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BCTennis
01-05-2013, 10:18 AM
I'm playing a match (NTRP 4.5) against a 6'5 monster.
He has a monster of a serve, and I am wondering what I will have to do to crack him down. I'll list some of his weaknesses and strengths:
Weakness-foot speed, backhand, stamina.
Strength-serve, forehand, power, volleys.

If you have previously defeated a player such as this, please teach me how to crack these players down!

5263
01-05-2013, 10:28 AM
Not as tough as it seems to play them well and get some wins here and there.

Back up where you rtn from and half volley the rtns to his Bh side or at him.
Half volley is just that...a volley with a little swing added, but almost no bkswing.

If he is good, he will try to serve the angles more since you are way back, which is good,
as it should make for more 1st serve misses and you should know what to expect. Realize
you have more time than you think in most cases unless you are slow or he is
hitting 130mph.

Get as many rtns in play as possible to make him wk harder to hold and try to wear
him down with lots of long rallys as well. Hit a bunch short and wide to the Bh to
open up the occasional Fh to a deeper corner (not too deep though).
Make him earn all his points by keeping your UEs to a MIN.

luvforty
01-05-2013, 10:42 AM
does he serve and volley?

there maybe very little you can do on his serves.. but these people tend to have a weak return game.... the first set may end up in a tie break.

don't be intimidated by the serve (although in the beginning you will be)... after a while you will get used to the pace.... if you drop the 1st set, you hopefully will read the serve better for the 2nd and 3rd sets.

you can also prepare by having your buddy serve to you from the service line, to mimic the pace and the angle the ball comes at you.

tennis_balla
01-05-2013, 11:16 AM
The first thing you should concentrate on above anything else when playing someone who serves well/has a big serve is to hold your own serve.

Interesting thing you mentioned was his strength on his serve, but not his serve consistency.....

Avles
01-05-2013, 11:30 AM
Not as tough as it seems to play them well and get some wins here and there.

Back up where you rtn from and half volley the rtns to his Bh side or at him.
Half volley is just that...a volley with a little swing added, but almost no bkswing.



Your terminology was a little confusing here, since "half volley" usually means a "short hop" shot. I figured out what you were talking about from your explanation, but you might want to use different wording...

shojun25
01-05-2013, 12:30 PM
During your return game, try to hit deep returns as anything short will most likely be killed. By deep returns, I do not mean to blast the ball to the baseline. Deep is anything that will keep his out from the net.

Most often, big servers usually serve in the same place. Try to anticipate where he will hit in order for you to get the return in.

Vary the pace during rallies. Most power players like balls with a bit of pace. If you work the game at your pace and not his, he will be working harder to predict the ball.

sureshs
01-05-2013, 02:39 PM
Seek out good servers and offer to return their balls. Yesterday, I returned serves for a female college player. Not very hard serves, but still had an "edge" to them, and nicely placed.

5263
01-05-2013, 03:07 PM
Your terminology was a little confusing here, since "half volley" usually means a "short hop" shot. I figured out what you were talking about from your explanation, but you might want to use different wording...

I'll consider your advice, but think it misses the mark to an extent and my pt is
to draw attention to a subtle important pt.

The half volley is a stroke and is often associated with taking a ball at various
points on the rise....mostly right off the deck, but sometimes at higher levels.
You can short hop the ball right off the deck with a full stroke if you like, but
that does not make it a half volley, although many would mistake that.
My pt in the advice is to use the half volley "stroke" to return very hard hit serves
on the rise. The half volley "stroke" is much like a volley, but with more swing and
very little true backswing.

You did get me looking more at the term and I'm start a thread to see what thoughts
are on this, thanks.

max
01-05-2013, 03:24 PM
In this situation, I try (a) to hold my serve, and (b) wait for a couple of games for the guy's arm/body to get a bit tired: very often there's a big drop off in speed at this point.

And scramble!

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 05:09 PM
Not as tough as it seems to play them well and get some wins here and there.

Back up where you rtn from and half volley the rtns to his Bh side or at him.
Half volley is just that...a volley with a little swing added, but almost no bkswing.

If he is good, he will try to serve the angles more since you are way back, which is good,
as it should make for more 1st serve misses and you should know what to expect. Realize
you have more time than you think in most cases unless you are slow or he is
hitting 130mph.

Get as many rtns in play as possible to make him wk harder to hold and try to wear
him down with lots of long rallys as well. Hit a bunch short and wide to the Bh to
open up the occasional Fh to a deeper corner (not too deep though).
Make him earn all his points by keeping your UEs to a MIN.

Ok wearing him out and reducing unforced error sounds like a safe plan. I think he serves at 110-120 mph. That's pretty darn fast for a junior. He has a big kicking second serve. Would you recommend hitting it back with power or just keep the ball in play?

