Updated: Feb 11, 2021
Win the big points with some very simple strategies.
Tennis is, among so many other things, a game of numbers. I was very fortunate to attend the USPTA Southern Convention a few days ago and I came away with a notebook full of learning gold! I was skimming back through this morning and I found a nugget from Kim Dillard, USPTA Master Professional from North Carolina.
Kim’s session on court was about doubles and he made mention of something he calls a MEGA Point. Essentially, a MEGA Point is a game point – points that have greater importance. He also pointed out (as we’ve all noticed) that the MEGA Points occur most often on the Ad side. (Love-40 / 40-Love, 30-40 / 40-30, Ad-In / Ad-Out) Only two MEGA Points occur on the Deuce side. (15-40 / 40-15) So, when we take to the court to practice, which side do we instinctively start on? The Deuce side… the side with the fewest MEGA Points!
Counter-intuitively, we should actually spend more time practicing our Ad side play… right? So, here are a few tips to help you win those MEGA Points from the Ad side:
Favorite Serve to the Ad Side: Figure out what serve you like best (or better yet, which serve you have that is most effective) to the Ad side. If it happens to be your kicker out wide, use that the most when serving for MEGA Points.
Favorite Return on the Ad Side: If you happen to be the returner on the Ad Side, you will be the player who touches the ball first for your team on most of the MEGA Points. What will you do with the ball? You can drive crosscourt, you can lob over the net player in doubles, you can angle the return away from the server. Choose your favorite (most effective) play and be sure that’s what you’re doing on all the important points!
Favorite Short Ball Option: Determine what you will do with any short ball you get when playing the Ad side. Is attacking the net player in doubles a good choice? Is hitting a drop shot or shorter angle a good choice? It might vary based on your opponent, but decide which you will do when playing the Ad side and stick to your guns.
These are really useful tips from Kim and there are actually more you can add to your repertoire as you develop your game. So, the next time you hit the court give some proper attention to your Ad side patterns and it will help you Ace those MEGA Points and get more games!