Single Tactics

Following are singles tactics that can be used in your matches.

  1. When hitting deep, try to hit the ball over the net at least twice the height of the net (preferably with some topspin). This will keep your opponent further back.
  2. Most of the time hit crosscourt. The net is lower in the middle and the court is longer. If looking to attack more you can hit down the line if you are hitting from inside the baseline.
  3. Try to stay close to the baseline so you are taking the ball early and looking to control the point. This gives your opponent less time to react to your shots.
  4. Look to hit short angles. Angles can move your opponent off the court, giving you a chance to hit your shot into the open court or behind the player (wrong footing).
  5. If coming into the net off a short ball (approach shot) most of the time go down the line as you don’t have to recover as much and easier to cover your opponent’s shots.
  6. If volleying from nearer the service line try to a nice controlled deep volley and move forward to half way up the box. This gives you a chance to move forward for a 2nd volley or move back to hit a smash (covering the lob)
  7. When serving, try to get your first serves in with good pace. This puts pressure on your opponent to hit a good return and less pressure on you having to hit too many 2nd serves.
  8. When returning serve, always try and get the ball back into play. If it means blocking it back that’s ok as long as your opponent is not able to attack off the next shot. A good place to return is often deep down the middle of the court. Step in and attack softer 2nd serves so your opponent is on the defensive straight away.
  9. When in trouble out wide don’t be afraid to lob up a high ball to get back into position.
  10. Look for your opponent’s weakness. These could be technical (shots), physical (movement / fitness) and mental (are they getting annoyed after losing a point or game). It can sometimes take a few games to see a weakness but you might be able to see a technical weakness in the knock up before the match starts.
  11. Mix up your shots. Hit with different spin, power and height. What spin works best against your opponent, topspin, backspin, sidespin or flat shots? Does your opponent prefer when you hit it harder or softer? Or if you hit high over the net or low?

Rob Cherry

Doubles Tactics

When Serving

High First Serve Percentage Video
Communication Video
Serve & Volley Video
Example Of Hand Signals Video

When Returning

  • Short angled crosscourt return
  • Easier to hit down the line from inside baseline
  • Step into return
  • Lobbing

In a Rally situation

  • Hit most shots crosscourt
  • Move with your partner
  • Keep the ball low to net player
  • Hit down the middle
  • Test out your opponent’s volleys/smashes

When up at the net

  • Poaching: (Crossing over to your partner’s side of the court to intercept a crosscourt shot).
  • What to do when lobbed
  • Follow the path of the ball to cover gaps