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Cindysphinx
01-01-2010, 09:29 PM
I was watching Tennis Channel Academy, and a pro was discussing the "dip drive." He said it is a finishing groundstroke where you will hit down on the ball and crush it (or words to that effect).

Is there such a shot? It looked like nothing other than a high, powerful groundstroke, where you start your swing higher. I didn't see why trying to hit down on a ball from deep in the court would be a good idea compared to hitting a hard flat groundstroke.

The thing that sounded weird about this is that most people I know who try to hit down on a ball don't do very well. They hit it into the net a lot. The pro describing the shot didn't say what grip is best either.

Can anyone explain things better?

USERNAME
01-01-2010, 09:47 PM
I was watching Tennis Channel Academy, and a pro was discussing the "dip drive." He said it is a finishing groundstroke where you will hit down on the ball and crush it (or words to that effect).

Is there such a shot? It looked like nothing other than a high, powerful groundstroke, where you start your swing higher. I didn't see why trying to hit down on a ball from deep in the court would be a good idea compared to hitting a hard flat groundstroke.

The thing that sounded weird about this is that most people I know who try to hit down on a ball don't do very well. They hit it into the net a lot. The pro describing the shot didn't say what grip is best either.

Can anyone explain things better?

You dont hit that type of shot unless your a few steps or more inside the baseline. While you can execute it from farther back, its placement wont be the greatest not to mention its a much lower %. This is quite an easy shot and is always used to attack, you want to start your stroke off higher, make contact at about shoulder height, and really hit through the ball flattening it out. I can use sw or full w on my groundies but sw is much better for this shot imo. Also use an open stance and make sure to uncoil into the shot.

Bud
01-01-2010, 10:21 PM
I was watching Tennis Channel Academy, and a pro was discussing the "dip drive." He said it is a finishing groundstroke where you will hit down on the ball and crush it (or words to that effect).

Is there such a shot? It looked like nothing other than a high, powerful groundstroke, where you start your swing higher. I didn't see why trying to hit down on a ball from deep in the court would be a good idea compared to hitting a hard flat groundstroke.

The thing that sounded weird about this is that most people I know who try to hit down on a ball don't do very well. They hit it into the net a lot. The pro describing the shot didn't say what grip is best either.

Can anyone explain things better?

It sounds like what they're trying to describe is a swinging/drive volley... instead of hitting it in the traditional sense. You come at it high, but from the side like a topspin FH. However, you definitely don't hit down on such a shot... even though your swing path starts higher.

Did it look like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xINS7io4Dak

There's a great slow motion replay at :40 where it appears Venus is coming down on the stroke... but her racquet is still brushing up the back of the ball.

In the match yesterday, against Ferrer at Capitala... Nadal hit a beautiful swinging volley that hit right on the baseline.

Blake0
01-01-2010, 10:52 PM
There is such a shot, if i'm assuming correctly. (didnt know the name of it, always thought it was just a forehand)

Federer used to hit this shot quite often during the early 2000's, i remember it in 2002 more often. Now he really hasn't been using this shot much. Sorry can't find that video, i remember one against hewitt around 2001-2003.

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-02-2010, 12:04 AM
There is such a shot, if i'm assuming correctly. (didnt know the name of it, always thought it was just a forehand)

Federer used to hit this shot quite often during the early 2000's, i remember it in 2002 more often. Now he really hasn't been using this shot much. Sorry can't find that video, i remember one against hewitt around 2001-2003.

Really? I see Federer using it a lot. It's a staple shot in the men's game. And the big hitting women probably own it too.

The general idea is that it's a big, flat shot hit from about shoulder to head high.

The way you hit it really depends on where you hit it from. When I hit it from a few feet behind the baseline or a few feet in, I hit straight through it and off to the side. When I get it a little above the head, I have to hit down.

It's a major part of my service game, since my serves will pop up a few high sitters, and this shot puts them away with ease.

