How to Win More Tennis Matches using shot selection

Tennis Shot Selection

Tennis Tactics: How to Win a Tennis match with Shot Selection

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If you want know how to win more tennis matches against better players: Then, Read this article. You will discover how shot selection helps you win more tennis matches!

Your ultimate goal in tennis is to win the match! To achieve this, we must win the last point of the match or the last 2 consecutive points of the match…but how do you achieve this?

In this article you will discover the concept of shot selection, the 60 different shots available to you and how we can manage shot selection so that it wins you more tennis matches.

Because, Tennis is more than just getting the ball over the net and into the court. How we hit the ball and where on the opponent’s court the ball lands is very important. Keep reading as I reveal to you more, but first things first…

What is Shot Selection?

Shot selection can be explained really simple. It’s our ability to hit the right shot at the right time, directing the tennis ball to the right place on the opponents court. We use the court geometry in our favor.

In short, we play it smart and safe.

Why is shot selection so important in tennis?

It is important because it reduces our probability of producing errors. It promotes good court recovery.

Also, It increases the probability of errors from opponent and gives us a clear vision of hitting clean winning shots ourselves.

Fact: According to most statistics, if we manage to win 53% of all points played out during a match, we will most likely win that match!

Types of shots and variations:

Depending on the players’ skill level we can organize the shot selection into 3 Categories.

1. The basic 10 shots:

The Serve, the Second Serve, the Forehand Return of Serve, the Backhand Return of Serve, the Forehand, the Backhand, the Forehand volley, the Backhand volley, the Lob and the Overheads.

2. The Specialty Shots:

Here we will add Spin Variations to each of the previous 10 basic shots. These variations include Top Spin and Slice for each, which now bring the number up to 20 shots. Here we will also add the Inside in Forehand, the inside out Forehand, the forehand and backhand drop shots and the forehand and backhand half volleys, bringing the number to a total of 26 possible shots!

Note each of these can be multiplied by 2 which are the cross court option and the down the line option so now we have a total of 52 shots!

3. Fantasy and tricky Shots

Another 8 or so, so there are approximately 60 shots in Total that we can work on 🙂

How do we manage Shot Selection?

As with any basic Management situation we need to have an integrated approach to it. On our Practice sessions and Match play we want to work on our shot selection throughout these 4 Phases: Planning, Organizing, Executing/Directing and Controlling/Evaluating.

  • Planning: The first thing we need to look at is our resources available. For this we need to ask the following questions: How many of these 60 different shots are we able to produce with good quality and consistency?  How many can our opponent hit comfortably? What type of player are you? What type of player is he or she?

The higher the players’ level, the more options available there will be but the idea is to keep it as simple as possible.

  • Organizing: Once we know our resources available, it is a matter of organizing a Strategy around our own playing style and strengths and if that is the case, also around our opponents weakness.

This Strategy needs to include our shot selection outlining plan A, plan B and even plan C if necessary, considering our most reliable patterns of play.

  • Executing/Directing
    During the rally we must choose the right shot and shot combinations at the right times. This decision making process happens very quick but it is very important that we do our best to send each ball towards a good landing target which will enable us to use the court geometry in our favor to gain better position on court.
  • Controlling/Evaluating: During the rally we want our opponents to produce some errors (forced and unforced) and of course we want to make some winners ourselves. In our shot selection and patterns of play we can also come up with some Variety to break rhythm or to keep our opponents guessing. Varying Speed, Height, Width, Depth, Spin and Finesse are all in the menu.

We will also need to consider the external playing conditions. These also wage its part on any given practice session or match, some examples are the weather, the type of surface we play on, the type of balls, the altitude, and so on.

Finally, we must pay Extra attention to shot selection during the Key moments of the match. For example, if the score is Even, during Break points, during Game points and at Set points. How we play these Big points can make all the difference in the final score of the match.

To follow up, we Evaluate what worked well and what didn’t. This information is key to keep on improving your game.

By working on our shot selection throughout these 4 phases we are on the right path to become better tennis players.


