PDA

View Full Version : Taking advantage of a weak topspin serve


thinkfacility
05-03-2007, 05:48 PM
How exactly do you take full advantage of a slow topspin serve? The person I'm playing against hits his serve slow enough that I can easily stand about 2 feet behind the service line and return it, usually with a backhand slice to his backhand. After this, I rush the net and try to cut off his passing shot with a volley, and play out the point from there.

You see, the problem is, this guy has basically trained all his life against his brother, who hits the most topspin on both sides I've ever seen at high school level, so trading groundstrokes with him is basically a waste of time...if I slice, he just rips winners and makes me run. Thus, I've found that getting to the net and trying to take him out there is my best strategy, since he's quite tall, and his smashes and volleys are too good for me to just lure him.

Basically, my best bet is to get enough breaks on him (since I'm closest to the net when he's serving) So yeah, back to the topic at hand. What's the best way to take advantage of a weak topspin serve near the center of the court, and how should I follow up on it?

Any other advice on how to possibly beat this guy is also appreciated :P (This whole post felt quite disoriented when I wrote it, let's see how it plays out.)

dave333
05-03-2007, 06:25 PM
Be more aggressive than a slice. Unless that slice is low, the slice is more of a defensive shot.

Vision84
05-03-2007, 06:32 PM
With a slow toppin serve it is worth learning to take it on the rise. The tactic I would use is to attack it from well inside the bassline and follow up to the net.

zapvor
05-03-2007, 07:07 PM
i lost badly to a guy earlier this week, but on 2nd serves a couple times i was able to win points by 1-doing a dropshot (clear winner) and 2-pick a spot and hit to it(ie. down the line in the corner)

thinkfacility
05-03-2007, 07:29 PM
Be more aggressive than a slice. Unless that slice is low, the slice is more of a defensive shot.

So what would be better? I usually stand in a way so that I force him to hit to my backhand, since that's the side I slice more easily on. I tried hitting a flat one-handed backhand instead, and that won me a couple points at first. But then he started taking advantage of the height of the bounce and started making contact farther back and picking his passing shots.

With a slow toppin serve it is worth learning to take it on the rise. The tactic I would use is to attack it from well inside the bassline and follow up to the net.

I'm already pretty far in on the baseline, but he gets a good amount of topspin on it...yet I don't dare actually moving into the service box, unless I'm just trying to force him to double fault. (and dive out of the way when he actually serves)

spot
05-03-2007, 07:38 PM
If all you can do is slice a backhand then I don't think his serve is as weak as you think it is

Urza187
05-03-2007, 07:55 PM
yeah, I agree with Spot if all you can do with it is slice it with your backhand. A really weak topspin serve is almost the worst serve to have. The serve will obviously go in, but the ball should bounce right into your wheelhouse. This should allow you to just rip the crap out of the ball. I'd say either pin it to the other area, or maybe just right back at him. Sometimes it's hard for people to deal with a ball right at them since they tend to get jammed up. Just set up the return with your strong shot(forehand or backhand) and belt it.

lethalfang
05-03-2007, 09:25 PM
How exactly do you take full advantage of a slow topspin serve? The person I'm playing against hits his serve slow enough that I can easily stand about 2 feet behind the service line and return it, usually with a backhand slice to his backhand. After this, I rush the net and try to cut off his passing shot with a volley, and play out the point from there.

You see, the problem is, this guy has basically trained all his life against his brother, who hits the most topspin on both sides I've ever seen at high school level, so trading groundstrokes with him is basically a waste of time...if I slice, he just rips winners and makes me run. Thus, I've found that getting to the net and trying to take him out there is my best strategy, since he's quite tall, and his smashes and volleys are too good for me to just lure him.

Basically, my best bet is to get enough breaks on him (since I'm closest to the net when he's serving) So yeah, back to the topic at hand. What's the best way to take advantage of a weak topspin serve near the center of the court, and how should I follow up on it?

Any other advice on how to possibly beat this guy is also appreciated :P (This whole post felt quite disoriented when I wrote it, let's see how it plays out.)

If you can return his serve standing only 2 feet behind the service line, then you must have all kinds of extreme angles available for you to hit winners against him. Try to hit with lots of topspin (to bring the ball down) at extreme angles. If you are hitting these shots 2 feet behind the service line, there's no way he can get to them (i.e. without guessing which side you'll hit these shots).

thinkfacility
05-04-2007, 03:56 AM
If all you can do is slice a backhand then I don't think his serve is as weak as you think it is

Well it's not exactly a floater, but it's definitely slower than his forehand.

My wrist was a bit sore today, so hitting forehands with lots of topspin was pretty much out of the question for me. That sounds like a definite possibility though! The problem is, he's got that running forehand pretty much down, and crosscourt shots make for a hard follow up volley, so I'm pretty much going to his backhand either way.

Meanwhile, I think I'll just practice flat backhands down the line from close range...that should give me the edge in our next match, unless he develops a new serve. Then I'm doomed for sure...

spot
05-04-2007, 05:47 AM
Well I think that you would probably describe my serves that way so I will tell you my strategy and tell you where its weaknesses are. First you need to understand that in my mind the placement of the serve is far more important than the velocity. I would rather place a nice topspin serve that bounces up out of someone's strikezone then hit a low percentage flat first serve. To start a match out I just pound people's backhands on both sides. But that leads to far different points so I will talk about them separately.

On the Deuce side thats just slamming things up the middle consistently so I like to serve and volley off of it. People have a tough time passing me because they tend to just slice backhands so much. They just can't get a dipping shot on me with slice- some people have gotten really good at hitting a dropshot off of their backhands but when I come to the net it negates that. If your opponent doesn't come to the net I would suggest trying some dropshots to his backhand side. Otherwise there isn't much you can do about it- I hate it when I hit a poor serve and people can run around and rip a forehand. Once I pound backhands then I will slice forehands out wide and stay back- most of the time if people get to it they just come back down the line so I am there to try and rip the shot crosscourt for the winner.

I really love serving to the Ad court because I can hit wide to people's backhands all day long. With topspin I can hit some extreme angles and drive people off of the court a long ways. Then once people start cheating in that direction I start hitting flat serves down the middle for aces. But if I can make someone hit a backhand on the move on a ball out of their strikezone I will take that all day long. But there are weaknesses. I don't S&V very much on the wide serves- the blast down the line is a deadly shot. And I give the opponent a ton of court to work with. When I play higher level players who have a stronger return of serve they can get in position early and rip that backhand back crosscourt and its pretty much a sure winner. But people have a really tough time hitting that extreme crosscourt shot on the move from the backhand side- usually they just slice it back like you are doing.

shindemac
05-04-2007, 04:26 PM
If it's so slow, you should run around your backhand. Use a more aggressive shot like flat or topspin, not slice. Hit a winner dtl, and come to the net to finish the point if necessary. DTL is pretty much the standard returns for second serves, but you can mix it up. Hit it up the middle for a less aggressive return, or hit it behind them to wrongfoot them. Xcourts are used for 1st serve returns to give you the highest chance of getting it in and over the net.