How much is TOO much net clearance?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tank_job, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    All my shots off forehand and backhand are like 'fast lobs' and they clear the net by so much that it is uncomfortable for people to overhead them probably because they're hit at normal groundstroke speed, so they can't react to it fast enough.

    They always land well inside the baseline, however. It's actually proving to be quite useful for doubles, because it doesn't matter if I hit to the net player as it goes over them anyway. I have a full western grip with my forehand and a semi-western 1hbh. Should I change what I'm doing if it seems to be working?
     
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  2. Joehax

    Joehax New User

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    Why change if it works for you?
     
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  3. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    It depends if you want more variety in your shots. I think sometimes it's good to have different weapons. It makes your opponent guessing.
    The reason why your shots might be falling short, without actually seeing them could be number of things. You might be spinning the ball too much and not giving it enough forward speed. Are you transfering your weight forward? Are you hitting the ball in front of you? Is your racket face too closed? Do you follow through?
    If you get a chance, record yourself on a video and post it. It would be much easier to identify your issue.
     
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  4. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Sorry, that was a bit off topic.:)
     
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  5. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    You make it sound like it's a bad thing, which it isn't (necessarily).

    I guess it boils down to where the ball lands. He said "well in the baseline" so I'm going to assume it's landing in no man's land, in which case isn't necessarily a bad thing (if it lands near the service box/line however, he should flatten it out). Probably gives opponents nightmares, because it's a high percentage shot that's difficult to deal with. In a neutral rally, they may be forced to stand way behind the baseline or hit on the rise. It's not a lob or moonball because it has plenty of pace.

    My standard FH is like this too, and inside-out FHs are my favourite stroke. Net clearance is sometimes six feet or more. Together, they give most people (particularly one handers) problems, without my having to do anything risky. Obviously OP needs to make sure he knows how to flatten out his FH when it's necessary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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  6. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Typical pusher.

    That kind of tennis is interesting for no one and will not let your game progress.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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  7. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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  8. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    I take it the bolded part is the only part that you actually read, or you don't know what a pusher is.

    From what I gather, what you're saying is that since I'm hitting high percentage shots and it's enough to give most people trouble, I'm a pusher, no? I see, so if I want to progress, I must hit tweeners and backhand smashes exclusively because they're low %; is that correct?

    Just because heavy topspin, I/O FHs come very naturally for me (therefore a high percentage shot), doesn't mean I'm a pusher. I don't consider myself a good tennis player, but I'm definitely no hack. I'm not tapping, flicking and hacking balls back into play until my opponent starts swinging at the fences out of frustration. I'm trying to hit the shot I play best as often as I can (I/O FH as opposed to CC), and it so happens that the nature of the shot gives most other players trouble.

    The only thing out of the ordinary here is that I find the I/O easier than the CC.

    My net clearance (usually 6 ft max) isn't high enough to qualify as a moonball, which is what those two girls are doing like, half the time :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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  9. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    They hit the ball pretty hard but all shots are very loopy. I guess some would call it pushing in a higher level. Besides, the girl in a blue dress isn't getting many balls in. A lot of them land way out. Typical pusher hits the ball safely and always lands in the court. To me hitting loopy ball with a lot of topspin is not a bad way to change a rythm of the game but I wouldn't be doing it shot after shot. In a higher level you get punished for doing that constantly.
    Don't get me wrong, it's fine by me if you don't have any other weapons and specialy if it works for you.
     
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  10. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Pushers don't exist at higher levels.

    Rafa hits the same loopy balls all the time. Provided they don't land short (and even if they do, unless his opponent is Djokovic), I don't see it being punished constantly like you say.
     
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  11. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    15 feet is too much. 10 is probably too much too.
     
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  12. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    I was just trying to point out that just because you have a high net clearance it doesn't make you a pusher. Those girls would probably wreck most of the people on these boards (obviously with some exceptions).
     
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  13. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    Whenever you allow your opponent too much time to prepare for the next shot, usually at the higher levels players just take that ball early and rip the ball a new one. Also define "because they're hit at normal groundstroke speed", normal groundstroke speed is relative to the level of the player.
     
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  14. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    so bitter :oops:
     
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  15. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    But pulling off a tweener or jumping for a backwards smash implies moving towards the ball, which, only pushers do.
     
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  16. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Loopy, consistent shots are a good foundation for singles, especially if you play on clay. I would start kids this way to get them used to hitting and strategy.

