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luishcorreia
01-21-2012, 07:38 AM
We have had a very interesting talk here on the forum about the importance of depth vs angles.

I hope this new post can shed a light on the matter. ;)

http://online-tennis-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/going-deep-vs-going-wide.html

5263
01-21-2012, 07:55 AM
Depth is a tricky issue.

I was listening as Killer Cahill stated Nole was getting good depth on his returns. Only one of the 14 returns depicted by hawkeye was closer to the BL. 5 of the returns were on or inside the Svc line. The remainder were closer to svc line but beyond it. Considering depth alone, these were almost all short by most standards I've read in most books.

I think the returns were of good quality due to pace, spin and circumstance, meaning he made good pace returns off of good serves.
Also he kept his risk of missing near the lines at a min!
From a pure depth standpoint though, they tended to be short.
Supports my view that current attitudes on depth need adjustment to build better players.

dominikk1985
01-21-2012, 08:31 AM
both is good. you need to hit close to a line. either sideline or baseline.

I think that more balls should be deep though. the angle shot should be a variation but don't use it all the time. if you use angles you also give the opponent to hit a counter angleshot.

so wait for the right opportunities for the shortangle.

5263
01-21-2012, 08:43 AM
both is good. you need to hit close to a line. either sideline or baseline.

I think that more balls should be deep though. the angle shot should be a variation but don't use it all the time. if you use angles you also give the opponent to hit a counter angleshot.

so wait for the right opportunities for the shortangle.

So here you have it.

You have my post above suggesting a new view on depth and dominikk here giving you the traditional view, which most believe in, to hit deep and close to the lines.

I contend that hitting deep and close to the line will hold back your progress substantially due to the constant misses you will get for both of these targeting aspects.
I've also charted the pros quite a bit on this, and find they don't hit so deep by a good percentage and don't hit close to the lines by a even a greater percentage.

So if your message is depth, join the masses, as that is the common take on it, but take a look at depth if you really care and you will see how players like DJ don't hit near a deep or near the lines as you may expect on avg.

dominikk1985
01-21-2012, 08:47 AM
yeah. players like federer and nadal really hit a majority of their ball just a couple of feet behind the service line. even on DTL shots they rarely go really deep so it's not only shortangles that are not deep with them.

don't know why though, maybe because of their heavy spin. more flat hitting guys like bird oder delpo tend to hit deeper.

5263
01-21-2012, 08:50 AM
yeah. players like federer and nadal really hit a majority of their ball just a couple of feet behind the service line. even on DTL shots they rarely go really deep so it's not only shortangles that are not deep with them.

don't know why though, maybe because of their heavy spin. more flat hitting guys like bird oder delpo tend to hit deeper.

They take less risk till they set the table. Much like a batter in baseball working the count. THis is why they cruise thru so many early rounds and get such consistent results.

Notice that most clean winners are due to shot line and pace and are winners regardless of what depth is involved; so why risk closer to lines by hitting deeper.

bhupaes
01-21-2012, 10:13 AM
5263, would you say that when pros hit balls very close to or on the lines, it is more by chance than intention? That is, they are really aiming to put it in with a reasonable margin, but there are enough variables involved to make things a bit unpredictable even for pros?

Bagumbawalla
01-21-2012, 01:38 PM
On what I think is called "kid's day" at the US open, some top pro players are invited to compete fro prizes to go to charity. Someone tosses then about 20 (or so) balls and they try to hit fairly big targets on the other side of the net. It is interesting that they miss more often than they hit (on average). I don't think the "aim" for the lines.

In general, I believe, hitting deep does several things. It keeps the opponent back where he/she can do less damage, it gives you more time to recover/set up, and it tends to "steal" time from the opponent.

Generally, a player will start out hitting deep, moving the opponent around, keeping the pressure on, until he/she gets a weaker return and an opportunity to move in and "open up" the court by driving the opponent wide.

I don't know if that is what you were saying, but it is what usually happens.

tennis_balla
01-21-2012, 01:52 PM
Depth is a tricky issue.

I was listening as Killer Cahill stated Nole was getting good depth on his returns. Only one of the 14 returns depicted by hawkeye was closer to the BL. 5 of the returns were on or inside the Svc line. The remainder were closer to svc line but beyond it. Considering depth alone, these were almost all short by most standards I've read in most books.

I think the returns were of good quality due to pace, spin and circumstance, meaning he made good pace returns off of good serves.
Also he kept his risk of missing near the lines at a min!
From a pure depth standpoint though, they tended to be short.
Supports my view that current attitudes on depth need adjustment to build better players.


Your Djokovic example is a good one and thats very true. I also like Ash_Smith's take on this when he stated that the ball should be rising when it crosses the baseline.

Limpinhitter
01-21-2012, 03:06 PM
We have had a very interesting talk here on the forum about the importance of depth vs angles.

I hope this new post can shed a light on the matter. ;)

http://online-tennis-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/going-deep-vs-going-wide.html

I'll give my 2 cents before I even read your link. It's not a matter of deep vs. angles. IMO, hitting deep is a primary shot and hitting a sharp angle, like going DTL, is a secondary shot. You have to wait for the right opportunity for either to be a high percentage play. You hit deep in order to draw a weaker shot that you can hit at an angle or DTL.

As for hitting a sharp angle, you have to wait for a shorter shot that you can take in front of the baseline that sits up. That's what opens up the angle that pulls your opponent off of the court, or may even be a winner if you nail your spot. Even if your opponent gets the ball back, he's usually so far out of position you can hit the next ball down the middle for a winner.

PS: I read your link and I think the writer is saying the same thing I'm saying. This, in particular: "On one hand you need depth to keep your opponent from going wide against you, and you also need to force him to hit a slightly shorter ball to allow you to hit those so important angles." The short ball, that sits up above the net, is what opens up the angle for you. Of course modern stroke production with its heavy topspin is what makes it possible.

luishcorreia
01-21-2012, 04:04 PM
I'll give my 2 cents before I even read your link. It's not a matter of deep vs. angles. IMO, hitting deep is a primary shot and hitting a sharp angle, like going DTL, is a secondary shot. You have to wait for the right opportunity for either to be a high percentage play. You hit deep in order to draw a weaker shot that you can hit at an angle or DTL.

As for hitting a sharp angle, you have to wait for a shorter shot that you can take in front of the baseline that sits up. That's what opens up the angle that pulls your opponent off of the court, or may even be a winner if you nail your spot. Even if your opponent gets the ball back, he's usually so far out of position you can hit the next ball down the middle for a winner.

PS: I read your link and I think the writer is saying the same thing I'm saying. This, in particular: "On one hand you need depth to keep your opponent from going wide against you, and you also need to force him to hit a slightly shorter ball to allow you to hit those so important angles." The short ball, that sits up above the net, is what opens up the angle for you. Of course modern stroke production with its heavy topspin is what makes it possible.

That was exactly my point in the article.

bhupaes
01-21-2012, 04:13 PM
On what I think is called "kid's day" at the US open, some top pro players are invited to compete fro prizes to go to charity. Someone tosses then about 20 (or so) balls and they try to hit fairly big targets on the other side of the net. It is interesting that they miss more often than they hit (on average). I don't think the "aim" for the lines.

In general, I believe, hitting deep does several things. It keeps the opponent back where he/she can do less damage, it gives you more time to recover/set up, and it tends to "steal" time from the opponent.

Generally, a player will start out hitting deep, moving the opponent around, keeping the pressure on, until he/she gets a weaker return and an opportunity to move in and "open up" the court by driving the opponent wide.

I don't know if that is what you were saying, but it is what usually happens.

I agree with you, and I also believe the shorter, heavily topspun ball is effective in keeping people pinned behind the baseline, if one has the skill to hit such a ball. I have heard tennis commentators speak as if pros were literally aiming for the lines... and I was curious as to whether this was true, that they were intentionally doing so, which is what prompted my question.

BU-Tennis
01-21-2012, 10:01 PM
When commentators say aiming for the lines, they are usually referring to low ranked players playing top players, i.e. they have to go for tough shots constantly to win because their normal shots are too weak and would be crushed by bigger hitting players.

We used to see a lot less angles in the game, because topspin was not nearly as prevalent, or even possible due to racket and string technology. Depth used to be key. Now with all the topspin, someone like Nadal can hit a ball bouncing even before the service line, but still keep an opponent pinned back (of course, this was on courts like clay which really accepted the spin, and he had to flatten our his strokes to win Wimbledon and the US Open). And of course, this greater topspin allows you to hit sharper angles because of the safety and the ball dropping down so fast.

But I think for the person reading these forums, depth would be more important. I have won countless matches by simply keeping balls deep and down the middle and waiting for a short ball to hit even deeper down the middle, with more pace, and just overpowering my opponent.

5263
01-22-2012, 08:14 AM
5263, would you say that when pros hit balls very close to or on the lines, it is more by chance than intention? That is, they are really aiming to put it in with a reasonable margin, but there are enough variables involved to make things a bit unpredictable even for pros?
I don't think it is a simple situation how they get to what they are doing,
so I mostly comment on the result they end up with.

Honestly I think the pros do want to hit pretty deep and close to the lines, as in general,
their coaching is much the same as what we get.
It would clearly be an awesome force if they could actually do this and make enough shots. We often see players do just that when they over-match their much weaker opponents and DJ often it did during his rise to the top 5.

IMO the difference is that most often players that have risen thru the ranks have quite a few qualities, such as hitting a great ball, moving well, and being very competitive;
But,
one of the often unmentioned qualities is that the top players are the ones who use the court and adapt their targets the best for their style of hitting. The single most important quality a player can have is to consistently make shots that do not leave them at great risks. As they play, IMO they drift and adjust their intent for shots they know they can make. THis often leads to more margin on the majority of shots, especially as they work and set up the point. Over time thru many matches they learn intuitively where they can, and where they cannot put the ball at certain speeds and spin, based on the 2 important factors. The first factor is what they can consistently make and the second is the amount of risk/reward the target engenders. It becomes somewhat automatic for them over time.

IMO, above is probably how they generally get to how the top players operate, but my attempt is to help make that process much more efficient by charting and showing the result of all their years of intuitive progress. IMO it is even helpful for them to know this info consciously, as sometimes they they unconsciously drift away from these learned best practices. The grand idea of hitting very deep and close to the lines is probably still embedded in the conscious mind, which could account for one of the reasons that thinking too much can adversely effect play.

5263
01-22-2012, 08:31 AM
A good player thinks, "these are my shots and I have made them often, so I can make them today";
then is very disappointed when he can't do it against another strong player, wondering what happened.

A superior player realizes that a tougher opponent makes a bigger margin necessary due to the quality of the balls he will face, and
is ready and prepared to make this adjustment.

LeeD
01-22-2012, 11:32 AM
Of course, you need both.
Stress for years has been solely on depth.
With more topspin, more angles, but you gotta hit it SHORT, to create more angles.
So you need both.
Rabbits tend to cover depth quite well, and need to stretch for angles.
Slowfooted can be beat by either.
Don't forget the defensive jam at the opponent baseliner, to take away HIS angles and depth.

bhupaes
01-22-2012, 12:30 PM
Great discussion. I am practicing/formulating a low risk strategy for myself to be more effective against seasoned players (junk doesn't work!), and this helps greatly - thanks.

5263
01-22-2012, 12:45 PM
Great discussion. I am practicing/formulating a low risk strategy for myself to be more effective against seasoned players (junk doesn't work!), and this helps greatly - thanks.

Maybe take a look at what I call my "Smart Targets".
Think of a long oval that extends from about 1 ft inside the svc line to about 7 ft past the svc line and set about a foot from the sideline with a width of about4-5 feet.
For singles I use one of these near both side T's.

For dubs these 2 slide over and cover the side T's and a third is added for the center T. I also teach to avoid this 3rd area at the center T for singles, as sort of an anti-target.

If you use solid pace and/or spin, these targets will work for 80%+ of your shots. In the rally or on deeper mid ct ball attacks, we use the deeper aspect of the ovals, and for short ball attacks and volleys we will often use the part just short and at the svc line for bigger angles.
Exceptions to the these targets are taught for lobs, dropshots, etc...
But it is amazing how much of targeting these "smart targets" will provide.

bhupaes
01-22-2012, 12:53 PM
^^^ That sounds like a great idea, 5263. I will rent a ball machine and give this a workout.

5263
01-22-2012, 12:58 PM
^^^ That sounds like a great idea, 5263. I will rent a ball machine and give this a workout.

a ball machine is a good way, cause most hitting partner practice players won't enjoy the challenge you will present when hitting with this approach, lol.
It offers a pretty good margin for error while putting tough challenges on the opp, especially the cleaner you hit the ball.

LeeD
01-22-2012, 01:02 PM
Smart targets work well, unless the opponent knows them and camps out behind your target. Also, sometimes the opponent can affect you shots by hitting HIS shots.

5263
01-22-2012, 03:12 PM
Smart targets work well, unless the opponent knows them and camps out behind your target. Also, sometimes the opponent can affect you shots by hitting HIS shots.

He can only camp out behind one of them lee, so for that you just hit to the other one of the two.
He would be really helping you out to camp on one of them, which would really open the court to the other one.

As to your other comment, that is the whole point of smart targets that have lots of margin for error. When his shots affect yours, it takes way more of that effect to make you miss. Even you would have to admit that you are more likely to miss due to his shots if YOUR shots are aimed for extreme depth or very close to the lines than you would be with these targets with good margin.

5263
01-22-2012, 09:45 PM
^^^ That sounds like a great idea, 5263. I will rent a ball machine and give this a workout.

I hope you got a chance to watch Ferrer today. I watched a few games before bed and he was like a clinic on the "Smart Targets" I described.
It was neat to watch a guy who really gets the most out of his game.

10sLifer
01-22-2012, 09:48 PM
We have had a very interesting talk here on the forum about the importance of depth vs angles.

I hope this new post can shed a light on the matter. ;)

http://online-tennis-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/going-deep-vs-going-wide.html

Great article. You see some powerfull rally balss going down the middle. An angle begets an angle ofcourse!

dominikk1985
01-23-2012, 04:46 AM
I think it also depends on the type of opponent you play. against slower footed players you should play wide a lot.

but against an angle specialist often hard and deep through the middle might be a good strategy because if you angle him he will use that to counter angle you even more which is exactly his game.

chico9166
01-23-2012, 05:11 AM
I think it also depends on the type of opponent you play. against slower footed players you should play wide a lot.

but against an angle specialist often hard and deep through the middle might be a good strategy because if you angle him he will use that to counter angle you even more which is exactly his game.
A factor yes, but an even more important one is an individual's skill set. And the development of it. All of this theory is somewhat moot, if you can't work the ball in different ways. We are not playing wii tennis, with access to all the shots. Creating reasonable depth and directional control (without it coming at the expense of consistency) takes mucho practice, and creating angles is based on the ownership of higher spin rates. Point is, many would benefit more from developing a working knowledge of how to work the ball. This is the tough part.

luishcorreia
01-23-2012, 05:14 AM
We have a really interesting talk going on here :)

Yesterday I saw Nadal playing Lopez at the Aus Open. If we watch carefully we can see that 80% (or more) of the times Nadal's ball is hit just beyond the service line and even sometimes before.

Its amazing the small number of times that they go for the lines.

So...why should we??? :)

thug the bunny
01-23-2012, 05:51 AM
Good topic. I spent a lot of time up until recently trying to get more depth on my rally shots. Then I started watching and tracking the depth on shots from pro matches. I was surprised to observe as 5263 and others have said here, that a great majority of pro rally balls land around the service line, just like mine! And all this time I thought this was inadequate. So now as long as I put good pace and spin on my shots I don't care if they land short, they will still keep my opp behind the BL. For variety though I will still hoist some up higher with spin and try to make it land deep, but it's a more tricky shot for me.

luishcorreia
01-23-2012, 07:01 AM
Good topic. I spent a lot of time up until recently trying to get more depth on my rally shots. Then I started watching and tracking the depth on shots from pro matches. I was surprised to observe as 5263 and others have said here, that a great majority of pro rally balls land around the service line, just like mine! And all this time I thought this was inadequate. So now as long as I put good pace and spin on my shots I don't care if they land short, they will still keep my opp behind the BL. For variety though I will still hoist some up higher with spin and try to make it land deep, but it's a more tricky shot for me.

It has more to do with the point of contact of the opponent with the ball. You can hit the service line and be a short ball or you can hit the baseline, but because the ball has more speed and spin it has the same effect as a longer ball because the opponent will make contact with the ball far behind.... unless they can consistently hit the ball on the rise...

thug the bunny
01-23-2012, 07:18 AM
It has more to do with the point of contact of the opponent with the ball. You can hit the service line and be a short ball or you can hit the baseline, but because the ball has more speed and spin it has the same effect as a longer ball because the opponent will make contact with the ball far behind.... unless they can consistently hit the ball on the rise...

Yes! Well stated..although the more loopy deep TS ball will kick higher.

5263
01-23-2012, 07:19 AM
We have a really interesting talk going on here :)

Yesterday I saw Nadal playing Lopez at the Aus Open. If we watch carefully we can see that 80% (or more) of the times Nadal's ball is hit just beyond the service line and even sometimes before.

Its amazing the small number of times that they go for the lines.

So...why should we??? :)

Yes, interesting talk here.
Thug, glad you are seeing how it can work for you!

So Luish, great point you recognize. If the pros that make it into the second week don't have to hit that close to the lines, why should we?
And as Bhupaes mentions, when they do hit one near the lines, often that could be using of that margin of error and not their intent, so probably even small number where they really target near a line.

Of course my point is to stay aggressive, but to choose other ways such as pace, spin, and hitting away from them to put them on the move.
If we become that angles specialist, then we have much less to fear from them! Not saying the angles must be that severe, but a specialist in knowing which angle when, and how.

arche3
01-23-2012, 07:57 AM
Yes, interesting talk here.
Thug, glad you are seeing how it can work for you!

So Luish, great point you recognize. If the pros that make it into the second week don't have to hit that close to the lines, why should we?
And as Bhupaes mentions, when they do hit one near the lines, often that could be using of that margin of error and not their intent, so probably even small number where they really target near a line.

Of course my point is to stay aggressive, but to choose other ways such as pace, spin, and hitting away from them to put them on the move.
If we become that angles specialist, then we have much less to fear from them! Not saying the angles must be that severe, but a specialist in knowing which angle when, and how.

So I counted djokos shots during a few games with Hewit. Djoko does in fact hit id say 75% of his shots near the service line. that is how he is working the point. with angles. Very interesting as I have thought about this exact same thing before. Why hit deep all the time? More chance for errors. Just hit hard with spin and shorter. I would imagine my UE rate would go way down and I would win more matches against tougher players. I will make a point of trying this. NOT going deep and substituting more short angle more often.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 08:11 AM
So I counted djokos shots during a few games with Hewit. Djoko does in fact hit id say 75% of his shots near the service line. that is how he is working the point. with angles. Very interesting as I have thought about this exact same thing before. Why hit deep all the time? More chance for errors. Just hit hard with spin and shorter. I would imagine my UE rate would go way down and I would win more matches against tougher players. I will make a point of trying this. NOT going deep and substituting more short angle more often.

Your UE rate will only go down if you hit angles in high percentage situations. First, hitting wide is just as much of an UE as hitting long. Second, you can't hit much of an angle from the middle of the court, or from deep behind the baseline. If you go for short angles from those positions, you increase your risk of UE, and of giving your opponent a short shot to attack.

5263
01-23-2012, 09:03 AM
Your UE rate will only go down if you hit angles in high percentage situations. First, hitting wide is just as much of an UE as hitting long. Second, you can't hit much of an angle from the middle of the court, or from deep behind the baseline. If you go for short angles from those positions, you increase your risk of UE, and of giving your opponent a short shot to attack.

Sorry, but the above just doesn't show experience of working with this. No Way is hitting wider going to give you the same chance of UE as trying to hit very deep unless your topspin is pretty weak. With practice at working wider, you can keep a 3-5' margin for error, which is way easier to manage than depth for that same margin due to how strokes work. That's why most of the best Pros most often do it this way despite the conventional wisdom. It's what Dj changed to hit that next level.

Saying your angles are limited from way deep behind your BL is just filler that is not part of this convo, as of course any 3.0 knows that, but
from the middle of the court even near the BL, your angles will be effective as good or better due to certain advantages there. One of these advantages is having the choice to go with your better wing for the shot you pick. Another advantage you can stack on top of the last one, is that on a middle ball, you get to target your opponents weaker side (or avoid his stronger side). You can't say enough about how important stacking those 2 factors can be! Both "smart targets" discussed are still fully available from the middle of the court and the opponent can't know which one you will go with as well as there is some angle to both sides. Big advantage! When you hit an angle from one side or the other (not the middle) there is one big angle, but on the other side it's more a dtl with little to no angle. In this case you may not get to choose your better wing either.

5263
01-23-2012, 09:08 AM
So I counted djokos shots during a few games with Hewit. Djoko does in fact hit id say 75% of his shots near the service line. that is how he is working the point. with angles. Very interesting as I have thought about this exact same thing before. Why hit deep all the time? More chance for errors. Just hit hard with spin and shorter. I would imagine my UE rate would go way down and I would win more matches against tougher players. I will make a point of trying this. NOT going deep and substituting more short angle more often.

Great to see people charting and noticing what the best Pros are doing!

