A singles tennis strategy must allow you to evaluate your own game to be able to create and formulate techniques and tactics to play your opponent at your advantage. Before you develop your singles tennis strategies, you need to have first the tools or strokes that will get your balls over the net or across your opponent’s court.
This article describes some of the singles tennis strategies that are vital in any tennis singles matches.
Singles Tennis Strategies #1: Take every opportunity to attack the net
This singles tennis strategy applies to any tennis match. Hitting the ball down the middle and deep are the two main basic aspects of singles tennis strategies. However, the ability of the tennis player to anticipate short ball and attack the net at every opportunity add to his tools to win tennis matches. Anticipation is vital for an effective net play. Do not wait for your opponent to give you a short ball before you decide to play net but rather always anticipate a short ball be ready to play net if you glimpse an opportunity to do it.
Remember that to win tennis, you have to create your opportunities with singles tennis strategies rather than wait for your chances. Thus to achieve your goal, you have to take every opportunity to score every point as possible and do not let your opponent dictate the tempo. To be able to do this, you must play your way to get to the net. One way to do this is to pin down your opponent at the baseline with deep shots.
This singles tennis strategy can be done when your opponent hits a short ball, then hit an approach shot and execute volley then come into the net. The more confident you become to apply this technique, the easier will it be for you to anticipate and move forward instead of waiting for your opponent’s ball at the baseline. To add tools to your other singles tennis strategies can add pressure to your opponent which can affect his concentration and rhythm.
Singles Tennis Strategies #2: Play by the percentage
One of the best singles tennis singles strategies is to be consistent and reduce unforced errors. Generally, a match is finished with more errors committed by players than points won. And most often, the player that produces more errors loses. So players should remember to play the percentage and must try their best to reduce the error percentage. The best way to achieve this is to simplify your tactics.
You have to hit deep balls, always give enough allowance (avoid hitting the lines), always be ready for your opponent’s attack and always anticipate short balls.
When your opponent attacks and force you to hit tough a shot, your best counterattack singles tennis strategy is to hit a ball that gives you the highest percentage of staying in the game and if possible giving you a point. When your opponent is ahead of you by points, always find a way to stay with the game by surely crossing the ball over the net with deep shots. Also avoid hitting winner shots (unless you are absolutely sure) to get out of trouble.
If you are ahead of points, maintain the momentum by doing the tactics that gave you the advantage. If you are going to try something new, there is a possibility for the momentum to shift in favor to your opponent. Momentum can change quickly before you notice it, thus avoid this by taking risk of experimenting unfamiliar and fancy shots. Save these new shots for your next matches after you mastered them.
Singles Tennis Strategies #3: Choose the right tactic when under pressure
Choosing the right tactic when under pressure is a key singles tennis strategy when a tennis player is under pressure. A player’s normal tendency is to play safe balls. Pressure can rattle the player’s control resulting to poor strokes execution. As result, you will just notice that slowly your opponent is eating you up with his aggressive deep or baseline shots. In this situation, surely you know what shots to take but you fail to execute because of the lack of courage to do the right shot.
If you are in this situation, avoid thinking on how to win the match or avoid thinking the about the pressure of every point. Instead, remember the best singles tennis strategies to get out of trouble, which are to be consistent and aggressive.
Singles Tennis Strategies #4 : A high ball in response to a wide ball
When you are in the middle of a baseline rally and your opponent hit a wide ball forcing you to make an error, the best counterattack is to slow down the pace of the game by hitting a high ball (at around 10to 12 feet above the net). This will allow you to be able to recover and take the opportunity to change the momentum of the play. If your opponent plays the net (which what players should normally do!), the best thing you can do is not to give him the chance to hit a very good volley. Thus when you hit a high ball, be sure to add more topspin on it. As a result, your opponent will be forced to hit up and over the net which can be an awkward volley shot, unless of course your opponent is on the net. If indeed he is on the net, then the best shot you can do is a lob shot.
If your opponent stays at the baseline, you have a good chance to get your opponent frustrated while waiting for the slow paced ball because of the high ball you hit. At this instance, he has the tendency to try to hit deeper balls and in this situation, chances are high that he will hit long or the ball hit the net.
Singles Tennis Strategies #5: Slow down your opponent’s momentum
One of the best singles tennis strategies against a player who likes to play at a very fast pace is to return a soft and high ball that forces him to change his usual shot preparation. You have to remember that winning does not mean you have to play extravagantly. Like for example, if your opponent is a two-handed player (uses two hands for the forehand and the backhand strokes), normally he likes to hit the ball when it is in his striking zone. That’s because he can hit the ball using his natural body movement and produces accurate and powerful groundstrokes.
Thus as much as possible, you have to avoid this area and hit a short and low ball, or hit a high ball with enough topspin to force him to adjust to your changes and put him out of this rhythm.
Basically, the principle of sound singles tennis strategy is not to give your opponent the shots that he wants. Thus, it is imperative for you to learn about your opponent, know the shot that he is most uncomfortable with to make him frustrated and lose concentration and in the end commit errors. It is also very important that you know the tennis shots that creates power and which of them don’t. Like for example, a high and deep ball with enough topspin are very hard to return because they normally are out of the power zone of the body. These shots have to be returned with outreached hands and have to be hit when the ball is on the rise, making them very tough to hit accurately.
Singles Tennis Strategies #6: Make your opponent’s strongest shot to your advantage
An important part of singles tennis strategies is formulating a good strategy and playing your own game on your terms. Don’t be intimidated by your opponent’s strongest shot. If your opponent’s forehand is his greatest asset and his backhand his greatest liability, don’t make him out play you with his forehand but make him commit errors through it. As always, anticipate the shot and force your opponent to execute shots better than he is capable of. You can do this by overplaying to his best side and when he hits flat forehand, overplay again and hit a cross-court shot to force your opponent to hit the sideline or down the line shot. This type of shot is difficult to execute which will likely cause an error.
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