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2013, 05:11 PM
scramble lol
its really tough playing good players with a good serve. I played a guy where his first serve is %70 non-returnable or ace. His second is %40 unreturnable and if I get it back its a short ball and big guy, he'd hit a winner.

Stamina is not a real issue considering 4.5 tennis IMO. You're not really gonna tire a guy out in 4.5.

But I'd say scramble and get as much in as possible hoping for his unforced errors. Thats pretty much it haha. Makes me wish I had a big serve.

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 05:11 PM
does he serve and volley?

there maybe very little you can do on his serves.. but these people tend to have a weak return game.... the first set may end up in a tie break.

don't be intimidated by the serve (although in the beginning you will be)... after a while you will get used to the pace.... if you drop the 1st set, you hopefully will read the serve better for the 2nd and 3rd sets.

you can also prepare by having your buddy serve to you from the service line, to mimic the pace and the angle the ball comes at you.

Ya this guy s&v very well, but he prefers winning points with his monster forehand. Only weakness I know is his backhand, but its hard to take control from him.

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2013, 05:11 PM
Ok wearing him out and reducing unforced error sounds like a safe plan. I think he serves at 110-120 mph. That's pretty darn fast for a junior. He has a big kicking second serve. Would you recommend hitting it back with power or just keep the ball in play?

not power, keep deep, keep him back

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 05:14 PM
scramble lol
its really tough playing good players with a good serve. I played a guy where his first serve is %70 non-returnable or ace. His second is %40 unreturnable and if I get it back its a short ball and big guy, he'd hit a winner.

Stamina is not a real issue considering 4.5 tennis IMO. You're not really gonna tire a guy out in 4.5.

But I'd say scramble and get as much in as possible hoping for his unforced errors. Thats pretty much it haha. Makes me wish I had a big serve.

Oh as for the stamina, I wore a guy out after a 3.5 hour grind. It was best out of 3 sets, and I won 6-7,7-6,6-2. The tiebreaks went to over 14 points both times(14-12 for him the first set, 15-13 for me the second set) Not trying to contradict your point or anything, I'm just saying stamina is one of my strengths and I want to utilize it against him.

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 05:15 PM
not power, keep deep, keep him back

Ok, like topspin deep to backhand?
Do you think slicing deep would be good as well? I have a strong slice bh

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2013, 05:21 PM
Ok, like topspin deep to backhand?
Do you think slicing deep would be good as well? I have a strong slice bh

If you have the shot go for it, but I'd say play ther %ages. Go cross court, It will greatly reduce mental pressure on yourself just to get the serve back. Go for a big target. Slice is good too, unfortunately for me, I don't slice serves that much some reason. I usually pop/block them. Oh and short backswing is key. Tell yourself: "pop the ball"

5263
01-05-2013, 05:26 PM
He has a big kicking second serve. Would you recommend hitting it back with power or just keep the ball in play?

The key is getting a high % on your returns and forcing him to execute.
I'm pretty good a attacking kickers, so I can be aggressive AND consistent.
This you must figure out. His job is to make you feel you MUST do more and
make you try to play over your head; forcing you into many UEs.

It will be tough, because it is an advantage to his coming in that you are back.
If you can make the rtns without backing up, that is better against the S&V, but
better to back up and make him play than to stay close and miss rtns.


110-120 is pretty big, but the key is less than 120, if you are quick and play further back you can get them. In the 130+ range, well then you can't cover
enough ground to get more than a step or so even when you are quick.

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2013, 05:26 PM
Oh as for the stamina, I wore a guy out after a 3.5 hour grind. It was best out of 3 sets, and I won 6-7,7-6,6-2. The tiebreaks went to over 14 points both times(14-12 for him the first set, 15-13 for me the second set) Not trying to contradict your point or anything, I'm just saying stamina is one of my strengths and I want to utilize it against him.

I was at a tournament and I won a two back to back rounds
1st: 6-4, 5-7, 6-4; Super long rallies but I wouldn't call it pushing, we were hitting the cr@# out of the ball. We're just both fast haha
2nd: 5-7, 7-6 (8), 7-5. Same thing

it seemed like we never got tired lol

5263
01-05-2013, 05:36 PM
Ok, like topspin deep to backhand?
Do you think slicing deep would be good as well? I have a strong slice bh

Deep is fine and even good as long as you don't add UEs trying to do it.

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 07:35 PM
The key is getting a high % on your returns and forcing him to execute.
I'm pretty good a attacking kickers, so I can be aggressive AND consistent.
This you must figure out. His job is to make you feel you MUST do more and
make you try to play over your head; forcing you into many UEs.