You have the key, hit good pace and spin, and your UE's will plummet. The biting TS will allow you to clear the net easy, get the ball back down quicker and make it kick on the bounce. If they try to attack these balls the will rack up the UEs big time or they are just way out of your league anyway, so nothing was going to help. Another cool thing about this is when you start cracking it hard at these safer targets, many of your shots will tend carry a bit, giving you a mix of depth at times without missing long. All THis will help you play tougher against players that may be too good for you as well and this is a type of win in my book.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 09:09 AM
Why indeed?
Nadal is playing a baseliner DETERMINED to stay back. We might not be.
If Nadal does it, should we? Only if you want to win by outrunning your opponent. What if you can't?
Do we have Nadal's mental outlook? Some of us does, lots don't.
Short loopy high net clearance is the safest shot. If it's not attacked with a great approach shot, the pros can produce the dipping pass. THE PROS.
We are not pros.

5263
01-23-2012, 09:17 AM
Why indeed?
Nadal is playing a baseliner DETERMINED to stay back. We might not be.
If Nadal does it, should we? Only if you want to win by outrunning your opponent. What if you can't?
Do we have Nadal's mental outlook? Some of us does, lots don't.
Short loopy high net clearance is the safest shot. If it's not attacked with a great approach shot, the pros can produce the dipping pass. THE PROS.
We are not pros.

No body is advocating loopy Topspin! If that is your version of TS, you are right, don't do this.
Also don't do it if you don't have the vision to see these lines. If you can't see them in your mind, it's likely your UEs will not improve. Some players really have a sense of "line of shot" paths and can use them. Some are blind to them.

But if you can crank up some pace with a biting topspin, then this will work well for BL or getting to net. These same "smart targets" work great for low skidding slices as well for approaching net this way, but if your slices are loopy sitters, of course they won't be effective either! See how that works?

LeeD
01-23-2012, 10:01 AM
The modern topspin forehand is hit with extreme rackethead speed, very closed racketface, short in distance, looped well higher than the netcord, and depth is not a criteria, placement is. That is your "loopy" topspin forehand.

arche3
01-23-2012, 10:36 AM
Great to see people charting and noticing what the best Pros are doing!

You have the key, hit good pace and spin, and your UE's will plummet. The biting TS will allow you to clear the net easy, get the ball back down quicker and make it kick on the bounce. If they try to attack these balls the will rack up the UEs big time or they are just way out of your league anyway, so nothing was going to help. Another cool thing about this is when you start cracking it hard at these safer targets, many of your shots will tend carry a bit, giving you a mix of depth at times without missing long. All THis will help you play tougher against players that may be too good for you as well and this is a type of win in my book.

it is an interesting idea that I have at times thought about. Never hurts to try. Can't argue with results. If I win more then it works for me. Time will tell.

Also I can't deny what I am seeing how the pros are hitting. shorter with more angle. I am not a pro obviously but I am also far from a hack so I can actually try the same tactics because I can actually hit the shots if I choose.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 12:13 PM
Sorry, but the above just doesn't show experience of working with this. No Way is hitting wider going to give you the same chance of UE as trying to hit very deep unless your topspin is pretty weak. With practice at working wider, you can keep a 3-5' margin for error, which is way easier to manage than depth for that same margin due to how strokes work. That's why most of the best Pros most often do it this way despite the conventional wisdom. It's what Dj changed to hit that next level.

Saying your angles are limited from way deep behind your BL is just filler that is not part of this convo, as of course any 3.0 knows that, but
from the middle of the court even near the BL, your angles will be effective as good or better due to certain advantages there. One of these advantages is having the choice to go with your better wing for the shot you pick. Another advantage you can stack on top of the last one, is that on a middle ball, you get to target your opponents weaker side (or avoid his stronger side). You can't say enough about how important stacking those 2 factors can be! Both "smart targets" discussed are still fully available from the middle of the court and the opponent can't know which one you will go with as well as there is some angle to both sides. Big advantage! When you hit an angle from one side or the other (not the middle) there is one big angle, but on the other side it's more a dtl with little to no angle. In this case you may not get to choose your better wing either.

Your comments would tend to indicate that you don't actually play tennis. If you try to hit an angle and you hit it 5 feet from the sideline, you are likely giving your opponent a short attackable ball. Further, the OP's link spoke specifically about your opponent hitting deep to prevent you from hitting angles. Either you didn't read the OP's link, or you didn't understand it. Perhaps you also missed the OP's post in which he agreed that he agreed with my premises. Clearly, his article is saying the same thing I'm saying, all of which seems to be beyond your comprehension.

bhupaes
01-23-2012, 12:19 PM
I hope you got a chance to watch Ferrer today. I watched a few games before bed and he was like a clinic on the "Smart Targets" I described.
It was neat to watch a guy who really gets the most out of his game.

Yeah, I saw it. Great match, and very instructive too. This AO is shaping up to be a really good one, although I had hoped to see Roddick or Fish get to at least the QFs. Ah well...

onehandbh
01-23-2012, 01:39 PM
When approaching down the line, hit a little deeper. Takes time away from
your opponent. Of course hitting more towards the service box on crosscourt
will give more angle.

LeeD
01-23-2012, 01:44 PM
Once again, that can depend on the position of your opponent and his physical skills.
Some guys HATE to approach the service line. You can approach short DTL against them.
Some guys eat up short approaches, because they can position themselves into proper hitting position while moving forwards. Don't hit short approaches to them.

skiracer55
01-23-2012, 01:53 PM
Once again, that can depend on the position of your opponent and his physical skills.
Some guys HATE to approach the service line. You can approach short DTL against them.
Some guys eat up short approaches, because they can position themselves into proper hitting position while moving forwards. Don't hit short approaches to them.

...and it sort of points out that the best are all court players. Djoko, Federer, Murray, and, to an extent, Nadal, can hit through the court, hit angles, whatever. If you have variety in your game, then you've got a better chance, IMHO, in coming up with a winning strategy against a variety of opponents...

arche3
01-23-2012, 03:06 PM
Your comments would tend to indicate that you don't actually play tennis. If you try to hit an angle and you hit it 5 feet from the sideline, you are likely giving your opponent a short attackable ball. Further, the OP's link spoke specifically about your opponent hitting deep to prevent you from hitting angles. Either you didn't read the OP's link, or you didn't understand it. Perhaps you also missed the OP's post in which he agreed that he agreed with my premises. Clearly, his article is saying the same thing I'm saying, all of which seems to be beyond your comprehension.

I dont know limp. Even at 5 ft from the sideline. If the ball lands at the service line it will bounce away off the court if you originally hit the ball 2 feet from the center hash going cross court. Assuming of course you are hitting with a nice amount of pace and using spin to drop the ball there. The ball lands and kicks up and away. I counted numerous times where djoko did exactly that in the Hewitt match. He would then take a step for an inside out fh and go to hewits bh side. Ran the poor guy like a yoyo.
I think the key is pace and spin. So that it is not an attack able ball. Even then djoko was not nailing these shots. Mid paced with a lot of top. I think its a lot like ping pong actually how the ball arcs in these rallys. Nadal does this too. But I only really started paying attention to djoko since he happened to be on the TV.
Fed does not seem to do this as often as djoko.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 05:24 PM
I dont know limp. Even at 5 ft from the sideline. If the ball lands at the service line it will bounce away off the court if you originally hit the ball 2 feet from the center hash going cross court. Assuming of course you are hitting with a nice amount of pace and using spin to drop the ball there. The ball lands and kicks up and away. I counted numerous times where djoko did exactly that in the Hewitt match. He would then take a step for an inside out fh and go to hewits bh side. Ran the poor guy like a yoyo.
I think the key is pace and spin. So that it is not an attack able ball. Even then djoko was not nailing these shots. Mid paced with a lot of top. I think its a lot like ping pong actually how the ball arcs in these rallys. Nadal does this too. But I only really started paying attention to djoko since he happened to be on the TV.
Fed does not seem to do this as often as djoko.

Ahh! My mistake! I was talking about mere mortals, like you and me, not Djoko and Fed. I take it all back!

arche3
01-23-2012, 06:17 PM
I dont know limp. Even at 5 ft from the sideline. If the ball lands at the service line it will bounce away off the court if you originally hit the ball 2 feet from the center hash going cross court. Assuming of course you are hitting with a nice amount of pace and using spin to drop the ball there. The ball lands and kicks up and away. I counted numerous times where djoko did exactly that in the Hewitt match. He would then take a step for an inside out fh and go to hewits bh side. Ran the poor guy like a yoyo. <br />
I think the key is pace and spin. So that it is not an attack able ball. Even then djoko was not nailing these shots. Mid paced with a lot of top. I think its a lot like ping pong actually how the ball arcs in these rallys. Nadal does this too. But I only really started paying attention to djoko since he happened to be on the TV. <br />
Fed does not seem to do this as often as djoko.<br />
<br />
Ahh! My mistake! I was talking about mere mortals, like you and me, not Djoko and Fed. I take it all back!

Lmao.... you can't even hit a short cross court ball? Lol.
Its probably easier than your deep cross court ball you keep going on about. Remember the guys you play are probably close to retirement anyways so the few more steps you make them run actually might let you win a match or two.
Your more of a hack than I thought. Your too much limp. Remember you are not playing a pro. So its all relative to our own competition. If its not why do you keep going on about high percentage play and such if you are not a pro? After all. Its the way the pro player play. Maybe you should stay with bunting the ball down the middle with a pan cake grip like I imagine as your preferred style. Hey its high percentage!

5263
01-23-2012, 07:39 PM
Lmao.... you can't even hit a short cross court ball? Lol.
Its probably easier than your deep cross court ball you keep going on about. Remember the guys you play are probably close to retirement anyways so the few more steps you make them run actually might let you win a match or two.
Your more of a hack than I thought. Your too much limp. Remember you are not playing a pro. So its all relative to our own competition. If its not why do you keep going on about high percentage play and such if you are not a pro? After all. Its the way the pro player play. Maybe you should stay with bunting the ball down the middle with a pan cake grip like I imagine as your preferred style. Hey its high percentage!

Remember in an earlier posts I mentioned some can't see or envision these shot lines. It takes vision to use the court well and some just don't have it; so it's a waste to try to show them. I've got 13 yr olds hitting these shots that will be glad to know they are immortal, as I must as well. lol
Funny how people who can't do certain things will try to tell others how it can't be done; even if the others are already doing it. ; )
As you say, the challenge of these targets is far and away less than hitting for super depth.
And excellent point above in bold, as this idea seems beyond many in these discussions. They don't realize that at the lower levels you can get away with far more, not less.

Limpinhitter
01-23-2012, 09:08 PM
Lmao.... you can't even hit a short cross court ball? Lol.
Its probably easier than your deep cross court ball you keep going on about. Remember the guys you play are probably close to retirement anyways so the few more steps you make them run actually might let you win a match or two.
Your more of a hack than I thought. Your too much limp. Remember you are not playing a pro. So its all relative to our own competition. If its not why do you keep going on about high percentage play and such if you are not a pro? After all. Its the way the pro player play. Maybe you should stay with bunting the ball down the middle with a pan cake grip like I imagine as your preferred style. Hey its high percentage!

Arche, Don't you think you should put down the crack pipe and sober up before your next hitting session with Djoko and Ralph. Hahaha!

5263
01-23-2012, 09:44 PM
limp,
on a more upbeat note. Looks like Fed got wind of your post on his TS Bh, as on every slo-mo they show of it, he appears to be getting that arm straight early in the stroke and is hitting it quite nice so far. Maybe due to Del Potro's flatter shots, but I think Fed's Bh has been said to be sharp thru the event so far.

arche3
01-24-2012, 03:10 AM
Arche, Don't you think you should put down the crack pipe and sober up before your next hitting session with Djoko and Ralph. Hahaha!

Your nuts lol. On topic though I would imagine if any of your opponents hit a short cross court ball to you your head would explode because the shot is impossible! I see you dropping to your knees muttering to yourself something about is that rafa across the net from me? Then packing your stuff limping off the court back to your favorite chair to watch more Laver matches to think on the good old days.

If you can't make a decent comment to my original post to yours why even bother making snide remarks ? It adds nothing to this discussion on the shorter ball theory. Just because you can't do it does not mean others can't . Which is why we are actually discussing it. I'm not on here asking, "should I or shouldn't I hit my 150 MPH serve more often?" I can't hit a 150 serve. But I can hit a short ts shot with angle and pace. Which is why I was discussing it. Stay out of here if all you have to say is that only pros can hit the shot. Its not even a hard shot lol.

arche3
01-24-2012, 04:33 AM
Remember in an earlier posts I mentioned some can't see or envision these shot lines. It takes vision to use the court well and some just don't have it; so it's a waste to try to show them. I've got 13 yr olds hitting these shots that will be glad to know they are immortal, as I must as well. lol
Funny how people who can't do certain things will try to tell others how it can't be done; even if the others are already doing it. ; )
As you say, the challenge of these targets is far and away less than hitting for super depth.
And excellent point above in bold, as this idea seems beyond many in these discussions. They don't realize that at the lower levels you can get away with far more, not less.

I think with some posters it is because they can't control depth using top spin so from that perspective the shots are impossible. They need the full cross court length to get the ball in when hitting with pace. For anyone who can vary the spin rate the shots are elementary.

papa
01-24-2012, 04:52 AM
When commentators say aiming for the lines, they are usually referring to low ranked players playing top players, i.e. they have to go for tough shots constantly to win because their normal shots are too weak and would be crushed by bigger hitting players.

We used to see a lot less angles in the game, because topspin was not nearly as prevalent, or even possible due to racket and string technology. Depth used to be key. Now with all the topspin, someone like Nadal can hit a ball bouncing even before the service line, but still keep an opponent pinned back (of course, this was on courts like clay which really accepted the spin, and he had to flatten our his strokes to win Wimbledon and the US Open). And of course, this greater topspin allows you to hit sharper angles because of the safety and the ball dropping down so fast.

But I think for the person reading these forums, depth would be more important. I have won countless matches by simply keeping balls deep and down the middle and waiting for a short ball to hit even deeper down the middle, with more pace, and just overpowering my opponent.

Good post. Racquet & string technology have, and will continue to be a big factor here.

papa
01-24-2012, 05:05 AM
I know its been mentioned many times that angles beget angles but it so true in the game even today. Racquets and string technology helps but one has to consider unforced errors.

Actually, I like Lampins approah to this & think his approach sound.

zcarzach
01-24-2012, 05:42 AM
I really like to picture a target that is 3 feet in from the baseline and three feet in from the appropriate sideline, whether singles or doubles. Three feet is quite a bit of margin for error but not so short that it is easily attackable. If you can hit this spot, corner to corner, you will win a lot of matches. I try to hit 70% pace to these spots as much as possible, which hopefully will generate a weak, attackable reply to be attacked down the line and followed into the net.

The exception to this is if I'm trying to hit an inside-out forehand (rare, as I'm not that good at it, but I'm working on it), then I like to hit wide but inside the service box if I can. This generates angles but at my level not too many guys seem to be able to hit a winner down the line off a well-hit forehand like that. If they can, well, too good.

5263
01-24-2012, 07:52 AM
I know its been mentioned many times that angles beget angles but it so true in the game even today. Racquets and string technology helps but one has to consider unforced errors.

Actually, I like Lampins approah to this & think his approach sound.

I hear the concern about angles bringing angles, but that is not really the experience we are seeing so much with the Jrs. Probably because we are not talking major angles to start with. I agree to restrict strong and severe angles to when you are confident they will do some damage.

I saw so many great examples in the Fed match last nite and a couple really stood out. Fed took a Bh within a couple of feet of the BL and hit solid pace xct to Del's Bh. Feds shot bounced very near the svc line, and got a strong, but middle ball where he could take a Fh back the other way briskly, but again just past the svc line for the clean winner. Fed's shots were not exceptional in pace or spin, but were nice "line of shot".This type exchange was repeated over and over in that match, with Del clearly hitting harder and deeper during this match. I won't speak of the match results, but only mention that in these type exchanges, Fed fared very well. Fed did tend to struggle when he used the middle third of the court and went for more depth. Fed's misses were mostly due to going for depth and his middle balls even when deep, tended to get punished.

onehandbh
01-24-2012, 08:01 AM
What stood out to me was that if you're going to hit short or near the
middle of the court, hit away from the opponent. If you slice deep with
nothing on it, you might still get away with it. The slice seems to be a shot
a lot of the top pros have really good depth control over and can safely hit
deep most of the time. Fed mixed in short slices very well to throw off
Delpo's timing as well. Delpo also doesn't really have a good defensive
slice, so when he's pulled out of position he either has to blast it back
if he can or sometimes he ends up hitting it slightly softer and then Fed
was able to attack. Fed also seemed to be hitting on the rise backhands
done the line pretty well. Some of them were relatively flat compared to
his regular heavy rally backhands. This is difficult shot to hit, but Delpo's
flatter shots probably made it easier to time.

Limpinhitter
01-24-2012, 09:08 AM
I know its been mentioned many times that angles beget angles but it so true in the game even today. Racquets and string technology helps but one has to consider unforced errors.

Actually, I like Lampins approah to this & think his approach sound.

Thanks, Papa! It's nice to see that some posters respond to what was actually written rather than purposely misrepresenting what was written in order to manufacture a strawman to argue against.

5263
01-24-2012, 09:09 AM
What stood out to me was that if you're going to hit short , hit away from the opponent.

Excellent observation above that may seem sort of obvious, but the subtle importance of it seems to be often missed by players.

5263
01-24-2012, 09:22 AM
If you try to hit an angle and you hit it 5 feet from the sideline, you are likely giving your opponent a short attackable ball.
addressing what was actually written-
I coach and chart enough to know this is quite false, plain and simple.

Further, the OP's link spoke specifically about your opponent hitting deep to prevent you from hitting angles. Either you didn't read the OP's link, or you didn't understand it. Perhaps you also missed the OP's post in which he agreed that he agreed with my premises. Clearly, his article is saying the same thing I'm saying, all of which seems to be beyond your comprehension.

OP's link is his blog if I understand that correctly, and
is deeply flawed throughout, including his diagram, unless you are viewing from a very basic 3.0- low 4.0 perspective. By his own admission he is a 4.0 somewhere, which I expect is far like a 3.5 in southern section. Maybe that is why your perspectives align so well. I expect as he gains experience, his ability to understand and use the court will grow, but it appears yours has reached a plateau.
cheers

thug the bunny
01-24-2012, 09:50 AM
OK, before this gets ugly, here's the consensus:

1) you don't necessarily have to hit deep all the time to keep your opp back as long as you put some pace and spin on the ball, and your opp is not Agassi

2) short CC balls with TS are a good option (and are not pro level shots) when you are in the right position

There. Let's move on.

arche3
01-24-2012, 10:32 AM
ball hit from baseline (top of image) difficulty of shot is probably similar. Black lines going deep. Colored lines going short. the short angle would require an extra step or so. hit 2 shots like this away from opponent back to back its 2 steps your gaining versus going deeper in the court.


http://i42.tinypic.com/35jh642.jpg

Limpinhitter
01-24-2012, 01:16 PM
addressing what was actually written-
I coach and chart enough to know this is quite false, plain and simple.



OP's link is his blog if I understand that correctly, and
is deeply flawed throughout, including his diagram, unless you are viewing from a very basic 3.0- low 4.0 perspective. By his own admission he is a 4.0 somewhere, which I expect is far like a 3.5 in southern section. Maybe that is why your perspectives align so well. I expect as he gains experience, his ability to understand and use the court will grow, but it appears yours has reached a plateau.
cheers

If the OP is a 4.0, and his understanding of shot selection is typical of a being a 4.0, then you must be a 2.0, or perhaps a 1.0, because his understanding of shot selection is much more advanced than yours.

5263
01-24-2012, 03:14 PM
because his understanding of shot selection is much more advanced than yours.
I didn't expect you to get it really, but thanks for the comments that help to flush out the idea more for others who have the vision to take advantage of it.

5263
01-24-2012, 03:35 PM
ball hit from baseline (top of image) difficulty of shot is probably similar. Black lines going deep. Colored lines going short. the short angle would require an extra step or so. hit 2 shots like this away from opponent back to back its 2 steps your gaining versus going deeper in the court.


http://i42.tinypic.com/35jh642.jpg

Fed used those two colored line shots almost exactly for one point against Del, starting with the one on the Bh side, then Del's return came back to that spot you have there at the middle Fh. Amazing that Fed's less than stellar Bh (according to limpy) could earn that center ball for Fed to hit that second colored line shot for a winner to the deuce side, given that from the middle of the court and behind the baseline you can't hit a ball to the svc line, 3' from the side T without missing or having it attacked for a more severe angle.

But if you think that sequence above was impossible, another time he hit the same middle Fh shot for a winner, falling back, from 8-9' behind the baseline too. Just think how impressed I'd be if my 13 yr old didn't regularly make the same shots every time he plays (although not as many for clean winners I must admit).

I believe it is pretty clear that a big reason Fed played so well against Del is that he worked these targets consistently all nite, and avoided going for the deep corner targets that he struggled with so in that US open final. In that Final the depth risk bit him often and at bad times. This match last nite reminded me much more of the ole 2004 Fed.

LeeD
01-24-2012, 03:38 PM
Or, short angles tend to run the opponent wider than deep angles. A passing shot attempt CC is most effective as a short angle attempt. Most net players can cover the deep CC attempt.

5263
01-24-2012, 04:10 PM
Or, short angles tend to run the opponent wider than deep angles. A passing shot attempt CC is most effective as a short angle attempt. Most net players can cover the deep CC attempt.

