General strategies to high balls

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by garfonkee, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. garfonkee

    garfonkee New User

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    I was playing today, and found that I'm pretty crap against high balls.. then I searched the forums.

    Seems that there's a few strategies.. take them on early (on the rise), hit them high as it is (with a forehand/backhand form that's quite different), and move back..

    What's the best strategy and why??
     
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  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    It depends on where you're standing at the time. If the high ball comes at you well inside the baseline on the fh side, you could take a western grip and crush that baby with a slight downward trajectory. If you get a high ball and you're behind the baseline, you certainly don't want to aim with a downward trajectory, but a crushing forehand is still in order with a relatively straight through shot.
     
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  3. k_liu

    k_liu Rookie

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    I personally like to take the ball on the rise and stay on the offense: short ball step in and crush it, deep ball play it safe and just hit the ball back deep. Don't let the ball get too high (shoulder height or higher) as you lose control and power.
     
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  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Assuming they put it on you deep, for most players it is best to return a high soft ball in return, but he beauty is that you should be able to really pick an area of weakness where to put this moonball.

    If the opp has a one hander bkhand, then taking them high to the bkhand can be a great play to get a weak reply that is your ticket to get right back on the attack with.

    If they are master moonballers off both sides, then you still must be real patient, but even the masters of this will soon give you something where you can take it to them. Just don't rush that process, cause that is their weapon to get you rushing the action.
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Can't answer without knowing your groundie grip. Eastern grip folks have different best options than Western grip people.
     
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  6. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    What? Eastern grip has more options than the western grip on high balls? You can not be serious!
     
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  7. split-step

    split-step Professional

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    The way I read LuckyR's post was that each grip has it's own best set of options.
     
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  8. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

    He actually said DIFFERENT options, not more.
     
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  9. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    He said different best which means "better" in my book and I'd have to strongly disagree. The eastern is good for low balls.
     
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  10. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I suck royally with the Eastern grip. I'm OK with extreme eastern but with a full eastern everything hits the fence.

    I have no idea how Sampras hit like that. :confused:
     
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  11. mordecai

    mordecai Rookie

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    Unless you're forced to hit the shot defensively on the run, you definitely want to take a high ball on the rise. Locking your eyes on the ball through its bounce and a bit after contact are essential to timing on the rise shots, so you need to practice that.

    If the ball comes to your forehand, then take it on the rise and attack your opponent's forehand wing. If the ball comes to the backhand, you can step in and attack either wing with a topspin drive or slice it deep crosscourt. You can even approach on that shot because slicing a ball from the rise can generate some nasty action that will give you an easy put away.
     
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  12. mordecai

    mordecai Rookie

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    Also I forgot to mention that if you have time, a high looping shot to your backhand is a great one to run around to your forehand and really nail crosscourt.
     
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  13. hotseat

    hotseat Rookie

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    on the rise, baby :)
     
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  14. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Show me where I said "more options".
     
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  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    What I meant was: every grip has options that work best for that particular grip, let's call them "best" options. The ones for the Eastern grip are "different" than the ones for the Western grip, hence "different best" options.
     
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  16. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    If I get a high ball, I like to hit a high ball with a ton of top spin back at them.

    It usually pushes the other guy back and if the other guy isn't ready, it may end up bouncing over thier heads.

    Last night, my buddy hits a high looping defensive shot to me. I go from Semi-western to full western and rip it back high and with top spin. It bounces and he totally whiffed on the ball. He beat me in the three sets we played though.
     
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  17. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    Does that mean you don't feel that the eastern is a superior grip for high balls over a western?
     
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  18. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    If you are Agassi, you take the ball on the rise and try to dictate the point. You could easily miss though.

    If you are Gasquet or Nadal, you step back, and hit but a loopy high shot. This strategy is a little defensive, and on many public courts, you will run out of room

    If you are old school, like Sampras, you can chip/block back that high loopy shot deep.
     
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  19. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Hey, hey, you can use western grip, not that there's anything wrong with that... :)
     
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  20. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    There is no superior method to returning high balls, it all depends on the situation and the type of player. Taking the ball early is a more offensive and aggresive play. Returning the ball back as a "looper", lob, moonball is a neutralizing or defensive shot.

    Another option would include slicing the high ball back. However this option should only be used when you know your opponent isn't going to come to the net.
     
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  21. predrag

    predrag Professional

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    Come on Rickson, read it again.

    He said:

    Can't answer without knowing your groundie grip. Eastern grip folks have different best options than Western grip people.

    That means that what is good for Eastern grip player is not as good for Western grip player.


    Regards, Predrag
     
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  22. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    As usual: it depends. If someone hits you a high looping shot and you are going to stand there and take it high, I have had much better consistancy with a Western grip. Although I can stand there and hit down on the ball with an Eastern grip and the shot can be devastating, but it can also go long.

    On the other hand, if I take off and hit it on the rise, I like my chances with my Eastern grip for a half volley or chip, whereas if I can get a swinging volley out of it, a Western grip again leads to better consistancy.

    Of course if I retreat and take the shot way behind the baseline (not my usual tactic), I do not have a clear preference.
     
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  23. spiritdragon

    spiritdragon Rookie

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    Depending on where the ball lands i eaither set up higher and rip the forehand, lob it back deep with a lot of spin, or slice it back.
     
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  24. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Your book is wrong.
    Different does not mean better by any chance.

    Ditch that old book and buy a new one.
     
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  25. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    How to handle high balls?

    As best as possible since a high ball coming at you with pace is effectively a neutralising shot by the OP. You rarely can get offenisive with a deep high ball yeah. Timing and patience is the key as you wait for a short high ball well inside the baseline. During this time your poaching your opportunities, probing and trying for angles. Primary tactic it is to get the best court advantage over your OP and when you see this you attack!!! Sick em Rex Ruuff :) lol
     
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  26. garfonkee

    garfonkee New User

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    Sorry for the late reply.. I actually have been using a western-ish grip and a relatively open stance. For the backhand, I also use a westernish grip.. one-handed.

    So if I'm reading this right, western = consistency and topspin, and eastern = devastating, flat? I used to hit with eastern so I could alternate between the two grips I guess..
     
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  27. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    "Different best" doesn't even make sense.
     
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  28. doogoshly

    doogoshly New User

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    i don't think he properly punctuated his post to read: different "best" shots. i also don't think he was saying eastern is superior to western esp on high shots, just that what a "best" strategy for eastern isn't "best" for western.
     
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