Going deep vs Going wide

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

  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Come on papa.
    You are doing just exactly what the guys are reference about where folks watch the match and try to make what they see fit what they believe.

    First off you have a pretty liberal view of what constitutes good depth, so I guess hawkeye looks to show what you expect, but based on what depth is taught, and where coaches place target cones, hawkeye shows way less depth than expected. That is a big part of where this recognition came from, as I noticed when they showed the spots how much shorter they were than expected.

    Second you are suggesting I can't chart this from vid??? It's a way better way to do it with replay and stop frame. Live is not near as good for charting.
     
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I split the difference!
    Some say the game is shorter landing balls, with more topspin.
    Other's say the depth is close to the same, with more topspin.
    I say....
    If there is no pressure, meaning the hitter feels less pressure due to whatever reason, the ball is hit just as deep as the old days.
    If there IS pressure, like a equal level opponent playing well, lots of shots tend to go shorter because the pressure causes the hitter to be less aggressive, more tentative (careful), and the modern strokes allow a short shot that still works effectively due to it's increased topspin.
    A short landing shot with high net clearance is a safe shot, even with much more topspin than the old daze.
    YOU go out and hit with a guy a level above you, and HIS SHOTS LAND DEEP most times.
    YOU go out and hit with a guy a level below you, and HIS SHOTS LAND SHORT most times.
    Why dat? The modern stroke and technique allows more margin for error with the increased topspin, the increased net clearance.
     
  3. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Well i hate to tell you papa but you sound exactly like the kind of people i am talking about. You have this have to hit deep theory so ingrained in you that you can't see the obvious.

    Nobody said the balls land inside the service line, but a very high % of shots land close to the service line. This is just the way it is, it doesn't matter where we think the ball should land.

    It is really simple just watch any pro mens matches and i will guarantee you that a higher % of their shots land closer to the serve line than they do the baseline most of the time in most matches, this is fact not fiction or what we want to think. It is what happens in reality, not very difficult to determine if you watch and pay attention.

    Don't give me this it looks different on TV garbage, i have a big screen TV in high definition and it is very easy to see where the ball lands. Plus i went to Cincy. a few years ago and sat in the first row for 2 days watching the best players in the world and it was the same thing. More of their shots landed closer to the serve line compared to the baseline.
     
  4. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I can agree with a lot of what you are saying here Lee, but we are talking about the pro mens game. How often are they not under pressure and not playing a equal level opponent?
     
  5. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    What I'm suggesting is that some of you want to toss all balls that land around the serviceline (shortballs) into the same bucket. If a ball takes the returner off the singles court I don't consider the same as those that can be played without going outside the lines. I also don't consider balls hit short on purpose to be short balls like drop shots or vollies.

    Charting matches is a lot more involved that just ploting where balls land - results/conclusions are skewed if you don't make any distinction.
     
  6. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, I happen to watch a lot of pro matches live and of course those on TV. I must admit that I do not have a super large TV.

    What might seem obivious to you might not represent total reality. As I mentioned in my answer to a previous post, one really needs to sort out the why factor in what some are calling short balls. Often we want to isolate things without evaluating the circumstances involved.

    I must admit that a ball landing closer to the serviceline than the baseline to me is not a short ball. Although perhaps a fine line has to be drawn here, I consider short balls like balls I can approach on. If the height or angle (other factors also) are such that keep me back, I don't consider them short.
     
  7. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    It sounds like you are talking in circles here, a lot of straying from the original subject. Nobody is talking about the return of serve. Where did that come from?
    Also nobody was referring to drop shots either.

    Someone brought up the point that after watching some pro SINGLES play that the majority of ground strokes landed closer to the serve line as opposed to deeper by the baseline.

    Which is exactly right, i know that this goes against most instruction that has been going on for some time now. But that is the truth, so lets stay on the subject here. In one of your prior posts you said that this is not really the case.

    But now you seem to be avoiding the subject at hand for some reason. I know that Oscar Wegner is the first instructor that i ever heard point this out. He teaches to not go for to much depth because you will make to many errors. He pointed out that it is better to use a lot of top spin and not try to hit to close to the baseline, just like the pro players do.

