Got beat by a guy hitting slice forehands

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wuppy, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    As an old guy, it's interesting for me to see the wailing and knashing of teeth regarding the use of slice. Moses didn't come down the mountain with instructions from God that a tennis ball must be hit a certain way. When I was younger, hitting the ball with slice or perflectly flat like Connors was a perfectly acceptable way to hit the ball. In fact, given the fact that the racket had only about 65 square inches of string area, it was far safer to hit flat or with slice because you were likely to shank a heavy topspin shot. Now everyone thinks you can't be a good tennis player unless you hit looping topspin.

    I slice a lot of forehands. I'll hit a high slice to give myself time to recover when I'm pulled off wide. I'll hit a low slice approach shot to limit my opponent's options. One of my favorite shots is a deep slice lob to my opponent's backhand because it forces him to generate pace off the backhand wing and a lot of folks can't do that.

    The best way to hit a tennis ball is the way that wins you the point. If that's a "push," or a slice, or a topspin shot, that's fine. If Federer knew he could beat Djokovic by using a slice forehand, don't you think he'd do it? Heck, if he thought that would work, he'd be practicing slice forehands 8 hours a day. If I hit a shot and I notice that it gives my opponent trouble, I'm probably going to hit that shot again in the future, even if it's what some would consider an "ugly" shot, like a lob or a low slice.
     
  2. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You started 2 years ago, you are not ripping shots man.

    Get over yourself and you will get better on the court. You are out there thinking you are high and mighty because you hit with topspin, and in reality you probably look like a guy who has been playing for 2 years.

    Or just rally for the rest of your life. That will eliminate the competition and your ego will be happier.

    Facts are that you are tight in matches, putting too much into winning, and that is why you get mad. We all have played pushers, and I used to get mad until I realized that nobody cares about tennis results and I just needed to go out there and enjoy hitting balls.

    In reality a pusher gives you easy balls to hit "masterful shots" with and you are just blowing them because you have not been playing long enough to relax your mind, relax your stroke and just hit a consistent ball to the spot you need it to be in.

    /harsh reality
     
  3. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    quoted for truth because this is so right on the money.
     
  4. dimensionnw

    dimensionnw New User

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    hitting slice does not equal pushing. Slices can be defensive, aggressive etc
     
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While "crushing" topspin balls with a partner who feeds you the same ball is really fun, great excercise, and a positive mantra, it's not real tennis.
    You can do it as your real tennis, for sure, and be stuck at 3.5 foreever, but hitting like a 4.5. Plenty of those guys around, who can hit with college men players, but lose in the third round of a 3.5 tourney IF they're brave enough to enter.
    It's really your choice, but you can't complain about losing if you insist on hitting one dimension and ignoring all the other dimensions in tennis.
     
  6. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    LeeD is spot on. i think this is why people get confused and believe they are better than what they are. Heck, when me and my best friend go out and we are on its like delpo and davydanko dueling it out.
    this is why you get jonny 3.0 in 4.5 leagues etc haha
     
  7. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You say that winning or losing does not matter but I think it really does matter that is why you can't handle losing to the pushers that don't hit what you consider real shots.

    I know players that just like to rally and smack the ball back and forth because they have huge egos and they don't want to play matches because they can't just blast the ball and win. Because then they would have to play to the level that they are actually at which means not being able to just blast away because they will make to many errors.

    So instead of doing what all players did while developing which is play within yourself only go for winners when it is high % and learn the game. They choose to just go out and rally so they can look like they are much better than they actually are, this goes back to the ego again being much bigger than their game is.

    I remember there were some guys that would hit around at the local park that were like that. They would just rally and blast the ball and I thought wow these guys are really good. Then one time they started to play a set and after a couple of games the one guy said the hell with this we are just pushing now lets go back to just hitting the ball.

    I ended up playing both these guys a couple of years later in a club ladder and I beat both of them by playing consistently with heavy top spin. They were not used to a ball that jumped up like mine and they kept trying to blast it, needless to say they were not happy because at that time they both considered themselves much better than me.

