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View Full Version : What's your stand on hitting a player on purpose...for strategic reasons?


Zachol82
01-07-2010, 01:20 PM
By strategic reasons, I mean not hitting them out of anger, but striking a ball at their body simply because it is the best shot at the moment to get a point.

I know it's not good manners and whatnot but I'm torn on this, which is why I'm asking the TW community!

Sometimes, I would face an extremely skilled net-player and lobbing doesn't necessarily help and it's not really my style to lob 9/10 shots. Can't really hit a passing shot since my opponent is pretty good at predicting where I will hit it. The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body where I can possibly get a weak reply and create an opening from there.

Now, this makes me look ill-mannered and all on the court but what else can I do? My opponent is good, I would lose the match if I handicap myself by not hitting at him. In my own opinion, if you like playing net, and you're really good at it, you shouldn't expect your opponent to respect you by not hitting the ball at you. However, my opponent did seem a little ****ed off about it, and I don't blame him...but what does the community think?

Just for your information, I did hit a good 10-15 shots at him :oops:

TennisKid1
01-07-2010, 01:27 PM
Well if you hit him once its more of a mental boost for you and mental decrease for the opponent. Hitting your opponent with the ball will help you think that he cant read where you are going to hit the ball as well as you thought they could. For your opponent he will be thinking more about what you will do since instead of just passing shots and lobs it adds getting hit by the ball to the menu. So really hitting them once, on accident or on purpose, will increase your position during the match.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 01:33 PM
Well if you hit him once its more of a mental boost for you and mental decrease for the opponent. Hitting your opponent with the ball will help you think that he cant read where you are going to hit the ball as well as you thought they could. For your opponent he will be thinking more about what you will do since instead of just passing shots and lobs it adds getting hit by the ball to the menu. So really hitting them once, on accident or on purpose, will increase your position during the match.

I must have increased my position a lot then :[

W Cats
01-07-2010, 01:38 PM
I have two responses:

1, Yeah, I'd be slightly ticked, but I would also know it's part of the game. And if I got any inclination that it wasn't an accident - then you've just signaled that it's open season.

2, If you are that good at targeting, you should be able to come up with a decent passing shot.

user92626
01-07-2010, 01:38 PM
OP,

It's rather simple.

First, walk into the court with a friendly attitude that no one would doubt your friendliness. Then, proceed with this shot in a gamely manner. If you hit it correctly like you say/intend it's quite hard to hit people in the face. Stomach, yes. I aim to hit to win a point which is key here. I never need to aim at the net person, just in his general direction or close to him is enough to win me point already (I guess quality of your shot is also key). If it gets dangerously close, I raise my hand to apologize and cite lack of control which is true cuz I never intend to hit player. If I had control the shot would pass perfectly and unharmfully. ;)

JavierLW
01-07-2010, 01:39 PM
By strategic reasons, I mean not hitting them out of anger, but striking a ball at their body simply because it is the best shot at the moment to get a point.

I know it's not good manners and whatnot but I'm torn on this, which is why I'm asking the TW community!

Sometimes, I would face an extremely skilled net-player and lobbing doesn't necessarily help and it's not really my style to lob 9/10 shots. Can't really hit a passing shot since my opponent is pretty good at predicting where I will hit it. The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body where I can possibly get a weak reply and create an opening from there.

Now, this makes me look ill-mannered and all on the court but what else can I do? My opponent is good, I would lose the match if I handicap myself by not hitting at him. In my own opinion, if you like playing net, and you're really good at it, you shouldn't expect your opponent to respect you by not hitting the ball at you. However, my opponent did seem a little ****ed off about it, and I don't blame him...but what does the community think?

Just for your information, I did hit a good 10-15 shots at him :oops:

You can hit it at them all you want. (you're talking about when you're at the baseline, right?)

People try to nail the ball at me all the time, especially some of the 3.0 or weak 3.5 players we've been playing in this indoor league.

Once in awhile I blink or lose a beat and I suddenly have to get out of the way at the last minute (rather then go for the shot), but that's my fault.

I always think it's a lot like playing the infield in baseball. You really have to be ready for those shots and stay aggressive up there, otherwise it can get really dangerous.

Bashi
01-07-2010, 01:43 PM
i think the only time when this is frowned upon is when you're putting away a short ball or an overhead around the service line, when they can be pretty sure it was on purpose. but yes, i have done this before, and had it done to me.

zettabyte
01-07-2010, 01:44 PM
I'm new to the game but I have to say I don't see it as ill-mannered or inappropriate.

If a body serve is okay, why not a body pass? If the opponent is frazzled by a hard hit body shot when at the net, maybe they don't belong up there?

Now, if you're good enough to do it all the time, then it would seem you could probably find an angle to attack as well, as your placement is pretty solid. But that's not the point, is it?

If you were doing it to me, I'd see it as a decent tactic, and I wouldn't be offended.

user92626
01-07-2010, 02:05 PM
i think the only time when this is frowned upon is when you're putting away a short ball or an overhead around the service line, when they can be pretty sure it was on purpose. but yes, i have done this before, and had it done to me.

On contrary this is one of the instance that it's most expected, thus less frowned upon. It's a short ball and a sure way to win. I'm not gonna hit way away from the netman or to their baseline person and give up the point. To boost, smart netman can assess the situation, turn around and surrender the point which means he expects such a shot.

Now, on the other hand, if you fire a low percentage shot right at anyone, people are gonna question your intention. To boost, if they dodge the shots and the shots consistently go long, you'll be hung. They will come to believe you're a bad blood.

