How to Win Tennis Matches (Win More Matches Overnight)
Tennis is a game of problem solving. The great Andre Agassi once said that you don’t always need to play the best, just better than your opponent. This is also the theme of Brad Gilbert’s book ‘Winning Ugly’, in which he describes tactics and techniques to simply get the job done.
Tactics are an often overlooked aspect of recreational tennis. The professionals understand how important they are, but at the club level technique can sometimes be the main president of tennis sessions. Therefore, understanding how to outsmart your opponent by becoming a ‘thinking’ tennis player rather than just a good ball striker will massively improve your chances of success on the match court.
Why is it Important to Learn How to Win More Tennis Matches?
Learning the tactical side of tennis means you can win way more matches without actually changing your strokes at all.
It makes the game a lot clearer, less frustrating and more enjoyable, by focussing on the process rather than the outcome.
Sure hitting balls is fun, but most of us have that burning desire to win inside!
Being able to outthink your opponents and force them to play your game is the most satisfying and reliable way to win tennis matches. After all, who doesn’t want to play tennis on their own terms!
The keys to the tactical side of tennis include recognising what is going on in any match situation, analysing and interpreting this appropriately and then taking your opportunities when you can.
This involves understanding both your own and your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can turn the tables in your favour. Here are a few of our free, informational articles to help you improve your tactical side of the game:
How to Win More Matches in Tennis
Now, let’s break down how you can win more tennis matches overnight step by step. There are many different ways to do this, but they can be boiled down into the following.
Step 1: Look at Dave’s Tactics Courses
The first thing you can do to immediately improve your understanding of the tactical side of tennis is to take your learning into your own hands.
When it comes to improving your technique on specific shots, we definitely recommend an approach of fast tracking your learning with our online courses, as well as getting out onto court and putting this into practice.
However, the tactical and mental side of tennis can be improved dramatically purely from the comfort of your own home.
Tennis tactics are ultimately a new way of looking at the sport altogether, so learning bulletproof strategies to improve your game will immediately make you so much harder to beat.
Our resident high performance coach Dave is just the man for the job. He delivers incredibly clear, concise and informative instruction that is easy to digest, perfect for players that are new to the tactical side of tennis.
Dave’s experience is second to none. With over 28 years of coaching experience at the British national level and playing experience at three of the four grand slams and many years on the ATP Tour, he really has walked the walk!
Dave will break down court zones, how to read the game, understanding errors, patterns of play and so much more inside both the singles and doubles courses.
Step 2: Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
After you have explored the top class content of our tactics courses, the next step is to get out on the court and start playing some matches!
This matches up well with the content in our course, but at a high level, you need to understand your own game before you start trying to break down your opponent’s.
There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to tennis tactics. The first is to play to your strengths, and the second is to expose your opponent’s weaknesses.
The former focuses on making the opponent play your game, whereas the second emphasises adapting your game to make each opponent feel as uncomfortable as possible.
Which approach is best? Well, as with most big questions the answer is a bit of both!
The first key to understanding your own game is to be honest with yourself about what you do well and what you don’t in your own game.
They may be related to your physical advantages, for example a taller player may have more powerful shots and a stronger serve, whereas a shorter player may be more agile.
It is important to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses both in terms of your physical approach to the game and individual shots so you can big up your strengths and work around your weaknesses.
Step 3: Play with More Margin for Error
Once you have a clear picture of what you like and don’t like to do on the tennis court, the next fundamental key to winning more matches is to play with more margin for error.
This is the most simple but effective tactic in tennis that will massively improve your game.
Consistency is the ultimate aim in tennis, despite how hard we may want to hit the ball.
Sure, just pushing the ball and not taking charge of the point can limit your potential. But it is important to play with controllable power rather than not being able to tame your shots.
Hitting your groundstrokes higher over the net with more topspin not only reduces the chances you will miss, but it also actually makes it harder for your opponent to get the ball back.
Playing slightly within yourself so you are still trying to dictate the points, but doing so within 10-20% of your most powerful shots can go a long way to improving your consistency.
Think about hitting with high quality to bigger targets on the court rather than going for the lines all the time!
Step 4: Analyse Your Opponent
The next step towards mastering the tactical side of tennis is to analyse your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
In a match situation, use the warm up and the first few games of the match to concentrate on what shots they prefer, their natural tendencies and any of their own tactics that they are likely to implement throughout the match.
Things to look out for could be which way they lean when returning serve, how often they try and get into the net, which spots they like serving to and whether they deal with very low or very high balls well.
You can then use all of this information to pick your opponent apart and expose their weaknesses, whilst expressing yourself and your strengths in the match.
Step 5: Expose Your Opponent’s Weaknesses
The final step in our guide to winning more tennis matches is to expose your opponent’s weaknesses as much as possible.
Whilst it’s definitely true that playing to your strengths is a key part of winning, that mantra on its own isn’t always enough.
You might have a great forehand, but if you are always playing into your opponent’s backhand and that is actually their strength, you might not get very far!
Being able to get your favourite shots into play as often as possible and, importantly, using this to break down your opponent’s weaknesses is the real key to winning more tennis matches.
Once You’ve Mastered How to Win More Tennis Matches It’s Time to Improve Your Serve
Mastering the tactical side of tennis is not easy. It requires looking at the game in a completely new way which can actually be quite mentally exhausting if you aren’t used to it.
Having a grasp of tennis tactics can make the game much more enjoyable and more straightforward to play. However, the most important shot in tennis is the serve, as it is the only one that we actually control from start to finish.
Having a free flowing, effective service motion that can win you easy points can be the foundation of your game, giving you a huge advantage on the court.
Overall, learning how to win tennis matches by understanding the tactical side of the game will go a long way to improving your effectiveness on the match court and overall enjoyment of the sport in general.
Tactics aren’t necessarily easy to grasp at first, but simplifying this process by understanding your own game, knowing what to look out for in your opponent’s game and then taking advantage accordingly will make things easier.
Feb 1, 2022 • Tactics
Tennis Court Zones
Tennis is most certainly a game of tactics. Sure, tennis players need good technique and fitness levels to play the game well. But the thing that will give you the best chance of success on the tennis court is your mental game. The strategy you bring to the court is…Read More
Oct 14, 2021 • Tactics
How to Overcome a Losing Streak in Tennis
When Vitas Gerulaitis came off court having broken a 16-game losing streak against Jimmy Connors, he proceeded to make one of the great quotes in tennis history. It was a simple quote, but in the following years, it has resonated with so many people. When asked how he had finally…Read More