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Tennis Tactics

Tennis Tactics

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    Match point. Your opponent hits a deep-sliced approach shot to your backhand. To neutralize this attack and regain control of the point, you retaliate with a crosscourt passing shot, low with topspin. Your opponent is forced to return a weak volley to the open court, and you win the point with a passing shot down the line. Game, set, and match.

    This is just one of the many winning strategies you`ll find in Tennis Tactics: Winning Patterns of Play. It`s the first book to break down what shots to make and when to make them. You`ll learn how to plan your shot selection in competition and put yourself in the best possible position to win every point.

    Based on an extensive USTA study of actual tournament play by the game`s top athletes, Tennis Tactics describes 58 patterns—repeated shot sequences—that will emphasize your strengths and exploit your opponents` weaknesses. It contains 63 drills that show you how to practice the patterns and make them part of your routine during match play. Competitive players, coaches, and instructors will love the book`s simple approach for practice and play.

    Tennis Tactics reviews sound, time-tested strategic principles, then explains how they apply to patterns of play. You`ll learn how to choose patterns that fit your style of play, whether you`re an all-court player, a counterpuncher, an aggressive baseliner, or a serve-and-volleyer.

    Next, the book provides strategies and tactics for different areas of the court. You`ll learn how to execute 58 patterns for

    • backcourt (26),
    • midcourt (8),
    • net play (8), and
    • defensive play (16).

    For each pattern, the book describes and illustrates corresponding practice drills that will help you get an edge on the competition. A Pattern Finder chart helps you quickly locate the shot combinations you want to study and incorporate into your game.

    Make your practice sessions pay off in competition by using the drills and mastering the patterns in Tennis Tactics: Winning Patterns of Play.

    Table of Contents

    Part I: Patterns of Singles Play
    Chapter 1. Principles of Pattern Play
    Chapter 2. Patterns of Play

    Part II: Backcourt Patterns and Drills
    Chapter 3. Serve and Return Patterns
    Chapter 4. Serve and Return Drills
    Chapter 5. Groundstroke Patterns
    Chapter 6. Groundstroke Drills

    Part III: Midcourt Patterns and Drills
    Chapter 7. Midcourt Patterns
    Chapter 8. Midcourt Drills

    Part IV: Net Play Patterns and Drills
    Chapter 9. Net Play Patterns
    Chapter 10. Net Play Drills

    Part V: Defensive Patterns and Drills
    Chapter 11. Defensive Patterns
    Chapter 12. Defensive Drills

    About the USTA
    Pattern Finder

    About the Author

    The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the governing body for tennis in the United States. Its mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. The USTA's membership includes more than 500,000 individuals and nearly 6,500 organizations, including schools, park and recreation departments, community tennis associations, and tennis clubs.

    The USTA is widely known as the owner and operator of the U.S. Open Championships, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in worldwide tennis competition. It also sponsors amateur tennis competition for players of all ages and abilities. More than 5 million schoolchildren are introduced to tennis each year through USTA school programs, and opportunities for further instruction and play are provided by a menu of USTA entry-level programs.

    A full range of player development and sport-science programs is offered at Player Development Headquarters in Key Biscayne, Florida, at 120 Area Training Centers throughout the country, and in communities (through a network of Local Excellence Training Programs). In addition, the USTA emphasizes coaching education and development through an ambitious offering of coaching seminars, workshops, and conferences. It works closely with the two major organizations certifying coaches—the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the U.S. Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR)—together accounting for more than 18,000 members.

    Ron Woods, director of player development for the USTA, wrote Tennis Tactics with the help of the USTA sport-science staff and coaches. Woods is responsible for planning and implementing programs that help players—from beginners to veterans in the professional ranks—achieve their maximum potential.

    Woods is also a senior staff member for the USTA committees in charge of player development, sport science, Olympic tennis, junior competition, and collegiate tennis. A former member of the International Tennis Federation's Coaches Commission, he serves on the coaching committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USPTA honored him as 1982 National Coach of the Year and designated him a Master Professional in 1984. Ron is also an honorary member of the USPTR.


    Play like a pro! Tennis Tactics brings you the perfect blend of the mental and physical aspects of the game. Learn the strategies and how to practice them, then see the results when you compete.

    Todd Martin
    Professional Tennis Player

    Winning matches depends on the ability to think fast. This book helps you put together patterns and strategies to do just that.

    Lindsay Davenport
    Professional Tennis Player
    Women's Tennis Association