If you watch or play tennis at all, you’ve certainly learned the sports unique scoring system. Hearing the numbers 15 and 40 will only touch the heart of someone that has a couple of rackets in their closet. However, despite knowing how to keep score, most tennis players don’t know how to play the score to their advantage. 15 all is the same as 40-30 to most. That shouldn’t be the case.
Since tennis is a largely mental game, especially at the club level, you need to be aware of the various important points of the score. Having the mental edge will give you a leg up on your competition this spring. This knowledge will enable you to play that much better when the time comes, and you win ratio will skyrocket.
Show Up First
One way to win more matches is to be ready sooner. I’m not just talking about racket preparation. If you have a match that starts at 12, be at the court by 11:30. Earlier than that, if you can. Why? Because this gives you time to warm yourself up, hit a few practice serves, and get used to the court. By the time you opponent gets there, you’re already settled in.
Let Them Go First
The serve is the most complicated motion in tennis. It’s totally initiated by you. That’s why it’s not strange for the first person to serve in a match to be broken, especially on the club level. Now, all bets are off if you are playing against a great server, but more times than not you’ll be playing someone with a serve that’s just like yours. Unreliable when hit hard, and attackable when hit inside the box. This will give you an early lead as well as help you to warm up so you can serve better.
Get the First Point
Do everything you can to win the first point of every game. This causes your opponent to play from behind often. That can mentally wear on an opponent. Also, once you score that first point you’ve got your teeth into the game. If your opponent wins three points in a row, and then you win one, it’s still 40-30. The idea is to make them play under as much pressure as possible.
Focus on the 30s
Anytime someone gets to 30, put on your hard hat. One more point and someone will have a game point, break point, set point, or match point. Don’t make these points easy on your opponents. Make them work to earn the victory, or to take it from you. Wisest thing to do in this situation is use you’re plan A strategy. If hitting to their backhand has been working, don’t rock the boat now.
Remember, the key to these tips working for you is to really think when you’re out there playing. Go over your strategy. Take a couple of extra seconds between points. Think about what you need to do to win every point. If you use these tips, your win/loss ratio will be very much in your favor this spring.