In fact there was one guy like that in our group. I never got hit by him, just a few scares, but almost everyone else got hit. We did not mind him hitting those shots to win but they better be in. Sadly 9/10 of those shots sailed long and he got so much verbal abuse. He stopped coming out over 6 months already.

W Cats
01-07-2010, 02:48 PM
On contrary this is one of the instance that it's most expected, thus less frowned upon. It's a short ball and a sure way to win. I'm not gonna hit way away from the netman or to their baseline person and give up the point. To boost, smart netman can assess the situation, turn around and surrender the point which means he expects such a shot.

For some reason I'm assuning this is singles situation and not doubles because I don't recall th OP mentioning doubles and if the opponent is at the net I assume that hitting at their feet on a short ball or overhead is highly unlikely, therefore you are aming at their torso, lets say an area 4-5 square feet. I don't know about you but if I turned my back to yield the shot and got nailed in the back with an overhead with a targeting area of 4-5 feet vs. the rest of the court I don't think anyone would reach out and shake your hand for good sportsmanship.

papatenis
01-07-2010, 03:10 PM
The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body

You've got to be kidding.
If you have the ability to hit at body parts, then you have the skill to hit a passing shot.

Don't forget, tennis is a gentleman's sport!!!

ALten1
01-07-2010, 03:14 PM
I think in singles hitting at the opponent at the net is a good stratagy, especially if they can't return it. If the player is tall wouldn't hitting into their body or at their feet be the smart thing to do?

papa
01-07-2010, 03:37 PM
For some reason I'm assuning this is singles situation and not doubles because I don't recall th OP mentioning doubles and if the opponent is at the net I assume that hitting at their feet on a short ball or overhead is highly unlikely, therefore you are aming at their torso, lets say an area 4-5 square feet. I don't know about you but if I turned my back to yield the shot and got nailed in the back with an overhead with a targeting area of 4-5 feet vs. the rest of the court I don't think anyone would reach out and shake your hand for good sportsmanship.

Yes, your right.

When the purpose of the shot is purely to "injure" or "hurt" someone than you have things pretty screwed up and you might consider giving up the "sport" before you end up in jail. If someone is interested in doing these things, forget tennis and join the Marines or Army Infantry - where you actually get paid. Grow up, this is a "game".

xFullCourtTenniSx
01-07-2010, 03:40 PM
I don't have to resort to body blows in singles except on serves as changeups.

In doubles, I naturally don't like hitting people so I always hit away from the net man. This usually means that if I'm poaching I'll usually hit to the baseline player. Sometimes I get the angled volley winner, but other times I basically did nothing and took a meaningless risk. I've been trying to aim for the net man more on poaches (unless I have open court to hit to anyway), but it's still difficult for me, I hate it that much. I've been told by many to aim for the net man and to not apologize when I hit it to them and that if I don't occasionally hit them (as an accidental result of aiming in their vicinity), then I'm not being aggressive enough at the net.

So to summarize, in singles it's not too necessary since you have open court to hit to, but it's a good tactic if you need to resort to it (but you should never NEED to resort to it if you're a good player). In doubles, it's almost mandatory regardless of your abilities, just try not to hurt them or make contact with their body.

brad1730
01-07-2010, 03:45 PM
It depends on the distance. If your opponent is at the net, and you are at the service line, then I would fire away - but not at his face. I've had guys hit me that were a lot closer, and had a lot of open court - and it really got me upset. This happens more in doubles - but what goes around, comes around.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 03:47 PM
Just to clarify things up a little, yes I am talking about a singles match and yes I am at the baseline while my opponent is at net. However, I aim for his body as I approach the service line, not while I'm way back at baseline.

Well, you're right in that aiming at a person's body is difficult. However, it's "easy" for me to hit at a person's body as oppose to hitting passing shots by them because first of all, they wont expect a shot toward their body, and secondly, I can hit a much harder ball toward them, since normally it would be out but in this case it's fine since it'd hit the opponent instead.

Hitting a passing shot by the opponent I was describing above was extremely difficult for me. I would have to hit it with extreme angle to either the left or right. All he has to do is reach out and that's pretty much point for him, since a net player has much better angles and options. Also, keep in mind that to hit a passing shot would either mean extreme angle cross-court OR straight down the line, which is a heck of a lot harder than just hitting it down the middle of the court at someone's body. Granted if I was better, I would have been able to, but I'm just not there yet.

And also, I DID aim for his body on purpose, however, with the intention that it's the only option I see open. I would never hurt someone on the court out of shear anger or for sadistic gratification.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 04:02 PM
I'm new to the game but I have to say I don't see it as ill-mannered or inappropriate.

If a body serve is okay, why not a body pass? If the opponent is frazzled by a hard hit body shot when at the net, maybe they don't belong up there?


That's what I believe as well, but it's kind of hard to make hitting someone else look right:neutral:

Netspirit
01-07-2010, 04:12 PM
I will never try it intentionally if this is a recreational match. Tennis is supposed to be a non-contact sport, I do not want to injure or scare my opponent.

user92626
01-07-2010, 04:28 PM
Zachol,

You and your game are very odd (to say the least). How the heck in singles do you get a chance to hit at one opponent "10-15" times? And in all those times, you have nowhere to go but the body? From the service line? The court is that small and your stroke is that constrained?

There are many wrongs with your current approach.

1) Tennis at your level never worths anyone's injury.

2) By aiming at your opponent's body while not counting on hitting it in, you're practicing a bad shot. A semi-quick or smart opponent just simply dodges and win the point.

