Perfectly Disguised Tennis Drop Shot (Video)

erfectly Disguised Tennis Drop Shot (Video)

A tennis drop shot is an effective way to bring your opponent to the net, make them run and disrupt the rhythm of their game.

One of the keys to an effective drop shot is not only good execution but also disguise.

This video will show you a disguise you have probably never seen before. 😉

Liked it? 😉

Ok, here are some tips on how to learn this super drop shot:

1. Keep more distance from the ball than if you were to really play the overhead. The »fake« smash needs to happen between you and the ball so there must be enough space to swing.

2. Hold a continental grip as you normally do for a smash and try a few shots without the ball to see how you racquet ends up after the follow-through.

3. Then just stop the racquet and practice the correct angle of the racket to bounce the ball slightly over the net.

4. Enjoy the look on your opponent’s face once you pull off this drop shot in a real match. 😉

Oh, and if you have a website or a blog feel free to embed the Youtube video on your site.

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Related posts:

Tennis Serve And Pronation
Overhead And Backhand Tennis Tips
Keys to Racquet Preparation
7 Tips For A Better Slice Tennis Serve
Timing The Racquet Drop And Knee Bend When Serving

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 at 11:32 pm and is filed under Tennis tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Perfectly Disguised Tennis Drop Shot (Video)”
Betfair Backhand Says:
December 4th, 2007 at 1:28 pm
That’s great! I mean, you are probably going to win the point either way because most smashes are unplayable but I suppose it’s useful if you want to take the mickey out of your opponent!

Do you know if this has ever been done in a professional game? Suppose most players wouldn’t risk the humiliation in case they messed up!


Tomaz Reply:
December 5th, 2007 at 3:33 am

I haven’t seen this in the pro game, but I have seen one player in an exhibition serve in the same way. He swung at the ball, let it drop like in the above case and then bumped across the net for the serve.


TennisTom Says:
January 11th, 2008 at 2:04 pm
The demonstrated shot falls in the category of a “trick shot,” and should probably be used intentionally only when you are substantially ahead in score. I doubt if a pro would ever use this in a real match because it is just a grandstand shot meant to amuse. I have actually used this shot in USTA competition but it was accidental. I was stretched out and terribly out of balance, so I whiffed the overhead (yeah, I admit it), but then I recovered by bumping the ball over the net for the point. My regular doubles partner just about fell over laughing. Of course if you try this shot on purpose and miss it, you will look like an idiot.

There are a few trick shots which are useful in dire emergencies. One is when you are scrambling furiously and the opponent “wrong-foots” you (hits behind you when you are moving in the wrong direction to cover the open court). If the oncoming ball is near enough to you, and your momentum makes it impossible to change your body direction, you can throw your racket (suddenly move, not actually thrown it) out behind you in a desperate attempt to half-volley it back over the net. As in the above mentioned overhead shot, I did this accidentally. As it worked, I began to practice the shot once in a while just for the fun of it. In 37 years of doubles I guess I have done this behind-the-back shot four or five times, but always in a desperate attempt to keep the ball in play. The only thing to be learned from this type of gimmick shot is this: Tennis can provide you with all kinds of FUN. These are some of those instances. TennisTom



Why Did Djokovic Stop Fighting?

Why Did Djokovic Stop Fighting?

Novak Djokovic lost his second Round Robin match to Robin Soderling 6-7, 1-6.

Novak was very frustrated and angry because Robin played fantastic tennis – hitting the lines with his groundstrokes and sending serves with over 200 km /h with regularity.

The thinking that went through Novak’s mind was something like this:

“Why does he have to be so lucky exactly today against me? I play well but every risk he takes goes in.

I work so hard to get to 15:40 and get two break points and then he blasts 4 first serves with 220 Km /h and it’s a game.

It’s not fair. This isn’t tennis.

And when I try a clean winner, I miss by an inch. So why should I fight, it’s not worth it.”

Thoughts along these lines were probably going through Djokovic’s mind and there is certain truth about them.

So let’s say that Novak is right, can see the future (of course he cannot and in reality, everything is possible!) and knows that no matter what he does, Soderling will win.

Should he still fight? And why?

Why do you still fight if you know that you’ll lose?

And why do you stop fighting (if you do) if you know that you’ll lose?

Also: Notice in the video above how Novak waves away to his camp at the end of tie-break as if saying “don’t bother” or “I won’t listen to you – because I just played to the forehand of Soderling like you told me to and look what happened.”

That’s my best guess of what happened today. Your thoughts?

Related posts:

3 Reasons Why Djokovic Beat Federer In The Dubai 2011 ATP Final
Robin Soderling In His First French Open Final
Roger Federer Enters History Books
Novak Djokovic – The Best Player In The World This Week
Why Djokovic, Soderling And Berdych Can Beat Federer But Not Nadal

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 at 1:02 pm and is filed under Novak Djokovic. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Why Did Djokovic Stop Fighting?”
mk Says:
November 26th, 2009 at 11:22 am
My view is that Nole didn’t stop fighting, he just lost the match.

