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Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 07:28 PM
There is one short but very fast player who always has a upper hand on me. He can get EVERYTHING back with INTEREST (very good placement.) I need to hit at least 3 very good balls (>90% power and well placed) to win a point. Unfortunately, on average I can only hit 2, the 3rd usually ends up as an UE. So I always lose like 4 to 6, something like that.

I have tried everything, even pushing back, to no avail. My only chance is to outhit him with 3 good balls but I just can't get myself up to that level consistently.

Any tips to play a player like that?

Cody
11-01-2009, 07:32 PM
Is he good at net?
If not, try bringing him in and passing or lobbing.

Does he have any weaknesses at all ? backhand, serve ?
If not maybe you need to improve as a player and get to that consistient level.

Cody,

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 07:38 PM
Is he good at net?
If not, try bringing him in and passing or lobbing.

Does he have any weaknesses at all ? backhand, serve ?
If not maybe you need to improve as a player and get to that consistient level.

Cody,

He shines at the net, his only problem is lack of power but he makes it up with very good placement. He is kind of a natural talent borned with very good hand, if he were 6'2 he would be Eberg.

His only weakness is the serve, so I can usually break him once or twice every set but he still wins eventually.

Geezer Guy
11-01-2009, 07:42 PM
You may have tried this, but a couple things that sometimes work against fast players is 1) to hit behind them, and 2) just hit it TO them. They're used to running down everything and hit well on the run - by going back behind them you can wrong-foot them sometimes. Or, by just hitting the ball down the middle a lot it takes away their speed advantage as well as not giving them any angles to work with.

Nonentity
11-01-2009, 07:46 PM
you are playing exactly how he wants you to play. His strength is lateral movement. Even if you can beat him by hitting a winner into a corner, it would be a very risky strategy that would require near perfection from you.

So you have to neutralize his strength. First of all, dont try to go for winners, instead bring him up to the net with a drop shot, chances are his net game is not that great. Since he is short, you can easily lob him, and his wing span isn't too big.

On your ground strokes, don't go for winners, but rather set up for approach shots. Hit your shots down the middle, let him push back, get into a grove and be patient. Just have a comfortable back and forth with him, dont try to over power him.

Instead, try to slowly work your way to the net and put pressure on him. If you see that you hit an offensive deep shot, you can step up on or over the baseline so you are in a good position to get the short ball. Once it comes, move up and make the approach shot. the most important part is staying relaxed while you run to the short ball, and make up your mind where you are going with it before you get to it. now hit a heavy topspin to his weaker side and get about halfway between the net and service line, and closer to which ever side you hit to.

now the ball is literally in his court. If he pushes back, its an easy put away. If he lobs, you are in position to hit an overhead (may not be easy if you dont practice it, but easier than making 3 good groundies in a row), or he can try to hit a passing shot, which would be an inconsistent shot for him, especially if he is a pusher.

GuyClinch
11-01-2009, 07:47 PM
If he is truly "short" like you say - perhaps you should try to develop your return of serve more so you can do something with his weaker serve.

Cody
11-01-2009, 07:48 PM
If his only weakness is his serve then there are a couple of things to try:

-If you don't mind a bit of gamemanship move in as close as you can on his serve, i played a guy the other day with a weak serve and could stand close to the service line which annoys them and seemed to cause them to hit more faults,

-Work on your serve as much as possible to help not get broken, if you can break him twice thats all you need.

-Try to hit a good approach shot and get to net, unless he can chase down impossible volleys.

Thats pretty much all i have, good luck

Cody

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 07:49 PM
You may have tried this, but a couple things that sometimes work against fast players is 1) to hit behind them, and 2) just hit it TO them. They're used to running down everything and hit well on the run - by going back behind them you can wrong-foot them sometimes. Or, by just hitting the ball down the middle a lot it takes away their speed advantage as well as not giving them any angles to work with.

He is like 120 lb, he can change direction on a dime so hitting behind him doesn't really work. Every once in a while I might get his wrong footed and hit a ball behind him but that doesn't happen frequent enough.

Hitting at him doesn't work neither. Please remember he is NOT a pusher, he can get everything back with interest. If I keep hitting at him, sooner or later he will get the ball back to a place where I have to scramble and I have never out-scrambled him.

Falloutjr
11-01-2009, 07:53 PM
MOONBALL him. His height will be a disadvantage when the ball bounces at the baseline and up 8 feet in the air and it also negates his speed. Make him hit quality shots from 15 feet behind the baseline, which most people can't do. Also hit the ball right at him and try to outskill him.

Cody
11-01-2009, 07:55 PM
He is like 120 lb, he can change direction on a dime so hitting behind him doesn't really work. Every once in a while I might get his wrong footed and hit a ball behind him but that doesn't happen frequent enough.

