As your level of play increases, simply keeping the ball in play may not be enough to win matches. The amount of control you have over the ball then becomes an important factor. Your shot placements can make all the difference. Maybe your opponent has good ground strokes and is able to effectively stay in every rally with you. If you have the ability to hit the ball short to him, high and low, in close and outside, then you will probably be able to discover more weaknesses as well as keep you your opponent out of rhythm and guessing what shot to expect next from you. Remember, ball control ultimately means opponent control, which in turn leads to control of the match. When two players of equal ability are pitted against each other, the player who learns to recognize and play the big points well will come out on top every time. There are many big point situations in every match. For example: the first point in every game, all points when the score is tied, thirty-fifteen and fifteen-thirty, as well as all advantage points. Recognizing these points in the matches you play and learning how to handle the big points will make you a formidable opponent who is very difficult to beat.
Posted by Steven White, Author of the Bring Your Racquet Series
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