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View Full Version : Power with no depth is nothing, power with depth is an UF error magnet.


Golden Retriever
10-22-2009, 03:56 AM
So what should I do?

The Vitamin L
10-22-2009, 04:00 AM
Use spin to control the depth.

jmverdugo
10-22-2009, 05:22 AM
actually just depth is more than enough to force errors from time to time. Topsin is your friend.

jwbarrientos
10-22-2009, 05:28 AM
actually just depth is more than enough to force errors from time to time. Topsin is your friend.

Yeap, keep pushing your game, no matter how many shots fly around, the idea is to avoid short balls and be attacked.

So light balls to the baseline are better than heavy ball to mid court, at least in my 3.0-3.5 level experience.

BTW (i) you have to accept that average players make more mistakes than winners, so ... keep cool, remain calm, pass the f...g ball to the baseline.

BTW (ii) did you realize that strong shot is equal than a soft shot if you win the point :shock:

Djokovicfan4life
10-22-2009, 06:11 AM
Use spin to control the depth.

actually just depth is more than enough to force errors from time to time. Topsin is your friend.

No no no, that'll never do. Remember guys, the OP hates topspin.

Golden Retriever
10-22-2009, 06:57 AM
No no no, that'll never do. Remember guys, the OP hates topspin.

OK, you got me but I hate UFE more.

Camilio Pascual
10-22-2009, 07:55 AM
So what should I do?
Depth without power.

5263
10-22-2009, 08:58 AM
The best answer IMO is power and spin, with moderate depth.
Learn this from Fed and Rafa when playing well. They are using great power and spin, but their depth is very moderate. Fed looks bad when he tries to get too much depth and Nadal looks bad when he has spin, but his power is off for some reason (like the Shanghi final).

Bungalo Bill
10-22-2009, 09:03 AM
So what should I do?

Use the rule to hit within three feet of the lines for your depth. Use no-depth shots to change the pace, get your opponent off balance or on the run. There are strategies you can use with short balls, etc...

When you use the three feet rule, practice your swing and memorize how much effort you need to keep the ball close to your three feet rule. When mastered, start mastering placement, moving the ball around, your angles, etc...

Mick
10-22-2009, 10:16 AM
Depth without power.

you'd be suprised how many people can't handle depth without power.

kaptain karl wrote about it "the softballer" :)

"...They seem to absorb all the power of your shots and redirect it with good deep placement, but they won’t give you any pace to work with. You must always supply your own power. This player exhausts you ... physically and mentally"

LeeD
10-22-2009, 10:20 AM
Spin is the great controller of power.
Topspin, as used my most nowadaze.
Underspin (slice), as used by us old farts or lazy injured types.
Sidespin, as used by some obscure players like JimmyConnors and KenRosewall.
As said, depth is very important, and as said, aim 3' inside the baseline.

bad_call
10-22-2009, 10:25 AM
you'd be suprised how many people can't handle depth without power.

kaptain karl wrote about it "the softballer" :)

"...They seem to absorb all the power of your shots and redirect it with good deep placement, but they won’t give you any pace to work with. You must always supply your own power. This player exhausts you ... physically and mentally"

not too many opponents DON'T punish the soft ball that i've played. so better mix em up.

LuckyR
10-22-2009, 10:28 AM
A couple of things. I would agree that depth wins more points than pace. I would call errors off of a deep shot a forced error in the Club game. You can control shots well with topspin, but topspin tends to make shots drop short, not add depth. Of course you can aim quite deep and depend on the topspin to drop the ball within 3 feet of the baseline. Good luck with that in a long rally. If you can pull that off, you are good enough to have many other weapons besides depth, since you would be able to flirt with the sidelines too.

Myself, I hit with an Eastern FH and have some topspin but compared to the Modern game, my strokes would often be labeled as "flat". It is fairly easy to dial in depth with flatter strokes by tuning your stick until your routine strokes drop in within 6 feet of the inside of the baseline.

Mick
10-22-2009, 10:31 AM
not too many opponents DON'T punish the soft ball that i've played. so better mix em up.

that's true. if you play against a good player and give him only soft balls, he'll make you pay.

5263
10-22-2009, 10:34 AM
you'd be suprised how many people can't handle depth without power.

kaptain karl wrote about it "the softballer" :)

"...They seem to absorb all the power of your shots and redirect it with good deep placement, but they won’t give you any pace to work with. You must always supply your own power. This player exhausts you ... physically and mentally"

I think if you chart matches for a player who strives for great depth, you will be surprised at the number of deep UEs they have per match.

