Hitting Deep is Overrated.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by KenC, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Precisely. I think there are heaps and heaps again of people that hit these kind of topspin shots that land very close to the service line and become quite easy to handle and predict after a while. If you want to become great its better to learn how to vary your spins and pace and let your shot catalog contain more than your opponent is used to be facing.
     
  2. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Precisely. I think there are heaps and heaps again of people that hit these kind of topspin shots that land very close to the service line and become quite easy to handle and predict after a while.
    Not many of them can move like Rafa nor get to generate his spin for more than a few minutes.


    If you want to become a great palyer its better to spend some time to learn how to vary your spins and pace and let your shot catalog contain more than your opponent is used to be facing.
     
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Might seem that way, but mostly players about your level...it's all relative of
    course.
     
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I do charting for specific things at times, but for example, one of the things is
    watching for rally balls that land within 5-6 of the svc line & also for shots that
    land in the back 3-4 feet near the BL. Once you spot one of these shots, I look
    to see what preceded it and what followed it. 1st thing I noticed was how few
    really deep balls you see and how MANY avg or worse type depth shots
    are hit and also go unpunished. Took awhile, but then noticed that the deep
    shots didn't really seem to have a big effect against better players. Yes, big
    with low 4.0s and down in some cases, but the better the player, the less impact.

    Main thing I like to chart most is point ending sequences. Looking back from the last shot
    of the exchange to see what led up to it. Did one player hit a hard, deep
    ball and have it force an error due to it's depth and pace? Did the player hit a
    pretty routine ball and the next guy just commit a UE? Did the player hit a weak,
    ball and it get crushed for a winner? Was a winner on the deeper side, or shorter?

    I would like to say I went into this charting with an open mind, but I really
    expected to see depth as a major factor as I've always heard. The more matches
    I charted, the more I realized that was not the case and that it almost seemed
    more random, with lots of strong rtns from deep balls and plenty of avg shots
    coming off shorter balls.
    It became clear to me that "depth was overrated" so I studied to see what was the key
    or a better key.
     
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Sounds good. I was just checking to see if you weren't LeeD'ing the stats.

    What came to my mind first when reading your comment was maybe you were manipulating the stats for your argument.
    For example:
    50 balls were hit shorter. 10 of those balls forced a short ball return.
    7 balls were hit deep. 4 of those balls forced a short return.
    Conclusion: Hitting balls shorter produced a much higher # of short returns.
    etc etc.

    Anyway... so first you said "as many or more attack chances from well hit and directed shorter balls" and now you say "The more matches
    I charted, the more I realized that was not the case and that it almost seemed more random". That seems contradictory.

    So if charting shows short attackable balls are randomly produced then we can't really use the 'produces attackable balls' point for argument in favor of 'depth is overrated'. No?
     
  6. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Hmm, this turns to be quite a interesting discussion.
     
  7. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    In short , we are getting into the deep end of it.
     
  8. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Well i went out and hit wnd still found my best spots to pick on my friend who is a rapidly rising 4.5 and ex 5.0 junior top 50 were deep to both corners.

    I also focused on attacking anything that was not deep and hit with enough pace. That actually was an eye opener. I had not been attacking enough.
     
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I can agree depth works best in attacking, but then again, low short skidders near the sidelines also works.
    Best is 3 deep to corner's, one short and skidded low near sidelines.
    However, going for too much depth while defending and nuetral can lead to errors long while not gaining much from the depth itself.
     
  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good of you to go out and give things a try and seems you noticed a few things.
    I would agree, that most folks don't attack enough on shorter balls that are
    lacking in pace, but most of the comments are not quite what was suggested.

    I'd like to know more about your skills in relation to your opponents for perspective.
    How have your matches gone with him historically and who is rated higher.
    How much higher? How did the scores go today?
    What was the normal result in those corners and
    can you define the area of the corners?
    thanks,
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Wow,
    really disappointed that you would come to the discussion thinking I'm
    manipulating the stats.
    #1 This discussion or topic was not even a consideration before the charting.
    So how would I skew the numbers to favor a concept that was unknown??
    #2 Why would I want to prove something like that improperly? It would serve
    no purpose. If anything, bucking this myth is a big risk and the only reward
    is sharing to help a few sharp players, but most will continue with the classic
    info no matter.

    OK...not sure about your last sentence, but seems you are saying that if
    random, then greater depth is not a clear way to produce attackable balls.
    Is that right? I would agree that, If random, how would depth be needed and
    why take the risks...yes..and it fits my point here...but...

    I didn't say it was random. I said it almost seemed random at that point in my
    discovery process. (unless I made a typo that ruined my intended point.)
    With more study I feel I found other things more important and dependable
    than depth for earning attackable balls.
     
