How to find your opponent's weaknesses before losing too far into the match?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by superslam, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. superslam

    superslam New User

    Feb 2, 2009
    I have a tendency to hit balls to my opponents strong side because i cant direct my shots the way i want them to go. How can i defeat someone who attacks a short ball every single time?
  2. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    The pre-match warm-up serves two purposes. One, is to get you warmed up and ready to play - obviously.
    The other, is for you go scope out your opponent to see what his weaknesses are. Hit him some forehands and backhands - see what happens. Hit some short balls that pull him to the net. Hit him some flat and topspin shots - see how he reacts. Try to keep track of what he does well and what he has problems with. By the time the warm-up is over you should have some good indications of areas you can attack - and the match hasn't even started yet.

    The more you practice, the more you'll be able to control the direction and depth of the balls you hit. It just takes lots and lots of practice. When you practice, aim for a specific spot - don't just aim for anywhere over the net.

    Lots of players attack every short ball. That's one of the keys to success, really. However, it's pretty easy to prevent them from using this strategy. Simply don't hit short balls. Now, I'm not being a wise guy - I'm serious. If you hit the ball a bit higher over the net it will land deeper in your opponents court, and they won't be able to attack it. This is something you can work on in practice as well. You should NOT hit a ball that bounces inside the service line, and ideally it should bounce between the base line and about half-way to the service line.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  3. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    combined with above
  4. Slicendicer

    Slicendicer Guest

    You can control your opponent if you have reliable ground strokes. The weakness isn't always a technical issue... the weakness may be running forward to the net, in that case you play the ball short... the weakness may be moving laterally... in that case you hit big topspin and move him out wide... if you find your opponent out of position, that is the weakness... constantly assess what your opponent does well or poorly and make him uncomfortable.
  5. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    If you cannot hit the balls "The way you want them to go," then it does no good to know the opponet's weakness.

    Take care of your own weakness first. Learn to control the ball and the spin on the ball.

    When you can hit the ball where and how you want, then you can take advantage of his weakness.
  6. downdaline

    downdaline Professional

    Jul 12, 2007
    I do this when im playing someone who i've never played this before. My serve-game is pretty good so i usually dont have a problem holding serve.

    Typically, i will try and probe these areas:

    1) Slice to opponents backhand
    2) Topspin to opponents backhand
    3) Flat to opponents backhand
    4) Slice to opponents forehand
    5) Topspin to opponents forehand
    6) Flat to opponents backhand
    7) Test his running forehand
    8) Test his running backhand
    9) Short low slice to backhand
    10) Short low slice to the forehand.
    11) Test his netplay (hitting low slice to make him volley upwards)
    12) Test his serve (by moving around and varying your position while receiving)

    Assuming that i've lost ALL the points while testing the above AND assuming that i've held all my service games, i would have lost the equivalent of 3 games on his serve. This gives me at least 2 games to break him and win the set.

    Of course, LOTS of assumptions here and loads of other areas u can probe him on. I'm not saying you SHOULD do this, but this is what I typically do.

    Hope this helps.
  7. mordecai

    mordecai Rookie

    Feb 21, 2008
    probe them with varying pace depth and spin and then when you find shots that make them uncomfortable, use them more.

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