3) Winning a point by hitting the opponent's body in a nonpro game where you don't make a dime is ugly and carries many consequences. You may win one point, but lose a social group. Worse, you may come across an ahole or a competitive, capable player and you'll have to watch your back. That defeats the point of YOUR tennis.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 04:36 PM
Zachol,

You and your game are very odd (to say the least). How the heck in singles do you get a chance to hit at one opponent "10-15" times? And in all those times, you have nowhere to go but the body? From the service line? The court is that small and your stroke is that constrained?

There are many wrongs with your current approach.

1) Tennis at your level never worths anyone's injury.

2) By aiming at your opponent's body while not counting on hitting it in, you're practicing a bad shot. A semi-quick or smart opponent just simply dodges and win the point.

3) Winning a point by hitting the opponent's body in a nonpro game where you don't make a dime is ugly and carries many consequences. You may win one point, but lose a social group. Worse, you may come across an ahole or a competitive, capable player and you'll have to watch your back. That defeats the point of YOUR tennis.

I guess the only other option I have is to get better so I can hit a more accurate passing shot.

I know it's practicing a bad shot, since it's going out, but you caught me, the game just seemed too important at the moment for me to give up those points, since I was somewhat in a panic mode and it seems that my opponent had sealed up all other openings :cry:

yemenmocha
01-07-2010, 04:40 PM
There are 3 occasions when I've deliberately tried to hit my opponent in doubles.

1. I'm serving and the non-returning opponent is deliberately putting his foot into the service box that I'm serving into, as a form of distraction. I hit my flattie as hard as I could and yes, I hit him. Point was ours.

2. We were playing these net hogs who crashed the net a wee bit too close and too soon. I wanted to back them off because they were getting away with too many junk shots from standing right on the net (few mishit winners because they were pure reaction shots right on top of the net). So, I lined up a few shots and aimed at him a couple times until he backed off. Mind you, these were hard hit balls that still would have landed in if he wasn't in the way.

3. In the first receiving game of a doubles match I'll hit an aggressive return and try to hit the non-serving net guy to shake his confidence at net, **** him off, or otherwise just see how good his hands are. You'd be surprised how well this works. Sometimes it reveals a poor volleyer, maybe some singles baseliner who got put on doubles that night. Then we don't bother with crosscourt returns. It's just too damn fun to humiliate a non-S&V player who doesn't belong on a doubles court.

JavierLW
01-07-2010, 04:43 PM
I figured someone would say "if you can hit it at someone, you can hit a passing shot!".

But I think what's at play sometimes is that due to poor technique or because someone is just afraid of getting hit in general they may tend to have a decent ability to get balls that they have to reach out for, but balls hit right at them are very difficult to deal with.

This is especially the case for those people who tend to swing away at everything from up there. Try to hit it around them and they may be good enough to swat the ball out of the air, but if it's hit directly at them, that becomes very difficult.

Those are the times when it would be good to make that play.

If your opponent is standing on the baseline and he's managing to hit you with the ball, I dont care what anyone says, that's YOUR fault. You need to learn how to volley or get off the net.

yemenmocha
01-07-2010, 04:46 PM
I figured someone would say "if you can hit it at someone, you can hit a passing shot!".

But I think what's at play sometimes is that due to poor technique or because someone is just afraid of getting hit in general they may tend to have a decent ability to get balls that they have to reach out for, but balls hit right at them are very difficult to deal with.

This is especially the case for those people who tend to swing away at everything from up there. Try to hit it around them and they may be good enough to swat the ball out of the air, but if it's hit directly at them, that becomes very difficult.

Those are the times when it would be good to make that play.

If your opponent is standing on the baseline and he's managing to hit you with the ball, I dont care what anyone says, that's YOUR fault. You need to learn how to volley or get off the net.

+1 learn to volley or get away from the net. It always amazes me how many baseliners try to "wing it" in doubles. It only takes a couple of ugly volleys to figure out that you just have to pick on the poor volleyer.

raiden031
01-07-2010, 04:52 PM
I rarely, if ever, come to the conclusion that trying to hit my opponent with the ball is the best shot.

Lets say you're playing doubles against a good aggressive net player. If nothing else is working, you might try something like that to back him off the net or knock out some of his confidence. Although a good net player will be in position to handle a shot straight at them most of the time.

But really most of the time people attempt the shot at the net man because the net player is weak and they feel they will win free points that way or really scare them off the net. That's completely unnecessary because a weak net player can also be exploited by dipping shots, passing shots, and lobs.

Now when it comes to overheads, its fair game. It is a net person's duty to recognize when remaining in the point is a lost cause and they need to retreat in order to play the most defensive way possible or simply remove themselves from harm's way when that's not an option. If you try to take a smashing overhead head-on then you deserve to get hit because even the pros know when they don't have a chance and back down.

JavierLW
01-07-2010, 04:59 PM
But really most of the time people attempt the shot at the net man because the net player is weak and they feel they will win free points that way or really scare them off the net. That's completely unnecessary because a weak net player can also be exploited by dipping shots, passing shots, and lobs.


That is a very simplistic analysis. Some people are weak in some ways but not in others. Especially at some levels where you have a mixed bag of different skills.

fruitytennis1
01-07-2010, 05:07 PM
Whats not cool in dubs is when your partner throws up a short lob and the net man with a the overhead aims for u...
Got nailed in the back and that hurt but i think i made up with it by tagging him square in the gut.

ALten1
01-07-2010, 06:54 PM
being a tall player with pretty quick hands I can understand if someone tried to jam me. I don't see the problem unless the opponent is so close I can shake his hand when he hits at me

Roy125
01-07-2010, 06:59 PM
I would only do it if my opponent was tall, I was at the baseline, has closed off a good portion of the court, and was playing competitively.

