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View Full Version : I hate high bouncing balls, need advice...


morten
05-13-2007, 02:40 PM
The clay season is here and the bounce is really high especially against all the topspin players i play against. I hate it, i play quite old school, flat and eastern forehand. I need help on the forehand side, advice besides moving back or taking the ball early(hard to do on clay, bad bounce etc) Thanks.

Bagumbawalla
05-13-2007, 04:32 PM
This is one of the most common questions posted, here-- about two or three times a week. There is a TON of information in these pages. You may browse through the past pages and look for lopocs that sound promising-- or use the search function at the top of the page. Type in something like "high Bounce". You don't need to include the quotation marks.

I know there is one question on page two, another on six, and one on eight.

You will find several methods of dealing with the situation-- then you will have to PRACTICE them until you groove the strokes.

Good luck,

B

Bottle Rocket
05-13-2007, 07:03 PM
It sounds like you already know... Either move back or take it early. If you can't do either... Welll... What can we tell you?

The other issue is the fact that your opponent can consistantly do that. Are you doing anything to them? How are you causing them problems?

Something else to consider is slicing the ball. If you slice the ball, even on clay, it is hard for an extreme grip player to get depth on the ball. This in turn will give you a much easier ball to hit.

Use more variety, including drop shots. You're not going to get a high bouncing ball off a drop shot return.

Brian_C
05-13-2007, 07:10 PM
thats what i do once a ball is at a certain height, and i know i cant get a good stroke on it ill just slice it, and try to turn it into a good slice where the ball is returned low... makes it harder for them to get a good topspin on it. especially since i like to slice it close to there feet hehehe

Matt_MS
05-13-2007, 07:15 PM
if you can't play against people who do that, i'd suggest letting it bounce and taking it on the way down to put a deep ball in the corner, and then come to the net to avoid anymore.

AAAA
05-13-2007, 07:20 PM
Morten, You need to be realistic about your ability level. Against high bouncing balls I'd love to take a full swing and hit them early like some pros but I'm not good enough. However I've found out I can hit an effective early ball by using a short abbreviated swing. So long as I use good placement aswell the shot is very effective at my level of play. A ball hit early, with medium so-so pace and good placement/depth is very effective at mediocre/intermediate levels. Look to move forward for a weak put away volley.

bad_call
05-13-2007, 07:32 PM
u're so lucky that u get to play on clay. i miss those days.

anyway back to the point. hit the crap out of the ball and move ur opponent around. soon enough they'll send u back a ball u can dine on.

dang did i say that i miss that har tru?

zapvor
05-13-2007, 07:58 PM
i say either step back and hit a winner, or slice it.

jasoncho92
05-13-2007, 08:11 PM
i say either step back and hit a winner, or slice it.
The idea about hitting a winner is pretty unrealistic because if he doesnt know how to hit high balls well, i doubt he can add enough pace to hit a winner to a ball that has little pace without hitting net or out

GuyClinch
05-13-2007, 09:23 PM
Step back and hit a moonball return or a slice return...that's the easiest way. What you should REALLY do though is take it early and hit a "dip drive" winner. I been trying this since seeing the USTA video about this shot but it's pretty hard..I got to say.

Pete

zapvor
05-13-2007, 10:31 PM
The idea about hitting a winner is pretty unrealistic because if he doesnt know how to hit high balls well, i doubt he can add enough pace to hit a winner to a ball that has little pace without hitting net or out

hmm...well my idea was step back to let the ball drop down into hitting area, then rip that sucker for a winner. but thats me.

tennis_hand
05-14-2007, 12:26 AM
Step back and hit a moonball return or a slice return...that's the easiest way. What you should REALLY do though is take it early and hit a "dip drive" winner. I been trying this since seeing the USTA video about this shot but it's pretty hard..I got to say.

Pete

tell us you can consistently do it in a match. pros don't even do that for every shot.

I think the reliable way is to take it when it drops. but ur return must be deep, so u can lob it deep and let your opponent handle it. as long as your return is deep, he can't do much harm. of course another way is to slice it.

i don't think amateur players have many options about it. and if the backcourt is short like those in my place, letting it drop is not even an option sometimes.

baselinerT
05-14-2007, 11:50 AM
it already has pace, just block it unless u think u hav a good chance of actually hitting it on the rise

mrHan
05-14-2007, 11:56 AM
Learn to hit drive volleys. Don't worry about the pace, work on the timing and contact point first.

zapvor
05-14-2007, 11:52 PM
Learn to hit drive volleys. Don't worry about the pace, work on the timing and contact point first.

why do you have to come in and offer a better answer and make me look bad?

Slazenger
05-15-2007, 01:12 AM
i say either step back and hit a winner, or slice it.


