You bounce the ball and look over the net at your opponent. You are serving in the Deuce court, and right now, serving out wide seems like a good idea.
You toss the ball up nice and high and hit the serve well, slicing it off the court. Your opponent reaches wide and hits a smart, defensive forehand return deep down the middle of the court.
Seriously… what’s the next step in your master plan to win this point?
Specifically, what’s the plan with your Serve +1 groundstroke? Are you looking for a forehand or settling for whatever the returner gives you?
Is the primary pattern to go to the open court or to play behind? Have you got a rigid plan in place, or do you have options?
Think about your recent matches. Do you ever have a Serve +1 plan?
Learn more about this key strategy in the Serve +1 Webinar HERE.
You DO have a plan for the serve. You always pick a direction out wide, at the body, or down the T. You control if the returner hits a forehand or backhand return. So what about your next shot? Do you have a plan for your Serve +1 shot?
You absolutely, positively need to!!!!
At the 2023 Australian Open, 70% of all serves in the men’s draw came back into play. Here’s the breakdown.
2023 Australian Open: Men
Almost two out of three (63%) first serves come back into play, and over 80% (83%) of second serves developed into a rally.
Here’s the bottom line. It’s not good enough to only have a plan for your serve. You need to be thinking about your Serve +1 shot as well. You need a plan for it too. In fact, you need a couple of plans based on the strength of the return that comes back.
In the women’s draw, more than three out of four (76%) serves came back into play this year Down Under.
2023 Australian Open: Women
As you can clearly see, the vast majority of serves come back into play. Therefore, your Serve +1 shot needs to have some structure and planning.
You need a primary pattern of play based on what you want to happen most of the time. Then you need a secondary pattern of play to cover for the unexpected. For example, if the return is weak and short down the middle where you want it, then the primary pattern is to immediately attack the opponent’s running backhand in the vacant Ad court.
But what if the returner hits a great cross-court return? Then it’s time to play defense and direct the ball back cross court behind the returner.
All of these strategy concepts – and a lot more – are covered in the Serve +1 webinar.
Having a plan when serving is obvious. It should also be the same for your Serve +1 shot.
All the best,