T1000
01-07-2010, 07:04 PM
If they are standing on top of the net I'll go for them all I want until they move. They're going to crowd so I'll nail them a couple of times, not my fault they can't react. I've also hit the other players on purpose sometimes in doubles if I'm playing with a girl and the other two are guys and are trying to hit her. I have no problem going for them since it's fair game.

raiden031
01-07-2010, 07:06 PM
That is a very simplistic analysis. Some people are weak in some ways but not in others. Especially at some levels where you have a mixed bag of different skills.

First I doubt that someone could be so skilled to handle low volleys just fine, have good anticipation for passing shots, and even good enough overheads to stop the lobs, but if the ball comes near their body they fall apart.

Second if someone can hit the ball hard enough and direct it well enough to really intimidate the net person, then they are skilled enough to hit an effective shot that doesn't include hitting the net man.

So in summary, I think hitting at the net man is a last resort when nothing else is working.

I've played a good sample of players in my area, and rarely encounter people trying to drill me at the net. If they do, then they usually apologize because that wasn't their intention. The few people who do drill others at net frequently are not very popular in the leagues.

ALten1
01-07-2010, 07:11 PM
And there is difference between hitting into the body and trying to drill the person.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 07:25 PM
OP here, just for your information. It WAS my last resort! :oops:

W Cats
01-07-2010, 07:31 PM
Your last resort when you rarely lob 1/10 times, I believe, was what you wrote, so that one of the shots he would least expect is a lob. Sure to nail it at him was your last resort. That was easy.

JavierLW
01-07-2010, 07:31 PM
First I doubt that someone could be so skilled to handle low volleys just fine, have good anticipation for passing shots, and even good enough overheads to stop the lobs, but if the ball comes near their body they fall apart.

Second if someone can hit the ball hard enough and direct it well enough to really intimidate the net person, then they are skilled enough to hit an effective shot that doesn't include hitting the net man.

So in summary, I think hitting at the net man is a last resort when nothing else is working.

I've played a good sample of players in my area, and rarely encounter people trying to drill me at the net. If they do, then they usually apologize because that wasn't their intention. The few people who do drill others at net frequently are not very popular in the leagues.

And in summary I think that is very simplistic....

If you're going to say that none of you hit at players then it's pretty obvious that you wouldnt know how they would handle that shot. You are just assuming they can hit it.

Im not sure where you get "low volleys" from, I didnt see that anywhere. You're still going at them if you're forcing them to hit a low volley. (it's probably more ideal even)

Anticipation for a passing shot can just mean that someone is good at reading where the ball is being hit and they have good instincts. Once you have that, if you are good at swatting the ball out of the air it's not that big of a deal.

Maybe the OP isnt good enough to hit a lob?

I guess that one has a lot to do with if it's singles versus doubles though. Yes, Id agree in singles a lob is far better then hitting it right at someone, but in doubles a lob could be less desirable because you may not want to give the ball to the other opponent. (provided your lob is good enough that it's not going to get tracked down for an overhead by whoever you're trying to lob)

It's not a matter of falling apart really, balls that come directly at you are volleyed slightly different then balls that are hit to the side of you. Some players are not able to handle those as well due to bad technique.

Im not sure if your "wealth" of experience of clobbering 3.0 players and then playing 4.0 would experience that.

At 4.0 I would hope that it would be pretty rare that you could intimate someone by hitting at them, because if that's the case, Id have to wonder what the heck is wrong with that person???

At 3.5 Ive seen it a lot of times from actual weak players where they would fit your description of being weak in tons of other areas too.

But there were the occasional few that had a strong game and if you looked at their record they were fairly successful, but they had this one hitch in their game where for whatever reason if you hit the ball hard enough at them they couldnt handle it.

And still if they are getting hit with the ball from their opponent which was standing as far back as the BASELINE, that's pretty sad on their part.....

raiden031
01-07-2010, 07:43 PM
And in summary I think that is very simplistic....

If you're going to say that none of you hit at players then it's pretty obvious that you wouldnt know how they would handle that shot. You are just assuming they can hit it.

Im not sure where you get "low volleys" from, I didnt see that anywhere. You're still going at them if you're forcing them to hit a low volley. (it's probably more ideal even)

Anticipation for a passing shot can just mean that someone is good at reading where the ball is being hit and they have good instincts. Once you have that, if you are good at swatting the ball out of the air it's not that big of a deal.

Maybe the OP isnt good enough to hit a lob?

I guess that one has a lot to do with if it's singles versus doubles though. Yes, Id agree in singles a lob is far better then hitting it right at someone, but in doubles a lob could be less desirable because you may not want to give the ball to the other opponent. (provided your lob is good enough that it's not going to get tracked down for an overhead by whoever you're trying to lob)

It's not a matter of falling apart really, balls that come directly at you are volleyed slightly different then balls that are hit to the side of you. Some players are not able to handle those as well due to bad technique.

Im not sure if your "wealth" of experience of clobbering 3.0 players and then playing 4.0 would experience that.

At 4.0 I would hope that it would be pretty rare that you could intimate someone by hitting at them, because if that's the case, Id have to wonder what the heck is wrong with that person???

At 3.5 Ive seen it a lot of times from actual weak players where they would fit your description of being weak in tons of other areas too.

But there were the occasional few that had a strong game and if you looked at their record they were fairly successful, but they had this one hitch in their game where for whatever reason if you hit the ball hard enough at them they couldnt handle it.

And still if they are getting hit with the ball from their opponent which was standing as far back as the BASELINE, that's pretty sad on their part.....