Not good advice. If you step back well behind the baseline to hit a high bouncing ball on it's way down, your priority at this point, is to get the ball back deep.
You can choose to moonball it back or hit a topspin drive, but you are in a bad position to hit a winner.

I won't say I haven't gone for ambitious shots from this position (and actually hit winners), but it not the percentage play.

Slazenger
05-15-2007, 01:17 AM
Learn to hit drive volleys. Don't worry about the pace, work on the timing and contact point first.

I don't get this. Hit a drive volley of a heavy topspin groundstroke? Do you do this?

morten
05-15-2007, 03:23 AM
i dont get it either mrHan...

Serve em Up
05-15-2007, 05:03 AM
I stuggle with this as well. I've been practicing off the wall. I hit it high on purpose so that when it comes off the wall I get a ball that I can take at shoulder height.

My problem is I'm still starting the raquet too low. So my return is another ball that is too high. If I was on a court I'm sure they would be sailing out. If I get the raquet started high and go through the ball I get much better results with a lower trajectory that is similar to what I would get if I hit an overhead. I need to get more consistency.

zapvor
05-15-2007, 10:36 AM
I don't get this. Hit a drive volley of a heavy topspin groundstroke? Do you do this?

MrHan knows what hes doing.

zapvor
05-15-2007, 10:37 AM
Not good advice. If you step back well behind the baseline to hit a high bouncing ball on it's way down, your priority at this point, is to get the ball back deep.
You can choose to moonball it back or hit a topspin drive, but you are in a bad position to hit a winner.

I won't say I haven't gone for ambitious shots from this position (and actually hit winners), but it not the percentage play.

i suppose not good advice for the OP, but thats what i do. i dont do percentages.

z-money
05-15-2007, 10:39 AM
its clay id say losen the stings step back and play your heart out. if you could switch to a semi that may help, because the eastern is better for waist high balls, whereas the semi or even the western is better on high balls and taking the ball early

Narcissist
05-16-2007, 04:52 AM
Pros seem to crush high bouncing balls. I hate high balls even though I have a SW grip, but the following seems to get me success:

1) High takeback
2) Hit hard and mostly flat
3) Hit the ball slightly more in front of your body
4) Try hard get your body weight behind the shot, it's not as easy as waist high balls

Point 3 is what I struggle with the most :sad:

richw76
05-16-2007, 01:56 PM
Humm usually I would take a few steps back and hit deep to a corner, usually they will eventually give you a short ball you can tear into or if you are impatient rip it. I think the main problem people have is in preparation. you can't wait until teh ball is shoulder high and almost pass you to move. Either move in and hit it on the way up or take a few steps back since it's easier to move forward than backwards. and let it fall into your hitting areas like zapvor said.

What you don't want is to hit the ball halfway falling backwards on your heels just barely getting it back

Omisoshiru
05-17-2007, 05:59 PM
I'm not sure if it would work, but possibly slicing it back?

c_zimma
05-17-2007, 06:54 PM
I think hitting the ball out in front is key, and also having forward momentum. If you hit high balls off your back foot, chances are it will end up short for your opponent to crush. So just try to focus on moving into the ball and hitting out in front.

J011yroger
05-19-2007, 05:10 AM
The clay season is here and the bounce is really high especially against all the topspin players i play against. I hate it, i play quite old school, flat and eastern forehand. I need help on the forehand side, advice besides moving back or taking the ball early(hard to do on clay, bad bounce etc) Thanks.

Don't play me.

On a more serious note, maybe I can help, because I am the type of player you hate playing. Open level, in and out of the top 10 in my section, Western FH, 2HBH, OHSBH. Brutal topspin & pace. My normal rally ball is eye high to most people, when I flatten one out I have hit 100+mph forehands.

Step back and hit a moonball return.

Bad idea. People do this to me all the time, they get frustrated with the high balls, and decide to moonball or try to high ball back and give me "A dose of my own medicine." Whenever they do this I wonder what in the heck they are thinking. I have a western FH, and 2HBH, I am 6'3" I am perfectly equipped to hit high balls, I love to hit high balls, you are not going to be able to out moonball me, if you hit me a moonball you are just going to get it back at about the same hight with about tripple the amount of topspin on it.

Let me say this again, if you are playing someone who hits high topspin balls, they are most likely far better equipped than you to play high balls, and by hitting it back to them high, you are only feeding the monster.

Something else to consider is slicing the ball. If you slice the ball, even on clay, it is hard for an extreme grip player to get depth on the ball. This in turn will give you a much easier ball to hit.

