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tennispal
01-10-2009, 10:09 PM
Ok guys,
so its the new season so far and ive played two matches. both were aggressive baseliners with lots of power. ive lost both by a good margin. the thing is i thought my mental game improved a lot--i dont choke anymore. but the thing is i still feel like im taken out of my game. i dont take full swings all the time becuase half the time im on defense. when i finally get a crack at the ball, i am out of rhythm and i lose confidence. im trying to attack them, but i cannot. it just feels like they are imposing their will on me, that i cannot use my full strokes against them.

its so frustrating to play like that and lose! help plz! ive got a match against the first baseliner again and this time im trying to commit myself to come out firing and try to dictate.

any similar exp? help!!!

BU-Tennis
01-10-2009, 10:26 PM
The best way to remedy this situation is to find a practice partner who hits hard. You can't expect to play well against an opponent when his game type is so new and foreign.

Remember that its harder to put pace on a slow ball. When you try and hit with a person mostly you miss or give them the type of ball they enjoy. It is these type of opponents where excellent strategy, footwork, and court positioning is incredibly important. Try to establish rallies by hitting deep and crosscourt. Also, change up the pace and spin. If they can't get into a groove then they can't hit hard shots as well.

In similar experience I played a person who used his topspin forehand very well. I quickly came to an 0-4 score. But then I started slicing almost every ball, when it came to my backhand, and it stayed low and out of his strike zone so I was able to win the next eight games and take the match. If you find that slicing helps then set up the situation by hitting to his backhand so his best option is to hit to yours and then slice it low down the line when the opportunity arises. This is also a prime example of when to come to net and pick off the high returning ball.

halalula1234
01-11-2009, 02:26 AM
think about ur game what playing style are u?

x Southpaw x
01-11-2009, 05:25 AM
any similar exp? help!!!

I think I've similar xp, I'd slice a lot, work my way back into the point. Backhand slice, forehand slice. Slice the big serve. Slice the big groundies. Slice lob the volleyman.

Then sometimes there'd be that guy with the ability to produce wicked angles off your slice or hit nasty drop volleys... then that's just fitness for ya.

The smart big servers will start to mix in softer serves and other spins which can put you in trouble, but if you keep alert, you can pounce on a few.

Ssssssliice.

fuzz nation
01-11-2009, 06:26 AM
There are plenty of things to consider including moving aggressively to the net and using your serve as a weapon, but I'll just comment on an issue for you to think about in the realm of trading blows with a baseliner. If you want to come out and "dictate", don't assume that you just need to outslug your opponent. Maria Sharapova tried it for an entire Aus. Open final against Serena a couple of years ago (with no plan B) and all she did was lose.

A baseliner wants to rally and also wants balls right there in the strike zone to be able to hit with pace and placement. Slicing is great for throwing this style of player off their rhythm - the ball flies slower, which makes it more difficult to whack with good control, and is skids lower on the court. That steals some power and initiative because the net is effectively higher - it requires more spin than power for them to keep your low ball down on the court. For effective defense, you need to be able to keep the ball out of your opponent's wheelhouse, but not just with a good slice. You can pretty much only neutralize a rally if you can keep your shots deep in the court where the other guy has fewer options and a more narrow court to hit into.

This requires thinking a little less about side-to-side placement and a little more about maintaining a rally that keeps your opponent at bay in the back court until he coughs up a ball that you can take advantage of. This is typically a shorter "sitter" that lets you step up and send the ball into an opening away from the opposition. Focus on maintaining rallies where your shots land at least half way into the back box instead of up at the service line. This is especially demanding when you're on the run, but if you can hit the ball back nice and deep from almost anywhere, you can maintain more of a neutral footing in your points and be more able to flip the switch from defense to offense.

Corsair
01-11-2009, 06:31 AM
Return his shots using a drop shot. Put very little pace on the ball. Since he is standing way back at the baseline, he will have to sprint to get it and should barely be able to return it. Then just hit it hard back over the net. He will be knocked out of his rhythm. Good Luck!

-Corsair

Ballinbob
01-11-2009, 08:10 AM
I'm an aggressive allcourter/S&Ver, and what you don't want to do against people like us is let us get into a rhythm. If i'm S&Ving and you keep returning cross court, I'll get into a groove quickly and begin knocking those off. I also like doing the big serve/big forehand combo. But if someone is placing shots all over the place with different spin, I'll start missing just because I've lost my grove. Don't get into baseline exchanges with these guys, it wont work. If they are hitting hard and flat its a little harder to slice, so in these cases just try and block it back deep. If they are hitting with topspin, then slice alot but make sure to hit some topspin/flat too. They will groove into your slices if you do it too much.