Low volleys was a response to 'dipping shots'. These shots are benign and not going to **** someone off.

I've hit towards the net person accidentally and even out of frustration a few times, but it wasn't effective or necessary.

Seriously though, in all my experiences from 3.0 to 4.0, I've never been against an opposing team/player where drilling someone at the net was really necessary. If I have the capability to prep for a big shot, then I can easily hit a good passing or dipping shot and if I hit it well they are effective. Otherwise if I'm getting poached by a net man or losing baseline rallies, its because my own shots are weak, which of course I can't intimidate a net man with a weak shot anyways.

ms87
01-07-2010, 07:53 PM
there is nothing wrong with going for the face/body as long as you are not doing it on a easy smash

Storm_Kyori
01-07-2010, 08:20 PM
kinda touching on what ms87 said. I've had a few guys do that. I usually man-up and try to get my racket on it. if i react late i usually move out of the way or still put my racket up. I kinda get irritated by that. they have soo much open space to hit, why do they go at you. it makes me want to beat you more than intimidate me. i never go for someone on the smash specially if i'm right in front of them. if nothing is on the line and the opponent isn't a jerk, i don't do it on smashes. everything else, is fair game. i blast away groundies when they're at net. If i hit them by mistake like my aim was off or they turn around andf get hit i raise my hand an apologize.

masterxfob
01-07-2010, 09:00 PM
if i'm on one side of the court and i have the short angle or the passing lane, i'll aim it away from my opponent. if i'm in the middle of the court and i can't find a good angle, i'll go right at them.

going right at them gives me a great chance to win the point outright or on the next shot which is usually a weak reply. they may also get lucky once in a while and hit a drop shot or a nice angle that you can't reach. either way, i'm more successful going right at them in that situation rather than going for the small window with the pass. if i miss it, it's either out or there for my opponent to volley for a winner.

raiden031
01-08-2010, 02:50 AM
everything else, is fair game. i blast away groundies when they're at net. If i hit them by mistake like my aim was off or they turn around andf get hit i raise my hand an apologize.

If its fair game, then why would it have to be a mistake if you hit them, and why apologize for it also? Fair game means you should be able to do it and not feel bad about it.

origmarm
01-08-2010, 03:03 AM
I don't think there is anything wrong with this and do it all the time. For me it's down to the level of the participants.

Once you reach a certain level in doubles, in simplistic terms the net player should be able to cover most passes or poach effectively. The partner should be covering the portion of the court out of reach to the net player. Most players have the greatest difficulty executing a volley directly in front of their chest, hence if there is no "gap" in the court or lob opportunity, I aim it right there at full pace.

For me this seems perfectly reasonable. If another easier option exists I would rather put the ball out of reach of the net player/partner, it's a higher percentage shot. Once you reach a certain level of doubles however this is not always an option and hence you go for the shot they will have most difficulty playing. Another favourite of mine is to hit directly at the feet if they are approaching the net.

Regards, Orig

KenC
01-08-2010, 03:13 AM
I've heard stories of coaches saying "don't just hit'em if he comes to the net, hit'em in the balls!"

Seriously though, we all have to decide at what level of sportsmanship we want to play. I'd rather lose with a clean conscious rather than win by trying to injure my opponent. Tennis players that think otherwise may want to consider boxing or MMA.

origmarm
01-08-2010, 03:28 AM
I've heard stories of coaches saying "don't just hit'em if he comes to the net, hit'em in the balls!"

Seriously though, we all have to decide at what level of sportsmanship we want to play. I'd rather lose with a clean conscious rather than win by trying to injure my opponent. Tennis players that think otherwise may want to consider boxing or MMA.

You see I think that's already different, that's a deliberate intent to hurt someone. For me it's about playing the shot they will have the most difficulty hitting.

As a "ballsy" aside it's actually easier to volley a ball aimed at that area than at your chest (speaking from "survival instinct" experience :) ).

fuzz nation
01-08-2010, 04:17 AM
The only option I have is a shot right at the face

Absolutely not!!!

Get your best eraser out and scratch "at the face" off your list of options immediately if not sooner.

Any doubles player is smart to hit the ball down at an opponent's feet and when the bullets start to fly in quick net exchanges, someone will occasionally take a body shot. We either understand that this is all part of the game or we learn it while on the job. If a doubles player ever gets beaned by an overhead, it's usually that player's own partner who's to blame for floating a meatball up short and putting the bean-ee in the crosshairs.

Ivan Lendl was sort of notorious for aiming "center mass" when a net rushing opponent would leave a ball short for him to tee off on, but even at that level, that's a semi-uncool move. There's more open court to look for in singles and if an opponent has good positioning on you, there's still the low-ball option as a setup. Make him/her hit up and your next shot is usually an easy putaway.

If you go gunning for an opponent's head, you're crossing a serious line in this sport. Don't do it. For the sake of your own welfare, you'll be saving yourself from the strong possibility of having an opponent drop the gloves and come over the net... and not to shake your hand.

papa
01-08-2010, 05:42 AM
Whats not cool in dubs is when your partner throws up a short lob and the net man with a the overhead aims for u...
Got nailed in the back and that hurt but i think i made up with it by tagging him square in the gut.

When you get it in the back, you've basically conceded the point. The pro's even get upset with that type of shot.

I hate to admit this but when someone goes at me up front I let them have a few balls also - not just one but a few so they get the point. I don't like the head but a couple into the shins or gut generally get their immediate attention. Sine guys don't learn very fast and even though its a game, you have to let them know its a two-way street or they will continue to go head hunting. I've even stopped and ask "were you aiming for me?" - always surprised when they admit it.

