If you want to have some fun, go to a practice with some ranked juniors and ask them where they are specifically aiming their shots. Surprisingly, they rarely have a definitive answer. Sure they know theyre hitting crosscourt or down the line as a general direction, but where? As most players advance, they make the mistake of aiming closer and closer to the lines and lower and lower over the net. However, in truth, the target to aim for depends entirely upon court position. The first target to identify is when you are hitting from behind the middle half of the baseline. The primary target should be the deep quadrant crosscourt with the center of that area as the bulls-eye.
This large crosscourt quadrant measures 18 by 13½ feet. The middle bulls-eye gives the player a large margin for error of 9 feet from the baseline and nearly 7 feet from the sideline.
Although you may miss the bulls-eye most of the time, realize that if you keep the ball around that specific central target, with sufficient pace and spin, your balls will consistently land in the larger target zone and be effective, keeping your opponent behind the baseline.
But, as your court position changes relative to the baseline, your targets change as well. First is when you are able to move inside the baseline. From there, the target is more aggressive, especially if you can contact the ball above the height of the net. Now your targets are either down the line or crosscourt, and they are closer to the sidelines in the outside quarters of your opponents backcourt area.
The final baseline court position and subsequent target area is when you have to retrieve a shot that is both wide and deep. When hitting from the outside quarter of the baseline but deep behind it, you need to hit to the large quadrant we initially discussed, but you also needs to hit higher over the net to give you time to recover.