You do not see many tennis pro players using aggressive moves to the net in singles. Instead, there are plenty of hits from baseline with a precise aim to tire the opponent (and to bore fans). I know that not everybody was born with Boris Becker skills, but I would appreciate it if more players tried to go to the net.
Playing at the net has numerous advantages.
Check out what tennis rules say about the height and width of the net in our tennis net guide.
First of all, by moving into the court, you will open many angles for your shots. You can use all the space on the sides and look for shots that will push your opponent far from the lines.
Cut the time for reaction
Secondly, you will shorten the exchange time on the net. You will force your opponent to react more quickly that will inevitably lead to more errors.
Closing the space
Last but not least, playing at the net more often reduces the open space for your opponent. By staying at the net, you can close the angles for him and let him fewer options for hits.
What you need
There are several skills you will use on the net.
First of all, you should have master your volleys. Volley will be the hit used ninety-nine percent of the time on the net.
I always say that for a volley, you need to feel the ball to play it perfectly. The gentle touch and the ball is going exactly where you want. You can smash or short the play with a light stop ball. All you need is the feel.
Thinking second ahead of your opponent helps everywhere on the court. However, on the net, anticipation is extremely important.
As I already mentioned, you will shorten the time for your opponent’s reaction and vice versa for you. That means you need to be a step ahead and predict where the next shot will go.
Anticipation in connection with mastered volley is the ultimate threat.
How to approach the net
Picking the right time for your run to the net is crucial for your success. Lousy timing will let your opponent with a lot of open space for his next shot.
That means you need to prepare the moment for approaching the net. Ideally, when you push your opponent further from the baseline, ideally on in the center of the court, or he hits a shorter shot.
By the way, I use to practice approach to the net with the tennis ball machine. Set of two shots exercise [the first one at the baseline – second one shorter (higher or lower)] was my favorite to master my movement to the net.
Let’s go to the net more!
If you master your play at the net, you will gain another great tennis weapon. The weapon which is not so used anymore but remains very effective. I would like to see more players on all levels using the net as the extra advantage over all these boring baseline players.