Cross Court: “Playing The Percentages”

The highest percentage direction to hit any stroke from the baseline is crosscourt. Down the line shots are riskier because they have to clear the highest part of the net, and usually while changing the direction of the ball. Although the riskier option, possessing good down the line shots in your arsenal can be devastating to your opponent. The key here is shot selection! The smart play is to hit deep cross court until you receive a shorter, higher ball to attack, and not to gamble on a deep ball from your opponent.

If you get a chance to watch the Australian open this coming January you will notice that very often baseline rallies go cross court until one player gets a short ball and attacks down the line.

This strategy pattern works well against all levels of play from juniors to pros where even at the highest level the player who commits the highest number of unforced errors usually comes in 2nd place.

Your goal should be to avoid unforced errors but to play aggressively when the right ball presents itself.

Keeping the ball deep cross court over the lowest part of the net gives you a chance at a short response, cuts down the risk of missing due to changing direction of the ball and gives your opponent another chance to miss. Make the deep crosscourt ball the staple of your baseline game and watch your results improve!

Joel Myers
Tennis Director
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Sheraton Hotel & Marina San Diego
USPTA Elite Professional


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