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View Full Version : Questions about "The Looper" that could help me and possibly others


Steven87
08-20-2007, 03:46 PM
What exactly is a looper?

What is the use of the looper?

How do I hit a good looper?

How do I counteract if someone hits a good looper?

When should I be using the looper?

lethalfang
08-20-2007, 04:41 PM
What exactly is a looper?
A topspin ball with high net clearance, but not quite a lob

What is the use of the looper?
change of pace,
allowing more time of recovery,
more variety to prevent opponent from getting too good of a rhythm, etc.

How do I hit a good looper?
less hit-through, more brush-up

How do I counteract if someone hits a good looper?
a few things you do can:
1) back up and wait for the ball to come back down into your strike zone
2) hit on the rise
3) occasionally, move in and hit a swinging volley

When should I be using the looper?
e.g. when you're being pulled wide, you need more time to recover, so a looper allows you more time, etc.

Steven87
08-20-2007, 05:02 PM
What exactly is a looper?
A topspin ball with high net clearance, but not quite a lob

What is the use of the looper?
change of pace,
allowing more time of recovery,
more variety to prevent opponent from getting too good of a rhythm, etc.

How do I hit a good looper?
less hit-through, more brush-up

How do I counteract if someone hits a good looper?
a few things you do can:
1) back up and wait for the ball to come back down into your strike zone
2) hit on the rise
3) occasionally, move in and hit a swinging volley

When should I be using the looper?
e.g. when you're being pulled wide, you need more time to recover, so a looper allows you more time, etc.
But if I brush up too much, wont that land short, possibly giving the opponent a chance to attack?

WildVolley
08-20-2007, 05:13 PM
lethalfang has already given a bunch of good answers. I just want to point out that Federer will sometimes mix in a looper with his backhand shots as a change of pace. It usually clears the net by more than 6 feet and lands deep. I think it is usually safest to hit a looper to your opponent's weak side.

lethalfang
08-20-2007, 05:40 PM
But if I brush up too much, wont that land short, possibly giving the opponent a chance to attack?

A short looper is very attackable, like a weak kick serve, so you must keep it deep.

Undrayon
08-20-2007, 05:54 PM
Yes, the ball does have a tendency to fall short if you aren't used to hitting it. I think of a "looper" (topspin lob?) like I do a second serve, it's not the you hit with less power, it's just that the power is used in a different way.

Ex. A flat serve (regardless of whether it goes in) is easy to get power off of. Add spin though and now you have some of that energy going into spin, not just speed. If you play much then I'm sure you've seen people take OFF swing speed on their second serve not realizing that racquet speed is what puts the fast spin on the ball to bring it down.

So to conclude my rambling, practice the shot. I have a pretty nice "looper" (I use it more for topspin lob) and I felt so odd when I was learning it because I felt like I was swinging up ridiculously hard but the ball went it.

Just go out and practice. Remember, you may feel like you're putting way too much energy into the ball...but high loopy shots have LOTS OF spin so you need that racquet speed.

Medved
08-20-2007, 07:58 PM
To hit a looper I just lean back a bit more than normal and hit with a little more topspin than normal. I find it great to use this for guys who don't like to move forward and would prefer to just get into a side to side groove. If they aren't willing to come to the net, hitting a short ball is not necessarily a lost point. You may get another chance to hit a deeper loopy ball.

How do I play a looper? The only way I really know how to do this is to attack. Yet this is high risk tennis and you have to be willing to make some errors.

I played a looper my last high school match. He was a better player than me, but the matchup favored me because I'd been trained as a serve and volley attack player.

1. Always keep your weight forward.
2. Move. You're the attacker, so you have to out move your opponent by several steps. Even though I was usually slower than my opponent, keeping this in mind made all the difference in the world.
3. Don't be afraid to take the ball out of the air if you're too far back for a conventional volley.
4. Crank up your serve and see how well he can loop a 120 mph flat hit at his backhand. Usually it's really hard to return a fastball serve with a loop. It's much easier to return a flat serve with a flatter return.
5. Don't immediately abandon your attack game plan if you miss or don't get to a few shots.
6. If you get tired and can't rush the net, make him come to the net and pass him. Usually loopers are much better at standing back and playing behind the baseline. They're not nearly as comfortable playing inside their own service line.

In my case, I got several intimidating overhead smashes on my opponent. I think this had a psychological effect on him. He ended up abandoning his looping style. This was good for me because putting him away was something that was very hard to keep up. It gave me a chance to step back and give him a taste of his own medicine. Hence the points I had to work so hard to outright take paid off in more than just a handful of winners. I made him stop this annoying style of play for a time.