LeeD
10-22-2009, 10:34 AM
If you play against a good player, and only give him hard balls, he'll make you pay dearly.
Variety, change of pace, and smarts needs some application.

Bungalo Bill
10-22-2009, 10:36 AM
you'd be suprised how many people can't handle depth without power.

This is very true.

Mick
10-22-2009, 10:41 AM
If you play against a good player, and only give him hard balls, he'll make you pay dearly.
Variety, change of pace, and smarts needs some application.

i think if you have good depth on your groundstrokes and can cover the net well, whoever beats you deserves to win :)

LeeD
10-22-2009, 10:44 AM
I'm limited by my physical skills and mental anquish...
Guys who hit soft and deep will beat me, if they're better than me.
Guys who hit hard and flat will beat me, if they're better than me.
But me, I try to hit both hard and flat, but also topspin loops, hard low slices, shortangles, and I often get beat.

Camilio Pascual
10-22-2009, 01:23 PM
you'd be suprised how many people can't handle depth without power.
Actually, it doesn't, it is my basic strategy.
I am very fast. Big hitters at 4.0 level who take a nice big, healthy stroke at very soft balls near the baseline can rarely bother me from back there. For any clean winner or forcing shot they can hit by me baseline-to-baseline, several hard hit topspin shots go diving into the net or go long. I'll take that ratio any day.

Kedar
10-22-2009, 02:56 PM
Wrong, Power with no depth is something because people always do that to me and at very short angles so I have to hit it on the run. Then they charge the net and volley away my weak reply because I was on the run and the ball was low as hell by the time I hit it

Djokovicfan4life
10-22-2009, 03:43 PM
Wrong, Power with no depth is something because people always do that to me and at very short angles so I have to hit it on the run. Then they charge the net and volley away my weak reply because I was on the run and the ball was low as hell by the time I hit it

Obviously the OP was not talking about angle shots here.

bhupaes
10-22-2009, 04:10 PM
Deeper is better, of course. But balls landing at the service line with pace and heavy topspin, which break to the left or right and jump high, are very effective defensive shots which are hard to attack. This is the kind of ball that high level players seem to hit routinely, and I believe this is what 5263 is referring to. If you are going to hit without any pace from baseline to baseline, you have to at least make it deep in order to give a minimal degree of difficulty to your opponent.

KenC
10-23-2009, 02:53 AM
I always thought is was best to hit consistently deep with good pace to keep the opponent off the backline and at least 6 ft. behind. This way they have to run more to catch angle shots and have less angles to work with on their return shots. They also have to hit balls on the rise which is more demanding of good timing. Its also a good way to keep people from advancing to the net. Hitting shots that land around the service line give the opponent perfect balls for which to take control of the point.

GuyClinch
10-23-2009, 03:02 AM
Yeah umm..just add some topspin to your deep power shot to keep it in. <g> I think we covered this topic before.

5263
10-23-2009, 03:10 AM
I always thought is was best to hit consistently deep with good pace to keep the opponent off the backline and at least 6 ft. behind. This way they have to run more to catch angle shots and have less angles to work with on their return shots. They also have to hit balls on the rise which is more demanding of good timing. Its also a good way to keep people from advancing to the net. Hitting shots that land around the service line give the opponent perfect balls for which to take control of the point.

It was,
back in the day, and still is for players who hit mostly from neutral and closed stance with moderate speed and topspin.

But look at the shot spot display on where shots land next time when Fed is playing well, with good spin and power. Or chart a match for yourself. Often he will have very few shots land in the last couple of feet in the court, and most will be 6-10 feet prior to the baseline. The ratio is at least 10-1 for balls well clear of the BL.

In the many matches I've charted so far, players hitting for great depth tend to lose and have a high UE count. They also don't have a great record for getting to net, taking control, or finishing on shorter balls around the svc line hit with excellent power and spin that are hit by their opponents.
Note: these are tight matchups like #3 vs #5. For poor match ups like a lucky loser vs a #10 player, I can't say, as I have not charted these type matches.

Ken Honecker
10-23-2009, 03:57 AM
What's with this 3 foot 6 foot stuff? Heck I thought you were supposed to aim for the white line at the back of the court, prefferable causing the defender to think about whether they were going to be in or not.

