Ten Ways to Slay a Dragon (or an Opponent with an Overwhelming, All-Consuming Forehand)

  1. Attack the forehand matching strength with strength (very often a dangerous proposition against a dragon).
  2. Hit to the backhand (or off wing), not exclusively but most of the time. Hitting selectively to the forehand will open up more court to hit to the backhand.
  3. Hit down the middle to take away angles (opportunities for the dragon to open up the court with cross court angles).
  4. Move the ball (making the dragon hit the ball on the “fly”). Don’t let any dragon with a lethal forehand get set to hit the ball.
  5. Come to the net behind well placed approach shots to rush the dragon into errant forays.
  6. Bait the dragon to hit ill-advised shots (i.e. down-the-line shots from deep in the court) by over playing your positioning and coverage.
  7. Raise the height of the ball (or the strike zone of the dragon) by hitting lobs and semi-lobs.
  8. Take pace off the ball or mix up the pace of the ball to get the dragon off rhythm.
  9. Vary spin to drive the dragon “crazy and out of control”, something (as lore has it) dragons are prone to do.
  10. Don’t play the dragon in his den (a “fast hard court”).

Steve Gallagher

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