How to Beat a Lefty at Tennis

How to beat a Left-Handed player

Typically, left handed players have weaker backhands. Not always, but most of the time. This is great news for you, because you can hit your highest percentage play, the crosscourt forehand, and direct it to their weakest side. If you can get into a crosscourt rally with them, your forehand vs. their backhand, it will be hard for them to win the point, as they will probably be the first to cough up a short ball which you can attack.

If you get into a situation where you are rallying crosscourt backhand to their forehand, either hit an inside-in to their backhand, a slice down the line, or a down the line topspin backhand, to try to reverse the rally, so you can hit forehands to their backhand.

Often, lefties have loopy weird forehand swings, which are not technically solid. If that’s the case, you don’t have to worry too much about engaging in forehand-to-backhand rallies with them, as their odd technique will likely generate errors.

On the serves, most lefties hit slices down the tee on the deuce side, and slices out wide on the ad side. As such, adjust your court positioning to stand further towards that side, and make sure to move in so as to cut off the angle. It is rare that a lefty can hit a flat ball out wide on the deuce court, or town the tee on the ad court. Most of them have been conditioned to hit nothing but slice serves to your backhand.

Conversely, on your serve, slice serves to their backhand are very effective and you should keep hitting them until they begin to adjust their court positioning.

But don’t change your game too much. Still go out there and hit your favorite shots. Recognize what shots of yours may be more effective, and what shots of theirs may be most threatening. At the end of the day you have to play your game, and play high percentage. Don’t think too much or aim too much, since you don’t want the fact that they’re a lefty to get into your head too much and make you start hitting errors on shots you normally wouldn’t hit. I would just recommend changing your priorities on the margin.

What tactics do you find most effective against a lefty?


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