Give me one piece of advice to help me win tonight.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Surecatch, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Height of the bounce and depth of the shot are a pretty big deal at this level.

    The absolute worst for someone with a weak back hand (read most 3.0-3.5 players) is a looping topspin with some depth. They cannot really just block it back and that causes problems that can't be solved in a match, on the fly. The result is very often an UE, or a very weak return that lands limply in the middle of the court, begging for a volley, drop shot or a wide angle put away.

    If someone is able to block back shots with pace on them, do something different. That is not any kind of great insight or deeper level thinking, I realize.
     
    #51
  2. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    I actually have less trouble with looping topspinning shots to my backhand than I do with shots to my backhand with pace. On the former, I usually slice bh it back as deep as I can. With harder, lower shots that force a rushed setup, I am frequently a split second too slow, and I hit it wide.

    Good advice though...thanks.
     
    #52
  3. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Interesting. Are you tall by chance? Otherwise that is an advanced shot. because assuming it is a good deep shot with some top spin, you really have to time that correctly to get it right.
     
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  4. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    My theory is that OP was trying just a bit too hard to hit winners.

    I think most 3.5s and below have weaker backhands vs forehands, in that (1) they can't really hit winners from the backhand, and (2) they can't hit more than 5 or 6 solid BHs in a row during a rally without making an error. That is not to say that they can't block a few back.

    In this case, sounds like OP's opponent would hit a few weak BHs, and then OP would go for too big of a forehand winner and make an error.

    I think a better strategy for OP would have been to hit those forehands at 80% rather than 100%, and cut down on the errors. The opponent would not be able to attack the 80% shots to his BH, and would then more likely than not make an error before OP does.

    Of course OP is also a 3.5 so easier said than done. Finding the right balance of being aggressive while still making high-percentage shot selection is hard at any level.
     
    #54
  5. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    I am not tall (5-10), and don't get me wrong, I have trouble with it as much as not. But there is something about the timing required of that shot that I seem to have learned better than the timing involved in a harder, faster, lower shot.

    But just to clarify...any backhand shot is a liability for me right now. I just need to practice it more. I practiced my forehand and it got better, than my serve, and it too improved greatly. I know I can do the same for the backhand, but I'm finding that it's harder to practice without a regular hitting partner. I do a lot of wall-hitting practice, but you know how that is.......it's harder on the weaker side, so you get less meaningful practice overall.
     
    #55
  6. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Allow me to clarify. I was specifically referring to limiting errors early on in the point. Too many points are ended on an error before they are even really begun. In a close match, playing out more points could be the difference-maker.

    If you want to hit more winners, taking more chances isn't the answer, you have to learn to construct a point. Let the point develop, open up the court, don't force something that isn't there.
     
    #56
  7. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    You're right. I'm still in the early stages of being able to execute point construction. Sometimes when things are going well I feel like I just have to "go for it." haha. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
     
    #57
  8. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    okay i stole from cindy but i think i can make it even more dead simple.

    hit THREE balls in play. not even three quality shots. just three shots have to be in play any way you can reliably do so. so slice, moonball, lots of clearance topspin - anyway you want to hit it but those first three balls of every point absolutely without fail has to be IN. doesn't matter dead center of the court, or short or deep or low or high or ugly as sin -- just IN.

    IF your opponent magically makes you hit a 4th shot you can then go for anything you want -- ridiculous attempt at a winner, drop shot, sky lob, passing shot or anything whatsoever.
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Only the OP knows for sure if he was going 100%, but one thing is for sure, in that match, his opponent's BH was more consistant than the OP's FH and was therefore a better shot.

    Another reason why the: "hit it to the 'weak' side" strategy is less effective than, say a variant like: "hit approach shots, overheads and first serves on game point to the 'weak' side", is that anyone who hits a bunch of anything, grooves that shot and becomes accustomed to hitting it better over time.
     
    #59
  10. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    I really did think about the "hit to the backhand" and 75% rule at the beginning, but I tend to abandon pre-match strategies and go with the flow. Although my earlier example mentioned pummeling forehands to his backhand, I did not really do that the whole match. The one thing I always try to do for the entire match though is hit deep and in play.
     
    #60
  11. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    True, no argument there...

    ... and that's probably the reason why :)
     
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I completely believe you. But your example was instructive, nonetheless, because it underscores the point that "better" is commonly measured in pace and winners. At most levels it is actually measured in consistancy.
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Yet another example why at the end of the day, tennis is a Mental game played with racquets, not a Racquet game that we think about.
     
    #63
  14. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    You have to realize that it's a bad idea to hit hard (lower percentage) shots to an opponent if they have a consistent backhand and you're not moving them.

    1. They don't have to move.
    2. They are more consistent than you and you're going to make an error first.

    The only time it's really worth going for a shot with a lot of pace is if you want to exploit how much time your opponent will have to react. So, if you're trying to hit it past them into a small area of open court, it would make sense. However, if they're in position for your shot anyway, you're better off exploiting depth, height, or angle unless you have an absolutely devastating amount of pace (which you most likely don't at 3.5).

    So instead of pummeling his backhand next time, try a loopy ball up high to his backhand. It's a safe shot, so worse case scenario is that he hit back a moderate pace shot and the rally is still neutral. Best case scenario, he misses or gives you a short ball to put away. Or you could try hitting a medium pace shot to hit backhand, then hit him a slice, hit him a high ball, etc, until it screws him up and he misses.

    Think of Federer vs Djokovic's backhand. It's super solid and he's not going to hit through him, so he mixes it up or tries to run around the backhand and take it up the line once he gets Djokovic out of position.
     
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  15. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    Ok, I know I'm a bit late to the party. But I'll throw my 2-cents in, esp given the OP's debrief on how it went down.

    Learned this one from a slightly older, much wiser 4.0-singles mentor: when you're tired or in doubt, hit cross-court, regardless of if it's a FH, BH or change-of-direction.

    The reasons are many including the obvious ones of going over the lowest part of the net, giving yourself the longest "in" shot and keeping the stress less on all parts of your body/swing. But what it's meant the most to me is...that it erases any indecision. The older I get and the more I play, the more errors I seem to be making when I "change my mind" and can't get the footwork or racquetwork to catch up with my brain.

    Anyhow, lotta good tips in this thread...and I'll be sure to visit it when I need a little boost. Good topic, OP.
     
    #65
  16. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    What she said...
     
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