Hitting at him doesn't work neither. Please remember he is NOT a pusher, he can get everything back with interest. If I keep hitting at him, sooner or later he will get the ball back to a place where I have to scramble and I have never out-scrambled him.

Don't hit at him, try to always keep him running as much as you can even tho he can run down shots and make your way to the net with solid approach shots

Cody,

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 07:56 PM
you are playing exactly how he wants you to play. His strength is lateral movement. Even if you can beat him by hitting a winner into a corner, it would be a very risky strategy that would require near perfection from you.

So you have to neutralize his strength. First of all, dont try to go for winners, instead bring him up to the net with a drop shot, chances are his net game is not that great. Since he is short, you can easily lob him, and his wing span isn't too big.

On your ground strokes, don't go for winners, but rather set up for approach shots. Hit your shots down the middle, let him push back, get into a grove and be patient. Just have a comfortable back and forth with him, dont try to over power him.

Instead, try to slowly work your way to the net and put pressure on him. If you see that you hit an offensive deep shot, you can step up on or over the baseline so you are in a good position to get the short ball. Once it comes, move up and make the approach shot. the most important part is staying relaxed while you run to the short ball, and make up your mind where you are going with it before you get to it. now hit a heavy topspin to his weaker side and get about halfway between the net and service line, and closer to which ever side you hit to.

now the ball is literally in his court. If he pushes back, its an easy put away. If he lobs, you are in position to hit an overhead (may not be easy if you dont practice it, but easier than making 3 good groundies in a row), or he can try to hit a passing shot, which would be an inconsistent shot for him, especially if he is a pusher.

Thanks for your advises. The only problem is that he is NOT a pusher but definition. He has very good hand and his placement is amazing especially on the volley, he can do Mac Enroe style drop volley all day. He really is talented in a lot of ways. His only weakness is the serve and lack of power in general.

Mick
11-01-2009, 07:56 PM
on tv, they always say the best way to beat a fast player is to wait for him to move and then hit behind him (he cannot change direction once he is in motion)

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 08:02 PM
MOONBALL him. His height will be a disadvantage when the ball bounces at the baseline and up 8 feet in the air and it also negates his speed. Make him hit quality shots from 15 feet behind the baseline, which most people can't do. Also hit the ball right at him and try to outskill him.


High ball does give him some trouble, at least he can't do anything with it. But once my moonball lands short and isn't high enough, he will return it at the corners and I have to start scrambling. Remember he is not a pusher, he is dangerous and he has the ability to take advantage of short balls, even though he is short himself (but not very short maybe 5'6 or something.)

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 08:05 PM
on tv, they always say the best way to beat a fast player is to wait for him to move and then hit behind him (he cannot change direction once he is in motion)

OK, maybe you are on to something. I don't see my opponent well enough to tell when they start to move. Maybe I am paying too much attention at the ball. Maybe I should bend the keep the eyes on the ball rule for him?

Nonentity
11-01-2009, 08:11 PM
still try to move to the net, force him to make the shots to win the points. even if he is not a pusher, it will be harder for him to do this. Right now he is just using his legs to get to the ball and you are giving him points by trying to go for too good of shots.

Mick
11-01-2009, 08:20 PM
OK, maybe you are on to something. I don't see my opponent well enough to tell when they start to move. Maybe I am paying too much attention at the ball. Maybe I should bend the keep the eyes on the ball rule for him?

i think it works best when he is out of position and try to move back to the center. when you see him going back to the center, hit the ball behind him. it will be very difficult for him to slow down, stop, and move back to the opposite direction in time to return your shot.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-01-2009, 11:41 PM
on tv, they always say the best way to beat a fast player is to wait for him to move and then hit behind him (he cannot change direction once he is in motion)

He can AND pull a winner (if he's Federer). :)

If you can break him occasionally, then the option is simple - DON'T GET BROKEN!

Make sure he can't do much off the return, then finish with a well placed shot and anticipate his response and finish at the net. Always look to play an extra volley or 2.

I'd resort to high, wide serves like a topspin slice or a kicker. Occasionally mix in a few bombs and body serves. Just make sure he can't do much with the return, then take the first strike.

His game is to prolong points. Your game should be to force him to come up with good shots all day long on the run. If he can consistently pull it off, either he's the next Rafa. :shock: (At least, for the level you play at.)

I'd also work on your ability to place the ball as well as your consistency. Also, you're probably going for the big shots prematurely, hence your unforced errors.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-01-2009, 11:44 PM
OK, maybe you are on to something. I don't see my opponent well enough to tell when they start to move. Maybe I am paying too much attention at the ball. Maybe I should bend the keep the eyes on the ball rule for him?

It's called "holding the ball". It's something I feel I do pretty well. Basically you get into position early, and let the ball drop a little lower so you have more time to let your opponent commit to a shot, then hit to the other side.

