Basic And Advanced Tennis Strategies For A Competitive Player

Basic And Advanced Tennis Strategies For A Competitive Player

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The first rule of tennis strategy is not to beat yourself. That means that your first goal when playing tennis is to keep the ball in play.

But just pushing the ball over won't do it if you are playing against quality players. Your shots need to be deep, with good pace to prevent your opponent from setting up for the shot and they need to be directed into open court to keep your opponent on the move.

So your first opponent in tennis is actually… tennis. You are dealing with tennis challenges - judging the ball flight, moving to the ball, timing the shots and trying to hit that big square over that 1m high net.

That's tennis and its demands.

Only when you are quite comfortable and consistent in not losing to yourself - or the tennis game - only then can you start playing against your opponent.

Now you are looking for general tennis strategies with which you will try either to neutralize your opponent's advantages or to take advantage or their weaknesses.

Let's see first the neutralizing strategies:

1. Prevent opponent from attacking with their strength - Majority of players have one shot better than the other and that is the first thing you need to notice. And most players prefer forehand against their backhand so playing to their backhand more would be a simple way of neutralizing their better forehand.

2. Prevent player getting in a good attacking position - A good attacking position is when the ball is short and at the right height, the ball could be off center so that the attacker has a good angle of attack, or the ball is simply not forcing your opponent to move so they can be more precise with their shots.

Good neutralizing strategies are logical: play deep, down the middle or keep your opponent on the move.

There are of course more neutralizing strategies and tactics but for now let's just master the simple ones before we move on to the advanced and expert tennis tactics.

Offensive tennis strategies are sometimes very similar to neutralizing. The only difference is your intention and sometimes the speed and precision of the played shot.

1. Take advantage of opponent's weakness - This is usually their weaker shot but can also be movement. By playing aggressively to their weaker side you can force a mistake or get a short ball which you can put away. Opponent's weakness can for example be their net play. You can then bring opponent to the net by playing short and then taking advantage of their poor volley and overhead skills to win the point.

2. Take time from opponent - This is the favorite strategy of players at all levels but many of them do not know how and when to use it to best effect. Most players just try to hit the ball hard which is one of the tactics to take time from opponent. Another tactic is to play the ball early like Andre Agassi used to play.

These are just two of the offensive tennis strategies that you can use to gain advantage in the point.

Remember - your first goal when playing competitive tennis is to be consistent and not lose to tennis itself. Only when you can play tennis consistently with very few unforced errors should you start thinking about trying to outplay your opponent.

By: Tomaz Mencinger

Tomaz Mencinger is a tennis coach and a mental training coach. He shares his experience of tennis strategy on his website If you are serious about improving your tactical tennis game don't miss his Tennis Strategy Encyclopedia ebook.



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