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Old 01-29-2013, 03:35 PM   #54
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 7,359

Originally Posted by JW10S View Post
I went back and read the first page in his original thread on the subject--there it does not seem he is talking about a 'default' strategy. So apparently he has backed way off of his original concepts.

Some things good players have in their bag are what I refer to as 'automatic' shots--their default shots. Since there is not always time to decide and set up to hit where you want or how you want everytime players will have an automatic go to shot that will keep them in the point but not put them on the defensive. Then when they have time, opened up the court, acheived good court position, whatever, they pull the trigger. But these automatic shots are situational and not always to the same places.

I've seen point-by-point chartings of patterns of shots of Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Nadal and they each have their own unique patterns of play incorporating automatic shots to ultimately allow them to take control of the point based on their particular strengths and favorite shots. They don't use the same targets, their automatic shots differ. And their automatic forehands differ from their automatic backhands. They will hit deeper to one side of the court and shorter to the other, or wider to one side and more centered to the other based on their strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents. In many ways it's like chess--how many shots will it take me to get my opponent over there, or to make him hit to me here. It's fascinating when you study it.

I'm surprised someone would need a reference to tell them that dropping the ball into the middle of your opponent's court is something you'd probably wouldn't want to do all that often. When I was 12 yrs old (long time ago) my coach would use tape to mark out a square in the middle of the court, if you hit the ball in it you lost the point. He didn't use a fancy term like 'avoid zone'. But it was a good tool, one I use in my coaching now, hit in the square in the middle of the court, lose the point, but it's certainly nothing groundbreaking.
There is more to it than just don't hit in the middle of the court. Last year there was a shot chart from the AO that showed some of the top matches shot locations. There were not many very deep, the majority were very similar to the smart targets that 5263 suggests.
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