Very good point lee.
Which do you think would be easier, hitting that wider shot under pressure of a net rusher when it is not a usual angle and depth for you or if it is a normal part of your rally game? I agree with your point and think this is another reason we see the pros hit such amazing passing shots so often; because they use those same shot lines regularly in their game.

LeeD
01-24-2012, 04:25 PM
For a net player like me, it's easier to hit the sharp angle short CC under pressure when a netperson is stationed at the correct location and close to the actual net.
For most baseliners who hit aggressively, I'd think removing the net person would remove any outside distractions.

5263
01-24-2012, 04:48 PM
For a net player like me, it's easier to hit the sharp angle short CC under pressure when a netperson is stationed at the correct location and close to the actual net.
For most baseliners who hit aggressively, I'd think removing the net person would remove any outside distractions.

Yes, I agree that hitting with a net person there provides a certain reference point to help with a pass, but just stating that a person who regularly uses similar lines of shot in their game, might have an advantage over someone who predominantly focuses on depth with less angle for most of their shots.

Bobby Jr
01-24-2012, 06:47 PM
yeah. players like federer and nadal really hit a majority of their ball just a couple of feet behind the service line. even on DTL shots they rarely go really deep so it's not only shortangles that are not deep with them.
Federer hits his forehand, on average, deeper than any of his peers. It's one of the reasons it is so strong. Watch the longer rallys of the Tomic or Del Potro matches and you'll notice he'll keep the foot down not by hitting hard necessarily, but by hitting consistently deeper than his opponent.

Sure, he may not hit it there all the time but you can be sure in any lengthy exchange he will eventually find his depth as a way to get on top of situation.

5263
01-24-2012, 07:09 PM
Federer hits his forehand, on average, deeper than any of his peers. It's one of the reasons it is so strong. Watch the longer rallys of the Tomic or Del Potro matches and you'll notice he'll keep the foot down not by hitting hard necessarily, but by hitting consistently deeper than his opponent.

Sure, he may not hit it there all the time but you can be sure in any lengthy exchange he will eventually find his depth as a way to get on top of situation.

I guess you didn't watch the match against Del Potro then.
There is truth to what you say about Fed since he got mono, Although clearly Nole was the deepest hitter on avg prior to last year.

IMO Fed may have tried to do deeper more often to shorten points when his stamina was low for a year or so there during the mono, but he did not in the Del P match and he didn't hit deep so often during his best years before the bout with mono.
He also may have tried to go deeper sooner to try and take that deeper tack with Rafa who has always had his number from early on, but it has not been effective really.

Nole, was the deepest hitter, but shortened it up last year, got more consistent, and what a year that led to!

Bobby Jr
01-24-2012, 09:59 PM
I guess you didn't watch the match against Del Potro then.
I did, and just watched a highlights package in the last hour as well. Time and time and time again when he won longer points it was due to his hitting the ball within 1 foot of the baseline while Del Potro hitting the ball a foot past the service line. Depth kills. It wasn't just hitting winners, it was that he was able to by forcing Del Potro back with deep hitting on many occasions.

There is truth to what you say about Fed since he got mono, Although clearly Nole was the deepest hitter on avg prior to last year.
For sure, I agree. Djokovic has improved markedly but forehand vs forehand Federer still wins - as I said in my first post: Federer's forehand. It's just that Djokovic also hits deep off his backhand too - whereas Federer often falls short - so has the edge over Federer overall, at least in the past year.

Limpinhitter
01-25-2012, 05:30 AM
I did, and just watched a highlights package in the last hour as well. Time and time and time again when he won longer points it was due to his hitting the ball within 1 foot of the baseline while Del Potro hitting the ball a foot past the service line. Depth kills. It wasn't just hitting winners, it was that he was able to by forcing Del Potro back with deep hitting on many occasions.


For sure, I agree. Djokovic has improved markedly but forehand vs forehand Federer still wins - as I said in my first post: Federer's forehand. It's just that Djokovic also hits deep off his backhand too - whereas Federer often falls short - so has the edge over Federer overall, at least in the past year.

Agreed! Although, I saw more good deep cross court bh's than usual from Fed in that Delpotro match, which drew short replies setting up some devastating DTL bh winners from Fed. Overcoming his usual weakness in this match might explain his dominating straight set win in which he only lost 9 games.

5263
01-25-2012, 08:19 AM
I did, and just watched a highlights package in the last hour as well. Time and time and time again when he won longer points it was due to his hitting the ball within 1 foot of the baseline while Del Potro hitting the ball a foot past the service line. Depth kills.

It's just that Djokovic also hits deep off his backhand too - whereas Federer often falls short - so has the edge over Federer overall, at least in the past year.

Traditional wisdom has blinded to what you are seeing on the court.
I have most of the Fed-Del match recorded and am recording DJ as we speak.

The stats will show how far off you are I expect, but if I'm wrong, I'll be sure to post that as well.
cheers

5263
01-25-2012, 11:22 AM
Due to tm constraints, I picked 5-5 in second set to chart the rest of the set for DJ vs Ferrer. I figured they were both well into it and a lot was on the line related to who took this important set. Just counted for DJ who you claimed hit so deep from his Bh. I also didn't want to chart a stretch were DJ was cruising and could afford to cut loose without regard for intelligent play.

18 Bhs on the shorter side that I considered pretty close to the svc line.
14 Bhs more in the middle between short and deep, but still on or very near my targets
9 Bhs that were of excellent depth, but not using your radical 1 foot from BL
.........more like the last 3-4 feet

So here is the scoop-

Taking out 5 shots from the total middle balls, with leaves about 9 that would hit on or near my target gives me 27 of 41 Bhs to smart target depth, which is about 66% or a full 2/3s.

Also what is very interesting is that of the mere 9 Bhs (22%) that were clearly of aggressively depth, at least 3 (or 1/3) were misses long! So there were only 6 (<15%) Bhs of excellent depth that stayed in the court during these important, set ending games, and the tiebreaker!
I hit more to that depth trying to avoid extreme depth!

And I'm pretty sure that no deep Bhs were point enders or clean winners, but didn't notice that till just prior to mid way in my charting when I realized that I was not seeing any of these "great Deep Bhs" winning points. From the pt I thought of that, none were winners. A couple may have set up a winner, but not after I started looking for that. He had only hit 3 Bhs with excellent depth at that point so they surely were not much of a factor. It seem the Bh won more points with the charted short balls, followed by med depth balls, with none from the deep category.

thug the bunny
01-25-2012, 12:10 PM
Due to tm constraints, I picked 5-5 in second set to chart the rest of the set for DJ vs Ferrer. I figured they were both well into it and a lot was on the line related to who took this important set. Just counted for DJ who you claimed hit so deep from his Bh. I also didn't want to chart a stretch were DJ was cruising and could afford to cut loose without regard for intelligent play.

18 Bhs on the shorter side that I considered pretty close to the svc line.
14 Bhs more in the middle between short and deep, but still on or very near my targets
9 Bhs that were of excellent depth, but not using your radical 1 foot from BL
.........more like the last 3-4 feet

So here is the scoop-

Taking out 5 shots from the total middle balls, with leaves about 9 that would hit on or near my target gives me 27 of 41 Bhs to smart target depth, which is about 66% or a full 2/3s.

Also what is very interesting is that of the mere 9 Bhs (22%) that were clearly of aggressively depth, at least 3 (or 1/3) were misses long! So there were only 6 (<15%) Bhs of excellent depth that stayed in the court during these important, set ending games, and the tiebreaker!
I hit more to that depth trying to avoid extreme depth!

And I'm pretty sure that no deep Bhs were point enders or clean winners, but didn't notice that till just prior to mid way in my charting when I realized that I was not seeing any of these "great Deep Bhs" winning points. From the pt I thought of that, none were winners. A couple may have set up a winner, but not after I started looking for that. He had only hit 3 Bhs with excellent depth at that point so they surely were not much of a factor. It seem the Bh won more points with the charted short balls, followed by med depth balls, with none from the deep category.

Yup, So, as before,

1) you don't necessarily have to hit deep all the time to keep your opp back as long as you put some pace and spin on the ball, and your opp is not Agassi

2) short CC balls with TS are a good option (and are not pro level shots) when you are in the right position

Let's move on.

5263
01-25-2012, 04:55 PM
Yup, So, as before,

1) you don't necessarily have to hit deep all the time to keep your opp back as long as you put some pace and spin on the ball, and your opp is not Agassi

2) short CC balls with TS are a good option (and are not pro level shots) when you are in the right position

Let's move on.

I agree that you state it fairly well,
if includes accounting for the risk of excessive depth.

papa
01-25-2012, 05:07 PM
I really like to picture a target that is 3 feet in from the baseline and three feet in from the appropriate sideline, whether singles or doubles. Three feet is quite a bit of margin for error but not so short that it is easily attackable. If you can hit this spot, corner to corner, you will win a lot of matches. I try to hit 70% pace to these spots as much as possible, which hopefully will generate a weak, attackable reply to be attacked down the line and followed into the net.

The exception to this is if I'm trying to hit an inside-out forehand (rare, as I'm not that good at it, but I'm working on it), then I like to hit wide but inside the service box if I can. This generates angles but at my level not too many guys seem to be able to hit a winner down the line off a well-hit forehand like that. If they can, well, too good.

Three feet in from the sidelines may be a bit too much IMO - baseline is ok but you should trust your strokes a little bit more than keepingin the ball so far in from the sidelines.

5263
01-25-2012, 05:11 PM
Three feet in from the sidelines may be a bit too much IMO - baseline is ok but you should trust your strokes a little bit more than keepingin the ball so far in from the sidelines.

He's already having to cut power to 70% to make these and I bet he's not that consistent really still. Why would you push him closer to the lines?

papa
01-25-2012, 05:17 PM
I hear the concern about angles bringing angles, but that is not really the experience we are seeing so much with the Jrs. Probably because we are not talking major angles to start with. I agree to restrict strong and severe angles to when you are confident they will do some damage.

I saw so many great examples in the Fed match last nite and a couple really stood out. Fed took a Bh within a couple of feet of the BL and hit solid pace xct to Del's Bh. Feds shot bounced very near the svc line, and got a strong, but middle ball where he could take a Fh back the other way briskly, but again just past the svc line for the clean winner. Fed's shots were not exceptional in pace or spin, but were nice "line of shot".This type exchange was repeated over and over in that match, with Del clearly hitting harder and deeper during this match. I won't speak of the match results, but only mention that in these type exchanges, Fed fared very well. Fed did tend to struggle when he used the middle third of the court and went for more depth. Fed's misses were mostly due to going for depth and his middle balls even when deep, tended to get punished.

Well, some of this has to do with level of play and whether we're talking singles or doubles.

I do a lot with kids and they tend to go for too much at times but that's how they learn. Its very difficult to get adult players to work the angles if they arent used to it. I do several large clinics weekly and although its something I constantly stress, results are generally dissapointing.

5263
01-25-2012, 05:26 PM
Well, some of this has to do with level of play and whether we're talking singles or doubles.

I do a lot with kids and they tend to go for too much at times but that's how they learn. Its very difficult to get adult players to work the angles if they arent used to it. I do several large clinics weekly and although its something I constantly stress, results are generally dissapointing.

I know what you mean.

papa
01-25-2012, 05:32 PM
Or, short angles tend to run the opponent wider than deep angles. A passing shot attempt CC is most effective as a short angle attempt. Most net players can cover the deep CC attempt.

your right, not all angles are equal. Closer one get to net the sharper/better the angle.

papa
01-25-2012, 05:43 PM
I know what you mean.

Well, you've been around this suff long enough now to see this materal realistically. As you very well know and understand cosistency wins tennis matches - great shots are nice but consistency wins.

I do some clinnics, as I mentioned, with young kids, probably not as good with it/effectice as I think I am with the older ones. Some of you guys probably do more with kids below Middle School, so you know better what works for them.

papa
01-25-2012, 05:52 PM
I like Limpins comments on the issue at hand and think players level is a huge factor in understanding this stuff. Players that reach the 4 - 4.5 level tend to become students of the game and strive for a better underdanding of the why's & how's associated with the game - they ask the deeper questions and become the students of the game itself.

5263
01-25-2012, 08:27 PM
I like Limpins comments on the issue at hand and think players level is a huge factor in understanding this stuff. Players that reach the 4 - 4.5 level tend to become students of the game and strive for a better underdanding of the why's & how's associated with the game - they ask the deeper questions and become the students of the game itself.

Yes, I agree his comments are very much in line with that 4.0-4.5 level on things, which is fine, but I figure some of the regulars here like Archie, could be interested in just how Nadal, DJ, and Ferrer can be amazing top 10 players while breaking all the rules by hitting short balls left and right without getting punished, and doing it against the best short ball attackers of all time. As Archie alluded to, if anything, hitting shorter is far less risky at the lower levels, cause very few 4.0s have any real effectiveness at attacking short balls anyway. The fear of getting short balls attacked well is way overstated right up thru the ranks.

LeeD
01-26-2012, 05:46 PM
My answer to the last post....
Nadal, Ferrer, Verdasco can get away with short loopy balls because they can hit short loopy passing shots.
You can attack those guys all you want, and all you will get are low, heavy topspin low and half volleys, or topspin lobs.
You will lose the majority of interactions.
And why did Sampras and Haas manage to get away with slow, moderate bouncing 1hbh slices? Because they can back up their weak shot with huge CC 1hbh passes, or a run around backhand to crush any weak angled approach.

thug the bunny
01-27-2012, 07:07 AM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?

chico9166
01-27-2012, 07:49 AM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?
I tend to agree with this. The men's game (because of the much higher spin rates) play more of an side to side, east-west game. The girls still tend to try to punish there opponents, by hitting thru the court.

arche3
01-27-2012, 07:54 AM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?

not enough top spin.

5263
01-27-2012, 08:31 AM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?

I think you are correct and it is an excellent observation.
Also worth noting here is that many feel the less than top tier players
(Men) should look to the women's game more for guidance.
I would agree it is a good place for one to look if a man sees the game,
and tends to hit the shots more like the women. Yes, the women generally
have lower spin rates and do hit for more depth on avg. So if you hit that
way, learn from the pro women. A lot less to learn that way too.

As you might expect, I'm not a big fan of the women's game just for these
reasons. I don't care to watch 2 big girls bash it as hard and deep as they
can till one misses. For me, the men's game with it's mix of spins, power,
and playing for superior position, is far more interesting to watch.
It's awesome to watch the men work in transition and then at net.
The men can target more spots on the court, because their topspin is
NOT loopy, but nasty biting spin that makes the ball dive to the court
like crazy, then explode off the bounce. Maybe we don't quite get the
rpms of the best pros on our TS shots, but we are
not facing the best pros either, so the pop we get
can be plenty to make the ball hop up on our opponents.
It gives the game more depth strategically and
will win out over the baseline bashing nearly every time.

thug the bunny
01-27-2012, 09:25 AM
Spot on. My hard TS shots landing just beyond the SL rise all the way to the BL. Which is the same reason that the same shot put near the SL/sideline is not an easy attack ball.

Sorry to deviate, but sadly the only way I will be able to watch the women's final is with the sound off..

papa
01-27-2012, 12:08 PM
Yes, I agree his comments are very much in line with that 4.0-4.5 level on things, which is fine, but I figure some of the regulars here like Archie, could be interested in just how Nadal, DJ, and Ferrer can be amazing top 10 players while breaking all the rules by hitting short balls left and right without getting punished, and doing it against the best short ball attackers of all time. As Archie alluded to, if anything, hitting shorter is far less risky at the lower levels, cause very few 4.0s have any real effectiveness at attacking short balls anyway. The fear of getting short balls attacked well is way overstated right up thru the ranks.

OK, fair enoungh. I think many of us are dealing with that level of play also for the most part. As you realize, the pros, for a variety of realsons are able to execute shots and use methods that are not appropriate for the majority in the tennis community at large. Lampins comments/op
ionions are in line with reality - at least that's my opinion.


So many times we're asked why can't we copy the pros - its my experience

papa
01-27-2012, 12:13 PM
sorry, got cut off.

Anyway, players want to play like the pros and unfortunately, despite the claims of some, its just not realistic or even remotely possible. Most pros are world class athletes (probably all of them), and capable of doing things that they rest of the tennis world can't - sad but true.

papa
01-27-2012, 12:19 PM
For a net player like me, it's easier to hit the sharp angle short CC under pressure when a netperson is stationed at the correct location and close to the actual net.
For most baseliners who hit aggressively, I'd think removing the net person would remove any outside distractions.

Well, I would agree but of course DTM is a viable option in doubles. Shaprp angles are of course great but often not possible as you know.

papa
01-27-2012, 12:22 PM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?

Thug, do you really believe this? I wouldn't come to the same conclusion but its an interesting thought.

5263
01-27-2012, 02:05 PM
Thug, do you really believe this? I wouldn't come to the same conclusion but its an interesting thought.

Really? I have not charted a comparison to be sure, but it really jumps out at me that way. Even with net clearance that put quite a few in the net, they missed a ton of UEs long and rarely worked an angle outsite the deep corner.

My understanding is that a ball that barely clears the net from BL to BL without using TS can only be 62mph and stay in the court. These girls are working both ends against the middle and paying a high price for it with UEs. Only thing saves them is that both girls are doing the same things.

Roy125
01-27-2012, 02:10 PM
Really? I have not charted a comparison to be sure, but it really jumps out at me that way. Even with net clearance that put quite a few in the net, they missed a ton of UEs long and rarely worked an angle outsite the deep corner.

My understanding is that a ball that barely clears the net from BL to BL without using TS can only be 62mph and stay in the court. These girls are working both ends against the middle and paying a high price for it with UEs. Only thing saves them is that both girls are doing the same things.

It's interesting how when a player such as Wozniacki uses topspin to make angles and hits balls that barely go past the service line, she gets punished for it.

5263
01-27-2012, 02:16 PM
It's interesting how when a player such as Wozniacki uses topspin to make angles and hits balls that barely go past the service line, she gets punished for it.

Worth noting for sure, but she has spent quite a bit of time at #1 in the world and has been the most consistent female player for quite awhile. The other ladies punish everything, deep and short, and they miss quite often doing it; so it's not like they are just jumping on her shorter ones. They jump on everything pretty much.

Another factor is that Woz does hit more of a rolling, loopy TS and doesn't get the bite on it like most men can.

arche3
01-27-2012, 04:55 PM
It's interesting how when a player such as Wozniacki uses topspin to make angles and hits balls that barely go past the service line, she gets punished for it.

her top spin is not a heavy shot. the spin rate is not like even a good college male players. Guys are stronger, hit harder, generate more spin. cant compare men to women in the tennis game and skills. too much of a physical difference.

If you watch the top ATP men play they cannot attack the majority of short balls hit. Its only the ones that ease up a bit in pace that they can step into and punish.

onehandbh
01-27-2012, 06:49 PM
Stragely, watching the women's draw at the AO (Clijsters/Azarenka, Sharipova/Kvitova), I noticed that the girls seem to hit more consistently deeper than the guys!

What's the take on that?
I think you are correct and it is an excellent observation.
Also worth noting here is that many feel the less than top tier players
(Men) should look to the women's game more for guidance.
As you might expect, I'm not a big fan of the women's game just for these
reasons. I don't care to watch 2 big girls bash it as hard and deep as they
can till one misses. For me, the men's game with it's mix of spins, power,
and playing for superior position, is far more interesting to watch.


Since the women hit less hard in general, wouldn't you think that ones
hitting heavier topspin -- especially on a slow court like the Australian Open's
courts -- would in theory be able to beat Sharapova, who's a slow, big
hitter?

her top spin is not a heavy shot. the spin rate is not like even a good college male players. Guys are stronger, hit harder, generate more spin. cant compare men to women in the tennis game and skills. too much of a physical difference.

If you watch the top ATP men play they cannot attack the majority of short balls hit. Its only the ones that ease up a bit in pace that they can step into and punish.

Yes, but the WTA move slower and even their flat shots are less hard
than the ATP's flat shots. So in the commonly accepted theory, the
WTA players hitting short spinny shots wouldn't have to hit as much
spin to succeed. This hasn't proven to be the rule, though.

onehandbh
01-27-2012, 06:51 PM
If you watch the top ATP men play they cannot attack the majority of short balls hit. Its only the ones that ease up a bit in pace that they can step into and punish.

Some of this is due to the courts being pretty slow, allowing the opponent
to run down more balls and/or move back to let the ball slow down more and
take a big cut on the passing shot. Indian wells is a good example. Those
courts are super slow. The balls just get torn up. Rally on the courts, it
makes you feel like you can run down almost anything.

arche3
01-27-2012, 07:12 PM
Since the women hit less hard in general, wouldn't you think that ones
hitting heavier topspin -- especially on a slow court like the Australian Open's
courts -- would in theory be able to beat Sharapova, who's a slow, big
hitter?



Yes, but the WTA move slower and even their flat shots are less hard
than the ATP's flat shots. So in the commonly accepted theory, the
WTA players hitting short spinny shots wouldn't have to hit as much
spin to succeed. This hasn't proven to be the rule, though.

I think as a general theory the WTA women have not caught on to the use of more short angles. I think Stosur can do it in terms of her abilities. Serena and Sharapova not so much as they are ball bashers in my opinion. It is most likely because they don't have enough spin to effectively hit the shots in the first place. The newer WTA women just turning pro probably hit with more spin so we will most likely see the next generation hitting like the men more.

Men also play defense against big hitters much better then WTA. You can't really blast through any top 20 ATP pro. So the remedy is to pull them way off court then hit the winner. Bashing still works in the WTA because their defense is not as good.