I pay a lot of attention to the ball when I do this, but I also use some court vision to see where my opponent is moving (they're in my peripherals).

Golden Retriever
11-01-2009, 11:49 PM
It's called "holding the ball". It's something I feel I do pretty well. Basically you get into position early, and let the ball drop a little lower so you have more time to let your opponent commit to a shot, then hit to the other side.

I pay a lot of attention to the ball when I do this, but I also use some court vision to see where my opponent is moving (they're in my peripherals).


I guess I don't have good peripheral vision. When I am looking at the ball, I can only see maybe 10% of whats going on on the other side, not good enough.

How come nobody is recommending a racquet change? Maybe thats the key!! I think I need maybe 10mph more to nail that guy in 2 shots.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-02-2009, 12:12 AM
I guess I don't have good peripheral vision. When I am looking at the ball, I can only see maybe 10% of whats going on on the other side, not good enough.

How come nobody is recommending a racquet change? Maybe thats the key!! I think I need maybe 10mph more to nail that guy in 2 shots.

Racket changes are never the answer unless you're playing with a badminton racket...

And 10 mph is a pretty huge difference on groundstrokes, you realize that right?

And it helps to have contact out in front of you, that way when you look at the ball, you're also looking slightly forward towards the opponent's court. I'm not 100% sure, but I might take an extra step into the ball to swing, so I have more angle to see the opponent from. I just see the opponent really well on the other side of the court. All you really need to see is a huge moving object. Most likely, that is the opponent. If not, try asking for a let since something was a hindrance to your peripheral vision that you mistook for your opponent. :)

halalula1234
11-02-2009, 02:48 AM
hav u tried extreme topspin balls? if they're that short it might be harder for them to reach and hit back,. also have u tried some drop shots or shot/low slices then a deep shot after to mix up the depth as well as the angle

Golden Retriever
11-02-2009, 04:51 AM
hav u tried extreme topspin balls? if they're that short it might be harder for them to reach and hit back,. also have u tried some drop shots or shot/low slices then a deep shot after to mix up the depth as well as the angle

Please don't assume he is a pusher and I can try this and that without a risk. He is dangerous and if anything I "try" on him isn't good enough, he will get to it and place it somewhere I can't reach (or have to scramble at least and once I scramble I lose the point.)

Nellie
11-02-2009, 05:39 AM
I agree with the heavy, loopy topspin ground strokes, particularly to the back hand. I would try to hit the deep, loopy strokes until you get a weak shot to move forward to attack and change directions on the ball. With this strategy, I would hit at the player, because the faster players tend to hit well on the move and if you hit wide, you create a lot of angles to get passed.

Golden Retriever
11-02-2009, 08:44 AM
Thank you for all the ideas. I have tried them all but none of them work consistently.

I guess it is like fighting with Bruce Lee. He waits for me to move first. If I don't move first he takes little jabs at me until I breed to death. If I move first then he always find an opening and KO me.

Well, I would fight him with a gun next time.

Mick
11-02-2009, 08:52 AM
in my experience, the key to beat a player who is slighty better than you are is to practice more than he does -- it won't happen overnight but one day you'll beat him :)

mikeler
11-02-2009, 09:11 AM
That 1-2-3 combination is tough because by the time you have to hit that putaway 3rd ball, you are probably a little winded from the point and you can easily lose your concentration. That is the ball you most focus on the most intensely.

Golden Retriever
11-02-2009, 09:19 AM
in my experience, the key to beat a player who is slighty better than you are is to practice more than he does -- it won't happen overnight but one day you'll beat him :)


The problem is that I am already practicing more than he does. He depends on his raw talent, speed and a very good hand, which requires not much practicing. In fact, he doesn't practice at all.

Well, maybe if I wait long enough he'd lose his speed and hopefully I don't lose my groundstroke power as much.

Mick
11-02-2009, 09:33 AM
The problem is that I am already practicing more than he does. He depends on his raw talent, speed and a very good hand, which requires not much practicing. In fact, he doesn't practice at all.

Well, maybe if I wait long enough he'd lose his speed and hopefully I don't lose my groundstroke power as much.

you will have to assess your game and work on the areas that can be improved to beat someone who is slightly better than you:

serve
groundies
volley
overhead
court coverage

for someone who is a lot better than you are, it could take some time :)

Sublime
11-02-2009, 09:34 AM
I need to hit at least 3 very good balls (>90% power and well placed) to win a point. Unfortunately, on average I can only hit 2, the 3rd usually ends up as an UE. So I always lose like 4 to 6, something like that.

Perhaps you're going for too much on that third ball. Maybe instead of using that ball to go for broke (either a winner or UE), you need to consider it a wound shot. Take a little off of it, but put it where you need to and follow it to the net.

