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View Full Version : How to exploit common club level weaknesses?


Golden Retriever
09-06-2004, 06:03 AM
Actually this is a two part question. 1. What are some common club level weaknesses? 2. How to exploit them?
I can think of several common club level weaknesses. 1. weak 2nd serve. 2. no backhand. 3. can't handle highballs.
My way to exploit them are:-
Weak 2nds, take the ball on the rise and hit it to the corners. Get to the net if well hit.

No backhand, trade backhand to backhand and hope he misses.

Can't handle highballs, feed them highballs every once in a while.

Now please remember we are talking club level here so the way to exploit the weaknesses should also be club level. Of course I would like to just rip an inside-out forehand winner off a weak 2nd like the pros do but I can't.

thehustler
09-06-2004, 09:31 AM
Step in on that weak 2nd serve and take a rip. Maybe it'll fly out. Maybe you'll get a winner. But step in and tell your opponent that you're not afraid of their serve and that they'd better figure out something quick before you take them to the cleaners. A lot of club level players can't handle pace very well. When I was at a club I decided to fire away. Sure I hurt myself sometimes, but I punished them as well. Club players aren't always the fastest players or have the most endurance. Make them run. Instead of going for a winner if you have it keep the ball in play and just wear your opponent out. Heck you can get them gassed after a set, maybe even a few games and then you can just toy with them. Sounds cruel I know, but it's strategy. Getting to the net is obvious. Most have weak passing shots if any and most players will just lob. If you recognize the lob make sure you get back in time and smash it. A lot of club players can't handle the pace of an overhead and if you fire away on one it's a sure point for you. HTH.

sanitarium
09-06-2004, 02:55 PM
As a higher level player it may seem easy for me to spew off 10000 ways to beat a 3.5 level player, but something you may possibly be able to do:

I.e player returns your serve you get a ball at the baseline.
Fire a hard ball to a corner, fire the next one crosscourt (still hard)

then come in, guaranteed to be a easy put away. Or you can stay on the baseline and just hit one more crosscourt.
Even simply hitting deep moderate pace balls almost guarantees the point, move them around and after a few balls they make an error. Or you will, but the majority are theres.

But one major way to just set the tone of the match is to just rip every ball you see, if it goes in they cannot come close to handling the pace so you either get an outright winner or a high floater back, and the %'s are with you in that situation.

Anyway happy hunting.

goober
09-06-2004, 08:28 PM
For the below 3.5 level player, the easiest way to beat them is simply to keep the ball in play because eventually they will hit an unforced error.

JohnThomas1
09-06-2004, 10:46 PM
Above all be consistent and hit the shots you own.

mucat
09-07-2004, 12:18 AM
Consistency
Attack the backhand
Attack the 2nd serve
Be a pusher

JohnThomas1
09-07-2004, 01:52 AM
Overheads can also be suspect, god knows mine cost me a singles tournament on the bloomin' weekend.

Golden Retriever
09-07-2004, 08:33 AM
For the below 3.5 level player, the easiest way to beat them is simply to keep the ball in play because eventually they will hit an unforced error.

I must be above 3.5 since just keeping the ball in play doesn't work anymore at my level.

Hedges
09-07-2004, 08:56 AM
For me, it's easy to get myself in a boring dork-a-thon if I just push the ball back and wait for errors when playing a lower-rated player.

Instead, I just don't allow them to play....completely take their game away....and make sure I get something out of this time on the court.

Serve and volley. Mix the serve up; top-spin, flat, slice...hand-cuff them, stretch them left/right, spin into them, away from them...and always always always take the net.

On returns, I chip everything (nasty slice with pace) and take the net...always. Take his angle shots away by just sending the approach down the middle (slightly to backhand if it's weak). This keeps the points stupid short...so the opponent never gets to really hit the ball and find any kind of a groove.

I understand that perhaps you don't have these shots (yet). But, I'd suggest adopting this strategy anyway in order to develop a real weapon that most club players just can't handle. Sure...you'll get passed...you'll miss approach shots and volleys...you might lose...until that day when it all starts to click. And then...boom...you are no longer a "club" player.

If you do have the shots needed to pull this off...they'll hate playing you...and you'll probably win quickly. If you encounter a strong counter-puncher, then you are in for a fun match...and he's not really a "club player".

A key point is that this approach must be applied from the very first point. Do not allow the opponent to groove his ground strokes.

