Tennis Strategy and Tactics

Is it possible for players with inferior technique and strategies to win games over more proficient players.

Sometimes when playing a match you come up against a player who looks awkward, moves around the court disjointedly but they still defeat you. These are masters of strategy, experienced players who know how to overcome their faults in order to win.

They have adapted their game to realise what type of game they have, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how to make the best of what they have got. They also have done their homework on their opponent, and how they are likely to play.

Be Observant

When this sort of strategist starts his warm up, he instinctively watches and observes his opponent. He looks for weaknesses in your game, in your technique, movement, fitness, reaction time and style.

At the same time he will also be noting your strengths and prefered shots. He will measure your mental strength and see what upsets you, if you are too overconfident or not.

A great deal of extra information will come during play, but an experienced strategist will already have formulated a plan before the first serve. This will be based on his initial observations and a pre-planned strategy.

What Is Strategy? And What are Tactics?

Tennis strategy is one of the four main components of the game, the others are:

  • Technique
  • Physical preparation
  • Mental game

The rough definition of tennis strategy is to use your advantages to the full. To take these advantages to target your opponent’s weaknesses and win the point. Your advantages and your way of playing the game are called game type.

The type of surface you are playing on also will affect this game plan and needs to be taken into consideration.

Tennis tactics are the more detailed ways of achieving the strategy. For instance if your strategy is to play aggressively from the baseline, your tactics to achieve this may be different.

Even smaller units of tennis strategy and tactics are tactical decisions. These are the basic building blocks of winning an individual point.

Discussing tactics and strategy with your tennis coach is a good idea. It is obvious if your technique is faulty but not always the case with your strategy and tactics.

It is important when you recognise when and what strategy to deploy and what tactics you need to help you achieve this.

Do not be fooled to thinking it is a small part of your game, having a good strategy can help you overcome your faults and to defeat superior technical players. You need to work on this part of your game just as much as everything else.