    But they had a bunch of excuses like you do, they were not used to a slower paced ball and I played some exotic spin game that through them off and on and on. There is nothing wrong with just wanting to hit hard and rally if that is enough for you. But you will never know the true feeling of actually hitting big shots when it counts under game pressure. Plus if that makes you happy then fine but quit making excuses of why playing real matches is no fun just because you cannot handle it.
     
  8. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    EXACTLY.

    This is why I don't look at someone's form alone as an indication of NTRP level. Because the reality is, regardless of form, when someone is in a match and having to deal with all sorts of junk, slices, topspinning moonballs... it can all fall apart quickly.

    Contrast this with someone with questionable form who gets called a 3.0. I've seen videos of players on youtube at 4.0 whose form would get ripped apart on this forum. But there's no question about their results and their NTRP.
     
  9. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    Winning and losing are so meaningless to you that you create a thread and render numerous posts whining about losing to pushers.

    And you're somebody, right? Everyone is in awe of your beautiful form and ball-crushing game, irrespective of the scoreline.

    You just keep bragging to your girlfriend about how a guy who hit slice forehands all day had you gasping for air.


    (By the way, if this thread is for the purposes of trolling, all I have to say is 'well done')
     
  10. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Me happy in dimension one:twisted:
     
  11. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    To me it sounds like, you don't want to play matches, because you don't like to be exposed. It hurts your ego, when someone slicing the ball beats the crap out of you.
     
  12. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Thanks for the input guys, I read and enjoyed all your posts. I've decided I'm gonna retire from the tournament scene and work on hitting with 4.0-4.5 baseliners so that I can groove my strokes and hit with the same power and spin that they do, and hopefully save up for a ball machine too. I realized with some shock after starting this thread that, even if I beat these lame-o 3.5 moonballing guys, I still wouldn't be having any fun in tournaments. Playing against opponents who return all my shots with no pace is not something I enjoy, whether I win or lose. It's not why I started this sport.

    Thanks again for the conversation. Hashing all this out definitely helped enlighten me and put things into perspective.
     
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Me 2.
    But there's more than one side to this tennis equation.
    There is the hitting pro level shots, to be sure, for an ego stroke if nothing else.
    Then there's the basic "improvement" thing, where your play is not static, but ascending in skill and technique.
    And the "beat all those below you" thing, where you're God, and your friends are only there for the beating.
    And of course, there's the "I'm actually getting better at tennis" thing, where the level of your peers rise, guys you looked up to are your peers, and you start to look higher and higher.
    Oh, there's the "can maintain despite" thing, where despite all the old age, injuries, lack of practice, lack of time, you're still even with the guys you used to play with, even if they still play full time and improving, while you "peak" for that one day a week you can actually make it onto the courts.
     
  14. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    You can hit with 5.0 players forever if you want to but just hitting with higher level players is not going to miraculously one day change you into a high level player. Same with a ball machine, they are great for grooving a stroke but will not help you move up a level in match play.

    There is only one way to move up and that is play matches and learn how to beat the pushers and junk ballers. But I have seen others like you that think that standing back and ripping ground strokes with a good player that keeps it in your strike zone is going to transform you into a really good player.

    Or they think that this looks so cool like hey look at how hard I can hit with the good player. Which then gets them fooled into thinking that they are really good even though they will still get beaten by those low life pushers.

    Plus of course it looks much cooler than actually playing a real match with someone your level and actually having to really play the game, which of course your ego will not allow because you think that because you can rip some shots in a hit around that you are way above that.
     
  15. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    im glad that we could help put you on the track to tennis enlightenment. the goal of all rec tennis is just to have fun.
     
  16. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    We play for fun. The OP should do what he enjoys.

    As far as improvement goes, hitting against better players is a great way to help you get better if you're willing to put some other time into improving your form (wall, ball machine, lessons), and later your tactics, so that you can be effective against them.

