HOFER TENNIS
TIP OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
STRATEGY OF ANGLES

   Tennis is a game of angles. The court might be a rectangle, the lines are
either vertical or horizantal but the game is built on utilizing the angles to your
advantage.
   First, the most important angle is that of proximity to the net. The closer you
play the net the greater the angle of possible returns.  It just makes sense that
if you play tennis from 5 feet behind the baseline, your at a disadvantage. To
use this utilize this strategy, you would want to move up inside the baseline to
attack or create more angle. Likewise a return that lands short in the
opponents court, gives your opponent an advantage. This was covered in my
last tip about hitting deep.
    The second important angle used is the cross court or wide ball. The
further the ball lands away from the center service mark laterally, the more
angle is created for the return.  Hitting balls out towards the singles sidelines
moves your opponent but it also gives your opponent greater angle of returns.
This strategy plays out when a player hits a ball out wide to pull their opponent
off the court. The hope is that the hit is strong enough or far enough away
from the opponent to solicit an error. The error in this case could be a weak
return that lands short or in the middle of the court for you to hit the opposite
direction to win the point.
   Many times baseline players will hit the ball cross court, pull their opponent
out wide and then not take advantage of the strategy by looking for the short
or middle ball to put away. Instead they stay back and hit the return to keep the
rally alive. This utilized both angle strategies listed. The player uses angle to
pull their opponent wide and then they should move forward to create a better
angle to hit the next shot.
   I only wanted to cover two angles in tennis that can be used by everyone at
all levels. Shots hit closer to the net have a great probability of going in. Shots
hit wide or away from center give the chance to use the first angle by closing
and putting the ball away.

Doug Hofer, USPTA                             September 22, 2005
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