I think the only time you really stop fighting in tennis is when you retire from the match. So even if you were losing, but played until the end of the match you didn’t stop fighting. You just didn’t manage to win the way you were playing, thinking (maybe anticipating final loss) and feeling during the match. You were using the wrong or empty “weapons”.

Among other things, tennis game teaches you that hope dies last and that “anything” is possible until the end of the match, so you can not completely predict the future (winner). So even if you think you will lose, you have to play (or at least comply with the scoring rules) until the end of the match to be 100% sure 🙂 .


Tomaz Reply:
November 26th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Good points, thanks for sharing, mk!


Arturo Hernandez Says:
December 1st, 2009 at 11:32 am
Actually, I have seen this in Nole before. It is something I don’t see in Nadal. Nadal will find a way to make it close even if he loses. You can see him pump his fists even when he is down 5-2. Federer also uses a very different philosophy (at least from what I read on the web). He seems to just hang around and see if something might happen. It can cost him a match at times but at the grand slams he has often come out on top by just hanging around and keeping it close. Nole seems to lose his will to fight when things don’t go his way. I think he is supremely talented and could easily win another grand slam. He just needs to persevere a little more and see what happens. Had Nole just hung around some more and waited for Soderling’s level to drop, it might have been closer. it also seesm that Soderling seems to be painting the lines a lot these days. I wonder whether he will keep it up or will drop back down to where he was before.


Dealing With Slow Tennis Players

Dealing With Slow Tennis Players

I would like to ask for some help. Today I played an opponent that totally took the rhythm out of my game.

He slowed the game down to a crawl. He took extremely long change-overs and he would take 30-40 seconds after each point to get ready for the next point.

He even hit himself, accidentally in the face and took about 5 minutes to get composed. This strategy seems to bother me the most. I have worked on it but I don’t have the experience to over come this just yet.

The score was 6-2, 4-6, 8-10, so I didn’t completely fall apart but my focus and rhythm became sporadic.

Please help me come up with some way to cope with this distraction.

I understand, it happened to me too. I’ve also seen in on TV a few times, where Ivan Lendl for example took long times to start the point especially when he was losing.

The tricky thing here is that as long as your opponent stays within time limits of the rules of tennis, there is nothing you can do.

In fact, I would suggest that you stop fighting this in your mind, since this WILL NOT CHANGE.

It’s like fighting the morning traffic when going to work. Or fighting bad weather when you want a sunny day.

The reality will not change. Tennis (and life) and MORE DIFFICULT than you would like them to be.

That’s how it is. Accept that and see it as a challenge:

“Wow, tennis is so difficult. Am I capable of holding my concentration a few more seconds than usual so that the other guy starts the point?”

This should get you on the right track.

Also, don’t take it personally.

If someone would intentionally do this to disrupt your rhythm and they weren’t used to that, this would disrupt their own rhythm too.

It’s very likely that your opponent is NOT doing this (time delay) to bother you. He does it because he is so slow.

He is a “slowish” kind of person.

This is just one of the many challenging things in tennis. The more you accept that and stop resisting it, the easier it is to deal with things like that.

Related posts:

Dealing With Parent Pressure
Why Did Djokovic Stop Fighting?
Interview Insights – Ana Ivanovic at US Open 2009
Perfectly Disguised Tennis Drop Shot (Video)
The One-Shot Disappointment – A Totally Wrong Mindset


Best Tactics For Left-Handed Tennis Players

Best Tactics For Left-Handed Tennis Players

What is the best game tactics a lefty could use to raise his game to full potential?

Do left-handers have an advantage in tennis?

Yes, and the main reason is that in most cases player’s forehands are better than backhands and this makes a left-hander’s forehand go cross court to your weaker backhand.

And because of court coverage and higher percentage shots everyone needs to play a lot cross court; so the forehand – backhand duel is inevitable.

You might think that it’s the same for the right-hander since their forehand goes to lefty’s backhand and that’s true, except the right-hander doesn’t practice this very often.

There are approximately 8-15% left-handers so the right-hander may practice their “forehand against backhand” tactics in about 15% of the matches, while a left-hander practices this in 85% of the matches.

So in general, the left-hander finds it easier to control the point with their forehand than a right-hander.

The other advantage is that the left-hander serves out wide to right-hander’s backhand on crucial points like 40:30, 30:40.

And since left-handers play at lot of right-handers, they keep serving their wide serves time and time again and become very good at them.

Right-handers on the other hand 😉 play mostly right-handers and don’t serve many wide serves out to opponent’s forehand.

So when they play a left-hander they are not that good with a wide slice serve.

Your main goal as a left-hander is to try and gain advantage in the point with your wide serve and occasionally surprise your opponent with a serve to their forehand.

There is a whole chapter in the Tennis Strategy Encyclopedia on how to deal with left-handers and that might help you discover new tactics that you never considered before.

Related posts:

7 Tips For A Better Slice Tennis Serve
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Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2007 at 9:01 pm and is filed under Tennis Strategy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “Best Tactics For Left-Handed Tennis Players”
Harry Says:
July 1st, 2008 at 3:24 pm
I can offer no proof, but I think that we lefties have better backhands. I base this on forty years of recreational tennis, against hundreds of opponents. It has to do with what I think of as opposite-side coordination. Right-handers tend to be almost paralytically right handed, whereas left-handers tend to be ambiguous in their dexterity. I shoot a shotgun and a bow right-handed, and play pool right-handed. I have a brother-in-law who plays softball as a lefty, but golf as a righty. I will run around a forehand to hit a backhand. It feels far more natural, and I have better control of the shot.

