Against high level players and great movers on the tennis court, it is often better to play the ball down the middle at the beginning of the point.
These players tend to cover the open court and use their speed to get the opponent to hit an extra shot and go for more. Many times this down the middle shot is more difficult to get out of the way of and hit cleanly. A good deep centered ball can get the opponent off balance and give you the option to hit the next shot to either side of the court.
This idea also improves your chances of executing the first few shots and reduces unforced errors. Use your opponent as the target-try to hit the ball close to where they are standing so that you focus on a specific spot to hit your shot.
A specific target down the middle will make you concentrate better and help you hit an offensive shot with a good margin for error to help set up the point, or even draw some early mistakes from your opponent.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org