You're probably familiar with the term unforced errors in a tennis game. Unforced errors are those types of mistakes that are supposedly not forced by good shots of an opponent. Whether or not unforced errors are resulting from losing focus, being distracted, changing one’s mind, fearing the opponent or simply doubting one’s abilities, they can potentially lead to player’s eventual demise. Unfortunately these self-imposed mistakes can often lead to a sure loss and until you learn how to limit unforced errors you cannot expect to improve your overall performance. The following paragraphs outline some tips which might help you reduce unnecessary mistakes and play more consistent tennis.
Even if you do a thorough warm-up, you’re likely to play better in the latter stages of a match. Instead of going for clean winners, it’s probably better for you to focus on hitting the ball deep and keeping it in play while you look for weaknesses in your opponent’s game. As the match continues, you are likely to feel more at ease which in turn allows you to go for winners. Furthermore, you will gain a better understanding of the shots you’re good at and the shots your opponent is having trouble with.
One of common mistakes among the majority of players regardless of their skill level is going for a winner off of the serve return. Even though you might want to appear aggressive from the very start, attacking first serves more often than not leads to easy points for the server. That being said, instead of smashing the ball for a winner, you should rather try to extend the point and close it once you get the chance.
What you should also bear in mind is the following: avoid changing the direction of the ball when it is hit with pace. For instance, assuming your opponent hits a crosscourt shot with significant pace, feel free to return the ball crosscourt since changing its direction invariably results in an error. On the other hand, hitting a ball crosscourt is much less demanding than returning an opponent’s down-the-line shot because it leaves you less margin for error. Whatever the case may be, do your best hitting the ball back where it came from.
If you are being forced into a running shot by your opponent, try keeping the ball in play since hitting the ball with pace while running often results in an error. Instead of going for a winner, you might want to try hitting a safe crosscourt shot so that you could have enough time to recover to the middle of the baseline. Unforced errors are beyond doubt the most frustrating mistakes in a game. Even though hitting winners by no means appears to be jaw-dropping, doing so oftentimes results in errors which could have easily been avoided. Bear in mind the advice outlined in previous paragraphs and your chances of committing unforced errors will be significantly lower.
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