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Achillesg
09-21-2005, 12:28 PM
I've had somewhat conflicting advice from two college-level player/rookie teaching pros on high forehand putaways from the service line area. The first guy advocated setting up the feet and swinging down on the ball hitting it flat, and this is indeed a hittable shot from just in front of the service line. The second guy advocated swinging down on the ball, but with some underspin and continuing to move through the ball while closing in on the net.

I asked the second guy about the conflict and he said the flatter shot was more of a singles shot and the cut shot was more of a doubles play.

Do you guys have any comment on this? On high putaways around the service line, do I swing down and hit flat, or do I cut the ball. Also, are there mid-court putaways (maybe the chest-high ones for instance) that beg to be brushed up the back with topspin.

JackRabbit
09-21-2005, 12:39 PM
If you think that you can hit it for a winner, go for the flat shot. If your opponent is closing in, hit an approach shot (prob what he meant by hitting w/ underspin).

Rickson
09-21-2005, 12:43 PM
I've had somewhat conflicting advice from two college-level player/rookie teaching pros on high forehand putaways from the service line area. The first guy advocated setting up the feet and swinging down on the ball hitting it flat, and this is indeed a hittable shot from just in front of the service line. The second guy advocated swinging down on the ball, but with some underspin and continuing to move through the ball while closing in on the net.

I asked the second guy about the conflict and he said the flatter shot was more of a singles shot and the cut shot was more of a doubles play.

Do you guys have any comment on this? On high putaways around the service line, do I swing down and hit flat, or do I cut the ball. Also, are there mid-court putaways (maybe the chest-high ones for instance) that beg to be brushed up the back with topspin.
Both shots are very effective on the forehand side, but if you're not familiar with the backspin drive, then go for the flat slam. I can hit both shots very well. I hit a flat slam if I'm already at the short ball, but I hit the backspin drive if I'm on the run.

Achillesg
09-21-2005, 01:20 PM
I hit a flat slam if I'm already at the short ball, but I hit the backspin drive if I'm on the run.

That paraphases one of the second guy's comments to me. Thanks for the feedback.

Rickson
09-21-2005, 01:31 PM
That paraphases one of the second guy's comments to me. Thanks for the feedback.You're welcome. I thought I was one of the very few guys who uses the fast backspin drive on short balls. I don't use the shot as an approach shot because most of the time, the ball doesn't come back.

matchpoints
09-22-2005, 05:20 AM
I'd personally go with what I'm more confident with. If you're good with both then by all means beat the crap out of it flat into a corner.

troytennisbum
09-22-2005, 10:20 AM
A high ball at the service line can be put away with a slam, but I don't hit it completely flat, I still put some top on it (swing UP).

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 11:57 AM
The first guy is right, hit it down hard with flat you have better control of the ball as compared to underspin which has a tendency to sail long especially if you hit it very hard. Besides forehand underspin is harder to hit than flat.

Also, are there mid-court putaways (maybe the chest-high ones for instance) that beg to be brushed up the back with topspin.
A high ball at the service line can be put away with a slam, but I don't hit it completely flat, I still put some top on it (swing UP).
My answer on the two quotes above is hitting flat, you cannot topspin a ball that is chest high, you can hit it flat or underspin. Remember, topspin swing is from low to high, you cannot swing from high to high and produce a topspin, that would produce a flat ball. A swing form high to low will produce an underspin. Also note that none of the 2 guys you mentioned suggested topspin because you cannot topspin a high ball, how do you do that?

This is also how you read your opponents returns, look at the height of his swing so you will see whether he is topspinning it or he is going to drop a shot. Of course some players sometimes fakes by swinging low and pretending to hit a topspin but at the last second move their hand up and drop a bomb, but one thing is certain when that hand goes from high to low it would be an underspin.

Rickson
09-22-2005, 12:19 PM
My answer on the two quotes above is hitting flat, you cannot topspin a ball that is chest high, you can hit it flat or underspin. Remember, topspin swing is from low to high, you cannot swing from high to high and produce a topspin, that would produce a flat ball. A swing form high to low will produce an underspin. Also note that none of the 2 guys you mentioned suggested topspin because you cannot topspin a high ball, how do you do that?

You can't topspin a ball that's chest high? That's news to me.

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 12:57 PM
You can't topspin a ball that's chest high? That's news to me.

Talk is cheap, tell me how your swing is.

Rickson
09-22-2005, 01:00 PM
Talk is cheap, tell me how your swing is.
The forehand is awesome. Especially high forehands.

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 01:18 PM
The forehand is awesome. Especially high forehands.

