Using the side walls to slow your shot down.
Cross-courts are fantastic attacking shots when played well but it is all too easy to misjudge them and float the ball up for an opponent to attack. When this happens, our opponent is able to intercept the shot and put us under pressure, or even win the rally.
Aiming for a nasty bounce off the side wall
One thing you can do to improve your cross-courts is to hit them with a really open racket face. An open racket face, which your grip should give you if correct, means having the face of your racket you will hit the ball with tilted upwards slightly.
Having a really open racket face puts extra spin on the ball and means the ball comes off the walls slightly differently, especially the side wall. When the ball hits a side wall with a lot of spin, it can really ricochet off the wall nastily, particularly if it has also been hit very hard. Mohamed Elshorbagy is particularly good at this.
Ordinarily, a shot hit very hard would bounce out of the back corners and perhaps set it up nicely for the opponent. However, this combination of a very open racket face and hard hit shot means that you can still hit the ball really hard – perhaps even too hard – as the ball will be slowed down dramatically by the side wall connection and so bounce off the side wall at a nasty angle and not come out of the back much at all.
Opening your racket face
You can open your racket face more by changing your grip, but the easiest way is just to rotate your forearm slightly so that your racket is tilted upwards more. This would mean tilting your forearm anti-clockwise or to the left on the backhand and in a clockwise direction, or to the right on the forehand.
Have a go and play about with how open your racket face is when you play cross-courts and see how much spin you can apply to the ball, especially to see what effects this may have when the ball hits the side wall. It really can make your cross-courts stay in the back corner and not come back out.