Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Ever watched a game of tennis and thought to yourself "geez these guys are good" ? I have done since I was a kid but now days when I watch tennis I look at it a lot differently, quite simply I analyse it. I don't enjoy the game as much i used to because I find it very 'ho hum', it's all pretty much the same, but there are always some good matches in a Slam.
Grass court tennis is rather tactical as opposed to say the French Open which does of course require tactics but it needs a mind to stay out there for as long as the legs will hold up, a slower match. Grass court tennis is quick and the points are over a lot sooner, volleys don't have to be perfect as they do on clay or hard courts, short volleys are sometimes more effective. Trying to hit a winner off a dying short volley can be hard work.
Dustin Brown played this tactic to perfection against Lleyton Hewitt at last year's Wimbledon, the Australian couldn't find an answer to it.
Have you noticed how much a player will actually attack the strength of an opponent ? Watch two big forehands from two right handers and how often they in fact go back to each other rather than try to change the direction. Why is this ? It's not an ego thing. It's because they are playing safe tennis . Changing the direction on a ball is risky from the back of the court so cross court tennis is always the safest option. Tennis professionals will try to get a short reply from the forehand so as to attack the backhand side. How many times do you see a pro come to the net on an approach to their opponent's forehand side ? Not too many smart players would even consider it.
Some call it the 'one , two punch ' where you attack the strength with the equivalent of a boxer's jab then follow it up with a 'hay maker' into the backhand side. I don't believe the tactical side has ever been taught as much as the technical side, it's lacking in the game, it's lack of thought.
How often does a sliced backhand get returned with another slice ? Why is this ? Again it's the safest option as a low slice to the backhand is easier to slice back rather than trying to get down underneath it to hit a topspin shot. A sliced ball is also tough to change direction on so a backhand slice cross court will almost always be returned with another backhand slice, cross court. These guys play the percentages. So what happens when a right hander plays a lefty ? Look at Fed vs Rafa . Roger always struggles to deal with the high spin to his backhand from Nadal's forehand , it's where most points are won by the Spaniard. Rafa hits cross court almost all the time against Roger from his forehand and unless Roger is hitting his backhand at 100 per cent he will lose . 
Same theory, cross court tennis, it's playing the percentages, tennis down the line is risky as you have to change the dynamics of the ball from a cross court ball.  When you first learned to play the game what were you taught ? Hit it out in front, early, that's cross court tennis. Here's a fact you may not know.
From the corner of the baseline to the opposite corner down the line is 4 foot shorter than if you hit the ball to the opposite corner cross court, 4 foot is a lot in tennis.
There's a lot to the game of tennis,being a great ball striker is not enough, you need to know how to play , there's a difference, some realize this , some don't. That's why being a pro tennis player is almost like being an A Grade Student, you need to know your angles...... 

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