PimpMyGame
10-23-2009, 03:58 AM
At the level I play, depth gets you through. If you hit with depth and power, it's a winner or an easy putaway.

The older I get, the more I just want to keep my game as simple as possible. I see more errors being made in going for winners than anything else. I see opponents get a winner with a crazy dropshot, only for me to pick up several points while they try to make lightning strike twice.

Certainly I'd rather hit the ball deep than hard.

5263
10-23-2009, 04:23 AM
At the level I play, depth gets you through. If you hit with depth and power, it's a winner or an easy putaway.

The older I get, the more I just want to keep my game as simple as possible. I see more errors being made in going for winners than anything else. I see opponents get a winner with a crazy dropshot, only for me to pick up several points while they try to make lightning strike twice.

Certainly I'd rather hit the ball deep than hard.

Sure, depth is always, always good when accomplished. No Doubt. But the question is, what is the trade off. If you never miss long, then great, hit the back line with every shot.

Or if you are going for the back 2-3 feet and miss every 5th shot, that's fine too if the other poor soul is playing the same game and misses about the same. Just don't be surprised when you face a guy who can keep the ball in the court and makes 3-5 UEs per set hands you a couple of bagels, and then come on the forum about how you struggle with pushers.

5263
10-23-2009, 04:29 AM
What's with this 3 foot 6 foot stuff? Heck I thought you were supposed to aim for the white line at the back of the court, prefferable causing the defender to think about whether they were going to be in or not.

Ken, sounds like a great plan. If you get a chance, I'd love to get a vid of you playing a set, with a camera angle that shows where the balls land. Seriously, It would be interesting to see where your shots actually land and what your ratio is on balls hit long vs balls very near the baseline by your standards. You might find it interesting as well.

BounceHitBounceHit
10-23-2009, 06:22 AM
Depth kills. Period. It challenges footwork. It keeps opponents off the offensive and tied to the baseline. It frustrates, it discourages, it rules. :twisted: Placement is important, spin is great, but depth........depth kills. ;)

A suggestion: during practice, try to NEVER hit a ball wide or into the net. Just try it. Count balls that are just over the baseline as 'in' (you and your opponent agree to this in advance, say 6" out is 'good') You will find that when you actually PLAY MATCHES you will be just tight enough that the balls that went 6" out are now landing 6-12" in! ;)

Good luck and happy hitting,

BHBH

PimpMyGame
10-23-2009, 06:38 AM
Sure, depth is always, always good when accomplished. No Doubt. But the question is, what is the trade off. If you never miss long, then great, hit the back line with every shot.

Or if you are going for the back 2-3 feet and miss every 5th shot, that's fine too if the other poor soul is playing the same game and misses about the same. Just don't be surprised when you face a guy who can keep the ball in the court and makes 3-5 UEs per set hands you a couple of bagels, and then come on the forum about how you struggle with pushers.

No need to worry about whether I struggle with pushers. I struggle with all opponents.

Camilio Pascual
10-23-2009, 08:00 AM
The older I get, the more I just want to keep my game as simple as possible. I see more errors being made in going for winners than anything else. I see opponents get a winner with a crazy dropshot, only for me to pick up several points while they try to make lightning strike twice. Certainly I'd rather hit the ball deep than hard.
Well said. This is how the 50somethings often beat the 30somethings in my league.

Power Player
10-23-2009, 08:23 AM
If you are going to hit soft and deep you better have a ton of spin and placement on that shot. The best players I hit with destroy just one mistake like that if I screw up and hit too soft.

Ken Honecker
10-24-2009, 12:46 AM
Ken, sounds like a great plan. If you get a chance, I'd love to get a vid of you playing a set, with a camera angle that shows where the balls land. Seriously, It would be interesting to see where your shots actually land and what your ratio is on balls hit long vs balls very near the baseline by your standards. You might find it interesting as well.

Sadly tennis season seems about done in my northern clime. I'm no where near the player I was 30 years ago but I am using the same racquet I bought in 1974 so even though I have very little footwork left because of extra weight and a history of calf injuries I do have a pretty good feel for my stick. I honestly believe that I hit more close balls that are inside the baseline then I do just past. Now there are the occasional ones that don't drop at all and are way deep or those sorry ones that land mid court but that I'll blame them on taking most of the last 25 years off.