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Improve Your Game

Player to Player: Handling Consistent Opponents

January 3, 2012 12:27 PM
Have a question? Receive advice from your fellow tennis players!
Real Tennis Players - Like You! - Asking For and Offering Advice on the Sport They Love
 
Player to Player is USTA.com’s regular feature in which everyday tennis players are given a forum to ask advice on the sport they love – and their fellow players will dish out advice. We’ll post a number of the best responses we receive to our question of the week.
 
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Player to Player:
This week's question from Jessica:
 
Absolutely the worse part of my game is my service return. Can anyone offer some advice on how to improve my return of serve?
 
Please share your thoughts by e-mailing Player@USTA.com, and include your name and hometown.
  
Got a question of your own? Send that along, too!
 
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READ OTHER PLAYERS' ADVICE
Last week's question from Lesley
(Please note: There is no need to send additional responses to this question.)
 
As an improving singles player, I am now coming up against more consistent opponents. I am patient and can hit the ball back, but how do I win points? I feel like I just keep the ball in play when up against this sort of player rather than ‘going for shots.’ Therefore, I become more defensive and perhaps tentative. I recently lost a match, 0-6, 6-4, 6-7. It was really close after the first set, but my opponent had good groundstrokes, got to every ball and was consistent. I just did not know what to do.
 
Player Responses:
 
Tu, Lancaster, Pa.:

I would recommend you develop a weapon that you can rely on to win points. You could look into improving your best shot, but I think the forehand has the most potential to become a weapon for the singles game. I would set up targets and try to aim for them in practice. If you really want to be offensive, set up targets along the two sidelines. At first, use lots of topspin to control the placement, and when your accuracy improves, you can use less and less topspin to increase the pace. When you run into consistent players, (I'm one of them), often times "pace" is the only way you can break them. Good luck.

Kenny Sommer, Chicago

Playing against a more consistent opponent can be tough, but hang in there. You might want to go for more winners. You could try taking all the short balls and coming to the net. Take a look at the shots you are missing, and learn from them. You might want to change the direction of the ball from cross court to down the line. This also could be causing a lot of errors. You also might want to go for a bigger first and second serve.
 
 
*Please note that any advice given out in this forum should in no way be confused with actual medical advice. Before starting any new exercise regimen or altering your existing one, we strongly urge you to consult with your regular physician.
 
 
Click here for USTA.com's Player to Player Archive.
 

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