How do you go into a match against someone you've never played?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by hipster, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. hipster

    hipster New User

    Aug 9, 2005
    How do you approach these matches? I don't really have much confidence in my game and become very nervous. I'm on brand new college tennis team (this spring will be our second year), and I usually play people that are a lot better than I am. It's kinda like that other thread about "can you win every time?" I think I'm one of those people that is unsure of themselves when it comes to competing.
  2. GrahamIsSuper

    GrahamIsSuper Semi-Pro

    Jul 21, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I would say the most important thing is know your strengths. If you know what your best shots are, try and make an opportunity to use them. Make the game plan, and try and execute it. You should focus in the warmup to try and see what your opponent does best. Typically, at intermediate levels, try and attack the back hand as a general rule of thumb. Knowing your opponents weaknesses will turn the tide, so you need to pay attention during the time you have. Then, use your strenghts on his/her weakness.

    Of course, you need to go into the match optimistic...the only way you learn that is by playing lots of matches. Take your lumps and learn from them, my man.
  3. Bobo Lat

    Bobo Lat Rookie

    Sep 15, 2005
    I'd say it depends on if one has seen him play someone else before or not.
  4. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2004
    I pretty much go into every match (I have yet to play the same player twice) with the knowledge that I will win that match. Tennis is all about confidence, even behind a game that may not be working to its fullest at the time. If the player doesn't hit very well in warmup, I get more confident knowing that I am better than them. If they hit well and with pace, I look forward to starting the match so I can have some good rallies and such.
  5. Slice Approach

    Slice Approach New User

    Aug 16, 2005
    Just remember that your opponent is probably nervous also. I actually prefer to play against someone I have never played. I am more relaxed, full of confidence, and usually play better. A new opponent doesn't know all of your weaknesses and how to beat you vs. someone you have played against several times. If you focus and start out strong then he might get intimidated and give you some free points. So stay positive mentally and with your body language and you might surprise some people.
  6. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    With someone I've never played before, I really try to find my opponents weaknesses during the warm-up and first few games. However, at first anyway, I just concentrate on playing to my strengths. If that works, I stick with that. If that doesn't work, I start trying to exploit my opponents weaknesses.
  7. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

    Sep 16, 2004
    Kona, Hawaii
    I do exactly the same as Geezer Guy.

    I assess the other person's skills during warm up. How are his strokes on either wing? at net? serves? returns? Low balls? High balls? Top/under spin?

    Most of the time though, I always try to hit my opponents backhand.

  8. PM_

    PM_ Professional

    Aug 30, 2005
    Yes, it can be a bit nervous sometimes playing someone for the first time. There are those unknowns about your opponent but I think relaxing and not tensing up is the key to playing your game. My first rule always is don't let your opponent ever intimidate you.

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