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ktncnttl
06-01-2005, 09:41 AM
What kind of approach shot should I use on the forehand side? I always use the slice approach shot on the backhand side and it works great. I can keep the ball low and deep setting up perfectly for my volley. On the other hand, my forehand slice sucks and it always sits up perfectly for my opponents to hit a passing shot. How about topspin or flat forehand approach shot? Well, I cant seem to have any control hitting topspin nor flat forehand on the run (and most approach shots are hit on the run), so that doesn't work neither.

So what kind of shot should I use for the forehand approach shot? Improve my forehand slice? Or maybe I shouldn't approach at all on the forehand side?

Prince_of_Tennis
06-01-2005, 10:16 AM
Ok let me edit this. You shouldn't be hitting approach shots on the run. It should be a shot where you can get your opponent scrambling and making him/her hit a weak shot back. You can hit cross court or inside out. Also you can go old school and using a continental just control it to a corner and be prepared to hit a volley.

Thanatos
06-01-2005, 10:28 AM
What kind of approach shot should I use on the forehand side? I always use the slice approach shot on the backhand side and it works great. I can keep the ball low and deep setting up perfectly for my volley. On the other hand, my forehand slice sucks and it always sits up perfectly for my opponents to hit a passing shot. How about topspin or flat forehand approach shot? Well, I cant seem to have any control hitting topspin nor flat forehand on the run (and most approach shots are hit on the run), so that doesn't work neither.

So what kind of shot should I use for the forehand approach shot? Improve my forehand slice? Or maybe I shouldn't approach at all on the forehand side?

The FH approach shot should be hit when your opponent returns a short ball that lands within or close to the service line.

The approach shot should be hit DTL to your opponent's BH side. Depending on the opponent's return. If it's a high sitter, I would hit a deep topsin FH and follow into the net after the ball. Very important: approach shots are placement shots used to setup the initial volley. Take some pace off the ball and place the ball well. Most rec. players try to hammer the ball and end up hitting it into the net or out. Yes, the Pro's hammer the ball, but we are not the Pro's.

If it's a low return, I usually bend my knees and slice through the ball with a FH slice. The FH slice is a little tricky. If you don;t do it right, then it becomes a sitter. It needs to be deep and have plenty of sidespin. Once it lands on your opponent's side it should be low yet kick to the right.

Finally, you can also chip the ball back. Again, it needs to be deep and low.
I like to chip on the service return to control the net.

Kaptain Karl
06-01-2005, 10:33 AM
Do you know how to hit a side spin approach? Have you tried *that* on the FH side? (Very effective.)

- KK

Kana Himezaki
06-01-2005, 04:30 PM
Please read this thread, especially Kathy's posts and most on the second page. Here (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=52886).

To sum it up, ANYTHING is a good approach shot as long as you make the opponent hit off the back foot. In other words, if you can blast a forehand drive down the line, making your opponent hit on the run or hit late (off the back foot), the ball is going to go more upward with a lot less pace.

Slices are the traditional approach shots, the logic being that your opponent has to hit more up on the ball to get it over the net. This is generally true, however, if someone seems to be handling your slice, or in your case your forehand slice, just send a hard shot down the line. It doesn't HAVE to be a slice.


KK - While the sidespin is extremely effective in getting people to lose timing and throw them off, I wouldn't recommend it in this case. He's stated his forehand slice pops up. I'd work on getting it low and deep before even attempting sidespin. Any experienced players, and even lower level ones can put away high, floating balls with little pace.

Kaptain Karl
06-01-2005, 05:46 PM
Remember, the OP is a 4.0 player....

KK - While the sidespin is extremely effective in getting people to lose timing and throw them off, I wouldn't recommend it in this case. He's stated his forehand slice pops up. I'd work on getting it low and deep before even attempting sidespin. Any experienced players, and even lower level ones can put away high, floating balls with little pace.Kana - You and I seem to be posting about different shots ... even though we're both writing "side spin."

I coach our HS boys team. It is an enormous frustration to get these kids to understand the attacking game. (Some of them have "Attack" built into their genes ... but don't know how to do it. And ever since Andre Agassi, they haven't seen it done very well. I'm so happy to see Federer's all-court game beginning to have an effect on what kids try to do....)

A good slice or side spin approach is NOT just floated deep for placement. It is struck firmly (with at least 70% of ground stroke power) AND placed well. If done correctly, neither the Slice or the Side Spin approach shot will bounce high at all. They both tend to skid and stay low -- even on clay. This (as Kana points out) makes trouble for the (popular) Western grip baseliners. They have to hit balls much lower than their Comfort Zone. 4.0 players tend to either a) Over hit the passing attempt, thinking *More Power* will make up for their akwardness, or b) Play it safer and sacrifice power for placement. Either counter plays into the attacker's advantage.

The Slice or Side Spin approach shot isn't easy to groove ... but it's well worth the effort to develop it. Augment your topspin approach shot with the Slice or Side Spin and you'll be delighted with the result.

(There's another benefit to developing the Slice approach as a weapon on both wings. If you also have a decent Drop Shot, the preparation for the Slice Approach Shot "looks" just the same (to your opponent). If you mix the two shots well, it will add to his aggravation. He won't know which shot is coming by your "telegraphing". He'll hate you....)

