If you are playing a match and you thought you had a great plan and strategy for success, but you find yourself struggling, go back to the basics.
All points start with the serve and the return of serve.
If you are not getting enough first serves in, make sure your idea is to hit the serve towards the middle of the service box at 3/4 speed.
The same idea goes for the return of serve-try to hit the return relatively deep and down the middle at 3/4 speed. This will allow you to be a little off with your execution and still make most of your serves and returns.
By increasing the percentages of successful first shots, you are putting immediate pressure on your opponent to come up with shots at the beginning of the point that they may in turn, over hit or make unforced errors on.
Once you are successfully executing the above ideas, you can expand on that by challenging yourself to hit with a little more pace or by directing your shots a little more away from the middle.
Go back to the basics when you are having trouble-get the point started!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com