    You will get to a point, however, where people will hit a swinging volley/overhead at ball. You must play against weak competition if they allow the ball to go overhead. Why wouldn't they set up at the service line, especially in doubles?
     
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  17. KTENNIS

    KTENNIS New User

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    It depends how high you actually hit it and with how much topspin. As a general rule, in 3.0 to 3.5 levels this is okay, but in 4.0 onwards players will crush anything loopy. However this is a general rule, and if it's not broken, don't fix it.
     
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  18. syke

    syke Professional

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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Too much is when your shots land beyond the baseline, or your opponent is at the net.
     
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  20. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    I know there's a rule in tennis saying that the point is over if the ball doesn't clear the net. I've never heard of a rule saying there's a problem with clearing the net by too much...
     
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  21. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I like the high, loopy, and spinny shots. The problem is when you don't control them well enough. If you can hit them so they land about 6 feet or so from the baseline and do it consistently you will give lots of players fits. A ball like that pretty much has to be hit on the rise otherwise it's going into the back fence. I don't care who you are it's hard to win points from the back fence. Especially from your weaker side. That kind of shot is great strategy 80% or more of the time.

    It is a balance though. It's like hitting lots of slice. There are people who play slice shots 80% of the time, and they also win lots of games. If they lose control of their slice though and it doesn't stay low, below the net, then the opponent gets a lot of looks at sitters and can take charge easily.

    It's good to have some variety and be able to switch up the game plan if needed. If you end up playing a guy 5ft tall, the low slice may be a bad play. Just as hitting high loopers to a big tall guy is probably not going to work out so well in the long run.
     
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  22. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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  23. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Oh look, the pushers motto. I think there might be a ceremony where potential pushers place their right hands on a Babolat APD and swear to Radwanska to moonball as much as possible until your eyes burn as a result of looking at the sun behind all the high balls.
     
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Actually not using various heights above the net is what will not let your game progress.
    Rather some who don't understand quality tennis call me a pusher, than a "wanna be", trying
    to hit every ball just above the net.
    I didn't watch the whole vid, but what I saw, those girls were working different heights and bounces and keeping it mixed up quite well. Easiest opponent keep the ball flatter and closer to net imo.
     
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  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    just about covers it!
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Too much is only if you start to lose points, games, sets, and matches.
    As long as it's working, keep it up.
    When your opponent figures it out and hammer's winners or volley approaches, then maybe you might need to lower and lengthen your groundies.
     
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  27. Sean-Topspin

    Sean-Topspin New User

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    If you're lobbing the ball up high enough that your opponent is unable to use an overhead smash, but still landing on the baseline. If I tried to do that my shots would go over the fence behind the baseline, lol.

    Two conclusions I've reached:

    A: Your opponents are quite short in general. I stand 6'1 and with my racket extended above that makes me quite a high target to get over.

    B: Your lobs are really slow.

    Which brings me back to the height of your opponents and their reach. If I'm your opponent whenever you're going to hit the ball I move right up to the net and extend my racket out. Maybe your lobs are working because your opponents aren't anticipating your high lobs like I would during a game.
    Unless your lobs are going 50 feet up in the air, your not going to hit the baseline with me standing at the net arm extended to a height of around 10 feet if I choose to jump. Judging by how slow you're hitting the lob to keep it in the baseline, I'm guessing I'd have the time to jump.

    I wouldn't rely on a super high lob if I were you.

    Personally I aim to keep my shots just over the net with some nice spin. My opponent has a lot of trouble hitting those low shots and not lobbing them up and setting me up for an easy smash.

    And lastly, if your playing a lot of doubles, aren't your opponents skilled enough to stand near the baseline and volley the ball right back to you? That would be the duty I'd relay with my hitting partner if I was playing someone with your style. Not too make it sound too easy, but this would be quite effective against the lob.
     
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  28. PowerPlay

    PowerPlay Rookie

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    I pray nightly for as much net clearance as humanly possible. I hit flat...too flat.
     
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  29. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    I think you've misread the OP. He isn't quite lobbing, he just hits loopy groundstrokes with lots of spin and a fair bit of pace. If it's anything similar to what I hit most of the time, then it's too low for a proper overhead, but high enough to force you to hit a high volley or stand further back.

    This.

    Big, tall guys, I can start slicing and pulling them wide/making them run, etc.