I wouldn't mind for them to speed up some slams so that ATP bashers have a better chance. Like solderling and Delpo.

arche3
01-27-2012, 07:14 PM
Some of this is due to the courts being pretty slow, allowing the opponent
to run down more balls and/or move back to let the ball slow down more and
take a big cut on the passing shot. Indian wells is a good example. Those
courts are super slow. The balls just get torn up. Rally on the courts, it
makes you feel like you can run down almost anything.

watching the Djoko Murry match they ran down EVERYTHING. The court made the fastest flat winner to the corner reachable by the other guy to at least a racket on it.

papa
01-28-2012, 05:45 AM
Really? I have not charted a comparison to be sure, but it really jumps out at me that way. Even with net clearance that put quite a few in the net, they missed a ton of UEs long and rarely worked an angle outsite the deep corner.

My understanding is that a ball that barely clears the net from BL to BL without using TS can only be 62mph and stay in the court. These girls are working both ends against the middle and paying a hirice for it with UEs. Only thing saves them is that both girls are doing the same things.

Interesting, where does the 62 mph come from - not saying its wrong, just haven't seen this figure before. Probably is about right and I'll assume that's coming off the racquet - have to give this a little thought but sounds about right.

papa
01-28-2012, 05:56 AM
My answer to the last post....
Nadal, Ferrer, Verdasco can get away with short loopy balls because they can hit short loopy passing shots.
You can attack those guys all you want, and all you will get are low, heavy topspin low and half volleys, or topspin lobs.
You will lose the majority of interactions.
And why did Sampras and Haas manage to get away with slow, moderate bouncing 1hbh slices? Because they can back up their weak shot with huge CC 1hbh passes, or a run around backhand to crush any weak angled approach.

Lee, interesting comments. Might be the change in spin/pace is more effective in the men's game.

I had invited a friend to a women's match recently - not top players but $25,000 tournament which can draw a lot of good players. Anyway, this guy sat with me for an hour watching and then said, this is a lot like watching two ball machines battle it out from the baseline - something to think about.

LeeD
01-30-2012, 10:46 AM
There is always room for the creative hitters on any tour, like Schivione, Bartoli, and in the men's tour, most of the smaller players. Tennis is still not dominated only by the monsters on the court. But the monsters win more often because more of them played that way thru the junior years.
Remember the Mecirs, Gilberts, McEnroes, Goolagongs, Durr's, and maybe a new version will rise from the bashing junior ranks.

papa
01-31-2012, 04:17 AM
There is always room for the creative hitters on any tour, like Schivione, Bartoli, and in the men's tour, most of the smaller players. Tennis is still not dominated only by the monsters on the court. But the monsters win more often because more of them played that way thru the junior years.
Remember the Mecirs, Gilberts, McEnroes, Goolagongs, Durr's, and maybe a new version will rise from the bashing junior ranks.

Actually, the "creative hitters" bring a refreshing/interesting element to the game & most seem to enjoy having these players around - I suspect we both would like to see more of them.

luishcorreia
01-31-2012, 09:02 AM
Actually, the "creative hitters" bring a refreshing/interesting element to the game & most seem to enjoy having these players around - I suspect we both would like to see more of them.

Agree.

Case in point: Australian Open!

Great matches, but more like wars of attriction. Djoko vs Murray, Nadal vs Fed, Nadal vs Djoko. Just brutal games.

The matches i enjoyed watching the most where Nalbandian vs Isner, Tsonga vs Kei Nishikori, Bags vs Wawrinka.. shot makers...

I think tennis is getting somewhat boring in the sense its becoming very physical.. just like I was boring when Sampras and Goran where bombing serves at Wimbledon...

Thoughts?

Limpinhitter
01-31-2012, 09:22 AM
Interesting, where does the 62 mph come from - not saying its wrong, just haven't seen this figure before. Probably is about right and I'll assume that's coming off the racquet - have to give this a little thought but sounds about right.

According to Vic Braden, in his book "Mental Tennis," he says that, at sea level you have to hit a ball between 165-212 mph in order to hit it from baseline to baseline at about 6 inches higher than the net.

5263
01-31-2012, 09:38 AM
According to Vic Braden, in his book "Mental Tennis," he says that, at sea level you have to hit a ball between 165-212 mph in order to hit it from baseline to baseline at about 6 inches higher than the net.

Pretty obvious Vic has this wrong, as I see my oldest son strike many a shot with contact about net high, even with slight TS, that went long by a foot after clearing the net by less than 3 inches. I would estimate my sons shot in 70-75 mph range, but clearly not over 100mph.

Papa, the figure was from a physics phd who had put some study into it.
I was always quite amazed by shots like this till I learned of this figure
which made much more sense of it.

papa
01-31-2012, 11:11 AM
Well, lets take a look at this. 60mph - 1mile/min - 88feet/second. So, taking into consideration friction, a ball at 60mph covers the distance of a tennis court somewhere around 1 second or about a half second to travel from net to baseline. Now, we would have to factor in gravity which is 32 feet per second.

Seems to me that Vic's estimates are probably right. Maybe you guys are better at this than me.

Power Player
01-31-2012, 11:41 AM
Maybe take a look at what I call my "Smart Targets".
Think of a long oval that extends from about 1 ft inside the svc line to about 7 ft past the svc line and set about a foot from the sideline with a width of about4-5 feet.
For singles I use one of these near both side T's.

For dubs these 2 slide over and cover the side T's and a third is added for the center T. I also teach to avoid this 3rd area at the center T for singles, as sort of an anti-target.

If you use solid pace and/or spin, these targets will work for 80%+ of your shots. In the rally or on deeper mid ct ball attacks, we use the deeper aspect of the ovals, and for short ball attacks and volleys we will often use the part just short and at the svc line for bigger angles.
Exceptions to the these targets are taught for lobs, dropshots, etc...
But it is amazing how much of targeting these "smart targets" will provide.

Are there any youtube vids or websites with drills for this? I would love to work on this more.

onehandbh
01-31-2012, 12:28 PM
The one factor that hasn't been taken into account is the initial trajectory
from the racquet. If you are hitting a low ball with an upward trajectory
then your maximum speed is reduced.

The higher the contact point, the harder you can hit it flatter and still
keep the ball in.

One of the ways tennis is "evolving" from all the poly and heavy
topspin shots is the emergence of flatter shots against midcourt topspin
shots. Murray and Djoker are pretty good at this off of their backhand
side. With the shorter stroke, the 2H BH can (with less complex timing)
hit a flatter shot with more margin for error to put the ball away.
Nadal is not good at hitting this kind of shot b/c he pretty much
brushes up on all his backhands. He hits his backhand differently than
Djoker & Murray so it is more difficult for him.

Nadal's BH is more like a right-handed FH.

Pretty obvious Vic has this wrong, as I see my oldest son strike many a shot with contact about net high, even with slight TS, that went long by a foot after clearing the net by less than 3 inches. I would estimate my sons shot in 70-75 mph range, but clearly not over 100mph.


Well, lets take a look at this. 60mph - 1mile/min - 88feet/second. So, taking into consideration friction, a ball at 60mph covers the distance of a tennis court somewhere around 1 second or about a half second to travel from net to baseline. Now, we would have to factor in gravity which is 32 feet per second.

Seems to me that Vic's estimates are probably right. Maybe you guys are better at this than me.

5263
01-31-2012, 12:32 PM
Well, lets take a look at this. 60mph - 1mile/min - 88feet/second. So, taking into consideration friction, a ball at 60mph covers the distance of a tennis court somewhere around 1 second or about a half second to travel from net to baseline. Now, we would have to factor in gravity which is 32 feet per second.

Seems to me that Vic's estimates are probably right. Maybe you guys are better at this than me.

Honestly I don't know much about what went in to the calculations, like did the physics phd take into account the severe slowing of a tennis ball thru the air,
but
with my example of my son, common sense dictates to me that my son and others I witnessed, were not hitting ground strokes beyond the 100 mph that Vic claims. My son did hit a big ball on avg, but I don't expect he hit many past 85 mph on groundstrokes.

I really like Vic, and what he has given to tennis, but many of his claims have come up short over the years.

5263
01-31-2012, 12:37 PM
The one factor that hasn't been taken into account is the initial trajectory
from the racquet.

Sorry but you missed it.

My claim did account for trajectory relating to a groundstroke hit quite flat, taken about net height and clearing the net by less than 3 inches.
Nice try though. : )

5263
01-31-2012, 12:41 PM
The higher the contact point, the harder you can hit it flatter and still
keep the ball in.

One of the ways tennis is "evolving" from all the poly and heavy
topspin shots is the emergence of flatter shots against midcourt topspin
shots. Murray and Djoker are pretty good at this off of their backhand
side. With the shorter stroke, the 2H BH can (with less complex timing)
hit a flatter shot with more margin for error to put the ball away.

Not saying you are wrong here cause I'm not sure what you are saying, but
you seem a bit twisted up about the use of poly, spin, contact pt, flatter shot, and trajectory, along with how these things work together.

5263
01-31-2012, 12:44 PM
Are there any youtube vids or websites with drills for this? I would love to work on this more.

No video yet, but I expect it will be coming soon.

wk4position@gmail.com for more details and questions

chico9166
02-01-2012, 01:08 AM
I think as a general theory the WTA women have not caught on to the use of more short angles. I think Stosur can do it in terms of her abilities. Serena and Sharapova not so much as they are ball bashers in my opinion. It is most likely because they don't have enough spin to effectively hit the shots in the first place. The newer WTA women just turning pro probably hit with more spin so we will most likely see the next generation hitting like the men more.

Men also play defense against big hitters much better then WTA. You can't really blast through any top 20 ATP pro. So the remedy is to pull them way off court then hit the winner. Bashing still works in the WTA because their defense is not as good.

I wouldn't mind for them to speed up some slams so that ATP bashers have a better chance. Like solderling and Delpo.
Here we go, bingo. The difference between upwards of 4500 rpms (atp) and 2500 rpms (wta) is obviously significant in the ability to create angles.

On the men's side, gone are the days when the rudimentary shot patterns are inside the singles lines. The guys are too big, too fast, and too skilled on the defensive end. The evolution of these insane spin rates are just a response to this. The girls are just not there yet. They can still play a much more north/south game.

TennisLovaLova
02-01-2012, 02:01 AM
I guess everyone should be thankful to the guy who invented poly

papa
02-01-2012, 05:33 AM
Here we go, bingo. The difference between upwards of 4500 rpms (atp) and 2500 rpms (wta) is obviously significant in the ability to create angles.

r

Well, I think the extra top helps bring the ball down but I'm not convinced that's the total answer. Average player height is certainly a factor in addition to much more aggressive play in the men's game. However, the womens game is played from the baseline (not always but more then the men) which IMO, accounts for the big difference - very difficult to hit angles from the baseline. You can, and should, move the opponent from side to side but hitting significant angles is ify and generally just increases the uncorced errors - baseline play.

Limpinhitter
02-01-2012, 06:04 AM
Honestly I don't know much about what went in to the calculations, like did the physics phd take into account the severe slowing of a tennis ball thru the air,
but
with my example of my son, common sense dictates to me that my son and others I witnessed, were not hitting ground strokes beyond the 100 mph that Vic claims. My son did hit a big ball on avg, but I don't expect he hit many past 85 mph on groundstrokes.

I really like Vic, and what he has given to tennis, but many of his claims have come up short over the years.

I think this is a very important point when considering depth vs. angles.

In his book, in the section on "good data" and not seeing what you think you're seeing, Braden states that he's done high speed film studies on the average net clearance of several pro groundstokes, including, but not limited to: Connors 3-4 feet over the net, McEnroe 4-6 feet over the net, Borg 6-10 feet over the net, Chris Evert 4-7 feet over the net. That's feet over the 3 foot net.

Braden then states: "Physicist Howard Brody provided me with interesting data on this. If you hit a ground stroke about waist-high, which is to say, three feet off the ground, from a spot three feet behind the baseline, the ball coming off your racquet at 18 degrees with five revolutions per second of topspin - very little - and you hit it at a speed of 50 miles per hour, the speed of a good club player's forehand, that ball will go over the middle of the net 9.54 feet in the air, which is 6.54 feet over the three-foot-high net. It will land 75.54 feet in the court, which is 78 feet long."

Braden further states: "Let's say you are playing at sea level at the baseline, which is 39 feet away from the net, and your ball is six inches higher than the net when you strike it. In order for that ball to go over the net and land near your opponent's baseline, you have to hit it, according to the best estimates of physicists and engineers, somewhere between 165 and 212 miles an hour."

Now, IMO, Braden's syntax and writing style leave a lot to be desired because his writing is not perfectly clear and is subject to some interpretation. But, I think you get the gist of his premises - hit the ball high.

5263
02-01-2012, 01:11 PM
In his book, in the section on "good data" and not seeing what you think you're seeing, Braden states that he's done high speed film studies on the average net clearance of several pro groundstokes, including, but not limited to: Connors 3-4 feet over the net,

Very good post Limp, and agree good data is key. I also am convinced Vic has bad data about speeds.
I'm very aware about the net clearance of pros and actually took that same son to the US Open and had him stand right by an outer court net during several top pro matches. I did this for the sole purpose of getting him to see how high their avg net clearance was. I did this because that son hit so low to the net, often within 6 inches as I stated and that is with me putting eyes at net level looking down the net line.

Only thing that could make his data correct is if my son's contact point was low enough that it made the trajectory steeper as it passed the net by less than 3 inches; then it could continue to possibly rise and be misleading. Only thing though, was his contact pt was normal and what most would expect to get, so even if that was part of the effect, it would also be part of the effect for most others as well. Even if Vics numbers were technically correct, they would be pretty useless if they didn't apply to this situation. I'll also look to get more on the source of the 62 mph, which I agree seems a tad slow to me as well.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 01:18 PM
I like the "3-4' above the netcord. 5' is out, into the net is a little short.
HOWEVER, it's also dependent on how the ball is hit. Connors used top and top/side on forehands (relatively long, but slow swing), while flat and a combination of side/slight underspin on his 2hbh. Maybe similar ball speeds to modern big hitting women.
Nadal and Gonzo hit different. Monfils and Federer either/or in between.
If you tend to hit flat, you lose out on angle, but gain in ball speed for effort.
If you hit heavy spin, the ball is not moving as fast as flat, but you gain plenty of angle and percentage.
But you already knew that.

onehandbh
02-01-2012, 03:00 PM
Only thing that could make his data correct is if my son's contact point was low enough that it made the trajectory steeper as it passed the net by less than 3 inches; then it could continue to possibly rise and be misleading. Only thing though, was his contact pt was normal and what most would expect to get, so even if that was part of the effect, it would also be part of the effect for most others as well. Even if Vics numbers were technically correct, they would be pretty useless if they didn't apply to this situation. I'll also look to get more on the source of the 62 mph, which I agree seems a tad slow to me as well.

What you are going by is sight, which is not accurate at all.
When you get a chance, can you ask your physics friend to post the
calculations/formulas he used? You could also take a photo of it.
I'm curious to see what they are. Not saying that they are incorrect.
I haven't seen Howard Brody's estimates, but Vic has put a specific
person's name to the calculations. Anytime someone can give specifics,
it allows the public/peers to look at it to check the validity and is more
credible.

For example, a few years ago a couple guys at one of the universities
in Utah claimed to have created/discovered cold fusion in a manner that
could create positive energy as an alternative to nuclear fusion. The moment
people asked for specifics, it all fell apart. I'm not saying your friend
is incorrect, but claims like this need to be scrutinized.

A couple years ago, one of the TW posters made an online calculator
to estimate serve speed based on video footage. He posted the
exact formulas (which ended up being fairly accurate).

onehandbh
02-01-2012, 03:10 PM
Sorry but you missed it.

My claim did account for trajectory relating to a groundstroke hit quite flat, taken about net height and clearing the net by less than 3 inches.
Nice try though. : )

I should have clarified my statement. At high velocities, every change
inch/few inches in initial height and angle of the strike makes a difference.
Just like in baseball. 45 degrees is the optimal angle for maximum distance.
(assuming no crazy winds going on) Any variation from that makes a
difference. 30 degrees, 70 degrees, etc.

Not saying you are wrong here cause I'm not sure what you are saying, but
you seem a bit twisted up about the use of poly, spin, contact pt, flatter shot, and trajectory, along with how these things work together.

Nothing twisted. If you're hitting a flatter ball, a higher
contact point gives you more margin for error. The added topspin in the
game today also makes it easier to hit flatter balls if your contact point
is higher due to the high bounce. An extreme case would be an
overhead from the service line. You can smack it pretty flat b/c there is
a lot of margin for error. This allows you to translate more of your
force into forward momentum rather than spin.

Bottom line, higher bounces can give flatter players more margin for
error.

5263
02-01-2012, 03:59 PM
Nothing twisted. If you're hitting a flatter ball, a higher
contact point gives you more margin for error. The added topspin in the
game today also makes it easier to hit flatter balls if your contact point
is higher due to the high bounce. An extreme case would be an
overhead from the service line. You can smack it pretty flat b/c there is
a lot of margin for error. This allows you to translate more of your
force into forward momentum rather than spin.

Bottom line, higher bounces can give flatter players more margin for
error.

Still quite twisted from what I see. You bounce back and forth in your use of hitting flat, from discussing trajectory to spin it seems. example above-
you start with flatter ball/higher contact pt and I guess you mean flatter trajectory since you then state added TS in the game makes it easier to hit flatter balls. Then you say this is because of the high bounce
- bounce you cause or bounce you receive?
I think you mean receive because hard, flatter trajectory shots don't give a higher bounce,
but since high bounces also make hitting flatter trajectory more challenging as well. So none of it really adds up.
Then you go on to an example of hitting a flat overhead from svc line where you must mean flat as in lack of spin and not trajectory in this instance (different from above discussion you are referencing) then add something about translating force into momentum.

Finally you say that "higher bounces can give flatter players more margin for
error" which can sort of be true except higher bounces give flat hitters tons of problems.
This is one of the basic tactics I use and teach for counter punching. Establish if your opponent is a flatter trajectory hitter or uses more TS. If they hit flatter, serving kick serves to get the high bounce works great, but if they are a big TS player, faster, flatter serves bother them more. Same concept works in the rally. It is step one in de-arming your opponent from hitting his best shots. It often gets them to miss, but even if it does not, it will often slow their roll. There are virtually no players who have a very high contact point that hit excellent flat trajectory groundstrokes. Of course there are exceptions, but even those like Soderling still struggle against their peers like Nadal who can really make the ball bounce on them. Besides that lucky FO win during Nadal's personal crisis at home, Nadal owns Soderling, and to a large extent, for this reason.

So at best your premise is partially true that a higher contact pt allows a flatter trajectory shot to clear the net with more margin,
But it is flawed in practice due to the trouble high bouncing balls give flat hitters. You may claim this works well for you, and you may be an exception, but likely is due to players at your level only hitting enough TS to get it up into your wheelhouse vs getting it up at eye level and above, which where a good poly topspinner will put it.

5263
02-01-2012, 04:08 PM
What you are going by is sight, which is not accurate at all.

Sorry, but if you can't put your eyes by the net cord at the net post and tell if the ball is crossing within inches,
you need to give up.

TaihtDuhShaat
02-01-2012, 05:48 PM
Once again, that can depend on the position of your opponent and his physical skills.
Some guys HATE to approach the service line. You can approach short DTL against them.
Some guys eat up short approaches, because they can position themselves into proper hitting position while moving forwards. Don't hit short approaches to them.

Unless my approach shots hit the baseline, my brother will be there for the pass.

5263
02-01-2012, 05:51 PM
Unless my approach shots hit the baseline, my brother will be there for the pass.

and if your approach is low and skidding, you should be there to make the volley on his pass attempt.
thats the drill right?

onehandbh
02-01-2012, 08:32 PM
Huh? I'll simplify:

1) your opponent hits a topspin shot that lands around the service line.
2) you are able to move in and take the ball at a point around shoulder
height or lower.
3) you have a 2 hander and you decide to hit a flatter shot to go on the
offensive.

B/c your contact point is higher, you flat/flatter shot has more net
clearance over the net.

Djokovic and Murray are both pretty good at this.
I've noticed Djok & Murray both hitting flatter 2 handers at times to
go on the offensive. I'm not saying it's an easy shot, but that this might
be an emerging trend. I'm basing this on the success I've seen some
players having with this shot. The physics of it also make sense.

If I go to Indian Wells again this year, I'll try to make some video clips
to show what I am referring to.

Still quite twisted from what I see. You bounce back and forth in your use of hitting flat, from discussing trajectory to spin it seems. example above-
you start with flatter ball/higher contact pt and I guess you mean flatter trajectory since you then state added TS in the game makes it easier to hit flatter balls. Then you say this is because of the high bounce
- bounce you cause or bounce you receive?
I think you mean receive because hard, flatter trajectory shots don't give a higher bounce,
but since high bounces also make hitting flatter trajectory more challenging as well. So none of it really adds up.
Then you go on to an example of hitting a flat overhead from svc line where you must mean flat as in lack of spin and not trajectory in this instance (different from above discussion you are referencing) then add something about translating force into momentum.

Finally you say that "higher bounces can give flatter players more margin for
error" which can sort of be true except higher bounces give flat hitters tons of problems.
This is one of the basic tactics I use and teach for counter punching. Establish if your opponent is a flatter trajectory hitter or uses more TS. If they hit flatter, serving kick serves to get the high bounce works great, but if they are a big TS player, faster, flatter serves bother them more. Same concept works in the rally. It is step one in de-arming your opponent from hitting his best shots. It often gets them to miss, but even if it does not, it will often slow their roll. There are virtually no players who have a very high contact point that hit excellent flat trajectory groundstrokes. Of course there are exceptions, but even those like Soderling still struggle against their peers like Nadal who can really make the ball bounce on them. Besides that lucky FO win during Nadal's personal crisis at home, Nadal owns Soderling, and to a large extent, for this reason.

