How to beat a better (more stable and consistent) player?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rfedererfan, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. rfedererfan

    rfedererfan New User

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    What can i do tactically to defeat a better opponent than me at the 4.0 level? The only shot advantage that i can see is the backhand to backhand exchange, i'm getting outplayed in movement, control and stability, i have the advantage in power and first serve. It's driving me crazy that i can't change anything. Surface is clay and most points are baseline rallies.
     
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  2. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Become a pusher. Pushers are known to beat players who have better strokes, better game, better athleticism. :)
     
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  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    There are two ways to win a match -
    1) Play better than the other guy
    2) Make the other guy play worse than you.

    Give him whatever he doesn't like. Try moonballs, junky spins, drop shots, short slices, chip and charge, hard flat shots, etc. Never the same shot twice in a row. Whatever you can do to keep him unsettled and keep him from getting his strokes grooved.
     
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  5. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Practice volleys and overheads. Play very aggressively and look for any chance to come into the net. Ive started doing this and its playing havok with people who used to handle me easily.
     
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  6. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Agree with above points.

    Also all points are either won or lost - someone makes an error, or someone hits a winner. If you are more consistent (on the whole) then you'll likely win with this strategy and you don't need to risk a lot on your shots. If he is more consistent than you, then you need to set up points for winners (or induce forced errors) - good patterns, preferably right off your serve or on the return.

    Few players lack a weakness. I'd look very carefully at your opponent and find his. It might take a variety of shots on your part but surely there's some shot or other he doesn't like.
     
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  7. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Well, if your opponent is truly better than you, then by definition, you can't beat him. I mean that's why he's a "better" player. Hard to beat a guy who's more stable and consistent than you are. The only way to beat him is to become a better player yourself and become even more stable and consistent than he is.
     
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  8. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Has TT ever asked you to become a Mod?
     
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  9. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    How to beat a better (more stable and consistent) player?


    The answer is in your question.....
     
    #9
  10. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    At a philosophical level I disagree with this sort of statement. I've definitely lost to players when I was better player. What I mean by that claim is that if we played repeatedly over a period of time, I'd normally win 9 of 10 matches, but for whatever reason I lost that day. It seems to me that the same thing happens to the pros. Almost certainly Nadal and Djokovic have lost at some point to players who were not as good as them. A bad day can happen to almost anyone, but usually it doesn't cause a loss unless the gap between the two players isn't great.

    I believe the best chance you have to beat a better player is to discover a type of shot that the opponent doesn't like. Take your opponent out of his comfort zone say with high bouncing shots to the backhand. The problem against a better player is he will either adapt to the shot during the course of the match, or practice it so the next time it is ineffective.
     
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  11. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    The basic (short) answer to this, and similar questions, is to practice- improve- become a more all-round player, with fewer weaknesses + more strengths.
     
    #11
  12. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    The fact that upsets happen proves that this is not true.
     
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  13. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    good luck with that :???:

    Your only chance is to be excellent at attacking mid ct balls, but then if you can
    do that, he wouldn't be better than you I expect.
     
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  14. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Drop shot / Lob.

    If you have the ability, grind them into the dirt. It won't be pretty, but if you have the legs to grind, go for it. :)

    -Fuji
     
    #14
  15. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Actually, this can work. I lost to a guy who I consider a weaker player than me. He started out trying to hit with me but gave that up as I think he realized he was going to lose. Then, I got nothing but moon balls, drops shots and lobs. I don't think he hit 6 balls hard after the first 4 games for the remainder of the match. It was on clay and he was about 20 years younger. He wore me down and I became frustrated. I lost.
     
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  16. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Exactly my point. :)

    The big thing is playing on clay, which is a surface that rewards grinding. Matches won this way won't be good looking, but with enough work it can really turn the tides for a less skilled player.

    -Fuji
     
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  17. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    since the guy is better, you probably will have to play some kind of mind game to get him upset and play worse. The sort of things that Brad Gilbert wrote about in his book "winning ugly" :)
     
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  18. VaporDude95

    VaporDude95 New User

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    Chip and charge. Look for as many oportunities as you can to go into the net. Consistent players hate it coz it messes up their rythm. Well executed drop shots are also uselful.
     
    #18
  19. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You can definitely beat a better player. You just can't sustain that level like they can. Hence why even though Djokovic is the undisputed best player out there, he got embarrassed by Tommy Haas who's pushing 10 years on him. I won't break the record, and will just say I agree with everyone else's sentiments on finding weaknesses and breaking rhythm. I do think that the biggest thing here is mental. You've set it in your head that he's better, but you're the same NTRP. From a logic standpoint, there is no reason why he is better. Perhaps he's better against you, but there is definitely someone you can beat you destroys him too.
     
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  20. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like he is superior from the baseline and in most rallies.

    Get to the net (i.e. get out of rallies) and/or get him off the baseline (get him moving up and down the court):
    - Drop shot and then come to the net to pass in the open court.
    - Approach the net after a deep shot to his backhand and volley into the open court. Some people get flustered with opponents at the net.
    - Rally cross court backhand to backhand to get a short ball then attack it into the open court.
    - Attack his forehand to open up his weaker side (backhand) for a backhand to backhand exchange.

    You have to find one or two strategies that work and then just pound him with those relentlessly. Check out the clip in my sig.

     
    #20
  21. rfedererfan

    rfedererfan New User

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    Thanks for all the replies. So i need to go drop shot+lob, chip and charge, go backhand to backhand, basically go Santoro on his ***, seems simple enough..
     
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  22. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Actually you are missing the point. "Upsets" are called that because the prediction of who was the better player was wrong. That's the problem with predictions, they are often inaccurate.
     
    #22
  23. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's really all you can do. The strategy is also known as "rope-a-dope". Basically, hit a "weak" shot in the hopes of drawing a weak-to-average response from your opponent... which allows you to hit a stronger shot.

    I think the "drop-lob-drop-lob" is the most prevalent rope-a-dope strategy. But the chip backhand to chip backhand is also one... for sure.
     
    #23
  24. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

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    If you start attacking the net you're going to get stomped. Yes, there are things we can do to beat players strategy wise, but if someone is just simply a better player then you will have to improve yourself.
     
    #24
  25. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    1. Attack his second serve if at all possible.

    2. Find out which side is weaker side - FH or BH. Then try attacking the weaker side.

    3. Know your weakness(es) and develop strategists on how to over come them. Your opponent had your game figured out and that's where they go to beat you.

    4. Develop a good defense, basically do what you can to get the ball back and have the opponent play another shot.

    5. Play each point one at a time. Try not to rush between points.

    6. Go big only when needed. Focus more on hitting the ball deep in the court and not let the opponent come into the baseline to attack you.

    7. Improved First serve and Return % = confidence

    8. Add SLICE to your weapon - low skidding ball, changes the pace of the game which can disrupt opponent's rhythm. Very effective specially if you hit it xcross and deep to the corners.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
    #25
  26. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    I've no expertise to advice you a tactic in this situation, but just an observation...

    His strengths: movement, control and stability
    Your strengths: power and first serve
    Surface: "CLAY" ==> meaning both your strengths are nullified to a large extent
     
    #26

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