How To Play Against Any Player

How To Play Against Any Player

To win in tennis depends on a lot of criteria, firstly you have to know the shots and the correct technique, secondly you have to be mentally prepared and lastly you must have a strategy and plan.

Tactics form a crucial part of any tennis match and if you look at the pro’s during a match they implement a specific and player-targeted set of tactics to defeat their opponents.

You must be comfortable to face any style of play an opponent throws up at you. And to use your strengths to play on their weaknesses.

Always Play A High Percentage Game

By playing percentage you will reduce your errors and make your opponent do something out of the ordinary to win.

There are four styles of play that are involved with tennis strategy. Defensive, the aggressive baseliner, the all-court player and serve and volley.

If we look at each in a little more detail we can see the pro’s and con’s of each strategy.


The defensive player is sometimes known as the “counter puncher”. Their strategy is simply to get the ball back over the net and wait for a mistake. They will take all your best shots and soak them up not looking for a winner themselves.

  • To Play Against – mix up hitting balls hard and deep, occasionally play drop shots and attack the serve.

The Aggressive Baseliner

This is probably the most common strategy in tennis today used by the pro’s. They player with power and usually rely on booming serves and very strong forehands.

The aggressive baseliners’ strategy is to bully their opponent and overpower them, it is not particularly pretty tennis but is effective nevertheless.

  • To Play Against – return the first serve deep, keep the ball deep and change the spin, feed off the aggression and hit powerful returns.

The All-Court Player

Possibly the most relaxed of all the strategies, this player is comfortable all over the court and has a great locker full of shots. They are a jack of all trades and do not rely on one big shot, and therefore are less predictable.

Their strategy is to keep you guessing from point to point and can easily mix things up in a match if things are not going their way.

  • To Play Against – continuously hit deep, keep your focus on the ball and not your opponent, try to open up the court.

Serve & Volley

The most popular strategy of the early pro’s, some people say that a good serve and volley player is the best practitioner of the game. They constantly put pressure on their opponents by rushing to the net at every opportunity.

Most pro’s do not use this tactic anymore as modern rackets have led to this strategies demise. But it should be noted it is still the best strategy for doubles play.

  • To Play Against – play percentage service, return the ball back low, keep on hitting lobs, keep playing long.

The best way to learn different strategies is by playing against as many different opponents as you can. Just book a court at your local tennis club and arrange partners to play against.