If 90% power on that shot is a winner, then I expect 60% or 70% with the same placement will be a shot he can't do much with. Then you come to the net and take away his time to neutralize his speed.

mtommer
11-02-2009, 09:53 AM
Have you ever tried testing his endurance? What I mean is, have you tried just keeping yourself in the point but every time you hit, you hit wide balls with just enough pace to keep him from being to offensive. Keep him running side to side. If you win or lose the point, don't worry about it. Hopefully, if you can wear him down, from that point on you can start winning the points with your two shots.

bukaeast
11-02-2009, 10:14 AM
If I don't move first he takes little jabs at me until I breed to death.

At least you'll die happy with a huge legacy.

Or if you have side effects that last longer than 4 hours, seek medical treatment. :)

sorry. couldn't resist.:oops:

Power Player
11-02-2009, 10:50 AM
MOONBALL him. His height will be a disadvantage when the ball bounces at the baseline and up 8 feet in the air and it also negates his speed. Make him hit quality shots from 15 feet behind the baseline, which most people can't do. Also hit the ball right at him and try to outskill him.

I'm pretty short at around 5'9 and moonballs sent to me will get chopped down and sent back with heavy pace and spin. I think once you hit a certain level, moonballs only work if they have some pace and are not arcing too high.

Sounds like the OP needs to be more consistent and relaxed. Play out the point..no need to end it after 3 shots.

Ripper014
11-02-2009, 11:14 AM
Sounds like you are playing me... the problem I think you are having is that you are being too aggressive. You have already stated that you are close to winning, but you always lose a close match. My guess is that he intuitively wins the key points at the end of a match. Whether he plays them better or you press and give up some crucial points.

One of the things I would suggest trying is bearing down on key points... and trying harder to win them... for me they are 30-0 and 30-15 point... where winning the next point would give me multiple game points.

Another key thing I notice is that players are in a hurry to end a point and take risks that are not needed. You say that you need 3 quality shots to win a point but average 2. Once you have your opponent on the run... you do not need to hit the ball on the line to make a winner... give yourself a little more margin for error and be ready to hit one or two more shots to end the point.

And always look to shorten the court... by doing so your shots arrive much faster and appear to be more penetrating to your opponent.

The other thing you can consider is that he is just better than you are... in which case I would say change your mindset. Start by winning points then games... eventually you will find what brings success in winning.

Mick
11-02-2009, 12:02 PM
In fact, he doesn't practice at all.


i am confident that if you practice every day, you'll beat him one day.

people who doesn't practice can only play up to a certain level.

even the top atp pros have to practice.

Kick_It
11-02-2009, 01:39 PM
A few additions:

1) Instead of trying to run him around - consider keeping him in the middle of the court and mixing up the height, pace, and depth. Preventing him from moving laterally can neutralize one of his strengths.

2) Identify which is his weaker wing. Hit a high, deep loop/lob shot to that wing as an approach shot and come in quickly behind it. Ideally you either hit an overhead or a short, angled volley off his shot for a put-away.

3) Worst case scenario, there's always drop-shot, lob, drop-shot, lob, etc.

Good Luck! K_I

boojay
11-02-2009, 01:59 PM
Being a fast player myself (when I need to be), I can tell you one of my biggest weaknesses is slowing down, so hitting balls behind and even to the player when he's recovering is actually quite a good strategy, especially if the footwork and preparation is lacking. We're better at moving to the ball than away from the ball. I get jammed all the time from overrunning and from not getting out of the way of an incoming ball.

Blake0
11-02-2009, 02:05 PM
hitting to the player is a good strategy. Also, taking the ball on the rise, chopping time away from him slowly would works pretty well. Just keep pushing forward, and the easiest way to get consistent points against fast runners would be to come up to net and win the point. Just don't push up too aggressively as roddick tends to do at times..or you'll get passed. If he's good at passing, don't worry just keep taking away his angles, as long as you're winning atleast 65% of the points you go up to net on..i'd say its a pretty effective strategy

darthpwner
11-02-2009, 02:21 PM
Hit from one corner to another corner over and over a la Agassi. The little guy cant overpower you, so just run him to the ground.

Kick_It
11-02-2009, 03:31 PM
Forgot one addition:

...

4) Serves that kick up high outside of their strike zone. Gives shorter folks fits unless they've got a great return (not many do).

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-02-2009, 03:42 PM
Forgot one addition:

...

4) Serves that kick up high outside of their strike zone. Gives shorter folks fits unless they've got a great return (not many do).

You'd be surprised... Then again... These guys knew well what they were doing... The biggest returns I've ever seen off my kick serve were from short people who knew what they're doing.

Kick_It
11-02-2009, 09:30 PM
You'd be surprised... Then again... These guys knew well what they were doing... The biggest returns I've ever seen off my kick serve were from short people who knew what they're doing.

If they start thumping them back at you - then time for plan B. In my experience not many opponents have a strong enough return to go on offense - but if they do time to switch game plans!