Nathan Washam is an avid tennis player and country club member. In the following article, Nathan Washam discusses strategies in the game for outsmarting opponents.
Tennis match outcomes rest on fine margins, with tactics making a massive difference in whether a player wins or loses. Of course, everybody is chasing the win, so outsmarting others is the only way to make it to the top.
Naturally, this is easier said than done. But with the right strategies, experts say players are more likely to reign victorious and get the better of their opponents.
Nathan Washam Says that the Forehand is Always the Best Shot
Many players state their backhand is their best shot. However, the chances of this being the case are slim to none. The shots’ inner workings make it highly unlikely that a person’s backhand is better.
And that even applies to Novak Djokovic. He boasts an incredible backhand, but his stats don’t like — it simply doesn’t come close to his forehand.
Nathan Washam says that getting forehands involved in the attack is a necessity for most players. The boosted spin and power potential pressurizes their opponents, handing them the point.
Just a few seconds of watching Rafael Nadal play is enough to encourage anybody to implement this technique.
Never Underestimate the Serve
Every player understands the serve is important, but many take its level of importance for granted.
According to the pros, it’s crucial for three reasons:
- It sets the precedent for the entire point.
- The player is in complete control of it.
- The player gets two shots at it.
Nathan Washam explains that participants need to capitalize on the serve — simply walking to the baseline and going through the basics won’t work. Winners have a plan for every single serve.
It starts with aiming. Ideally, players should target the opponent’s backhand (i.e., weakest) shot. This should set them up for a forehand serve plus one that will put them well and truly in charge of the point.
The beauty of the serve is the opponent has zero control over it. So, players should think carefully before serving — it could make or break the outcome of the game.
Hack the Game
In tennis, hackers are the most frustrating people to play against as they go against almost all the basics of the game. But becoming one could be the difference between winning or losing.
Sometimes known as pushers, hackers simply put the ball back in the court. They aren’t hitting for winners or changing their approaches, they’re just maintaining the rally, forcing their opponent to slip up.
Nathan Washam of the Bay Area says that hackers are incredibly fit. They use this to play the long game, hoping they’ll wear their opponent down enough to make mistakes.
This tactic works wonders for those being outplayed. Likewise, the IHCT Tennis Academy explains it works well against aggressive play styles, as it dictates the pace of the ball.
However, hacking isn’t all sunshine and rainbows — it isn’t guaranteed to work. Strong players will likely find their way around hackers, keeping them on the backfoot regardless.
Bring the Net into the Mix
The net isn’t typically brought into play during modern tennis. After all, the enhanced string and improved racquets have accelerated the game and made it difficult to utilize the net.
Nathan Washam notes that tactics like chip and charge or serve and volley work wonders to bring the net into play. Granted, it’s a less-than-common strategy in today’s game but doing it effectively can hand players the point.
Getting to the net off a good ball reduces the opponents’ court space, forcing them to attempt winners. On the flip side, forcing opponents to the net if they aren’t used to playing there could ensure they make mistakes.
Nerves Must Be Conquered
Even the most experienced players suffer from nerves, so it’s nothing to be ashamed about. However, they need to be conquered to stop them from getting in the way.
Nathan Washam reports that nerves can feel hellish, but by accepting they’re a part of competition and finding ways that settle them is enough to stick to routines and come out on top.
Change It Up When Things Aren’t Working
If a strategy isn’t working, change it. There’s no point doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes.
Nathan Washam of the Bay Area says that singles tennis is like a rollercoaster. Players should use the ups and downs to their advantage. And the only way to do that is to change the strategy when it no longer serves them.
The right strategies equal more wins.