So at best your premise is partially true that a higher contact pt allows a flatter trajectory shot to clear the net with more margin,
But it is flawed in practice due to the trouble high bouncing balls give flat hitters. You may claim this works well for you, and you may be an exception, but likely is due to players at your level only hitting enough TS to get it up into your wheelhouse vs getting it up at eye level and above, which where a good poly topspinner will put it.

papa
02-02-2012, 04:18 AM
and if your approach is low and skidding, you should be there to make the volley on his pass attempt.
thats the drill right?

Probably not going to be able to hit much of a passing shot with a low, skidding ball. However, you should be there to take advantage of a weak response.

chico9166
02-02-2012, 05:07 AM
Well, I think the extra top helps bring the ball down but I'm not convinced that's the total answer. Average player height is certainly a factor in addition to much more aggressive play in the men's game. However, the womens game is played from the baseline (not always but more then the men) which IMO, accounts for the big difference - very difficult to hit angles from the baseline. You can, and should, move the opponent from side to side but hitting significant angles is ify and generally just increases the uncorced errors - baseline play.
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Of course, a higher contact point is a variable, but the ability to roughly double the Rpm's is the major factor in the ability to create angle. When one is operating with upwards of 4500 rpms, the ability to widen the court is infinitely easier. Surely this is the major factor. Certainly it's no accident that the three guys who are capable of creating these spin rates, are the ones dominating the game.

5263
02-02-2012, 07:10 AM
1) your opponent hits a topspin shot that lands around the service line.
2) you are able to move in and take the ball at a point around shoulder
height or lower.
3) you have a 2 hander and you decide to hit a flatter shot to go on the
offensive.

B/c your contact point is higher, you flat/flatter shot has more net
clearance over the net.

Djokovic and Murray are both pretty good at this.
I've noticed Djok & Murray both hitting flatter 2 handers at times to
go on the offensive. I'm not saying it's an easy shot, but that this might
be an emerging trend. I'm basing this on the success I've seen some
players having with this shot. The physics of it also make sense.

I can live with what you are saying to be a "possible emerging" trend, cause players improve maybe this will emerge, but that is not what we are seeing today at all. Today's added topspin that you mention, is keeping opponents back and hindering their ability to attack effectively,
Not making it easier by providing more margin.

You pretty much do say it's an easy shot with, "The added topspin in the
game today also makes it easier to hit flatter balls if your contact point"
is higher due to the high bounce. I guess you can split hairs and say you said easier, but not really your point.

Truth is that Todays added TS is making short balls hard to attack and anything you see attacked is mostly a sitter type ball without todays standard Powerful added TS shot.
To date nobody has any good success with attacking the powerful added TS shots of players today. Other than the FO fluke where Nadal was not mentally there against Soderling, TS has ruled the day.
This is an important point to know to compete in today's game and Joker success over the last year and a half is due to flattening out fewer balls, not more. He works the point much longer and rarely goes for aggressive flatter shots until the set up is quite attractive.
I don't mean to give you a hard time, but as I suspected in that first post you made on this, you seem to have followed your logic to a false conclusion.

onehandbh
02-02-2012, 09:48 AM
One of the ways tennis is "evolving" from all the poly and heavy
topspin shots is the emergence of flatter shots against midcourt topspin
shots. Murray and Djoker are pretty good at this off of their backhand
side. With the shorter stroke, the 2H BH can (with less complex timing)
hit a flatter shot with more margin for error to put the ball away.
Nadal is not good at hitting this kind of shot b/c he pretty much
brushes up on all his backhands. He hits his backhand differently than
Djoker & Murray so it is more difficult for him.


I think I see where you might have gotten confused. I had a typo.
I had written that Nadal is good at this, but mean to say he is NOT good
at this kind of shot. I'm not saying his BH is not good. Just that the way
he hits naturally produces more topspin than Djoker.


Joker success over the last year and a half is due to flattening out fewer balls, not more. He works the point much longer and rarely goes for aggressive flatter shots until the set up is quite attractive.


It wasn't a conclusion or statement of fact stating that you can use
flatter shots to attack all midcourt balls. I was referring to only the 2 hand
BH and IF AND ONLY IF you can read the incoming shot and get in position
to be deeper inside the court. I believe the 2 hander has an advantage of
the 1 hander when it comes to balls that are higher in the strike zone --
especially if you want to hit flatter.

I agree with you that it is much harder to attack the mid court ball these
days. This is most likely due to the slower courts, faster players, heavier
topspin shots, poly, bigger racquets, etc. The usual suspects.


I don't mean to give you a hard time, but as I suspected in that first post you made on this, you seem to have followed your logic to a false conclusion.
I was referring to a specific situation where a flatter 2H backhand is being
used successfully and giving Djoker/Murray an edge. Not a rule /conclusion
for all shots. I also see them use them against kick serves to their backhand
on the ad court.

onehandbh
02-02-2012, 10:06 AM
You pretty much do say it's an easy shot with, "The added topspin in the
game today also makes it easier to hit flatter balls if your contact point"
is higher due to the high bounce. I guess you can split hairs and say you said easier, but not really your point.


This is the main point I'm making. For a flatter shot, a higher contact point,
plus being inside the baseline against a ball landing around the service line
= more net clearance -> higher margin for error if you can pull this shot
off. The advantage. Going on the offensive. It's obviously not an easy shot
to execute all the time, but Djoker is probably the best at this. He has hit
this both crosscourt and down-the-line.

papa
02-02-2012, 05:01 PM
I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. Of course, a higher contact point is a variable, but the ability to roughly double the Rpm's is the major factor in the ability to create angle. When one is operating with upwards of 4500 rpms, the ability to widen the court is infinitely easier. Surely this is the major factor. Certainly it's no accident that the three guys who are capable of creating these spin rates, are the ones dominating the game.

OK. How many players do you play with that hit balls with 4500 rpms? Do you play with anyone that hits with anything close to that? - 2250 rpms? - 1125 rpms?

5263
02-02-2012, 06:35 PM
Probably not going to be able to hit much of a passing shot with a low, skidding ball. However, you should be there to take advantage of a weak response.

yep, exactly.

5263
02-02-2012, 06:39 PM
This is the main point I'm making. For a flatter shot, a higher contact point,
plus being inside the baseline against a ball landing around the service line
= more net clearance -> higher margin for error if you can pull this shot
off. The advantage. Going on the offensive. It's obviously not an easy shot
to execute all the time, but Djoker is probably the best at this. He has hit
this both crosscourt and down-the-line.

that's fine and we have beat it to death, but I don't think it's TS that helped DJ in this instance, as he's attacking shots that are sort of sitters for him. He was very limited in what he could attack against most of the TS of Nadal, which is why most of the rallys were sooo long.

Ryoma
02-03-2012, 12:07 AM
Most of the pros don't hit deep as in the definition of the previous decade because of topspin. Next time you watch a pro match, you will realize the most of their shots land short. By most instruction, their ball land in the "middle" of the court. Meaning that most of the shots are really safe, they are not close to either baseline or side lines. But they have good pace and topspin, which make the ball fly out in the direction the pros intended.

I think people should seriously think about rewrite all tennis instruction that actually describe what the pros are doing nowadays, not what the pros were doing 30 years ago.

Chyeaah
02-03-2012, 12:24 AM
I like going wide. It's all about the angles for me.

5263
02-03-2012, 01:58 AM
Most of the pros don't hit deep as in the definition of the previous decade because of topspin. Next time you watch a pro match, you will realize the most of their shots land short. By most instruction, their ball land in the "middle" of the court. Meaning that most of the shots are really safe, they are not close to either baseline or side lines. But they have good pace and topspin, which make the ball fly out in the direction the pros intended.

I think people should seriously think about rewrite all tennis instruction that actually describe what the pros are doing nowadays, not what the pros were doing 30 years ago.

here you have a guy who watches the matches and realizes what he is seeing.
Yes, short balls get attacked at times, but it's short and something else most likely when that happens. It's short and floating, or short and weak, or maybe short and right into the opp wheelhouse, but it's not just a lack of depth that gets you hurt.

tlm
02-03-2012, 03:39 AM
Most of the pros don't hit deep as in the definition of the previous decade because of topspin. Next time you watch a pro match, you will realize the most of their shots land short. By most instruction, their ball land in the "middle" of the court. Meaning that most of the shots are really safe, they are not close to either baseline or side lines. But they have good pace and topspin, which make the ball fly out in the direction the pros intended.

I think people should seriously think about rewrite all tennis instruction that actually describe what the pros are doing nowadays, not what the pros were doing 30 years ago.


Exactly right, it sure is nice to see that someone else notices this.

arche3
02-03-2012, 03:53 AM
Most of the pros don't hit deep as in the definition of the previous decade because of topspin. Next time you watch a pro match, you will realize the most of their shots land short. By most instruction, their ball land in the "middle" of the court. Meaning that most of the shots are really safe, they are not close to either baseline or side lines. But they have good pace and topspin, which make the ball fly out in the direction the pros intended.

I think people should seriously think about rewrite all tennis instruction that actually describe what the pros are doing nowadays, not what the pros were doing 30 years ago.


And reading this thread I counted during the recent ATP matches on ball placement. It boggled my mind. It is very true the balls land mid court at least 3/4th of the time. And it is angles the ATP men are after more than depth in most rallys. All you have to do is look without preconceptions and its readily obvious.

tlm
02-03-2012, 04:00 AM
And reading this thread I counted during the recent ATP matches on ball placement. It boggled my mind. It is very true the balls land mid court at least 3/4th of the time. And it is angles the ATP men are after more than depth in most rallys. All you have to do is look without preconceptions and its readily obvious.


This is very true, but when you mention that point here there are many who will say that you are incorrect. It is hilarious how so many have these old myths driven into their heads so deep that they can watch the same clips you are talking about and not see this obvious fact.

papa
02-03-2012, 04:57 AM
Most of the pros don't hit deep as in the definition of the previous decade because of topspin. Next time you watch a pro match, you will realize the most of their shots land short. By most instruction, their ball land in the "middle" of the court. Meaning that most of the shots are really safe, they are not close to either baseline or side lines. But they have good pace and topspin, which make the ball fly out in the direction the pros intended.

I think people should seriously think about rewrite all tennis instruction that actually describe what the pros are doing nowadays, not what the pros were doing 30 years ago.

I assume your talking singles here but I think you might be watching different matches then me if you think most balls are hit short. In many match summaries, you see graphics showing where the balls landed and also where the player struck the ball. Look at some of those and you'll adjust you opinions - at least I think you will. Balls angled off court are a different animal IMO, but I think many throw them all into the same category.

Limpinhitter
02-03-2012, 05:20 AM
here you have a guy who watches the matches and realizes what he is seeing.
Yes, short balls get attacked at times, but it's short and something else most likely when that happens. It's short and floating, or short and weak, or maybe short and right into the opp wheelhouse, but it's not just a lack of depth that gets you hurt.

That's always been the case!

papa
02-03-2012, 05:21 AM
Exactly right, it sure is nice to see that someone else notices this.

Well, make sure your understanding this correctly. A short ball to most of us is not one angled off court to pull the opponent wide. These shots can throw any statical analysis way off and you end up comming to the wrong conclusion as to what is going on in a match.

Balls that land at or inside the serviceline and don't move the opponent wide are invitations to come in and finish the point - might not happen on the first shot but it will happen.

Many think that with the increase in top that the ball bounces so high that it throws the opponent off - not so in my book. Most players have become very good at hitting the academy ball (high swinging volley) and won't hesitate to use it - its become a really big weapon in both men's and women's tennis. Even the swinging volley (belly button to kneees) shot works extremely well on handling approach shots.

So, I don't buy into the statements that more shots are shorter these days and I don't (haven't) see any references that back it up. Do someplayers hit shorter than others, YES. However, that doesn't mean the majority of players are hitting shorter. Statisical analyses of some matches are available so I wouldn't place too much credibility on those that chart from watching matches on TV. Its difficult to actuately determine the exact bounce area (spot) on TV because of camera angle and footage (coverage) of specific points.

If you actually attend pro matches on regular basis and see this stuff you might come to different opinions also but you have to really watch what's going on - we think we see it all on TV but you really don't.

5263
02-03-2012, 07:50 AM
That's always been the case!

I'm glad I finally stated this in a way that was more clear.
I figured really at some point we were on the same page here, but
IMO many have lost or forgotten what you take for granted and
know intuitively on this. Problem is that often at academies and
private instruction, you see the coaches only address the depth
aspect of it, which creates confusion for many.

Ash_Smith
02-03-2012, 07:57 AM
I'm sure a few of us have been saying this for ages, nt sure why it still causes so much difficulty!

The bounce point does not necessarily define what is 'short' - more the opponents contact point. It is entirely possible to hit a ball that bounces in the service box and have the ball still be rising as it crosses the baseline, thus the opponents contact could be well behind the baseline.

Please don't take the bounce point as your only reference for 'depth' of shot!

Cheers

rkelley
02-03-2012, 08:35 AM
I deleted the post. In retrospect my comments didn't move the conversation forward.

5263
02-03-2012, 09:12 AM
So, I don't buy into the statements that more shots are shorter these days and I don't (haven't) see any references that back it up. Do someplayers hit shorter than others, YES. However, that doesn't mean the majority of players are hitting shorter. Statisical analyses of some matches are available so I wouldn't place too much credibility on those that chart from watching matches on TV. Its difficult to actuately determine the exact bounce area (spot) on TV because of camera angle and footage (coverage) of specific points.

If you actually attend pro matches on regular basis and see this stuff you might come to different opinions also but you have to really watch what's going on - we think we see it all on TV but you really don't.

Come on papa.
You are doing just exactly what the guys are reference about where folks watch the match and try to make what they see fit what they believe.

First off you have a pretty liberal view of what constitutes good depth, so I guess hawkeye looks to show what you expect, but based on what depth is taught, and where coaches place target cones, hawkeye shows way less depth than expected. That is a big part of where this recognition came from, as I noticed when they showed the spots how much shorter they were than expected.

Second you are suggesting I can't chart this from vid??? It's a way better way to do it with replay and stop frame. Live is not near as good for charting.

LeeD
02-03-2012, 09:28 AM
I split the difference!
Some say the game is shorter landing balls, with more topspin.
Other's say the depth is close to the same, with more topspin.
I say....
If there is no pressure, meaning the hitter feels less pressure due to whatever reason, the ball is hit just as deep as the old days.
If there IS pressure, like a equal level opponent playing well, lots of shots tend to go shorter because the pressure causes the hitter to be less aggressive, more tentative (careful), and the modern strokes allow a short shot that still works effectively due to it's increased topspin.
A short landing shot with high net clearance is a safe shot, even with much more topspin than the old daze.
YOU go out and hit with a guy a level above you, and HIS SHOTS LAND DEEP most times.
YOU go out and hit with a guy a level below you, and HIS SHOTS LAND SHORT most times.
Why dat? The modern stroke and technique allows more margin for error with the increased topspin, the increased net clearance.

tlm
02-03-2012, 09:41 AM
Well, make sure your understanding this correctly. A short ball to most of us is not one angled off court to pull the opponent wide. These shots can throw any statical analysis way off and you end up comming to the wrong conclusion as to what is going on in a match.

Balls that land at or inside the serviceline and don't move the opponent wide are invitations to come in and finish the point - might not happen on the first shot but it will happen.

Many think that with the increase in top that the ball bounces so high that it throws the opponent off - not so in my book. Most players have become very good at hitting the academy ball (high swinging volley) and won't hesitate to use it - its become a really big weapon in both men's and women's tennis. Even the swinging volley (belly button to kneees) shot works extremely well on handling approach shots.

So, I don't buy into the statements that more shots are shorter these days and I don't (haven't) see any references that back it up. Do someplayers hit shorter than others, YES. However, that doesn't mean the majority of players are hitting shorter. Statisical analyses of some matches are available so I wouldn't place too much credibility on those that chart from watching matches on TV. Its difficult to actuately determine the exact bounce area (spot) on TV because of camera angle and footage (coverage) of specific points.

If you actually attend pro matches on regular basis and see this stuff you might come to different opinions also but you have to really watch what's going on - we think we see it all on TV but you really don't.


Well i hate to tell you papa but you sound exactly like the kind of people i am talking about. You have this have to hit deep theory so ingrained in you that you can't see the obvious.

Nobody said the balls land inside the service line, but a very high % of shots land close to the service line. This is just the way it is, it doesn't matter where we think the ball should land.

It is really simple just watch any pro mens matches and i will guarantee you that a higher % of their shots land closer to the serve line than they do the baseline most of the time in most matches, this is fact not fiction or what we want to think. It is what happens in reality, not very difficult to determine if you watch and pay attention.

Don't give me this it looks different on TV garbage, i have a big screen TV in high definition and it is very easy to see where the ball lands. Plus i went to Cincy. a few years ago and sat in the first row for 2 days watching the best players in the world and it was the same thing. More of their shots landed closer to the serve line compared to the baseline.

tlm
02-03-2012, 09:46 AM
I split the difference!
Some say the game is shorter landing balls, with more topspin.
Other's say the depth is close to the same, with more topspin.
I say....
If there is no pressure, meaning the hitter feels less pressure due to whatever reason, the ball is hit just as deep as the old days.
If there IS pressure, like a equal level opponent playing well, lots of shots tend to go shorter because the pressure causes the hitter to be less aggressive, more tentative (careful), and the modern strokes allow a short shot that still works effectively due to it's increased topspin.
A short landing shot with high net clearance is a safe shot, even with much more topspin than the old daze.
YOU go out and hit with a guy a level above you, and HIS SHOTS LAND DEEP most times.
YOU go out and hit with a guy a level below you, and HIS SHOTS LAND SHORT most times.
Why dat? The modern stroke and technique allows more margin for error with the increased topspin, the increased net clearance.



I can agree with a lot of what you are saying here Lee, but we are talking about the pro mens game. How often are they not under pressure and not playing a equal level opponent?

papa
02-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Come on papa.
You are doing just exactly what the guys are reference about where folks watch the match and try to make what they see fit what they believe.

First off you have a pretty liberal view of what constitutes good depth, so I guess hawkeye looks to show what you expect, but based on what depth is taught, and where coaches place target cones, hawkeye shows way less depth than expected. That is a big part of where this recognition came from, as I noticed when they showed the spots how much shorter they were than expected.

Second you are suggesting I can't chart this from vid??? It's a way better way to do it with replay and stop frame. Live is not near as good for charting.

What I'm suggesting is that some of you want to toss all balls that land around the serviceline (shortballs) into the same bucket. If a ball takes the returner off the singles court I don't consider the same as those that can be played without going outside the lines. I also don't consider balls hit short on purpose to be short balls like drop shots or vollies.

Charting matches is a lot more involved that just ploting where balls land - results/conclusions are skewed if you don't make any distinction.

papa
02-03-2012, 11:04 AM
Well i hate to tell you papa but you sound exactly like the kind of people i am talking about. You have this have to hit deep theory so ingrained in you that you can't see the obvious.

Nobody said the balls land inside the service line, but a very high % of shots land close to the service line. This is just the way it is, it doesn't matter where we think the ball should land.

It is really simple just watch any pro mens matches and i will guarantee you that a higher % of their shots land closer to the serve line than they do the baseline most of the time in most matches, this is fact not fiction or what we want to think. It is what happens in reality, not very difficult to determine if you watch and pay attention.

Don't give me this it looks different on TV garbage, i have a big screen TV in high definition and it is very easy to see where the ball lands. Plus i went to Cincy. a few years ago and sat in the first row for 2 days watching the best players in the world and it was the same thing. More of their shots landed closer to the serve line compared to the baseline.


Well, I happen to watch a lot of pro matches live and of course those on TV. I must admit that I do not have a super large TV.

What might seem obivious to you might not represent total reality. As I mentioned in my answer to a previous post, one really needs to sort out the why factor in what some are calling short balls. Often we want to isolate things without evaluating the circumstances involved.

I must admit that a ball landing closer to the serviceline than the baseline to me is not a short ball. Although perhaps a fine line has to be drawn here, I consider short balls like balls I can approach on. If the height or angle (other factors also) are such that keep me back, I don't consider them short.

tlm
02-03-2012, 11:21 AM
What I'm suggesting is that some of you want to toss all balls that land around the serviceline (shortballs) into the same bucket. If a ball takes the returner off the singles court I don't consider the same as those that can be played without going outside the lines. I also don't consider balls hit short on purpose to be short balls like drop shots or vollies.

Charting matches is a lot more involved that just ploting where balls land - results/conclusions are skewed if you don't make any distinction.


It sounds like you are talking in circles here, a lot of straying from the original subject. Nobody is talking about the return of serve. Where did that come from?
Also nobody was referring to drop shots either.

Someone brought up the point that after watching some pro SINGLES play that the majority of ground strokes landed closer to the serve line as opposed to deeper by the baseline.

Which is exactly right, i know that this goes against most instruction that has been going on for some time now. But that is the truth, so lets stay on the subject here. In one of your prior posts you said that this is not really the case.

But now you seem to be avoiding the subject at hand for some reason. I know that Oscar Wegner is the first instructor that i ever heard point this out. He teaches to not go for to much depth because you will make to many errors. He pointed out that it is better to use a lot of top spin and not try to hit to close to the baseline, just like the pro players do.