If they have a big serve then just focus on playing consistently during your return games and nothing else. Don't go for too much. And you've got to make sure you can hold your own serve. You've played this guy before, come in with a plan so you can hold serve. I have a huge serve but a bad return, so my whole game is about holding serve. If the guy your playing against is like this, then just wait for those 2nd serves and the double fault. They will come eventually believe me, just be patient.

Good luck

tennispal
01-11-2009, 10:02 AM
Don't get into baseline exchanges with these guys, it wont work. If they are hitting hard and flat its a little harder to slice, so in these cases just try and block it back deep.

Thats the problem. when i try to gameplan around them and just defend, i get out of rhythm and end up just scrambling. so thats why im thinking about coming about swinging, becuase its also harder to hit hard and aggressive if you are being pushed around.

also, thx for all the great tips before. but i feel like mentally, i am taken out of my game as well. i dont know if you guys understand, but its really hard to execute when one point you are scrambling from side to side but the next point he comes with a UE. i cant get in a good groove.

btw i did almost beat said aggressive baseliner last yr. that time i was purely a defenseive player and i moonballed him the entire match. He UEed away the first set then started pushing, and i couldnt get out of the defensive mindset to take advantage. end up losing it in the third. but this yr i feel like my offensive game has improved (better forehand, serve, volleys), but i just havent been able to show it yet/put it together.

BU-Tennis
01-11-2009, 11:13 AM
Don't lose sight of what worked last year. If you were almost able to beat him by simply moonballing then, you should be able to do it this time and your improved attacking game should be used when the opportunity arises.

Its easy to play your game when the opponent is at the same level as you or lower. But when they are higher skilled you have to be less predictable and try many things. When you find something that works then keep at it until it stops working. The main thing is don't let baseliners get into any kind of rhythm.

You might try pulling them into net. They usually can't volley very well. Once they get into net you just have to hit it away from them and not even very hard. Usually a high volley is the hardest for aggressive baseliners to hit because they see it as an opportunity to be aggressive and usually overswing and miss and if it is just a foot out of their reach then you've won the point.

downdaline
01-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Here are a few ways I can recommend:

1) Improve your serve. A good serve will start the point on your terms and help you dictate play.

2) Return of serve. Again a good return will put the server on defensive and allow you to dictate play.

3) Work your way into the point. Use a variety of spins and paces to force your opponent to choke up a short ball and then you can start to dictate play.

Easier said than done i know, but that's really what you need to do if you want to impose your game on aggro baseliners.

Hope this helps.

Element54
01-11-2009, 02:46 PM
Vary your shots like Murray does. Slice a lot, deep and short angles. Key is to change pace and angles, to alter the pace of the game. This will put the opponent out of their rhythm.

BetterTen
01-11-2009, 03:02 PM
The advise to be patient is a good one. Works for me! I don’t feel my game improving on weekly or even monthly basis but I know that I’ve come a long way since I started learning the “tricks” to the tennis game.

Tennis, like life, should be taken one (patient) step at a time!

mikeler
01-12-2009, 06:09 AM
With guys like this, I try to draw first blood against them. If I don't hit an aggressive shot early in the point, they are going to run me around the court the entire point. The other strategies mentioned may work too. Just depends on a lot of things. If being aggressive is not part of your game, then obviously my suggestion is not going to work for you.

Djokovicfan4life
01-12-2009, 08:30 AM
Come into net at the first chance you get and gauge the quality of his passing shots. Some players also have a poor mental approach to these situations because they know that they have to hit it closer to the sidelines. Many also make the mistake of thinking that they have to hit a winner off of the first shot. Since they like to hit the ball hard and flat, they don't understand that many times it's better to throw in a dipping topspin shot to make you volley up and set up a better volley on the next shot.

skiracer55
01-12-2009, 08:55 AM
Thats the problem. when i try to gameplan around them and just defend, i get out of rhythm and end up just scrambling. so thats why im thinking about coming about swinging, becuase its also harder to hit hard and aggressive if you are being pushed around.

also, thx for all the great tips before. but i feel like mentally, i am taken out of my game as well. i dont know if you guys understand, but its really hard to execute when one point you are scrambling from side to side but the next point he comes with a UE. i cant get in a good groove.

btw i did almost beat said aggressive baseliner last yr. that time i was purely a defenseive player and i moonballed him the entire match. He UEed away the first set then started pushing, and i couldnt get out of the defensive mindset to take advantage. end up losing it in the third. but this yr i feel like my offensive game has improved (better forehand, serve, volleys), but i just havent been able to show it yet/put it together.