Looking ahead to what I hope is a Nadal-Federer final at Wimbledon, I doubt that handedness will have much if anything to do with the outcome. Federer has a decent backhand, and Rafa can hit forehands pretty well. They’ll serve each other out wide, but that won’t decide the match, if it takes place.

When I think of elegant backhands, Rosewall and Ashe and Gasquet, all right-handers, come to mind. My observations, if they apply to anyone, apply to your next club opponent, not your next opponent on the WTA.


Tomaz Says:
July 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 am
Thanks for sharing, Harry. But on your claim that “handedness will have much if anything to do with the outcome” I disagree.

Nadal would have won “maybe” 2 matches in his whole career against Federer if he was a right-hander.


Harry Says:
July 2nd, 2008 at 11:59 am
Tomaz: That’s an interesting claim, and I’d love to hear your reasoning. Yes, lefties have done well in professional tennis, relative to their numbers. (Left-handed pitchers and hitters have done even better.) But when I look at Rafa’s game, I see six or seven strengths that outrank his being left-handed, in terms of advantage against Federer or anyone else. I have a feeling that he could be the first clay specialist to, in music industry parlance, become a successful “crossover artist.” And I say all this as a huge Federer fan.


Harry Says:
July 2nd, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Let me toss in one final thought about this lefty/righty thing, never to mention it again. Maybe we’re focusing on the wrong set of limbs. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I walk pretty well on my right leg, but not so well on my left.” We’re all bipedally ambidextrous. Or are we? My winter hobby is skate-skiing, and if you want to witness the directional paralysis of the right-handed population, come ski with me next winter. I’m strictly recreational level, but I ski the same on both sides. Skate right, pole right/ skate left, pole left. It would blow your mind to see how many otherwise good skiers can’t skate/pole left, and all of them are right-handed.

At the World Cup level, this isn’t an issue, since they’re all skiing what’s called V2 technique, meaning a double pole on every skate stroke. The sport hammered bipedal symmetry into their bones. I think that tennis similarly hammers bipedal symmetry into the bones of its professional players. You have to have a backhand, else find another occupation. And your backhand begins in the basement.


Tomaz Says:
July 2nd, 2008 at 10:30 pm
Good points, Harry. The tricky thing about left-handers is that their strength lies in their forehand that goes to the right-handers backhand which is typically weaker. The right-hander is used to defend with a cross-court shot back but now has to adapt somehow and look for a down-the-line “escape” from trouble (to lefty’s backhand).

This makes the right-hander make many conscious decisions instead of playing instinctively like he does with more than 90% of opponents (for the past 15 years). Because of this extra thinking and playing shots that he is not used to, the right-hander makes a lot of unforced errors or plays poor shots.

So the left-hander doesn’t exactly directly win points, it’s his indirect influence (just because he is a left-hander) that makes the right-hander play poorly.

The left-hander on the other hand plays 90% of matches against right-handers and is used to playing down-the-line backhands to backhands and so on. He knows MUCH better how to escape the problem of right-hander’s forehand to his weaker backhand. (because everyone attacks his backhand 😉 )

If Federer can play instinctively against Nadal and can comfortably defend with his backhand cross-court to Nadal’s (imaginary) backhand, then Nadal is in BIG trouble. I’d still give him 2 wins on clay but not more…


Memed Says:
September 8th, 2008 at 2:37 pm
the only two advantages a lefty has have been mentioned: a) the 40-30/30-40 situation and b) righties generally play righties, while lefties are quite used to them.
as to harry’s comments, i’m not so sure. i heard that soccer players that are lefties usually have excellent technique on their left but are very weak on their right, whereas right-footed players are not that weak on their left (though, not as talented with their right); so, they’re closer to being ambidextrous. I, as a lefty, can attest to this; i’m quite inept on my right, but almost exceptional with my L. also i’ve noticed that lefties in soccer, in addition to superior technique, tend to make the best play-makers (those who set-up the offense,regulate pass traffic and make difficult, unexpected passes). i think this has something to do with visual perception, spatial perception, and perhaps more. again, i as a lefty, am no exception to this 🙂
counter to the above, however, i play the guitar ‘normal’; i can only use a joystick or gamepad with my right hand, and perhaps some other things too. why is this? is it because i initially learned these activities using my right?
on the other hand a retarded monkey could write better than i can with my right.
having mentioned visual, spatial skills, i’m sure they’re quite useful in other sports too; how much do you think they matter in tennis? could these be the actual reasons why there have been outstanding lefty tennis players? I wonder.


kai Says:
November 18th, 2008 at 2:30 am

Further to southpaws.

I college I studied lefties in human performance. Specifically in tennis and vo9lleyball, my sports. What I learned made me become( one unnerved opponent accused me of playin lefty )- a right handed lefty. Further later.

