Taking the time to learn what gear and skills you need is essential to learning how to play tennis as a beginner. By understanding the basics of tennis, you’ll be able to make use of advanced playing strategies and work towards taking your game to a more competitive level.
Tennis tips for beginners: 5 strategies to improve your gameplay
1. Practice different tennis strokes
Mastering tennis begins with practicing the four different types of tennis strokes:
- Serve - Every point in tennis starts with a serve. It’s performed by tossing the ball into the air and using an overhand, downward swing while aiming towards the opponent’s service box.
- Volley - The volley is most useful when you’re near the net. When the ball enters your side of the court, use a light, yet quick overhead swing to perform a volley.
- Forehand - A forehand is used to return a shot that is near your dominant side (the side of your body that you hold the racket on). While holding the racket with your dominant hand and with your palm facing your opponent, swing the racket forwards while rotating your hips to perform a forehand stroke.
- Backhand - Just like the forehand, the backhand is used to return an opponent’s shot. However, the key difference is that it’s used when you are returning a ball that is on your weaker side. To perform a backhand stroke, hold the racket with your dominant palm facing yourself while using a side swing of the racket.
2. Don’t rush your serve
A rushed serve often fails to have the same strength and accuracy as a well-planned serve. Serve-and-volley players may be tempted to get to the net quickly, but to execute a good serve, it’s important to practice your technique, avoid rushing your serve, and focus on delivering an accurate shot.
3. Improve your backhand and forehand volley
Most players feel more comfortable with their backhand, but you’ll need to work on your forehand, too. Like any stroke, the backhand volley and forehand volley can be improved with consistent practice.
If serve-and-volley is your top style of play, you’ll need a pair of shoes to reach the baseline to the net quickly. Look for lightweight tennis shoes that provide forefoot flexibility and cushioning for well-rounded support and performance. ASICS offers a great selection of tennis shoes to help fit your needs.
4. Think about court positioning
Avoid down-the-line shots. Try limiting your opponent’s options when they’re returning your serve. Good court positioning can unsettle your opponent as you’re readily able to return their shots and serves. By watching the court positioning of experienced tennis players, you can get closer to making sure you can make your next shot with the shortest reach possible.
5. Learn to play from the baseline
Serve-and-volley players are becoming less and less common in professional play for many reasons. By playing near the baseline, you buy yourself more time to read your opponent’s next stroke and playstyle. Additionally, if you’re playing a serve-and-volley player, it’s easier to force them to waste energy by moving your shots around while playing from the baseline.
The two styles of playing from the baseline in tennis
While playing from the baseline, there are two different strategies you can use depending on your preferred playstyle. Learn how to play to your strengths and your baseline strategy will become clearer afterward.
If you’re fast and agile, this is the playing style for you. It’s about using your speed to return every ball and extend rallies. You’re waiting for your opponent to become frustrated and make an error, either by hitting the ball out or misjudging their court position and leaving a big space open.
If power shots are your strongest attribute, this is how you should approach baseline play. It’s about hitting hard returns and getting your opponent sprinting along the baseline. With that, you can force your opponent out of their comfort zone.
How long does it take to master tennis?
Depending on how often, how focused and how dedicated you play, your pace towards becoming a master tennis player may vary. A great way to master tennis is to learn the basics and continue practicing the sport.
Boost your confidence with quality tennis gear
Before you start training and developing your tennis skills, you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate gear. ASICS can help you get off to a great start with all the clothing, shoes, and accessories you need to feel confident on the court.
Essential tennis gear for beginners
The most important considerations when investing in tennis equipment are quality and fit. The wrong gear can worsen your form, cause muscle soreness, and wear quickly. To curb this, buying high-quality tennis equipment may provide better comfort, while making you feel confident on the tennis court.
ASICS tennis shoes for beginners
ASICS’ GEL-RESOLUTION™ tennis shoes are designed to be comfortable, durable and stable – allowing you to play your best game. Reliable for both beginners and pro’s alike.
ASICS tennis gear and accessories
While well-fitting tennis shoes are a great starting point, apparel is just as important. Wearing high-quality clothing can help you stay comfortable on and off the court. ASICS combines temperature control, form fit, and style to create essential tennis gear that’s excellent for tennis players of all abilities.