Hitting The BIG Shot

Grieco Photo

You move your opponent off the court with a solid wide shot and there it is in front of you… THE OPEN COURT to hit to.  But what happens?  You over-hit and either dump it into the net or hit it out.  What should you have done instead?

Crunch Time

According to TV tennis analyst and big-time coach of champions, Paul Annacone, “In crunch time, you should hit an aggressive shot to a conservative location.”  Excellent advice… he is saying, hit it hard; but don’t go for a shot near the lines.  If you hit it well and your opponent does get to it, they will probably just float it back and give you another chance at a winning shot.

Hit 6.88 Power

And how hard do you hit the ball in the first place?  New Hampshire friend and former teaching pro, B. Manning once advised me that I was over-hitting my favorite topspin forehand shot.  He said, “On a scale of 1-10, you are swinging at an 8 or 9.”

We agreed that I still wanted to hit it hard, but not that hard; and at most, it should be at a Power Level of 7.  So my mantra has become, “Hit it at 6.88.”  That brings enough power to the shot; but not over-powering.

What techniques do you use to make that critical, crunch time, open court shot?


Last week’s Florida tournament was played in Bradenton.  For the final results of this event, just click HERE.

This week’s tournament is being played in Payne Park, Sarasota; and I am playing doubles only, teamed with Hank Irvine.  Draws are HERE.

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4 thoughts on “Hitting The BIG Shot

  1. Sounds like a Goldilocks shot selection – not too risky, not too safe, just right!

    Winder, perfecto! george

  2. When I have that easy shot that I’ve actually earned by drawing my opponent wide, I try to hit the ball semi-hard but exactly equi-distant between the two opponents…..sounds strange but concentrating on the geometry makes me less prone to over-hit.

    John, good pointer! thanks, george

  3. George
    Over hitting under-hitting it depends on your game.
    If a player hits heavy top spin their safest shot is hit hard to opening. Heavy top spin hard gives good clearance and safety.
    I personally don’t have that shot. I would approach with slice taking net if opponent gets to it.
    Your shot depends on what you own.

    Randy, i agree… but the controlling factor is WHERE you are aiming. thanks.george

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