Like i already pointed out papa i think that this goes against what your beliefs are, which is fine. If you don't agree okay but don't try to change the subject into doubles and drop shots.

thug the bunny
02-03-2012, 11:23 AM
Papa, so wait, a ball that lands a foot past the SL but has enough pace and spin that it is still rising at the BL is NOT a short ball? Because that is the short ball that most folks here are saying is not only adequate, but is a good safe alternative to trying to hit deep all the time.

5263
02-03-2012, 11:49 AM
I must admit that a ball landing closer to the serviceline than the baseline to me is not a short ball. Although perhaps a fine line has to be drawn here, I consider short balls like balls I can approach on. If the height or angle (other factors also) are such that keep me back, I don't consider them short.

See,
you already have an improved version of what "you" call a short ball.
Mainly that is my point for others. To realize there are lots of ways
to use the court besides banging everything deep.

And yes, we need to look things closer, as you say,

" As I mentioned in my answer to a previous post, one really needs to sort out the why factor in what some are calling short balls. Often we want to isolate things without evaluating the circumstances involved."

Exactly!! this is the point of the whole conversation. To sort out what some are calling short balls.
and, to isolate things and evaluate the circumstances involved.
Above Ash mentions his take on it which is in line with what many in Canada use, but still really only makes one exception; if the ball is still rising at the BL.
What I've been suggesting is there are so many exceptions that just saying short ball is a misnomer and misleading. My suggestion is we should be more clear in instruction, like short and slow, or short and high....etc. IMO most are not more specific because they don't really know.
Most would have to really think about what kind of ball will really let them be aggressive and attack on a consistent basis, and would probably just answer Short; but we have proven that answer tells us little.

jmnk
02-03-2012, 12:02 PM
i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p3ufUzjcl_Y/Timl3QtFJoI/AAAAAAAAA40/9ZWTeJ4qI-8/s800/shotPlacement-Djokovic.jpg

5263
02-03-2012, 12:02 PM
If the height or angle (other factors also) are such that keep me back, I don't consider them short.

Even if they are short, because they are short and ......

You are making the point as good or better than we are with all your exceptions and qualifiers. What we are saying is these exception need to considered and studied as well.

5263
02-03-2012, 12:05 PM
i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p3ufUzjcl_Y/Timl3QtFJoI/AAAAAAAAA40/9ZWTeJ4qI-8/s800/shotPlacement-Djokovic.jpg

Man, I need your skills. Not only does this make things clear that less than 10% are real deep, but you could move that line twice as far from the BL and still have a large majority of balls (80-85%) falling short of it.

But most will have you believe the pros hit so deep and you should too; and that
if you don't bang it deep the 4.0 and 4.5 will crush most of them for winners or the like.

Very nice jmnk! (but you do realize they would have been deeper if you were there live, right? : )

onehandbh
02-03-2012, 12:18 PM
Almost all his shots are beyond the service line, which is pretty good.
Very few inside the service box outside corners or even inside the service
box period. Seems like Djokovic hits beyond the service line even when
going crosscourt for an angled shot.

i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p3ufUzjcl_Y/Timl3QtFJoI/AAAAAAAAA40/9ZWTeJ4qI-8/s800/shotPlacement-Djokovic.jpg

tlm
02-03-2012, 12:23 PM
i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p3ufUzjcl_Y/Timl3QtFJoI/AAAAAAAAA40/9ZWTeJ4qI-8/s800/shotPlacement-Djokovic.jpg


Like the saying goes one picture is worth a thousand words. Pretty hard to argue with the facts here. The majority of these shots are closer to the serve line than than base line, plain and simple. No need to try and spin things into this or that

papa
02-03-2012, 01:09 PM
Even if they are short, because they are short and ......

You are making the point as good or better than we are with all your exceptions and qualifiers. What we are saying is these exception need to considered and studied as well.

Yes, absolutely. Where a ball touches the court is only one factor - important maybe but only part of the picture and it can be misleading.

papa
02-03-2012, 01:20 PM
Like the saying goes one picture is worth a thousand words. Pretty hard to argue with the facts here. The majority of these shots are closer to the serve line than than base line, plain and simple. No need to try and spin things into this or that

But the question is, who made the determination that a ball closer to the serviceline than the baseline is a short ball? That's one of the problems with these discussions - balls that bounce well in back of the serviceline are not short balls, as an example regardless of what someone has mentioned.

tlm
02-03-2012, 01:41 PM
I believe you did in some of your prior posts in this thread. Not sure what you mean by well in back of the service line, but the chart clearly shows that the majority of jokers shots are not well beyond the serve line. I would not consider a shot within 3 feet of the service line well back of the service line.

I brought this up years ago and Bungalow Bill and others were all over me on this point. They carried on with their stone age tennis instruction how hitting the ball deep was of utmost importance.

They said that i was totally wrong about a high % of shots landing closer to the service line than the baseline. Which i knew was false but did not have a clear chart like the one above to show them.

But they still would have twisted things around like they always do, they can never admit that their old school outdated methods are wrong.

Then i would tell them that in Oscar Wegners video instruction he advised against hitting to deep because of all the errors you will make. He also is the one that pointed out that the pro players hit more balls closer to the serve line than the baseline, he did this years ago.

But of course the dinosaur teaching clan on this site said that he was full of it and that hitting deep was crucial and the pro players do not hit closer to the serve line than the baseline. I guess that the chart above proves who knew what they were talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Limpinhitter
02-03-2012, 03:51 PM
i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-p3ufUzjcl_Y/Timl3QtFJoI/AAAAAAAAA40/9ZWTeJ4qI-8/s800/shotPlacement-Djokovic.jpg

But, your assertion (which, BTW, is not the topic of this thread), begs the question - for those balls that are not "wide," aren't the ones that land, say, within 5 feet of the baseline better shots than the ones that land near the service line?

Limpinhitter
02-03-2012, 03:55 PM
I believe you did in some of your prior posts in this thread. Not sure what you mean by well in back of the service line, but the chart clearly shows that the majority of jokers shots are not well beyond the serve line. I would not consider a shot within 3 feet of the service line well back of the service line.

I brought this up years ago and Bungalow Bill and others were all over me on this point. They carried on with their stone age tennis instruction how hitting the ball deep was of utmost importance.

They said that i was totally wrong about a high % of shots landing closer to the service line than the baseline. Which i knew was false but did not have a clear chart like the one above to show them.

But they still would have twisted things around like they always do, they can never admit that their old school outdated methods are wrong.

Then i would tell them that in Oscar Wegners video instruction he advised against hitting to deep because of all the errors you will make. He also is the one that pointed out that the pro players hit more balls closer to the serve line than the baseline, he did this years ago.

But of course the dinosaur teaching clan on this site said that he was full of it and that hitting deep was crucial and the pro players do not hit closer to the serve line than the baseline. I guess that the chart above proves who knew what they were talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, if I understand your point, you are saying that Djoko intentionally hits his groundies to the opponent's service line, and that when he does hit deep, it's not intentional because it's too risky.

jmnk
02-03-2012, 04:03 PM
one more, so it does not look like we are picking on Djokovic. here are Federer's shots.
Disclaimer: an inquiring mind may notice that the rendering of the court is not exactly to scale. In reality the distance from the net to the service line is greater than from the service line to the baseline. I have adjusted for that a bit when drawing the 3' line.
http://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-iFA7Vs06U9k/TyyCtMStsDI/AAAAAAAAA_s/FmMJtY0Rg-8/s640/Federer-Nadal-AO2012%2520shot%2520placement%2520wMarkings2.PNG

jmnk
02-03-2012, 04:10 PM
But, your assertion (which, BTW, is not the topic of this thread), begs the question - for those balls that are not "wide," aren't the ones that land, say, within 5 feet of the baseline better shots than the ones that land near the service line?
thanks for pointing out the topic of this thread, really appreciated.
There's no assertion on my part. I'm merely stating the fact which is indeed only somewhat related to the topic of this thread. The fact being that the pros do not hit their shots near the baseline most of the time, or even majority of the time. I'm making no conclusions as to why, or whether they do it intentional (because that would be making, well, assertion).

LeeD
02-03-2012, 04:34 PM
Wrong conclusion here, I think.
The pros DURING a stressful match, don't hit near as deep as 2' from the baseline.
Match results are seldom an indication of what a player CAN do.

gregor.b
02-03-2012, 05:16 PM
I can see where the balls are landing but what seems to be a determining factor is where they CAME FROM. A short ball landing near the side line is fine if it was hit from beyond the opposite side and base lines because of the angle produced. Especially when the other guy is 15 feet behind the base line.

papa
02-03-2012, 05:40 PM
I believe you did in some of your prior posts in this thread. Not sure what you mean by well in back of the service line, but the chart clearly shows that the majority of jokers shots are not well beyond the serve line. I would not consider a shot within 3 feet of the service line well back of the service line.

I brought this up years ago and Bungalow Bill and others were all over me on this point. They carried on with their stone age tennis instruction how hitting the ball deep was of utmost importance.

They said that i was totally wrong about a high % of shots landing closer to the service line than the baseline. Which i knew was false but did not have a clear chart like the one above to show them.

But they still would have twisted things around like they always do, they can never admit that their old school outdated methods are wrong.

Then i would tell them that in Oscar Wegners video instruction he advised against hitting to deep because of all the errors you will make. He also is the one that pointed out that the pro players hit more balls closer to the serve line than the baseline, he did this years ago.

But of course the dinosaur teaching clan on this site said that he was full of it and that hitting deep was crucial and the pro players do not hit closer to the serve line than the baseline. I guess that the chart above proves who knew what they were talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, it wasn't me that made a claim like that - and I remember BB well, actually every now and then he checks in here. I'm also not a student of Oscar's stuff - for the most part, I don't have any problems with his material but we've certainly expressed opinions over the years. I actually like him and have talked with him but that was years ago.

LeeD
02-03-2012, 05:53 PM
If you hit with moderate topspin, and moderate swing speed, a ball landing short would be a sitter for your opponent to attack.
However, if you hit with extreme rackethead speed, impart heavy topspin, that short ball would be harder to attack, expecially by today's players who would choose to try to crush a winner, or hit another rallyball back, than approach shot and get inside the service line to volley.
Times are changing, as are players.
RIP BB, we had some major arguments.

tlm
02-03-2012, 06:25 PM
So, if I understand your point, you are saying that Djoko intentionally hits his groundies to the opponent's service line, and that when he does hit deep, it's not intentional because it's too risky.

That is not what i am saying, my point is on their average rally ball they do not hit it to close to the baseline. The combination of heavy top spin and high net clearance without going for to much depth= unbelievable consistency.

When they have the time and are set up to attack they will hit deeper, and a lot of times this enables them to force the error or get a sitter that they can put away.

They will most definitely hit deep to force the issue or take time away from the opponent. But many times they are just rallying and working the point with the shorter depth shot until they feel it is the right shot to hit deeper on.

And of course it depends on how they are hitting at that time in the match and how well their opponent is hitting at the time. There are times when they are hitting deep more often than usual, but these are not the majority of their shots over the entire match.

That is why the majority of their shots are not that deep, they play the high % game, not the risky game like so many club players do. The point is that for so many years it has been taught that you have to hit deep all the time to be successful.

Which obviously is not true as the chart proves. And i have seen many players that try to hit the ball to deep and flat and usually they beat themselves and never improve.

tlm
02-03-2012, 06:32 PM
No, it wasn't me that made a claim like that - and I remember BB well, actually every now and then he checks in here. I'm also not a student of Oscar's stuff - for the most part, I don't have any problems with his material but we've certainly expressed opinions over the years. I actually like him and have talked with him but that was years ago.

Okay i sure thought that when this debate over depth began you were saying the opposite of what i am.

And you have been a reasonable guy in these discussions. I do remember that although you don't agree with Oscar all the time you were never attacking him like others here have.

Limpinhitter
02-03-2012, 07:39 PM
That is not what i am saying, my point is on their average rally ball they do not hit it to close to the baseline. The combination of heavy top spin and high net clearance without going for to much depth= unbelievable consistency.

When they have the time and are set up to attack they will hit deeper, and a lot of times this enables them to force the error or get a sitter that they can put away.

They will most definitely hit deep to force the issue or take time away from the opponent. But many times they are just rallying and working the point with the shorter depth shot until they feel it is the right shot to hit deeper on.

And of course it depends on how they are hitting at that time in the match and how well their opponent is hitting at the time. There are times when they are hitting deep more often than usual, but these are not the majority of their shots over the entire match.

That is why the majority of their shots are not that deep, they play the high % game, not the risky game like so many club players do. The point is that for so many years it has been taught that you have to hit deep all the time to be successful.

Which obviously is not true as the chart proves. And i have seen many players that try to hit the ball to deep and flat and usually they beat themselves and never improve.

That's not really the definition of high percentage tennis. But, I do agree that hitting high looping, heavy topspin groundies is safer than hitting lower and flatter the way tennis was played in the past. The reason depth was taught in the past is because, other things being equal, a deeper ball is harder to handle, it tends to draw errors and weak shots, and it is harder to attack, and players who hit lower and flatter have better depth control and are more able to consistently hit deep. However, I don't care what kind of ball you hit, unless you're going for a short angle or drop shot, hitting deep is going to result in winning more points than hitting short, which these charts don't show.

tlm
02-03-2012, 08:34 PM
That's not really the definition of high percentage tennis. But, I do agree that hitting high looping, heavy topspin groundies is safer than hitting lower and flatter the way tennis was played in the past. The reason depth was taught in the past is because, other things being equal, a deeper ball is harder to handle, it tends to draw errors and weak shots, and it is harder to attack, and players who hit lower and flatter have better depth control and are more able to consistently hit deep. However, I don't care what kind of ball you hit, unless you're going for a short angle or drop shot, hitting deep is going to result in winning more points than hitting short, which these charts don't show.



Okay then what would the definition of high percentage tennis be then? I totally understand a deeper ball is harder to handle and draws more errors and short balls no doubt.

But it also causes you to make more errors by going for the depth repeatedly. Which in the case of the player that is 3.0-4.0 level which is the majority, i think it would be better for their development to concentrate on consistency more and then gradually work on more depth.

Hitting deep consistently is going to result in winning more points, but hitting deep and missing a lot is not going to win more points. Did you notice when fed was playing rafa he was trying to hit forcing shots deep? Did you also notice how many he hit long and in the net? These charts don't lie and this example comes from the top players in the game today in actual match play.

arche3
02-04-2012, 05:34 AM
That's not really the definition of high percentage tennis. But, I do agree that hitting high looping, heavy topspin groundies is safer than hitting lower and flatter the way tennis was played in the past. The reason depth was taught in the past is because, other things being equal, a deeper ball is harder to handle, it tends to draw errors and weak shots, and it is harder to attack, and players who hit lower and flatter have better depth control and are more able to consistently hit deep. However, I don't care what kind of ball you hit, unless you're going for a short angle or drop shot, hitting deep is going to result in winning more points than hitting short, which these charts don't show.

Then your definition of high percentage tennis needs to change. the top pros are all about high percentage tennis. the two charts posted are of the top players ever. you can see where the balls land. I would imagine a lot of the balls were angled shots. but regardless of where the balls were going the facts cant be disputed on where they landed. this by definition is high percentage now as this is the shot selection the top pros chose. Pr do you contend that djokjo and fed do not play high percentage?

papa
02-04-2012, 10:15 AM
High percentage tennis can/does mean different things to different players. Skill, presure, score, situation, etc. are all contributing elements players are faced with during a match. What might be considered low percentage for one may indeed be high percentage for another depending on those factors I stated above.

For instance pro players can easily hit small hula-hoop targets given relatively routine feed balls. Rally balls generally would fall into this category. As they encounter balls that are outside their comfort zone coupled with other factors (like money) their shots quite as accurate. So to compensate, they reeled in the shot to increase their chances - after all is said and done, tennis is a game of percentages and winning tennis is when the odds are in your favor the majority of the time

So, other factors also become involved when we think high percentage tennis. For instance if we're up in game/set we might feel more relaxed/calm and go for shots/locations that otherwise we'd stay away from. But slways keep in mind that what might appear low percentage tennis for one player/situation might be high for another.

maleyoyo
02-04-2012, 01:16 PM
Man, I need your skills. Not only does this make things clear that less than 10% are real deep, but you could move that line twice as far from the BL and still have a large majority of balls (80-85%) falling short of it.

But most will have you believe the pros hit so deep and you should too; and that
if you don't bang it deep the 4.0 and 4.5 will crush most of them for winners or the like.Very nice jmnk! (but you do realize they would have been deeper if you were there live, right? : )

What you said is true for the pros because of their skill level. The five fundamental components of ball control are direction, depth, height, speed, and spin. They can aim their shots at mid-court but with the combination of other factors, these shots are not attackable. These are still quality shots even in the rally or counter phase.
The same thing can’t be said about the 4.0 and 4.5. A ‘short’ ball lacks the quality of the other four components which makes it vulnerable. I find it easier to change the direction of the ball when they are short at my level and so do my opponents.
Even if I want to, I lack the timing and the racket head speed to make it an effective mid-court shot. I’ll protect the ball better hitting deep, but it’s a risky business, a catch 22. I compensate depth for lack of direction,speed, and spin.
I do hit with top spin with high net clearance, but they land 3 or 4 ft from the baseline. May be some of you will enlighten me.

tlm
02-04-2012, 01:24 PM
What you said is true for the pros because of their skill level. The five fundamental components of ball control are direction, depth, height, speed, and spin. They can aim their shots at mid-court but with the combination of other factors, these shots are not attackable. These are still quality shots even in the rally or counter phase.
The same thing canít be said about the 4.0 and 4.5. A Ďshortí ball lacks the quality of the other four components which makes it vulnerable. I find it easier to change the direction of the ball when they are short at my level and so do my opponents.
Even if I want to, I lack the timing and the racket head speed to make it an effective mid-court shot. Iíll protect the ball better hitting deep, but itís a risky business. Itís a catch 22.
I do hit with top spin with high net clearance, but they land 3 or 4 ft from the baseline. May be some of you will enlighten me.



If you can use a lot of top and land consistently 4 feet from the baseline that is great. I can do this at times but i still hit a lot of them only 3 feet from the serve line, which is fine against most players if i have heavy enough top spin on these shots. If not they can be attacked by the better players.

maleyoyo
02-04-2012, 01:41 PM
If you can use a lot of top and land consistently 4 feet from the baseline that is great. I can do this at times but i still hit a lot of them only 3 feet from the serve line, which is fine against most players if i have heavy enough top spin on these shots. If not they can be attacked by the better players.

Problem is at crucial points I want to play safe, but when Iím tired or tight, Iíll hit out. I donít have your skill of hitting midcourt with enough juice that consistently keeps me in the point until I can find an opportunity to attack.
Whatís your secret? Is it the racket head speed just prior to contact?

Limpinhitter
02-04-2012, 01:45 PM
Okay then what would the definition of high percentage tennis be then? I totally understand a deeper ball is harder to handle and draws more errors and short balls no doubt.

But it also causes you to make more errors by going for the depth repeatedly. Which in the case of the player that is 3.0-4.0 level which is the majority, i think it would be better for their development to concentrate on consistency more and then gradually work on more depth.

Hitting deep consistently is going to result in winning more points, but hitting deep and missing a lot is not going to win more points. Did you notice when fed was playing rafa he was trying to hit forcing shots deep? Did you also notice how many he hit long and in the net? These charts don't lie and this example comes from the top players in the game today in actual match play.

I've written so many times about high percentage tennis on TT that I just can't bring myself to do it again. It's fundimental tennis tactics. Jack Kramer was the first to describe it, and every great backcourt player since Kramer (who also invented the S&V game as a primary tactic), plays Kramer's definition of high percentage tennis. Evert, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Nadal and Djokovic are the most disciplined high percentage players I've seen.

Depth control is an execution issue, not a tactical issue, and is not the same thing as electing to hit a sharp angle vs. hitting deep. IMO, high percentage tennis recquires that you set up the point and pick the right opportunity to hit an angle. Hitting modern, heavy topspin groundies allows you to hit harder and keep the ball in the court, but, it also impairs depth control. For old school Eastern drive players, it's easier to hit consistently deep. As great as the current top players are, as the modern game continues to develop, I expect that both the depth and the angles that the top players play at will continue to improve.

tlm
02-04-2012, 07:35 PM
I've written so many times about high percentage tennis on TT that I just can't bring myself to do it again. It's fundimental tennis tactics. Jack Kramer was the first to describe it, and every great backcourt player since Kramer (who also invented the S&V game as a primary tactic), plays Kramer's definition of high percentage tennis. Evert, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Nadal and Djokovic are the most disciplined high percentage players I've seen.

Depth control is an execution issue, not a tactical issue, and is not the same thing as electing to hit a sharp angle vs. hitting deep. IMO, high percentage tennis recquires that you set up the point and pick the right opportunity to hit an angle. Hitting modern, heavy topspin groundies allows you to hit harder and keep the ball in the court, but, it also impairs depth control. For old school Eastern drive players, it's easier to hit consistently deep. As great as the current top players are, as the modern game continues to develop, I expect that both the depth and the angles that the top players play at will continue to improve.


Depth control is an execution issue not a tactical issue? I guess that is one way to look at it, but i think it is because these players are playing it safer by not getting to close to the baseline. Which i would consider a tactical way of playing. You say it was easier for the old school players to hit depth with eastern grips and much less spin? I am not to sure about that, i do know that they hit the net a lot more.