Understanding Shot Selection and Managing Shot Selection is our key for winning more matches. Once we are able to see clearer what is really going, things become easier.

If you would like to know more about this topic or how can it be applied into your own game, you can get in contact with me or book a one on one On-court private coaching session, I will be happy to help you achieve your Tennis Goals.

Thank you for reading. If you liked this Article, please share!

Book a private lesson!  For more information you may also reach me at:

Phone, SMS and WhatsApp: +52 1 984 105 7507




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Where to Play Tennis in Playa del Carmen 2024

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Where to Play Tennis in Playa del Carmen in 2024

Hi! Welcome to Martennis Riviera Maya, in this Article I will be giving you some interesting information about Playa del Carmen, then I will talk to you about some of the best Tennis options available here, so let’s get started!

Where is Playa del Carmen?

Playa del Carmen is a well-known International holiday destination. Its privileged location, solid infrastructure and diverse leisure options have positioned it as one of the best holiday destinations in the World.

Located in the heart of Riviera Maya, Playa as we locals call it, is just a 45 minute drive from Cancun International Airport which connects flights from all over Mexico, North America, South America and Europe. This Airport is one of the busiest airports in Latin America, reaching a record figure of over 30 million passengers, that was in the year 2023, many of which visit Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya.

Playa del Carmen is known for its excellent central location in Riviera Maya (see map below), it has safe and direct highway links to Cancun, Tulum, Chichen-Itza, Holbox and Merida, and it also has a ferry link to the famous Island of Cozumel.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is also known for its cosmopolitan community, beautiful beaches, hotels, resorts, for its many outdoor activities and for its long and glamorous 5th Avenue. This famous Avenue spans for over a mile long in which you can find many leisure options including Shopping, Restaurants, Bars, Art Galleries, and many other fun things to experience.

For the avid tourist, Playa del Carmen offers many options of outdoor activities which range from water activities such as Snorkeling, Sailing, Fishing, Diving, Parasailing, Jet-skiing, Kitesurfing, to inland activities such as Jungle tours, Mayan Ruins, Zip lining, Eco Parks, Golf, and Tennis of course!

Riviera Maya MapRiviera Maya

What are the best Tennis Courts in Playa del Carmen?

I am a freelance Tennis coach over here and I have been fortunate to be teaching and coaching tennis in Playa del Carmen and across Riviera Maya for 16 years. During this time, I have experienced most tennis courts here, all the way from Luxury Hi-End Resorts to Residential grounds and Public tennis courts.

Some of the all-inclusive resorts feature tennis courts, but there are not that many tennis venues available to the public here as this town is relatively small and relatively new. None the less, a lot of Real Estate development has been happening over the last years here, so the logical trend is that it will keep growing on both, Real Estate and Commercial properties, which may include at some point, the development of sports clubs or sports facilities with Tennis, in the years to come.

Your Options for playing Tennis in Playa del Carmen

So, if you want to practice or play some Tennis here in Playa del Carmen, in my estimation, in terms of location and convenience, one of the best options is to check out is the Public Sports Park Deportivo Mario Villanueva which features a Soccer stadium (in which the Inter Playa Soccer team trains and plays). This Park also features an Athletic running track in which you can jog and train for free, two Basketball courts, a cross fit training area and two hard Tennis courts.

The two hard tennis courts are relatively in good shape and If you want to play a reservation is required in advance with a fee ($100mx per hour) at the front office.  Available from 7am to 9pm Monday through to Saturday.

 Here is the google link to the Park:

Ocean Riviera Paradise Resort Tennis Courts

If you like more state of the art tennis courts, then the Ocean Riviera Paradise Resort is also a great option for you as it features three flood-lit professional artificial grass tennis courts. Located about four miles north of town, it is well worth the trip!