    I agree that if the goal is to play matches, then you're going to have to put it all together into an effective package that works for you. But again, we all just play for fun. For some of us the feel of the ball on the strings and executing a solid, powerful stroke is a pretty big high.
     
  17. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Okay I agree and if that is all it takes is just going out and rallying to make someone happy then great. This game can be so frustrating that there are times I could see just doing that myself instead of competing in real matches.

    I definitely agree that hitting with better players will help you improve, I know this first hand. But I also realize that if you don't learn to play the real game then you are going to run out of good hitting partners that will just rally.
     
  18. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Exactly, that's what I've been trying to get at. For me, "improvement" is something that allows me to increase that high :D That's really the only reason I play. Beating dudes is of zero interest to me. It's taken this thread to figure that out! :eek:

    I can't tell you how much I enjoyed hitting with the college girl. It was like standing on the driving range and blasting 300 yard drive after 300 yard drive. The physical pleasure was immense.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  19. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    and here's where you are sadly misguided. unfortunately the sport of tennis is less about standing around and blasting the ball and more about good footwork and movement to get yourself in the right position to blast the ball. it's easy to blast the ball when you don't have to move. it's hard to have the movement and footwork required to chase down a crosscourt shot from one side to the other all while being able to set up in time to crush a sharply angled passing shot/winner on the run with a ton of pace and spin that allows the ball to dip inside the service line and not land wide into the doubles alley. but when you're able to do it, the feeling is awesome because the degree of difficulty was so much higher.

    by relegating yourself to simple rallying, you are depriving yourself of this wonderful experience.

    i guess if you're interested in the ball moving to you rather than you moving to the ball then golf would be the perfect sport. or maybe just go to the batting cages.
     
  20. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    hes stated that he gets off on just blasting balls all day, which is fine. people like this make very good practice partners
     
  21. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    the batting cage and driving range are so much more satisfying for this since you don't have to keep the ball within the lines. in those environments, the harder and farther you can hit the ball, the better. 8)
     
  22. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    ^^ oh, man. "ranger rick" is my middle name.
     
  23. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    I always enjoy it when people tell me what I should and shouldn't find enjoyable ;)
     
  24. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Federer wouldn't do this to a low level player. I am pretty sure that he would simply return the ball until the guy misses. He's not playing Nadal or Djokovic.
     
  25. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  26. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Woopy, it's surprising you are still with us. I thought you have departed ...or wait a minute, isn't this something like "let's see how long I can keep this thread going" type of thing. Like most trollers out there, you touched on a sensitive subject and keep feeding nonsense into it, so you get as many responses as you can from agitated posters.
     
  27. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

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    learning to beat these guys is how youll gain the skill to play the tennis you want to. That seems to be what your not getting right now. I understand this isnt what you want to do, but its the way you get there.
     
  28. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    Exactly right!
     
  29. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    I can appreciate your desire to work on your strokes. I understand the pleasure in mastering a technique. But there's no reason why you shouldn't use your focus on mastery to master the technique of crushing no pace balls or moonballs. There's a reason why pros don't hit moonballs any more - because most really good players have figured out how to hit them back hard and in the corners. Since you like mastering strokes, here's a plan that should fit in with your goals and personality:
    (1) review this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PaTQc0xkSI
    (2) set up a ball machine to hit moonballs at various places on the court and practice hitting the cover off them
    (3) repeat steps (1) and (2) until you can reliably smash moonballs with your forehand
    (4) next time a pusher wants to play, smile and say "sure, let's play."\

    (you can use the same steps for any other shot that is giving you trouble).
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  30. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    You're mindset is off. I consider myself a solid 4.0 and can hold my own against 4.5 at 55 YO. Played 4.5 and even 5.0 25 years ago.

