In doubles, points end fairly quickly due to the fast nature of the game itself-singles can be a very different story. Let’s go over a few ways to end some points more quickly and get you off the court sooner.
If you have a weapon in either the forehand or backhand work the point to take advantage of it. If you read the article I wrote on “Angles” you know that the safest place to hit the ball, based on margin for error, is down the center of the court. This tactic is great for not giving your opponent any angles to hit to, but it leaves you without options too. If your forehand is the big weapon hit it cross court more often because the easiest shot for the opponent is a cross court response, sending right back to your power shot and the possibility of an offensive shot down the line. If that shot is not comfortable to hit you are still in the driver’s seat with another cross court shot. Obviously, the same holds true if the backhand is your weapon.
Do not play your whole singles match from the baseline; you could be out there all day. When an opportunity arises and you can move into the net, do it. If your argument is that you have a weak volley, I suggest you work on it to improve your game, giving yourself more options in your game, thereby having more fun. So, now that your volley is cured, when you get a short ball hit the approach shot-then attack the net. You really do not want to come in almost to the service line, hit a shot and then back up. You were just on offense and then took yourself right out of it, more importantly, while you are backing up it is harder to move sideways after the next shot because you weight is going back.
There will be two options when you are hit a short ball and they are dependent upon the height of the ball in relation to the height of the net. If the ball is equal to or above the height of the net use a shorter backswing but hit an aggressive ground stroke with a complete follow through to either the open court or to the opponent’s weaker side. Remember to shade the side of the court the approach shot goes to for an easier volley. If the ball is below the height of the net the best approach is a slice shot so the backspin keeps the ball low forcing the opponent to hit up when you are at the net allowing for an easier volley. In either case you need to keep your knees down and stay low until contact.
In either scenario please remember to split step when you see the opponent begin the forward motion towards hitting his or her shot to allow for proper balance and volley footwork.
Look for the review of my book Winning Tennis Strokes in this month's issue of Long Island Tennis Magazine. To purchase the download version of the book for just $9.99 go to http://onlinetennistraining.com/usopen.
<p>Bill Longua is the tennis director/head pro at Palm Island Resort in Cape Haze, Fla. Bill is a member of the USPTA, has been teaching tennis for more than 35 years, and is the author of Winning Tennis Strokes. Bill also enjoys teaching tennis on his Web site, <a href="http://onlinetennistraining.com" onclick="window.open(this.href,'httponlinetennistrainingcom','resizable=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false">http://onlinetennistraining.com</a>. Please check out Brent’s Shearer’s Literary Corner for his review of <em>Winning Tennis Strokes</em>. Take advantage of the download version sale by going to <a href="http://onlinetennistraining.com/usopen" onclick="window.open(this.href,'httponlinetennistrainingcomusopen','resizable=no,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false">http://onlinetennistraining.com/usopen</a>. He may be reached at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.</p>