Basic Tennis Strategy
This will be very basic and many of you already may know most of what I will be saying; this article is for players below the 4.0 level, if you’re at or above 4.0-read it anyway.
You need to know that players below the 4.0 ability level lose matches more often than the opponent wins the match, in other words, unforced errors during play causes the loss. Players in these levels should concentrate on consistency in strokes as much as placement of shots. Try to cut your errors down; you need to let the opponent make some mistakes too. Remember, whoever hits the ball in last wins the match.
Try to keep you margin of error low in placement. Hitting the ball down the center is not a bad ploy in a number of ways. One, if you’re a little off on a particular day staying down the middle keeps the shot safe even if your accuracy is off. It also limits the opponents return options since there no angles for them to hit to. Hitting cross court is the second safest play when the ball is being played from either the forehand or backhand side, there is more court to hit into and you are hitting over the lowest part of the net. In terms of percentages hitting down the line is the lowest for margin of error, the net is higher and the court area smaller. Make sure to have net clearance in your shot and do not aim for lines, give yourself an area of a couple of feet inside the line to aim at.
It’s pretty obvious that you want to exploit the opponent’s weakness, if the backhand seems weak-hit to that side of the court. What you can’t do is completely play that side. You will take yourself out of your natural, game and allow the opponent to get comfortable. Let’s take an opponent with a good forehand but a weaker backhand as an example. Play the backhand four or five times in a row and then go after the forehand. If the forehand comes back return to the backhand to keep on the offense for a number of shots and then hit to his or her forehand again. What tends to happen below the 4.0 level is that the opponent is so happy to finally be able to hit their stronger shot, they over hit.
Again, below 4.0, don’t be afraid to move in if your opponent is not keeping the shots deep in your court, points can be ended sooner. Please keep your eye on the ball on the volley. You have worked too hard in the point to make an error on the easiest floating ball, stop-step-look and punch the volley for the winner.
Good Luck-Have Fun!!