Many players tend to try to hit all of their shots away from the opponent during a tennis match.
Try to use this idea instead: keep your shots deep and towards the middle at the beginning of a point. There are many reasons to start the point this way. Serving to the middle of the box and deep will help make the return of serve more difficult. In addition, hitting the return deep and down the middle is a great way to get the point to neutral, or even make the server feel some pressure on the next shot.
Once the serve and return have been hit, starting the point towards the middle and deep will help increase your chances of making the shot as well as pushing the opponent back. As the point progresses, try hitting deep and a bit further away from the middle. A short angled ball hit towards the corner of the service box will be a great way to end the point or pull the opponent way off the court.
Don't underestimate the value of hitting the ball deep to open up the area in front of your opponent as the point goes on. Many players have trouble going forward and hitting their shots, especially if you have already established the deep shot at the beginning of the point.
Use deep shots towards the middle to set things up, and shorter balls out wide to win the point.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) MyHamptonsPro (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Baron’s Cove Resort In Sag Harbor, NY, as well as Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona Women’s team. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323