If you catch it around shoulder height, you don't have to hit down; you should hit through those. If you're around the service line and it gets to head level or a little above, you need to hit down (while it's rising) to control the shot and keep it in the court.

Major problems that come from hitting this shot is the usage of spin. If you use spin, you'll lose general depth control and send it into the net. You want to hit it flat and through the court.

Some players (Safin and Federer) can do this off the backhand. It's kind of difficult, but it's all in the timing really. I can't hit a backhand dip drive down the line, but I can hit a mean one crosscourt if the ball isn't too deep. Otherwise, I'm basically hitting a flat, shoulder-high backhand drive off a high bouncing ball on the rise... Which is essentially a dip drive, though it's not as effective as one from inside the court because far less power is generated compared to the forehand. Then again... Safin hits a pretty mean backhand, so his might be comparable to some forehand dip drives, even when hit from the baseline! :shock:

Here's a video of Federer doing a dip drive from what... 3-5 feet behind the baseline? FOR A WINNER?! Good stuff...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

The general idea - whack a high ball flat and off to the side for a winner.

The most important part is making sure it's in the proper strike zone for this shot as well as hitting it flat and cleanly.

Bud
01-02-2010, 12:16 AM
Really? I see Federer using it a lot. It's a staple shot in the men's game. And the big hitting women probably own it too.

The general idea is that it's a big, flat shot hit from about shoulder to head high.

The way you hit it really depends on where you hit it from. When I hit it from a few feet behind the baseline or a few feet in, I hit straight through it and off to the side. When I get it a little above the head, I have to hit down.

It's a major part of my service game, since my serves will pop up a few high sitters, and this shot puts them away with ease.

If you catch it around shoulder height, you don't have to hit down; you should hit through those. If you're around the service line and it gets to head level or a little above, you need to hit down (while it's rising) to control the shot and keep it in the court.

Major problems that come from hitting this shot is the usage of spin. If you use spin, you'll lose general depth control and send it into the net. You want to hit it flat and through the court.

Some players (Safin and Federer) can do this off the backhand. It's kind of difficult, but it's all in the timing really. I can't hit a backhand dip drive down the line, but I can hit a mean one crosscourt if the ball isn't too deep. Otherwise, I'm basically hitting a flat, shoulder-high backhand drive off a high bouncing ball on the rise... Which is essentially a dip drive, though it's not as effective as one from inside the court because far less power is generated compared to the forehand. Then again... Safin hits a pretty mean backhand, so his might be comparable to some forehand dip drives, even when hit from the baseline! :shock:

Here's a video of Federer doing a dip drive from what... 3-5 feet behind the baseline? FOR A WINNER?! Good stuff...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

The general idea - whack a high ball flat and off to the side for a winner.

The most important part is making sure it's in the proper strike zone for this shot as well as hitting it flat and cleanly.

Oh... I simply call this a FH (taken aggressively and on the rise)... the video calls it a 'Munch Forehand' :-?

Dip Drive does sound more impressive, though :)

The Vitamin L
01-02-2010, 01:00 AM
Here's a pretty good tutorial for the drive volley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VokGUDA3szs

larry10s
01-02-2010, 04:25 AM
its a high ball above the net that you hit really flat. i use it mainly for balls around the service line. i cant hit a 100mph forehand:cry: so its not as usefull from farther back. a flatter ball from farther back when i want to get the ball to move thru the court to ruch my opponent ill it more parralle thru the ball but not the "dip drive". if you watch that federer clip he was up in the air when he hit it so the ball was well above net height.

Cindysphinx
01-02-2010, 06:17 AM
Here's a pretty good tutorial for the drive volley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VokGUDA3szs

Nope, that's not it.

The program was talking about a ball that has bounced, not a swinging volley. And the guy specificially said to hit down on the ball. I don't see how that would work any farther back than the service line.

It might be fun to practice this a bit. It seems if your mechanics are solid, you just do what you normally do except you keep your strike zone higher and finish high too, right?