    Where I'm from though, haven't met many of those...

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=515149&postcount=3
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
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  30. leroy_sunset

    leroy_sunset Rookie

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    This is the funniest thread I have read in a while. And that video was priceless!
     
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  31. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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  32. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    I used to get told off by my coach all the time for trying to spank winners at every opportunity and told my hitting friend just two weeks ago, that I'd rather lose to him 0-6 from UEs trying to hit winners than to win 6-0 dinking balls into play. I clocked my serve at 110 mph at the WTF 2010.

    ...and you're telling me that I'm a typical pusher?

    I think your understanding of what a pusher is, is wrong. For a start, you seem to think there are pushers in the WTA.
     
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  33. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Those lady "pushers" would double bagel about 95% of the men posters on this forum.
     
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  34. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    I never said pushing isn't an effective way to play, they certainly win matches hence their abundant presence on the amateur circuit. I just hate them as it's a disgusting, unaesthetic, cowardly way to play tennis

    P.S: They probably wouldn't double bagel 95% of the posters on here. Double bagels are pretty rare. Also I think the average level on here is 4.0. Those girls wouldn't double-bagel a 4.0.
     
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  35. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    That's cool. It's would have been an amazing answer to the question "How fast can you serve?" it also happens to be irrelevant right here.

    Whether you are a pusher or not is of no interest to me anyway, we will almost surely never play. All I'm saying is that it's a cowardly gameplan to try to sabotage the opponent's game to win a match. There's a reason it's called "winning ugly".
     
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  36. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    How convenient of you to skip out on the fact that I love hitting winners. Didn't this dialogue start because you think that hitting an inside out topspin forehand (which I like to hit) is a typical pusher shot?

    My serve speed is relevant because a pusher plays safe and a 110 mph is anything but safe for most of us. Of course this may not have dawned on you because you don't seem to know what a pusher actually is. Winning ugly isn't reserved only for pushers. Everybody does it, including those you may consider to be the "courageous" type, like Fed or Del Potro.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
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  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That was #1 for USC? Yes they would!
     
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  38. Sean-Topspin

    Sean-Topspin New User

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    I dunno, the OP did use the word Lob and described himself as hitting over the opponents reach.

    I'm not a big guy, I'm fit, tall and have quick reflexes. And I very much doubt you'd be returning my balls with a slice since I hit my shots just over the net, landing at the T or deeper with enough topspin that it bounces lower than your kneecaps. This would make your lob returns or attempted slices go pretty high, cause you'd have to find the angle considering your technique is to get a considerable net clearance on your normal shots. Just guessing the clearance gets higher on your shots when you're under pressure. Practicing against a wall, I've put a heavy forehand shot just over the net line with topspin and it's very difficult to hit a low topspin shot with a slice, even if you know it's coming as I do in this instance. Unless hit perfectly, the return is usually slower, with a lobbing sorta trajectory. Or it simply hits the net.
    I don't have a weak slice either,, pbly my best shot.

    You can describe his shots as loopy if you want, but to me it sounds like a clear lob and probably very slow one at that. Pusher mentality from what I've been learning recently. The OP should watch the next tennis matches with the ATP tour on t.v. and see if too much net clearance is a bad thing. Those guys eat up shots that clear the net high because it has to be a slower shot to stay in.

    Define 'fair' bit of pace?
    Cause I hit my strokes between fair and heavy and they usually land between the T and the baseline and with crazy topspin. If my shots had more net clearance many of them would land outside my opponents baseline.

    So either the OP has the most crazy topspin ever or he's lobbing his shots super high. I'm just analyzing the way he described his shots. He used the word lobbing over the opponent. Would be an extremely slow shot in order to clear an opponent and still land inside the baseline, even with a crapload of topspin.
     
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  39. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    He used the phrase "uncomfortable for them to overhead them", and he said the reason was the pace. To me it sounds like they are coming over around 7 feet or so but maybe he could clarify.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If it works to beat your opposition, go for it.
    But don't expect it to work against all court 4.5's.
     
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  41. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    That doesn't sound like a heavy topspin shot to me. If it comes across the baseline at kneecap height it sounds like a pretty flat shot. A topspin shot that bounces well in front of the other player doesn't have nearly the same effect as one that bounces right in front of them. The kick off the court helps throw the opponent off balance because it ruins their timing. If the ball is bouncing far enough in front of them then they have more time to judge the bounce properly. I think a lot of flat hitters and slicers would like to play against the shot you describe, but maybe I'm misinterpreting what you describe.
     