    Like i already pointed out papa i think that this goes against what your beliefs are, which is fine. If you don't agree okay but don't try to change the subject into doubles and drop shots.
     
  8. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    Papa, so wait, a ball that lands a foot past the SL but has enough pace and spin that it is still rising at the BL is NOT a short ball? Because that is the short ball that most folks here are saying is not only adequate, but is a good safe alternative to trying to hit deep all the time.
     
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    See,
    you already have an improved version of what "you" call a short ball.
    Mainly that is my point for others. To realize there are lots of ways
    to use the court besides banging everything deep.

    And yes, we need to look things closer, as you say,

    " As I mentioned in my answer to a previous post, one really needs to sort out the why factor in what some are calling short balls. Often we want to isolate things without evaluating the circumstances involved."

    Exactly!! this is the point of the whole conversation. To sort out what some are calling short balls.
    and, to isolate things and evaluate the circumstances involved.
    Above Ash mentions his take on it which is in line with what many in Canada use, but still really only makes one exception; if the ball is still rising at the BL.
    What I've been suggesting is there are so many exceptions that just saying short ball is a misnomer and misleading. My suggestion is we should be more clear in instruction, like short and slow, or short and high....etc. IMO most are not more specific because they don't really know.
    Most would have to really think about what kind of ball will really let them be aggressive and attack on a consistent basis, and would probably just answer Short; but we have proven that answer tells us little.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  10. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    i've posted this before. This hitting close to the baseline thing is a myth.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Even if they are short, because they are short and ......

    You are making the point as good or better than we are with all your exceptions and qualifiers. What we are saying is these exception need to considered and studied as well.
     
  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Man, I need your skills. Not only does this make things clear that less than 10% are real deep, but you could move that line twice as far from the BL and still have a large majority of balls (80-85%) falling short of it.

    But most will have you believe the pros hit so deep and you should too; and that
    if you don't bang it deep the 4.0 and 4.5 will crush most of them for winners or the like.

    Very nice jmnk! (but you do realize they would have been deeper if you were there live, right? : )
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  13. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Almost all his shots are beyond the service line, which is pretty good.
    Very few inside the service box outside corners or even inside the service
    box period. Seems like Djokovic hits beyond the service line even when
    going crosscourt for an angled shot.

     
  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Like the saying goes one picture is worth a thousand words. Pretty hard to argue with the facts here. The majority of these shots are closer to the serve line than than base line, plain and simple. No need to try and spin things into this or that
     
  15. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Yes, absolutely. Where a ball touches the court is only one factor - important maybe but only part of the picture and it can be misleading.
     
  16. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    But the question is, who made the determination that a ball closer to the serviceline than the baseline is a short ball? That's one of the problems with these discussions - balls that bounce well in back of the serviceline are not short balls, as an example regardless of what someone has mentioned.
     
  17. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I believe you did in some of your prior posts in this thread. Not sure what you mean by well in back of the service line, but the chart clearly shows that the majority of jokers shots are not well beyond the serve line. I would not consider a shot within 3 feet of the service line well back of the service line.

    I brought this up years ago and Bungalow Bill and others were all over me on this point. They carried on with their stone age tennis instruction how hitting the ball deep was of utmost importance.

    They said that i was totally wrong about a high % of shots landing closer to the service line than the baseline. Which i knew was false but did not have a clear chart like the one above to show them.

    But they still would have twisted things around like they always do, they can never admit that their old school outdated methods are wrong.

    Then i would tell them that in Oscar Wegners video instruction he advised against hitting to deep because of all the errors you will make. He also is the one that pointed out that the pro players hit more balls closer to the serve line than the baseline, he did this years ago.

    But of course the dinosaur teaching clan on this site said that he was full of it and that hitting deep was crucial and the pro players do not hit closer to the serve line than the baseline. I guess that the chart above proves who knew what they were talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  18. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    But, your assertion (which, BTW, is not the topic of this thread), begs the question - for those balls that are not "wide," aren't the ones that land, say, within 5 feet of the baseline better shots than the ones that land near the service line?
     
  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    So, if I understand your point, you are saying that Djoko intentionally hits his groundies to the opponent's service line, and that when he does hit deep, it's not intentional because it's too risky.
     