Can you really generate more pace with a head-high strike zone? I don't see Gonzo hitting this shot all that much. It seems he would prefer to hit on the rise and crack his normal shot.

fruitytennis1
01-02-2010, 06:29 AM
The only way i can think of using this shot is if some 1 is moonballing or deep topspin driving continuously. Atleast thats what im getting out of the discription.

Rambler124
01-02-2010, 06:49 AM
Brett Hobden talked about this at the last USPTA convention I attended. Easiest relative description I can give is how a guy like Soderling took apart Nadal. Del Potro uses this shot a lot as well. High strike zone groundie that you are hitting through the ball with topspin. Its a driving stroke that puts pressure on your opponent and takes away time from them. Works well against Nadal playstyle etc if executed well.

Spinz
01-02-2010, 06:57 AM
http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/famouscoach/brett_hobden/seven_modern_topspin_forehands/seven_modern_topspin_forehands.html

I actually learned this shot from another Australian, who learned it from another Australian...

raiden031
01-02-2010, 06:59 AM
Nope, that's not it.

The program was talking about a ball that has bounced, not a swinging volley. And the guy specificially said to hit down on the ball. I don't see how that would work any farther back than the service line.

It might be fun to practice this a bit. It seems if your mechanics are solid, you just do what you normally do except you keep your strike zone higher and finish high too, right?

Can you really generate more pace with a head-high strike zone? I don't see Gonzo hitting this shot all that much. It seems he would prefer to hit on the rise and crack his normal shot.

I remember watching the Dip Drive tutorial on TTC. I think the key is that you have to jump in the air to get the incoming ball lower with respect to your body so you can offensively attack it. This is one of those shots that I almost never see people hit in recreational leagues with players below 4.5, as its one of the more advanced shots and takes more athleticism to pull off.

Spinz
01-02-2010, 07:03 AM
Brett Hobden talked about this at the last USPTA convention I attended. Easiest relative description I can give is how a guy like Soderling took apart Nadal. Del Potro uses this shot a lot as well. High strike zone groundie that you are hitting through the ball with topspin. Its a driving stroke that puts pressure on your opponent and takes away time from them. Works well against Nadal playstyle etc if executed well.

Brett has some good info. I think he has a DVD about this too but I've never seen it. When I learned it I was taught to hit it with a very extreme grip and very aggressive feet, especially on the contact and recovery. I used to practice it on the ball machine, setting a high bounce with a lot of time between feeds to get the footwork right and have time to recover. You have to play a lot and practice it specifically a lot to hit it well under pressure though.

ttbrowne
01-02-2010, 09:09 AM
I can hit this shot pretty well but I do not have the power that it needs.

This is a TIMING shot though, according to my pro. The body has to be in perfect union to pull it off. You've got to time your body rotation and not be too close to the ball.

Also I have found this shot doesn't work so well in doubles unless you go down the baseline on the return. (Serve has to be a high bouncer)

Cindy, I learned this shot in cardio when the pro would feed me a high ball. Just start to hit it. You'll miss but you have to start somewhere.

Blake0
01-02-2010, 09:30 AM
Does it kind of look like a forehand slam sort of mix? Hitting a forehand from above shoulder height and swinging down on the ball.

bad_call
01-02-2010, 10:45 AM
Brett Hobden talked about this at the last USPTA convention I attended. Easiest relative description I can give is how a guy like Soderling took apart Nadal. Del Potro uses this shot a lot as well. High strike zone groundie that you are hitting through the ball with topspin. Its a driving stroke that puts pressure on your opponent and takes away time from them. Works well against Nadal playstyle etc if executed well.

watched a tennis channel segment hosted by Brett. good stuff from that pro. the bolded is how i interpreted it.

Bagumbawalla
01-03-2010, 07:27 AM
Since I didn't see the program, this may have no value, but, from the explaination, it may be something like this. Normally, for a high, deep ball, the thing do is step back, let the ball drop into the "comfort" zone and hit it back with topspin- low to high swing path.

A lower percentage option is to stand yourground and simply drive through the ball. Since it is above the net, not much topspin is needed, you can drive straight through the ball.

