Going deep vs Going wide

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by luishcorreia, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  2. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    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.
     
  3. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    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.
     
  4. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  5. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    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.
     
  7. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  8. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    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?
     
  9. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    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.
     
  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  11. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  12. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.

     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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. : )
     
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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

    wk4position@gmail.com for more details and questions
     
  18. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    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.
     
  19. TennisLovaLova

    TennisLovaLova Hall of Fame

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    I guess everyone should be thankful to the guy who invented poly
     
  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    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.
     
  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    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.
     
  24. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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).
     
  25. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.

    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.
     
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  28. TaihtDuhShaat

    TaihtDuhShaat Semi-Pro

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    Unless my approach shots hit the baseline, my brother will be there for the pass.
     
  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.

     
  31. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  32. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2012
  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  34. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.

    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 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.
     
  35. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  36. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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?
     
  37. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    yep, exactly.
     
  38. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  39. Ryoma

    Ryoma Rookie

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    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.
     
  40. Chyeaah

    Chyeaah Professional

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    I like going wide. It's all about the angles for me.
     
  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  42. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly right, it sure is nice to see that someone else notices this.
     
  43. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    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.
     
  44. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    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.
     
  45. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's always been the case!
     
  47. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    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.
     
  49. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    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
     
  50. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I deleted the post. In retrospect my comments didn't move the conversation forward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012

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