Tennis Singles Strategy

If you’re serious about wanting to win a game of Tennis, then you need to consider strategy. Dumb luck won’t get you very far, nor will being an aggressive “hulk smash” kind of player. You want to use practiced tennis techniques in addition to physical strength in order to outplay your opponent. Let’s take a look at some basic styles for Tennis Singles Strategy.

Counter Pusher (aka Defensive Baseliner)

Goal: Return the ball—i.e., keep up a rally which basically tires out your opponent until they make a mistake. Counter pushers usually have incredible stamina and are quite consistent in their game play and stroke.

Common strategies for a Defensive Baseliner:

  • Stays at the baseline to return all of the opponent’s shots.
  • Relies on top spin, sidespin, or backspin to counter the other player’s aggression by sending their shots to locations which are difficult to get too quickly.
  • Element of surprise with ability to return hard shots.
  • Consistent, endurance and stamina, patience, and mental focus.

Aggressive Baseliner

Often have a strong serve, and are aggressive with their hits. They intentionally stay close and hit deep and hard.

Common strategies for an Aggressive Baseliner:

  • Stays at the baseline.
  • Relies on groundstrokes, like forehands or backhands, to place deep shots.
  • Has a big serve and hits balls deep and fast, or at sharp angles.
  • Can maintain cross-court rallies until an opening for a down-the-line hit is found.
  • Can remain confident whether the game is going in their favor or not. Good mental focus.

Serve-and-Volley Player

Goal: Play aggressive, darting in and out from the net to put pressure on the other player. These players are often agile, but the style isn’t used as much with the advent of bigger and better rackets that enhance hitting.

Common strategies of a Serve-and-Volley Player:

  • Hard and wide serves to allow themselves ample time to move closer to the net.
  • “Chip-and-Charge”—ability to return a serve deep and to an unexpected direction from the opponent.
  • Uses sharp angled drop shots to keep opponent running all over the court.
  • Returns lobs with an overhead shot.

All-Court Players (aka all-courters)

Goal: Keep the other player guessing by using a variety of shots and being willing to change their approach to throw opponents off. All-courters wholeheartedly believe that if one style isn’t working, then you change it up and try something new.

Common strategies of an All-courter:

  • When playing against an aggressive opponent, the Counter Pusher style is best place to start.
  • When playing a passive player, try the strategies of an Aggressive Baseliner.
  • Deep, powerful shots are the best bet when up against a serve-and-volley player.
  • A keen eye for recognizing an opponent’s weak spots, and taking advantage of them by hitting shots which will throw them off.
  • No set style; whatever is needed at the moment is the way to go.