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Tennis Strategy Tips to Improve Your Singles Game
Tuesday, 07/23/2019
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Roger_Federer_(26_June_2009,_Wimbledon)_2_(crop-2).jpg
Even the G.O.A.T. himself starts with strategy.

No matter what level of tennis you play at, whether a novice or advanced, improving your singles game should be your focus. Naturally, part of becoming a better player involves learning how to win a match, but it’s much more important to concentrate on playing well no matter what the outcome — in other words, playing with consistency. One of the best things you can do from the outset is to incorporate some strategies into your game, as they will help you reach your goals and develop your abilities.
 
Why Strategy Matters
A quality tennis match isn’t only about hitting the ball as hard as possible to outmuscle your opponent. It’s about outplaying your opponent using strategic tactics. Strategy influences the outcome of a match by altering how you execute your game while techniques can dictate where and how you hit the ball so that you outmaneuver your opponent and play better than they do.

Professional tennis players don’t get to their level by only having a talent for the sport. They’ve also spent years honing their technique and adopting strategies that work well for them. But the strategy isn’t only for the pros, as even recreational players who play for the love of the sport or to wind down from their stressful occupations, will notice the effects of implementing a strategy has on both their technical game and their enjoyment levels.

So, with that in mind, here are a few simple strategy tips that you can apply to become a more efficient singles player.
 
Make a Game Plan
Equipping yourself with a basic game plan before each match will allow you to play with your strengths as well as understand your opponent. Unless you only play against one opponent throughout your time playing tennis, each match will likely be different every time. Before you start to play, honestly evaluate your and your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. If they’re aggressive in the baseline, for example, then you’ll need to play short balls to force them into committing errors. Similarly, if your opponent has great footwork, then you’ll need a strong baseline defense. A game plan is a road map. You may not have all the tools you need in your game to win, but a good game plan will point you in the right direction.
 
Control the Game
Wherever possible, work to control the game from the offensive rather than being stuck in a defensive position. The offensive player more often is the one to make the winning shots while the defensive players can get stuck returning shots and not much else. You can take control of the match and hit the ball early by playing from inside the baseline. That way, you’ll force your opponent to move around a lot and keep them off balance.
 
You can also use your serve to control the game. If you know you can rely on your deep second serve, experiment with playing a more aggressive first serve with topspin. It’s something that can take a while to master, but an aggressive first serve will likely earn you some easy points.

Use Full, Not Fast Swings
Beginner players often assume that full swings are fast swings, so they mostly avoid playing them to not hit the ball too hard. However, full swings don’t have to be fast. You can work through the full range of motion at a slower pace to take some of the speed off. Overall, using full swings will be much better for your tennis arm than short ones, and they’ll help you improve at a faster rate.

Hold Your Court Position
If you do find yourself having to play a more defensive game, then focus on recovering your court position as quickly as possible. It’s not always easy as a beginner to play the match attacking at the net, so to give yourself a better foundation, get out of “no man’s land” (the area between the baseline and service line) and position yourself diagonally from your opponent approximately 3 feet behind your baseline.

Having this knowledge of court positioning will also be useful if you see your opponent in the dreaded “no man’s land” area. So, if you see your opponent is stuck there, then aim to hit the ball to their side a few feet deeper than where they’re standing, and you’ll likely win the point.


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