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raiden031
10-16-2007, 05:30 PM
I played some guy who was a real challenge. He is a solid 3.5 player with the following characteristics. Both his forehand and his backhand are mostly flat and are consistent but not very powerful and he doesn't go for much with them. When I'm back at the baseline he often hits some low slice shots. If I come up to the net he can hit passing shots from both sides and will often hit effective lobs as well. When I hit aggressive shots he seems to be able to retrieve everything and just lobs them back. This was weird because I lost this match against a defensive player yet I didn't hit very many unforced errors. It seemed like his lobs, passing shots, and his short slice shots when I was back deep really won the match. He seemed unbeatable, yet he has lost to some other 3.5s that I have beaten or am capable of beating. How can I beat this guy?

AceofBase
10-16-2007, 07:02 PM
Hits as deep or near him as you can and see what he can do with it. If he always slice or lob when the ball is deep then you know that you'll have to run up net and once on the net try to place the ball near the net as angle or smash it. If that dont help try aiming toward him or near him, seem like a pusher to me.

Rickson
10-16-2007, 07:15 PM
I played some guy who was a real challenge. He is a solid 3.5 player with the following characteristics. Both his forehand and his backhand are mostly flat and are consistent but not very powerful and he doesn't go for much with them. When I'm back at the baseline he often hits some low slice shots. If I come up to the net he can hit passing shots from both sides and will often hit effective lobs as well. When I hit aggressive shots he seems to be able to retrieve everything and just lobs them back. This was weird because I lost this match against a defensive player yet I didn't hit very many unforced errors. It seemed like his lobs, passing shots, and his short slice shots when I was back deep really won the match. He seemed unbeatable, yet he has lost to some other 3.5s that I have beaten or am capable of beating. How can I beat this guy?

If he's passing and lobbing you at will, then your approach shots need some work. Hit your approaches deep and put some mustard on them and if he's still passing and lobbing you at will, he's just a great passer, but I have a feeling that's not the case.

raiden031
10-17-2007, 04:22 AM
Hits as deep or near him as you can and see what he can do with it. If he always slice or lob when the ball is deep then you know that you'll have to run up net and once on the net try to place the ball near the net as angle or smash it. If that dont help try aiming toward him or near him, seem like a pusher to me.


If he's passing and lobbing you at will, then your approach shots need some work. Hit your approaches deep and put some mustard on them and if he's still passing and lobbing you at will, he's just a great passer, but I have a feeling that's not the case.


I noticed whenever I hit a deep, penetrating shot he would always get it back but it would often be a moonball. When I hit a shorter ball, thats when he goes for the low slice shots.

When I would approach net, normally I can approach against an opponents backhand and they usually hit a weak ball to me at net, but this guy could hit passing shots with his backhand. If I was lucky enough to hit a great approach shot, he hits a defensive lob that perfectly goes beyond my reach.

He could return any shot including overheads, and some of the shots I was hitting were sure winners against any other opponents. Even my serve gave him no trouble and he was complimenting how my serve is better than most of the people he's been against.

And the worst part is that I can't even remember hitting more than 5-10 unforced errors yet lost pretty bad. I just don't understand how someone could beat me so easily and not be able to beat mediocre 3.5 players that easily.

slice bh compliment
10-17-2007, 04:48 AM
Hmmm, if he hits flat a lot, it could be that he is not a western-gripping topspin fiend. SO maybe he dislikes higher balls.
If you find that he cannot hit penetrating shots when you push him back with high balls (esp to his BH), you can control the middle.

Then, as mentioned above, move in with quality approaches and volley with short angles (harder for him to hit perfect lobs from there).

If he is a brilliant passing-shot artist, take some approaches deep down the middle. That minimizes his angle.

When he thinks you're about to approach deep, drop shot him.

Go watch a few of his matches. Maybe you will see a guy do things that work against him.

Develop better serves and returns. There is nothing like starting a point off with him on the defensive. Get him off the court, then either wrongfoot him or run him corner to corner as you transition in.

He's obviously reading your shots. Develop strokes that are harder for him to read: prepare better so you can hold the ball better and go either way on your shots (incl OHs).

rasajadad
10-17-2007, 04:56 AM
Does he have a 1 handed or 2 handed backhand? If he has a 1 hander, attack his backhand high. If he has a 2 hander, slice your approaches hard to his backhand, but more down the middle of the court. If he's still passing you, he's no 3.5!

gerikoh
10-17-2007, 05:02 AM
improve your footwork and do a lot of running.
improve your control and let him do the running.
improve your power as you overpower him in each shot. ;)

origmarm
10-17-2007, 05:47 AM
I play relatively flat and hit good passes. Here is what I hate so maybe it will work for you.

