There are many different strategies one can use to win a tennis match. Every player is different and with this idea we need to treat our opponents. Sometimes having a nicer technique, better
physique and being considered a better player is not enough to win a match. The player needs to use his/ her weapons in the right way and to his/ her advantage.
First step in preparing your strategy is to analyze your opponent. In the clubs people mostly know each other and they are well aware of their opponents weaknesses. On a tournament when playing an unknown person, try to observe him/ her in a training or in previous match. This way you can see his/ her weak and strong points and you prepare your strategy accordingly. If I know my opponent’s backhand is not as strong as his forehand, I will try to play as many balls through his backhand and avoid playing to his forehand. If I know that my opponent is 200 cm tall, probably he will have a powerful service, but will be slow in moving around the court. I will not go for return winners or short powerful rallies, but will try to slow game down as much as possible, make him run a lot and maybe even play the balls higher over the net with more topspin as I normally do.
Try to dedicate the warm up to get to know the other player. In the warm up you have a great chance to observe all the strokes in many different ways and situations. Nobody gets angry if you hit one ball suddenly a bit harder, you slice it low or play a bit higher with more spin over the net. Try everything. In the first 3 games of the first set you should have a clear idea of what the player is capable of and of your own strategy that you will use against him/ her.
When playing a match you always play against the opponent and the main goal is to beat him. Tennis is not gymnastics where you get points according to how nicely you play. In tennis you gotta do what you gotta do to win points, games, sets and match (remember Michael Chang against Ivan Lendl in 1989 French Open?). Sometimes you have to play ugly to win. I still make fun of my good friend from Slovakia for the badminton style he always used against me, but he always counters: “yes and I always beat you…”