| By Steve Annacone
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


I'm giving Paul Annacone credit for this. I've heard him state numerous times that a player should "hit the ball aggressively to a big target". This is a much underused strategy and one that can be extremely effective.

Many players have shots with a lot of power and/or depth, and that itself is enough to cause big problems for their opponent. It is human nature to hit the ball close to the lines and away from the opponent, but this often results in errors and lost opportunities. Novak Djokovic uses the aggressive-to-big-targets tactic often and well. It has been very effective and is one of the reasons why he has so few unforced errors in his matches. He relies on the opponent missing the shot instead of hitting through them and away from them.

This is a great strategy to use when serving, especially if you can generate a lot of pace or spin. A serve to the middle of the service box usually ends up into the body of your opponent and causes all kinds of problems on the return of serve.

Play your shot aggressively to a big target and reap the rewards of less unforced errors from your side of the court and a lot of frustration on your opponent's end of the court.



Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis, www.annaconetennis.com and MyHamptonsPro, www.myhamptonspro.com in East Hampton, NY . Steve is also a tennis professional at Ventana Golf and Country Club in Tucson, AZ. In addition, Steve and Miguel Coelho have introduced the JET (Junior Elite Tennis) program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center for high level players ages 8-18. Please contact Steve at info@annaconetennis.com