Tennis is a fairly difficult to sport to master. Tennis players will need to put in years of training if they wish to successfully compete on a professional level. Not only will they need to put in the time to improve their skill, they will also need the help of highly experienced coaches to develop their training and strategy. As with all sports, tennis fundamentals come down to offense and defense. In this article about tips for playing offensive and defensive tennis, we will reveal some informative idea.
Unlike other sports where you can gain a good deal of success by being great at only one facet, tennis demands you to sharpen on both defense and offense if you want to achieve victory. In this article, we will be discussing tennis defensive and offensive strategies that will be helpful on the court.
We do stress the importance of taking tennis lessons to further improve your skills in both defense and offense. A talented coach will be able to spot your flaws and help you strengthen your weaknesses while further polishing your strengths to its full potential.
How to Play Offense in Tennis
Key tennis offensive tactics typically center on keeping up the pressure on your opponent. This will then increase the likelihood of them making a mistake. This is easier said than done though as not only do you need a good well-laid plan of attack; you also need to have the energy to keep the pressure up.
One wrong move, a moment of hesitation, or a lapse in judgment due to fatigue can quickly turn the tide against a skilled tennis player – this mistake can be quite costly. Once you are about to step into the tennis court, ask yourself this question: Are you there to win or are you there not to lose? Your mentality going into the match is a good indicator of your chances of winning. Basically, enter the tennis court with the full intention to win.
Tennis Offensive Strategies
- Taking Advantage of a Rally Ball
High-percentage tennis is the key factor in a successful offensive strategy. Knowing how to react at a drop of a dime is an essential skill that tennis players must acquire. A key point takeaway example is at a neutral rally, you should be on alert for a short ball.
Another example of a crucial momentum changer for an offensive strategy is when the ball is at the mid-court. The best approach in this scenario, especially if you have a big forehand, is to attack fast and direct the ball towards your opponent’s weak side. This fast and furious tactic will force your opponent to defend while not being in their preferred or optimum stance.
- The Importance of Taking the Transition Game
Attacking down the line when you are going towards the net is a crucial tactic. Why? This will open up your opponent to various angles of attack. This is especially true if your opponent is currently in the center of their court. A successful cross-court attack over to the edge of their line will leave you with the whole opposite side undefended if they do manage to return the ball.
- Taking Full Advantage of Serve and Return
The serve and return will provide you with the first opening to initiate your offensive strategy. While this will take practice and skill, a powerful and high-precision serve that targets your opponent’s weak side can immediately force them on their heels.
This will give you more options in regards to where and how you will hit the ball. You will be able to choose between volleys and overheads to take advantage of your opponent’s weak returns. The main advantage that you can gain here is the ability to press on and maintain constant pressure on your opponent, increasing the likelihood that they will make a mistake.
- Defensive Strategies in Tennis
While it is true that a good defense is a great offense, there will come the time wherein you will find yourself on the defensive. Knowing how to navigate yourself in these instances is crucial when it comes to how to play defense in tennis. Some of the qualities of a great defensive tennis player includes the ability to anticipate your opponent, speed, stability, and the ability to hit the ball with optimized power and precision in a defensive position.
The last part is something that can be obtained with practice, while the other aspects are achieved through experience. An exceptionally skilled defensive tennis player can be frustrating to go up against as it will feel like you are fighting a brick wall – this is another reason why you should have top-tier defensive tactics in tennis.
How to Play Defensive Tennis Successfully
Quickly analyzing the situation and anticipating two to three moves ahead are crucial skills in a defensive tennis player’s arsenal. For some, this comes naturally, while for others, they obtain this through hardships and experience. If you fall on the latter, don’t fret as we have some tips on how you can sharpen your defensive game.
- Positioning in the Court
The last thing you would want is to be forced to get pulled away off court. If you find yourself rushing towards the line, refrain from hitting the ball hard as this will cut your recovery time to properly position yourself for the return. The smart way to handle this scenario is to hit a deep lob to allow you ample time to head back to the center of your baseline. An advanced technique used by experienced players is to hit a heavy topspin or a high heavy topspin shot. As a result, this adds a level of randomness to the trajectory of the ball once it hits a surface.
Read more: 4 Game Changing Defesive Tips in Tennis
- Taking the Lead in the Baseline
One of the trickiest positions to get out of in tennis is when your opponent controls the base line and is pouring tremendous pressure. In this scenario, hitting the ball will become harder and harder with every return. A common mistake by beginners during this situation is to match up their opponent’s power, hit by hit.
Avoid this fatal mistake in tennis as your opponent has the advantage of being in the best possible position. You should also avoid getting too fancy during returns wherein you are at the disadvantage. If your opponent hits the ball cross-court, return it cross-court as well. A good rule of thumb if you ever find yourself in a pinch is try to slow the game down to get your bearings and always play it safe.
When it comes to percentage tennis, calm and calculated moves tend to always win the match. If you get the edge on the offense, make sure to vary your strokes whenever you can. In a defensive tennis situation, we advise you to play it safe and bring back the pace of the game to a level that you are comfortable in. Take your time and play smart by blending together a good offense and defense strategy. Hope you like the article tips for playing offensive and defensive tennis, thanks for visiting!