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Hi all,

I have been playing tennis for about 15 years and I've grown to become quite good.
The thing is I can hit spectacular winners from anywhere on the court (particularly my forehand) but 90% of the time I make ghastly errors.
I can really relate to Madison Keys as she has all the power and game to beat the top players, but always defeats herself against a consistent player.
I've grown to accept that patience will not be my virtue but I'm sick of losing to players who just pop the ball back in and waiting for my errors.
Is there any way that I can improve my patience?
My movement isn't that great so I cannot do a "Wozniacki" and be a wall, but I don't want to depend on high risk tennis to win a point.:frown2:
 

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Try to use more top spin. Try to mix the pace and play with more angles. For what I have read you have a problem with your point construction. Your power will always be your strength but try to play with more controlled agression. Don't get me wrong you don't have to be a pusher But waiting for the real moment for your winner is the important thing. Besides try to move to the net. Variety is always good.
I used to play too with too much agression. I was never Keys but especially in crucial points I bashed a lot. But I changed my game, worked on my variety and worked on my movement and now I'm way more consistent. So you can do that too. Good Luck.
 

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If you are missing 90% of your shots, you have a technique issue. Take a few lessons with a coach and see if you can fix whatever flaw you have in your swing. The next best thing is to film your self and try to figure it out on your own or post it in a tennis forum.

Otherwise, no one will want to play with you.
 

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I had a similar issue myself. Moments of genius sprinkled amongst horrific attempts to hit unsuspecting birds as they flew by. I consistently lost against pretty average players who mastered the art of returning every shot with top spin, ruthlessly targeting my backhand.

I managed to improve my game in a couple of ways. Firstly I had a coach who identified that I was using too much wrist in my action which led to inconsistency in my forehand. I also changed my backhand from single handed to double which enabled me to take shots higher. It made dealing with topspin much easier. Luckily there is a wall at my local club so I could spend the required amount of time practicing the new techniques.

On a slightly different note I am looking to change my racket to help with my new game. I’ve been looking at some online tennis racket websites but could do with some advice as to what I’m looking for. Anyone got any good links to websites that help you find the racket that suits you? Currently using the Nadal Babolat racket:

 

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wateva, this is the story of my life and I somewhat managed to change it, but it's an every ball effort!

I played College tennis and would literally beat the top player of the team and then lose to number 10 a few days later. It was awfully frustrating for me, but also to every member of the team ;)

I came to realize that I really struggled to beat 'weaker' players because of two things: 1) looking at every ball like an attacking ball and 2) lower intensity/focus/footwork.

1) It's really about point construction and Shazarenka is right. When facing weaker players, I felt like every single ball was a ball I could attack, and I therefore would go for it. Whatever quantity of talent you have, an attack is not safe and will create UEs: if you hit every single ball like an attacking shot, of course your UE count will be high. In my second year, I decided to play tons of matches against 'weaker' players or players ranked lower on the team, and realized that when you are a superior player, you can show it in multiple ways, not just by trying to hit a winner on every ball. Angles are especially important: try to work on getting a really got angled backhand, which usually goes to the weakest side of your opponent and will just open up the court easily for winners but without having to paint the lines. Give yourself more margins when attacking and follow to the net: you'll either force an error, or get an easy ball you can easily finish with a volley/swing volley. You don't have to finish the points with 2 shots, but you don't have to run around and do it in 25 either. Just aim at 5-8, finishing with 'easier' winners.

2) Make sure you hit every ball, and play every point, with the same intensity. The fact that you hit winners out of crazy positions means that you are awfully focused for those shots, get an adrenalin boost, and probably have much better footwork. When a ball looks 'easy', it often leads to bad footwork, laziness. I fight against that every time I play: I would play incredible points when down 15-40 on serve, or in huge important points, but would play quite badly to go down 15-40. Focus on your feet rather than the resulting groundstrokes, you'll realize that moving well makes everything much easier.

In the end, it's tough to realize that in tennis, a screaming running winner is worth the same amount of points than a double fault. But once you get that, you realize that you have so many ways of winning a point that it somehow is reassuring.

Hope this helps! Don't hesitate to pm me if you want specifics, I miss coaching :sobbing:
 

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Come into the net.
 

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The high occurrence of errors is going to come anyway but you will do better by just believing in yourself and doing what you can or are supposed to do in any situation plus moving your feet so that you can get close enough to each ball - you don't want to be caught flat-footed or lunge for balls, especially if your opponent hits them with spin.
 

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Would be curious to see what your FH form looks like. I'd bet you have little to no topspin. Take some lessons/do some clinics. Hitting FH with a pro for an hour regularly will train you to have the attitude of "I can hang in this rally as long as it takes" until you get the opportunity to rip a smart winner. Taking clinics will help you develop a sense of defense/neutral/offense that will help you make better shot selections based on what mode you are in at any given moment. Bottom line is... It isn't easy (or cheap) but these things have had my game on an upward trajectory for about a year.
 

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You just have to work on your muscle memory until there's no way you will make an out of the blue error! Try to go to your tennis center and rent out a ball machine for 30 minutes every week. Or get a ball machine. I personally have used the lobster for years and its awesome and really portable. Here I linked it for you: http://amzn.to/2fH08Df

It's a good investment if you are serious about changing long formed tennis habits.
You can also just keep trying to do drills, although that gets kind of boring. Anyway good luck and I hope you improve! You sound like a committed player :)
 
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