How to Analyze Your Tennis Opponent


This video covers the correct way to analyze your tennis opponent.

Responses (10)

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  1. Ian
    April 22, 2020 at 8:47 pm · Reply

    Re: warm up fake

    Outright faking is an extreme approach. More common is somebody not necessarily showing you everything in their arsenal during the warm up. Especially if they come already warm. If they do fool you about their ability you will know after 1 or 2 games leaving you plenty of time to adjust.

    The tell-tale signs of a well-trained classic player are:
    • Consistency (minimal unforced errors)
    • Excellent movement and court coverage
    • Sound positional recovery after a shot
    • Stroke proficiency (especially on high backhands)
    • Touch (good hands or no?)
    • Fitness (unfit players compensate with good racquet skills; players with poor touch or racquet ‘feel’ compensate by being good retrievers and hope you will make the first error)

  2. Maggie
    December 1, 2016 at 4:10 am · Reply

    Grrrrracias, Jorge, a great concise lesson, yet so estratégica!!!! Blessings, amigo!!!

  3. Bruce Angeli
    November 30, 2016 at 12:51 pm · Reply

    Here’s another three:

    1. Is your opponent right-handed or left-handed? Amazing how many players don’t know! A right-handed player has a natural cross court to a left-handed opponent back-hand – typically a weaker stroke for most recreational players.

    2. How well does your opponent move (i.e. speed, direction, etc.) Kind of related to the preferred court position; net, baseline . . . also gets player thinking about patterns of play.

    3. What is your opponent’s grip? Contact point changes with grip. A player using a semi-western or even a western grip has a higher contact point. Ergo, better to play more slice shots to opponent where ball stays lower.

  4. Nikolay P
    November 29, 2016 at 11:28 pm · Reply

    good lesson Jorge. thanks for putting us on the ground.

  5. Ravi Anantaraman
    November 29, 2016 at 9:14 pm · Reply

    Here’s how I do it:

    1. As they walk to the baseline, I look at how they grip their racket. Often, there is a cue right there; eastern, semi-western, continental? Even before the first ball is hit, you can start forming a picture – semi-western is lots of topspin etc. You do this by seeing where their racket face is pointing.

    2. Feed them high, slow balls, a little to the backhand side. If they struggle to connect shoulder height and up, or they run around a hit a forehand, right there you get an idea of their preference/weakness.

    3. Slice a few groundies low and see whether they bend their knees, or let their racket drop. (Just this last weekend, i won a final where I constantly gave the guy a high topspin backhand and then sliced the next ball to the service line on his forehand side)

    4. When they come up to volley (if they do), look at the angle of their racket face in ready position to figure out their grip. If they are holding a forehand grip, their backhand volleys will pop up. Confirm these with feeds. Another cue – if they face the net at contact, they are not holding a continental grip.

    5. Overheads – if they face the net at contact, its a forehand grip for sure, and you know you can get away with even mid-court lobs to their backhand. This will also tell you about their serve – they will face the net to serve, which means very little spin on their serve.

    6. Serve – confirm they cues you picked up on the overheads.

    So,that’s my basic warm-up. As you well know, the cues are a whole lot different as the levels get higher. But, that’s another story.


    • Jorge Capestany
      November 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm · Reply

      Awesome Ravi… thanks for sharing

  6. Keith Maki
    November 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm · Reply


    As always your helpful tips are greatly appreciated and have significantly improved my thought process on the court.

    Keith Maki

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 29, 2016 at 9:27 pm · Reply

      Thanks Keith

  7. Kelly
    November 29, 2016 at 7:47 pm · Reply

    Awesome job! Jorge always doing what he does best. Thank you.
    Just quick a comment on the video. I’ve had a student who had a bad experience about an opponent who faked during the warm about her strokes by the time she realized that it was too late.
    She learned a great lesson from that so now she knows when an opponent is faking during a warm. Any suggestions or tip on how to deal with such players?
    Thank you

    • Jorge Capestany
      November 29, 2016 at 9:29 pm · Reply

      Thats a wierd one. kind of like they are a hustler. I guess I do not see the need to do that because in the process they will not be getting a proper warm up for themselves?

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