how do I beat this type of player?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Mbautista, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Mbautista

    Mbautista Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    san diego
    my biggest weakness and most dreaded person to play against is an extreme top spinner with ball machine like consistency that has almost endless stamina. Not a normal pusher, but one who has so much topspin that each ball is at eye level unless you take it on the rise. He also has accuracy on his shots so there's a lot of running involved.

    his serves both first and second are huge top spin serves that don't have much pace but kicks like crazy.

    I am pretty good at taking it on the rise but it cuts my power a bit. After long ralleys I tend to go for winners and it's almost a 50/50 chance every point. I get gassed out and end up losing.


    what do I do?
     
    #1
  2. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    since he is more consistent than you, try different things..
    slice it low
    flat winners now and then on short balls.
    get to the net if your volleying is decent.
    drop shots or draw him into the net if he is a weak net player.
     
    #2
  3. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    i would stay away from the net actually, these types of players can kill you at the net unless you hit very deep approaches.
     
    #3
  4. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Court No. 1 (or No. 5, when not available)
    ^^ yes, I like the last suggestion... If hes a big topspinner, he probably stays pretty much behind the baseline, so I would start drawing him to the net with low cross-court slices that go out to the sideline, rather than the baseline. Its all about changing it up, and getting him out of his comfort zone. Pressure him at net too, again maybe with slices mixin it up with top spin aproaches.
    The best thing you can prob do is train for that type of game too, get in better shape, work on your own consistency and point preparation drills. Its all about being patient and becoming a more patient player, learning to build points instead of thinking youre gonna whack the hell out of every ball for winners. Good Luck!
     
    #4
  5. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    i would try hitting hard flat and backspin shots, as a top spin hitter i can tell you those are the shots that annoy me the most. :p
     
    #5
  6. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,484
    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    Well, you said he hits extreme topspin on both his serves and groundstrokes with great placement and endless stamina. To me it sounds like you're describing a pretty phenomenal player. Not much you can do if the guy's just that good.
     
    #6
  7. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    not necessarily, i played someone exactly like that in HS many years ago, he hit very pinpointed high top spin shots and had no problems placing them right on the line. he didn't have a lot of power, but compensated for it with great control. playing him was a real challenge for me and inspired me to change my game and focus on placement instead of just hitting with power. it's hard to play someone like that if you don't have great consistency, but i think a good player who can hit with power and consistency can have a lot of success against these types of players.
     
    #7
  8. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,484
    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    True, but the OP didn't say how hard the guy hits. He just said extreme topspin. If the guy hits with pace as well then he's pretty much a total monster.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
    #8
  9. dmtree

    dmtree Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Nadal? :twisted:
     
    #9
  10. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,592
    Location:
    Kona, Hawaii
    How was Blake able to have a winning against Nadal?

    Unfortunately, I've never had the chance to watch any of their matches.

    Was Blake simply outhitting him with a combo of angle and flat hard shots?

    Murray seems to have adopted a similar style in beating Nadal at the USO.

    I too struggle with extreme topspinners (not your garden variety) .... not a lot of pace but simply extreme spin with depth and consistency. So, I'm also interested in what battle plans work against this style.

    r,
    eagle
     
    #10
  11. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,484
    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    I actually had him in mind when I posted that.
     
    #11
  12. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,484
    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    I didn't see any of Blake's wins over Nadal either, but I'm sure Blake won because Nadal's topspin balls were dropping short and begging to be crushed. I think when Blake won they were playing on faster hard courts as well.
     
    #12
  13. Mbautista

    Mbautista Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    san diego
    actually i'm just average at the net, and the few times I did rush the net, the top spin lob came and I couldnt do anything. Slice backhands were still top spinned back by him and yeah if I hit a 100% power flat shot that's the only time I could take advantage. Thing is, going all out on a flat shot isnt the most consistant shot even if I pick my shots wisely.

    the only thing I could use as a weapon vs him was drawing him to the forehand side slowly then hitting about a 75% power flat shot to the backhand side of the court so he would have to do a running slice. If it drops short then I can go for the winner, but if it dropped deep the rally would continue.

    his pace is average but once it hits the ground the ball jumps like a mofo up to my head.

    he said he picked up that topspin style back when he used to play a lot of doubles. He also is pretty good at the net.