I am not going to bash you, I think you're funny Rickson. I already know that you're impressed with yourself, that's not what I am asking. I am asking how are you going to swing a topspin when the ball is already high? where is your follow through gonna end up to topspin the ball, in the sky?

mucat
09-22-2005, 01:28 PM
Actually, chest high ball you can hit topspin, I hit eastern FH and I can hit topspin with chest high ball, not a comfortable shot though. And I guess it will be just easier for someone with a more western grip.

As for hitting winners, I think flat would be the best choice. Personally, I do not like slice for hitting winners, in theory, underspin would make the ball float therefore it will not be as fast as a flat shot. But I know in practice, if do it right, a slice hit downward could be a nasty shot to handle even if you get to it.

drummerboy
09-22-2005, 01:37 PM
Guys do you need to go down in the knees on the high balls also or just for the regular low ball?

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 01:38 PM
Actually, chest high ball you can hit topspin, I hit eastern FH and I can hit topspin with chest high ball, not a comfortable shot though. And I guess it will be just easier for someone with a more western grip.

Mucat, I am not asking for the possibility, I am talking about a consistent return. You said it yourself, it's not a comfortable shot, you have to kind of force the issue and we are talking about "putting the ball away".

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 01:42 PM
Guys do you need to go down in the knees on the high balls also or just for the regular low ball?

The only reason why you go down on your knees is because of a low ball, you don't reach for something high by bending your knees.

drummerboy
09-22-2005, 01:45 PM
The only reason why you go down on your knees is because of a low ball, you don't reach for something high by bending your knees.

Ok cool, but how do you handle high ball on the backhand?

FiveO
09-22-2005, 01:54 PM
.... you cannot topspin a ball that is chest high...

This is incorrect.

"Low to high" simply means lower than contact to higher than contact. In fact a chest height contact point is well within the prefered strike zones of western grip and semi-western grip fh's. Additionally, topspin can be applied to almost any fh even at the highest contact points. Topspin groundies can even be hit without a low to high swing, using a closed racquet face.

If one can't hit chest high fh's with topspin someone will have to explain it to Federer, Nadal, Safin, Roddick, and every player on the pro tour and tell them to stop.

Any amateur/recreational player can do it too.

matchpoint
09-22-2005, 01:56 PM
Ok cool, but how do you handle high ball on the backhand?

This is one of the hardest stroke in tennis, the high bouncing ball on the backhand. The most comfortable return you can do for this is to underspin (or flat) with your backhand cross court. The other possibilities but are risky are backhand drop shot down the line or cross court lob.

I always give my opponent a high bouncing ball on the backhand to test how good is backhand is.

FiveO
09-22-2005, 02:06 PM
Ok cool, but how do you handle high ball on the backhand?

A slice is only one option and you should not feel limited to it. Check out this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=50063&highlight=high+backhand

Good luck.

mucat
09-22-2005, 02:16 PM
Mucat, I am not asking for the possibility, I am talking about a consistent return. You said it yourself, it's not a comfortable shot, you have to kind of force the issue and we are talking about "putting the ball away".

It is more than a possibility, I hit it all the time. It is uncomfortable but it doesn't mean it is not consistent. Also, I use eastern FH, I am sure people with more western grip will be more comfortable with this shot.

For high BH shot, I haven't tried flat slam yet ;) . But at contact my racket almost point upward, almost 90deg between arm and racket that is, and it lessen the difficulty of hitting high ball a ton. I can really step up and swing at the ball this way, very suprisingly good results.

FiveO
09-22-2005, 02:33 PM
Here's a thread on handling high bounces:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=45604&highlight=high+forehand

Good luck.

adamc637
09-22-2005, 03:50 PM
I actually learned to handle high forehands from advice given to me by people on these boards (thank you guys). I just use my legs to propel myself up, and get it deep with a lot of topspin. When it's high, it's awesomely easy to get low to high motion.

But I haven't mastered it yet. I still frame it a lot.

Achillesg
09-23-2005, 06:16 AM
I started this thread for help on mid-court putaways. My problem shot was the high sitter (but not overhead height) around mid-court. Thanks for all the great advice above!

Last night I went out for some experimentation on this shot. What I found was that my personal best option (I'm mid level 3.5) was an underspin drive hit deep. It was easy to keep out of the net and easy to hit deep with pace, but the main selling point is that when it landed, it stayed VERY low. There is no way that someone could return it with any power at all.

In contrast, when I hit the same shots with topspin they may have traveled faster over the net, but once they landed they popped up to waist level or higher. High enough that a good opponent could get a racquet on the ball and have a lot of options in sending it back.

So for me, both shots are hittable, but the hard drive with a little backspin is the ticket.

If the ball is too low, this shot is not possible and I'll need to switch back to topspin. Now I need to figure out where that transition area is. Obviously if I'm going to try any mid-court putaway that is net level or lower, it will need a lot of top to get it up and then down in a hurry.

Again, thanks for all the advice.