Formulate a modern tennis game plan

Written by David Sammel on . Posted in Tactical Analysis

Modern Tennis Game-plan:  

It is important to understand yourself as a player. However it is also possible to formulate a general game-plan, that is effective for all players, bar the total baseliner. The idea behind this plan is to enable the players to function well under pressure, without much confusion and to act positively. This is also an excellent base for practise.

The plan can be as rigid or flexible as the player and coach decide.

When you are serving: Have an aggressive mentality - think along the lines of 'blowing the ball through your opponent'. When you are tight, shake your serving arm and jog on the spot for a few seconds. Picture a smooth, flowing action building up from within energised legs.
1. Serve & volley at least two points per game after 1st serves. As a guide, these are key points: 0-0; 30-15; 40-0; 40-30; 30-40 and your 1st advantage point.
Returning your opponent's 2nd serve:
1. The following points you must try to approach on your return, if the serve is less than excellent - 0-30, 30- 30, 15-40 and deuce. On these points, if your opponent makes his/her 1st serve, get to the net at your first opportunity.
2. Make your opponent rally a 0-40 point. Try not to miss and give him/her an easy point at 0-40. If you break serve, celebrate at the end of the game, not after winning one of the earlier key points. A clenched fist is enough, so as not to allow 'celebratory let-down' to kick in.
Notes: If you break serve, go into your service game energised and confident with good reason. Statistically this is the easiest game to hold, contrary to popular misconception. It is a good idea to serve and volley the first point of this game. Take your time and make them FEEL you.
To play in the modern game, you can only do well if you are focused and brave. Girls MUST step up the court and play aggressively in the above key points if they prefer not to attack the net, although I think it will begin happening more often.

by David Sammel