How To Master The Fundamentals Of Tennis
Tennis is a complex sport that combines racket skills with movement and controlling the trajectory and placement of the tennis ball. Here we will look at some of the fundamental skills required to play tennis competently. Winning a tennis match requires winning points from service, return of service, long rallies and dominating the court, sometimes approaching the net to reduce the space for the ball to pass you. Watching tennis matches on Dish Network Sports Channels will help you get more ideas from the best tennis pros in the world.
A powerful well placed first serve can win the point. To get the maximum power out of a serve, the must be well struck in the central part of the racket, at the highest point of your swing. To achieve this, the ball throw has to be higher than your full height of the swing. A nicely controlled high throw, will give the server the time to swing the racket accurately and strike the ball correctly for maximum power.
If the first serve does not go in, a well placed second serve slightly less powerful but more accurate, will keep the pressure up on the opponent. An induced curved swerve can be put onto the ball, by angling the racket head as it strikes the ball. The effect can be increased by striking the face of the racket slightly across the ball. This makes it harder for the receiver to judge where the ball is actually going to land and its trajectory after the bounce.
RECEIVING THE SERVE
When receiving the first serve, It is probably going to be faster ant straighter than a second serve. So it would be wiser to stand a little further away from the net, in a central position of the receiving box. Stay light on your feet to be prepared to return a forehand or a backhand shot. Before the shot, keep the racket light in your hand to be able to move it quickly in either direction. A firm grip is required through the shot as it will be a fast moving incoming shot.
A second serve is likely to be less powerful, but have more spin and swing applied. Stand a little closer to the net, still in a central position with regard to the receiving box, but keep very light on your feet as you may need to travel more to strike the ball.
Try to keep an eye on the direction the server is moving, whether they are approaching the net, or returning from one side to the other, this way you may be able to place the return in the most challenging position.
The best position to be able to return most shots in normal play is from the central baseline area. This point should be the shortest distance to get to play a shot from anywhere on the court. Remember to return to a central position after each shot, as even if you have to change course to get to the next ball, it is easier to do that on the move, than to start from a static out of position location.
The time to approach the net is when you have the opponent on the run, and they are returning weakly. As you move forward to return a weak shot, keep on approaching the net but be very alert to where they are returning from, so that you can volley the ball in the opposite direction.
Spin is applied in two ways. Firstly by playing the flat racket surface in a sweeping movement across the ball. A standard swing has a slight upward movement that induces a slight topspin onto the ball. This will cause the ball to dip down after it reaches the zenith of its flight, which is a good effect on longer shots to keep them in the court. The second method is to tilt the rack head angle to a different plane than 90 degrees to the ball. This is call ‘slicing’.
The more exaggerated the swing or slice is on the ball, the more profound the resulting reaction will be. A very heavy topspin with a top slice, will induce the ball to dip sharply, and bounce lower than expected, hugging the ground. A heavy backspin will cause the ball to slow down in flight, and on landing it can higher bounce, kicking upwards and slowing the forward motion.
Side spin and slice can cause the ball to veer sideways in flight, moving either away from the opponent, or back towards them unexpectedly, causing them to over or under estimate the position of the ball for their return shot. This can induce them to miss their shot completely.
THE LOB AND THE DROP SHOTS
If the opponent is running into the net, or has already approached the net, it is the ideal time to play a lob shot. Strike the ball up and over your opponent’s reach, with topspin applied to bring it inside the baseline. They are unlikely to be able to turn around, run back to the baseline and be able to control a return shot.
The opposite shot would be a drop shot. These are a very delicately played shot that have a reduced pace and backspin, causing the ball to drop quickly once it crosses the net. The backspin should remove any forward momentum, and cause the ball to almost bounce backwards. The opponent would have to be very fast on their feet to run forward from the baseline, and be able to get the ball back over the net in a controlled fashion.
All that remains is to practice, practice, practice these fundamentals. by playing plenty of Tennis. Have fun!