Singles pickleball presents a different kind of difficulty given that a player must play without a teammate. Thus, it is only expected that singles players aim to improve their game when playing on their own in the court. The following are some tips that singles pickleball player can use to gain advantage and increase their level.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SERVE AND RETURN
Serve and return contribute significantly in a pickleball match, especially in singles division. When playing singles, a player must cover a large area. Their chance of getting a point increases if they a hit strong serve and return.
For the serve, singles pickleball players should aim for a deep one to force their opponent to hit away from the baseline. Meanwhile, the return should be hit deep as well, with the goal of forcing the opponent to move while inside the court.
- GO TO THE NET FREQUENTLY AND RAPIDLY
Going to the net at a rapid pace after the return will present a challenge to the opponent. The opponent will experience extra pressure given the shortened time that they have to hit the ball. Evidently, the opponent may find the opportunity to return the ball properly. Still, when a singles player rushes to the net, they have the advantage of pressuring their opponent, which can eventually lead to errors in their opponent’s shot.
- DIRECT THE BALL TO THE OPPONENT’S WEAKNESS (OR BACKHAND SIDE IN MOST CASES)
Most pickleball players can play with a strong forehand, but a number of them also suffer from a weak backhand. So, in playing against a player with a weak backhand, such weakness can be taken advantage of. Specifically, one can force a player to hit the ball using their weak backhand. Consistently targeting the backhand may eventually result in an error on the part of the opponent.
- FORCE THE OPPONENT TO MOVE
Knowing the location of the opponent in the court is important in singles pickleball, which should allow a player to set a target before hitting the pickleball. Keeping the opponent on a constant move enables a player to create gap and possible opportunities to execute an attack. Of course, this strategy can be challenging but the opponent’s body movement can be used as clue to determine where to direct the ball when hitting it. For example, if the opponent is leaning more toward the right, then hit the ball at the opposite direction to force them to go after it, and vice versa.
- HIT THE BALL AND RECOVER
In pickleball, recover means going back to the middle line in the court after hitting the pickleball. Staying on the side will only give the opponent the opportunity to direct the ball toward the wide gap in the court. In addition, positioning one’s self in the middle will give them the chance to hit the ball back properly.
In the end, a player can only depend on themselves during singles pickleball matches. Thus, it is up to them to strategize and prepare for the possible countermoves of their opponent. Notably, extra effort and strength will be needed if they are intent to protecting their entire court and gaining a point.