  12. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I didn't come to any conclusions. I specifically said "The first thing that came to my mind..." and then asked follow-up questions fpr a better understanding of what you meant.

    I don't know. It happens all the time. I come from a engineering / mathematical / logic background so whenever I see people throw out stats it makes me look for loopholes or manipulation. That's just the way it is. Look at the latest Gallop poll. You can make stats say anything you want.

    I'm not really saying anything or stating what i think on the subject at all. I was asking for clafication on what you meant because those 2 statements seemed contradictory to me.

    Ok, but 'random' and 'almost seemed random' is kind of the same isn't it?

    So to reiterate, i was asking for clarification on what your position is on short and deep balls and how they relate to producing short returns. That's all.
     
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I agree about skidders. I use those a fair amount especially going dtl on an approach.

    Also on depth while defending..took me some time to dial it in, but usually it is the best option since anything too short is attacked, so i just practiced those shots a lot.

    5263, my friend and i are rather even. Some days i win, some days it is him..makes it really fun. I am not in a usta league but the people who run my club ladder have me rated 4.5 from my match results at the club.

    As for corners..it is tough to tell where they are landing..i hit pretty close to the lines though..i have always hit deep like that. Played a few guys who simply cannot handle it and collapse when i send 2 or 3 straight inside out forehands to their backhands....everyone is different..some can attack with a dtl backhand, which is a very tough shot, but is an awesome reply. Everyone is different but even the high level junior told me the deep corners were very tough to deal with and i got winners off those or ues.
     
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    IF I can hit deep and close to a sideline, I"d call my opponent's reply a FORCED ERROR, forced by my good shot.
     
  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the info on how you guys compare.
    I'm not doubting that when you make really well hit shots deep into the corners
    that the results are pretty good, but I think the key issue there is, the line of
    those shots and the fact they are well hit to start with (good pace & spin), but that is fine.
    I'm also saying that the misses trying have them truly deep will outweight the makes,
    unless he is giving up the same type or another UE to balance you.
    This is pretty subtle and likely hard to get without being on court or at least
    with some vid. If you are interested in what I'm sharing here, I'll go to the end of the earth
    to help you see it, but I think you are pretty set in what you think on this, and know how
    you want to go about it, right? No problem.
    If I'm wrong, let me know and I'll stay with you on it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Even if he hits a winner reply?
     
  17. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I am not set against it, as I will hit in those safe spots too, but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules.
     
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I do believe there are some pretty hard rules, but also agree all rules do have
    exceptions.
    The best players master the hard rules first, and then learn when to deviate imo.

    I don't feel you are against using the short parts of the court well, but do think
    you are hanging on to some ideas on depth that may work against you at times.
    I think you are one of the players that could really benefit from a different
    perspective good depth, but don't want to beat a dead horse you know.
    If you are interested in this, take a look at this 4.5 match and see what you see.
    It's just 1st one I pulled up, so no, not hand picked. In fact, I only watched
    1st 3 mins so far.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASRMiYWQ6Fk
     
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When an opponent hits a winner of any of my good shots, I'll applaud him, and then promptly forget about it.
    I learned tennis in the age of S/V. One of the keys to successful net play is to forget your opponent's lucky winners, and forget your own lucky winners. Concentrate on the shots he can make vs the shots you can make.
     
  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Well Im no pro but those guys stroke are just ugly..lol. I saw some nice placement, but the 4.5s down here just look much better in terms of technique.

    Even my friend who is rapidly getting his game back, just has such nice form and looks incredibly confident at the net.

    Anyway, I love watching this video of Klahn in college. Amazing camera angle, and I love how he attacks the lines. Just love to watch this vid before I play.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FydHxWd7Kd0&list=FL1E2kokfpsIWJJ7oGPp4fWg&feature=mh_lolz
     
  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    What I see...up to 3:30.
    2 strong athletes who choose to mostly hit weak serves, white shirt guy using short angles to move blue shirt guy, blue shirt guy counterpunching, but not taking any initiative.
     
  22. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Agree here. For example a DTL backhand is pretty low % and I like to make a guy take those. Of course I can hit mine pretty decently now so it is not always that low %. I consider it a devastating shot, but I still move away from that spot after my shot unless my opponent has proven he doesnt miss it.
     
  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't really know what to say...I pull up the first 4.5 match I find on youtube, purposely
    not hand picking & you being a 4.5. Thought that could be relevant, since even if they are
    weak 4.5s, they are likely closer to your level than the 6.0s you pull up.

