How do you control rally from the baseline?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rrito, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. rrito

    rrito Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    General question, how do you control a rally from the baseline(in match, aggressive rallying)?

    I'm asking this question because I'm mainly a baseliner (4.0) who plays a counterpunching style, which I don't really like. I demo'ed a ig prestige mp and a blade98 2013 today, found that i can generate aggressive topspin angle shots with the prestige more consistently than the blade, but I needed to spend a lot of power on groundstrokes. Whereas with the blade, I generated power and heavy shots easily, but could not play aggressive topspin angle shots consistently.

    Any thoughts?
     
    #1
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,880
    Location:
    San Diego
    How would you control a baseline rally if players were required to play with the same standard issue racquet every time?
     
    #2
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    sure, a couple of things, but
    why not like a counter punch style?
    Imo, every good player is a counter puncher at his base. They rally aggressively
    till they get an attack-able ball to really go after, then transition back to baseline
    or on in to net to finish.
    What else are you going to do? Try to hit winners from the baseline??
    Or hit an approach and crash net every point against poly powered baseliners
    who love a target to pass?

    No, ...counter punch is the Style of Most of the Greats, with some being more
    aggressive on the rally than others, but it is still the same. Rally to get a UE or
    short ball....then go more offensive on the attack.

    How to control a rally?
    Either you hit heavy Top spin with some good power and depth or
    you really drive the ball strongly to open court with the occasional
    hit behind them, or
    you mix these two.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013
    #3
  4. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,325
    Location:
    colorado
    Yeah what's wrong with counter punching? I don't know about controlling the rally from the get-go but works for me is just hitting deep cross court until I get a short ball. Once you get a short ball I usually go for a winner or approach down the line
     
    #4
  5. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    There‘s nothing wrong about counterpunching... as someone said, the basic of tennis strategy is too WAIT for the right ball or for a mistake.

    To control a rally, you need a wise mixture of stroke quality, shot selection, dynamic footwork and court positionning... it‘s very long to explain, so be more precise about what yyou need to improve.
     
    #5
  6. rrito

    rrito Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    My problem with my counterpunching game is that I put every ball back at the guy instead of making him run and do things that can result in unforced errors or short balls. I find myself getting tired running and being pushed around a lot. I would like to be aggressive from the start. Occasionally I go for aggressive returns but I keep on hitting them out with the power racquet (eg blade 98) I use for retrieving shots. I have to admit that I do have many areas to work on technique-wise (footwork, stroke quality). Thank you for your input and I'm open to more opinions or questions!
     
    #6
  7. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    First tip
    Increasing the quality of your shot isn‘t always necessary to be more agressive. Sometimes, your opponent will leave you some space to move slightly forward because rare arw those who can force you out of no man‘s land for the whole match. Even if your contact point is just an inch inside the baseline, that‘s an inch you want to take away from your opppnent. The bottom line: hit as many balls as you can from inside the baseline.

    Second tip
    Develop a reliable backhand slice. It‘s not meant to simply keeping the ball in play when you are pressured... you can use it to force your opponent to make adjustmentsbetween your top spin and back spin shots.

    Third tip
    When you‘re under pressure, think about a deep cross court ball. No need for extreme pace or spin, just a good ball placement will likely bring you back in the game.
     
    #7
  8. rrito

    rrito Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    107
    Thank you for the tips!
     
    #8
  9. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    The most important thing you can do is to keep the ball deep. Your goal is to keep the opponent from going on the offensive. Hitting with pace and a lot of spin is not effective if the ball is landing short of the service line.
     
    #9
  10. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    Actually, as 5263 showed times a many, the ‘‘necessity of depth‘‘ is largely exaggerated. You have to consider angles a well... the point is to be neutralizing.


    Look up for what he calls ''smart targets."
     
    #10
  11. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,464
    Location:
    boston area
    I find that if I start a rally and really work at moving the ball corner to corner, nice & deep with good net clearance, I almost always control the point. If i get pulled into trying to outhit my opponent and end up hitting balls up the middle, my opponents will tee off on anything short, even if I am hitting hard. best to get your opponent moving, even if they know where you are going. they still have to move and you can pull errors if you are patient.
     
    #11
  12. newpball

    newpball Legend

    Joined:
    May 28, 2013
    Messages:
    5,355
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Then develop a better condition, tennis is not golf where you hit one stroke and then go for a relaxing walk (unless even walking is to tiring and you take a cart). :grin:
     
    #12
  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    thanks 10is, and Imo you stated that quite well. Depth is one aspect and likely a
    good one at a point where you can be very consistent.

    But, In this day where even
    avg players hit with pretty good pace & spin, often a safer moderate depth can
    work well if the line of shot is away from the opponent, keeping them on the move.
    This shorter length shot, with good spin and pace can really groove you
    into an extremely versatile, and measured shot that is useful for passing shots
    as well as smart angles to move the opponent around and open the court.

