Koki Niwa (JPN) at the 2013 Russian Open Championships
Aim One Way, Go the Other
Many players develop strong rally shots. However, they are often very, very predictable. An opponent can anticipate where each ball is going early in your stroke, and so always has lots of time to get to the ball.
Instead, try faking one way, and going the other. For example, aim your backhand to go crosscourt and at the last second, push your wrist forward, and go down the line. Or turn your shoulders way, way back when looping, making it appear you are looping down the line and then turn the shoulders nearly 180 degrees and loop crosscourt. (You’ll also get great power this way!) Or, against a short serve to the forehand, aim crosscourt, where 90% of these balls are returned and at the last instant, tilt the wrist back, and return down the line.
By doing this, you get a double-whammy. Not only do you stop your opponent from anticipating and having lots of time, but he’ll be going the wrong way as well.
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