    Hey but that's fine. The higher player you look at, the more it makes my point.
    Your man is up 4-2 in a ugly match with strokes you find more attractive.
    Personally I think that is one ugly, flicky Fh.
    I say ugly match since almost the only winners came on serves and there are
    quite a load of UEs so far.
    Even though your man keeps the ball mostly on the shorter side and works the angles
    more, seems he missed long nearly every brush with the BL. He may have made 2-4 shots
    somewhere near the BL and missed at least 6 long
    so far. I counted 5 in the net and 4 more wide. Very few if any of these misses were from
    exceptional depth from his opponent (who also keeps it
    pretty short) and most seemed to be attempts to attack (so not a bunch of
    errors forced on him).

    Maybe things change and I may watch some more, but so far He has not fared too well
    near any lines compared with the number of misses. Seems he's
    either going too aggressive at a line or hitting to the middle 60-70% of the time.

    To sum it up, both players are working closer to the svc line depth on avg so far
    when they can keep it in and neither one of them is busting big winners or
    forced errors that I can see.
    You see it different at 4-2?
     
  24. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You know Klahn went a few rounds into the USO right?

    Yes, he goes aggressive at a line on his attacks, but it works.

    I see a lot of variety in that match and that is why I posted it. It is high level tennis but I play some high level guys now and then. Not as good as those 2 of course, but they have the same form, and attack the same way.

    I don't ever want to play tennis like the guys in that video you posted. No offense to them, but that's not inspiring stuff, even though the guy in the light shirt had some nice placement on some shots.

    I understand you have this smart targets concept you are trying to brand since you bring it up all time, and I dont even disagree with most of it. I just refuse to think being able to hit consistently deep is a bad thing.
     
  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Those two guys are careful hittlers, but both can rip it if they wanted. They just choose to play careful tennis. At least white shirt is going for some angles and moving blue shirt, who's just reacting.
     
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    There you have it in one sentence above. Honesty is a great thing and I
    appreciate you for it.

    Being able to do it would be a great thing I expect, but who knows since I've
    not seen it yet with big hitters.

    Have you posted vid on here? I know we all like to identify with the cleaner
    technique of the top players, but really in vid, most 4.5s are going to look a lot
    more like the 4.5s. Maybe you and your friends really have it going on :)
    I don't know those guys or endorse them in any way.
    Just took the first 4.5s that popped up on youtube to avoid the unavoidable I
    guess.
    cheers
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2012
  27. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah I posted vid before and Ill do it again when I play somewhere w/out the windscreens I have at my club.

    I am not saying I have it going on, but I hit at the same club as many really high 4.5 TT players here, and they all look a lot smoother and better. A lot of us grew up playing FL Juniors tennis and have smoother technique. I have hit with a lot of TT members as well.

    Have you posted vid or hit with anyone from this site?

    And most of my shots are pretty deep. Not all, but you would be surprised. I hit pretty deep as I was taught that from a young age.
     
  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know if I'm just hard on myself, but I don't care much for how I look in
    video. Funny thing is when I slo mo or freeze frame a certain points, I'm very
    happy with how the frames look, but just don't feel great about full motion.
    Maybe I tighten up when I'm doing it for vid, because I did see part of a match
    I was in a few years back and was very pleased with that. Hard to say.
    What I do though, is make my shots, force a lot of errors, and hit quite a few
    winners as well, all while keeping my UEs well under control.
     
  29. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Id like to see myself on video more often. It really helps me out.
     
  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Sure it can be helpful if you have something to focus on to fix or improve, but
    agree with several on here who have said there is way too much focus on how
    stokes and players look vs what they can do. There are no points awarded for
    looking good, but execution is what is key to me. Keep the strokes simple and
    execute at a high level. My strokes would look better with a higher tk back
    probably, but I don't think it would really help my Fh or game.
    I think vid is very helpful to work out a problem, but my strokes are extremely
    solid vs who I get to play most and when I get more time with better players,
    like college players, my strokes adjust well and quickly to the faster pace and timing.
     
  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Reminds me of Genepri without the control in that particular video.
    Robby hit much like that in Jrs, but was just MONEY with his execution and
    making shots.
    KLahn seems to have a better serve though. How tall is he?
     
  32. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Meh. More often than not, I am punished for hitting shots too shallow than too deep. More often than not, I encourage my opponents to make errors by hitting deep rather than shallow.

    In my huge sample size of 1, I say hitting deeper is better ;)
     
  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What general level do you play and how hard do you hit?
     
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I play high 3.5 singles.
    WHERE the ball lands means nothing, except against 3.0's. Where the ball goes after it lands means something, due to the spin and pace involved.
    Nadal like short balls work just fine, because he's ripping them with high rpm, moderate speeds, and a service line depth ball goes all the way to the backboard, making a hiss and going oval. Plus it allows him to create more angles.
    A flat hit pusher ball has little pace or spin, and anyone decent can just step in and pummell it into a corner. Depth might be important here, playing against a fellow 3-3.5, but that's the upper level limit.
    That, in effect, is what 5263 is preaching about rally balls.
     

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