How do you beat someone who is clearly inferior but?

How do you beat someone who is clearly inferior but?

How do you beat someone who is clearly inferior but just keeps the ball in play?

Tennis CoachCoach
Tennis CoachCoach

The thoughtful approach to tennis strategy is to create offensive opportunities via the placement of your shots. This could mean moving your opponent to one side and the exploiting the open area or taking advantage (approaching the net and ending the point) of weak returns that are the result of your deep or well placed shots. Richard Katz U.S.P.T.A. / P.T.R.

Tennis CoachCoach

Patience, patience, patience.

Tennis CoachCoach

You have to be very patient as Thomas Kendall mentioned above, and then play smart tennis; Use the angles, and keep your opponent off balance by moving him/her from side to side, while holding the center of the court. Then anticipate the short ball when it eventually comes, which it will do. Then choose the right shot to end the point. Stay in control, because as long as you are in control of the point, you should win it.

Tennis CoachCoach

dont play them at their own game. you need to make them feel uncomfortable by taking them outside of their comfort zone by making them play shots they dont want to play. use slice, get them to the net, target their weaker groundstroke. dont let them get into a rythme and dont show that you are tired or dont like their tactics as they will do it even more.

Stephen JamesCoach, Australia

Play your own game

Use your strengths to move your opponent from side to side

To set up the point so you can put the ball away into the open court

for the

Tennis CoachCoach

You can find fragments of one of bolletieri's DVD's on youtube.

Search for "Tennis lessons%3A Building points and tactics", these clips have some useful tips on how to play against certain styles, without changing your game but rather putting some tactics in to play.

I would suggest not to try and make every shot a winner but to open up the court and wait for a good oppurtunity. If you try to finish the rally with every shot, you will only get more frustrated when it isn't working out and dwell over the previous shot rather than thinking about the next.

Robert GarruchoCoach, United States of America

So the question is, "How do you beat someone who is clearly inferior but just keeps the ball in play?"

I apologize for responding with another question. How do you determine if your opponent is clearly inferior? I think if you are sure that your opponent is inferior, you would already know what to do. Otherwise, your question would suggest you are at a loss as to how to play your opponent because your opponent is playing you effectively. If this is the case, your opponent may just be as good if not better than you are.

Tennis CoachCoach

!st. answer is a critical question.  What is your level of play and ability?  Based on that answer there are a multitude of approaches.

craig mackellarCoach, England

its a very general question so a very general answer. if you are the better player  . .  lengthen the points  . . . let your opponent make the mistake. . . .  but as has been pointed out there is a difference between a good player and an effective player . . .  if they are more effective than you that doesnt make them inferior. that just makes them smarter surely . . .

Tennis CoachCoach

I agree with tom,craig and robert if this person keeps beating you then they are clearly not inferior maybe you have better looking swings or you have been told you should bet them but i know a lot of good players that i would say had bad swing/styles but it works for them look at roddick and nadal. But every player has a weakness of some kind ( depending on ability to how weak it is) but find that and thats a good start. A lot of players just use the warm up to warm up their strokes but its also a great time to do a bit of assessment of your opponent.

Tennis CoachCoach

Excellent point made by several%3A that the real challenge is your own assesment that your opponent is "clearly inferior".

This is one of the biggest misconceptions made by competitive players who are not moving up the ranks.

Tennis is a game and the one who wins is the winner and thus, on that day and in that match, the better player! There are lots of factors that contribute to winning and the art is to have them all in place...Technique, fitness, strategy, endurance, preparation and so forth. And then, each opponent is different...

At (almost) any level there are players whose game it is to go for long rallies, who have endurance, who live from "the counter" rather than making winners. If your game is built on power and making lots of winners, you have to find a way to beat these players. Several people responding have already given you the tools. But firstly, these opponents need the respect they deserve.

Tennis CoachCoach

      You may not be mentally tough enough to handle your opponent.  I play in a 3.5 league.  The number 1 player is 73 years old and just keeps the ball in play until his opponent makes a mistake or gives him an opportunity.  But after playing him for 2.5 years, I have come to the realization that he plays smarter and has superior concentration.   To aid focus, I just focus on individual shots, footwork and stroke mechanics. I don't worry about the score.  Now I am more competitive.  I suggest you do the same.

PS.    The joy in tennis is hitting shots.  Winning comes and goes.

Tennis CoachCoach

Most of the time this question is asked after losing to a pusher.  While pushers are thought of as inferior they are not, they have learned to take power off the ball and place the ball back in the court most of the time with out pace.

The best way to deal with this is to not out hitting them or copy them (move slow hit slow) but to move your feet (alot) get into your best hitting position add spin and placement to the shot with controlled power, you can move them, best play is 2-2-1 two to one side two to the other side and then one away from them. Don't try to win on one shot.  Most of the time players will try to win the point quickly, next time try 2-2-1. best of luck

Tennis CoachCoach

Always play strategically!  Develop a systematic way of finding your opponents weaknesses.

  •  Note when your opponent mankes "unforced errors".  
  • Figure out what they like and dislike, and try NOT  to let them develop their rythm and get a confidence advantage.  
  • If they like to approach the net, usually they are better with low volleys or high volleys, but not both.
  • Check their overhead  smash to see if they are vulnerable to lobs, especially lobs over their backhand side.  
  • Are you good at passing shots?  
  • If they are having trouble  returning your serves, then serve and volley at least a few times to keep them wondering, and don't serve the same way until they figure out how to return your serve consistently!  
  • If they are slow, use drop shots.  
  • If they are slow to reposition... keep them moving.  
  • There are so many maneuvers, learn them all...
  • but most of all, be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses!

  One of the questions you need to answer in every game is "am I losing the points, or is my opponant winning the points"?  Adjust your game accordingly:

  • If you are losing points, play less aggressively and concentrate on high percentage shots.  
  • If your opponent is winning points, you have to play more aggressively and create winners of your own.  
  • Know your "weapons" well! That is, know the winning shots that you can consistently make.  
  • When using your weapons, pull the trigger carefully and only at opportune moments.  

Don't think about how good or bad your opponent is.  Concentrate on winning every point!  Pretending to be a bad player is a common psychology tactic in competitive tennis.

Likewise, showing off how good you are to intimdate your opponent can backfire.  They will play harder!  Also, it can actually alert them to apply that psychology tactic just to frustrate you... and you might be taking the bait.  Nothing energizes your opponent more than showing your frustration!

Good Luck!


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