Directionals: To conquer your opponent, you must play directionals. There are only two directions you can hit: cross-court and down the line. Your highest percentage shot (80%) is cross-court. By hitting cross-court, you are hitting over the lowest part of the net, aiming towards a big spot, which has the least amount of recovery for you. Your lowest percentage shot (20%) is down the line. This can be your most effective shot if chosen correctly. The best time for down the line is when you are fully prepared and set, stepping onto the court, and the opponent has not yet recovered from their cross-court ball. Directionals are a simple, yet highly effective plan which allows you to build confidence in all areas during a match.
High and Heavy: Playing high does not mean looping or babying the ball. Playing high means putting yourself in a position to create a ball with shape, accelerated height, and depth to push your opponent further back on the court. Heavy means producing a ball with spin and controlled speed—combining these two variables forces your opponent back onto the court, allowing more court to work with and giving you control to win points on your terms.
Find a Pattern: Many of us players fall into the trap of just winning points but not understanding what we are doing to receive them. If you are acquiring issues without knowing what you are doing, it is called false confidence. False confidence is dangerous because eventually, your opponent realizes you are not in control of the point. FIND A PATTERN ( Example: 3 cross-courts and then change direction/ 3 high heavy balls and drop shot/ 4 balls side-to-side). Keep executing that pattern until it no longer works; throw in multiple patterns to keep your opponent thinking. Once the patterns are created, you must know which one was effective against your opponent.
Attack the Backhand: This strategy speaks for itself. No matter what level you play, the backhand is a weakness/neutralizer most of the time. We tend to get caught up in having these long forehand rallies where eventually someone goes for a big winner. Instead, use your serve, forehand, or backhand to attack your opponent's backhand. Attacking the backhand could be done in several ways (high and heavy/ driving it at their backhand/ slicing it/or however you see fit).
By: Racquet Pro Christian Borrero
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