Some players just like to “wing it” when they go into a match; but others (like me!) like to think about who they are playing, their style, their strengths and weaknesses … and what to do about it.
(The word “strategery” was used in a Saturday Night Live sketch, which satirized the performances of George W Bush and Al Gore during the first presidential debate for election year 2000.)
One of my tennis pleasures this summer has been playing singles vs. world ranked Gordon Hammes (US World 85s Team). Regardless of the number of years attached to him, Mr. Hammes is a supreme player and competitor and does ending up besting me on a given day.
What Did You Do?
Gordon is a crafty lefty, with an excellent topspin, cross court forehand and he can run like someone 20 years younger. So I came out one match with a “strategery” of hitting looping topspin forehands deep into his backhand side and making him take the ball high up (like Nadal does to the Fed on the opposite side) and then drop shotting when he was deep off the court.
I dominated that day; but the next time we played, my strategy was ineffective because Gordon had decided to play inside the baseline, take my looping shots in the air, and be closer in to get any attempted drop shots. And, HE dominated the day.
The counter to THAT strategy would be see him edging in and hit my shots down the line, deep to the corners.
One of the basic sayings I learned in high school physics: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” So, I think players need to THINK on the court and always answer Hank Irvine’s question: “What did you do about it?”
How about YOU … are you a planner or a reactor?
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