    That thread that 10is mentions is "Practice for Smarter Targets"...
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=413112&highlight=practice+for+smarter+targets
     
    #13
  14. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    570

    really aggressive players off the top of my head. almagro, prime davydenko, when berdych plays his best i feel he goes after virtually every ball, but a lot of times he is willing to get in rally's. also i have watched http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Ko/E/Evgeny-Korolev.aspx play a couple times and he was going after every single ball, hitting the fence a bunch, it was great to see.
     
    #14
  15. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    The answer to this one is extremely simple. Keep it deep, and be able to keep it deep when your opponent hits it deep. First one to break and give up a short ball gets attacked and loses control. If you can't do this to your opponent, then he/she is better than you from the baseline, and you are going to have to come up with something else.

    Obviously it's not just that simple, and people have weaker sides, excellent/bad movement, etc but at the most basic level, keeping it deep and playing the high percentage shots is how you maintain control.
     
    #15
  16. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    I am familiar with that thread. There are dozens of things to consider when it comes to controlling a baseline rally. Of course, angles is one just as hitting low slices might be one.

    Avoiding the middle 1/3 of the court is a simple and well-known strategy. Problem is, most of the rec. players I see have no depth control. They can hit with good spin but half of their shots land well short of the service line. Without good depth control, good luck hitting a short angle over and over in a rally.

    If the OP wants to keep it simple and get the quickest bang for his buck, my recommendation to him would be to concentrate on keeping the ball deep. If he is able to dominate from the baseline hitting short angles, more power to him.
     
    #16
  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    really?
    So you want players with NO DEPTH control to focus on keeping it deep?:???:
     
    #17
  18. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    Yes.

    The point is that many have no depth control because they give it little to no thought. Their main thought is to take a big cut at the ball and hit with lots of spin. They end up hitting a ball that lands short of the service line 2/3 of the time and sits up.

    Then they wonder why they are getting beat by the "pusher" that loops the ball 10' over the net and lands deep over and over and over.

    If the OP was keeping the ball deep in rallies there would be no need for this thread. My advice to him is to concentrate almost solely on keeping the ball deep for some time. Maybe he can do this more consistently with a loopy ball or slice, maybe he will have to hit with less pace than he likes.
     
    #18
  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Maybe so, but I don't follow your logic. Hit deep because you have no depth
    control. You have no depth control because you give it no thought. You are
    taking big cuts that land inside the svc line??
    Now that is some major spin to make that happen. Most that can create that
    much TS have some skills & have heard time and again to hit deep.

    Of course this does not relate to the info given by the OP, as
    he states his problems are lots of UEs and hitting back to them;
    Which my suggestions of hitting away from them and using
    more conservative targets would address if he works on it.
    Also, leaving balls that sit up short is not a big problem against a pusher that
    loops the ball 10' over the net each shot, since that is not how short balls are
    attacked. Don't know how you figure someone with no depth control and too many
    UEs is going to compete against a good pusher by going for extra depth & trying
    to beat a pusher at his own game, while hitting too many long is one of his
    already stated problems
    ?
    Sounds more like the cycle of problems that we see players trapped in every day
    at the rec level...mostly due to the myth of how hitting deeper is the holy grail to
    solve all rally problems.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    #19
  20. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    Agree 100%



    The OP has many more problems than UE's and hitting back to the other player - he also mentions footwork, stroke quality, and short balls. When comparing racquets, he focuses on hitting aggressive topspin angle shots. Then he mentions that he would like to be "aggressive from the start" and move away from a counterpunching style.

    If he thinks that going for angles or being aggressive is going to solve his problem, more power to him. My advice is to simplify things and just focus on keeping the ball deep as a starting point.
     
    #20
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Not trying to give you a hard time, as Imo we are having a meaningful discussion.
    I hope you feel the same.

    Above you cite going for angles, which I never said. There is an important difference
    between going for angles vs hitting away to the open court.
    Basically this is the common problem of going from one extreme to another to
    solve a simple problem.
    No need to focus on hitting deep, when working moderate depth will work well
    with less risks.
    No need to "go for angles" when just hitting away to the open court will work,
    again...with less risks....especially when his and the universal problem is
    really missing shots.
    No one struggles or is asking for advice when they are making the shots they
    attempt with confidence.
     
    #21
  22. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    I'm also going to post something here from an old thread-



    This is exactly my experience as well. I also find that in most matches I watch between rec. players, USTA juniors, college players, etc., the person keeping the ball deep most consistently wins.
     
    #22
  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Yep, and that is an excellent perspective on....
    how things look to the substantially weaker player
    trying to play over his head......almost always it looks this way.