    I hit aggressive shots to make my opponent slice or moonball. I have never bought into the concept that my opponent played so poorly that I could not play well. It has always seemed like a cop-out to me. You work hard to get the weak reply and then you want to take advantage of the weak reply.

    Paul Annacone and John McEnroe won at pro level and they hit lots of slices even on the forehand side.

    Things to combat slices and moonballs:

    1. If you get a moonball and you have time, move in and hit a mid-court volley deep in the DTL corner or deep to their weaker side. Follow it in to volley the next shot.
    2. When attacking net, stop/stutter step 1/2 between service line and net - maybe even 1 step farther back - as defensive players will lob a lot. Split step in this location but be ready to close to the ball if they try to pass - don't wait on the volley to come to you - go get the ball instead.
    3. Attack the net a lot as slices are usually not the best passing shots
    4. Be patient off the ground. Hit deep, topspin and CC the vast majority of the time until you get a weak reply than hit an aggressive approach and move in.

    If your opponent handles all these tactics and still beats you. They are not a pusher, instead they are a good tennis player.

    We had a former college D2 number 1 player on our team many years ago and he lost to a 130 lb retriever who never hit the ball very hard. Our guy was easily a 4.5+ player and lost 2 close sets and was frustrated as hell when he come off the court. Our guy had classic penatrating strokes, a great attacking game, aggresive and consistent server. He lost like 6-4, 6-4. The opponent was simply too good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  31. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Bingo. The shots that OP is complaining about seeing are the shots that good players hope to see. I have trouble capitalizing on those shots too-- but that's because I'm not a good player.

    OP, if you want to just hit for the sheer pleasure of hitting, go for it. Lots of people like that best I think. And by all means don't pay to play in tournaments if you don't enjoy it.

    Just don't confuse hitting tennis balls with playing tennis-- it's not, any more than hitting balls at the driving range is playing golf.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  32. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Its true. And it is a lot more satisfying when you are hitting hard in clean in a match. Takes a while to get to that point, but when you have the confidence to hit out in matches, and work the point..it just is better than anything.

    I love to rally as well, it is rather fun but not a challenge for the mind.
     
  33. Ganz

    Ganz New User

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    Playing against pushers and slicers

    I just played a match tonight and lost 1 & 2 against an ex-squash player (played squash, which is a bit like racket ball but faster i think, for 25 years) who sliced me to death. He had a good 'bite' to his slice so I couldn't really attack off them. He played slice on both the forehand and the backhand. Although I got to slice back with good length (ocasionaly) it always got me to the net position where he then proceeded to lob me! Whenever I hit a good drop shot, where my 'hitting' partner would have gave up, my opponent ran it down to my surprise. Just to make things worse he had a pretty good serve and hardly double-faulted and was consistent. Yes, it made me realise that i'm still pretty rubbish, and that is hard to take after you have spent a thousand pounds+ over the last 8 years in coaching lessons.

    Having read the posts on this thread I realised that my training all year, with my hitting partner, where we blast topspin forehands into our striking zone and pretend to play like Federer and Nadal and run around probably looking quite good is just not reality. We are in all probability guilty of feeding our egos. In fact, I will mention this to him as its probably isn't doing his game any good either. Match play, especially singles, reveals how good you really are. I agree that hitting topspin forehands all day in your striking zone is a great feeling but so is hitting against a wall which is something I still absolutely love doing. I guess there's nothing wrong in that. That great feeling that you get, if you are able to create that in a match then surely you would love that too wouldn't you? However, if you hit against an uneven practice wall how enjoyable would that be? That's what you have to do.. to turn discomfort into enjoyment. You got to love the grind and the pain. An opponent will never feed you the ball you want, unless they're idiots or beginners.

    First thing i'm gonna do after tonight is arrange to play against the biggest pushers and , slicers at my club, and there are a few. Yes, after matches, at the bar, people criticise the pushers game and how it's not proper tennis but if I was good enough I would have beaten them.

