There are basically three ways to win a point in a tennis match.
The most common, and also most difficult idea to execute, is to hit a winner. This means hitting a shot that the opponent cannot return and it requires a high level of expertise to be successful during match play. I strongly advise players not to rely solely on the “I’m going to hit a winner” idea.
The next method is to be consistent and draw an unforced error from your opponent. You must be patient, fit and disciplined to play this style well enough to win the match against a good player.
The last strategy is to hit your shots offensively enough to control the point and get your opponent to feel that they are in trouble. This will likely result in quite a few “forced” errors and lead to your opponent’s game breaking down as the match progresses.
My recommendation is to try to use all three of these methods to win the match. Each player should adjust the strategy to their strength. If you are a consistent player, use the second method more often. Aggressive players should use the first and last ideas more often. Remember to mix in the style that you are not quite as comfortable with once in a while, and try to practice using all of these ideas to give yourself the best chance to win the match.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) MyHamptonsPro (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Baron’s Cove Resort In Sag Harbor, NY, as well as Volunteer Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona Women’s team. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at email@example.com or call 865-300-7323