RAVI'S COURT…by Ravi Gill, USPTA Professional

Three Key Factors In Match Play


Playing matches can be fun or very frustrating if you're not aware of what's going on during a match. You must develop an awareness of your court position, your contact point and your balance. Every tennis match has a beginning, the middle, and an end. The beginning of a point includes only the serve and return of serve. The middle of the point may include volleys, ground strokes or even an overhead smash. The end of the point is simply when the ball does not come back... the winner. A finishing shot is a put-away winner that will end the point. A set-up shot is a shot that will help develop the point and will lead into a finishing shot.

Always aim your finishing shots at the player closest to you in doubles, giving him or her less time to react. Aim your set-up shots at the player furthest from you, giving yourself the most recovery time. By being aware of your court position, contact point and body balance, you can determine if you have a finishing shot with all three factors in your favor. If only one or two of these factors are favoring you, then you can hit a set-up shot and wait for a better opportunity to take the finishing shot.

Balance is developing an understanding of your body position when hitting the ball... stable or unstable??

Contact Point is when the ball is struck with the racquet. Are you meeting the ball out in front of the body, beside you or behind you? Are you hitting a low ball below your knees, at the waist level, or shoulder high??

Court Position is being aware of where you and your opponent is on the court when the ball is struck... on or off the court??

So a good court position, good contact point and good body balance will help you hit a finishing shot to end the point. Remember, the finishing shot must have all three factors in your favor. A set-up shot exists when only one or two of these factors are favoring you. So be patient and go after that ball more aggressively whenever you're in all three modes.

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