How to Beat an Aggressive Baseliner in Tennis

Are you looking to add a bit more variety to your game? Sick and tired of losing to aggressive baseline players that seem to blast you off the court?

We will walk you through every step so you can improve your ability to play a counterpunching game style and take down aggressive baseliners once and for all!

So, let’s look at how you can beat aggressive baseline players and start winning more tennis matches today!

Why is it Important to Learn How to Beat an Aggressive Baseliner?

Playing aggressive tennis is an incredibly effective way to win more points, which has become a lot more popular in the modern game. However, aggressive tennis today looks very different from what it did a few decades ago… 

Back in the day, the art of serve and volley dominated tennis. Hitting a serve and rushing into the net was the most effective and aggressive tactic professional and recreational players could use. In the era of fast courts, heavier rackets, and less sophisticated tennis strings, serve and volley was the most efficient and effective way to win points. 

However, fast forward to the present day and you’ll find the game has changed massively. Aggressive baseline tennis that involves hitting heavy forehands, using athleticism to track down every ball, and overall consistency has become the most aggressive way to play. 

This has meant that many tennis players these days focus predominantly on hitting big groundstrokes and dominating their opponents with power and spin. 

However, there are some players for which this game style isn’t very well suited. Some players don’t have the technique, physicality, or even desire to play this way. For some players, the key to winning more matches is to learn how to beat an aggressive baseliner through consistency, tactics, and variety.

Out-Think Opponents

Players like Andy Murray have done this for years. Despite being one of the most athletic tennis players of all time, Murray relied on his hand skills, variety, and hit ability to out-think his opponents rather than raw power. 

This game style matches up great when playing an aggressive baseliner, as the lack of rhythm can really throw the player off. Aggressive baseliners like to hit a similar ball time after time, with more and more power and spin until they break you down.  A better idea, rather than trying to play the aggressive baseliner at their own game, is to give them different ball heights, speeds, and spins. This will throw them off balance and force them into making errors. 

Once the aggressive baseliner starts missing, they often don’t have much of a backup option, so they will revert to hitting the ball harder to generate more power and spin, leading to even more mistakes. 

So, how can you actually improve your ability to counterpunch and take down aggressive baseliners I hear you ask? Well, follow this step-by-step guide to find out!

How to Improve Your Counterpunching Play 

As you might expect, becoming a smart tennis player that can use variety to beat aggressive baseliners doesn’t happen overnight! But, with the right guidance and tactics, you can put an end to the reign of aggressive baseliners once and for all!

Step 1: Look at’s Singles Tactics Course

The first step you can take towards improving your ability to beat an aggressive baseliner is to check out our singles tactics online course. Whilst there is no substitute for hard work on the court, going into a practice session without a plan is not the most productive way to use your time. 

That’s why we have worked with ex-ATP professional turned master performance coach Dave Ireland to help you improve your understanding of singles tennis before you even step foot on the court! Using our expert guidance, you’ll learn how to outsmart your opponents, stop making simple mistakes and create bespoke game plans to suit whatever type of player you are facing. 

So, if you want to take your understanding of the game to the next level and beat aggressive baseliners for good, check out our singles tactics course today!

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Step 2: Focus on Court Positioning 

The next step towards becoming a better counterpuncher is to place emphasis on your positioning on the court, rather than how hard you are hitting the ball. Remember, the aggressive baseliner’s aim is to hit you off the court with power and spin. 

To begin with, you need to respect this and take a few steps back so you can absorb their pace and use it to your advantage. The key is to stay in the rallies and move the opponent out of the comfort zone, so they no longer have a comfortable or stable base to play from. 

In order to do this, you first need to take a couple of steps back to improve your consistency, so you can then work your way back up the court and take advantage once you have moved your opponent around.

Step 3: Be Patient 

The next step is to simply be patient and accept that your opponent is going to hit some great shots, and probably some winners. If they are an aggressive baseline player, chances are they can hit a good ball and have the ability to push you back behind your baseline. 

However, the way a counterpuncher can use this to their advantage is to start further back in the first place so they can move forward into their shots, rather than being thrown off balance. Then, by using consistency, changing up the speed, spin, and direction of the ball, and remaining patient, the counterpuncher can break down the aggressive baseliner over the long run. 

But, the key here is to remember that patience is a virtue and this will be a war of attrition.

Step 4: Create Structured Patterns of Play

Structured patterns of play are the friend of the counterpuncher that wants to take down an aggressive baseliner. Some big ball strikers can be a bit like a bull in a china shop, always looking to tee off at any opportunity. However, the way to beat this is not to try and whack the ball back even harder, but instead to use well-thought-out patterns of play to wear them down gradually. 

For example, the counterpuncher may decide to hit three balls cross-court to the aggressive baseliner and then attack down the line when they have a slightly shorter ball. This doesn’t have to be a winner or even a particularly powerful shot, but it will throw the aggressive baseliner off their rhythm and perhaps that is enough to force an error. 

Also, playing a high, loopy ball and then ghosting into the net is another great way to take an aggressive baseliner by surprise. This tactic will again throw them off balance and keep them guessing for points to come.

Step 5: Use Variety to Your Advantage

The final piece of the puzzle that will help you beat an aggressive baseliner, is to use variety to your advantage. Hitting short slices, slow acute angles, high loopy topspin shots, coming into the net regularly, and hitting drop shots are all great ways to stop an aggressive baseliner from playing their game. 

Of course, all of these shots require practice and a great deal of skill and tactical awareness to pull off correctly. However, trying something different when you are playing an aggressive baseliner is the key to beating them. After all, you probably won’t beat them at their own game!

Once You’ve Mastered Counterpunching in Tennis, It’s Time to Improve Your Own Aggressive Play! 

So, you’ve added a few more layers to your game and can now beat aggressive baseline players with variety, patience, and great court positioning. Now the next step is to add some more venom to your own shots! 

Having the ability to play aggressively as well as with variety will make you an even more well-rounded player and give you the killer instinct you need to improve your game. Using our forehand domination course to add more power, spin, and control to your forehand will make it an even better weapon and help you win more matches. 

In this course, we will help you master the forehand technique, use the kinetic chain more effectively and add more margin for error to your forehand. So, if you want to turn your forehand into a real weapon, then check out our forehand domination online course today!

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Simple Guide to Beating Aggressive Baseliners

Overall, the modern game is dominated by players that like to play aggressive groundstrokes from the baseline, wearing their opponents down shot after shot. However, this doesn’t mean that heavy hitters can’t be beaten, if the right tactics are applied! 

Using our singles tactics course, you can create predetermined patterns of play, add more variety to your game and improve your results against aggressive baseline players in no time!

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