View Full Version : Playing a moonballer

06-09-2005, 03:24 PM
What do you do? First I moonballed them back, which I hate doing, and points went on and on. I felt like I was being taken out of my game, grew impatient, and made errors. Short story... lost the match.

06-09-2005, 03:59 PM
You have three choices, one of which you have already tried and disliked:

1. Moon back. You seem to not like this option; that's fine.
2. Shuffle forward and take these shots on the rise if they are true moonballs (ie. loaded with topspin) as opposed to high balls.
3. This is a modification of option two. Take it on the rise, but try to hit a deep, angled shot - an approach shot. Move forward even if you're not comfortable at net, force him to pass or lob.

06-09-2005, 05:46 PM
I would take one of two approaches:

1. Hit everything like Gonzalez and just try to pound everything back deep for winners so they don't get a chance to hit moonballs, or if they do they will be short.
2. If and when that doesn't work, volley asap. Moonballs are high and slow, but not usually out of reach for volleys or overheads. This will force them to think more about what they are doing and either make more mistakes or give you more chances to take control. Either way, that is the key, take control of each point -- dictate play, move them around, force them to react.
You can also try mixing it up, like hitting drop shots to bring them to net and force them to volley

06-09-2005, 05:49 PM
moon balling is lobbing right?

Kana Himezaki
06-09-2005, 06:02 PM
Moonballing is pretty much a high, deep ball with topspin. Sort of like a topspin lob, except somewhat lower.

You can try taking it on the rise as the other people said. However, while ideal, this is HARD. Huge change in timing, it'll take a while to practice and get used to it. For this reason, although everyone will suggest it, not many people get used to it and actually try to continue attempting it. If you have the time, it IS useful.

If it's deep with topspin however, taking it on the rise is pretty much one of the only things you can do. The pre-bounce height and topspin will ensure it bounces high afterward, meaning if you don't take it on the rise, you're probably going to be backed up against the fence. For these, it is ideal to move in slightly and attempt to take it immediately at the bounce. You might not actually do that, but envisioning it and trying to certainly helps in hitting "on the rise".

If they are mostly just high balls without topspin, it's even an option to move in and take it out of the air. It doesn't dip as fast without topspin, meaning it's much easier to make clean contact with on the fly. Drive it with some topspin to keep it in the court. This allows you to keep your aggressive style and take time away from your opponent, much like hitting on the rise. However, this may be easier for you if you want.

Don't just swing wildly at those as hard as you can though, that'll simply produce more errors. Just be sure to set up with the racquet back in position (easy, since the high balls won't necessarily have pace), allow the racquet head to dip, and extend forward through the ball pushing through continually. You'll get the topspin, you'll get the consistency, you'll get the aggressiveness.

If the balls aren't too high (for example, lobs every time) moving up to the net (as others side) is a great decision. More pressure to keep it deep when lobbing/moonballing for them, and high. Meaning more errors.

I currently can't think of anything else I do, good luck.

06-09-2005, 06:06 PM
moonballing is the best. i moonball occasionally. push and then push and then push and then push they mess up short ball slam. BAM. YEAH!

Kana Himezaki
06-09-2005, 06:19 PM
It's not necessarily pushing, but it's a type of shot and player that gives opponents (ESPECIALLY beginners) fits. The height simply gets to many players, who are not used to taking high balls at all, especially on the backhand side. A lot of this is because other people, when feeding, especially coaches, feed nice balls right into the beginner's comfort zone to help groove their stroke and confidence. They've never practiced high balls.

Also, generally countering the move is hard. Taking balls on the rise is DIFFICULT. Unless you've worked with it and have experience, it's not going to be very consistent. Many players who typically hit the ball right on the sweetspot miss the ball entirely. Other players miss even more. Swinging volleys, or taking the ball on the fly, aren't the highest percentage shot and aren't practiced much at all, usually with good reason. Most people tend to get carried away, whack the hell out of the ball, and miss. Maybe they'll get one in five that looks cool.

Even then, it's a shot everyone should possess. If you want to recover back into the court while on the defensive, the moon ball is THE shot to use in most cases. It's possible you might cause your opponent to make a mistake, and it gives you the time to get back.

Also, when you moonball, you're pretty much developing a topspin lob at the same time. Make it a little higher, and you've got a weapon in itself. Much harder to counter than a normal or underspin lob.

