What does it mean to play “High Percentage Tennis”? You will hear instructors and coaches say this many times, but until you understand the angles of the court it will mean nothing to you.
High Percentage Over the Net: The net is the biggest obstacle you will have to get over when playing tennis. If you think about it, if you hit the ball in the net, the point is over. You have no way of winning that point. However, if you hit the ball over the net and possibly out, you have a chance that a gust of wind can pull the ball in or maybe your opponent hits it by accident. You have at least given yourself a higher percentage of winning the point. High percentage over the net means playing the ball at least 3-5 feet clearance over the net on each shot. This will give you good margin for error. The lowest part of the net is in the middle. Therefore, your highest percentage shot is cross court (over the center part of the net) or through the middle.
High Percentage Groundstrokes: The longest part of the court is from one corner to the the opposite side’s corner. That is called a “cross-court”. This is the longest distance on the court which makes it a higher percentage shot. Most players practice cross court shots the most because it is the highest percentage shot and the easiest to hit.
Contrary to the cross-court shot, the down-the-line shot is the shortest distance on the court. When hitting down-the-line, you are hitting over the highest part of the net and into the shortest part of the court. It is by far the lowest percentage shot. Therefore, when you do hit a down-the-line, make sure you are inside the baseline and you have your opponent out of position before you hit it.