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View Full Version : How to deal with a ball that moves in the air?


sureshs
01-26-2009, 11:04 AM
Sideways, I mean :-)

I played with an advanced player last week and he was applying heavy topspin on both wings. The ones angled wide were not difficult (just could not get to them), but the ones towards the body gave me great problems. The balls would start towards by backhand, then move in the air straight to my body or my forehand - or start on the forehand and either jam me or move to my backhand. So my backhand preparation went in vain in the first case, and I had to hurriedly switch to my backhand in the second case. The results were disastrous. I tried standing 3 to 6 feet behind the baseline to let the spin die down, but it didn't help.

habib
01-26-2009, 01:25 PM
Sideways, I mean :-)

I played with an advanced player last week and he was applying heavy topspin on both wings. The ones angled wide were not difficult (just could not get to them), but the ones towards the body gave me great problems. The balls would start towards by backhand, then move in the air straight to my body or my forehand - or start on the forehand and either jam me or move to my backhand. So my backhand preparation went in vain in the first case, and I had to hurriedly switch to my backhand in the second case. The results were disastrous. I tried standing 3 to 6 feet behind the baseline to let the spin die down, but it didn't help.

Have you tried the reverse - taking the shots earlier, before they have a chance to change direction so much?

Spokewench
01-26-2009, 01:35 PM
Have you tried the reverse - taking the shots earlier, before they have a chance to change direction so much?

DITTO - take them early before they have a chance to move around

LeeD
01-26-2009, 02:23 PM
That's the advantage of continental volley grips. You use the same grip for both sides AND up into your body, so you get the ball back. No decision or time wasted deciding what grip for what side and how to hit it.
Practice volleys, stand in at the baseline.
If he blasts it consistently at 130 right into you, you picked too tough a player to worry about winning against.

sureshs
01-26-2009, 02:47 PM
That's the advantage of continental volley grips. You use the same grip for both sides AND up into your body, so you get the ball back. No decision or time wasted deciding what grip for what side and how to hit it.
Practice volleys, stand in at the baseline.
If he blasts it consistently at 130 right into you, you picked too tough a player to worry about winning against.

I am not talking about the serve. I should have clarified. Somehow I can handle those.

Re: taking it early, it is precisely the ball movement that bothers me. My preparation is for the direction I see, but it changes before the bounce. Also, my eyes get strained following the flight path causing dizziness.

LeeD
01-26-2009, 03:12 PM
Sorry...
I think you should play that guy again, so you'll get used to his spins.
You didn't mention if he hits with slice, side, or also with top... varied, to give you your problems.
If it's mainly topspin giving your problems, then you just gotta play more often.
You know what to do with balls into your body, you decide early, step over to one side or the other, and top it back.

dennis10is
01-26-2009, 03:31 PM
Sideways, I mean :-)

I played with an advanced player last week and he was applying heavy topspin on both wings. The ones angled wide were not difficult (just could not get to them), but the ones towards the body gave me great problems. The balls would start towards by backhand, then move in the air straight to my body or my forehand - or start on the forehand and either jam me or move to my backhand. So my backhand preparation went in vain in the first case, and I had to hurriedly switch to my backhand in the second case. The results were disastrous. I tried standing 3 to 6 feet behind the baseline to let the spin die down, but it didn't help.

It is just someone hitting with sidespin in addition to top or underspin on their groundies. It is a more advance stroke if the player can consciously control the amount and direction of the sidespin to ruin your timing and positioning.

From your description, this player can sometime hit a "normal" ball and sometimes they curve? You need to be aware of how the racket is coming across (right to left, left to right) on the swing to anticipate this.

I can do this and my practice partners hates it when I start to mess with them. Typically to prevent the sidespin, you need to press your opponent so that the sidespin is typical, meaning, on tough shots, your opponent will have less option, and less time to have a choice on whether, how much, which direction to apply sidespin.

Cross court topsin tend to breakaway. Inside out topspin or if your opponent lines up and hit straight according to how they are position, they can put side spin either direction

The more you see it, the easier it is for you to spot it and of course, if you can learn to hit it, you'll have a better understanding and can detect it ealier.

Very common in table tennis.

sureshs
01-27-2009, 06:46 AM
It is just someone hitting with sidespin in addition to top or underspin on their groundies. It is a more advance stroke if the player can consciously control the amount and direction of the sidespin to ruin your timing and positioning.

From your description, this player can sometime hit a "normal" ball and sometimes they curve? You need to be aware of how the racket is coming across (right to left, left to right) on the swing to anticipate this.

I can do this and my practice partners hates it when I start to mess with them. Typically to prevent the sidespin, you need to press your opponent so that the sidespin is typical, meaning, on tough shots, your opponent will have less option, and less time to have a choice on whether, how much, which direction to apply sidespin.