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  42. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    That "pusher" from USC has beaten both the #210 and #147 WTA players and is ranked 19th in the nation as a freshman ... she would most likely double bagel any honest 4.0 if she were trying to, heck she'd probably hand out alot of bagels to 4.5s too

    Not to mention that what they are doing is not pushing, you could call it moonballing but there is a huge difference.
     
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  43. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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  44. phnx90

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    I think you're describing your groundstrokes as flat rather than topspinny. Trajectory seems flat and it isn't bouncing high at all. Just because I have high net clearance on my standard FH doesn't mean I lob my slices as well. And of course, slices can't be hit particularly fast, so of course it's going to be slower than your topspin/flat groundstrokes. It's all about resetting the point or switching from defence to offence. I take larger swings at low, flatter balls like you've described with my FH, or decide to slice it nice and low. When I'm under pressure I tend to hit the net rather than out long, because I try to set myself up as quickly as possible to hit a flatter winner.

    Also, when you're hitting a topspin shot against a wall, the ball that comes back to you has backspin, not topspin, because the spin hasn't changed direction upon impact.

    Here is the OP's post, with the relevant parts bolded:
    Looks like a heavy topspin shot with high net clearance
    Again, sounds like a heavy topspinny shot, a bit like this guy, you might know him ;)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=F...feature=player_detailpage&v=u8FoCRbd8bg#t=62s

    In my case, when I'm practicing, I'm pretty much trying to hit at about 70-80% strength. When I'm playing a set, I lower my net clearance but hit at about 60%. I suppose it's anywhere in the region of 45-65 mph?

    He said it was like a lob, but fast (i.e. normal groundstroke speed). He hits with a full Western grip. That grip naturally produces a lot of spin. Granted, we won't know how good it is until we know how fast he "normally" hits, but assuming he's just a normal guy, I'd say it's less a lob and more a topspin-laden, high net clearance groundstroke.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
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  45. tank_job

    tank_job Banned

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    you guys are right, I do play against shorter players usually. One guy is huge though, like 6ft 7in, but he has bad hands at the net. I guess my net clearance height is like 'high volley' height to low overhead height.

    A related question, if dealing with a good net player, should you purposely hit your shot shorter in the court so that it would bounce way before the service line so the volleyer has to volley up? Normally the deeper the shot the better, but is it different for passing shots?

    Also, if people hit like Federer with a low trajectory yet heavy topspin, is it possible to hit a shot that clears the net by 2 inches, but kicks up way above your head (like 7-8ft high) when it bounces?

    Finally, when hitting topspin lobs, should the racket face actually be closed, not open, so you get topspin rather than just dinking it up high?
     
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  46. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    If it's too high you will lose velocity. real moonballers have been gone from the game. hitting flatter means hitting harder.

    most pros have 2-3 feet net clearance on average (lower on passing shots, slices and winners but higher on very defensive shots).
    moonballing will work to some level but limit you against really good opponents.
     
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  47. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    do you mean 6 feet over the ground or 6 feet over the net cord? 6 feet over the net cord is really high.
     
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  48. phnx90

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    Yes, a ball that lands near the volleyer's feet would be difficult to deal with.

    Federer does NOT have a low trajectory, though you are right in that he does hit with lots of spin. Take a look:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGf0XSul3xc&list=PLC732928E7B03D17E&index=2&feature=plpp_video

    A ball that kicks up 7-8 ft that barely clears the net, to my knowledge, pretty much requires superhuman strength to impart the spin necessary to kick up higher than its flight trajectory and yet move fast enough to offset the naturally-loopier trajectory of a ball with topspin to land so deep. Remember a ball with topspin has a far more curved trajectory than that of a flat one, which is why topspin groundstrokes are much safer than flat ones.

    As for topspin lobs, I believe the racquet face should be slightly open, since when you hit a normal topspin groundstroke, the face should only close by about 10-20 degrees tops at contact.
     
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  49. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, let me be clear: the max net clearance I get is about 6 ft over the net cord.

    Obviously, that means my clearance is generally less than that (about 4 ft).
     
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  50. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Still sounds a bit pushy unless you have nadalesque spin, which I doubt.
     
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