[av_video src='https://vimeo.com/128920016' format='16-9' width='16' height='9' av_uid='av-58399a6']Like in the game of chess, where a a series of moves can end a game, tennis players can also win points through well executed shot combinations. Here is an example by Dominic Thiem in a match against Stan Wawrinka.
The Austrian up and coming star, starts the point by serving wide to Wawrinka, who stands close to the singles side line anticipating a wide serve. (In this position Stan is vulnerable to a „T“ serve, but since it is a second serve he should be ok.)
Wawrinka, starts the point with a safe crosscourt return.
The return is too weak to keep Thiem from attacking. Thiem is ready to do some damage and uses a sharp crosscourt forehand to open the court. The ball lands short, which creates more angle and pushes Wawrinka off the court.
The distance between the bounce and the contact point (13 meters) demonstrates the effectiveness of this shot. Wawrinka is forced outside the doubles side line, which was precisely Thiems goal.
The shot allows Dominic to step inot the court looking to catch the ball early. This minimizes the travelling distance from Stan’s shot as well as his chances to win the point.
The magnifying glass shows Wawrinka’s split step as Thiem contacts the ball. As one can see, the court is open for a down the line shot.
... which is exactly what Theim decides to do, and uses a closed stance to do so – a typical choice in this situation.
Wawrinka is standing about 7 meters away from an effective down the line shot as Thiem makes contact with the ball – quite a hopeless situation.
As expected, Thiem hits a forehand winner. Check mate!