I'm curious to hear what the experts here think of this approach. I'm told I'm a "rusty 5.0" at this point; I just started playing again after taking long break (15+ years) from the game after burning out in college. So, I'm playing lots of "club" tennis now with 3.5-4.5 players.

--Hedges

Momo
09-07-2004, 08:56 PM
Combine two of the weaknesses... backhands and high balls. You can get tons of easy sitter returns if you give em a nice high topspin moonball to their backhand.

Bungalo Bill
09-08-2004, 10:04 AM
The hard part is finding the weakness. The other is maintaining concentration to the game plan you chose for the match. This is a big difference between a club player and a pro. A pro will execute their game plan much better than a club player as the match wears with all the distractions.

Executing a strategic matchup is a little more than hitting to the weaker backhand side. Afterall, your opponent is tyring to do the same. It is more about deciding if your weak backhand is better than his weak backhand. If you feel you can win more points executing this matchup, then that is a strategic matchup you want to implement. If your opponents forehand is better than yours then you want to avoid that matchup.

If you happen to be in a matchup that doesnt favor you, you have to be patient and wait for the ball you can change the directions on to get the matchup you want.

Golden Retriever
09-08-2004, 06:00 PM
The hard part is finding the weakness. The other is maintaining concentration to the game plan you chose for the match. This is a big difference between a club player and a pro. A pro will execute their game plan much better than a club player as the match wears with all the distractions.


I can attest to that. A lot of times I went into a match with a number of plans and ended up forgetting them all in the midst of the competition, especially when I was under pressure. Maybe that's why Federer is so good. He doesn't have a game plan he just hits with his intuition. Sometime less is more.

Bungalo Bill
09-09-2004, 09:47 AM
The hard part is finding the weakness. The other is maintaining concentration to the game plan you chose for the match. This is a big difference between a club player and a pro. A pro will execute their game plan much better than a club player as the match wears with all the distractions.


I can attest to that. A lot of times I went into a match with a number of plans and ended up forgetting them all in the midst of the competition, especially when I was under pressure. Maybe that's why Federer is so good. He doesn't have a game plan he just hits with his intuition. Sometime less is more.

Well, I would like to know when you last spoke with Federer? It is hard for me to believe the number one player in the world does not have a game plan going into a match. Especially a professional one with so much at stake. Did he tell you this? Or did you just make it up because you can't figure out his game plan when you see him play. When I see Federer play, I can see clearly what his game plan is for each player. Further, he executes his game plan very well and can make adjustments to his game plan as the match wears on.

Is it that you just dont see his game plan? Or did you actually talk to him?

Golden Retriever
09-09-2004, 07:50 PM
No, but I read an article on tennis magazine about Roger being an intuituve player, does it count?

chaduke
09-10-2004, 09:55 AM
If you're a right-hander, learn to hit a slice serve into the body of another right-hander on his backhand side. This won't work for everyone of course, but I find it works with about 75% of club level players. This works well on players who really favor their forehand side. It's a very uncomfortable shot for them and you'll get a weak return almost every time. If you're fairly comfortable serving and volleying then follow it into the net.
I've played many entire matches just hitting this one serve. If your opponent has some intelligence he'll probably figure out a reasonable way to deal with it, although most don't over the course of a match. You can throw in a serve out wide on the deuce court or up the middle on the ad side every now and then and you'll often get an ace without really having to hit it that hard since they'll have started overcompensating for the weak backhand.

cervelo
09-10-2004, 03:08 PM
I think something Bill said bears repeating: Figuring out how to exploit a weakness is as important as executing any specific game plan in advance. The figuring process can begin before a match as well, or even from a prior match-up with the same player. But it should especially continue during the match. The question: what's working, what's not; or who's hitting or creating errors/winners and how ...

To summarize, I think the common club player weakness is the inability to track why the score is happening ... They often go to comfortable shots that may not offer any effect against their opponent. A more advanced player is calculating how he/she should create a winning situation ...

Bungalo Bill
09-10-2004, 03:18 PM
very good! couldnt have said it better.

jediknightdan
09-17-2004, 12:23 PM
3

kevhen
09-17-2004, 12:31 PM
Hit crosscourt or back in the direction that the ball came. Most club players are impatient and will try to change the direction of the ball or will rip for the down-the-line winner. Stay patient and let the other guy lose with too many UEs.