- Higher balls. I find with my flat stroke that the perfect spot for me to hit the ball is relatively low, I struggle to hit a good pass up higher, especially on the backhand side (I have a 1HBH). A lot of players hit hard, low approaches, I just love to pass off those

- Angles. When I hit, I find that because I don't use a lot of spin, I have to take power out of the ball a lot to hit an angle. This means two things for you, firstly I tend to pass a lot down the line, so when you run in, try and close this off. Secondly its harder to hit a flat shot off a ball when I'm running, so I tend to slice these. If you get me moving from side to side before you hit the approach, its a much harder shot for me to make.

- Don't get too close to the net. With the passing shots going mostly down the line and the lobs thrown in, stay back a bit further from the net than usual. It will make your volleys a bit tougher but you're more likely to get the lob (either for a smash or running) and if you close the angle on the down the line shot better you'll probably still make the volley comfortably (remember its hard to go for a short angle cross court).

Edit: Its hardest to hit a pass from the middle of the court so if you are approaching and you haven't run me off the court on the other side, hit it down the middle

Just my ideas, some may work for you some not, but I know thats what I find difficult.

Two things I love are people that hit very hard (I can just take out the power and use their's to hit it flat back) and people that like to hit very loopy strokes as my balls tend to fly lower and it makes it harder for them to hit in their zone.

Hope it helps

maleyoyo
10-17-2007, 05:57 AM
And the worst part is that I can't even remember hitting more than 5-10 unforced errors yet lost pretty bad. I just don't understand how someone could beat me so easily and not be able to beat mediocre 3.5 players that easily.

When you play fairly consistent like you said and still lost, my guess would be that he's better than you give him credit for or somehow you just "played" into his strengths.
When his shots beat you at ease, it usually means that he has plenty of time executing them whether it ground strokes, passing shots, or lobs. You have to find within your arsenals ways to move him (to the net ?) and not give him much time to set up his shots.
Flat hitters usually likes flat medium height balls with pace...don't give him those. You mentioned he had harder time with mediocre 3.5, I think it's because they didn't hit so much into his comfort zones, may be you should give him more high junk balls.;)

Peter Szucs
10-17-2007, 06:17 AM
He seemed unbeatable, yet he has lost to some other 3.5s that I have beaten or am capable of beating. How can I beat this guy?

Ace him and hit winners on return. If you cant do that let me know your game so i can help.

btw did you ask those who beat him regularly?

Gut Reaction
10-17-2007, 06:36 AM
simple:


http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1815032#post1815032

raiden031
10-17-2007, 11:40 AM
To those who say give him higher bounces, that is what I do by default. I hit with alot of topspin so I'm always giving people high bounces. The problem against this opponent is that every time he gets a ball that he can't do much with, he just lobs it back rather than going for anything and risking an error. If he does get a ball he can attack, he just slices it low, almost a drop shot. I have pretty good feet so most of the time I can get to the low slices, but then the next shot by him is either a passing shot or a lob that I may or may not be able to get back. So really, I think the biggest problem is that when I come up close to return his low slices, it always sets him up for either a lob or passing shot that he can win the point with.

I think one key thing I will try next time is to approach in the middle, rather than towards the backhand which is my normal strategy.

Cindysphinx
10-18-2007, 12:58 PM
What kind of approaches do you hit?

And how is your drop shot these days? It sounds like he's not so comfortable at net.

raiden031
10-18-2007, 06:51 PM
What kind of approaches do you hit?

And how is your drop shot these days? It sounds like he's not so comfortable at net.

I mostly approach using a sliced backhand when possible. Or I'll hit a deep topspin forehand or backhand. I usually aim for the backhand side as well. If my approach is good, the guy lobs it over. If my approach sucks, he hits a passing shot. So I couldn't really find any success coming to net. I go for drop shots if I see a clear opportunity, but other than that if I try to force it I end up hitting it into the net. His net game was decent, even though it wasn't a weapon for him. I really don't know what I could've done that would be effective enough to beat him, except to not hit any short balls. It seemed that everytime I hit a short ball, the point was over within 3 shots. He would slice it low, I would come retrieve the slice and play the net, then he would win the point on the next shot.

The funny thing is that the next day I played with a friend of his, who couldn't believe that I lost to him. The friend thought I was so much better than him.

origmarm
10-19-2007, 05:18 AM
I mostly approach using a sliced backhand when possible. Or I'll hit a deep topspin forehand or backhand. I usually aim for the backhand side as well. If my approach is good, the guy lobs it over. If my approach sucks, he hits a passing shot.

I reckon what might go here is to hit the deep topspin either down the middle or to the backhand high and the come in behind, but not all the way i.e. just in front of the T. That way you cover the lob and can probably smash it but make it difficult for him to hit the pass.

Drop shots is not a bad idea also.

Good luck with it and next time you play let us know how it goes

johnny ballgame
10-19-2007, 05:42 AM
He's passing/lobbing you. You're losing points when you're at the net and he's at the baseline.

Solution: bring him to the net, constantly. Steady diet of short slices and dropshots the bring him in. Don't go for too much on the first pass, just keep it low... it could be that he can't volley well at all. Give him plenty of lobs as well.