Tennis Matches: How To Prepare For Them
Tennis matches in the professional circuit can be long and intense. They require a lot of pre-match planning and preparation. Pro players lay a lot of focus on making strategies and plans for execution on the court. It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the rivals. Here are the few steps that great tennis players follow to prepare for their matches.
Pre Match Routine
This may involve things like scheduling your sleep, getting the last practice right, and making important plans before the match. Tennis players generally do so with their coaches and other training staff. It helps a player to get into the match mindset. Tennis matches played on different surfaces may need different strategies and thus demand different preparation.
A match being held on clay courts will require the player to polish his baseline defensive skills. Consequently, tennis matches held on grass require the serve, volley, and other attacking shots to be practiced more. Thus, tennis players focus on what is needed before the match. They also strategize based on the opponent on the other side of the court. Facing a top 10 player requires a different strategy than say facing the player who is ranked outside the top 100.
Grand slam tournaments also require a bit harder preparation. Male tennis players need to play 5 set matches here. It thus requires a different mix of defense, offense, and patterns of play. Tennis matches which are played best of 5 sets will vary in terms of intensity and planning compared to the best of 3. Great players like Serena Williams and Roger Federer use the right tactics at the right moments in these important matches to outwit their opponents.
The On-Court Performance In Tennis Matches
This flows largely from the homework that tennis players do off the court. A tennis match involving great players are like all-out battles. Apart from planning, a lot of spontaneity is needed once on the court. Top tennis players know each other’s game very well. Players like Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic have played each other more than 40 or 50 times. They are familiar with each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and strategies.
The on-court spontaneity can be used to disrupt the opponent’s rhythm. Tennis players may adapt to doing usual things differently. Serving more to the wider side of the court, mixing the crosscourt backhand with a slice chip backhand, standing a bit further or closer to the baseline are some strategies that players often adopt during tennis matches. This ensures that the opponent’s planning and rhythm get disrupted a bit.
There are also mind games that players try against each other on the court. Some players may start serving a bit more quickly than usual like Roger Federer often does to not let the opponents settle. Noval Djokovic often bounces the ball much more during serving to save a breakpoint. This is again a mental game to ensure that the rivals are a bit distracted. Tennis players try to mix the physical and mental games on the court. The aim is to win all tennis matches without bending rules.