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Rock Paper Scissors: Basic Concept

We are all familiar with the old rock-paper-scissor game from our childhood. In many ways, this concept can be applied to tennis. For example, say that you are going to face either an unknown opponent or an opponent that you have lost to in the past but one of your friends has beaten. What kind of strategy would you implement in order to end up on top? 

Well, if you've never played this particular opponent before, it is important to gather as much information about her in order to figure out her style. If, on the other hand, you have played the opponent before and are familiar with her style, figure out why you lost and how your friend has beaten her. You see, one of the things to keep in mind is that certain styles simply fit better against other styles than some other strategies would. In other words, you may be a better player than your friend, but you have lost because your style/strategy was inferior to that utilized or implemented by your friend. Maybe it helps to remember that strategy is more important than the player (Strategy > Player). 

For example, the three basic styles are (a) a defensive/pusher; (b) a counter-puncher; and (c) an aggressive baseliner. Now, this is more art than science, but many times, a defensive player will beat a counter-puncher because the defensive player will sap the energy from the counter-puncher. In turn, however, a more aggressive baseliner/serve-and volleyer will beat the defensive/pusher because the latter will have a more difficult time getting to the ball and lulling the aggressor into long rallies. However, the counter-puncher (who usually straddles the baseline), will be in a better position to pass the aggressive player or force such player to hit uncomfortable rallies or play from zones from which he is not comfortable. 

Next time, rather than asking "WHY CAN'T I BEAT THIS GUY" you should probably ask your friend "HOW DID YOU BEAT THIS GUY?!" 


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