How to master the game against left-handed tennis players

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Wilson Blade 9
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is one of the most famous left-handers on the Hologic WTA Tour.

Understanding the left-handed challenge

In the diverse world of tennis, left-handers add a big challenge to the game, especially to players who practice mostly with right-handers. Coach Marcin Bieniek unveils the secrets to triumphing over left-handed opponents, equipping you with the skills needed to emerge victorious.

In recent years, left-handed players have surged in numbers across all levels of tennis, presenting formidable obstacles for their right-handed counterparts. Modifying your game to counter their unique playing style and disrupting your familiar patterns requires careful consideration and skilful decision-making. Your training should prioritize acquiring the necessary abilities to effectively handle backhands from the deuce side and forehands from the ad side.

Mastering the key shots for dominance against left-handed players

To excel against left-handed players, it’s vital to cultivate a versatile skill set that enables you to navigate the challenges posed by their game.

Slice serve

A lot of players use topspin or kick serve as a second delivery. This choice is the correct one if we can get advantage over the player’s backhand by forcing the rival to hit from high point of contact. When you play against left-handers, this skill won’t be so effective. Serving with slice from the deuce side is a much better option to put opponent away from the sideline and to keep the point of contact as low as possible. That is why you should practice slice serve from deuce side to be ready to win your service games against left-handed players.

Angled cross-court forehand

The forehand is often the go-to weapon for many players seeking to dominate. It looks like an easy scenario while playing against left-handers because right-handers can play forehand cross-court against the opponent’s backhand. However, a deep shot doesn’t always create the best tactical advantage as it fails to open up the court for subsequent shots. To disrupt your left-handed rival’s defense, deploy an angled forehand that challenges their two-handed reach and creates opportunities for devastating forehands down the line or backhand cross-court winners.

Open stance backhand

One of the greatest challenges when facing left-handers lies in returning their serves. With altered trajectories and angles, many players struggle to respond effectively. To overcome this hurdle, adopt an open stance while executing your backhand return. Particularly on the ad side, left-handed servers often employ wide slice serves, making a close stance counterproductive and leading to frequent mishits. By working on your open stance backhand, you’ll deny your opponent easy points and gain an advantage in return games against left-handers.

Conclusion

It’s crucial to nurture and expand your repertoire of technical and tactical skills every day, keeping in mind that left-handers will inevitably be among your opponents. Frequent encounters with left-handed players or the opportunity to train with them on a daily basis provide valuable insights, equipping you with the knowledge of what to anticipate and how to adapt your performance to gain an advantage in every match.

To learn more from coach Marcin Bieniek, join his on-demand video training program and get a 30% discount with the code WTBPROMO. Also, visit our Tennis Tips page to learn how to ace your game on clay courtspick the right toss for your serveimprove your backhandhit stop volleyreduce net errorsrespond to drop shotschange bad habits in your tennis, and much more.

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