How to Beat a Left Handed Tennis Player & Win More Matches

Does that high looping lefty topspin forehand give you nightmares?

If you want to get the better of your left handed opponents, then follow this simple step by step guide to beating lefties.

There are a number of singles tactics to be aware of when you want to take on left handed players, and if you want to stop left handed players beating you time after time, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to discover 5 effective tactics you'll want in your arsenal.

Why it’s Important to Learn How to Beat Left-Handed Players

Coming up against a lefty can be quite a daunting experience if you haven’t faced one before in a match situation. The spin, speed, and angles of all shots come off differently compared to a right-handed player, and this can take time to get used to. 

A commonly used tactic for a left-handed player is to target a right-hander’s backhand with their cross-court, heavy topspin forehand. This is a play that Rafael Nadal has employed to great effect against Roger Federer over the years, and it gives the lefty a big advantage.  

The combination of the slider slice serve and big forehand that naturally curves away from the right-hander’s backhand, combined with the lefty-hitting cross-court with plenty of margin, makes it a lethal play. 

Therefore, understanding how to turn this natural advantage that a left-hander possesses on its head is a key part of learning how to beat lefties once and for all!

5 Effective Tactics to Beat Left-Handed Tennis Players

There are a few key things to consider when taking on a left-handed tennis player, that differ slightly from playing a right-hander (as a right-hander). 

Whilst these tips mainly come from the perspective of a right-hander playing a lefty, the same principles apply to a left-hander playing a fellow lefty.

1. Attack their Backhand Wing

One of the key differences between playing a left-handed tennis player as opposed to a right-handed tennis player is the direction of attack. 

Whilst the principle of attacking the backhand stays the same, it is especially important to remember as a left-hander that the backhand wing is on the other side of the court. 

This means that from a right-hander’s perspective, the tactic of whipping heavy forehands into the left-hander’s backhand is an incredibly effective play to nullify the lefty’s greatest strength. 

Using their own effective tactic against them is also quite a satisfying feeling! 

The benefit of attacking the left-hander’s backhand as a righty is that you are able to hit cross-court and over the lowest part of the net. This means you can play with more margin for error and take your lefty opponent out of court with angles. 

Another great way to attack your left-handed opponent’s backhand is to use the backhand down the line. This is a shot that Novak Djokovic honed in to turn his head-to-head record against Nadal around and assert dominance over the king of clay. 

Using the combination of cross-court forehands, down-the-line backhands, and even inside forehands will really help break down the left hardener’s backhand and make it easier to take down your lefty opponent.

2. Check Out The Tennis Bros Backhand Blueprint 

If you want to improve your chances of winning against left-handed players in the long run, there’s no way around it. You’ll have to improve your backhand. 

The incredible topspin from the forehand of players like Rafael Nadal has broken down many great players’ backhands and forced them to improve. 

Of course, there’s no substitute for hard work out there on the court and repetition is how you engrain those good habits. However, it is also important to make sure you’re learning the right things to improve your backhand, especially if you want to perfect a difficult shot like the backhand down the line. 

This is exactly why we have put together our Backhand Blueprint online course so you can learn about the fundamentals of the backhand from the comfort of your own home. 

You’ll learn how to disguise your backhand, hit with better depth, and more consistency, and of course, improve your power and spin. We have put together 18 distinct lessons to take your backhand to the next level.

Our master coach Dave Ireland has worked with top-level international junior players and played on the ATP tour himself. Dave has a wealth of knowledge to share and he’ll help you improve your backhand in no time. 

So, if you want to have more success against left-handed tennis players, be sure to check out our Backhand Blueprint course today.

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3. Stay Patient and Wait for Your Opportunity to Attack

The next tip to help you beat left-handed players more easily is to simply take your time and wait for your opportunity to attack. Patience is a virtue in tennis, but especially when playing against a lefty. 

It can be frustrating to consistently have heavy topspin balls firing into your backhand wing. It’s easy to feel like you can’t make any major inroads in the rallies. 

However, with patience and consistency, you will be able to grind down and outsmart your left-handed opponent over time. 

Don’t be afraid to keep the rallies going and tire them out. Many lefties rely on taking their right-handed opponents out of court and then closing down the net to hit a volley in the open space. 

However, if you just stay with them and work your way into the point, looking for your opportunity to attack down the line, you’ll be sure to tip the balance in your favor.

4. Use Variety and Dominate The Net 

The next step towards dominating left-handed players is to embrace variety and get into the net as much as possible. You don’t need to become an amazing serve and volleyer overnight, but attacking the net and playing with a range of different speeds and spins can really throw your lefty opponent off their game. 

The last thing you want as a right-hander is for your left-handed opponent to get into a rhythm of ripping forehands cross-court, and pinning you into the backhand corner. 

Therefore, hitting drop shots, ghosting into the net, and playing slower balls with heavy spin to find acute angles are all great ways to keep your left-handed opponent guessing and this should lead to more success on the court.

5. Cut Off The Angles Where You Can

Another tip that will help you feel more confident against left-handed players as a righty is to cut off as many angles as you can and minimize your opponent’s advantages. 

This is especially effective on the serve, as lefties love to hit swinging slice serves that spin into the right-hander’s backhand. To take away this advantage, try standing a step or two further over to the left and face inside the court. 

Then, if your left-handed opponent decides to hit a slice serve wide to your backhand, you’ll already be there waiting for it, ready to attack. 

This will then make your opponent second guess themself and could even lead to more doubles faults on their end.

Once You’ve Mastered The Backhand, It’s Time to Work On Your Singles Tactics! 

Improving your backhand is a key part of getting the better of left-handed tennis players. Right-handers often struggle to win these matchups as they are simply forced to hit their weaker shot time after time, and eventually, it breaks down. 

However, once you have taken the tips above on board and checked out our Backhand Blueprint course, it’s time to take your understanding of singles tactics to a whole new level. 

We’ve developed an online Singles Tactics course comprising 35 dedicated lessons to help improve your tennis IQ. You’ll learn predetermined set plays, how to outsmart your opponent, and all of the different ways to win points in tennis. 

So, if you want to take your knowledge and understanding of tennis strategy to the next level, then check out our Singles Tactics course today.

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Simple Guide to Beating Left-Handed Tennis Players

Overall, we hope that this guide to beating left-handed tennis players has helped improve your understanding of what natural advantages left-handed players have and how to minimize them. 

Improving your backhand, using variety, attacking the net, and cutting off the angles are all great ways to become more successful against left-handed players. 

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