    I'm pretty much stumped.
     
    #13
  14. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    5,484
    Location:
    Stillwater, OK
    Oh snap, he has a solid net game too? :shock:

    Like I said before, this guy sounds like one hell of a player. There's no shame in losing to someone like that.
     
    #14
  15. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    Keep the ball low, which means 50-75% effort slice shots because this will make it hard for the player to get over the ball.

    Also, when the top spin kicks lower, such as below the shoulder, you need to punish this shot.
     
    #15
  16. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,830
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I became a topspinner after getting beat time and again by a player like this over and over during my high school years. His 1st and 2nd serve were exactly the same, always a high kicker on the line to my backhand until I cheated over and then he'd ace me to the forehand. So my approach was if you can't beat them, join them. That included developing his type of game and getting in better shape.

    Aside from that, the flat hitting is a great idea. If you can keep it deep in the corners, this makes it really difficult to hit that heavy topspin shot. I have several opponents who will just hit hard flat shots all day on me, b/c they know I will eat them alive if they don't.

    The short slice is probably the higher percentage play. It's just next to impossible to really get a heavy penetrating topspin shot off of it. The deeper slice is a little bit easier for me to spin back. The dropshot may be an option if you can hit a good one, good luck.
     
    #16
  17. 40lovebaby

    40lovebaby Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    117
    I used to hate players like this, but love them now.

    On their serve I stand inside the baseline and take their kick serve and slice it down the line and come in. You just have to punch their shot forward, and their topspin actually becomes nasty biting backspin.

    Then watch as the topspin player tries to hit with his western grip on a ball that is ankle high.

    If you slice your approach right, he'll try to lob, but he'll leave many short which you make him pay for.

    Heavy topspin is very rhythmic - the more you keep him off guard and shorten points, the less comfortable he'll be, and the shot may break down.
     
    #17
  18. kelz

    kelz Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    886
    Bring him to the net, most baseliners don't have very efficient volleys. If he's good at volleying... try some coaching lessons?
     
    #18
  19. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,228
    Location:
    S.E.A.
    He sounds like a really good player. I would love to play against him and even if I lost it would be a great experience.

    The next time you play against him try to take a vid as you can better understand his weakness when you can see it off the court.

    I've really not seen a lot of players who can tp a really low slice.

    I would agree that Heavy topspin is very rhythmic break down his rhythm, with drop shots and deep low slice shots that vary with pace, fast, slow, left or right slice.

    Good luck,

    mawashi
     
    #19
  20. SergeyM

    SergeyM New User

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    and your name is Roger?
     
    #20
  21. JakeHCoker

    JakeHCoker Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I can't seem to beat this really tall net player. I know I need to hit lobs, but he's so fast he just gets to them in time. I really don't have any more info, because its over then.
     
    #21
  22. futuratennis

    futuratennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    181
    Location:
    Sydney
    lol that guy sounds a bit like me... ahah
     
    #22
  23. hellonewbie

    hellonewbie Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Lobs are hard against tall players, especially if they have good overheads. How about hitting low dipping topspin passing shots? You don't have to actually pass him on first try, maybe jam him first with a body shot or dip it so low so he pops up to give you an easier pass at a second try.
     
    #23
  24. hellonewbie

    hellonewbie Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    189
    Like others have said, this guy seems pretty tough. If you get tired or impatient and try to end point too early he's already beaten you in the stamina and patience department. Even Federer gets frustrated with this kind of playing style from Nadal, and Federer has more weapons and skills than most of us. If you really want to beat this guy, you probably should get in as good shape as him so you can last in long rallies and wait for your opportunity to put him away.
     
    #24
  25. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    12,740
    Location:
    USA
    Shoot him.
     
    #25
  26. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,777
    Location:
    Mallorca.
    I agree with this.

    You are not challenging the guy because you aren't creating any sort of pressure on him. Particularly if he is fitter or more patient - he has no motivation to end the rally or do anything different because you will always be the one forced to break first.

