5 Must-Have Shots for Competitive Tennis Players

The Open Stance Forehand
  1. Inside-Out Attacking Forehand

    All advanced players have good – even great – backhands, but they usually have better and harder forehands.  Given the choice, virtually all players will run around their backhand to clobber a forehand.  Aiming it inside out (a right hander hitting a forehand from the ad court crosscourt to the opponent’s ad court) attacks the opponent’s backhand, creates a sharp angle which may result in a winner, and provides safety because the ball is hit over the low part of the net into the most court area.

  2. Swinging Mid-Court Volley

    This shot was unthinkable and would never have been taught 20 years ago, but is now a standard way of hitting a winner to finish a point.  With the penetrating groundstrokes that players have today, they can push their opponents into very defensive positions where the response is a semi-lob to buy time to recover position.  The attacking player now moves forward and takes a swinging volley (a groundstroke hit in the air), rather than letting the ball bounce, thus preventing the opponent from having time to recover.

  3. Slice Backhand

    Variety is still the spice of life, and a slice backhand provides so many options in addition to always crushing a topspin backhand.  A slice allows a player to change pace, absorb pace, make the ball skid fast and low, disrupt the opponent’s groundstroke pattern, create confusion, hit an approach shot which will make the opponent hit up to the volleyer, hit a drop shot, and combat high bouncing topspin shots.

  4. Drop Shot

    So many players in the modern game stand 10-15 feet behind the baseline to buy time to rip groundstrokes.  These players are very vulnerable to a short ball or drop shot, especially if their groundstroke lands short in the court – no matter how hard it is hit.

    The drop shot can be used to hit a winner (since the player is so far back), or used to bring the player to the net (usually a player who likes to stand that far back loves groundstrokes, but hates to volley).

  5. Kick 2nd Serve

    Having a reliable, no double fault 2nd serve is just not good enough in advanced tennis.  Players routinely attack and punish weak 2nd serves with their returns of serve, hitting winners or putting the server instantly on the defensive.  Developing a deep, high-bouncing topspin or kick serve to a player’s backhand will prevent the opponent from “teeing off” on the return, allowing the server to dictate the point with the second shot.

To learn these and other winning tennis shots, contact me to schedule a lesson:  https://www.larryloebtennis.com/contact/