How to Outsmart Your Opponent in Tennis
Voted annually as the Most Annoying Player in the universe, the human backboard has caused more men to want to quit the game. But it’s time for some revenge. Follow these tips from John Whitlinger, Stanford University men’s head tennis coach, and Mr. 20-Ball Rally might be forced to change his style.
1. Bring them to net.
The baseliner loves to move east and west, not north and south. Being at net means volleying and ending points quickly, which is not his game. Drop shot or just hit a low, short ball to his backhand to draw him in and then make him volley, which he probably doesn’t do well, or lob over his head to make him move in a different direction and bring him out of his comfort zone.
2. Go to the net.
Since consistency is his game, he tends to pop up returns just to start the point. Gauge where his shots go and come in off your serve. It will gain you some welcomed shorter points and it will disrupt his rhythm, which he’ll hate. The same goes for attacking his serve.
3. Don’t overhit.
You’ll want to end points early, because every ball looks enticing and you’re frustrated, but it’s futile since he gives no pace. But you do need to end points on the early side, because he’s better at endless rallies. Keep hitting solid shots to the corners, and, when he offers up a short ball, come into the net. Think two shots to end the point: A good approach and a solid volley or overhead.
4. Use the swinging volley.
He may not give you the chance to come in, but this is another way to disrupt his rhythm, cut down his response time and take advantage of his popped up shots. Again, take note of when he hits his floater to your strength. Often, it’ll come when he’s out wide or has to hit a one-handed backhand. When you see the opportunity, step inside the baseline, hit a crisp shot to the open court and follow it in.
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.