an overall plan how to play against a certain opponent on a specific surface.
Tennis Tactics on the other hand, are more detailed ways of achieving this general strategy. If your main strategy is playing aggressively from the baseline, your tactics to do that can be different.
The four types of opponent are:
A counter pusher is basically a player who pushes back any shot, returning the correct shot for whatever their opponent challenges them with. It is a defensive strategy hoping to lure the opponent to make a mistake and not to particularly hit a winner.
The defensive baseliner will:
- Remain at all time at the baseline
- Utilise lots of topspin, backspin to counter aggression
- Surprise their opponents by continually returning the ball
- Keep to the plan and not deviate
An aggressive baseliner differs from his defensive partner in that he is always looking to play winners. They are not afraid to take big risks but tend to wait for the opportunity trying to force the opponent to let him in.
The aggressive baseliner will:
- Hit deep returns
- Have a big and powerful serve
- Crosscourt rally
- Attack second serves
- Hit balls at sharp angles
All Court Players
These types of players don’t really rely on one big winning shot, but instead rely on a variety of shots incorporating aspects of every tennis style. Their goal is to keep the opponent guessing using different shots and changing their approach.
An All Court player will:
- If playing an aggressive player adopt the counter pusher style
- If playing against a passive player will adopt a baseliner or volley approach
- If playing against a serve and volley player, hit deep and aggressively
- Hit shots that surprise their opponent
- Spots the opponent’s’ weaknesses
- Continuously change their playing style
Serve And Volley Players
This is an aggressive player that rushes to the net at every opportunity to put pressure on their opponent.
It is a difficult style to master but a very effective strategy against counter pushers.
A Serve and Volley player will:
- Serve hard and wide giving them an opportunity to rush the net
- Return serve deep and away from the opponent giving time to rush the net
- Use drop shots and deep shots with angles to keep their opponent running around the court
- When faced with a lob, smash a winner
These strategies will help you win more games but you must also develop your fitness and technique in tandem with this.
What type of player are you?
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