Some interesting lefty stats. and characteristics I learned from studies and personal interested observation and talks w lefties. Lefties are ambidextrous. Righties are lame w their left. Lefties are mixed up handedness, righties are exclusively righties. This is evidence of a more balanced brain and greater LR hemisphere sunchronization. The general population % of lefties are vastly exceeded in artists and witches.

The ex Fed Cup coach of UK (lefty) told me that lefties are not as solid on FH side (whippy was her word) and have a great BH slices.

In VBall, everyone knows that lefties love to hit extreme angle across their bodies, like along the net. They do this very very well and no one can stop them despite knowing they favor this shot. Moving the block waay over will finally make them hit the line (another favored shot…) and start all over again. Ask any VB player of experience. This the VBer’s “slice” Most rh hitters prefer to go straight ahead. LH hitters rotate. For an ex. of tennis player’s rotation, see Mac’s serve motion. That’s what I mean about rotation. Nadal does not have this which was confusing for me until I found out he was a converted righty. See also other big lefty servers (They all seem to have great serves) Leconte, Forget, Llodra, Tanner, Ivanisovic, Mac, Roche, Fraser, Rod, Martina. Jimbo was kinda an exception as he was not an attacker like the rest of these lefties. Jimbo was a defensive server and waited to pound your return that you couldn’t do much with.

hope that might turn out to be intetresting.



PS. In 45 years in tennis my best was an Open ranking in dubs in Hawaii. Still a solid 4.5 -5.0, still duking it up w the youngsters. International coaching level in indoor VB. and pro qualifier in beach VB. Best result was a bagel by then ranking bronze medalists when i managed to qual thru the draw. I take some pride in the fact that they took a 44 yr old midget w a rookie partner seriously enough to just smoke me and not fool around.


adebanji alabi Says:
June 7th, 2009 at 12:43 pm
if a sport favours a particular limb,then its really not a sport. There are more right handed tennis players than left handed ones,therefore in a tournament, you will very likely play a right hander.
Left handed players bring in an element a rightie doesnt expect or keeps forgetting,because he is not exposed as much to a leftie.Lefties play more righties and have to adapt and overcome their (Leftie) weaknesses.
I believe the there are equal strengths and weaknesses in righties and lefties.After all the court isnt designed for a specific hand.Lefties have simply adapted to righties alot better than vice versa.
Solution is fairly straight forward. Righies should practice more against lefties.



Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros

Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros

This is day 1 of my tennis blogging from Roland Garros and it wasn’t a nice welcome. When I arrived to Paris at around 11 am, it was raining and was quite cold.

The rain stopped later but the wind kept blowing and it was quite a difficult day to play tennis.

Many players were struggling with conditions and most of them knew what they had to do in the wind; play high percentage tennis, don’t go for the lines and work for every point.

If the player had the wind in the back, he or she mostly just kept good deep shots in play and the opponent sooner or later played a short ball – against the wind.

Then it was only the matter of not overhitting the short ball.

Here are some thoughts on players and matches I saw today…

Tsonga – Bennetueau : 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Both players started the match very cautiosly and played high percentage shots in the windy conditions. Tsonga was the first to start going for more after a few games.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga serving

He also had the power to hit through the wind when he had the wind in the face. Tsonga kept a more attacking game – mostly with his forehand – throughout the match and deserved to win in 4 sets.

Ferrero – Ljubicic: 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Ferrero and Ljubicic had a battle royale and I caught the last set from 2:2.

Ferrero seemed fresher and played much more controlled tennis in difficult conditions than Ljubicic. J.C. played with more top spin, away from the lines and seemed to have less problems with the wind than Ljubicic.

When Ivan was broken at 4:3, he missed 3 shots while going for winners. That was not the right play in these conditions…

Monaco – Baghdatis: 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Baghdatis has no chances on clay courts in the long term if he keeps hitting the ball so flat. His shots have very little spin, fly low above the net and are not best suited to deal with high kicking top spin shots from clay court specialists like Monaco.

Monaco on the other hand looked and played great. His racquet head speed on the forehand is amazing and he plays safe but very penetrating shots.

Monaco also moved very fast and he’ll surely come very far in this Roland Garros 2009…

Dokic – Sprem: 3-6, 6-1, 6-2

One interesting thing about Jelena Dokic is her breathing. I am not sure how well you can hear that on TV, but here you can hear every breath she makes.

You can hear most player exhale when they hit but you rarely hear them inhale. Not with Dokic – you can clearly hear her inhale when her opponent hits the ball and then an exhale when she hits it.

Jelena Dokic forehand

She doesn’t add any sounds like Azarenka or Sharapova, just a quick »pshht«. It gets very interesting when she is in a fast rally and has to keep breathing very fast and you can hear every inhale and every exhale.

I watched Karolina Sprem for the first time live and she hits the ball clean and fast. I didn’t analyze the match in detail but at first glance she didn’t look weaker player than Dokic.

Perhaps there are just a few incorrect tactical decisions that cost her the advantage in most ball exchanges.

I have the ticket for Suzanne Lenglen court tomorrow but I’ll try to get a ticket for the court nr. 1 where Polona Hercog from Slovenia will play her second round…

Thanks for reading and let me know what you’d like me to share while I am at Roland Garros this week!

