Please assist in helping me form a match strategy

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by jfmcdowell357, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. jfmcdowell357

    jfmcdowell357 New User

    Jan 12, 2006
    Hello folks,
    I am appealing to the knowledgeable folks on this board to help me properly prepare for a match.
    I just lost to the number one guy in our league. I will most likely (cross fingers) see him in the city playoffs and I want to beat this guy!!!.

    Match Score

    Me: 3 6 2
    Him: 6 1 6

    The scores are slightly misleading, each game and I mean each game with the exception of about 3 per match went to deuce.

    My opponent is probably the most consistent player I've ever played against. He hit every shot in the book. He was very consistent and played (n+1) tennis effectively.
    He is also the only person I know to consistently hit the top of the tape and get the ball to go over for "cheap" points (about 10 points during this match alone), the funny thing is though he doesn't hit with much top spin, maybe it's side spin, or slight underspin, but it's not top spin, the balls clear the tape and basically falls.

    I could not effectively drop shot and draw him into the net to put the ball away. In fact I only hit two drop shots that he didn't get too. The rest he treated as short balls.

    If and I mean if I hit any short ball (defined as anything not behind the service box), he did one or two things:

    Hit an extreme angle shot where I could not get to it from the baseline
    If I came in a bit, he would just pass me (my footwork was poor today for some reason if the volley wasn't above my shoulder and closer to the net.

    Baseline grinding worked about 50% of the time, the guy however simply plays n+1 tennis better than I do so long rallies usually didn't go in my favor.

    Now what worked well for me was aggressive attacking of the 2nd serve. He had very poor first serve percentage. The guy basically dinked the 2nd serve over, so I would move into the court when he started his service motion, punch the ball deep and at his feet and when he popped it up I would hit the crap out of the ball on the overhead. I only missed 4 overheads that match
    It also worked well to try and drive the ball deep and into his body as much as possible.

    I don't want to ramble further but any constructive feedback would greatly be appreciated. I would definitely be open to answering any questions you might have.

    PS: I'm a 3.5 player who will move up to 4.0 at the conclusion of this season. My tennis pro says that I play at a 4.0 level, but I do not consistently win matches at that level (hence I've been playing 3.0 for a year and then 3.5 for a year to work on consistently winning matches before I move up. To me it doesn't make sense to play at a higher level if your not consistently winning at a lower level. This guy was in my 3.5 league.
  2. brandx

    brandx Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    Sounds like he lacks footwork on shots to his body. Keep him deep and hit it hard at him when you get a good ball. Maybe you'll get more floaters at the net. Also, you may try mixing up slice and topspin deep, if you did not already try that, since you didn' mention it. I'm sure many additional strategies will follow. Good luck.
  3. jfmcdowell357

    jfmcdowell357 New User

    Jan 12, 2006
    Thanks Brandx,

    Picking off the floaters was what got me the 2nd set. I will keep your other comments in mind, I definitely didn't mix the deep slice into the equation.
  4. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Dec 1, 2005
    It is hard to describe a strategy that "you can use "based on what you described. You played 3 sets and you won one. So you know what worked and what didnt.

    In general , to beat consistent guys, you have to be more creative with your shots and should take chances when they arrive.

    (eg: Use more angles. Hit to his BH on important points, Mix flat and topspin shots etc)

    Another way to look at this would be to ask yourself
    a) can you beat the guy with your game (ie offensively)
    b) can you beat the guy with your defensive game.

    The answer usually lies in between. Depending on court positioning, you can use offensive shots or defensive shots. Maximize your offensive shots and minimize defenisve. Easier said than done. If it was that easy, we would have been on TV.

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