| By Steve Annacone
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


Tennis is a game of timing and rhythm. Shots can be hit fast, slow, flat, with more spin, and with all kinds of other variables. My advice is to keep your shots similar. This means, hit your shots with similar speed, spin, and trajectory.

Hitting your first and second serve similarly will give you much better timing and rhythm and also boost your confidence when serving. Most players need to hit their first serve with less pace and more spin, and the second serve with more pace and more spin. This should help make the first and second serve more consistent and result in a good start to the point.

The same goes for the return of serve-hit the first service return with less pace and some spin, and hit the second service return similarly with about the same pace, a little more spin, and with a focus on the direction. Try to repeat this idea throughout the match.

Finally, when you get in a baseline rally, try to hit three or four of your regular shots at a similar speed before trying to win the point. Again, this will enhance your ability to get some good timing and rhythm and make it likely that you can produce several good shots in a row.

It is great to have the ability to change things up or add variety to your game. However, most matches are won by the player who can produce three or four good solid shots in a row on more of the points, rather than that great drop shot or sizzling winner that is sure to please the crowd and make the player feel like they are capable of doing it again.


Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com)  and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ.  For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at info@annaconetennis.com or call 865-300-7323