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Nbhasin7 02-06-2013 05:22 AM

Varsity Help
 
Hey guys, I play High School Tennis in South Florida. I had a match yesterday as the season just started but I have a question...I was playing against a kid who didnt hit too hard but he had great accuracy. Everything was landing on the lines or a couple inches in. He probably made like 2 unenforced errors the whole match. I play #4 singles if that helps. But what should I have done I could've obviously played better but his accuracy was great. Looking back on the match I should've tried playing net instead of playing baseline like I usually do. But does anyone have any tips about what to do? I spent the whole match on the run only to have the other kid hit a winner right on the line :( any help/tips would be greatly appreciated. If I had to guess I'm probably a 4.5 NTRP.

sundaypunch 02-06-2013 06:40 AM

That can be very frustrating when, no matter what you do, the ball keeps coming back. It's even worse if the other player can keep you on the run. You will need to find a way to make him alter his game plan. A few options-

-Are you familiar with Wardlaw Directionals? If not, you may be doing a lot of running because of poor shot selection (hitting down the line and then having to chase a cross court reply).

-Have enough firepower to keep him off balance. Probably not realistic for you.

-Get to the net. Sounds like you already thought of this.

-See how he handles off pace shots. Slice, drop shot, hit some loopy groundstrokes. I have seen many HS players that mimic a ball machine - basically the same shot over and over. Once a slightly better player gets used to this you are in trouble.

You might not be able to beat someone like this right now. It is good that you realize that you should have tried mixing it up by coming to the net.

schang70 02-06-2013 12:17 PM

Did your opponent have an apparent weakness? Is his backhand as accurate as his forehand? If not I would just keep hitting to his backhand. What about his second serve? If weak, then I would hit hard to his weaker side and take control of the point. If he is extremely accurate, he might pass you every time you come to the net. As mentioned earlier, use variety and see how he handles that. Some players are not as accurate if you use different spins, pace, etc. Is his level way above yours, like 5.0? If so then you might not be ready to beat a player like this yet. Also, you can read Allen Fox's book Think to Win: The Strategic Dimension of Tennis for tennis strategy and also Brad Gilbert's book Winning Ugly for additional tips.

Chemist 02-06-2013 07:04 PM

I pass on #1 Coach's tip against a super consistent player - hit balls deep to the middle.

lstewart 02-07-2013 11:51 AM

Yeah, that can be tough. When I played in college we were at the NAIA national championships and i had to play one of the top seeds. He played Davis Cup for some Europeon country.... don't recall who. Anywhy, he had amazing depth and consistancy.... every shot landed 6 inches inside the baseline. I went for big shots and got up on him the the first set, something like 4-3, but could not keep it up. A couple of years ago ran into the same thing in the finals of a national senior event on clay. The guy had no power, did not look very athletic, but could hit every shot exactly where he wanted to, and never missed. I tried to attack him, and almost won the first set, but the guy could pass me on clay at will. So lost to him as well. Bottom line is that some guys are just good, and although you should have a strategy to try and beat them, does not mean it will work. In a case like you described, I would try to play to my strengths, make the guy earn every point, and see how it goes. Attacking a player like that is a good strategy if your game is geared for it, but hard to play against your strengths.

BHiC 02-07-2013 12:43 PM

Tough one, the South Fla high school teams must be stacked if a 4.5 loses at #4!

To answer your question, just look for patterns in his shots. You would be surprised by how many higher level people only hit their forehand/backhand cc or only take short balls down the line. If he proves he can consistently hit all 4 shots (the occasional tree winner is to be expected, especially in HS) then see what style he has. It sounds like your shots were not bothering him, were you possibly hitting short? This sounds like a kid where I would try to work angles and move him around. From what I understand his shots were not giving you trouble, so see how much he likes to run side to side every single point. Maybe he doesn't handle slice very well and you can work that in. Every single kid you play has a breaking point, and you just have to find it. If this kid sees you redirecting his balls back, not giving him anything, and making him run, he might start amping up and going for more. Now 2 in inside the line turns into 1 in out. I would not suggest coming to the net, especially since you don't prefer to do so, because if the guy has precise shots he will most likely be able to come up with some pretty good passing shots.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chemist (Post 7196844)
I pass on #1 Coach's tip against a super consistent player - hit balls deep to the middle.

I agree, if the guy handles angles well and can put you on the defense, then this is also a great plan use. The goal is to make him getting one point the most annoying process possible.


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