Attn: Jake Nelson
August 10, 2003
By STAN…THE TENNISMAN- STAFF WRITER
Any place in the court will do !
You need to hit with consistency
to win at tennis. Hitting to any place in the court will do but having control over where in the court is better. After consistency
comes direction. Getting the ball back is fine, but to run your opponent all over will help wear him out. The ultimate goal
is to be able to hit anywhere in his court from anywhere in your court.
Start out by mastering crosscourt
forehands and backhands. The highest percentage of consistency is crosscourt.
Next master down-the-line shots. Once your opponent is running wide for your crosscourt shot take the opportunity to hit down
A good routine to practice with
your partner is to have one hit only down the line and the other hit back only crosscourt. Do ten hits in a row, then switch.
This will take a lot of running so it is good for improving the athleticism in you. Hitting ten in a row will aid your concentration
and enhance your consistency.
You can set up patterns of play
depending on the weakness of your opponent. If he runs well left and right then hit shorter, sharp angles to make him run
forwards to the net. You may find he has a weak net game. If he is dangerous at the net then hit deep back to the baseline
and keep him back. If he stays back far enough it could open up the court for you to come in to the net and win the point.
Analyze his game. Figure out where
he has trouble and use that to your advantage. If you become good enough to win against your opponents strongest shots, great
for you. However, most of the time you want to exploit his weaknesses to win the match.
Sometimes you will have to play
to his strength to get his weakness to open up for you. Opponents usually know what shots are weak for them and go to great
lengths to play around it. You need to figure out a way to overcome.
Another direction of choice is to
hit deep and to the sides of the court. If you frequently hit short up the middle of the court you will be the one doing the
running. The sooner you hit deep or to a good angle the court will open up for you to your advantage on that point.
Billy Jean King believed in winning
her matches by hitting steadily down the middle to within about 3 feet of the baseline. That is safe, offensive placement
and a good start for your game plan. Depending on the results you can enhance your chances of winning.
After you master getting the ball
placed to your advantage, consistently, you can develop your depth, spin, and power of the ball.
Tip of the month:
Be patient. Tennis is a complex
game involving your physical and mental abilities mixed with instruction and practice. In addition, the opponent is against
you, and the ball is moving while your trying to hit it.
For further information or instruction,
contact Stan Carter, USPTA certified professional, at the Flint Canyon Tennis Club: 818-790-3355 or 213-321-8699. You are invited to visit www.StanTheTennisman.com or email questions and comments to Info@StanTheTennisman.com.