I've bought this game maybe a year ago and can't even describe how frustrating i find playing it. For the time and updates it has it should be much improved, at least in the simple and easy ways to do it. I've played a lot of top spin 4 since it came out, and it is so much better and so much more fun to play it's ridiculous. This being said, let me point out the reasons i hate this game, even though i still play it occasionally and try to like it:
1- First the controls are shit, it's like you are operating some industrial machine. It seems a lot of people use the keyboard instead of the gamepad because it is easier. Really? In a tennis videogame!? Something is wrong here. I play with the gamepad, and let me see if i got everything right - you have to do 3 things at the same time! Move the player, aim, and select the type of shot (short, deep, etc). How is this possible? You even have to hold the button down but i find this somewhat acceptable. I cant even get how they work, it's so confusing and unintuitive. How does the aim work? You practice with the visual aim, and then when you get the hang of it, you turn it off and aim blind? The idea is not bad but it's way too imprecise.
2- Then there's the serve. How is it possible to ace so much, serve so quick, aim so good and consistent, not to mention the 2nd serve, it is just preposterous.
What about the return? It's almost humanly impossible to return most serves. i don't even undertstand how some people i've encountered do it. A lot of the time i have to walk my character out of the display to return, as a lot of people rely on the usually abused wide serve. I wonder if my small laptop display, settings, input lag, display lag, etc play a role in this. I play real tennis and being not a very good player i can easily say it it much easier to return in real life than in this freakin game.
3- Slices: i won't waste time, it's shit, but it also looks a liiiiitle bit better that it was. It just drops low and stops immediatly.
4- Volleys: the way aiming works maybe isn't that bad on groundstrokes back on the court, but it doesn't work the time you advance on court. But this is maybe the most difficult to implement in the game, since the graphics and movement physics are very basic.
5- Groundstrokes: Top Spin and Acceleration. No one uses top spin, it's almost useless, maybe just to slow down the rally when defending? But then you give them time and they'l just blow you off. Everyone just beats the shit out of the ball. It's ridiculous. It's like you can hit your best shot of the match everytime, always with Brutal power and precision. Also, it seems like the ball is always coming with sidespin, it just goes out of the court, and that leads to wrong positioning when one is about to hit the ball, when you can get to it, that is.
6- Character points system: wtf is this? I think i have to study for a week to comprehend it. It should be about how it is on top spin, with a difficulty option.
7- Maybe the easiest way to improve the game is slow it down. Then you will actually have time to return, get to the ball, construct points.