Coaches corner: The court is a rectangle
This season, Texas men's tennis head coach Michael Center and Texas women's tennis head coach Jeff Moore, two of the top coaches in collegiate tennis, will take turns sharing a variety of tennis tips which are based on the training programs of both University of Texas tennis teams. Additionally, the coaches are eager to answer any specific questions you might have about your own game. If you have any questions for Coach Center or Coach Moore, feel free to submit them and check back with TexasSports.com for the coaches' response.
Watch almost anyone sketch a tennis court on a piece of paper and the result often looks more like a square than a rectangle. A tennis court is 78' long and 27' wide for singles. Players may be able to recite these dimensions, but in most cases their perception of the dimensions while playing is distorted.
Why does this raise a red flag for coaches?
It causes young players to go for too much angle when hitting shots from deep in the court. Watch the pros and you will notice that when they are positioned behind the baseline, they rarely miss wide or in the net. At Texas, we call this area the POINT BUILDING ZONE. The goal of point building is to hit deep, penetrating groundstrokes through the court to push your opponent back. Point building forces your opponent to reply with a short ball which provides you with an opportunity to use angled shots to take charge of the point.
Think PERCENTAGE AGGRESSIVE as you work on singles tactics. From the POINT BUILDING ZONE, this means to avoid "flirting" with the net or the sidelines and focus on driving your opponent back.