    They have a very limited perspective on what it takes to play and the next level,
    and this leads them to many false conclusions.
    When a near equal 5.0-5.5 player plays it close or beats this guy he discusses,
    there will be many balls hit to mid court and even some will be clean winners.
    If either one of them focuses heavily on keeping all shots deep, he will lose badly
    AND the only exception is if they both make that mistake...but that is quite
    rare for true 5.5 level players. They usually know better.

    Go to DJ vs anyone good, highlight points on you tube and you will see how on
    these exceptional long points how often the strong mid ct balls outnumber the real
    deep ones by more than 3 to one...and amazingly often..the pt ending winner
    is hit off one of the deeper balls faced in that rally. Maybe if I remember, I'll link
    a few here when I get where I have you-tube available.

    Best lessons of how points should be worked and played is by study in very well matched
    players.
    Little is learned in lopsided matches because the better player can get away with too
    much. It is easy for him to hit deeper and more accurate against the weak players, as
    well as make up for showboat misses by winning the next point.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    #23
  24. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    Yes, and these balls are hit with extreme pace and spin. The OP cannot hit to these locations with any consistency, let alone with any amount of pace and spin. Using a 4.0 as an example would be much more helpful, IMO. My experience with people at this level is that keeping it deep is what is sorely lacking - regardless of whether it is an even matchup or not.

    Apologies to the OP if I am not giving him enough credit. My advice to him has not changed.
     
    #24
  25. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,850
    How to get control from the baseline? Maybe hitting on the rise on every ball into the open side smart target? Wasn't that what Agassi always did? Maybe OP should try that?

    At least I will since I have a mental problem: I always start moving my feet too late when I see a short ball. If you try to hit all the balls on the rise, then you're forced to stay alert all the time. :mrgreen:
     
    #25
  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Not usually extreme, But yes, very good pace and spin; which pretty much tends
    to even out because that is all relative to level....so with 4.0 the pace & spin would
    be less, but mostly would zero out relative to the level of play.
    125mph serve are good for pros &
    100mph is good for 4.5...
    Both with get aces with that and even less at times vs the level, so no, using
    4.0 wouldn't be a better example in every respect. Using high level pros shows
    that even the best of the best of the best clearly can't put away even half of
    the mid ct balls against a worthy opponent....much less the 5.0 in your example.

    If anything, pace and spin are the easiest thing to match of the avg pro, but it
    is doing it with location consistency that is the challenge.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    #26
  27. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    ''If anything, pace and spin are the easiest thing to match of the avg pro, but it
    is doing it with location consistency that is the challenge.''

    That and doing that against another pro. When players are well matched, you don't see too many roaring line painting winners... Much harder to hit big when you face high quality balls for your level than if you play someone way bellow your abilities.

    As a side note, I would add that a good ball placement is largely overlooked by many people, yet ball placement is more important than hitting big.
     
    #27
  28. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    If you plan on playing linear tennis against a smart player, you will be handed a tennis lesson you won't forget and that's what you're advising here... I've seen Federer slicing balls short at an angle, even against Djokovic, and I have yet to see someone who's not lefty pick that slice up for a winner. It's not deep and it's not penetrating, but it earns him inside forehand situations.

    That's one of many things which violates the ''must hit deep'' mentra...
     
    #28
  29. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    1,660
    Yes, per my response on the first page-


     
    #29
  30. DirtBaller4

    DirtBaller4 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    Norwalk, CT
    Pace & Depth Vs Spin & Angles.

    Sounds like Nadal Vs. Fed.

    I use my inside out top spin forehand or backhand slice low and right to pull people right all the time so I can kit back into the left corner.

    This can be done either way, just think of the shot that your opponent is going to hit and try to make it the hardest shot you can think of.

    Most commonly the backhand on the run.
     
    #30
  31. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,412
    Yes, that is the normal mindset, and maybe that is why it is so tough for many
    to get their head around it.

    What 10is & I are talking about is using Pace and Moderate Depth....with
    good spin and to the open court.
    Basically it just takes a bit of all that into account, but without the extreme or
    any..., except pace/power can go up due to the margin of error with the target.

    No need to hit so much spin that it sits up short, even for a short angle...
    but I'm not even talking short angles mostly.
    Mostly describing hitting to the open court with solid margin of error. If you can
    manage solid pace and spin for your level of play....then target that for moderate depth
    to the open court side...then you can keep them on the move
    while building a point. You also increase your odds on earning a sitter to
    attack in the process. With smarter targets, you can add more power and spin
    with way less fear of missing. It's a little like the guy who just works to hit his
    driver 250-260 down the middle of the fairway, except in tennis we want to avoid
    the middle center T area, a bit more....or looking at the open court area as the
    fairway to split.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    #31
  32. Jkramer

    Jkramer New User

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    To control: be the last guy hits a short ball!!! If you can do this "easy" task, then you are in control.
     
    #32

Share This Page