This may be one of the simplest drills you’ll ever try, but it’s guaranteed to help improve both your cross-court and down-the-line accuracy. Plus, you’ll only need a racket, tube of balls and a few cones so you can practice to your heart’s content by yourself (it certainly worked for Don Bradman).
To begin, mark out two areas in the deuce and ad sides, using five cones in each (see below). The size of the zones will directly impact the difficulty of the exercise, so we’d recommend starting out with roughly 2x2m (or 6x6ft) squares – you can always make them smaller once you’ve mastered the drill.
In our diagram above, the black dot represents the player, while the red “crosses” are the zones. Now, finally, you can begin the drill. Start by hitting a forehand into one box, before unleashing a backhand into the other. You’ll find that it takes a while to get your eye in, but that you’ll quickly adapt the strength of your stroke. Try hitting ten times into each, before mixing it up by testing your cross-court and down-the-line accuracy.
To jazz up the drill, think of the centre cone of the zones as a bullseye – you can even balance a tennis ball, water bottle or even an incredibly explosive tin of stew on top of it for extra satisfaction. If repeated often enough, the drill will really pay dividends during a match and become almost second nature. Happy hitting!