When a serve pulls you off the court and you return down the line, you are very vulnerable to a forcing crosscourt shot from the opponent. Returning crosscourt or to the middle will leave you in a much better position to cover the court.
As you play a match you should study the opponent. Find out his/her favorite patterns and shots. Then use this information wisely. For example, on key points make sure to cover your opponent’s favorite serve. Play the odds. Make your opponent uncomfortable.
On key points, return consistently by picking smart targets. Hit towards the middle or crosscourt to give yourself more margin for error.
Aim to the middle of the court and low to return a first serve when the opponent is serving and volleying. On second serves, try to stretch him/her.
The most common sources of mistakes on key points are tension and lack of focus on the ball. Reminding yourself to watch the ball all the way from the bounce to the Racquet and to remain relaxed before key points will usually lead to much more consistent play.
A second serve gives you a little more time to move and adjust. Therefore, it may allow you to run around and return with your best shot.
A kick serve will bounce high, and once the ball gets over your shoulders it is very hard to control.
A key tactical concept in tennis is to work the point until you get an easy shot to attack. Sometimes the opponent’s second serve is the first weak shot of the point.
If you run around, start the point inside out unless you are trying to hit a winner or as a variation.
If you are planning to move in, start moving forwards early, do not wait until you hit your return.
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