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Tip of the Day - Rally Down Faster & Quicker Players

By Larry Hodges | Dec. 30, 2013, 9 a.m. (ET)

Ryan Tseng

Ryan Tseng at the 2013 Berkeley Open

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Larry Hodges Rally Down Faster & Quicker Players

When faced with a faster or quicker opponent, many players try to match them in speed, and end up losing because of too many unforced errors. Instead, ask yourself if it is realistic to play at the opponent’s pace. You might decide you can do so for perhaps one shot in a rally, but not afterwards. You might decide to take perhaps a half step backwards to give yourself more time. Or you might decide you really can pick up your pace and match your opponent.

However, if you decide you can’t play consistently at your opponent’s pace, instead learn to out-rally him, using his own pace against them. If your opponent hits the ball hard, you don’t need to create your own speed just meet the incoming ball, and let it bounce out. Since you don’t need to create much speed on your own, you can shorten your stroke, and just keep the ball in play and out-rally your fast but frustrated opponent.

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