  20. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    one more, so it does not look like we are picking on Djokovic. here are Federer's shots.
    Disclaimer: an inquiring mind may notice that the rendering of the court is not exactly to scale. In reality the distance from the net to the service line is greater than from the service line to the baseline. I have adjusted for that a bit when drawing the 3' line.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    thanks for pointing out the topic of this thread, really appreciated.
    There's no assertion on my part. I'm merely stating the fact which is indeed only somewhat related to the topic of this thread. The fact being that the pros do not hit their shots near the baseline most of the time, or even majority of the time. I'm making no conclusions as to why, or whether they do it intentional (because that would be making, well, assertion).
     
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wrong conclusion here, I think.
    The pros DURING a stressful match, don't hit near as deep as 2' from the baseline.
    Match results are seldom an indication of what a player CAN do.
     
  23. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I can see where the balls are landing but what seems to be a determining factor is where they CAME FROM. A short ball landing near the side line is fine if it was hit from beyond the opposite side and base lines because of the angle produced. Especially when the other guy is 15 feet behind the base line.
     
  24. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    No, it wasn't me that made a claim like that - and I remember BB well, actually every now and then he checks in here. I'm also not a student of Oscar's stuff - for the most part, I don't have any problems with his material but we've certainly expressed opinions over the years. I actually like him and have talked with him but that was years ago.
     
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you hit with moderate topspin, and moderate swing speed, a ball landing short would be a sitter for your opponent to attack.
    However, if you hit with extreme rackethead speed, impart heavy topspin, that short ball would be harder to attack, expecially by today's players who would choose to try to crush a winner, or hit another rallyball back, than approach shot and get inside the service line to volley.
    Times are changing, as are players.
    RIP BB, we had some major arguments.
     
  26. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    That is not what i am saying, my point is on their average rally ball they do not hit it to close to the baseline. The combination of heavy top spin and high net clearance without going for to much depth= unbelievable consistency.

    When they have the time and are set up to attack they will hit deeper, and a lot of times this enables them to force the error or get a sitter that they can put away.

    They will most definitely hit deep to force the issue or take time away from the opponent. But many times they are just rallying and working the point with the shorter depth shot until they feel it is the right shot to hit deeper on.

    And of course it depends on how they are hitting at that time in the match and how well their opponent is hitting at the time. There are times when they are hitting deep more often than usual, but these are not the majority of their shots over the entire match.

    That is why the majority of their shots are not that deep, they play the high % game, not the risky game like so many club players do. The point is that for so many years it has been taught that you have to hit deep all the time to be successful.

    Which obviously is not true as the chart proves. And i have seen many players that try to hit the ball to deep and flat and usually they beat themselves and never improve.
     
  27. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay i sure thought that when this debate over depth began you were saying the opposite of what i am.

    And you have been a reasonable guy in these discussions. I do remember that although you don't agree with Oscar all the time you were never attacking him like others here have.
     
  28. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not really the definition of high percentage tennis. But, I do agree that hitting high looping, heavy topspin groundies is safer than hitting lower and flatter the way tennis was played in the past. The reason depth was taught in the past is because, other things being equal, a deeper ball is harder to handle, it tends to draw errors and weak shots, and it is harder to attack, and players who hit lower and flatter have better depth control and are more able to consistently hit deep. However, I don't care what kind of ball you hit, unless you're going for a short angle or drop shot, hitting deep is going to result in winning more points than hitting short, which these charts don't show.
     
  29. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay then what would the definition of high percentage tennis be then? I totally understand a deeper ball is harder to handle and draws more errors and short balls no doubt.

    But it also causes you to make more errors by going for the depth repeatedly. Which in the case of the player that is 3.0-4.0 level which is the majority, i think it would be better for their development to concentrate on consistency more and then gradually work on more depth.