I really don't know how the depth can continue to improve. Most of these guys can hit all the depth they want to, which some elect to do at a higher % of the time. It is their choice to hit were they want to and to me they have better depth control because of all the spin they use on their shots.

tlm
02-04-2012, 07:58 PM
Problem is at crucial points I want to play safe, but when I’m tired or tight, I’ll hit out. I don’t have your skill of hitting midcourt with enough juice that consistently keeps me in the point until I can find an opportunity to attack.
What’s your secret? Is it the racket head speed just prior to contact?



You aren't the only player that tightens up at critical times and plays it to safe which in turn slows down the racket speed and then comes the short ball for your opponent to jump on.

I still have problems with that also, that is one of the problems of using heavy spin. You can brush across the ball so quick and not bite into it enough, and then you hit a short ball that does not have much spin on it.

I have found that if you practice enough by just rallying back and forth with a good hitting partner you can get much better at hitting out consistently. For me i have made my grip more extreme towards full western and this allows me to swing almost as hard as i want to and still keep the ball in.

But you have to keep swinging out, if playing long rally's this does become tiring. So you need to be in good shape to keep the racket speed up. So then if i hit the ball to short at least it still comes off the court with some heavy spin.

I also found that for me what works well is using the heavy wind shield wiper motion. Make sure that you are following through with your racket going across as much as up. When i am hitting it good i have very high racket speed and the racket finishes pointing down by my left hip. This puts a lot of side spin on the ball which makes it cork screw and jump off the court.

Once you are hitting it consistently like this with a lot of spin and lets say it is landing a couple of feet from the service line. Now just use the same swing but adjust the trajectory of the ball height to get the depth you want.

onehandbh
02-04-2012, 10:18 PM
When they have the time and are set up to attack they will hit deeper, and a lot of times this enables them to force the error or get a sitter that they can put away.

They will most definitely hit deep to force the issue or take time away from the opponent.

Totally agree. Or it could be a clean winner, too.

Netspirit
02-04-2012, 10:33 PM
The key is to hit the ball as far from the opponent's reach as possible, which could mean deep or wide depending on the situation and both player's running/shotmaking stills.

In some situations it is neither deep nor wide, but extremely short (dropshot) instead.

papa
02-05-2012, 08:24 AM
You aren't the only player that tightens up at critical times and plays it to safe which in turn slows down the racket speed and then comes the short ball for your opponent to jump on.

I still have problems with that also, that is one of the problems of using heavy spin. You can brush across the ball so quick and not bite into it enough, and then you hit a short ball that does not have much spin on it.

I have found that if you practice enough by just rallying back and forth with a good hitting partner you can get much better at hitting out consistently. For me i have made my grip more extreme towards full western and this allows me to swing almost as hard as i want to and still keep the ball in.

But you have to keep swinging out, if playing long rally's this does become tiring. So you need to be in good shape to keep the racket speed up. So then if i hit the ball to short at least it still comes off the court with some heavy spin.

I also found that for me what works well is using the heavy wind shield wiper motion. Make sure that you are following through with your racket going across as much as up. When i am hitting it good i have very high racket speed and the racket finishes pointing down by my left hip. This puts a lot of side spin on the ball which makes it cork screw and jump off the court.

Once you are hitting it consistently like this with a lot of spin and lets say it is landing a couple of feet from the service line. Now just use the same swing but adjust the trajectory of the ball height to get the depth you want.

Good post. Of course, as you know, the finsih can vary from player tookater and some prefer either over the shoulder, mid section, waist or even the same side (Nadal style). They all can be used very effectively.

Of course another point is to get that hitting elbow out and pointing in the same direction as the ball is heading. This of course insures nice rotation into the shot.

Limpinhitter
02-05-2012, 09:30 AM
The key is to hit the ball as far from the opponent's reach as possible, which could mean deep or wide depending on the situation and both player's running/shotmaking stills.

In some situations it is neither deep nor wide, but extremely short (dropshot) instead.

If you accept the premise that tennis is a percentage game, then you need to understand that there are high percentage opportunities to hit the ball away from your opponent. Trying to hit away from your opponent when you don't have a high percentage opportunity is not a winning strategy in the long run.

tlm
02-05-2012, 12:23 PM
Good post. Of course, as you know, the finsih can vary from player tookater and some prefer either over the shoulder, mid section, waist or even the same side (Nadal style). They all can be used very effectively.

Of course another point is to get that hitting elbow out and pointing in the same direction as the ball is heading. This of course insures nice rotation into the shot.



Ya your right i do vary the way i finish to, i just found that for my best control when hitting out it seems like the WW finish produces the most consistent results.

Good point about the elbow also, i get in trouble when i don't get the elbow out enough which in turn affects my spacing from the ball, which then results in poor rotation.

5263
02-06-2012, 03:32 PM
Depth control is an execution issue not a tactical issue? I guess that is one way to look at it, .

Not really tlm, cause it's basically just wrong and is both tactical and execution ability. Anyone who does not see the tactical aspects of varying the depth of their shots in given situations is missing a tremendous amount of how this game is won.

5263
02-06-2012, 03:50 PM
What you said is true for the pros because of their skill level. The five fundamental components of ball control are direction, depth, height, speed, and spin. They can aim their shots at mid-court but with the combination of other factors, these shots are not attackable. These are still quality shots even in the rally or counter phase.
The same thing canít be said about the 4.0 and 4.5. A Ďshortí ball lacks the quality of the other four components which makes it vulnerable. I find it easier to change the direction of the ball when they are short at my level and so do my opponents.
Even if I want to, I lack the timing and the racket head speed to make it an effective mid-court shot. Iíll protect the ball better hitting deep, but itís a risky business, a catch 22. I compensate depth for lack of direction,speed, and spin.
I do hit with top spin with high net clearance, but they land 3 or 4 ft from the baseline. May be some of you will enlighten me.

Well you seem to confused by a bunch of facts you have noticed correctly and drawn the wrong conclusion.

First you mention the 5 components and recognize that depth alone does not make a shot venerable to attack,
very good! that is our point.
But then assume incorrectly that 4.0-4.5s can't use any of the other 4 components to execute an effective shot.
That maybe true for you, but then I would have to question where you would be even a 4.0 without any of those skills.

Second, you fail to realize when you play other 4.0s
(who you claim have no ability to use the other 4 components)
that they will not be able to mount much of an effective attack anyway,
since they cannot control speed, spin, height or DIRECTION according to you.
How will they hurt you based on your assessment of them?

The Truth is that the lower your level, the shorter and easier you can hit
and still get away with it; not the other way around as some seem to think.

5263
02-06-2012, 04:02 PM
Hitting deep consistently is going to result in winning more points, but hitting deep and missing a lot is not going to win more points. Did you notice when fed was playing rafa he was trying to hit forcing shots deep? Did you also notice how many he hit long and in the net? These charts don't lie and this example comes from the top players in the game today in actual match play.

tlm, you have made a ton of great points here and I am clear that you get this.
I like your example with Fed and Rafa and your explanation of the chart's data.
One thing to consider though. While the bold info above may hold true for 3.5-4.5 players (or may not), my charting is not showing it true in the marque top match-ups.
When I charted DJs Bh depth after someone stated about how deep he hits it, I noticed that his deep shots won no points as winners or forced errors in the games charted and missed 3 deep himself, while he had several winners and forced errors with his shorter hit balls.
My point is that if he can hit winners and force errors off of using shorter balls against his competition, think how much easier it would be to do that at lower levels who rarely have good short ball attacking skills to start with.

Limpinhitter
02-06-2012, 04:12 PM
Not really tlm, cause it's basically just wrong and is both tactical and execution ability. Anyone who does not see the tactical aspects of varying the depth of their shots in given situations is missing a tremendous amount of how this game is won.

You're confusing "depth control" that I referred to which tlm questioned, an execution issue (as I previously stated), with "varying the depth of shot," which is a tactical issue.

Limpinhitter
02-06-2012, 04:16 PM
tlm, you have made a ton of great points here and I am clear that you get this.
I like your example with Fed and Rafa and your explanation of the chart's data.
One thing to consider though. While the bold info above may hold true for 3.5-4.5 players (or may not), my charting is not showing it true in the marque top match-ups.
When I charted DJs Bh depth after someone stated about how deep he hits it, I noticed that his deep shots won no points as winners or forced errors in the games charted and missed 3 deep himself, while he had several winners and forced errors with his shorter hit balls.
My point is that if he can hit winners and force errors off of using shorter balls against his competition, think how much easier it would be to do that at lower levels who rarely have good short ball attacking skills to start with.

Perhaps it's because he lacks depth control.

5263
02-06-2012, 04:50 PM
You're confusing "depth control" that I referred to which tlm questioned, an execution issue (as I previously stated), with "varying the depth of shot," which is a tactical issue.

I think its clear depth control could be taken either way in this context, but since you state your point so well here, I will just stand corrected. : )

5263
02-06-2012, 04:51 PM
Perhaps it's because he lacks depth control.

Except for the fact that DJs depth control is the Best in the Business.
Right?

tlm
02-06-2012, 05:40 PM
tlm, you have made a ton of great points here and I am clear that you get this.
I like your example with Fed and Rafa and your explanation of the chart's data.
One thing to consider though. While the bold info above may hold true for 3.5-4.5 players (or may not), my charting is not showing it true in the marque top match-ups.
When I charted DJs Bh depth after someone stated about how deep he hits it, I noticed that his deep shots won no points as winners or forced errors in the games charted and missed 3 deep himself, while he had several winners and forced errors with his shorter hit balls.
My point is that if he can hit winners and force errors off of using shorter balls against his competition, think how much easier it would be to do that at lower levels who rarely have good short ball attacking skills to start with.


Good points, as usual you are right on the money.

5263
02-06-2012, 07:28 PM
Good points, as usual you are right on the money.

Thanks tlm. Another point you handled well that keeps getting confused and could be revisited is;
no one I know of is advocating to hit short (other than special drop shots...etc..)
What we are suggesting is to hit shorter. Yes, I or someone else maybe used "short" in a certain context or thru mistake, but the idea is to hit shorter than is commonly taught and to target/aim closer to the svc line than baseline.

If you already know/believe this, and consider anything beyond the svc line reasonably deep, then you are agreeing with us and there is just a gap in terminology. I think our definition of deep is more inline with the reference books and drills, but who cares what we call it. It's the area of the court that matters.

arche3
02-06-2012, 07:41 PM
Perhaps it's because he lacks depth control.

I think Djoko has incredible depth control. you dont? or are you talking about something else here?

5263
02-06-2012, 07:47 PM
I think Djoko has incredible depth control. you dont? or are you talking about something else here?

arche3, so have you been getting any court time?
Hows the shorter targeting with more angle working for you?
bests

Limpinhitter
02-06-2012, 08:24 PM
I think Djoko has incredible depth control. you dont? or are you talking about something else here?

Compared to who? Connors? Budge? Or Fed and Nadal?

arche3
02-06-2012, 08:44 PM
arche3, so have you been getting any court time?
Hows the shorter targeting with more angle working for you?
bests

yeah I play 4 days a week indoors now. crappy east coast weather I miss Cali.

It took a different mind set to do this. It really works on my FH. I find that I can hit at a more conservative pace with a ton of spin and angle and it is pretty high percentage for me and a great setup for an eventual deeper winner dtl to the BH.
(I can't do it on my BH. But if I hit inside out FH I can hit the angles but that seems to leave too much court to cover at times if my ball is not angled enough.)

It drives them nuts as I am making my opponents run a lot while I control the center of the court. It is smart play as I am seeing the court differently now. The up and wide running my opponent has to make constantly is pretty brutal if they are not used to it. Most rec players are not used to so much up and back on the baseline rallys.

arche3
02-06-2012, 08:45 PM
Compared to who? Connors? Budge? Or Fed and Nadal?

just compared to the other top pros. I think they all have great depth control. every one of them. you dont?

maleyoyo
02-06-2012, 10:02 PM
Well you seem to confused by a bunch of facts you have noticed correctly and drawn the wrong conclusion.

First you mention the 5 components and recognize that depth alone does not make a shot venerable to attack,
very good! that is our point.
But then assume incorrectly that 4.0-4.5s can't use any of the other 4 components to execute an effective shot.
That maybe true for you, but then I would have to question where you would be even a 4.0 without any of those skills.

Second, you fail to realize when you play other 4.0s
(who you claim have no ability to use the other 4 components)
that they will not be able to mount much of an effective attack anyway,
since they cannot control speed, spin, height or DIRECTION according to you.
How will they hurt you based on your assessment of them?

The Truth is that the lower your level, the shorter and easier you can hit
and still get away with it; not the other way around as some seem to think.

Iím not sure of what your perception of a USTA 4.0 is, but here is a random clip from you tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaazJs35qCU&feature=related

This is the 4.0 tennis Iím familiar with. Let me ask you:
1. How many effective short balls (closer to the service line) did you see?
2. How many of those were put away or attacked?
3. How many deep balls (closer to the baseline) resulted in either winners or weak replies?
4. How many attempted deep balls closer to the baseline did you see?

I agree with your point, but reality tells a different story. In our world and with our skill set, playing deep with high net clearance is high percentage tennis whether we like it or not.

salsainglesa
02-06-2012, 10:54 PM
I haven't read anything on this thread, but I will say one thing. Aim towards corners. Its magical. sometimes, you have better results than expected. Embrace those.

Limpinhitter
02-07-2012, 06:23 AM
just compared to the other top pros. I think they all have great depth control. every one of them. you dont?

I think that heavy topspin (compared to moderate topspin), tends to impair depth control. Djokovic probably has as much depth control as any modern player, but, not as much as Budge or Connors. However, as I stated in another thread, as "modern" strokes evolve, and modern technique continues to improve, depth control with heavy topspin will continue to improve.

Limpinhitter
02-07-2012, 06:25 AM
I haven't read anything on this thread, but I will say one thing. Aim towards corners. Its magical. sometimes, you have better results than expected. Embrace those.

Excellent! And, be patient, and wait for a tactical error, UE or weak shot from your opponent that you can attack from the forecourt.

5263
02-07-2012, 01:33 PM
I’m not sure of what your perception of a USTA 4.0 is, but here is a random clip from you tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaazJs35qCU&feature=related

This is the 4.0 tennis I’m familiar with. Let me ask you:
1. How many effective short balls (closer to the service line) did you see?
2. How many of those were put away or attacked?
3. How many deep balls (closer to the baseline) resulted in either winners or weak replies?
4. How many attempted deep balls closer to the baseline did you see?

I agree with your point, but reality tells a different story. In our world and with our skill set, playing deep with high net clearance is high percentage tennis whether we like it or not.

I really don't believe much thought went into your categories, but I used them best I could. Problem is there is a bunch of overlap and much is left out as well. I did a ok job given the poor vid etc...

1. about 20+ effective shorter balls
2. 2 were put away of 10 or so attacked, but at least 7-8 of the attacks missed
3. 1 sort of deep clean winner and 1-2 more forced errors of about 5 deeper shots including the easy deep ball he didn't get because he thought it was out. 2-3 got weak replies.
4. somewhere between 23 deep attempts with 10 of them misses

I have to say this vid was very hard to work with using the requested stats.
I think I will do it again with what I believe to be more meaning groups.

Results as request clearly tell me that as I said, their attack skills on shorter balls were very poor as I stated, with 2-3 winners/ forced from well over 25 shorter hit balls.
Out of about 24 deep attempts, 10 missed, so that is a bad percentage as well.
Supports everything we have stated about how short balls will get you more errors from their attacks than they get winners,
and they will miss a ton when they try to hit for depth.
I also expect the shot spot hit points on that vid would be quite a bit like the ones already shown for the pro matches. Main difference was more UEs and weaker shots.

5263
02-07-2012, 01:34 PM
weak shot from your opponent that you can attack from the forecourt.

above is very well stated IMO.

tlm
02-07-2012, 02:29 PM
I really don't believe much thought went into your categories, but I used them best I could. Problem is there is a bunch of overlap and much is left out as well. I did a ok job given the poor vid etc...

1. about 20+ effective shorter balls
2. 2 were put away of 10 or so attacked, but at least 7-8 of the attacks missed
3. 1 sort of deep clean winner and 1-2 more forced errors of about 5 deeper shots including the easy deep ball he didn't get because he thought it was out. 2-3 got weak replies.
4. somewhere between 23 deep attempts with 10 of them misses

I have to say this vid was very hard to work with using the requested stats.
I think I will do it again with what I believe to be more meaning groups.

Results as request clearly tell me that as I said, their attack skills on shorter balls were very poor as I stated, with 2-3 winners/ forced from well over 25 shorter hit balls.
Out of about 24 deep attempts, 10 missed, so that is a bad percentage as well.
Supports everything we have stated about how short balls will get you more errors from their attacks than they get winners,
and they will miss a ton when they try to hit for depth.
I also expect the shot spot hit points on that vid would be quite a bit like the ones already shown for the pro matches. Main difference was more UEs and weaker shots.



I agree the vid proves your point, but it is hard to tell from this video. These guys look pretty weak for 4.0. Did they ever even have a 6 shot rally? They really need to worry about keeping the ball in the court. Depth should be the last thing they should be thinking about, maybe first they should see if they can get 3 consecutive shots in.

LeeD
02-07-2012, 03:02 PM
Those guys might be 4.0, but they have no potential to improve to 5.0. They both only have a forehand, nothing else. EVERY other shot is a liability for 4.5 level play.
Deep high CC for rally ball.
Short low sharp angled CC for attacking ball.
DTL, get it in close to the sideline, depth be darned (if you hit heavy topspin).

5263
02-07-2012, 03:04 PM
I agree the vid proves your point, but it is hard to tell from this video. These guys look pretty weak for 4.0. Did they ever even have a 6 shot rally? They really need to worry about keeping the ball in the court. Depth should be the last thing they should be thinking about, maybe first they should see if they can get 3 consecutive shots in.

Yes I agree, but we all tend to think of 4.0 as the better ones we know, there are many more 4.0s that are not what we expect. Also vid tends to make most of us look worse as well, especially if they are a scrappy 4.0. These guys are probably pretty good examples when you get down to it.

I'm just surprised the poster picked this vid which showed them missing or accomplishing very little on the short ball attacks. Don't think they had more
than 2-3 that got anything done. Only winners hit were a couple of sitters, not shorter balls. Shows he picked fairly for his vid. I thought for sure he had
found some guys who were pretty good at it and maybe even keeping the ball
deep a bit.

maleyoyo
02-08-2012, 09:03 AM
Yes I agree, but we all tend to think of 4.0 as the better ones we know, there are many more 4.0s that are not what we expect. Also vid tends to make most of us look worse as well, especially if they are a scrappy 4.0. These guys are probably pretty good examples when you get down to it.

I'm just surprised the poster picked this vid which showed them missing or accomplishing very little on the short ball attacks. Don't think they had more
than 2-3 that got anything done. Only winners hit were a couple of sitters, not shorter balls. Shows he picked fairly for his vid. I thought for sure he had
found some guys who were pretty good at it and maybe even keeping the ball
deep a bit.

Thank you for taking the time reviewing the video. I can understand that watching it could be painful for better players such as yourself or tlm.
When I have time Iíll analyze the shots in that video more thoroughly. To narrow the scope of this topic, I focus on the point that can a 4.0 consistently produces effective midcourt shots that are not attackable. Whether a player succeeds or not attacking those balls is not my concern because better 4.0 will do a better job. My pro always tells us when we see a ball landing anywhere near the service line, thatís a green light to switch to the forced or attacking phase. If the 4.0ís short balls are effective in general, he wouldnít have told us that. We spend a lot of time doing drills dealing with short balls because our pro tells us that the skill that would separate us from the pack.

For most 4.0s the net is their worst enemy, so high ball trajectory (the ball still rises as it passes the net and its apex is on the other half of the court) is encouraged. As you can see with the video, from the baseline those guys hit with moderate racket head speed and high trajectory which make it land somewhat closer to the baseline. Without good amount of top spin, simple physics would dictate the ball will travel further into the court. If the ball lands short, the possible reasons are court position, mishit, slow racket head speed which to me means not quality shot.

The answer is what tlm told me up thread, but most middle-aged weekend warrior 4.0s who never had formal tennis training donít hit with windshield wiper or good top spin.
Occasionally when I hit with a few current div 2 college players who are top of the 4.5 around here, I know exactly what you mean by Ďshort ballsí. They show me their techniques which are along the line with tlmís advice and Iím working on it. For now, what I can actually do on the court is a world away from the theory.

5263
02-08-2012, 12:32 PM
When I have time Iíll analyze the shots in that video more thoroughly. To narrow the scope of this topic, I focus on the point that can a 4.0 consistently produces effective midcourt shots that are not attackable. Whether a player succeeds or not attacking those balls is not my concern because better 4.0 will do a better job. My pro always tells us when we see a ball landing anywhere near the service line, thatís a green light to switch to the forced or attacking phase.

If the 4.0ís short balls are effective in general, he wouldnít have told us that. We spend a lot of time doing drills dealing with short balls because our pro tells us that the skill that would separate us from the pack.


You seem to be a nice and reasonable guy. You are entitled to your opinion and will make decisions based on what you understand. Do what you like and enjoy this game.