Having said all that, make sure that your racquet is up when close to the net - not only good tennis but your racquet is your protection if necessary. I will seldom turn my back but when I do I try and take a step or two toward the alley to get out of the way.

blakesq
01-08-2010, 06:43 AM
I never aim at the face. But i do aim for the center of the body, especially on return of serve to the net guy. Perfectly legal to go for the body, that's a hard shot to return, especially if the net guy is set up for a forehand...tough to hit a forehand volley thats at your body. However, in social mixed doubles, I usually do not aim at the woman's body. USTA maybe different.


By strategic reasons, I mean not hitting them out of anger, but striking a ball at their body simply because it is the best shot at the moment to get a point.

I know it's not good manners and whatnot but I'm torn on this, which is why I'm asking the TW community!

Sometimes, I would face an extremely skilled net-player and lobbing doesn't necessarily help and it's not really my style to lob 9/10 shots. Can't really hit a passing shot since my opponent is pretty good at predicting where I will hit it. The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body where I can possibly get a weak reply and create an opening from there.

Now, this makes me look ill-mannered and all on the court but what else can I do? My opponent is good, I would lose the match if I handicap myself by not hitting at him. In my own opinion, if you like playing net, and you're really good at it, you shouldn't expect your opponent to respect you by not hitting the ball at you. However, my opponent did seem a little ****ed off about it, and I don't blame him...but what does the community think?

Just for your information, I did hit a good 10-15 shots at him :oops:

mike53
01-08-2010, 06:56 AM
in social mixed doubles, I usually do not aim at the woman's body


Thanks blakesq, a very good point. Whatever may be legal under the rules, I think sportsmanship would dictate that you don't try to win by threatening to hit a female with the ball.

raiden031
01-08-2010, 07:01 AM
I never aim at the face. But i do aim for the center of the body, especially on return of serve to the net guy. Perfectly legal to go for the body, that's a hard shot to return, especially if the net guy is set up for a forhand...tough to hit a forhand volley thats at your body. However, in social mixed doubles, I usually do not aim at the woman's body. USTA maybe different.

Why would the net man be set up for a forehand volley before you even hit the ball? Most of the time they would be in a neutral volley position and as soon as the ball is struck they would then use the backhand volley to take the body shot.

blakesq
01-08-2010, 07:31 AM
because they may play like me, where I tend to cheat to my forehand side.

Why would the net man be set up for a forehand volley before you even hit the ball? Most of the time they would be in a neutral volley position and as soon as the ball is struck they would then use the backhand volley to take the body shot.

papatenis
01-08-2010, 09:20 AM
To those 3.5 and lower, aim for the body. Like golf, if you want to stick it close to the pin, don't "aim at it".

keepurpowderdry
01-08-2010, 11:14 AM
By strategic reasons, I mean not hitting them out of anger, but striking a ball at their body simply because it is the best shot at the moment to get a point.

I know it's not good manners and whatnot but I'm torn on this, which is why I'm asking the TW community!

Sometimes, I would face an extremely skilled net-player and lobbing doesn't necessarily help and it's not really my style to lob 9/10 shots. Can't really hit a passing shot since my opponent is pretty good at predicting where I will hit it. The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body where I can possibly get a weak reply and create an opening from there.



Now, this makes me look ill-mannered and all on the court but what else can I do? My opponent is good, I would lose the match if I handicap myself by not hitting at him. In my own opinion, if you like playing net, and you're really good at it, you shouldn't expect your opponent to respect you by not hitting the ball at you. However, my opponent did seem a little ****ed off about it, and I don't blame him...but what does the community think?

Just for your information, I did hit a good 10-15 shots at him :oops:

in doubles I always hit in the open court. with one or to shots at my net opponent just to keep him honest . So in doubles it's completely ok you don't even have to think about it. But if you are playing someone you know they are lesser skilled and you know they can't handle fast pace then I personally wouldn't hit at them. In singles same thing..

About the guy you played getting upset , then that guy is not experienced in playing match play and if he is than he is not a noble person

Storm_Kyori
01-08-2010, 11:27 AM
For those of you that aim at the face, that, to me is an easier shot to block/get my frame on. When it's low near my belly or at the feet it's tough to get over the net and still keep in or even make it a decent shot. So not only it is un-sportsman like to me, but it's a much easier shot to get scored on.

Bud
01-08-2010, 11:31 AM
By strategic reasons, I mean not hitting them out of anger, but striking a ball at their body simply because it is the best shot at the moment to get a point.

I know it's not good manners and whatnot but I'm torn on this, which is why I'm asking the TW community!

Sometimes, I would face an extremely skilled net-player and lobbing doesn't necessarily help and it's not really my style to lob 9/10 shots. Can't really hit a passing shot since my opponent is pretty good at predicting where I will hit it. The only option I have is a shot right at the face, or the body where I can possibly get a weak reply and create an opening from there.

Now, this makes me look ill-mannered and all on the court but what else can I do? My opponent is good, I would lose the match if I handicap myself by not hitting at him. In my own opinion, if you like playing net, and you're really good at it, you shouldn't expect your opponent to respect you by not hitting the ball at you. However, my opponent did seem a little ****ed off about it, and I don't blame him...but what does the community think?

Just for your information, I did hit a good 10-15 shots at him :oops:

I never hit another player intentionally. Sometimes, however other players position themselves where they think you're most likely to hit, based on their playing experience. In that case, I'll take something off the shot and aim it low so I don't cause injury. This is referring to volleys. If it's an overhead at the service line or closer, I try to steer clear of opponents.