    Hitting deep consistently is going to result in winning more points, but hitting deep and missing a lot is not going to win more points. Did you notice when fed was playing rafa he was trying to hit forcing shots deep? Did you also notice how many he hit long and in the net? These charts don't lie and this example comes from the top players in the game today in actual match play.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  30. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Then your definition of high percentage tennis needs to change. the top pros are all about high percentage tennis. the two charts posted are of the top players ever. you can see where the balls land. I would imagine a lot of the balls were angled shots. but regardless of where the balls were going the facts cant be disputed on where they landed. this by definition is high percentage now as this is the shot selection the top pros chose. Pr do you contend that djokjo and fed do not play high percentage?
     
  31. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    High percentage tennis can/does mean different things to different players. Skill, presure, score, situation, etc. are all contributing elements players are faced with during a match. What might be considered low percentage for one may indeed be high percentage for another depending on those factors I stated above.

    For instance pro players can easily hit small hula-hoop targets given relatively routine feed balls. Rally balls generally would fall into this category. As they encounter balls that are outside their comfort zone coupled with other factors (like money) their shots quite as accurate. So to compensate, they reeled in the shot to increase their chances - after all is said and done, tennis is a game of percentages and winning tennis is when the odds are in your favor the majority of the time

    So, other factors also become involved when we think high percentage tennis. For instance if we're up in game/set we might feel more relaxed/calm and go for shots/locations that otherwise we'd stay away from. But slways keep in mind that what might appear low percentage tennis for one player/situation might be high for another.
     
  32. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    What you said is true for the pros because of their skill level. The five fundamental components of ball control are direction, depth, height, speed, and spin. They can aim their shots at mid-court but with the combination of other factors, these shots are not attackable. These are still quality shots even in the rally or counter phase.
    The same thing can’t be said about the 4.0 and 4.5. A ‘short’ ball lacks the quality of the other four components which makes it vulnerable. I find it easier to change the direction of the ball when they are short at my level and so do my opponents.
    Even if I want to, I lack the timing and the racket head speed to make it an effective mid-court shot. I’ll protect the ball better hitting deep, but it’s a risky business, a catch 22. I compensate depth for lack of direction,speed, and spin.
    I do hit with top spin with high net clearance, but they land 3 or 4 ft from the baseline. May be some of you will enlighten me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  33. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    If you can use a lot of top and land consistently 4 feet from the baseline that is great. I can do this at times but i still hit a lot of them only 3 feet from the serve line, which is fine against most players if i have heavy enough top spin on these shots. If not they can be attacked by the better players.
     
  34. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    Problem is at crucial points I want to play safe, but when I’m tired or tight, I’ll hit out. I don’t have your skill of hitting midcourt with enough juice that consistently keeps me in the point until I can find an opportunity to attack.
    What’s your secret? Is it the racket head speed just prior to contact?
     
  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I've written so many times about high percentage tennis on TT that I just can't bring myself to do it again. It's fundimental tennis tactics. Jack Kramer was the first to describe it, and every great backcourt player since Kramer (who also invented the S&V game as a primary tactic), plays Kramer's definition of high percentage tennis. Evert, Borg, Lendl, Agassi, Nadal and Djokovic are the most disciplined high percentage players I've seen.

    Depth control is an execution issue, not a tactical issue, and is not the same thing as electing to hit a sharp angle vs. hitting deep. IMO, high percentage tennis recquires that you set up the point and pick the right opportunity to hit an angle. Hitting modern, heavy topspin groundies allows you to hit harder and keep the ball in the court, but, it also impairs depth control. For old school Eastern drive players, it's easier to hit consistently deep. As great as the current top players are, as the modern game continues to develop, I expect that both the depth and the angles that the top players play at will continue to improve.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  36. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Depth control is an execution issue not a tactical issue? I guess that is one way to look at it, but i think it is because these players are playing it safer by not getting to close to the baseline. Which i would consider a tactical way of playing. You say it was easier for the old school players to hit depth with eastern grips and much less spin? I am not to sure about that, i do know that they hit the net a lot more.

    I really don't know how the depth can continue to improve. Most of these guys can hit all the depth they want to, which some elect to do at a higher % of the time. It is their choice to hit were they want to and to me they have better depth control because of all the spin they use on their shots.
     
  37. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You aren't the only player that tightens up at critical times and plays it to safe which in turn slows down the racket speed and then comes the short ball for your opponent to jump on.

