For the sake of clarity tennis strategies will be broken down into sections such as baseline strategy or serving strategies.
Why Baseline Tactics?
The baseline is where you will spend most of your time in a tennis match, and at the end of the day it is these strategies that are going to bring home the bacon.
Tennis Tactic #1 – Playing Against Opponents Strengths
Anti Forehand: If your opponents forehand is there strength then you can run into all sorts of problems if you just go and play. You need a game plan.
What to do? Instead of hitting balls to his backhand (which he will know is coming) angle balls off to his forehand! This may sound strange but usually plays who like their forehand prefer hitting and inside-out forehand and they are usually lightening at getting around their backhands!
The tactic is, by hitting angled balls to his forehand you are exposing his backhand.
NOTE: 1 angle forehand for every 2 backhands is a nice guide to follow vaguely.
Anti Backhands: A good Backhand is usually less of a threat than a good forehand, simply because nobody plays inside out backhands. So the backhand is played less.
That doesn’t mean that a good backhand can’t cause problems! Players with good backhands will hit their forehands down the line so that you hit your backhand cross court to theirs’.
That’s how they turn it into a backhand vs backhand match! Instead, don’t give them the option of that forehand down the line. When they have a forehand move over and cover the down the line so that they have to hit cross court. Or get ready to play an inside out forehand.
Now you have converted it into forehands cross court, and your favorite for that 🙂
Tennis Tactic #2 – Playing Your Strengths
When playing at the baseline you have two tennis tactics.
Playing Defensive Baseline Tennis
When playing defensive you have to play the percentages. That is, bringing in your margins by not aiming as close to the line. Furthermore, it is time to play with a little more net clearance. About a meter to two meters above the net works well.
The whole point of a defensive player is to get every ball back. So it is vital to be quick. Slit Stepping and fast footwork so that you can recover quickly to the center are very important.
These defensive tennis tactics are more of a psychological battle. Eventually one player’s morale will drop… When using defensive strategies it is key to be strong mentally and KNOW, BELIEVE, and be PREPARED to be out there all day if that’s what it takes.
NOTE: One of the most important things is to play deep! As soon as balls start landing short… The other player will have less risk to take and his balls my start going in. Now he will see the light at the end of the tunnel! And you may have to change your defensive tennis strategies.
Playing Aggressive Baseline Tennis
With racquet technology and tennis equipment advancing, it is being more and more common to play aggressively. Balls are going faster and it is harder to employ a defensive tennis strategy.
When playing aggressively, the idea is to move the player around and constantly keep the off balance or on the run. Until you get the short ball.
When using aggressive tennis strategies and tactics it is important to set the point up. The key is to plan ahead and visualize what is going to happen. That begins from the serve and return! In advanced tennis and tennis for beginners it is rare to see aggressive player with poor serves and returns. Read more on using the serve and returns to set up point combinations in the tennis strategy section.