I lost to this very good doubles player (leftie) who rarely plays singles. That was embarrassing, given that I only play singles. It was close, but I am 100% sure I can beat her.

Her low pace flat ground shots are no excuse.

She gave me short balls, I just returned them back to her. I did not set myself up to come up to the net.

She neutralized my topspin by just returning a well placed low pace ball, mostly to my backhand. She could place it well to my backhand. I made a lot of mistakes due to my backhand.

She loved coming to the net, and I gave her enough short balls to do so.

I think I just had a bad day. I could have played better, deep backhands and more aggressive.

I know I need to hit deep, don't ever give her a short ball. Anything else I should do?

Update: I did better the second time I played her. Lost, but took first set, and was leading second set 4-1, and let it slip. She is a great volleyer, tall, so she has a good reach. When I hit midcourt, she takes my topspin on the rise, and even in the air, and comes to the net.

She puts pressure and rushes me. I realized I need to pass her better. When I pass her with a good cross court topspin, I ace it, or she hits it out. I hit way too many slices, and she has no problem with those. She also gets the high lobs well because she's tall.

Solution so far is to try to pass her with topspin more often, avoid slicing it back when she's at the net and putting pressure on me.

Also my approach shots were good in the beginning but after I started losing the second set I stopped making approach shots and played more defense. That's a no no.

My backhand is deeper but still week. Need to make backhand stronger.

I will add an answer here when I finally beat her.

1 Answer 1


There aren't really any different strategies to beating an opponent in singles depending on whether the opponent is primarily a singles or doubles player. Just attack their weaknesses and play to your strengths as you would against any other (singles) player.

It sounds to me like you might have had better success had you not made so many mistakes on your backhand and come in to net more on short balls - but neither of those have anything to do with your opponent primarily being a doubles player.

If your opponent comes to net frequently - learn how to hit passes or lobs - that applies to both singles and doubles.

Yes, you should always try to keep the ball deep, but "don't ever give her a short ball" isn't a good strategy. You're going to hit short balls eventually - everybody does. So have a good plan ready for when your opponent takes that short ball and comes to net. Like I was saying before - hit a passing shot or a lob.

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