How to force opponent to make more mistakes

Tennis is a game of mistakes. Most of the matches are finished with more mistakes than winners. Looking at today’s tennis, we can say that it is a game of power. It is not surprising that playing hard is risky and mistakes come up. However, we have to remember that mistakes are natural while being in a development process and it is a player job to use them properly. Athletes have two choices when they face a mistake: to learn or to give up. If they choose the first one, they improve. Sadly, if they give up, they stand at place or they move back. Let’s see what kind of mistakes happen in tennis and how we can force opponents to make more errors than we do.

            On the tennis court, we have to face two kinds of mistakes: forced and unforced errors. Forced errors as we can deduct, are forced by opponent’s shot. It can be a great 1st serve or precise angle shot. Second kind of mistakes is an unforced error. These mistakes are made while being in a neutral rally when opponent doesn’t put too much pressure on a player. Unforced errors are also well-known as “easy mistakes”. Relating to the topic of this article, I would like to give you some advices how to force opponent to make more mistakes.

            Tennis is a tactical game so when we look for more mistakes from the opponent, we have to force him/her tactically to make it. Firstly, it is a basic rule to play most of the balls to the rivals weakness. If opponent has inconsistent backhand, we should look for cross-court backhand rallies or approach shot to the backhands side. Another advice is to play to the opponents strength to have him/her open the weakness up. Perfect example is when player has a weak forehand drive, we can serve wide kick serve from the ad side to make an open space on the forehands side. These two basic tactics are really helpful while playing against most of the players so we should use it as often as possible to put our opponents into troubles.

            Being on a higher level and playing with better players forced us to show different solutions in case of winning the point by rivals error. In this situation, I would suggest two more complicated strategies which can bring us a lot of easy points, especially during the pressure moments. First of these possibilities is taking opponent out of his/her comfort zone. What does it mean and why it is complicated? Comfort zone is an area on a tennis court when player loves to play. For a baseliner it is a baseline, for a counter-puncher it is few meters behind the baseline and for a serve & volley player it has to be the net area. Taking someone out of the comfort zone means forcing player to play from different area than favorite. It can be performed by playing many drop shots against baseliner or by playing consistent deep shots against serve & volley player. This is much more complicated than two basic tactics above because we need various skills to do it. Primary goal to implement this tactic is an observation of an opponent and conscience of his/her favorite zone. When the first step is achieved, we can move to the second part of a goal which is taking out. To successfully do it, we need to be able to play many different shots related to the opponents style. As an example, we can imagine that player plays against baseliner and he/she cant play a decent drop shot what prevents him from taking a rival out of the comfort zone.

Second more advanced solution is forcing opponent to play given shot. This tactic is consisted of 2 parts. First piece of this process is again observation of an opponent and conscience of his/her pattern of play. If we can surely say what opponents patterns are, we can move on. Final step is nothing more than creating an opening to force opponent to play there. As an example, we can imagine that our opponent has a great, powerful and consistent backhand drive in a cross court direction but he/she never goes down the line. We can put a rival to a test by taking position more on a backhand side to create an opening for backhand down the line shot. This tactic shows if an opponent can trust his/her non-dominant pattern. If he/she can, we have to give this way up and look for other solution. However, if rival tries it and it is not successful, by implementing this tactic we can finish a match with a huge amount of unforced errors as gifts. Remember, this tactic is especially effective when we play against impatient players because they look for an opening and it doesnt matter for them if they can use their strengths or not.

            These 4 tactics can change scores of many matches if we can use them efficiently. Observation of a player is a base to every of these solutions. Without knowing who“ our opponent is, we fight mindlessly on the tennis court. We all know that history of tennis had many tennis players who didnt have great strokes but they used ability to force opponents to make more mistakes than they did. Effective tactical decisions is all tennis players need so I this article shows different tactical opportunities to make rivals miss more.