This is the player I have tried, but can barely get games on her:

  • Lower 5.0 - very fast, probably the fastest in the league.
  • Self taught ugly strokes, flat forehand but uses a forehand western grip.
  • Likes hitting forehand to backhand, that's her big shot, her thing is going from her forehand to backhand, if you give her short balls, she will keep attacking until you make an error. She can rally forever.
  • Does not like going forehand to forehand, that shot is weak.
  • Not a strong two handed backhand, but keeps it deep all the time.
  • No spin, no dropshots, no slices, no creativity, nothing.
  • Does not like to come to the net, if she does is because she got a short ball and she hits her ugly forehand western grip "volley".
  • No power serve, most of her serves to my backhand.

I am the big topspin player who is getting too old to rally with her. I use semi-western forehand but can adjust grips. I can hit good dropshots and slices, but don't use it much in game. I am fast, but not as fast as her. I like to finish points early and hit approach shots to the corners and come to the net, but she seems to get it all back, very hard to hit winners on her. She barely makes any errors. When I play her I beat myself up.

I realize I need to work the point, and play smart, and get fitter. I don't have the power serves but I can hit some powerful winners.

What I think would help me is a killer backhand down the line and a killer forehand to forehand winner. Because she does not like going forehand to forehand. Or a short slice to her forehand since she uses a western grip and loves the high balls on her forehand.

My goal is to just get more games on her, at least for now. Any advice against this kind of player?

Note: The other day I found out this other player who is a leftie and hits with low pace took more games than I ever did on her. This makes me wonder if a good backhand and low pace would help against her game. She definitely likes my ball.

3 Answers 3


In my view, aiming for "killer" shots is a mistake.

You have the advantage in every neutral-game scenario except one: her targeting your backhand with her forehand. Hence you should focus on constructing the point better instead of hitting through her.

I think the best approach is to focus on the neutral game and rally to her backhand. If all she does is stick it deep, you have ample time to improve your position shot-by-shot until you can really go to net convincingly.

Short slices to her forehand are okay as mix-ups or pace/tempo-changers, but a poorly executed slice gives up initiative, so this is risky unless you have a very high quality slice.


Since you hit high topspin balls, try to make your opponent run around. I.e. hit the ball where your opponent isn’t, and try to force errors out of her. Take advantage of her attacking shots, and hit back deep balls. Like @Arrow said, focus on the neutral game.


Just wanted to add, especially since I saw your note: change the pace. Constantly.

This is what really helps me when I play against a kid around 10 years my junior, who can run down everything. Maybe set up a slow, low bouncing, slice to her, then after she hits it back, pounce on her weaker wing with pace or roll the dice and rush the net and make an angle.

Ash Barty is awesome at setting up points like this. Try watching some of her tactics maybe?

Hope that helps!

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