I find that most players who hit other players do so because their aim and control is poor and they really have no finesse on their shots. This would be levels below 3.5

If you're a 3.5 or higher and are intentionally hitting opponents... you probably will not get asked to play often and will develop a bad reputation in your playing circles. A that level you should have enough control to at least steer clear of opponents on high-risk/hard shots... like mid-court overheads.

ALten1
01-08-2010, 07:34 PM
I believe if I ever hurt someone because I got mad playing tennis I would quit. With that said, I don't think anything is wrong with trying to crowd people but I don't hit to hurt anyone. I try to hit down the alley to give the net man something to consider before the poaching begins and sometimes it goes right where I want it to and then sometimes it goes right at him. Afterwards I apologize, sometimes getting "man don't worry about it" other times getting that look of whatever.

I think I have been hit more by my partners serves than by my opponents. Oh, one time I was playing with this guy for the first time as my partner, he made an UE up near the net. He then slung his racquet blindly toward the back of the court where I was. It sounded like a helicopter coming in for a landing as it tagged me in the ribs. I can only imagine the look I gave the little fellow because his whole demeanor changed for the rest of the match.

Tennisman912
01-08-2010, 08:13 PM
Zachol82,

It certainly is a valid play to hit at your opponents, especially from the baseline. I wouldn’t be aiming at the face but center mass is fair game. But what you are saying just doesn’t make sense. If you have enough control to hit it directly at someone accurately or aim for the face and hit it there consistently, you have enough accuracy to hit an easier passing shot IMHO.

But I believe this strategy is a doing your game a disservice in the long run however. Why? As you stated, just ripping the ball hard at the head is not going to intimidate a good player. They will just duck and gladly take the point you just donated. In fact, they will hope you keep it up so they don’t even have to hit a volley. Training to just kill it in their direction with no regard for getting it in the court also does your future game no favors. I am hesitant to say this but you probably don’t hit it as hard (or as intimidatingly) as you think you do so this play isn’t effective long term. And if by chance, you do hit one at center mass and it stays in, the good player will just block it into the open court and again, take the easy point.

Maybe this player couldn’t do that, but a good net player will. I do see some players try this tactic and it doesn’t work against better players. But they still try it consistently. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It may work once, but they will certainly be ready for all future attempts that you get in while ducking with an inner smile on the ones (the majority) that will hit the back netting. And mutter a thank you under their breath.

My advice. Work on a more complete game. Best of luck.

TM

Zachol82
01-08-2010, 08:32 PM
Thanks, Tennisman! I'm always trying to better my game. It was just easier for me to return his shots back to the center of the court (where my opponent is usually at when he's up at net) than it is to hit extreme angle cross court or down the line for a passing shot.

I was just aiming for his body in general, there's no way I could have pinpointed his face even if I had wanted to with my current level of control. I kept hitting at him because it really does seem like he doesn't know what to do with a ball that's coming straight at him.

MethodTennis
01-09-2010, 05:16 AM
Hit at the body with spin imagine aiming for there feet. If you get the body shot wrong you give em a put away volley. Dont think about aiming at them think about trying to win the point

fuzz nation
01-09-2010, 06:05 AM
You know, there is that more general strategy of harassing an opponent at net when you can. The idea is to force that person to set up more defensively, perhaps even starting many doubles points standing back at the baseline with his/her partner. It doesn't require blasting some shots up around their head when a sitter presents itself though.

If you're routinely looking to put your shots down on your opponent's shoes, either as a set up or when you have a high sitter that you can pounce on with some aggression, you're fulfilling your mission as a doubles player. Always be looking to hit down on your opponents, not up. Even if you get a low skidder that you can't do much with offensively, there's always that option of sending it back low across the net. Patient doubles teams will trade several of those low balls in a point until someone is forced to shovel the ball up into their opponent's kill zone.

Keep that plan of attack fresh in your head for doubles matches or even in singles when you want to neutralize a net rushing opponent. If you can make the other guy hit up, you'll be in charge of most of those points.

papa
01-09-2010, 06:09 AM
I thought we were discussing going at people when both were inside the service line and one had been given a sitter. If hitting from the baseline, its pretty difficult to catch someone even if they are really closed on net - I actually like people to go for that shot because they aren't going to get another chance to take the point.

I think the majority of these problems develop in doubles when partner floats a bomb and without realizing the bone head move, you happen to find yourself up close and personal.

Panic492
01-09-2010, 08:51 AM
While getting hit may be part of the game (it does happen). I do not try to hit people. My rule is I will give an opponent two hits one me, then I will go after them. I have seen two serious eye injuries as a result of people being hit, a fistfight, a lot's of hurt feelings. You should have more game than have to resort to hitting people.

Fedchamp
01-10-2010, 06:22 AM
I'd hit at the netperson if I thought it was the best way to win the point. If they take up a position at net then it must be assumed they are competent there and can handle a ball hit at them.

Frank Silbermann
01-11-2010, 04:30 AM
Illie Nastase had the habit of delaying the game to interact with the crowd whenever he wasn't playing well or his opponent _was_ playing well, figuring that when the opponent lost his temper he'd lose the ability to control the ball. Tennis officials let him get away with it because he was a strong ticket-seller and they weren't willing to default him. So one time he was doing that while playing Cliff Richey, and Cliff went up to him and said something to the effect of "Knock it off, or I'll slug you." Cliff was a short, stocky, muscular guy.

Illie responded by defaulting himself, saying something to the effect of, "I cannot play; I am afraid. He say he hit me."

