There are eight main shots a tennis player uses in a competitive match. When executed correctly, each shot can be very affective towards a victorious game. The serve sets the pace in the beginning of the match. Each serve that is not returned or returned correctly can gain you a point. After tossing the ball into the air the ball must be hit under or over hand into the diagonally opposite service box without touching the net. There are different types of serve that professionals practice, these include; flat serve, topspin serve, slice serve, and kick serve. Serving over hand, however, maximizes power and speed preventing your competitor from hitting back with ease. When your opponent is unable to return the ball, or even touch it with their racket it is known as an “Ace.” If they touch the ball and still fail to return it, the play is known as a service winner and you are awarded a point. The forehand starts from the side of the body and makes contact with the ball by scooping the racket upward and across the body. Popular grips (ways to hold the racket) that correspond with the forehand serve include, continental, semi-western, eastern and western. Each can provide a different momentum and direction for the ball. The backhand is typically a straight hitting motion starting on the left side of your body. By twisting your waist and arms to the right the racket can make straight contact with the ball and send it soaring across the court while using an eastern or continental grip.
A Volley and half volley (hit with a different angle) is a shot taken before the ball bounces on the ground. This shot is typically taken when you’re near the net and the objective is to cut your opponents reaction time due to the small amount of time they will have to chase the ball down and return it. When executing this shot, you must have quick reflexes and great leg work as well as good hand-eye coordination from both, yourself and your opponent. A lob is done by hitting the ball high and deep into the opposite player’s court. It is smart to use this shot when your opponent is close to the net (typically following a volley) so the ball can be sent over the top of his or her head and into the court behind them, if this is not done correctly it is usually returned by an overhead smash. After a lob the ball is typically in the air over the opponents head, they can use a serve like motion to return the ball so sharply it leaves little chance to hit back. Lastly, if an opponent is deep in his court, a player may use an unexpected drop shot by softly tapping the ball just over the net so that the opponent is unable to run in fast enough to retrieve it. Power and speed are the key ways to master these shots, and always be a step ahead from your opponent by understanding the shots and how to counter them.