Article  TC103                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Playing an opponent for the first time.

The pertinent question here, is do you know in advance who you are going to play or in some instances, the player is a last minute surprise.

It is naturally beneficial to be able to develop a game plan before going into the matchand if you are able to find out who your opponent is;
then you can find out as much as possible beforehand and work on a suitable plan of campaign. You should draw up as accurate a profile
as you can. The pro players will spend time finding out as much as they can about an opponent they have never met before.

The following are some of the points you need to find out:

Does he/she like hard or soft shots?

How good are his/her passing shots?

Does he/her have a tember – do they react angrily?

Is he/she easily detracted and prone to giving away some points?

Does he/she like to play fast or slow?

How does he/she handle spin?

Is he/she in good physical shape?

What is his/hers best shot?

Is he/she a defensive or an attacking player (Stay on the baseline or goes forward)?

Is he/she a fast or slow starter?

How does he/she play when ahead?

What kind of serve does he/she have? Can you attack

It? Is their second serve weak?

It is inevitable that you will meet a player that you know nothing about; perhaps a late substitute in the tournament, a new player who
has just joined the opposing club, or perhaps you have not been in a position to scout that person.

Here are some tips to assist you when this happens:

1/. Always play the game the way you enjoy to play; start with your normal style and see how it goes.

2/. Use the warm-up to start your analysis of your opponent. Every shot is used to probe their ability but do not let them learn too much
about your game or strokes.

3/. See how quickly you can get an accurate idea of their game; make them move about the court and this will show up their faults.
Observe for example, if  they run around their backhand, indicating a weak backhand. You should very quickly get an idea about their
serving ability.

4/. Don’t judge the situation too quickly – one or two good shots don’t make them a great player.

5/.  Always keep a diary about all the opponents you play, you can gradually build a good idea of your tactics in your next match against

6/. Keep in mind, that players can improve and next time you meet may be a little different, Test your knowledge of them in the eary
stages of the match.

7/. Finally, it does not matter what their profile is; play your game and use what you know to be able to beat them.

Go here for scouting forms:  CLICK HERE 
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