PDA

View Full Version : How do I get


Cheetah
10-26-2011, 05:35 PM
edit: Sorry the title got cut off. It should say 'How can i get more games off of this guy'?

I've found a new hitting partner. He's 45 years old, from France, and used to be a pro for 2 years he's said. Says he comes from a tennis family where everyone in his family and parents family are all good in tennis etc etc. He has worked for a while as an agent to a couple of pros too. One of his good friends who was Andy Roddick's agent died the other day btw.

Anyway, we've played about 10 times now. The best set i've had against him was 6-4. Usually he beats me 6-2, 6-0, 6-1 or something like that. Almost every point is the same. If I don't hit a winner or a good approach shot and volley he will win the point 99% of the time. He doesn't hit hard. Almost ALL of his shot are wide. If i hit any ball that's not wide he will angle it a lot and pull me off the court. If i can get to it he's there waiting for it. Also all of his shots are low. He doesn't hit with extra top spin and they are always close to the net and angle out wide and pop up. His slice is very very good. Best slice I've ever seen in person. They don't ever bounce higher than like a foot. We played today and it seemed like he didnt give me one ball the whole afternoon that sat up or that didnt pull me wide.

So usually the points go like this. I serve, he returns usually down the middle. I hit a decent reply and then he hits a great angle. i get to it and he's waiting there and slices it in the opposite direction. He serves, i return it he hits a deep shot, i rally back and he angles it wide or slices really low, i reach it but have to hit up on it and then it's point over. I've tried going to his backhand but it has to be a rly hard shot for him to hit a weak reply. I've tried to come to the net on both sides but that angle shot of his is too good. They're not fast but just low and at a wide angle. I try to anticipate and push him back but if i dont hit a deep shot then he's going to have time and push me off court wide. Then i try to hug the baseline so that i can get to his slices but if i cheat in a step he will see that and hit it near the baseline and never right at me.

So I guess he's a lot better than me but how can i get some more points off of him? The only way I ever get a point is if i hit 3-4 very good shots in a row. and by good i mean fast heavy balls where he isnt. but i have to hit 3 in a row. 2 is not good enough because then he'll angle/slice and point is over.
I don't make a lot of EU's it just that his placement is too good.

So... any tips or strategies I can employ to give him a better match? I dont expect to beat him but there must be something tactically that I can do better or change that would make it a little bit more competitive.

user92626
10-27-2011, 12:33 PM
Can you hit like him or better? Very often a good player doesn't know how to play against himself. You should understand this concept very easily because you have seen how he hits, the pattern.

Limpinhitter
10-27-2011, 01:12 PM
How did you get 4 games off of him? Do that!

rkelley
10-27-2011, 01:45 PM
One answer is to work on hitting those 3 or 4 very good shots in a row more often. Your current very good needs to become your new normal. Good players force you to hit better shots more often. That one good fh isn't enough. It's cool when you can put it together though. You really start to feel like a tennis player.

At the extreme, I watched the Federer - Djokovic USO match and those guys were both hitting balls that I thought for sure were winners, but then the other guy would run it down and do something fairly offensive with it. They had to string together 3 or 4 freakin' incredible shots to take a point off the other guy.

One other thought, is there anything that you do well that makes him hit shots that he doesn't like to hit? High backhands, passing shots, make him volley, give him no pace and come in . . . most people usually have a weakness somewhere.

joesucks
10-27-2011, 01:47 PM
One thing that has worked well for me with a similar opponent is to move them around, initially it seems like a lost cause because they are there waiting but soon they start making mistakes where it would have been a winner, 10 minutes ago.
Another thing that has worked for me is, use slice as a weapon, they don't like bending, and guess what he needs to slice back too, kills them.
Concentrate more on good placement than on power. Power never works with better opponent, although the guy i play with serves and volleys against me so i still struggle getting games off of him.

LeeD
10-27-2011, 01:48 PM
Always tough for anyone to improve his performance when faced against a player a full level above him. If you had a chance, you'd already be getting more than 3 games off him by now.
Maybe try serve volley, if you have good placement on your serves and a good volley, but sounds like his passing shot are far superior to any chance of your approach volleys.
You can make him run before he makes you run, but you already thought of that and you're not an attacker by religion.
You can loop some high bouncing deep topspin stuff, then angle a short wide slice to make him run and possibly tire him out, if you have those shots.
Maybe you should try avoiding a baseline exchange and draw him to net off his forehand, then PLANNING AHEAD of time, lob deep CC to make him run a bit and take his strong groundie game away from him.
Basically, you seem to be matched up against a guy a full level above you, so not much you can really do that he can't counter.

user92626
10-27-2011, 01:57 PM
How did you get 4 games off of him? Do that!