    I still have problems with that also, that is one of the problems of using heavy spin. You can brush across the ball so quick and not bite into it enough, and then you hit a short ball that does not have much spin on it.

    I have found that if you practice enough by just rallying back and forth with a good hitting partner you can get much better at hitting out consistently. For me i have made my grip more extreme towards full western and this allows me to swing almost as hard as i want to and still keep the ball in.

    But you have to keep swinging out, if playing long rally's this does become tiring. So you need to be in good shape to keep the racket speed up. So then if i hit the ball to short at least it still comes off the court with some heavy spin.

    I also found that for me what works well is using the heavy wind shield wiper motion. Make sure that you are following through with your racket going across as much as up. When i am hitting it good i have very high racket speed and the racket finishes pointing down by my left hip. This puts a lot of side spin on the ball which makes it cork screw and jump off the court.

    Once you are hitting it consistently like this with a lot of spin and lets say it is landing a couple of feet from the service line. Now just use the same swing but adjust the trajectory of the ball height to get the depth you want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  38. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Totally agree. Or it could be a clean winner, too.
     
  39. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    The key is to hit the ball as far from the opponent's reach as possible, which could mean deep or wide depending on the situation and both player's running/shotmaking stills.

    In some situations it is neither deep nor wide, but extremely short (dropshot) instead.
     
  40. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Good post. Of course, as you know, the finsih can vary from player tookater and some prefer either over the shoulder, mid section, waist or even the same side (Nadal style). They all can be used very effectively.

    Of course another point is to get that hitting elbow out and pointing in the same direction as the ball is heading. This of course insures nice rotation into the shot.
     
  41. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    If you accept the premise that tennis is a percentage game, then you need to understand that there are high percentage opportunities to hit the ball away from your opponent. Trying to hit away from your opponent when you don't have a high percentage opportunity is not a winning strategy in the long run.
     
  42. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Ya your right i do vary the way i finish to, i just found that for my best control when hitting out it seems like the WW finish produces the most consistent results.

    Good point about the elbow also, i get in trouble when i don't get the elbow out enough which in turn affects my spacing from the ball, which then results in poor rotation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  43. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Not really tlm, cause it's basically just wrong and is both tactical and execution ability. Anyone who does not see the tactical aspects of varying the depth of their shots in given situations is missing a tremendous amount of how this game is won.
     
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Well you seem to confused by a bunch of facts you have noticed correctly and drawn the wrong conclusion.

    First you mention the 5 components and recognize that depth alone does not make a shot venerable to attack,
    very good! that is our point.
    But then assume incorrectly that 4.0-4.5s can't use any of the other 4 components to execute an effective shot.
    That maybe true for you, but then I would have to question where you would be even a 4.0 without any of those skills.

    Second, you fail to realize when you play other 4.0s
    (who you claim have no ability to use the other 4 components)
    that they will not be able to mount much of an effective attack anyway,
    since they cannot control speed, spin, height or DIRECTION according to you.
    How will they hurt you based on your assessment of them?

    The Truth is that the lower your level, the shorter and easier you can hit
    and still get away with it; not the other way around as some seem to think.
     
  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    tlm, you have made a ton of great points here and I am clear that you get this.
    I like your example with Fed and Rafa and your explanation of the chart's data.
    One thing to consider though. While the bold info above may hold true for 3.5-4.5 players (or may not), my charting is not showing it true in the marque top match-ups.
    When I charted DJs Bh depth after someone stated about how deep he hits it, I noticed that his deep shots won no points as winners or forced errors in the games charted and missed 3 deep himself, while he had several winners and forced errors with his shorter hit balls.
    My point is that if he can hit winners and force errors off of using shorter balls against his competition, think how much easier it would be to do that at lower levels who rarely have good short ball attacking skills to start with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You're confusing "depth control" that I referred to which tlm questioned, an execution issue (as I previously stated), with "varying the depth of shot," which is a tactical issue.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  47. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Perhaps it's because he lacks depth control.
     
  48. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think its clear depth control could be taken either way in this context, but since you state your point so well here, I will just stand corrected. : )
     
  49. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Except for the fact that DJs depth control is the Best in the Business.
    Right?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  50. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Good points, as usual you are right on the money.
     

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