GeorgeLucas
01-11-2010, 04:45 AM
"Just aim at him and LET IT RIP."

-Roger Federer

papa
01-11-2010, 06:07 AM
I'd hit at the netperson if I thought it was the best way to win the point. If they take up a position at net then it must be assumed they are competent there and can handle a ball hit at them.

I really don't think its a matter of being competent some of the time. If your going after the net person from around the baseline or in an volley exchange, its perfectly normal and a valid shot. However, if its a sitter and the net person either doesn't realize it or can't get either back or out of the way, than its a cheap and unnecessary shot, especially if you can just tap it over to end the point.

Most of us aren't afraid/concerned about pace but when your not in a position to react it can be a problem. Someone taking an overhead, as an example, from inside the service line and deliberately going right after the net person (doubles situation mainly) is really taking unnecessary risk and its a cheap shot in anyone's book.

Zachol82
01-11-2010, 06:38 AM
I really don't think its a matter of being competent some of the time. If your going after the net person from around the baseline or in an volley exchange, its perfectly normal and a valid shot. However, if its a sitter and the net person either doesn't realize it or can't get either back or out of the way, than its a cheap and unnecessary shot, especially if you can just tap it over to end the point.

Most of us aren't afraid/concerned about pace but when your not in a position to react it can be a problem. Someone taking an overhead, as an example, from inside the service line and deliberately going right after the net person (doubles situation mainly) is really taking unnecessary risk and its a cheap shot in anyone's book.

Right, my situation was that I was back at baseline and my opponent was at net. I would not overhead a floater at someone since it would be much easier to overhead to where they're not.

papa
01-11-2010, 10:13 AM
Right, my situation was that I was back at baseline and my opponent was at net. I would not overhead a floater at someone since it would be much easier to overhead to where they're not.

Yeah, your right. It makes good "tennis" sense not to do certain things.

0d1n
01-11-2010, 11:28 AM
My stand is ... go ahead, especially in doubles. If the partner of the net man has a weak 2'nd serve and the net man doesn't have the "decency" and "brains" to play @ the baseline if that other guy is serving powder puff 2nds @ me, who's fault is it ??
I don't INTENTIONALLY hit him, but if he's standing there an easy target I will certainly aim towards him in order to win the point.

rk_sports
01-12-2010, 03:29 PM
as some has already said.. I would do it as the last resort .. unless the opponent does it to your partner, then its all fair game .. again all this in a competitive match not recreational .. though I did hit a few without intent.. or rather no control to be accurate

I watched a doubles match at LA Open in UCLA.. after the Sampras/Safin match, its astonishing how many times Safin went for the throats at the opponents.. barring once which almost hit Bagdatis.. most were handled by them..

Ken Honecker
01-13-2010, 03:20 AM
My stand is ... go ahead, especially in doubles. If the partner of the net man has a weak 2'nd serve and the net man doesn't have the "decency" and "brains" to play @ the baseline if that other guy is serving powder puff 2nds @ me, who's fault is it ??
I don't INTENTIONALLY hit him, but if he's standing there an easy target I will certainly aim towards him in order to win the point.

And I as the net person well let out a big ol' sigh of relief and block it back over the net. I'd much rather you hit those floating serves at me then 1 inch over the net down the oposite line with my serving partner still hanging behind the baseline admiring his "in" serve.

86golf
01-13-2010, 10:45 AM
And I as the net person well let out a big ol' sigh of relief and block it back over the net. I'd much rather you hit those floating serves at me then 1 inch over the net down the oposite line with my serving partner still hanging behind the baseline admiring his "in" serve.

Agreed. Afterall, as net players, part of our job is to get the opponent to hit the ball at you. All I ask of my serving partner is to not double fault and to let me know anytime he decides to go out wide.

papa
01-13-2010, 04:23 PM
Agreed. Afterall, as net players, part of our job is to get the opponent to hit the ball at you. All I ask of my serving partner is to not double fault and to let me know anytime he decides to go out wide.

Yeah, i agree. Took a lot of balls at net today and some wern't exactly easy but I love it. Only ones I dislike are those that skip on the net cord change height a spec - enough to get your undivided attention anyway.

Manus Domini
01-13-2010, 04:49 PM
I'll volley the ball into my opponent for body shots (rarely towards head, and then only if it's a special case) or slam it at the area next to their shoulders. Most often they dodge in reflex and it goes between them and rackets, or have week returns I can put away. Wouldn't ever try to hurt someone or provoke them in that way, unless they hurt me or my partner first. Then, it's fair game.

Ken Honecker
01-14-2010, 04:28 AM
I have a hard time envisioning a baseline player hitting a decent net player. I mean I crowd the net and in a couple hundred thousand games I don't think one ever hit me, certainly not a memorable hit. Now there was the time my partner feed his dad who was playing up one and he hit me right in the forehead and sent the 2 halfs of my glasses flying. But hey he was only a dozen feet away.

papa
01-14-2010, 05:17 AM
I have a hard time envisioning a baseline player hitting a decent net player. I mean I crowd the net and in a couple hundred thousand games I don't think one ever hit me, certainly not a memorable hit. Now there was the time my partner feed his dad who was playing up one and he hit me right in the forehead and sent the 2 halfs of my glasses flying. But hey he was only a dozen feet away.

In all those games, you never had one come off the net cord and catch you? Your a very lucky guy. I certainly have a few times more than I care to remember but other than those shots, I love being at net and returning shots from the baseline - kinda turns me on and these days, I need anything I can get.

JRProstaf9
01-14-2010, 05:21 AM
Getting hit is part of the game... especially in doubles when net points can get fast and furious!