These tennis courts operate from 7am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday and they do require reservation in advance for a fee. This resorts is an all-inclusive one so you may be allowed in to use exclusively the tennis courts, unless you are a guest or buy a day pass. The tennis courts are located on the right hand side of the main entrance, free parking is available on the left side of the main entrance. Hotel security may ask you where you are heading to, you may say, to the Tennis courts! Here is the Google link to the Ocean Riviera Paradise Resort:

Tennis in Playa del Carmen - Ocean Riviera Paradise Tennis Playa del Carmen tennis - Caribbean Sea

Get a Court Booking with Coaching!

Get your tennis court reservation through me. Saves you time and hassle. I Book your tennis court with a Coaching Session,  Click here to Reserve your Court and Lesson.

I work with a wide array of students and players coming from different parts of the world, these include Toddlers, Children, Teenagers, Adult Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Players. For me it is always fun and interesting to meet new students and players. I have also learned a lot from them over the last 20 years of teaching and coaching!

My tennis coaching philosophy is all about creating a great tennis learning experience for you so that you see results as quick as possible. I design and customize a lesson plan which works best within your tennis needs and goals. Having said that, your tennis goals are very important, they give you a clear vision of where you want to be in the short, middle and long term, they are key to your improvement!

Lesson Fees may vary according to seasonality. Packages may become available during low and shoulder seasons (from May to October).

Once your booking has been comfirmed, Cancellations within 2 days in advance are free of charge. Otherwise a 50% cancellation fee may apply. 

If it rains, you can choose to cancel free of charge or to reschedule.

Book a private lesson!  For more information you may also reach me at:

Phone, SMS and WhatsApp: +52 1 984 105 7507



Thanks for reading and sharing. All the best, I hope to see you on-court!

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Do You Make These Mistakes with your Grip

Tennis Playa del Carmen

Get a good Grip!

The hidden side of Grips.

How many times do we get distracted playing tennis because something feels like it ´slips out of control´ during practice or play and it sometimes leads to poor performance?

Get a good grip of this, in my personal experience as a player and coach I´ve seen it happened quite often and I am not just talking at the club level but practically at all levels of the game, well, maybe with the exception of the Elite Pros (top 100 or so).

When we talk about grips we often associate it exclusively with the racquet grip but this is not totally so. There is also a hidden side to ´gripping´ which we often don´t see, which contains 2 other gripping elements which will also help you deliver better performance on-court:

  1. Racquet Grip. Get a good grip from your racquet

    There are several makes and materials out there you may choose from. There are over grips and cushion grips. Choosing the right grip for you will depend on your own preferences as well as the playing conditions you are in. Wearing wristbands helps your grip last longer because it keeps it drier, as a general rule the more you sweat the more you may need to look into replacing and keeping your racquets´ grip nice and fresh. Cushion grips are great as it can prevent injuries such as tennis elbow.

  2. Tennis Shoes. Get a good grip from the court.

    Wear tennis shoes: wearing the right tennis shoes on a tennis court is often overlooked. It is important to consider which surface you are playing on and get the right sole accordingly, i.e. Clay, hard, grass, this will not only aid you at getting a great grip on the court and at sliding safely but also at preventing self-injuries or court damage. Wearing regular trainers on a tennis court is not recommended as you may also damage your own shoe.

  3.  Racquet Strings. Get a good grip from the ball.

  4. Yes, strings act as the ultimate grip during practice and play because its properties allow you to actually ´grab´ the ball when you make contact, this is done so by applying undersping or topspin which is a must in today’s game. Strings may be available to you in many makes, gauges and materials. You may ask your local Pro which set or combination may be the best fit for you. Hybrid stringing has also proved very effective. Get the ultimate ¨ball grabber¨ you can get a hold of, it pays off.

By following these 3 gripping elements you are getting an excellent grip of things and you will perform better and safer on a tennis court. All the best.

Francisco Martinez is a USPTA Certified Elite Pro since 2011. He is from Mexico where graduated from ITESM, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism while playing tennis. Over the last 18 years he has served at different Clubs and Resorts in Mexico working with a wide array of students and players coming from different parts of the world. He is now a freelance tennis coach based in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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