You move your opponent off the court with a solid wide shot and there it is in front of you… THE OPEN COURT to hit to. But what happens? You over-hit and either dump it into the net or hit it out. What should you have done instead?
According to TV tennis analyst and big-time coach of champions, Paul Annacone, “In crunch time, you should hit an aggressive shot to a conservative location.” Excellent advice… he is saying, hit it hard; but don’t go for a shot near the lines. If you hit it well and your opponent does get to it, they will probably just float it back and give you another chance at a winning shot.
Hit 6.88 Power
And how hard do you hit the ball in the first place? New Hampshire friend and former teaching pro, B. Manning once advised me that I was over-hitting my favorite topspin forehand shot. He said, “On a scale of 1-10, you are swinging at an 8 or 9.”
We agreed that I still wanted to hit it hard, but not that hard; and at most, it should be at a Power Level of 7. So my mantra has become, “Hit it at 6.88.” That brings enough power to the shot; but not over-powering.
What techniques do you use to make that critical, crunch time, open court shot?
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Thoughts on “Hitting The BIG Shot”
Sounds like a Goldilocks shot selection – not too risky, not too safe, just right!
Winder, perfecto! george
When I have that easy shot that I’ve actually earned by drawing my opponent wide, I try to hit the ball semi-hard but exactly equi-distant between the two opponents…..sounds strange but concentrating on the geometry makes me less prone to over-hit.
John, good pointer! thanks, george
Over hitting under-hitting it depends on your game.
If a player hits heavy top spin their safest shot is hit hard to opening. Heavy top spin hard gives good clearance and safety.
I personally don’t have that shot. I would approach with slice taking net if opponent gets to it.
Your shot depends on what you own.
Randy, i agree… but the controlling factor is WHERE you are aiming. thanks.
is a tournament-level, senior tennis player who lives and plays his tennis most of the year in Naples FL and the summer months on Lake Sunapee, NH. A professional writer who owned and ran a direct marketing company for 30 years, George writes the popular tennis web site SeniorTennisAndFitness.com and authored the book "Senior Tennis."