The paint the lines term in a tennis match is the term used when a player hits balls that lands close to the lines of the court. This is quite hard to execute both on the player and the opponent end. Landing a ball close to the line is at risk of an out call, but is a very effective way to score a point against an opponent. Hitting a ball that lands close to a line also requires a lot of skill. Players should be able to anticipate if a ball is going to hit the inside or the outside of the court, close to the line, to be able to execute a return.
Hitting a Ball Close to the Line
It takes a lot of control to be able to return a ball that will land close to a line. To be able to master this, a player needs to understand the elements that affect the control of a ball - depth, height, direction, speed and spin. Strokes that are executed close to the baseline are much more difficult to return compared to those balls with higher depth. It also limits the angles a player can do to return a ball. The other opponent gets an advantage by having more time to recover and to prepare for the next shot. Ball speed also plays a big factor. The greater the ball speed is, the harder it will be to return the ball. Speed also limits the opponent’s capabilities to return a ball especially the ones that lands close to the line.
The Challenge of Painting the Line
Changing direction from a cross court ball coming down low and close to the line is not that big of a challenge for intermediate and advanced players. However, changing the direction and being able to accurately hit the ball down the line is the challenge that close to the line balls offer. In this situation, the ball is coming at an angle to your racquet. Returning the ball will also require your racquet to be at an angle. One of the best moves to return a ball close to the line is by hitting it with more force. Increasing the ball speed pulls it wide and minimizes the deflection of the resulting down the line shot.