Down the center tactics.


Whether we are talking about rallying from the baseline, hitting a pass hard straight at a volleyer, or aiming and approach shot deep down the center, o, or hitting volleys down the middle of the court, the idea is to deny angles which one's opponent can use to create their own angles, , to crowd one's opponent, or to deny the advantages of a great horizontal running game. It carries the additional benefit, of sending more balls right in the most torn up part of any grass court. that real estate is where players are constantly changing direction with those 'special' grass court shoes. Which players used these centrist tactics either more frequently or more successful than the norm. Which players were exceptionally good at defeating them?

I found McEnroe, Edberg, Henman and Court, and Shriver were very effective at using the center for their approaches and some of their volleys. John and Stephan had such good instincts , such superb anticipation and quick reaction time moving backward to cover the lob, that they were rarely punished for going down the center. Taller players with great reach, like Shriver and Court were likewise unintimidated by possible risks in centering the approach, or first volley right down the center to a prepared and balanced opponent. That height made it very difficult on opponents to find the court and still keep the pass out of reach.