It will be tough, because it is an advantage to his coming in that you are back.
If you can make the rtns without backing up, that is better against the S&V, but
better to back up and make him play than to stay close and miss rtns.


110-120 is pretty big, but the key is less than 120, if you are quick and play further back you can get them. In the 130+ range, well then you can't cover
enough ground to get more than a step or so even when you are quick.

Do you think lob returns will work? I know it's not recommended but I really think there's no way for me to block off his incoming charges. If I lob he will have a hard time attacking the net. Even if he stays at the baseline he can't generate that much pace, and Im confident that my footspeed can catch most shots. Does this sound like a viable game plan?

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 07:37 PM
In this situation, I try (a) to hold my serve, and (b) wait for a couple of games for the guy's arm/body to get a bit tired: very often there's a big drop off in speed at this point.

And scramble!

Ya I agree. I played a big server before and broke him only once in the whole match, but it was good enough for me to win. But this guy that Im playing has an even stronger serve. I, being a so-so returner, am scared to stand up to that serve lol. But ill definitely try to recognize weaker serves and take advantage of them.

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 07:39 PM
The first thing you should concentrate on above anything else when playing someone who serves well/has a big serve is to hold your own serve.

Interesting thing you mentioned was his strength on his serve, but not his serve consistency.....

Oh to clarify things-
Serve speed is around 110-120 mph.
Flat, slice, or kicker all "fully" developed.
Double fault is very rare.
Good placement(he is 6'5) gets lots of angles
However I do not know if his stamina allows him to serve hard for how long.

BCTennis
01-05-2013, 07:40 PM
During your return game, try to hit deep returns as anything short will most likely be killed. By deep returns, I do not mean to blast the ball to the baseline. Deep is anything that will keep his out from the net.

Most often, big servers usually serve in the same place. Try to anticipate where he will hit in order for you to get the return in.

Vary the pace during rallies. Most power players like balls with a bit of pace. If you work the game at your pace and not his, he will be working harder to predict the ball.

Alright thanks Ill definitely try that out.

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2013, 08:26 PM
Do you think lob returns will work? I know it's not recommended but I really think there's no way for me to block off his incoming charges. If I lob he will have a hard time attacking the net. Even if he stays at the baseline he can't generate that much pace, and Im confident that my footspeed can catch most shots. Does this sound like a viable game plan?

Lob returns will be good depending on his smash. If he's good at putting the ball away, don't do it. But a lot of older players do that to younger players. Works like a charm

Bobby Jr
01-05-2013, 09:01 PM
If standing further back isn't paying dividends then maybe you need to try a page out of Michael Llodra's book...

Watch the Llodra vs Isner match from Paris and you'll see how to take the wind out of a huge server's sails - especially if they're not a great mover. Llodra has lightning quick hands but you'd be surprised what you can achieve by getting a racquet to the ball.

Watch the Llodra/Isner match from here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY-TB8bffNA&feature=player_detailpage#t=504s).

5263
01-06-2013, 08:00 AM
Do you think lob returns will work? I know it's not recommended but I really think there's no way for me to block off his incoming charges. If I lob he will have a hard time attacking the net. Even if he stays at the baseline he can't generate that much pace, and Im confident that my footspeed can catch most shots. Does this sound like a viable game plan?

Absolutely use the lob if it is something you can do well. I tend to recommend
crosscourt lobs since they allow you the deepest shots....important for getting
over this tall guy.
You may not even have to get it over him, as deep high overheads out of the
air give many players trouble and if he lets it bounce, he loses much of his
net charge.

I beat one tall guy with excellent strokes and net play...mainly due to his
weak overheads. He didn't miss them much, but he couldn't hurt me with
them and often I could hurt him with the rtn shot as well.

5263
01-06-2013, 08:01 AM
If standing further back isn't paying dividends then maybe you need to try a page out of Michael Llodra's book...


Excellent point if you can make the play.

gregor.b
01-06-2013, 09:52 PM
Do you think lob returns will work? I know it's not recommended but I really think there's no way for me to block off his incoming charges. If I lob he will have a hard time attacking the net. Even if he stays at the baseline he can't generate that much pace, and Im confident that my footspeed can catch most shots. Does this sound like a viable game plan?

If the guy is 6'5 I don't think that lobbing is your best option.

If the 1st serve is a bomb, shorten the return and chip it low on the back hand or simply block it back on the fore hand. You don't need to generate any power because it is being supplied for you. Watch the ball really closely. You will be surprised how easy it is if the ball is not on the line. It may to move a few feet or so as well.

Be consistent, he will almost certainly start trying to over serve.

When he does and you get a few second serves, make sure you have a good swing at them. If you don't quite have enough time, make sure you move back far enough so that you do have time.