Third Foundation: Opponent Awareness

Learning the foundation of awareness of the other side of the court is a key ingredient to becoming a good player. Once the match starts, most of your attention should be on your opponent’s side of the court.

The greatest tool for exploiting your opponent is the utilization of the Two Opposites. There is a pair of opposites for everything in tennis. Use them to uncover your opponent’s weakness and then show your opponent that you’ve discovered it. It will make your opponent lose confidence and swing the match in your favor immediately.  The trick is to find out which your opponent has trouble with:

  • Forehand or Backhand?
  • Volley or Ground strokes?
  •  High shots or low shots?
  • Hard or soft?
  • Wide or right at him?
  • Running him or giving him time to hit?
  •  Deuce or ad court?
  • Cross court or down the line?

Your opponent may have a great low forehand, but have real trouble with a high ball. A common pattern is a player who likes a hard ball to his forehand and a soft ball to his backhand. So, a frequently used tactic would be to hit a slow ball to the forehand and to blast everything to the backhand. If your opponent cannot cope with a high backhand, hit high looping shots to the backhand. If they are slow, make them run. Tall player? Hit the ball at them and use low slices.

You  shouldn’t  play a certain way just because that’s how you like to play. Don’t hit what is Convenient, hit what is Necessary.

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