    So the first thing is to get fitter so you don't feel the need to end the rally. If you are fitter than him it would be interesting to see what he's got when he is forced to finish the rally. The problem may well be that he's better than you, but you make it more difficult when you bring in your own external fitness constraint to each point.

    It may also be a good idea to develop a plan based on patterns. I.e. don't think of one shot that you think will give him trouble, think of a sequence of shots that will lead to a point winning opportunity.

    Or, if you get as fit or fitter than him, think of a sequence of shots which take more energy out of him than you and play patiently and consistently.

    Accept that there may well be no way of beating him other than being more stubborn!
     
    #26
  27. circusmouse

    circusmouse Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    367
    In your descriptions of this player, you haven't said anything about how good the guy is at net or how well he transitions to the net. One thing a lot of older guys do successfully against me to neutralize my forehand is hit short flat crosscourt forehands that force me to approach on a low forehand from out of the court. It's a tough approach to hit and leaves me well out of position and easily passable.
     
    #27
  28. foLster

    foLster Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Hit top spin back?
     
    #28
  29. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,174
    The "plop shot" short angled slice has been mentioned, use that. Also, you can try slicing the approach shot low and down the middle, not giving him any angle for passes and making him dig it out from ankle level (tough for passes or lobs). Take the ball on the rise and hit hard and flat, take the ball on the rise and hit soft and flat - taking the ball on the rise will still reduce his time to hit the shot - and you are hitting a simple consistent shot (especially do this if you can get in better shape). Mainly mix it up because guys like this like to hit the ball from a consistent position. Keep him uncomfortable, Do Not Cooperate With Him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
    #29
  30. Lejanius

    Lejanius Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    183
    Location:
    St. Paul, MN
    Whenever I play a heavy hitter who hits with a ton of topspin from the baseline I try to vary my shots to make him uncomfortable, as everyone else has said.

    I try to do something like deep slice to the corner, then shorter cross, then back to deep corner, then drop, etc.

    I found against heavy topspin baseliners it isn't about pulling him into the net really but mixing up short and deep slices and short angles. If that makes any sense

    of course this isn't always easy in a game situation, but try to move him up and back as well as side to side and keep him off his game, as others have said. Aside from that I guess you can serve and volley or chip and charge him. Maybe stop your forward movement a bit inside the service line to be back a bit for the lob and hope he doesn't drill a topsin forehand at your feet as your a bit farther back

    All in all as everyone else has said he sounds like a really tough player
     
    #30
  31. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,033
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sounds like you've described a player who is better than you are.

    By this I mean that his strengths matches up well against yours.

    His topspin grinds you down, you can't prevent him from hitting his heavy topspin so you are force to go for low percentage shots which favors him.

    Just accept that you will lose and then work on more aggressive attacking styles, pick any style and just accept that he'll beat you but you get to practice something new.

    You can serve and volley, shorten the rally, stand in closer, hit flatter, attack the ball and come in. chip and charge when ever possible.

    Also, if you want to, you can improve your consistency by trying to outlast him, you won't win but you'll get better.




     
    #31
  32. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    U.S
    vary ur game and take high unconfortale balls on the rise is the best way if its going high.

    use slice,drop shots,angles,volley mixed up and all
     
    #32
  33. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,622
    He does sound very good. I'd go for a lot more outright winners early. If he's crosscourt and he hits a big loopy topspin, take it early and try to drive it down the line. NOT to the backhand side but down the line. Go for more.
    If he's already beating you then go out like a lion!
     
    #33
  34. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    4,040
    If you are playing on HC:

    Be more agressive. Flatten out your shots and take time away from him. Try to put him under pressure from the first ball of the point. If balls are coming quickly at him he will not have the time to fully prepare and his topspin will become less efficient. Throw in slices from time to time.

    I am not saying you will win, but this strategy will at least give you more satisfaction than running around all over the court and lose the long rallies. Look how HC specialists neutralize Nadal.

    If you are playing on clay: well, just accept he's better for the moment and that you will have to grow to be able to beat him.
     
    #34
  35. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    WA
    ....to me it sounds like youre giving him a lot of time. How many players do you know hit a lot of top spin on the run.
     
