Strategy Third Foundation:Opponent Awareness, Busting a Strength

Most strategy involves finding an opponent’s strength and denying him a chance to use it. The one exception is when you decide to bust a strength. Some players lose confidence when you break their strength down. Boris Becker was such a player on the ATP tour. His forehand was amazing, but it fell apart as soon as he lost a little confidence in it.

Very few player’s strengths are perfect in every way. They either hit spin or flat or they have great disguise. If you want to bust a strength, you can’t just pound the ball to the one side. You have to use “opposites”.  Start with topspin, then throw in backspin. Make your opponent run and then “float” one at them. Here’s a great example from the pros. Steffi Graf’s forehand was a huge weapon. Yet, Martina Navratilova played her forehand all the time to force her into the center of the court. Then she would work her backhand with the approach shot.

Some player’s greatest assets are their legs. When playing a good runner, try to hit where they just came from, or hit down the middle of the court.


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