What I'm trying to share here is that what your pro says above is only partially right and that to get more of the story can help you progress faster. If this info does not interest you, that is fine and you don't need to comment to me about it.
If you watch the vid with an eye to how many shorter balls don't get attacked effectively, then you can see that there are lots of shorter balls that can't or won't be attacked. Using some of these shorter options can reduce the risk for your rally shots and often win you points when players following your coaches advice try to attack them will miss. Trying to attack every short ball you get will lead to many errors. We are talking on being more selective on which shorter balls are better to attack.

If you watch the vid with an eye on how many they miss when trying to hit for excellent depth, you will see the risk is far higher than the reward of excellent depth. It is true at 4.0 and in the pros as well.

Combine removing the risks of excessive depth and replacing with safer targets, along with learning not to attempt to attack certain shorter balls that give you trouble, will yield a much more consistent result in this game that highly rewards consistency.

sureshs
02-08-2012, 12:41 PM
My pro always tells us when we see a ball landing anywhere near the service line, thatís a green light to switch to the forced or attacking phase. If the 4.0ís short balls are effective in general, he wouldnít have told us that.

That is the standard red, amber, green light rules usually taught.

Most of the time, 4.0 players do not attack the short ball, and hence the advice. What I see is that many do not quit the rally mode or take a tentative attacking step and retreat. As a result, they make life more difficult and tiring for themselves by hitting shot after shot when they could have just moved forward and attacked a short ball. Some are nervous that if their shot is not strong, they could be passed or lobbed and that deters them. Some have eye blur issues when moving forward.

5263
02-08-2012, 12:53 PM
As a result, they make life more difficult and tiring for themselves by hitting shot after shot when they could have just moved forward and attacked a short ball.

I don't think the above quote is often correct.

I think the vid provided is very good evidence (not proof mind you)
that players not only don't attack shorter balls very well, but
often miss when they do.
I attribute this mainly due to the lack of ability to discriminate
between attackable shorter balls vs shorter are balls with some
qualities that will provide more challenge to an attacker.

maleyoyo
02-08-2012, 02:58 PM
What I'm trying to share here is that what your pro says above is only partially right and that to get more of the story can help you progress faster. If this info does not interest you, that is fine and you don't need to comment to me about it.


I thought the whole point of commenting on these boards is to share different viewpoints from real life tennis players so that we can broaden our view. If you are not interested then I wonít.
Just want to clarify the advice of the pro is to encourage players to be aggressive with short ball and follow it to the net when they are already 2 steps into the court.

sureshs
02-08-2012, 03:41 PM
I don't think the above quote is often correct.

I think the vid provided is very good evidence (not proof mind you)
that players not only don't attack shorter balls very well, but
often miss when they do.
I attribute this mainly due to the lack of ability to discriminate
between attackable shorter balls vs shorter are balls with some
qualities that will provide more challenge to an attacker.

On the other hand, just the fear that the opponent might attack the ball is enough to paralyze 4.0 players.

5263
02-08-2012, 03:50 PM
On the other hand, just the fear that the opponent might attack the ball is enough to paralyze 4.0 players.

Exactly, but that fear of getting attacked is part of what we are working on.

5263
02-08-2012, 04:02 PM
I thought the whole point of commenting on these boards is to share different viewpoints from real life tennis players so that we can broaden our view. If you are not interested then I won’t.
Just want to clarify the advice of the pro is to encourage players to be aggressive with short ball and follow it to the net when they are already 2 steps into the court.

I can see your point of view there, but my take it is more for instructors and experienced players to give the tips and instructions and for the less experienced to ask questions and read the tips to learn. Of course everyone
can comment as they choose, but the instruction you are quoting is exactly what we are discussing to improve on. I don't see the position you are trying to take here. Are you trying to learn something or teach something. If you are looking to teach, then I don't need to bother with posting to you, right? Because you believe you know it. If you are looking to learn and understand this deeper, I'm happy to help out. Right now I don't see where you stand on this, although I may post related to comments you make if they are misleading IMO, for those looking to learn. If you are more of a student, but trying to give instruction, it makes sense that it will face a lot of scrutiny. Much of the info I deal with is more cutting edge and faces lots of scrutiny as well. Much of it deals with improving the old school info with newer perspectives that account for how the game is won currently.

5263
02-08-2012, 08:50 PM
We have had a very interesting talk here on the forum about the importance of depth vs angles.

I hope this new post can shed a light on the matter. ;)

http://online-tennis-blog.blogspot.com/2012/01/going-deep-vs-going-wide.html

After some time and all these post have been made, I went back to look at the op. After reviewing it, I have to say he probably picked the best of the 2 choices he offered in the blog, where it was stated as good depth vs sharp angles.

But I still dont see that as the best choice in todays game.
My idea about it is more of a hybrid of the two I guess, since I believe in a better angle than he shows on his deep ball, but less angle than he depicts for his sharp angle. This naturally goes with more depth than his sharp angle, but less depth than his deep rally depiction. I feel this hybrid of his 2 options allows you to be more aggressive with power and spin, with less risks all around. It allows you to move your opponent farther and faster with the pace and added angle. The biting spin is often the key to getting the opponent to give up a weak short ball that you can attack to court you have just opened up.

LarrysŁmmers
02-08-2012, 09:01 PM
in order to achieve tennis enlightenment, one must be able to hit both deep and wide. you gotta keep the ball deep because youre going to run into someone who knows what they are doing and they are going to crush that short ball. another thing, if you are always hitting short then the guy across the net is going to make you play defense the whole match.
equally important is hitting wide. you have to be able to shove him to one side, not necessarily off of the court just to one side, to give yourself enough room to go wide to the other side, getting him on the run enabling you to go on the attack.

any way thats what i think, i like reading other's views on this, makes ya think.

Limpinhitter
02-08-2012, 09:12 PM
in order to achieve tennis enlightenment, one must be able to hit both deep and wide. you gotta keep the ball deep because youre going to run into someone who knows what they are doing and they are going to crush that short ball. another thing, if you are always hitting short then the guy across the net is going to make you play defense the whole match.
equally important is hitting wide. you have to be able to shove him to one side, not necessarily off of the court just to one side, to give yourself enough room to go wide to the other side, getting him on the run enabling you to go on the attack.

any way thats what i think, i like reading other's views on this, makes ya think.

Ideally, it's best if you can do one or the other, depending on your court positioning. But, clearly, even the best in the world can't always do one or the other.

5263
02-09-2012, 08:10 AM
in order to achieve tennis enlightenment, one must be able to hit both deep and wide. you gotta keep the ball deep because youre going to run into someone who knows what they are doing and they are going to crush that short ball. another thing, if you are always hitting short then the guy across the net is going to make you play defense the whole match.
equally important is hitting wide. you have to be able to shove him to one side, not necessarily off of the court just to one side, to give yourself enough room to go wide to the other side, getting him on the run enabling you to go on the attack.

any way thats what i think, i like reading other's views on this, makes ya think.

Not that you are doing this, but your post did make me think of something I figured out the other nite.

Way too much of rec tennis ideas are based on matches where the one player is significantly better than the other, leading to a skewed view of things. A low 4.0 goes out and plays a high 4.0 who is sandbagging a bit. The higher 4.0 is hitting to deep corners, and heavy angles at will. Yes, misses some, but can always make adjustments to keep the match and score in hand since he's not under any real pressure. He wins 2,2 with the loser thinking, "wow, if I could hit deep and kill the shorter balls like him, I could be that good", but really, if the match had been more well contested, the better player would not have been able to do all that aggressive shot making. He would have had to make more shots, less errors, and play more within his abilities. Loose errors are just too costly against a well matched or slightly better opponent.

Two bad lessons can be learned in that match. The bad player will probably now aspire to hit those great shots he faced many times, with the idea, that is what it takes to move up.

If the good player plays too many matches like this, he himself may think that is his level, and struggle or worse in a tough match trying to play at that artificial level he showed against easy opponents.

In tennis when we play a weak opponent, we have so much leeway to make up for loose points. Many of our rec matches are mis-matched like this, even if the score does not show it, because We can double fault going big, then hit 2 svc winners and get right back to 30-30 etc... We know where to go to get things back under control. When the match is tough, everything is much different. By in large, We don't often try to execute to a high level and win 6-0 but are very satisfied to be 6-2 playing more aggressive and looser, with avg execution.
IMO we should look way closer at what can be done in tight matches, and less what we can do when winning easy.

papa
02-09-2012, 01:50 PM
Ideally, it's best if you can do one or the other, depending on your court positioning. But, clearly, even the best in the world can't always do one or the other.


well true but we have to keep in mind who their opponent(s) is/are and this makes a huge difference. So, IMO, its not a matter of that they can't do something but more a matter of the consquences involved. I was at a match yesterday (doubles, involving 5.5 types) where shots that would have beaten most 4.5 were returned quite easily. More advanced players can respond to shots better, cover the court with amazing speed & have a wider shot selection - both defensively and offensevely.

So, I understand and agree with what your saying but I'm afraid some will mistake your message for being something very different.

LeeD
02-09-2012, 05:01 PM
Some depth is not horrid.
We know a ball in flight that is not very fast beats out a faster hit ball that bounces short, so going for winners, depth is important.

5263
02-10-2012, 04:23 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbyR4VSnmpU

lots of good examples of "smart targets", but skip to a pt at 4:55 for a real beauty.

papa
02-10-2012, 05:00 AM
Some depth is not horrid.
We know a ball in flight that is not very fast beats out a faster hit ball that bounces short, so going for winners, depth is important.

Well said. To some for some reason, going long seems to imply that you run the risk of flying the baseline - most good players know the limits and although they do occasionly run into problems the rewards are there also as you know.

Having read and appreciated Lee's post, I would suspect I could feed him a 100 balls and he could return well over 90% of those deep and inside the baseline - he just isn't flirting with danger, as some think, whenever he hits in the back 1/4 of the court.

papa
02-10-2012, 05:04 AM
in order to achieve tennis enlightenment, one must be able to hit both deep and wide. you gotta keep the ball deep because youre going to run into someone who knows what they are doing and they are going to crush that short ball. another thing, if you are always hitting short then the guy across the net is going to make you play defense the whole match.
equally important is hitting wide. you have to be able to shove him to one side, not necessarily off of the court just to one side, to give yourself enough room to go wide to the other side, getting him on the run enabling you to go on the attack.

any way thats what i think, i like reading other's views on this, makes ya think.

Yeah, here's another guy who I'm quite sure, like Lee, that can keep the ball deep without any problems. We're not advocating painting the baseline with these balls but consistently getting them deep, or wide, without much risk.

Where's Lampins --- sure he wouln't find this difficult either.

5263
02-10-2012, 05:42 AM
Yeah, here's another guy who I'm quite sure, like Lee, that can keep the ball deep without any problems. We're not advocating painting the baseline with these balls but consistently getting them deep, or wide, without much risk.

Where's Lampins --- sure he wouln't find this difficult either.

papa, you are weighing in on this, but for us to debate it makes no sense because we are using different definitions. I've been clear from the start that I'm not talking about your normal area like where most of the balls show in that pic someone provided, but am talking of what I call extreme depth I've cited from books along with where cones are often placed in Academy type drills, such as the depth FYB depict in this vid for his deep options. coaching players to aim for the back 3-4 feet near the baseline and applauding students who nail a winner that touches both lines in the deep corner as a "Perfect Shot".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqfCdnoJBS4

I don't think that is what you are defending.

jmnk
02-10-2012, 06:41 AM
Not that you are doing this, but your post did make me think of something I figured out the other nite.

Way too much of rec tennis ideas are based on matches where the one player is significantly better than the other, leading to a skewed view of things. A low 4.0 goes out and plays a high 4.0 who is sandbagging a bit. Hes hitting to deep corners, and heavy angles at will. Yes, misses some, but can always make adjustments to keep the match and score in hand since he's not under any real pressure. He wins 2,2 with the loser thinking, "wow, if I could hit deep and kill the shorter balls like him, I could be that good", but really, if the match had been more well contested, the better player would not have been able to do all that aggressive shot making. He would have had to make more shots, less errors, and play more within his abilities. Loose errors are just too costly against a well matched or slightly better opponent.

Two bad lessons can be learned in that match. The bad player will probably now aspire to hit those great shots he faced many times, with the idea, that is what it takes to move up.

If the good player plays too many matches like this, he himself may think that is his level, and struggle or worse in a tough match trying to play at that artificial level he showed against easy opponents.

In tennis when we play a weak opponent, we have so much leeway to make up for loose points. Many of our rec matches are mis-matched like this, even if the score does not show it, because We can double fault going big, then hit 2 svc winners and get right back to 30-30 etc... We know where to go to get things back under control. When the match is tough, everything is much different. By in large,We don't often try to execute to a high level and win 6-0 but are very satisfied to be 6-2 playing more aggressive.
IMO we should look way closer at what can be done in tight matches, and less what we can do when winning easy.
this is a WIN post. So true. Nothing more to add.

dominikk1985
02-10-2012, 06:58 AM
to me it looks like novak hits a lot deeper than nadal and federer. does he have another game than those?

5263
02-10-2012, 08:13 AM
to me it looks like novak hits a lot deeper than nadal and federer. does he have another game than those?

Very good question IMO.
My thoughts-
To me, for years Novak hit the deepest on avg of any player on tour and did it quite well overall. He often hit for the back couple of feet and only missed by inches when he missed. This is what prompted me to say that with his excellent depth control, that all he needed to do was bring his shots in 2-3 more feet and he might never miss, but would still have quite a sufficient depth advantage on the field on avg. I also felt with him being the most complete player stroke wise on tour, that this would push him to World #1, but even I never expected a year like 2011. To my observation last year he brought in his targets about that much, especially on the dtl Bh, but picks his moments to still work quite near the lines, especially on the Fh.

I think Fed tries to play quite deep at times, like against Nadal, but it does not go well when he does. Due to his talent, it goes well enough that he looks good overall and keeps things close, but he can't maintain that level and Rafa reaps the UEs to win. Fed brought in his targets nicely against Potro in Oz and nearly couldn't miss, dragging DelP all over the court, which really opened up targets for Fed. I feel that this moderate depth is much more how he played back in his prime around 04. I think first the mono, then advancing age have pushed him to hit deeper to end points, but this backfires against the best players today.

5263
02-10-2012, 08:43 AM
this is a WIN post. So true. Nothing more to add.

Thanks jmnk, I was hoping to express it well enough to make the point.

papa
02-10-2012, 09:38 AM
papa, you are weighing in on this, but for us to debate it makes no sense because we are using different definitions. I've been clear from the start that I'm not talking about your normal area like where most of the balls show in that pic someone provided, but am talking of what I call extreme depth I've cited from books along with where cones are often placed in Academy type drills, such as the depth FYB depict in this vid for his deep options. coaching players to aim for the back 3-4 feet near the baseline and applauding students who nail a winner that touches both lines in the deep corner as a "Perfect Shot".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqfCdnoJBS4

I don't think that is what you are defending.

The video is of Federer hitting inside-out shots - when he does it and why. Will is not showing/advocating hitting/painting lines. Actually he is showing the ball well inside the baseline - like a foot or more which would be right for him.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 09:45 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbyR4VSnmpU

lots of good examples of "smart targets", but skip to a pt at 4:55 for a real beauty.

That's what I'm talking about. Setting up your points before you pull the trigger. Excellent depth on Davy's groundies, too.

5263
02-10-2012, 10:23 AM
The video is of Federer hitting inside-out shots - when he does it and why. Will is not showing/advocating hitting/painting lines. Actually he is showing the ball well inside the baseline - like a foot or more which would be right for him.

So now aiming for with a foot or 2 of the BL is appropriate?

Even if it is "in your opinion" (and others for that matter), this is an example of the kind of depth effort that is very counter productive for players to progress and for Fed as well in the matches where he must control his UEs like with Nadal and DJ.
And that is not where many shots land in the shot spot diagram shown previously.

The point here is to get some definition here and not to confuse that deeper ball with hitting 2-3 feet beyond the svc line or even mid way between the svc and baseline, (which I refer to hitting "shorter"... not short and not the deep like you approve of above )

5263
02-10-2012, 10:26 AM
That's what I'm talking about. Setting up your points before you pull the trigger. Excellent depth on Davy's groundies, too.

Now here we agree to an extent, as Davy's groundies are of Excellent depth
by my standards of working shorter than what many believe is the right depth, but
they are clearly not within the back 2-3 feet many suggest, and more like mid way between the svc line and BL on avg. I agree that is an excellent, repeatable goal and target depth.

papa
02-10-2012, 12:31 PM
So now aiming for with a foot or 2 of the BL is appropriate?

Even if it is "in your opinion" (and others for that matter), this is an example of the kind of depth effort that is very counter productive for players to progress and for Fed as well in the matches where he must control his UEs like with Nadal and DJ.
And that is not where many shots land in the shot spot diagram shown previously.

The point here is to get some definition here and not to confuse that deeper ball with hitting 2-3 feet beyond the svc line or even mid way between the svc and baseline, (which I refer to hitting "shorter"... not short and not the deep like you approve of above )

For many players hitting within 2 - 3 of the baseline "might" be considered deep - however, for most good players that still gives them plenty of margin to keep the ball in. This would certainly apply to sideline shots as well - fairly easy ball.

Lets take my assumption that a player encounters three type of balls - green, yellow and red. The green ball is well within his control zone and he has no problem whatsoever what he can do with it including going for winners - he's going to use this type of ball to challenge the opponent including keeping it maybe very deep or wide -- basically, he's in control and can do what he likes.

The second ball, lets say is a yellow ball and although somewhat of a challenge, he can get to it and depending on opponents placement he can pretty much do what he wants with it - like move the opponent. He might not, probably won't, take as much of a chance on this ball as a green ball but he can still be rather aggresive with his shots.

The third ball is a red ball that he is really challenged by - he will most likely get to the ball and make a play but he has to be careful not to overhit or be too aggressive with. He probably is not going to strike these balls or go after too much and will be looking for a little/lot more than the 2 -3 foot range.

Pros make/give opponents a lot of yellow and red balls unlike most rec players who are constently giving the opponent green balls to hit. I happen to use the green, yellow & red with my players and think it helpful - others use different variations but basically a similiar process.

As I've mentioned many times in previous posts, pros can hit a very small target (small hula-hoop size) in their opponents court from just about anywhere with great/amazing accuracy given a green or yellow ball. Given a red ball their accuracy is far less.

Now, keep in mind that this green, yellow and red ball thing differs for different skill levels. What might be considered a red ball for many might be considered a green ball for a pro. Pros don't win by giving the opponent green balls to hit if they can help it because they know the opponent will hurt them when they do.

So, everything is relative.

onehandbh
02-10-2012, 12:52 PM
Now here we agree to an extent, as Davy's groundies are of Excellent depth... and more like mid way between the svc line and BL on avg. I agree that is an excellent, repeatable goal and target depth.

I agree that is a good depth. All things equal, the shots that land shorter
are usually more attackable when hitting down-the-line.

5263
02-10-2012, 12:58 PM
Now, keep in mind that this green, yellow and red ball thing differs for different skill levels. What might be considered a red ball for many might be considered a green ball for a pro. Pros don't win by giving the opponent green balls to hit if they can help it because they know the opponent will hurt them when they do.

So, everything is relative.

well, we are getting there.
Notice none of your colors related directly to depth, but much
more to overall challenge. Colors on that system are supposed
to be about where your feet are. I can agree with this, but see few
players or coaches properly dealing with good ideas what determines
these colors as taught in "Total Tennis".

5263
02-10-2012, 01:01 PM
I agree that is a good depth. All things equal, the shots that land shorter
are usually more attackable.

When you say it like that, it shows you are missing the subtle but important point.
It's not just "all things equal". I could give several examples, but it's obvious if you think a bit and I'm not going there now.
This is probably about 50% of why this strategy works so well is so few can grasp it.
If you don't see it, by all means keep stroking em very deep, and continue to wonder why
those certain guys win so often, while you think you have the better strokes.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 01:06 PM
Now here we agree to an extent, as Davy's groundies are of Excellent depth
by my standards of working shorter than what many believe is the right depth, but
they are clearly not within the back 2-3 feet many suggest, and more like mid way between the svc line and BL on avg. I agree that is an excellent, repeatable goal and target depth.

I've never talked about 2-3 feet as a target. For myself, 5 feet from the corner is my primary "smart target." In drills, with a good steady partner, I probably get about half within that distance.

Limpinhitter
02-10-2012, 01:07 PM
I agree that is a good depth. All things equal, the shots that land shorter
are usually more attackable.

Notice what Delpotro was able to do with Davy's deeper shots, nothing offensive!

5263
02-10-2012, 01:13 PM
I've never talked about 2-3 feet as a target. For myself, 5 feet from the corner is my primary "smart target." In drills, with a good steady partner, I probably get about half within that distance.

I understand limpin, and that sounds pretty reasonable for your style.
We just have so many different definitions among the group
that the discussion gets lost.
I was just trying to pin down some guidelines, but my effort there is done. lol

5263
02-10-2012, 01:15 PM
Notice what Delpotro was able to do with Davy's deeper shots, nothing offensive!

Charting of many matches does not support that conclusion, but
I've shown that many times, so...
cheers

onehandbh
02-10-2012, 02:26 PM
When you say it like that, it shows you are missing the subtle but important point.
It's not just "all things equal". I could give several examples, but it's obvious if you think a bit and I'm not going there now.
This is probably about 50% of why this strategy works so well is so few can grasp it.
If you don't see it, by all means keep stroking em very deep, and continue to wonder why
those certain guys win so often, while you think you have the better strokes.

I forgot to add "for down-the-line" shots. For crosscourt, hitting shorter
gives you more angle, provided you have enough spin to hit it shorter and
don't have to take off a lot of pace to hit short.