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7 Smartest Shots in Tennis

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No matter how much you concentrate, certain shots induce the lamest returns from your racquet. It’s a safe bet that as pure as your heart is, you’re trying to force something that can’t be. Before you lose your head, take these tips and start winning a few more points:

When You Get A Slice Backhand to Your Backhand

You Hit: A Topspin to Your Opponent's Backhand

  • Just roll over the ball since it’s hard to be aggressive on this shot and change the ball’s direction.
  • In general, never return a slice with a slice—you’ll turn your opponent's defensive shot into one of your own, and play will get frustratingly chippy, says Art Coleman, head pro at Oakley Country Club in Belmont, Massachusetts.
  • One other move is as soon as you see your opponent's racquet open up for the slice, step into the court, get around the ball and hit an inside out forehand.

When You Get A Moonball

You Hit: A Swinging Volley

  • Stay down and take this wretched shot early out of the air. Hitting it back lower will reset the rally, Coleman says. Hitting a return moonball will only beget more of them, make for ugly tennis and the ruination of your manhood.

When You Get Relentless Serve-and-Volleys

You Hit: Low at the T

  • If you’re early or late on your stroke, it’s a winner, and keeping it low will cause the other player to pop up his volley. Take off some pace to force him to generate his own and think about whether to hit a volley or half-volley. “It makes it much more interesting for the volleyer,” says John Whitlinger, Stanford University men’s head tennis coach. Just be prepared for a drop volley, so, after you dip it low, move towards the net.

When You Get A Short Ball to Your Forehand

You Hit: A Deep Approach to His Backhand

  • It’s easier to hit crosscourt to his forehand, but you want to attack his weakness. Your first goal is depth; your second is placement. The more you can pull him off the court, the better, Coleman says.

When You Get A Kick Serve to Your Backhand

You Hit: Crosscourt

  • It’s the biggest possible space and you want to go at his weaker side. It’s easier said than done, though. The kick can be wicked. You can either take it early and stay back. Your best bet is waiting for it to come down. You’ll have more time to hit a deep return, Coleman says.

When You Get A Slice to You at Net

You Hit: An Open-Faced Volley

  • The ball wants to go down. Counteract that by firming up your grip and opening up your racquet face to keep the ball from landing in the net, Coleman says.

When You Get A Mishit

You Hit: It Out of the Air

  • The unpredictable spin makes letting the ball bounce too risky. Much like a moonball, you just want to get the ball back into play to re-establish a sensible rally, Coleman says.

About The Author

Steve Calechman – Steve Calechman is a contributing writer for CorePerformance.com. He has published articles for Men's Health, Natural Health, The Robb Report and Women's Health magazine.

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Tags: Tennis, Pressure, Focus