Basically it is what we are usually told not to do.

raiden031
01-03-2010, 11:41 AM
Since I didn't see the program, this may have no value, but, from the explaination, it may be something like this. Normally, for a high, deep ball, the thing do is step back, let the ball drop into the "comfort" zone and hit it back with topspin- low to high swing path.

A lower percentage option is to stand yourground and simply drive through the ball. Since it is above the net, not much topspin is needed, you can drive straight through the ball.

Basically it is what we are usually told not to do.

I think the 'dip drive' is meant to be an offensive shot for when your opponent hits a short ball that bounces high. So you should be well inside the baseline when you hit this shot.

Bagumbawalla
01-03-2010, 04:33 PM
Yes, I understand that- if you let it bounce and come down, it would be deep- if you catch it early (high) then not-so-deep. I may have left something out because I thought it was obvious.

ahile02
01-03-2010, 07:42 PM
Really? I see Federer using it a lot. It's a staple shot in the men's game. And the big hitting women probably own it too.

The general idea is that it's a big, flat shot hit from about shoulder to head high.

The way you hit it really depends on where you hit it from. When I hit it from a few feet behind the baseline or a few feet in, I hit straight through it and off to the side. When I get it a little above the head, I have to hit down.

It's a major part of my service game, since my serves will pop up a few high sitters, and this shot puts them away with ease.

If you catch it around shoulder height, you don't have to hit down; you should hit through those. If you're around the service line and it gets to head level or a little above, you need to hit down (while it's rising) to control the shot and keep it in the court.

Major problems that come from hitting this shot is the usage of spin. If you use spin, you'll lose general depth control and send it into the net. You want to hit it flat and through the court.

Some players (Safin and Federer) can do this off the backhand. It's kind of difficult, but it's all in the timing really. I can't hit a backhand dip drive down the line, but I can hit a mean one crosscourt if the ball isn't too deep. Otherwise, I'm basically hitting a flat, shoulder-high backhand drive off a high bouncing ball on the rise... Which is essentially a dip drive, though it's not as effective as one from inside the court because far less power is generated compared to the forehand. Then again... Safin hits a pretty mean backhand, so his might be comparable to some forehand dip drives, even when hit from the baseline! :shock:

Here's a video of Federer doing a dip drive from what... 3-5 feet behind the baseline? FOR A WINNER?! Good stuff...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_oenWftWCc

The general idea - whack a high ball flat and off to the side for a winner.

The most important part is making sure it's in the proper strike zone for this shot as well as hitting it flat and cleanly.

Great post.

The dip drive is what you see alot in the pro game when a returner is only able to return the serve with a high sitter around the service line that the server smacks for an easy winner.

mordecai
01-03-2010, 10:22 PM
I believe the technique is to close your racquet face a little extra and really hit with a flat swing trajectory

Lsmkenpo
01-04-2010, 01:48 AM
This is the shot that Soderling used extensively at the FO to crush Nadal.

Watch some video of the difference in his forehand on high bouncing balls,
he raises his takeback height and doesn't drop under the ball, the torso pivots and the arm kind of lags a little than strikes straight through the ball like a catupult using a straight arm.

You need to close your racquet face very slightly to make the ball dip into the court, no more than 5 degrees is necessary,this allows you to swing straight through the ball but make it dip with some topspin.

Thud and blunder
01-04-2010, 05:58 AM
Here's a nice example from Henin:

Dip drive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuRVg8rg2x8)

smoothtennis
01-04-2010, 06:16 AM
It is a very legit shot - one that I learned exclusively watching that video on Tennis Channel. The key is the set up and he gives all the keys and checkpoints for that stroke.

I use a SW or W when executing this shot, and at my level, I need to be almost up to the service line before it is a consitent shot.

