The simplest tactic in tennis, hitting cross court, is one of the most important skill to work on during tennis lessons or personal practice
Most casual tennis players are not aware there are patterns of play in tennis that have a higher percentage or success than others. intermediate to advanced tennis players might know it but rarely do they know how to execute or to use it well during a match.
Have you watched professional tennis matches on television and thought to yourself ” why the pros are hitting the ball back to each other instead of killing the ball ”
Most times professionals tennis players will get into a cross court rally, but why? The reason is that the tennis players are waiting for a higher percentage of success opportunity to change the direction of the ball.
It is much safer to hit cross court in tennis and wait for a better ball to change direction rather than mindlessly change directions because tennis is a game of percentages. The risks are too high without proper thought.
Reasons why you hit cross court in tennis
Tennis is a game of percentages and angles. There are 3 main reasons why hitting cross court is important.
Cross court is safer in every way, and your opponent has to work a lot hard to get to the ball just to return it. It does not make sense to just go down the line. However, here are a few reasons why the down the line shot may be useful despite the higher risk
1. If your opponent has a noticeably weaker side. It is better to put the pressure on a weak backhand or forehand. Wait for an easier shot, and then go for it.
2. If your opponent is well out of position. If they’re having a hard time recovering towards the middle of the court after a well hit angle from you, then down the line can pay off.
3. If you’re approaching the net in singles. When you hit down the line with an approach shot and follow the direction of the ball in, your opponent has lesser angles to exploit whereas if you approach with a cross court shot your net coverage will be lesser.
4. In doubles, once you get up in front of the service line and get an easy volley or overhead, often times you have a net player directly across from you also at the net. In this instance straight ahead and at the feet of the net player is a great place to aim.
Now that you have a better understanding of why cross court is in general better to hit when compared to the down the line. Go out there and put in some extra work into your cross court shots! One of the best ways to practice is to just get a 20 ball rally cross court and work your way up to 50, 100 even.
If you have difficulty understanding this, get in touch with us to arrange a tennis lesson, our tennis coach will teach you all you need to know!
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