Related posts:

Tsonga Wins Against Monaco – To The French Delight!
How To Use Wind, Sun, and Heat To Your Advantage In A Tennis Match
Roger Federer’s Biggest Test So Far At The French Open 2009
How You Can Always Finish The Practice In A Positive Way
Polona Hercog Reaching The 2nd Round Of Roland Garros

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 at 3:36 pm and is filed under roland garros 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


How To Use Wind, Sun, and Heat To Your Advantage In A Tennis Match

How To Use Wind, Sun, and Heat To Your Advantage In A Tennis Match

The Sun and HeatDjokovic affected by heat
Dealing with the sun will take you out of your game and leave you losing to players you’ve trained to beat.

The one positive is that most tennis courts are laid out north to south, so neither player must stare directly into the sun, but occasionally this will be the case.

If this is the case, you and your opponent will be staring into the sun finding yourselves self-blinded.

Then, if you and the heat factor on a hot or humid day, the results can be devastating.

1. Start your match with conditions in-mind. Let your opponent begin the slow, torturous match by serving in the sun. Your opponent will start off the match with a negative attitude, setting the groove for the match.

2. Don’t wait for the cloud. Worrying about the sun will force you to donate points to your opponent. Again, your opponent is dealing with the same conditions as you are. If you really want to get off the court quickly, let your opponent wait for the cloud.

3. Don’t forget the lob. An easy lob in sunny conditions is as good as a 125 mph ace. You’re opponent will either be forced to let the call drop or give away the point.

4. Be prepared for a sunny day. When it comes to serving, there isn’t much you can do on a sunny day, other than slightly moving your ball-toss or foot-position. The best and most obvious solution is to simply bring a pair of sunglasses or visor with you on the court.

Not only will this give you a physical advantage, but a mental advantage as well. Think about it – the sun is glazing in your eyes, and your opponent is serving as well as a normal day with a pair of fashionable sunglasses.

You’d be highly jealous, therefore thinking only about the sunglasses, and you’d give points away. Simple process.

5. Make it the hottest day of your opponent’s life. On an extremely hot and humid day, let your opponent do more running than your opponent has ever done in their life.

Angles, up-and-back, side-to-side, or anything that will make your opponent use more energy will show you fantastic results in the second-set.

Also, make sure you don’t use a lot of energy yourself.

Stay hydrated, and if you begin to feel tired, slow down the match in-between points.

The Wind
Playing tennis in windy conditions is about the most wretched thing I can think of. In normal conditions, I hit a shot knowing the ball will be an absolute winner, and the ball flies out.

Then, my opponent hits a ball that would have easily gone out, and their ball lands in for an absolute winner. What can I do to save the match, or even better- What can I do to use it for my advantage?

Often times, the physical and mental drain of windy conditions is too much to handle, even at the professional level. Wind has constantly turned around matches where more talented or “better” player would have beaten the “less skilled” player.

The smart players have a formula for success:

1. Again, start your match with conditions in-mind. Many recreational players don’t know that you can also choose to select which end of the court you start at if you win the coin-toss.

The choice determining which end of the court you start at is extremely important when wind is an issue. A bad start for your opponent can set the groove for you match.

If the wind is blowing baseline-to-baseline, I choose to start with the wind in my face. This gives room for error (see item 2).

Your opponent usually won’t consider the wind, resulting in the usual second choice of serve. This leaves them serving with the wind blowing into their back, giving you twice the advantage.

2. Use the wind to hit harder. If the wind is flying into your face, your shots are going to drop to the ground quicker than if the wind is flying into your back. Don’t hesitate to hit with more pace if the wind is in your face than you would in normal conditions.

3. Put more spin on your shots. The last tip listed gave a solution to solve wind blowing in your face, but you’re probably thinking, “Geez, what do I do if the wind is blowing in my back?”

There are two solutions. The less smart way is to take pace off of your shot, but the best solution is spin. Whether its topspin or backspin, it doesn’t really matter, the important thing is not to hit the ball flat. Wind will knock your shots all over the place if has no spin.

4. Relax: Your opponent is going through the same frustration as you are. Even if it seems that all of your balls are flying out and theirs are landing in, the wind usually balances the error and winners out.

Thanks to Alex Claussen for this article!

Related posts:

Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros
How You Can Always Finish The Practice In A Positive Way
Dealing With Slow Tennis Players
Roger Federer’s Biggest Test So Far At The French Open 2009
Best Tactics For Left-Handed Tennis Players

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 at 4:07 am and is filed under Tennis Strategy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “How To Use Wind, Sun, and Heat To Your Advantage In A Tennis Match”
Things To Do On Cape Cod | Experience The Red Clay Tennis Courts Of Herring Cove | Cape Cod Hotels – Bayside Resort Says:
March 16th, 2009 at 5:54 am
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Windy Tuesday in Roland Garros | How To Play Better Tennis – Tips From A Professional Tennis Coach Says:
May 26th, 2009 at 3:36 pm
[…] players were struggling with conditions and most of them knew what they had to do in the wind; play high percentage tennis, don’t go for the lines and work for every […]


Winning Is NOT Your Responsibility

Winning Is NOT Your Responsibility

I am a tennis player that has a huge passion for the game. I would play it everyday if I had the chance.

