Here are some tips that will help you improve your singles game.
Before I get into some strokes and strategies that will help, I can’t emphasize enough how much your fitness will play a part in determining winning and losing a match. There are exercises and work out routines that will improve strength in the areas of the body that tennis needs-primarily legs, but I need you to work on your cardio capacity so as not to tire in the long matches and stretching to remain limber and agile-and avoid injuries.
I have discussed the five most important shots for playing good doubles, they are the serve, return, volley, overhead and lob. Now, when discussing singles you obviously need all of those- then let’s toss in the forehand and backhand slice and at least have an idea of how to hit a drop shot when you have an easy ball inside the baseline and the opponent is back behind the baseline. Developing a power weapon from the baseline will soon be discussed.
I am not diminishing the importance of the serve in singles when I say the serve is more important when playing doubles, all I am saying is that it is easier at all levels of play to break serve in singles. In doubles placement is more important than power when serving. When practicing serving for singles try flattening out the serve more for some extra power, you will get some easy points if you do. Remember the power comes from coiling in the knees and making contact up high with the toss slightly out front and at one o’clock for the flat serve.
Develop at least one shot that you can count on to put pressure on the opponent. For me, it was two, the forehand down the line and the slice backhand down the line. Those two shots won me an awful lot of matches. Try to develop a weapon you can confidently hit to either hit a winner or set up a weak response from the opponent to put you in control of the point.
Learn the forehand and backhand slice. Even if you have an awesome topspin forehand and a great two hand backhand, trust me, you still need the slice. You will need it for offense and defense. Defensively the slice will bail you out on wide shots, extremely low balls and the over powering first serve that you are having a hard time catching up to. Offensively the slice will allow you to hit an attacking approach shot when coming forward on a short low ball, remember an offensive shot does not always mean it has a lot of pace, in this case the ball will bounce low to the opponent so he or she will have to hit up to you after you have already reached the net. In singles you do not want to give the opponent the same look , the slice allows you to change pace and spins on your shots keeping the opponent guessing and out of rhythm.
Work on your serve, develop a weapon, learn the slice, don’t get angry-ever, do your cardio and stretch!
Good Luck-Have Fun!!