Top 10 Tennis Match Tips for Unstoppable Performance

By Lin
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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the top 10 tennis match tips! Whether you’re an aspiring tennis player looking to improve your skills or a seasoned athlete seeking that winning edge, these valuable tips are designed to enhance your performance on the court.

playing tennis on court

From strategic gameplay to mental preparation, we’ll cover a range of essential advice to help you excel in your next tennis match.

Get ready to unlock your full potential on the court as we dive into these invaluable tips that will boost your chances of victory.

1. Determine How Strong Your Opponent Is

As you step onto the court for a match, you first want to determine how good your opponent is. Take the first few shots to learn the other players’ strengths and weaknesses. Generally, you want to adapt to these, using strokes to get the other player moving around the court.

For instance, if you notice your opponent is a pusher, use shots that move them from their center point. Another idea is to use drop shots if the other player is returning your serves and regular shots at a high rate. Whatever you do: use the element of surprise to keep the other player guessing.

2. Create A Higher Margin Of Error For Yourself

The next tip for a tennis match comes from playing safe. Generally, tennis players will create a higher margin of error for their serves and returns, focusing on topspin, precision, and follow-through. You want the ball to reach the other side of the court with space to spare to avoid hitting the net or not hitting a successful shot.

Ensuring that your serves, returns, and overall playing habits create a strong play from your side of the court is a must during match play.

3. Stay Focused

One of the more valuable tips for tennis matches is to focus on your game and technique. As we covered, mental strength is necessary while playing a match or even practicing tennis, especially if your opponent is highly-skilled.

Here are some steps to take to keep your focus during a match:

  1. Play one point at a time (think long-term, not short).
  2. Practice a routine between points, games, and sets.
  3. Focus on the point you are playing, not on the overall score.
  4. Go back to the basics: eye on the ball and move your feet.

Many people consider tennis a mentally challenging sport, requiring near-perfect hand-eye coordination and laser focus. Don’t focus on if you’re winning or losing, but rather on how well your strokes are and if you can improve in anything the next serve/return around.

4. Believe In Yourself And Ability

Adding to our above tip, believing in your playing abilities is a must when involved in a tennis match. Even if you are down a few points, the worst thing to do during a game is get tough on yourself. Negative thoughts, although normal, should not overpower your ability to return and serve the ball to your opponent.

According to experts, redirecting your negative thoughts and feelings during a tennis match can help turn it around. It can be helpful to start the match with a heightened sense of confidence, which may also intimidate your opponent. Don’t let them see you sweat.

Confidence can also result in fewer fumbles and injuries during a tennis match, so that’s another thing to remember.

5. Enjoy The Game

The next tip for tennis match play is to enjoy the game as it’s happening. One grave mistake tennis players make during matches is entering it with anxiety or unrest, causing them to make mistakes they would typically not make. Furthermore, not taking each loss so seriously can also up your mood and make your mind clearer between points and shots.

One thing professional tennis players often do throughout matches is keep the mood light. Crack a joke or make small talk before and after each set in a game to make this a more enjoyable experience.

6. Create Rituals/Habits To Clear Your Mind Between Points

Piggy-backing on mental strength during a tennis match, it might also benefit players to create habits or rituals to help clear their minds between scores or losses. Generally, match play should be quick, giving you a few minutes to compose yourself between sets. One idea for this is to create a positive thought process, reassuring yourself that a win is possible.

Additionally, it might be helpful to use your time between shots to devise ways to score new points. Throw in some trick shots, give your opponent something to expect: and then do the opposite. Strategy is your best friend in a tennis match.

7. Create A Game Plan, And Don’t Be Afraid To Change It

Another helpful tennis match tip to consider is creating a game plan from the moment you step onto the court. As we said above, you can tie this into your between-point habits, analyzing your opponent and developing ways to shake them. You don’t have to do much here, but creating a rhythm and flow for your match play can work wonders.

According to pros, here are three crucial steps for creating a game plan in tennis:

  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Scout your opponent, and see what they’re good or bad at.
  3. Come up with a strategy and set small goals for yourself.

Pro Tip: Setting small, achievable goals throughout a tennis match can keep your mentality strong.

8. Don’t Get Mad When You Make Mistakes

Keeping your cool is one of the most important things to remember during a tennis match. We’ve seen it time and time again; the player’s getting angry over tiny mistakes/flukes, resulting in even more. When you fumble in a tennis match, use that as a lesson. Don’t get upset and show your opponent your frustration: they’ll use it against you.

One way to avoid getting visibly shaken on the court is to work on your breathing: take deep breaths in and exhale. Use that time to recenter and balance your body and mind on the tennis court.

Some of the greatest tennis players use this strategy, which works wonders during their matches.

9. Stay Loose During Match Play

The next tennis match tip to remember is to stay fluid in your movement throughout the day. You’ll rely on your body while playing a tennis match, so if it’s tense or not adequately warmed up, expect injuries. One of the best ways to begin a tennis match is by stretching.

Run a lap or two around the court, stretch your legs and arms, and feel free to wiggle around before the first serve. You’ll feel and perform better when your body stays loose between points and sets in a match.

10. Start Strong With Your First And Second Serve

Our last tip for playing a successful tennis match is to start strong with your first and second serve. Generally, players want to perfect their serve toss to create a consistent pattern throughout a match, so that’s step one. From there, you also want to hit hard with your second serve in an effort to intimidate the opposing player.

Your serve also sets the match off, so starting with a bang is always a good idea. As one of tennis’s most important shots, your first and second serve must be precise, fast, and well-practiced. This is one shot we recommend thoroughly working on before a match.


How Long Does A Tennis Match Usually Last?

On average, tennis matches are three sets, usually taking 90 or so minutes. However, during men’s tournaments/Opens, the best of five may be played, spanning closer to 2.5-3 hours. This can be much faster or slower, depending on the skill level of each player.

What Are Ways To Keep Stamina During A Tennis Match?

The best ways to keep your stamina during a tennis match are getting plenty of rest the night before, eating and drinking before stepping onto the court, proper warm-ups, and taking breaks when needed.

Don’t be afraid to take a minute or two between sets for water, stretching, or a bathroom break.

Can You Take Breaks During A Tennis Match?

Yes! During a tennis match, players are allowed one break in the best of three’s and two breaks in the best of five’s. These breaks last about three minutes, giving you time to use the restroom or grab water. Matches are short, to begin with, hence why the breaks are as follows.

In 2022, the ATP decided that tennis players have one three-minute bathroom break during three-set matches, so make sure and get everything done then.

In Conclusion

This article covered the top ten tips for tennis match play and included ways to improve your overall game. Something to focus on is your mental strength and stamina throughout a match and analyzing your opponent to find their strengths and weaknesses.

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Editor of All Points Tennis and a huge Roger Federer fan, I've spent countless hours studying his moves, especially his forehand and one-handed backhand. I also love writing about all the technical stuff like rackets and strings. I'm super pumped to share my insights with fellow tennis lovers here.