Playing on the net

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.

Advantages

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.

Opening angles

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.

Reducing open space

What you need

There are several skills you will use on the net.

Volley

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.

Anticipation

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.

Posted in BLOG, How to ..., Tennis Column.

Tennis Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of TennisProGuru.com from 2015. He is an avid tennis player from age of 5, however, he never reached the pro level. Still, he likes playing tennis on different courts, with different rackets, and against different opponents. In his free time, you can find him watching all possible tennis matches he can find on the web or tv. Challenger or Grand Slam? It does not matter, just tennis matters.

He currently plays with:
Racket: Wilson Clash 100
Strings: Babolat RPM Blast
Grip: Head Xtreme Soft
Shoes: Asics Gel-Game 5 Clay (for clay courts), Lotto Court (for hard courts)
Balls: Dunlop Fort All Courts and Head Championship

One Comment

  1. I would also like to see more players, male and female, attack the net. I think the biggest reason they do not is that players can hit much more forcing passing shots with much more topspin than before. But there are other reasons as well. Just followed you on Insta by the way. Did not see a way to follow your blog.

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