Once you reach a certain level and are playing players at your defined level, you will find that your matches become more like chess matches where the technical side of tennis gets brushed aside and the psychological battle begins. You need to make good, confident decisions at the right times: shot selection.
We will follow a simple but highly effective theory known as the D.N.O. Theory.
D or Defensive shots are shots hit higher than the height of the net, behind the baseline. You cannot hit winners from Defensive shots so you need to make the ball in the court, either cross court or deep down the middle of the court to reduce angle. Try to apply height to defensive shots to allow recovery time and to stop your opponents attacking you.
N or Neutral shots are shots hit below the height of the net, in front of the baseline. These are awkward shots where youâ€™re not sure whether you should attack, where you should attack, or whether you should just play the ball back in the court. Try making a quick decision to either attack by approaching the net and winning the point with the volley not the approach; or, play the ball cross court with some authority and wait for a better opportunity to attack.
O or Offensive shots are shots hit higher than the height of the net, in front of the baseline. Too often, people are afraid to go for it. Consistency is essential for any match player, but you need to realize there is smart tennis and there is over-cautious wimp tennis. If it’s on, it’s on a step in, suck it up and go for it! If it’s the right time to hit a winner chances are it will be a winner.
Try applying these rules to your practice sessions and matches and you will notice a huge difference in your results.