Coach CornerTacticstactical-question-when-youre-up-or-in-a-close-game-at-the-end-of-the-set
Kevin Tang asked 10 months ago

How should I think about my tactics when I’m up in a close game or tied in a close game.
Let’s say 10-8 and I’m serving. I get into this situation where I’m unsure which tactic to use. I have a safe serve that I use, but the serve usually lets the opponent get the ball back on the table and I have to attack. Or should I use a tricky serve and try to win the point outright there? 
Does my tactic change if I’m 9-9?

I keep losing close games and I’m not sure how to think through the tactics at this point in the game. I watched you guys’ video on this, where you said to “think about your tactics, but I’m unsure how to reason through the different options.

1 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 10 months ago

Hey Kevin, yeah this can definitely be tricky in these situations and many players have the same struggles. I would say it really comes down to your style and what you feel confident with to be honest. Often when leading 10-8 for example they tend ot go a bit negative and stop doing what they did to get to the 10-8 position. So stick to what you’ve been doing and try to be positive and brave with your serves I would say. This will give the opponent more to think about and hopefully a weak return.

When it’s 9-9 it may change slightly obviously because you may not be serving. If you are returning I would say always look put for a long serve or loose one you can attack, as often when under pressure players serves drift long. If its a tight serve the next focus is to just keep it tight and not give the opponent an easy shot, but most important of all is to make them play and don’t give away and cheap points.

If you are serving at 9-9, it’s about thinking how to set up your strength and again not giving the opponent a chance to attack. It will also depend on the style of the opponent and how they play, it’s always important to adapt and be able to change your tactics in different situations against different players. So try to take each situation individually and practice getting your strengths into play as much as you can. I hope this makes sense and helps but of course let me know if you are unsure on anything or need more help with this! Cheers, Tom 🙂

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