If you slice the ball, and can keep it deep with a skidding slice, not a slice in the middle of the court, or one that sits up, then the only thing I can do with my FH or 2H is whip the ball back high and deep, so actually you will be getting back more high topspin balls with little pace. But, a deep ball, low, with little or no pace on it, is outside of my ideal hitting zone, so if you keep the ball low and deep I am going to cough up errors. If you can reliably hit deep slices, or even flattish low balls, without much pace on them, off of my high balls, then that is the ticket to beating me. I will hit my share of winners, but the errors will add up. I do not know your level, but what I am going to say holds true for almost everyone. If you do not look to do too much with the ball, just get it back reliably deep, and keep it low without much pace, you will do well.

Against most players like that you will have more of a margin for error than against me, because I am a very offensive, attacking player, so if you leave one up, or short, I am gonna belt it for a winner (or miss but either way the point is over) or else approach and 1-2 it. On clay 1-2ing the ball is a bit harder for me, because I am used to being able to hurt you so badly on my approach that if it is not a winner, I can knock off the floater of a volley, whereas on clay it takes some of the sting away, so unless you are really out of position I have to feather in the low or chop the skidding approach, both of which are a bit tougher for me. But everyone is different.

Use more variety, including drop shots. You're not going to get a high bouncing ball off a drop shot return.

Eh...A drop shot off of a high topspin ball behind the baseline is not exactly a high percentage shot, and even if you can make the shot reliably (Which would make you better than anyone I have ever played including low ranked tour players), the ball has so far to travel before it gets to the net and drops that your opponent gets a heck of a running start to get to it. (provided he has good anticipation).

Morten, You need to be realistic about your ability level. Against high bouncing balls I'd love to take a full swing and hit them early like some pros but I'm not good enough. However I've found out I can hit an effective early ball by using a short abbreviated swing. So long as I use good placement aswell the shot is very effective at my level of play. A ball hit early, with medium so-so pace and good placement/depth is very effective at mediocre/intermediate levels. Look to move forward for a weak put away volley.

Very good advice, staying within yourself and not trying to hit shots that you don't have is KEY. So many of my lessons (More a problem with kids than adults) try to hit these amazing one in a million shots, that they have minimal chance of making. In mid lesson I yell out "STOP" bring them up to the net and ask what they were thinking, and if they ever made that shot before. The answer is usually "Well I was trying to..." and "Well once last month I made the shot".

Heck, we all try to hit too good of a shot, I do to, and it infuriates me. A couple of weeks ago I tried to take an eye level cross court backhand down the line from two feet behind the baseline because my opponent was deep crosscourt awaiting my return. I said to myself, "What the F*** are you thinking? Who do you think you are Marat Safin? Play within yourself!"

Hit the crap out of the ball and move ur opponent around.

It is very hard if not impossible for classic gripped players even at very high levels to "Hit the crap out of the ball." when it is high, that results in errors more often, ya gotta stay within yourself.

Moving your opponent around is always a good idea, but high deep topspin balls are hard to change direction on, so given the opportunity and comfort, yea move them around, but if you are not confident that you can make the shot, send it back the way it came, and don't try to change direction on the ball unless you see it well and have both feet inside the baseline.

i say either step back and hit a winner, or slice it.

If you are deep behind the baseline, and on clay, trying for winners, unless you are a VASTLY superior player to your opponents is foolish in the extreme, and will most likely result in a quick loss. Even on a hard court it is ill advised.

it already has pace, just block it unless u think u hav a good chance of actually hitting it on the rise

Even combine the two, if you get a nice super compact stroke, and work on your timing, you can block the ball back on the rise, it is easier to time and as long as you can get the ball back deep, you will be in good court position if your opponent leaves one short.

Learn to hit drive volleys. Don't worry about the pace, work on the timing and contact point first.

Swing volleys are an incredible tool against the lame looping groundie, or the topspin drive that isn't deep enough, but not applicable to the heavy deep topspin rally stroke.

Swing volleys are my favorite shot to hit, and if you can reliably come in and take a weak looping ground stroke out of the air, for a winner, or forcing shot that you follow in, you put trememdous mental pressure on your opponent, because he knows that he can't rely on just looping the ball back when he gets in trouble, and you force him to hit a good shot. An absolutely terrific intimidation thing, that will win you many points by making your opponent try to do more.

i suppose not good advice for the OP, but thats what i do. i dont do percentages.

I don't mean to be rude, but how is that working out for you? They are called percentages for a reason...if you know that more often than not something will not result in success...why would you do it?

Because the eastern is better for waist high balls, whereas the semi or even the western is better on high balls and taking the ball early

Western is better for high balls, but it is most assuredly NOT better for taking the ball early. Western is a longer swing path, which makes it much harder to time the ball taking it early, and requires supreme positioning, and preparation. Also when you take the ball early, it is low, western is not good on low balls.

Semi runs the gamut, and can be suited for lower or higher balls depending on your swing path, and exact grip, it can also be useful for taking the ball early. But chances are, that if your SW grip/swing is suited for taking the ball early, then it is less suited for hitting high balls, and vice versa.

