Although it is extremely difficult these days to get the tennis ball to go exactly where you want, it is important that you aim for a specific target for your shot.
If you tell yourself to just try to get the ball to land in, your focus and concentration is not likely to be as good as when you tell yourself to get the ball to land halfway between the baseline and the service line and on the deuce side of the court. Since the serve and return of serve are the first shots you hit, before the point starts, look at the target; exactly where you want the ball to land, and make sure you have in your mind that your swing will be traveling in that direction.
Even though there will be many times that the ball does not go where you want it to, this will improve the quality of your shot because you are being decisive. If you choose an area with a good margin for error (not right on the baseline, sideline or any line!) your shot is likely to go in the general direction and be pretty successful.
Make your target specific and you will help your focus and concentration as well as keeping your swing more free and relaxed.
Steve Annacone, an USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com). For details on lessons and camps in Sag Harbor and throughout the Hamptons this summer contact Steve@annaconetennis.com or firstname.lastname@example.org