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Stop Giving Away Free Points
By:  Scott Baker | Tennis4you  | Tennis Forum  | E-mail

I have a few things that I would like to kick myself (hard) for every time I do when I am playing tennis. I am not a big advocate of giving away free points to my opponents. When I have not played for a while and come back to the court I find myself doing these things once in a while. I am going to list them below to help you realize what they are and hopefully you can eliminate them from your game as well if you happen to do any of them. I call them "The Tennis4you Pet Peeves".

1. If there is no call keep playing
Many times players will not continue playing the point if they think their serve or their shot was out even though their opponent made no call. If there was no call keep playing. This is especially tough for serve and volley players when they serve and come to the net since everything happens so fast. If they think their serve was out they may let their guard down, slow down or hit a soft volley thinking the serve was out. Do not let your guard down! Letting your guard down can cost you the point. Play the ball until a call is made, do not let up because you thought the ball you hit was out.

2. If in doubt hit the ball
If you are at the net and your opponent hits a shot and you are not sure if it will land in or out, hit the ball! Do not wonder about whether is will land in or out and let the ball go by and watch it land one foot inside the baseline. Do not leave the point to chance, if you are not 100% sure the ball is going to land out, hit the ball.

3. Keep moving until the ball hits the court and lands out
I have seen many players rallying from the baseline who let their guard down if the ball their opponent hit looks like it might land long. How many times have you seen someone lose the point because they thought the ball was going to land long and they were not ready for it when it landed in? They let their guard down only to watch the ball hit the baseline and then not have enough time to prepare and hit a good shot. You must continue to move your feet and get in the ready position regardless if you think the ball is going to land 2 feet deep or not. The effects of wind or excessive topspin can make the ball drop quicker than you think, not to mention that our judgment is not 100% perfect.

4. Always run for the ball
I am a big advocate of running down every ball. I cannot tell you how many times I have run for a ball that I did not think I would be able to reach and actually hit the ball, and then go on to win the point. I see a lot of people give up as soon as their opponent hits the ball. Give your feet a chance and see what they can do for you.

The above 4 "Pet-Peeves" are some simple points that could end up winning you some points along the way. Giving away free points to your opponents is not something you want to get into the habit of doing! Let them do that for you.

Good Luck on the Court!
Scott Baker