...remember, the most important stroke in the game is the serve, and the return is #2. Your job, as always, is to take the other guy out of his game before he takes you out of yours. If you can hit a forcing serve that coughs up a weak return, now you're in the driver's seat, regardless of whether you're a baseliner or an S&Ver...or an all-courter. It's up to you to stay in the driver's seat and finish the point, but the game always is to get the upper hand in the rally as soon as possible, then continue to make things go your way. Same is true on the service return. Agassi had a great all court game, but the foundation for many of his wins...look at the number of times he managed to beat Pete Sampras...was a consistent and forcing service return. Start by focusing on those two strokes, and everything else will fall into place...

NamRanger
01-12-2009, 08:55 AM
When playing an aggressive baseliner, take a look at his swing pattern / grip. Knowing this is key to beating any player, especially aggressive baseliners. Identify his ideal strike zone, and then stay away from this area. Throw any kind of ball you can to get outside the junk ball. Lob, slice, moonball, whatever works. As long as it is working, do not stop.

tennispal
01-12-2009, 07:25 PM
...remember, the most important stroke in the game is the serve, and the return is #2. Your job, as always, is to take the other guy out of his game before he takes you out of yours. If you can hit a forcing serve that coughs up a weak return, now you're in the driver's seat, regardless of whether you're a baseliner or an S&Ver...or an all-courter. It's up to you to stay in the driver's seat and finish the point, but the game always is to get the upper hand in the rally as soon as possible, then continue to make things go your way. Same is true on the service return. Agassi had a great all court game, but the foundation for many of his wins...look at the number of times he managed to beat Pete Sampras...was a consistent and forcing service return. Start by focusing on those two strokes, and everything else will fall into place...

i thought this was nicely put.

on a separate thought seems like im getting all sorts of replies from all over the place. lol.

skiracer55
01-13-2009, 06:41 AM
i thought this was nicely put.

on a separate thought seems like im getting all sorts of replies from all over the place. lol.

...give this approach a try and let us know what happens...

tennispal
01-13-2009, 06:50 PM
Hey guys, i ended up facing a different baseliner. He had a huge serve and big ground strokes and a good net game.

I BEAT HIM 6-4, 6-2. In the beginning, I was being overpowered, but i stayed calm. My serve really carried me in the first set when i was down, and my returns were good enough to neutralize, or at least get back, his serves, where i used my foot speed to neutralize his attacks. Once the rallies started, i tended to get too defensive, but a couple of good defensive plays saved me. In the second set he was completely out of rhythm and was missing left and right. He started serving weaker and weaker as he lost his confidence. He also started pushing (something which i struggle against), but this time my new attack skills really paid off. A couple of volleys, including a S and V surpise at deuce sealed the deal.

So i guess I my serve and returns were better, which really carried me through. Thanks to you guys above, I really zoned in on the serve and tried to dictate with it. I wasnt too happy when i got into the rallies, and i didnt like the time where i pushed in return to his pushing, but overall a win is a win. thanks to all who's advice may have helped!

Ballinbob
01-13-2009, 07:34 PM
^^ Hey good job! I'm playing my friend who's an aggressive baseliner this weekend. I love playing him lol, since we both don't know how to play defensive tennis we just blast the ball at each other and the one with the least errors/most winners wins haha. We don't even know how to push. If our game is off we hit the ball even harder:) Good job on focusing on the returns though, that's important to playing people like us. I have a big serve and a big forehand, but when I find that my serve is not getting me anywhere my forehand breaks down too. If his serve was really good and you broke it down (which you seemed to do), you'll find his WHOLE game falls apart and he'll go to pushing. This is common with us, that's what we do when our weapon isn't working. For me, instead of pushing, I get mad and hit it harder and its an error party for you.

Remember this match and analyze it, you did everything right. This is the game plan you should use when playing these guys, it sure seemed to work

tennispal
01-14-2009, 11:05 PM
thinking about the match, i still need to work on being more aggressive in rallies. like i would still fall back to defense after the serve. i was basically a counter-puncher, like i always was, with a better a serve, volleys, and attacking game that carried me through. basically the question is this: how do i look to dictate more in rallies, even against aggressive baseliners?

btw nothing against counterpunching. its just that in practice ive been mroe aggressive and its worked out very well for me. plus, im gonna be playing doubles this yr a lot. its just in the matches i always sink back to counterpunching.

Jim A
01-15-2009, 06:52 AM
surely he's not big on both the fh and bh side, what is the shot he doesn't like hit and avoids? when you are on the defensive try to make him answer with that shot, you may get a short ball to attack or sneak in on, a baseliner I play likes to float that ball to the backhand corner after trading some big fh's and sneak in...but if you go down the line 2-3 times on him, its neutralized

mordecai
01-15-2009, 11:58 AM
From what it sounds like you just need to give yourself more time to hit the ball. Look to improve your footwork and your court positioning, maybe try moving back when you know he's going to crank one. These are all things that could help you.