The key thing to using this shot is recognizing the opportunity on a high short ball before it drops below shoulder level - getting the racket up high, out front, and driving down into the court. It does look like a mega forehand but the swing path is quite different form a normal rally forehand.

dman72
01-04-2010, 06:19 AM
I hit down on a high bouncing ball that is near the service line..any deeper and it's very low percentage, and guys who regularly hit down on the ball from the baseline make a lot of unforced errors. ....I used to try to hit that shot way too often.

raiden031
01-04-2010, 06:36 AM
Yes, I understand that- if you let it bounce and come down, it would be deep- if you catch it early (high) then not-so-deep. I may have left something out because I thought it was obvious.

It has nothing to do with catching it early. Catching it early would mean hitting it on the rise, which would probably be very difficult to do on a shot like this. Its just attacking a ball that doesn't have much on it to begin with and happens to bounce high. Its a short ball no matter when you take it...

sureshs
01-04-2010, 07:26 AM
I have seen the TTC segment. It definitely said to hit the ball down. It is a big crushing downwards shot, meant for big guys like Soderling and Del Potro. It is the opposite of topspin, and part of the tendency of big guys to hit flat with side spin, instead of low to high topspin motion. Very effectively used by Soderling and Del Potro against top spinners like Federer and Nadal.

LeeD
01-04-2010, 08:10 AM
If you're a tall male pro and the opponent hits hard, deep, and high bouncing to you, that shot is a must.
If you're a shorter player, like under 5'6", and you're facing weaker hitters at a lower level, you cannot hit downward at the ball, as it goes into the net from your much lower hitting zone.

dragon2o00
01-04-2010, 03:31 PM
i watched the same segment and thought it was a routine shot that he assigned a name to. if you're coming across a short, high ball with an angled face, you're technically hitting downward, aren't you? i figured it was him just trying to give a name for a shot to lend credence to his program.

dragon2o00
01-04-2010, 03:31 PM
i watched the same segment and thought it was a routine shot that he assigned a name to. if you're coming across a short, high ball with an angled face, you're technically hitting downward, aren't you? i figured it was him just trying to give a name for a shot to lend credence to his program.

"short" as in "inside the baseline"

Bagumbawalla
01-04-2010, 03:42 PM
Raiden031,

??? If you saw the video of Federer, posted above- well, that is what I was trying to describe (badly?). I guess it depends on what you are calling short. Basically I don't follow what you are getting at.

MrCLEAN
01-04-2010, 04:32 PM
I've got this shot on my forehand side. I've seen a few people tag shoulder high balls on the BH side as well, but I don't have that shot. I'd have to agree w/ most of the posts here, it's a putaway or VERY forcing approach shot. I'll usually take it from about halfway between the baseline and service line, all the way up to the net. I use it when the ball is too low for an overhead, but when you don't want to wait and let it drop and hit a slice or flat approach shot. I didn't know it had a name, I called it an "overhand" lol. I use between a semiwestern to full western grip, and it's easier to pull off hitting down the line or inside out. So if you see someone winding up for a head high shot of this type....COVER LEFT! :)

raiden031
01-04-2010, 06:48 PM
Raiden031,

??? If you saw the video of Federer, posted above- well, that is what I was trying to describe (badly?). I guess it depends on what you are calling short. Basically I don't follow what you are getting at.

Maybe I don't follow what you're getting at. I guess I look at it more as a shot that you can either choose to attack by taking it high in the air, or waiting for it to come down. But regardless you can't just do it on just any shot, but against a weaker shot by your opponent. I don't think Fed's video is a good example of how to use this shot because he's doing it from so far back, and most rec. players would never pull that off.

mntlblok
01-05-2010, 02:45 AM
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/trajectory_maker.cgi#output

Just to muddy things up a bit, go to Shot Maker and play with the "Ball Angle" on this type of shot. It's fairly amazing (to me) to see the differences between a ball 5 and a half feet off the ground and at the top of its bounce versus one that is dropping at 30 or more degrees and is then struck at 5 and a half feet off the ground. Go ahead and catch it 10 or 15 feet inside the baseline, too.

