As promised I’ll talk a little about six different situations you can live in on the tennis court. Last week I said it is important first and foremost to develop consistency in each of them.
The six game situations are:
This is perhaps the most important game situation at least as far as match play is concerned. Why? Because each point starts with a dish. Unfortunately, more often than not it is the stroke that is least practiced.
2. Returns the course
For obvious reasons this is a very important stroke too. If you can’t do anything else, make sure you keep the ball in play with your returns. That way you will give your opponent the opportunity to make mistakes …
When newbies were first able to hit 5, 6, 7 times on the internet with me, I told them: “You see, it’s not that difficult! You’re playing tennis now!” Usually this happens during the first lesson and their faces always lighten up when I tell them. I think it’s because the basic idea of tennis (to hit the ball over the net on the opponent’s court) is stated so clearly in this situation.
4. Get close to + play volleyball
When you get to the net at the right moment (you get a shorter ball and your opponent is [slightly] out of position) and you can play decent volleyball that makes the game of tennis a lot more fun. Playing can become more interesting and unpredictable when one or both players appear on the internet from time to time.
5. Hit passing shots + lob
Most people initially have a tendency to ‘panic’ when their opponent appears on the internet. (Some people never leave this stage … 😉 Once you realize you can go for the winner, or first play a subtle ‘dinky’ shot and then blow it up by your opponent, or choose to lob, this situation can be both fun and challenging.
When your opponent hits a lob you can’t save with a smash, you can often run after that and keep the ball in play, for example with your own lob. You will see the craziest shots in this situation. People would use the ‘pancake method’ and try to flip the ball over their shoulders holding the racket with both hands, or they would go for the ‘Sabatweeny’ (named after Argentine Gabriela Sabatini who would sometimes hit the ball between her legs. with their back to the net), some people will try to smash the ball either keeping their back against the net or trying to turn around while hitting.
So the six game situations are:
2. Returns the course.
3. Play a basic rally.
4. Get close and hit the volleyball
5. Hit passing shots and lob
So what should you do in a situation like this? Let’s talk more about that in our next weekly tennis tip.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the game and see if you can recognize these 6 situations.