    #35
  36. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,568
    My take on this is as follows. I hit with a lot of topspin compared to most players that I play against. I have only played a few that hit with spin as much as I do. In those cases it can become a very baseline bashing dual. I also found that it was often harder to hit with as much spin on balls that kicked up too high to me. If you can get the ball deep and up high on him it will make him hit a flatter ball that does not kick up as high back to you. The other thing that has worked well is mixing up your shots. Hit topspin, flat, slice, short, deep, angles, middle, and even through in a lob here and there. This will disrupt his shots also. On serves I would suggest standing deeper behing the baseline, ala Nadal. I have found that when playing someone that I am having difficulty returning serve on from my normal return location on the baseline, I stand back about 8 feet behing the baseline. This give you time to see the ball well and hit a better return. You will have to be more aggressive on the return as standing deep will give your opponent more time as well.
     
    #36
  37. tennisman77

    tennisman77 New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    answer to topspin player

    Let me give you a good point in handling topspin players like you describe:

    When playing someone with heavy topspin, esp on the forehand, I sympathize with you that it seems that forever it is jumping away from you, pulling you off the court, and with him "holding you" with his forehand (ie: you not knowing where he'll hit it). The answer to this, and of course, there are many, but here is one tip. Drive the ball crosscourt and don't let him inside out forehands --- this is the shot that these "heavy topspin / claycourt specialists" live off of....even if, say, he gives you a topspin shot to your backhand and it seems that you have a open lane down the line, don't fall for it...his topspin will take pace off your down the line backhand and won't hurt him. Take it hard crosscourt to his backhand. Also, don't be afraid to take your forehand crosscourt hard to his forehand (even though you may think his forehand is his/a weapon)...he can't hurt you nearly as much with a forehand from the forehand side of the court as with a floater forehand inside out.

    This is all fundamentals that are described in a book, The Lure of the Big Game. It is all quite simple once you understand the principles it describes.
     
    #37
  38. tennisman77

    tennisman77 New User

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    11
    a lot of people will tell you to "take it early" "use slice" "come to net" "stand far behind baseline" etc....that is all ok, but difficult to employ unless you're a better player than the guy anyways in which you'd defeat him anyways.
     
    #38
  39. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,228
    Location:
    S.E.A.
    Although, Monfils doesn't hit with a lot of spin, he can run. I saw the Philipp Petzschner vs Gael Monfils Bank Austria match & Philipp Petzschner played great!

    Knowing that his back hand wasn't his strength, he kept slicing and forcing Monfils to dig each and every shot out and the moment he got a open shot he used his big forehand to end the point.

    Perfect game play to beat a player 107 places above him.

    Play to your strengths and don't try to power your weaker stroke, instead focus on consistency with it.

    mawashi
     
    #39
  40. CAM178

    CAM178 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 8, 2005
    Messages:
    2,108
    Every player has different paces, spins, and heights that they don't like. Heavy topspinners have an ideal height that they like to hit the ball, so keep it out of that zone. Also, they tend to require good timing, so take that timing away from him. And consistency requires rhythm, so take that rhythm away from him.
     
    #40
  41. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    442
    What are his weaknesses? Everyone has at least one weakness.

    I'd do a few things:
    1) Figure out what his "strike-zone" is - and keep it away from that. It could be he can't handle low slice or chip balls to his forehand well - or maybe he isn't too good @ high backhands. Mix it up - but fundamentally keep it out of his strike zone!

    2) Work on accelerating your racquet head speed on groundstrokes and perhaps serve returns; focus on really swinging through or maybe across the ball on groundstrokes.

    3) Improve taking the ball on the rise.

    4) look @ combinations of shots/patterns that work to your advantage. Use angles to your advantage. Maybe draw him off court short+wide to his backhand side - and opening up the court to his forehand. Either exploit that open court right away - or set it up such that he has to chase down a forehand and then go cross court to his BH - and perhaps approach on that.

    5) improve your serve and volley game - also never hurts to invest in improving your serve returns!
     
    #41
  42. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    817
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, not Virginia
    Is this Roger Federer asking how to beat Nadal on clay? Sure sounds like it.
     
    #42

Share This Page