When your opponent hits a good shot and gets you in trouble, try hitting your shot at a speed that is similar to the speed your opponent used.
The tendency on a more difficult shot is to either hit it back much slower (to get it in play) or much faster (to try to either win the point or get your opponent in more trouble than you are in). It is much easier to keep the speed similar. This will likely result in a better timed shot and a more solid hit.
You can hit the ball closer to the middle of the court if you do not feel confident about how accurate your shot will be. On a slower ball, it might make sense to keep it slower but direct it to the opening or to your opponent’s weakness.
Using a similar speed will help you avoid unforced errors on both the fast and slow shots, as well as adding to your confidence and consistency throughout the match.
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 email@example.com or call 865-300-7323