Recently, i have been in a slump. i went to Regionals for my school team and I was seeded number two.

My draw looked like a ticket into State. I rolled through my first match 6-0, 6-0. My second match however was a completely different story. i had beaten this girl before and she had been an easy competitor, although I came out quite nervous because of what was at stake.

The match went on and i lost the second set. My mind was in the gutter by then and there was no getting it out. Needless to say, I lost the match, my opportunity to go to State was gone.

My main school coach never talked to me once during the match, although I did get a few comments from the assistant coaches. I was disappointed in myself, and i thought that I had disappointed everyone else in the entire world too.

i definitely learned a lot from that match, about myself and my game. Since then, I feel like my mind is always negative and extremely stressed. And I am naturally a very bubbly person. I feel like I cannot improve.

I have a great regular coach but with limited funds I rarely get to talk to him. What can I do to improve, whether it be in the gym, out on the court, or mentally?

When you journey through the tennis adventure you will inevitably find out that some assumptions and predictions you may have are not correct.

Coming into the match thinking that you have an easy opponent did not prove correct. And changing your mind during the match usually doesn’t work.

So the best way to approach any tennis match is to NOT make any assumptions and predictions but just accepting the current situation as it is.

Second, you put a lot of pressure on yourself by focusing on the outcomes and the opinion of other people. Let’s talk about other people first.

You feel that you have so disappointed everyone and this loss in still in your mind. But if you go now to those people (whoever you think they are – coaches, friends, …) and ask them if they keep thinking about your loss as much as you do, you’ll see some surprised faces.

NO ONE is thinking about your loss now. People think about themselves 99% of the time. They have moved on already.

Yes, they may have been disappointed that day but they have forgotten about that by now. They are focused on themselves… So don’t worry too much about other people’s opinion…

Now I need to tell some very shocking truth: you cannot control the outcome of a tennis match. Or in other words, you are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the outcome of a tennis match. An outcome is of course a win or a loss.

Why are you not responsible? Because the match is not under your control. You are trying to INFLUENCE the outcome but you cannot guarantee what will happen.

Why is this shocking? Because you will realize that tennis – as all other sports – is just one big lottery. That’s why people like to watch it. It’s unpredictable. Everyone outside the sport knows that.

You are never sure whether Federer will win the tournament or whether Ana Ivanovic can win another Slam or whether Serena Williams can make it to the third round. You are never sure…

The better player (according to rankings) does not necessarily beat the weaker player (according to the rankings).

So when you go into the match, it’s not your problem whether you win or lose. The only thing you can control is your effort. You can give 100% effort regardless of your opponent, the score or anything else.

And when you focus only on your effort and don’t focus on the outcome, then you will play relaxed and with everything you’ve got and that’s when the results – the outcome – will REFLECT that.

You do not directly affect the outcome. It is a combination of your play, your opponent’s play and the difficulty of tennis game.

When you play a tennis match, your main goal is to find your BEST level of play. It means that you must feel good and energized and positive. This is almost under your control. (sometimes the emotions take over, but your goal is that you take over your emotions.)

So all the time you need to monitor your state – what you think, how you feel emotionally and how your body feels. If something is not right, work on that to improve it. That way your tennis will improve and will thus positively influence the outcome of the match.

Again, your main responsibility is to control your state and it’s not the end result. The end result will REFLECT (will be the consequence) of your state – what you thought, how you felt and how energized your body was.

Related posts:

Analyzing Your Effort In Tennis Matches
Should A Tennis Coach Be Realistic Or Think Big?
Will My Child Make It In Tennis?
Why Am I Not Giving My Best?
2 Ways To Deal With Match Pressure


How To Master The Approach Shot

How To Master The Approach Shot

I seem to have a problem at the net on an approaching shot. I cannot seem to place it in the right direction as I would like to.

I am 15 and play almost every day. Plz help!

It’s tough to say why you miss because I can’t see you play.

Some reasons may be:

1. You hit too hard
2. You may rotate your body too much and again focus on power instead on accuracy
3. You may worry too much about the outcome or your opponent passing you and you’re not focused on the approach shot

Let me know if any of these sound true!

I think that the problem may, indeed, be attributed to the third mistake: I worry to much about the outcome of the passing shot that my opponent may play when I play the approaching shot.

Is there, otherwise, a way in which I can play an offensive approaching shot without compromising the placement of the shot while, at the same time, hitting the approaching shot with a lot of power and pop?

Ps. I play left handed and with a huge amount of Topspin. Thanx 4 the help

In that case I suggest 2 approaches:

1. Give yourself realistic expectations. What do you expect right now when you approach the net? Should the ball be good? Should you win the point?

In reality, if you play a good opponent, you’ll win maybe 60 to 70% of the approach shots. Which means you’ll lose ONE THIRD of them. This feels normal to me when I play.

Does it feel normal to you that you are going to lose one third of points when you approach the net?

