HOFER TENNIS
TIP OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
STRATEGY OF ANGLES #2

   When I was a junior in high school, I had to take geometry. I wanted to play
sports and one day coach; I didn’t need to study geometry.  Now I love
tennis because it’s all about geometry. Creating and bisecting angles
has new meaning to a tennis coach.
   Today I want to talk about bisecting the possible angle of returns by a
player to determine the best court position to defend the whole court. To
illustrate this let me give you an example. Let’s say a player is hitting a
forehand from the singles sideline and the baseline corner. We must look at
all the possible forehands the player may hit. To one extreme the player
could hit the ball straight down the singles sideline. The other extreme is to
hit the ball crosscourt; lets say the ball lands on the service line and singles
sideline.

\   _I
\I  I
 I\ I
 I_\

If you were to draw a line from the singles sideline and baseline corner to the
opposite court where the service line and singles sideline meet, and then
continued that line until it reached past the baseline on the opposite side you
would have a crosscourt return. The point at which this crosscourt return
connects with the baseline would be well outside the doubles alley. So to take
the players possible angle of returns, we would have a point on the baseline
at the singles sideline and a point beyond the doubles alley. To be in the
center of your opponents possible angle of returns you would be standing
about 3 feet to the right of the center service mark. We come to this
conclusion because we bisected the angle of possible returns and we stand
ready to return along that line.
   If we were to come to the net after hitting the ball to that crosscourt corner
we would bisect the angle of returns and charge the net along that angled
line. This would put us to the left of the center service line because the
center of returns is an angled line from one corner to the other.
   Understanding this basic concept of being in the center of your opponents
possible returns puts you the best position to cover all the shots.

Doug Hofer, USPTA                                  September 29, 2005
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