Pros seem to crush high bouncing balls. I hate high balls even though I have a SW grip, but the following seems to get me success:

1) High takeback
2) Hit hard and mostly flat
3) Hit the ball slightly more in front of your body
4) Try hard get your body weight behind the shot, it's not as easy as waist high balls

Point 3 is what I struggle with the most :sad:

Points 2 and 3 are related to each other, if you try to hit a ball hard and flat, but it isn't out infront of you, then you end up hitting it into the ground or net. I call this trying to be too offensive on a ball that is already past you. If the ball is not out in front, then all you can do is whip/brush it back deep with heavy top. It is a function of the swingpath, and is even more pronounced with full western, on the stroke where you want to hit a heavy flat drive if you are late on the ball, your racquet is still pointing at the ground, and you dump it into the net, or bounce it. Experience will tell you which balls you can clobber and which ones you have to just whip back.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hope this was helpful, and I didn't offend anyone, but just trying to offer my 2 cents as a heavy topspin/pace player, what works against me, and what doesn't.

J

haerdalis
05-19-2007, 05:32 AM
Yes the problem is not the high ball in itself, it is the fact that if you dont come up with something decent on it you are in big trouble. So returning a high ball against a pusher is one thing and against an aggressive clay topspinner or excellent mover with some volleyskills another.

morten
05-19-2007, 11:51 AM
great JO11yroger, I totally agree, many strange advice here, i am probably a higher level than some of the posts here thinks. I already know the things you said JO11yroger, and i face many opponents like you, what i will try is to take it on the rice then move forward if i can, i have good timing and i am a serve volley player. But i am extremely fit also, so sometimes i win more by simply getting the ball back over and over again as a plan B(but of course this is harder when the ball bounce high) that`s why i asked. Thanks guys :)

madmanfool
05-19-2007, 12:24 PM
Just take the ball at shoulder height. Hit it flat and swing out at same height. You should be fine.

morten
05-19-2007, 12:37 PM
Just take the ball at shoulder height. Hit it flat and swing out at same height. You should be fine.

ha ha the name madmanfool suits you... what kind of advice was that???? on low balls you would say; " take the ball at knee height. Hit it flat and swing out at same height... You should be fine." hm.................

J011yroger
05-19-2007, 01:59 PM
^^^ That is why it is good to consider the source of advice before taking it.

That is kind of asking about saving for your retirement and having some random guy tell you "Invest in stocks and stuff, you should be fine."

J

madmanfool
05-21-2007, 03:06 AM
ha ha the name madmanfool suits you... what kind of advice was that???? on low balls you would say; " take the ball at knee height. Hit it flat and swing out at same height... You should be fine." hm.................

*sigh* yeah, sure i would tell people to swing out at knee height:confused: Don't put words in my mouth.

If you can do those two things right, i'm convinced you wont struggle with high balls. First problem is that many people still try to put some spin on a high ball, which is hard to do because the ball is so high, it's very hard to go over the ball. It's much easier to hit it flat. Second it's very important to swing out at the same height on a high ball. People who struggle with high balls almost never get that right.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but it's not me who has problems with high balls it's you. So next time don't put words in my mouth.

Frank Silbermann
05-21-2007, 05:00 AM
Drop your weak shoulder and raise your strong shoulder. That should lift your arm higher. Swing like your normal, lightly-topped forehand. Of course, with your arm at that angle the resulting spin will be more like side-spin -- the reverse of a slice serve's spin. This way you'll be able to get power on high ball, and your side-spin will cause your ball to skid low when it hits the court -- thereby punishing your opponents for using those incorrect western grips.

morten
05-21-2007, 07:27 AM
*sigh* yeah, sure i would tell people to swing out at knee height:confused: Don't put words in my mouth.

If you can do those two things right, i'm convinced you wont struggle with high balls. First problem is that many people still try to put some spin on a high ball, which is hard to do because the ball is so high, it's very hard to go over the ball. It's much easier to hit it flat. Second it's very important to swing out at the same height on a high ball. People who struggle with high balls almost never get that right.

If you don't agree with me that's fine, but it's not me who has problems with high balls it's you. So next time don't put words in my mouth.

ok then, sorry, i understood more what you meant now , i will try it :)

Pete Semper
05-21-2007, 08:25 AM
serve and volley
Return and volley

my radical solution to play against big topspinner on clay. Never let them play their game, rush the net as soon as you can.

J011yroger
05-21-2007, 02:41 PM
serve and volley
Return and volley

my radical solution to play against big topspinner on clay. Never let them play their game, rush the net as soon as you can.

Tough one, since the clay slows down your serve so much, and they have the big top, you will most probably be scraping your first volleys off of your shoelaces for the majority of the match.

J