| By Steve Annacone
Photo courtesy of iStock


Football teams spend hours and hours watching film of past games to determine what is working, and what is not. Tennis players may not always have the luxury of accessing film of their matches, but a good coach can help a player come up with a plan that will have a greater chance of success based on past experience.

I think it is a viable idea to walk on the court and have a few specific plays that you will go to and use to get things happening in a positive way. An example would be, "hit a good aggressive first serve to the body, follow this with a good crosscourt groundstroke with a target halfway between the singles sideline and the middle of the court, and then hit the next ball to the opening, preparing to move forward if the opponent is on the run and struggling to get to the next ball".

A simple idea such as hitting a good deep middle of the court return, followed by a couple of deep groundstrokes down the middle, and finishing with a short angle crosscourt, can be another great "play" that is used. Try putting together three or four simple plays like this and using them according to how effective they seem to be on a given day. This will make you more decisive during the point and put pressure on the opponent to adjust their game to what you are doing.

Since tennis is very unpredictable and each point tends to be slightly different, don't be afraid to "call an audible" during the point and make a small adjustment to the play as needed.




Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com throughout the Hamptons, NY.  In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (Tucson, AZ) for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at info@annaconetennis.com