Court Strategy..


Here's a few things to think about....

Follow Lobs to the Net

Your opponent is at the net and has you on the defensive. Lacking an obvious opening for a passing shot, you loft a lob that catches your opponent by surprise and flies over his head. As he races back to retrieve your well-placed shot, what should you do next? If you're like most players, you stand at the baseline feeling satisfied because you've just neutralized your opponent's winning position and kept yourself in the point. That's a mistake.

Whenever you get a lob over your opponent's racquet that forces him to scramble back to retrieve it, that's an invitation for you to move to the net and take control of the point with a volley or overhead. You're not comfortable at the net? Don't let that hold you back. After all, very few players can hit offensively when they're chasing down lobs that get past them, so the odds are good that you'll be on the receiving end of an easy putaway. And even if you somehow don't make the shot, you'll still send a message that you know how to capitalize on your chances.

Don't waste this opportunity by staying back at the baseline watching the other guy race toward the back fence. If you do, not only will you surrender your advantage, but you'll let your opponent back in the point.

 Back Board - Forehand Volley


Brad Gilbert did it when he was trying to break out of a slump in 1983. Evonne Goolagong did it to warm up the morning of her 1980 Wimbledon final with Chris Evert. And just about every other top player has done it often during their formative years. What's their big secret? They all used a practice wall. And - great news - RTC has it's own wall!

Surprised? Don't be, because hitting against a backboard or wall is one of the best ways to work on your strokes. In just 15-30 minutes, you'll hit more balls than you would in an hour and a half of practice with a partner. Plus, you can work on nearly every shot in the game and do it at your pace. And unlike other forms of practice, you don't need anyone else to join you. Many players think an easy, rhythmic hit against a backboard is the perfect way to center their shots and their mind before a match. The next time you're in need of practice and find yourself without a partner or a lot of time, don't forget the wall. One thing to remember: Don't try to hit too hard against a practice wall, because you'll end up rushing yourself. Slow down, let the ball bounce twice if necessary, and focus on technique.

Volleys on practice walls....
Drill Description: This is a real simple drill to practice anywhere you can hit against a wall. Stand about five feet from the wall and work on hitting volleys. Try to hit the ball straight against the wall so you can work on your forehand volley. Then try to do the same for your backhand volley. It is important to try and volley every ball in the air.

Keep doing this until your arm is extremely fatigued. This will improve arm strength important to people who are learning tennis. Beginners often wear their arm out when they are volleying, and this can combine strengthening and volley practice.

(All Tips courtesy of Tennis Magazine)

Coaching- Doubles Strategy




Need some Help? Coming to net used to be considered the only way to win in doubles. Well, times have changed.
Excerpted from TENNIS Magazine and

After attending several pro tournaments recently, I've come to the conclusion that the game of doubles has changed. Being a classic serve-and-volley doubles player, I was shocked to see how many players serve and stay back and return and stay back. Sometimes, I even saw all four players start the point at the baseline! 
Indeed, many players who are uncomfortable at net feel they have a better chance of winning the point by staying back and setting up the point with ground strokes. In this era of power tennis, hitting good volleys off of huge ground strokes can be a difficult proposition.
So can you really be successful at doubles without coming to the net? Yes. Here are the doubles formations that have at least one player of the four hitting from the baseline, and what you should do from there. By using the right tactics, you can make any of them a winning position. 

In the staggered formation, the key is for Player A to keep the ball deep and crosscourt to Player D. During the rally, Player B should look for an opportunity to poach and put away the volley.

Two Teams in Staggered Positions 
When both teams have one player at the baseline and one at the net or service line, the ball should be hit to the player at the baseline. The object is to keep the ball away from the person at the net while setting up your partner for an easy volley. Don't hit at the net player unless you have a ball that you know you can win the point on. Also, keep your ground strokes deep or your net player will make an attractive target. And using too much angle will give your opponent a crack at a down-the-line pass. If you can't sustain a baseline-to-baseline rally, try lobbing over the net player to throw the opposing team off-balance. 

Staggered Position Against Two at the Net 
Hit shots that prevent the net team from attacking your partner. High balls hit to the net team can result in volleys drilled right at your partner at net, so keep your ground strokes low and dip them over the net. This will force the opposing team to volley up defensively, and your net player may have a chance to pick off the shot and put the ball away. It's best to keep your baseline drives crosscourt or down the middle because that limits the net team's options. If you hit down the line, the opposing net player can angle a volley crosscourt between you and your net player. If you do try to go down the line, make sure you have an opening in the alley, or dip it very low; otherwise, the lob is your best bet for success.

Keeping the ball low and down the middle (1) will force the players at net to volley defensively and leave them no angles. If they close in on the net, lob over their heads (2).

Two Back Against Two Up 
Hit down the middle of the court with dipping ground strokes to prevent the net team from pinning you behind the baseline. Remember, the net players are trying to force you to hit high ground strokes that they can put away. The "hole," or the middle, is a smart place to hit because many teams have trouble deciding who takes that ball. This also draws both players into the middle and can leave an opening either crosscourt or down the line for a passing shot. 
Another strategy is to hit a high lob that forces the net team to move back. If they recover, you've at least backed them off the net and can continue hitting at their feet and looking for angles. 

With both back against a staggered formation, you want to hit to the player on the baseline (1) or try to lob over the player at the net (2)

Two at the Baseline Against Staggered Position 
When given the choice, it's smarter to hit to a player on the baseline rather than one at the net. Therefore, when you have both players back, you should hit to the opposing baseline player. You have to be patient in this setup and wait for your opponent to hit a short ball that you can attack. Also, lobbing over the net man is a good way to force the opposing team to switch positions, possibly cause some confusion, and give yourself an opportunity to take over the net. 
If your team is staggered (bottom), keep your shots deep and crosscourt to your opponents on the baseline. Wait for a short ball and hit an approach shot, or throw in a high, deep shot down the middle that gives you enough time to join your partner at net. If you prefer to stay back, you should still rally crosscourt: getting involved in a down-the-line exchange leaves your net player little chance to poach. 
4: With both back against a staggered formation, you want to hit to the player on the baseline (1) or try to lob over the player at the net (2).
In a staggered setup against two at the baseline, Player A should hit deep and down the middle so he can transition up to net to join his partner. 

In a staggered setup against two at the baseline, Player A should hit deep and down the middle so he can transition up to net to join his partner.

All Four Players Back 
Even in what is seemingly a defensive formation you still want to find a way to be aggressive and finish the point. A good lob, low slice, or deep ball up the middle or to the weaker player can help you get to net so you can finish the point. Some teams like to sneak in together, so hit a high, looping topspin ground stroke to allow both players to charge the net. Remember, though, that with almost no openings on the court, don't rush the point. If you prefer staying back, keep rallying by mixing your shots up (hard ball, lob, slice, etc.) until you force an error. If your opponents are uncomfortable at net, you can throw in some short balls to force them off the baseline.

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