View Full Version : Can't aggressive baseline

07-17-2009, 01:47 PM
I'm facing a plateau in my development as a singles player. I play varsity doubles during the high school season, and have had excellent results. However, my ability to win in singles is really quite low.

I win most of my points in 3 ways:
1. Unreturnable serve/ridiculously easy return
2. Serve and volley
3. Unforced error

Against players around my level I beat, it usually revolves on my holding serve by racking up those free points and volleying well. Then eventually I can get a break by really just mixing it up/scrambling/defending after I chip a return back. Heavy topspin, slice, drop shots, lures, moonballs, etc. Sometimes I can hit a chain of decent shots and get a winner from the baseline.

However, I always lose close matches to people a bit better than me. I can never break them because my crafty style of play can't beat their solid strokes, and my chip returns don't cut it against their serves+aggressive groundstrokes. Meanwhile, I eventually get broken at some point because they don't give up as many free points, make me hit tougher volleys, and most of all, hit a neutral return.

The neutral/slightly weak return is my bane because I really can't do much with it. If it is somewhat short, I can hope to string together a couple good strokes and move forward, get winners, etc. but usually I end up hitting another neutral, usually spinny shot back, and then they can slowly proceed to dictate the points because they gradually hit better and better shots, while mine get more and more defensive.

So my question is how to be an aggressive baseliner. What kind of shot should I hit? Should I move it around? Should I take it on the rise? That sorta stuff. My singles game would improve dramatically if I could learn how to be an aggressive baseliner, because I have that big serve to take advantage of.


07-17-2009, 02:04 PM
To be an aggressive baseliner, you must hit the ball:

*with lots of pace
*you must have the ability to work the ball around the court
*with consistency
*and have solid fundamentals

You must incorporate these things into your groundstrokes to have an aggressive baselining game.

Since you normally play doubles, it might take some practice before you can get to be more aggressive at the baseline.

07-17-2009, 02:39 PM
seems to me you're better off around the net. in your case I'd really suggest u work on your midcourt shots - shots that are not obvious floaters but that u can hit and come to net on. the better u hit those shots, the better you'll be able to break serve as well as hold your own.

07-17-2009, 02:46 PM
because I have that big serve

Since you have a big serve, you should take advantage of it by serving and volleying.

Once you develop a consistent aggressive baselining game, try mixing up some serving and volleying to help change up the pace and keep your opponent's guessing and on their toes.