    Thanks guys for enlightening me!!
    PS. remember how Santoro always gave Marat Safin a headache yet Federer never had a problem with him always beating him easily. I think Fed beat Santoro in Aus 2006-7 1, 1 & 2 or something similar.
     
  34. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    So true:) This is the reason why I started practicing with partner all kinds of shots just to get us out of comfort zone after a bit of warm up. Hitting moonballs slices, sidespins topspins etc. I think not only you get more familiar hitting those shots but you get better at returning them and becoming more versatile player. Maybe not everybody's cup of tea but it works for me.
     
  35. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    True. But on the other hand; this guy will likely have an accurate lob, he's all about what works as opposed to looking good, also, if a player usually doesn't attack the net it's for good reason, they get to the net to lose the point even sooner.
    He must have been tired!

    (sorry :oops: )
     
  36. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    a player who lobs but cant hit passes is easy 2 deal with. u just hang back a little on the approach and nail it

    if he cant pass then there is less urgency 2 get 2 the net and cut down the angle
     
  37. Tafmatch

    Tafmatch Rookie

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    You can't feel exhausted in the second set and expect to win against a pusher. More important though: stop getting frustrated when playing a pusher! I can't understand either why people would want to play like that, but a lot of people still do :).

    I try to see those matches as small puzzles. I try lots of different shots, lure them to the net (the panic!), attack the net myself, etc. Stay patient!
     
  38. NineMileSkid

    NineMileSkid Rookie

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    Probably just says, "Honey, I beat this guy pretty handily, 6-1 in the third".
     
  39. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    lol didn't notice this thread before, but how typical for someone lost to a 'pusher'...
     
  40. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    I started playing tennis at the age of 24. I enjoy hitting hard, working on ground strokes.

    I didn't play as a junior so winning at all costs doesn't really matter to me.

    Honestly I think pushers deserve a special place in hell. The last couple tournaments I played I decided to play the open draw (I am somewhere between 3.5-4 level). While I lost these matches I elevated my level of tennis and enjoyed myself. I didn't have that disgusting feeling that I lost to a pusher.

    I do understand why folks here seem to think we should all enjoy playing pushers, and it's all about the end result. But tennis should be enjoyable too and should be beautiful, aggressive, precise and strategic.

    So my suggestion is be willing to lose every match and play real tennis players, get better, and the get to solid 4-4.5 level tennis where true pushers are one in a million.
     
  41. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    solid 4-4.5 level tennis where true pushers are one in a million.

    LOLOL
     
  42. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Lolololololololol

    You and I define pushers differently. I doubt there are any at the 4.5 level. I don't define a baseline defensive player or retriever to be a pusher. I am referring to people who don't hit conventional or full strokes and who push the ball back, moon ball, slice, dink dunk etc...

    So, lololololololol
     
  43. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm a 4.0, but when I play this type of player: Draw them in, hit a ball just short enough that if they don't go for it they'll be out of position, or moonball. Amazing how many pushers can't deal with moonballing to their backhand.
     
  44. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    The bottom line is: If you can't beat a pusher then you're just not that good of a player yourself.

    In tennis, being able to hit the ball harder does not make you a better player. Keeping the ball inside the court makes you a better player. Just ask Radwanska, Wozniacki, or Ferrer.
     
  45. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    lol

    getting to the 4.5 level, and not being able to deal with fh slices.. is oxymoron.
     
  46. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    are you mentally strong, or do you break down in long rallies and go for winners when you are out of position/can't hit cleanly?
     
  47. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Guess you can't read.

    Moron? Oxymoron?
     
  48. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    saying others can't read, followed by questions on the same post, is also an oxymoron.
     
  49. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    You're unclear on the definition of "oxymoron." This is straight up "irony."
     
  50. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I think that the FH slice is an underrated shot. of course you should not use it all the time but a flat and hard FH slice is a good shot at all levels if it is not overused. Andy murray sometimes uses it with good success. and then there was santoro:).

    however if you can only slice you are a limited player of course.
     

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