It is tennis gospel: hit the ball to the open court. But is this ALWAYS the right play? Depending on the opponent and situation, it may not be.
Where Are They Going?
If you are a righty (playing singles) and your righty opponent hits his backhand down the line, that should set you up for a solid opportunity for a cross court forehand to the open court.
But if you are playing someone who runs very well, unless you hit an excellent shot, they will probably get there in plenty of time. And when they do, now THEY have the opportunity to hit their forehand down the line to YOUR open court.
Or if you are playing a normally slower senior with tennis smarts, they will know you are probably going to hit cross court; and before you ever strike the ball, they are chugging their way to the open court.
Hit Behind Them
So, at least some of the time, you should hit BEHIND these two types of opponents; so they don’t get into the pattern of knowing where you are going to hit the ball. And if they are like most of us normal players, once the body weight is going in one direction, it is very difficult to stop and reverse direction.
But I think it was John McEnroe who said on TV one time, “Never hit behind a tired player… because they will still be there!”
What do YOU think?
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