This can happen because you miss the approach (it happens you know), you don’t play accurately (it happens too) and you are easily passed or you play well and your opponent plays even better. (this happens too)

So this is the first step – not to scold or criticize yourself when you don’t win the point for whatever reason. Tennis is very difficult sport by the way.

This will relax you more and you won’t put so much pressure on yourself to be so perfect when you approach next time. If you win 2 out 3 approaches in the long term (or at least 51%), then you are winning.

2. Since you don’t have great confidence in your approach shot now, I suggest you play it slower and safer and increase the chances of hitting in. Then if you are passed, it’s a good shot of your opponent. But you didn’t make a mistake.

To build your confidence in the shot, play it in such a way, that you hit a lot of shots in, even if they are not at the highest level. Once you trust such a shot, increase the speed a little bit and perhaps aim closer to the sideline and the baseline. Stick to it and accept an occasional point lost. Your opponents can play tennis too you know! 😉

It’s not always your fault if you lose the point. In fact, most of the times it’s your opponent’s skills in tennis that allowed him to win.

Your goal in tennis is NOT to win 90% of points. Then you are not playing your level. If you play your level, then you’ll win 51% to maybe 60% of the points and no more – EVEN if you play everything correctly!

Related posts:

How To Break Opponent’s Zone Play
How To Avoid Playing Short Balls Under Pressure
How To Mentally Approach Playing A Weaker Opponent
The Epic Story Of The Roger Federer – Andy Roddick Wimbledon 2009 Final
What is Andy Roddick Missing From His Game?

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Friday, December 19th, 2008 at 4:33 am and is filed under Tennis tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “How To Master The Approach Shot”
wouter Says:
December 30th, 2008 at 7:53 am
What most people do wrong, is their swing. It always goes from hip to shoulder, but with the approach it has the go from your shoulder to your hip. Be there in time! And just try to hit some aproaches and figure out what technique works best for you


Aussie tennis bettor Says:
January 4th, 2009 at 8:46 am
When i was 15 my problem was certainly more to do with number 1.

Now i laugh at myself when i think back to those days of whacking every ball, and not being happy with it being 100mph.

Thh advice that you give here for number 3 is also great; I particularly liked the last paragraph. yes you want to win every point. Of course you’re going to try hard in every point. But you need realistic expectations, and that is simply that you are not going to win every point. Its great advice!


How To Beat Rafael Nadal On Clay

How To Beat Rafael Nadal On Clay

Thanks for the Tennis Strategy ebook, I’ve started reading it this morning.

It’s so simple and concise; I appreciate your ability to convey information that makes sense.

One of my bonus questions is: How do you beat Rafael Nadal on clay?

Let’s check all 4 major parts of tennis and see what you need:

a) Physical
You need to be very fit of course, but that’s not the critical issue with top players.

I believe most top 200 players are fit enough to play at least 4 set match with Nadal without getting tiredness affect their movement and reactions.

Stamina will be of higher importance than speed since rallies will least a few shots on clay even with a serve & volleyer type of play.

b) Technical
The ability to handle high balls and balls with lot of top spin will come into play.

A player who has been playing low, fast sliced shots for years will not be able to adapt to Nadal’s top spins and will often mishit them.

An all court player (like Federer) is best suited to play Rafael Nadal since it can mix the shots (spin, slice, drop shot, flat, …) and prevent Nadal getting into the rhythm.

c) Tactical
There are 4 typical playing styles in tennis: baseline counter-puncher (Hewitt), aggressive baseliner (Agassi), serve & volleyer (Rafter) and all court player (Federer).

I think Nadal best handles aggressive baseliners since he forces them to go for too much. I don’t see this type of player succeed in the long term.

An even more patient counter-puncher than Nadal could force him to go for the shots and start making mistakes.

Someone like Guillermo Canas or David Nalbandian could break Nadal in his own game.

All court game seems best suited to beat Nadal and Federer may have lost to him many times, but his game is very dangerous to Nadal.

I think Federer would need to serve & volley a little more (especially with fast body serves) to get the edge.

There are no serve & volleyers that I see could hurt Nadal at the moment but a player like Edberg or Rafter in their prime was able to totally disrupt the rhythm and focus of a baseline player like Nadal.

I remember Stefan Edberg demolishing Sergi Bruguera’s game in Madrid final on clay in 1993. The final score was 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

d) Mental
Rafael Nadal mental toughnessThis is the key to winning against Nadal. 99% of players lose the match against him before they hit the first ball.

They don’t REALLY believe they can beat him on clay and thus don’t give 100% of effort. Then of course they really cannot win.

There is too much hype about Nadal and even top players play too much (in their minds) against Nadal’s name instead of playing the ball.

This creates his aura of invincibility and makes it easier for him to win.

This of course reinforces his status and now it’s even more difficult to beat him.

Someone will have to break the cycle and convince other players that Nadal is not a superhuman.

Similar to Canas and Volandri beating Federer this year…

There are at least 50 players in the world who are technically, tactically and physically ABLE to beat Nadal, but it’s their mind that lets them down.