Not necessarily applicable! Good players throw away games all the time and the winners of those games obviously don't deserve them. Expecting others to hand you wins isn't a good strategy!

Cheetah
10-28-2011, 10:59 PM
Can you hit like him or better? Very often a good player doesn't know how to play against himself. You should understand this concept very easily because you have seen how he hits, the pattern.

Well... before we started playing matches I rallied with him 3 times. Each of those 3 times I thought I hit better than him. By better I mean that I hit harder than he does and with more top spin and at that time I could easily angle him off the court and I could hit winners whenever I tried. It seemed.

Then he said we should start playing matches. Since then we play real matches and it seems like I have no time at all. The first set we played it was 6-4 (he won). Since then I can only get 1 mayyyybe 2 games a set. About 50% of the time he bagels me. The games that I win are extremely difficult for me. I have to serve well or return well then hit absolutely no short balls no sitters no errors play the correct shot anticipate well and hit a nice shot or winner. That's really asking a lot because this guy just puts the ball where I'm not and none of them sit up. I'm not slow either. In fact I'm quite fast. But he's just better than me in every category I guess.

I want to win more games so that he doesnt get bored and will continue to play with me so that I can get better. He doesn't blow me off the court with pace or anything but I'm thinking it must be his tactics are much better than mine. I don't understand how he can make me feel rushed when he doesnt hit hard. But I feel rushed all the time. every shot. I can't relax or get into an extended rally to work a point. The rallies are usually 3-4 shots. Thats it.

I can hit all the shots and I'm pretty consistent as I"m not making a lot of errors. He just finds a way to hit it just right to where I'm not and also he's great at the net and can hit great overheads. The only weakness I've found is that if I hit a good high ball to his backhand he will slice it. But his slice kills me. It says very low and he can hit it anywhere. I need some kind of strategy to neutralize some part of his game so I dont go home think 'what the h**l just happened?' like i do every time.

Cheetah
10-28-2011, 11:07 PM
One answer is to work on hitting those 3 or 4 very good shots in a row more often. Your current very good needs to become your new normal. Good players force you to hit better shots more often. That one good fh isn't enough. It's cool when you can put it together though. You really start to feel like a tennis player.

At the extreme, I watched the Federer - Djokovic USO match and those guys were both hitting balls that I thought for sure were winners, but then the other guy would run it down and do something fairly offensive with it. They had to string together 3 or 4 freakin' incredible shots to take a point off the other guy.

One other thought, is there anything that you do well that makes him hit shots that he doesn't like to hit? High backhands, passing shots, make him volley, give him no pace and come in . . . most people usually have a weakness somewhere.

Yes I think you're right. I need to hit more good shots in a row. I just feel so pressured because he's good enough that if i do not hit a good shot the point is literally over because he's going to hurt me the very next shot. everytime. I think every point I've gotten against him were when I was able to hit 4 very good shots in a row. That's not easy.

He says I"m getting better everytime and that I need to recover a little quicker after each shot. So I bought a jump rope to help with that.

If i had to pick out his weakness I would say it would be high balls to his backhand because I know he's going to slice that back. But his slice is so good. He can put that slice anywhere at any angle. I'd have to hit a well well placed high ball and then get to the net as fast as possible. I can do that occasionally but it would take me a few strokes to set that up. This is no easy task.

Cheetah
10-28-2011, 11:13 PM
Ok. Thanks for the replies. I will play him in 2 days and post back here on what happens. My plan is to recover faster after my stroke, work on my placement and try to move him around as much as I can, use slice as a weapon and maybe go to his backhand high as much as possible.

This is the first time I've ever played someone who was clearly better than me but doesn't use pace to beat me. He's out thinking me.

rufus_smith
10-29-2011, 06:23 AM
When faced with a wide, low shot you have to be able to hit down the line deep followed by going to the net or to hit it a dropshot from both the forehand and backhand wide sides. These are higher level shots but you are playing a higher level player. Also some slicers can have trouble with very high bounce slow shots to their deep bh corner. Make sure its deep or they will dropshot you. just my humble opinion gl.

rufusbgood
10-29-2011, 09:28 AM
Videotape. If not for our entertainment, for your own edification.