Every championship tennis player employs a well-honed approach on the court that works for that particular individual. It’s the same in business. What works well for one business does not necessarily help another to succeed. It’s a question of understanding your strengths and leveraging them effectively in your market positioning and communication. In this blog we look at effective tennis strategies, and how they can translate into successful marketing for your particular business.


At the annual Rogers Cup tennis tournament, I had the pleasure of watching two top Canadian women players face off against each other – Bianca Andreescu and Eugenie Bouchard. I also followed the match at the Rogers Cup Canadian Open men’s tennis championships in Montreal between two Canadian superstars – Felix Auger-Aliassime and Vasek Pospisil.

I noticed that the tennis strategies of these rock star athletes have some interesting parallels with marketing strategies in the world of business. Here are some of my insights:

Bianca Andreescu – ‘Queen in the North’
Bianca is known for the variety and power shots within her game. In a commentary on Andreescu, Martina Navratilova noted, “Everyone knows how to bang the ball; it’s when you bring something extra to the table that it makes all the difference. And Andreescu brings a lot of extra to the table with more power.”

‘Creative visualization meditation’ helped Andreescu to overcome an injured right shoulder that forced her to miss months of competition. Returning to the court, she had an image of herself staying calm and collected in the final against 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, a player she greatly admires, and whom she ultimately defeated twice.

What can businesses learn from these strategies?
• Have you considered using visualization to reinforce the outcomes you want for your business? Some business owners start their day at the gym or with meditation, and others like me, practice yoga and mindfulness, many are devoted to their spiritual practices to keep balanced, focused and positive. The brain follows what it is fed, so boost your mental game by working with a coach or trainer who can help you build a mindset for success.

Eugenie Bouchard
Bouchard is most comfortable playing as the aggressor, often hitting on the rise and playing aggressive in order to rush opponents by redirecting the pace of oncoming groundstrokes.

“She hits the ball really hard, and she likes to take the ball early. She has a really good serve. She likes to take control right from the start of the point,” said Andreescu.

It’s clear her strategy to play in as many matches as possible, no matter the level, is working to some extent.

“And I just really am enjoying it a lot more now, and on the court I’m staying more positive, and I’m fighting, and, you know, that’s all I can do.”

What can businesses learn from these strategies?
• You can’t win if you don’t show up, so in business you have to put yourself out there, be in front of your best clients and practice, practice, practice. Let your business shine through your value proposition, your exceptional technical abilities, powerhouse skills, speedy delivery or superb team culture to keep you front of mind with your best clients. Everyone wants to work with a winner!

Felix Auger-Aliassime
Felix is an all-court tennis player. He has a very effective serve, a decent volley and excellent athleticism. His ground strokes are very precise, as he can make his opponent run on court and finish up at the net.

Always working on his game, according to his coach, Guillaume Marx. “He doesn’t kick back and relax too much. He wants to get better. We can see it every day.”

What can businesses learn from these strategies?
• Always strive to be learning and improving. At the pace of change in the world of business, you have to keep current and look for opportunities to streamline, simplify and excel. Do you have a professional development plan? Does it involve your team? We often have blind spots, so can’t be “working all corners of the court”. Working with a business coach can help you find your blind spots, then manage or overcome them.

Vasek Pospisil
Vasek’s likes to rush the net. For him, it’s persistence, not perfection, that matters most. His serve and volley tennis is about positioning, not shot making. It’s about forcing errors from your opponent, not hitting winners yourself. As Ken Rosewall, a former world top-ranking amateur and professional tennis player from Australia, used to say, “If I can get to the net, I’ll win seven of 10 points without having to do anything special.”

What can businesses learn from these strategies?
• Positioning is everything in business. You need to know where your competitors are and how you outshine them. Understanding how you are different and knowing how to position your story and services is a key driver for your marketing strategy.

Let’s talk about how we can improve YOUR game!