Moonballing to backhands is a viable approach shot, and will produce errors in your opponent as well. It also works for flat hitters even when hit on the forehand side, because the shot will once again be extremely difficult (Flat grips like Eastern aren't too comfortable for high balls), and when they push through and get to it (with the Eastern or if they switch to a more extreme grip), it won't be flat. It'll have topspin, which is more comfortable hitting for many players.

06-09-2005, 07:10 PM
A moonball is a ball hit with little pace deep and high. It can have topspin or be relatively flat. The thing about moonballs is that they're usually slow.. Just move back and pound it.. Moon balls dont penetrate.. In higher level tennis people use it to bait the other player to try to smash a winner. Andy Roddick used it against Acasuso at the 2005 FO on match point and lost.. Anyone remember that one????

Definition of moonball: http://www.**********.com/lesson-lounge/bella-online/article-012.htm

Often times moonballs fall short of being deep.. This is where you can hit the winner.

Lets say your opponent hits a moonball.. you hit it back.. he hits another.. you hit it back.. now u HAVE to expect another one coming.. so anticipate it.. run up and smash with a swing volley.. if you're late you're going to be caught with a half volley.. I like the swing volley option the best because its not difficult to do and easiesr than hitting on the rise.. Or you can just let it bounce..

Here are some of your options
1.) Take it early
2.) Move back and pound
3.) Moon it back
4.) Easy and safe slice
5.) Anticipate the moonball, move in and Swing Volley it

Kana Himezaki
06-09-2005, 07:21 PM
I'd agree with most of the stuff you're saying, I said most of the sames things. However, moonballs aren't necessary slow, especially with lots of topspin as people in higher levels do. For these people, topspin is essential.

If it lands a little short, the topspin can make up for it in jetting off the ground and farther away. If it's deep, the ball (if not taken early) will jump off the court into the fence. Very penetrating.

Also, with topspin the balls dip fast. Not slow in the air when coming down.

Of course, I doubt the poster means he is encountering these. While common to SOME players in upper levels of play, I highly doubt any of the moonballers newshound is talking about is actually adding the topspin and trying to attack, they are simply hitting high balls knowing it'll probably force an error.

But even with only some topspin, moving back and pounding is erased from that list. Swing volleys are much harder, and for the most part will be erased. Slices will not always be easy, as hitting any ball on the fly is lower percentage. Although the dipping speed is a large factor on actually making clean contact while attempting to brush under a ball coming rapidly down. Slicing after the bounce is a possibility, however, the added speed with which the ball jumps off the court makes it difficult to get good timing on this, too.

On those balls, taking it early or mooning it back are usually the most effective options.

Still, my post is fine and all of TwistServe's options are also possibilities for the moonballers you are describing.

06-09-2005, 11:52 PM
Take the ball out of air and practise your smashes.

06-10-2005, 12:44 AM
I'm with Kana's first post, 100% right. Expecially on slow surfaces is very painful to play this kind of player. Practice high balls; return a deep moonball with a deep moonball, adding as much topspin you can and possibly aim to your opponent bh; be ready to step in and take advantage of the short shot that is coming, sooner or later...
When you have a chance, test your opponent at net: usually, moonballers are not good at net, so hit some short and low slice to force them to move forward, and also test with some dropshots.

Geezer Guy
06-10-2005, 07:04 AM
Lots of good advice above.

In addition, do a "search" on 'MOONBALL' on this site and you'll get a LOT more.

06-10-2005, 07:09 AM
My absolute favorite thing about the time I spent demo-ing the POG OS was that swinging volleys were a breeze. Dunno what bat you're using, but if this is a frequent concern, you could do worse than to spend 120 bucks on a POG to stash in your bag for moonballer matches. Stand a meter inside the baseline and whack everything out of the air. You'll either kill the guy or have a great time losing. Either way, it'll be worth the expense just to have the story.

06-10-2005, 09:45 AM
How do u add topspin to a Moonball?. Ie when i have to lob i hit from low to high.
In other words if i imagine Ball face as a clock, i hit it undenearth 6 o clock to give the ball air.

Now how would i put topspin?

06-10-2005, 10:33 AM
That is topspin. If you go more from low to high than through the ball you will get more spin and still more if you add a wrist motion.

Tennis Psycho
06-10-2005, 12:05 PM
I agree with most of what TwistServe was saying.

You can always wait until you can hit it with a forehand or backhand and then like TwistServe said if he/she does it again then you can anticipate it.