Another befuddler is to play with the amount of topspin on the approaching ball. If it has very little spin, such as with a totally "pushed" moon ball, *and* it's dropping at, say, 45 degrees, we might unconsciously or subconsciously know what to do to keep from hitting it into the net, but the results can get to be quite interesting if we don't make certain stroke changes. :)

Kevin

Bagumbawalla
01-05-2010, 04:02 PM
Raiden031,

Well, yes, I agree with the point that most of us would not hit that shot as well as Federer. And, basically, that is why I mentioned that most instructors suggest that we step back and let the ball drop so we can take a more normal stroke- keep the ball in play and wait for something short that we can attack with a conventional groundstroke.

However, I also believe that the same "dip" shot from (say) 4 feet closer to the net would not be a whole lot easier for most people- for possibly the same reason that I have seen people take high volleys and dump them into the net.

And, also, though I had no idea what to call this shot (til now), It is something I do practice (and a backhand version too)- despite what my coach has taught me about percentage play.

keepurpowderdry
08-01-2010, 11:57 AM
Here's a nice example from Henin:

Dip drive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuRVg8rg2x8)

that looks like allot opf topspin , not a flate high to low swing at all ??? But thats how some of my group are all hitting it ! I dont see any of them hitting high to low ??? Do you think because we are 5'5 to 5'9 height like henin we have to swing like her and not high to low ?
Thanks for your time

xFullCourtTenniSx
08-01-2010, 01:23 PM
that looks like allot opf topspin , not a flate high to low swing at all ??? But thats how some of my group are all hitting it ! I dont see any of them hitting high to low ??? Do you think because we are 5'5 to 5'9 height like henin we have to swing like her and not high to low ?
Thanks for your time

For one, you're NOT SUPPOSED to hit it from high to low... That's how you hit it into the net. Sometimes, you actually HAVE to hit down, but in most you don't. The better players are in position so fast that they don't need to hit down and take the added risk of the net being a factor.

Also, Henin being so short does play a role, since the ball will jump over her head more quickly. But from so far behind the net and so high, she can't hit down on it. If she wanted to hit down, she's much better off going for a low overhead.

Mr_Shiver
08-01-2010, 04:06 PM
I use that shot, I try to get to the ball before it gets that high but it isn't always possible. I didn't know it had a special name I just considered it a jumping forehand. Definitely works best from inside the baseline or at most on it.

keepurpowderdry
08-19-2010, 02:02 PM
I think the 'dip drive' is meant to be an offensive shot for when your opponent hits a short ball that bounces high. So you should be well inside the baseline when you hit this shot.

I agree , After reading and posting on this thread I have continued to practice it in my weekly doubles matches. So I hit it more on a level swing starting high and swinging through the ball , Its not much room for error but when I time it right their is no way they can return it even if i hit it by them.

Now the others that are learning this shot in my group hit it more with topspin like the video on this thread of federer but with even more exagerrated top spin.. For instance one of the guys was saying he was told to have the butt cap facing skyward and then execute the swing (the shot) ...

It seem that the more top spin dip drive is more safe than driving through dip drive .. But when i try the top spin dip drive I allways hit it way long :( and when i hit the flater driving through dip drive I allways either barely hit it out or I destroy it in the court for a winner ... Any thoughts on my experience ?

hawk eye
08-19-2010, 02:30 PM
It's Soderling's bread and butter shot, nobody hits it better than he does due to his grip, height and the high level of swingpath (which requires enormous strength).
He just crushes those, watch this for example, receiving a serve...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-ZhFrjGvVg

r2473
08-19-2010, 02:43 PM
The Tennis Channel teaches the shot in their "On Court" series. You can purchase it for $25. Or just wait for it to air on TC. It is on pretty often (at least it used to be):

http://www.uspro**********.com/default.aspx/act/Catalog.aspx/catalogid/1591/Subcategory/On+Court+with+USPTA/category/DVDs/browse//MenuGroup/Menu/desc/The+Shoulder-Level+Dip+Drive.htm

www.us pro tennis shop.com