Cross court topsin tend to breakaway. Inside out topspin or if your opponent lines up and hit straight according to how they are position, they can put side spin either direction

The more you see it, the easier it is for you to spot it and of course, if you can learn to hit it, you'll have a better understanding and can detect it ealier.

Very common in table tennis.

Thanks. I know it is very common in table tennis and I have been driven mad by it when I used to play TT. I had progressed to the point where I would observe the paddle movement to anticipate the spin. I never thought I would have to do it in tennis.

Now that you mention it, it must be sidespin, not just topspin. He "swipes" the racquet across his body. That must be creating the ball movement. I have been observing the pros in the AO since, and was surprised to find that their balls don't seem to move in the air so much (at least on TV). I was thinking how this guy I played with can do it more than the pros. I think I have the answer now - as you mentioned, they are not given enough time to have the luxury of a sidespin option. They are pressed too much.

LeeD
01-27-2009, 07:44 AM
Just a little change here....
First of all, any of the top 500 in the world would wipe your buddy off the court, triple bagel if they were the least interested !!
Second, your buddy's shots have no movement at all compared to what the AO players are hitting. Those pros hit waaaaay harder, more spin, much faster.
Even a top Div2 player has more spin, more power, more ball movement than the guy you played.
OK, I don't know that (the above) because I don't know who you played.
But for sure, the first two paragraphs apply to you.

mucat
01-27-2009, 11:07 AM
sureshs, is the player hitting with wiper motion?

SystemicAnomaly
01-27-2009, 11:29 AM
Do you use a 1-handed BH? Usually easier to deal with balls that jam you using a 1-hander than the 2-hander (or a FH). You are talking about that has bounced, correct? If is the trajectory before the bounce or the bounce itself that gives you the most grief?

sureshs
01-27-2009, 11:40 AM
sureshs, is the player hitting with wiper motion?

Not really. He is an older player (and used to post on this board) like me. What he does is "whip up" the ball when it comes to him at the correct height. He slides his racquet face over the ball (both FH and BH) in a very stylish way - quite different from even what the pros seem to be doing. He seems to use the lower part of the strings (with the frame horizontal) and flick upwards and sideways at the same time.

sureshs
01-27-2009, 11:42 AM
Do you use a 1-handed BH? Usually easier to deal with balls that jam you using a 1-hander than the 2-hander (or a FH). You are talking about that has bounced, correct? If is the trajectory before the bounce or the bounce itself that gives you the most grief?

Before the bounce. I am used to spin after the bounce as I sometimes hit with juniors. But in this case I am already messed up by the flight so nothing is working after that. I use a 1 hander.

SystemicAnomaly
01-27-2009, 11:45 AM
Before the bounce??? :???:

In your 1st post you said, "I tried standing 3 to 6 feet behind the baseline to let the spin die down". I'm sooo confused.

sureshs
01-27-2009, 11:49 AM
Just a little change here....
First of all, any of the top 500 in the world would wipe your buddy off the court, triple bagel if they were the least interested !!
Second, your buddy's shots have no movement at all compared to what the AO players are hitting. Those pros hit waaaaay harder, more spin, much faster.
Even a top Div2 player has more spin, more power, more ball movement than the guy you played.
OK, I don't know that (the above) because I don't know who you played.
But for sure, the first two paragraphs apply to you.

I understand. That is why I am surprised. I have seen Fed's deuce court serve move from the ad court into the deuce court and then take off towards the ad court again after the bounce. I have seen Nadal's forehand curve around the net post and land in. I can see those movements. But I don't see that kind of air flight in typical groundies. It could be that they are hitting thru the ball more in order to get it penetrate more. If they applied more flight, it could be a sitter. All I am saying is I could not see it on TV, that is all. I cannot say what I would see if I faced Nadal, since I have not done it.

sureshs
01-27-2009, 11:50 AM
Before the bounce??? :???:

In your 1st post you said, "I tried standing 3 to 6 feet behind the baseline to let the spin die down". I'm sooo confused.

Yes I moved back so I would have more time to track the ball, before and after the bounce.

What I am saying is simple. Isn't it the same problem in baseball with the curve ball and such?

SystemicAnomaly
01-27-2009, 11:59 AM
^ When you said "Before the bounce", it sounded like you were talking about hitting a ball before it bounced. But this did not make sense if you were behind the baseline.

So what I now think that you are saying is that the trajectory of the ball before the bounce is what is getting to you, correct?

sureshs
01-27-2009, 12:27 PM
^ When you said "Before the bounce", it sounded like you were talking about hitting a ball before it bounced. But this did not make sense if you were behind the baseline.

So what I now think that you are saying is that the trajectory of the ball before the bounce is what is getting to you, correct?

Exactly.........

SystemicAnomaly
01-27-2009, 12:44 PM
Try to read the actions of your opponent when striking the ball and try to read the spin and trajectory as best as possible and make a decision and commit to it. All other things being equal, I'd go with the one-handed BH since it is usually easiest to deal with a ball that jams you with this stroke.