Article  TC114                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Start your match from the start of the warm-up.

As soon as you walk on to the court for that important match (or any match for that matter), introduce you and your partner; then
spin to see who gets the serve and which end you will play your first game.

Lots of players start their warm-up and then decide to spin, this is not very helpful, you need to know before you start the practice
warm-up which end you will be serving or receiving and who will be taking the first serve, you should know which end you will be
receiving, especially if there is a wind or a low lying sun.

Before the match, especially if playing doubles, you should decide with your partner what you want to do as a team.

Before you can beat any player, you must find out their strengths and weaknesses and this starts from the time you begin the warm-up.

·         What is/are your opponent/s  capable of:

·         Are they quick or slow – place some of the practice hits so that they have to move a little.

·         Are they left or right handed.

·         Do they favour their forehand or the backhand – this can be assessed by hitting the ball straight at them –
which side do they move to!

·         Do they have a double handed backhand.

·         Are they comfortable at the net doing volleys and overheads.

Equally, do not give away too much information about your own strokes – strengths or weaknesses. Use the  warm-up to get into the
groove and the rhythum of play, do not appear to do anything special – keep that for the match.

Most importantly, you need to find out your opponent’s style of play. Are they all-court players, do they counter-punch well or do
they prefer to remain at the baseline and play aggressively. Knowing this will give you the opportunity to counter their skills using
different tactics to frustrate their play.

Implement a game plan that gives your opponents all the things they do not like, this will give you the very best possibility of
winning the match.

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