Being able to adapt your style according to your opponent is a crucial part of tennis. From the amateur level all the way up to the professional ranks, you'll see that no two people play tennis the exact same way. But there are a few general categories of players you should be aware of. Today, we'll be exploring the fabled hard hitters, who tend to take advantage of their size and strength to bully you into making mistakes. Fortunately, you can still get the upper hand in such situations by employing the following strategies:
1. Don't Try to Emulate Their Game Plan
Unless you're a power hitter yourself, it's useless to try and match your opponent shot by shot. Aside from tiring yourself out, you'll actually be helping his cause since powerful shots tend to generate powerful responses, thus making it easy for him to stay in rhythm. A better solution would be to slow down the pace a tad and try to make your opponent play according to your rhythm instead.
2. Placement is Key
While spatial awareness, in general, is essential in tennis, when facing a hard hitter it becomes even more important. Simply put, if you manage to keep your opponent deep in court you will also partly neutralize the power of his shots. Another good idea is to switch the direction of your shots, thereby forcing your adversary to move side-to-side and restricting his chances at taking a big swing.
3. Putting a Spin on Things
A sneaky move that can catch your opponent off guard, putting some spin on your ball will make it tougher for him to hit the ball at full strength. Be sure to keep the ball low by splicing it carefully, but also don't hesitate to use lots of topspin if you can manage to hit the ball deep enough in the court. If you're not quite sure how to properly spin a ball, do some research online (https://www.feeltennis.net/how-to-hit-topspin-in-tennis/) and practice it religiously before the match.
4. Bringing the Racquet Back Early
On the tennis court, power translates into speed as well. In order to avoid having to feel like you have to rush every shot, bring your racquet back sooner than you would with a normal adversary. In fact, as you soon as you see which way the ball is heading it's a good idea to get your racquet back up in position immediately.
5. Practicing Patience
The reality is that most amateur hard hitters tire out eventually. No one can keep blasting balls for hours at a time, so your mission here is to mostly lay low and avoid committing too many errors until that happens. Remember that all you have to do is hit the ball over the net. Let your opponent wear himself out and the match will be yours for the taking.
Going up against a true hard hitter can be one of the toughest challenges you'll have to face as a tennis player, particularly if you're not accustomed to the style yourself. Nevertheless, by applying the aforementioned principles you should be able to wrest control of the game and redirect it to suit your particular strengths. For more info on how to get the most out of your game and overcome opponents, feel free to enroll in a private training class at the Five Seasons Family Sports Club, where several of the nation's top tennis players have honed their skills.