Solar Bat Sunglasses Tennis Tip: Line to Line!
Brown University Women's Tennis Coach Paul Wardlaw introduced the world to the phrase “Wardlaw's Directionals” back in the year 2000. Since then the principles of this exhaustive and complex guide to tennis shot selection has become required reading for high performance coaches and players alike. In this article I'm going to cover one small premise that can help players of all levels take their opponents by surprise in their next match. Here's the premise:
When receiving a ball hit down-the-line to you, it's a high percentage play to hit your shot back up the line. Here's ATP #29 Grigor Dmitrov of Bulgaria to show off this clever shot:
In this case, Dmitrov is being pressured at the net, and his shot ends up being a passing shot. However the result is the same if the opponent stays back. The opponent is most often leaning towards the bigger cross court space, and can be caught off balance, or even completely passed, by a shot going right back up the line. You can see the baseline version of this play several times during this clip between ATP #5 Rafael Nadal and #27 Phillip Kohlschreiber:
The reason this shot is equally high percentage to hitting into the larger cross court area is the direction of the incoming ball. A down-the-line shot is moving straight forward, therefore hitting it back on a straight forward flight path offers a high percentage chance of success. So the next time your opponent sends a rocket down-the-line at you, add surprise to your repertoire and send that rocket right back down-the-line. More often than not, you're going to put yourself in winning position, if not hit a clean winner of your own!
Posted by Mandy Shephard on May 04, 2016 in Tennis Tips.