Related posts:

Why Roger Federer Lost To Nadal
Roger’s Revenge
Nadal – Federer Grand Slam Final #8 – And Win #6 For Rafa
5 Reasons Why Nadal Beat Federer in the Wimbledon 2008 Final
Rafael Nadal Out Of The French Open 2009

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Friday, August 31st, 2007 at 11:28 pm and is filed under Rafael Nadal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “How To Beat Rafael Nadal On Clay”
Mel Says:
June 29th, 2008 at 3:12 am
I believe that most players lose to Rafa on clay because they believe they can win using their own tactics. They are wrong. They need to use Rafa tactics. they need to emulate him- play clay coort tennis like he does. The slide into the ball rather than sliding after hitting the ball. Beat him at his own game. Maybe Federer should use a double-handed backhand on clay, so he can use the slide that Rafa uses with his backhand


Rick Sudborough Says:
May 1st, 2009 at 11:12 am
THE WAY TO BEAT NADAL. Please send money later.
Unless you are Borg or Vilas forget it, but you will need their strength and patience. Rafa is baseline lover. He loves to run. So run his ass.
THE KEY: Mix it up.
1. Hit a forcing shot on all short balls. PRESSURE.
2. Drop shot a lot, and hit a winner or a lob. Make his ass run. Make him feel it at the end of 5 sets. Make him cramp. Break him down. He wants to be tested. Test him.
3. Serve an volley to keep constant PRESSURE. Taking the net forces him to pass. Think Verdasco or Gonzalez as serve and vollyers.
4. Do not go for winners all the time because Nadal’s defense is superior.
This is why you have to take the net and drop shot. You have to take him out of his comfort zone. Most morons try to hit him off the court, ie , get hot and lucky. That will not work very often.
5. If you stay back against him you must have patience, but always come in on a short ball.
6. Once Nadal realizes you are smarter and have the tools, his head will slowly come unglued. This will take 3 consecutive wins. Good luck.
7. Tilden would tell you to hit slices back against his topspin. Just like table tennis.
8. The key is negating his topspin and endurance. If The Fed does the above I guarantee victory. RF tries to out hit Nadal. Nice try, but why suffer. His topspin will get you in the end.


Tomaz Reply:
May 1st, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Thanks for sharing Rick,

Those are some great tips!


Why Tennis Players Fail To Convert On Match Points

Why Tennis Players Fail To Convert On Match Points

The matches at Wimbledon 2007 are finally under way and we’ve already seen 2 very interesting matches where players failed to convert on match points.

Naomi Cavaday
©Getty Images/ J. Finney
First, Naomi Cavaday, ranked #223, failed to convert 2 match points against Martina Hingis and eventually lost 6-7, 7-5, 6-0.

And second, Tim Henman had four match points at 5:4 in the fifth set against Carlos Moya and didn’t convert them. The match was suspended at 5:5 because of the low visibility.

Why does this happen?

How come players fight all the way to the [tag]match point[/tag] and then somehow are unable to win that last point?

The most common reason is that they start thinking too much.

They also start thinking about negative consequences of losing this opportunity and this creates fear, doubt, nervousness and hesitance.

Here are some possible thoughts that Naomi and Tim might have had at those two match points:

I can’t believe it, this is not happening.
I HAVE to win this point, otherwise I won’t get another chance.
If I don’t win this match point, it’s over.
I have to risk more for this point.
Oh my god, what if I miss?
I have to do something special on this point.
I don’t deserve this. She in #9 and I am #223 and still a junior.
I know she is going to win this point, no matter what I do.
I have to play this point very safe and not miss.
This is one my last Wimbledons, I DON’T want to lose in the first round.
What will my dad / mom / parents / media / friends say if I lose now?
This is a once in a lifetime chance, what if I don’t take it?
Try and imagine how thinking these thoughts affects your state, your energy level and your approach to the game.

Of course, I am only guessing.

Naomi and Tim may have played their best at those two points and it was just a matter of statistics that their opponents won. That’s the nature of sport – it’s unpredictable.

So what can a player do at this point?

The first and hardest thing to achieve is to become aware of these thoughts. We usually don’t monitor our thinking, it just happens.

But if you want to be a top tennis player, you need to be very selective of what you think.

When you become aware of these thoughts, you can either change them or stop them.

You can change them to:

Ok, I play the same as before and try my best.
Come on, same level. (of play and intensity)
Stick to the plan, attack the backhand.
The other way is to stop them.

You can do that by focusing on your breathing for a few seconds and just become aware of the air going in and out.

You can work on controlling you activation level by adjusting your strings on the racquet or doing a few small jumps.

You can also visualize where you will serve or where you will return.

All these methods will stop your thinking and allow you to perform your best for this crucial point.

But none of these will guarantee that you will win it. Again, that’s the nature of sport and that’s why it’s so exciting to play and watch.

And that’s why the betting companies are still in business and doing really well. 😉

You cannot predict the outcome of tennis matches with high enough probability.

Related posts:

Dealing With Pressure In Tennis Matches
Novak Djokovic’s thoughts about mental toughness
How To Quiet Your Mind During Tennis Practice Or A Match
Why Did Djokovic Stop Fighting?
Winning In Practice But Losing In Matches

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Monday, June 25th, 2007 at 11:03 pm and is filed under Mental Tennis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.