- KK

takeuchi
06-01-2005, 06:24 PM
i love the sidespin/underspin. i'm no master at it, but it skids like crazy.

troytennisbum
06-01-2005, 10:38 PM
What kind of approach shot should I use on the forehand side? I always use the slice approach shot on the backhand side and it works great. I can keep the ball low and deep setting up perfectly for my volley. On the other hand, my forehand slice sucks and it always sits up perfectly for my opponents to hit a passing shot. How about topspin or flat forehand approach shot? Well, I cant seem to have any control hitting topspin nor flat forehand on the run (and most approach shots are hit on the run), so that doesn't work neither.

So what kind of shot should I use for the forehand approach shot? Improve my forehand slice? Or maybe I shouldn't approach at all on the forehand side?

Both types of approach shots (slices or drives) can be effective, and both types of approach shots are used at the highest levels of tennis.

But clearly yes you do need to improve your approach shots on your forehand wing. You stated that that you don't have any control hitting topspin/flat drives on the run. We'll don't feel too bad about that. Hitting these types of driving shots on the run is a more advanced technique that does require a lot of practice/experience. For this type of approach shot and given your current skill level, I would advise you try to FIRST SET UP BEFORE you hit this driving shot. React quickly to the short ball, set your feet, and THEN execute the topspin/flat drive. All things being equal, it is clearly easier to hit a driving shot from a stationary, set up position then on the dead run. As your ground strokes improve, so will your ability to hit these shots on the run.

As for your slice balls "sitting up"... Yes, this is exactly what happens when you mis-hit a slice shot. And I assure this happens to even the best of us on this message board from time to time. More often then not, the cause of this is that you are simply hitting the ball with the raquet face too open....your hitting too much underneath the ball. My suggestion is that you try to hit more "through" the ball when you hit these slice-like forehand approach shots. This is a more "classical" technique and if you want to read/see an excellent discussion on how to execute this particular shot, I would encourage to look up some material (books or video) by coach Vic Braden.

twocents
06-02-2005, 10:47 AM
Kaptain Karl (and anyone else),
In doubles (4.0) if you get a short ball because your at the baseline (and out of position), Do you you Rip it at the Net Man or hit an approach back to the deep guy (whose also out of position) and take the net?

kevhen
06-02-2005, 01:39 PM
Hit the forehand slice approach a little lower and a little harder so that it doesn't sit up. It's been ages since I hit a forehand approach that sat up. I can do it intentionally from the baseline if my opponent likes pace, but on approaches I will never hit a sitter but sometimes my vollies end up being sitters and I hate that since I am extremely vulnerable to the pass on such a short high ball. Just hit your approach lower to the net and with a little more pace so it stays low and deep.

Kaptain Karl
06-02-2005, 02:43 PM
Kaptain Karl (and anyone else),
In doubles (4.0) if you get a short ball because your at the baseline (and out of position), Do you you Rip it at the Net Man or hit an approach back to the deep guy (whose also out of position) and take the net?I preach that "If you want to win in doubles, take the net." Given how I understand the setup of your question, my answer is ... "It depends."

If the score is 40-0, and I think the Net Man might be "asleep at the wheel," I'll peg him. If the score is 0-40 (no matter what I think of the Net Man's capabilities) I'll play to the back court guy and take the net.

There's a whole discussion of doubles strategy on the "Into The Maze" thread, here (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=44792&highlight=Maze).

- KK

Kana Himezaki
06-02-2005, 04:06 PM
Remember, the OP is a 4.0 player....

Kana - You and I seem to be posting about different shots ... even though we're both writing "side spin."

I coach our HS boys team. It is an enormous frustration to get these kids to understand the attacking game. (Some of them have "Attack" built into their genes ... but don't know how to do it. And ever since Andre Agassi, they haven't seen it done very well. I'm so happy to see Federer's all-court game beginning to have an effect on what kids try to do....)

A good slice or side spin approach is NOT just floated deep for placement. It is struck firmly (with at least 70% of ground stroke power) AND placed well. If done correctly, neither the Slice or the Side Spin approach shot will bounce high at all. They both tend to skid and stay low -- even on clay. This (as Kana points out) makes trouble for the (popular) Western grip baseliners. They have to hit balls much lower than their Comfort Zone. 4.0 players tend to either a) Over hit the passing attempt, thinking *More Power* will make up for their akwardness, or b) Play it safer and sacrifice power for placement. Either counter plays into the attacker's advantage.

The Slice or Side Spin approach shot isn't easy to groove ... but it's well worth the effort to develop it. Augment your topspin approach shot with the Slice or Side Spin and you'll be delighted with the result.

(There's another benefit to developing the Slice approach as a weapon on both wings. If you also have a decent Drop Shot, the preparation for the Slice Approach Shot "looks" just the same (to your opponent). If you mix the two shots well, it will add to his aggravation. He won't know which shot is coming by your "telegraphing". He'll hate you....)

- KK


I firmly agree on how sidespin should be done, and how it looks when done correctly. And also the extreme benefits in shot combinations, for example two underspin slices and a sudden sidespin slice. The smaller changes in timing are what throw most people off.

HOWEVER, the OP has side it's hard for him to hit slices at all. He should not be trying to attempt sidespin. Attempting to do this when one cannot hit a proper slice often results in a large chop at the ball, resulting in a spin-heavy, inconsistent floater.

He needs to be able to at least hit an underspin slice first.

Kaptain Karl
06-02-2005, 04:20 PM
He needs to be able to at least hit an underspin slice first.Okay, Kana. I understand your position.

(I *have* seen players who cannot hit what most people would think is the "foundational" shot ... but can hit the advanced shot. Ex: One of my #2 Doubles players last year couldn't hit a decent volley twice in a row ... but his Lob-volley was amazing....)

I WILL agree that the standard Slice is a more basic shot than the Side Spin.

- KK