How to counter a hard hitter

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by MarinaHighTennis, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    #1
  2. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    theres nothing you can do against Diguilio. I used to train with him, you just have to improve to where you can outgrind him
     
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  3. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    Or you can go T fritz style and tree every point and then pray it works
     
    #3
  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Dude, that guy's a Div 1 prospect.
    You look close, maybe Div11.
    So change your game, you can't hit through him yet.
    Serve twists high to his backhand, come to net, hit behind him if he's covering your CC first volley.
    Bring him up, plan on lobbing him so he tires out a bit. He WILL win the initial points.
    Add some heavy slice, it bothers him into hitting higher weaker shots.
    Plan on running him on his service games.
    Try to win on your service games with more net play. His high backhand return of serve is a starting point.
     
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  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Sometimes the level difference is too great. He hits harder than you do on both wings, serves faster and spinnier AND with better placement, hits higher quality shots (more spin/longer/faster), returns better, finds better angles... Yeah, gonna be difficult. :lol: It's not bad to admit that he's much better than you are.

    I see you're trying to hit a bit longer even when pressured. It doesn't work bad, but your shots lacks either good enough placement, either pace/spin to really hurt. Good neutralizing shots in short, but they do not hurt or pressure your opponent. Each time you are not able to hit long enough or/and without enough pace, you are consistently punished. Either you have to hit in the last 6' of the court consistently (18' between baseline and service line!) which you cannot at the moment being, either you have to give an harder to deal with ball.

    You have to rework your FH seriously. You're really limited in spin, and acceleration capacity on your FH wing. You hit often too late, you lack consistency. It often results on fluff balls, they bounce high but lack the heaviness that would make those balls harder to deal with.

    About your BH... you're still punished on that wing due to short balls and lower pace. Work on hitting with better placement. And please, engage your shoulders inside the shot. Hit while moving your body weight forward. You're only using your arms, you're not going to have any pace like that. Move your body inside the shot, move your body weight forward.

    Compared to his, your serves sit up in the middle of the box, waiting to be smacked. Big no-no. And these are your first serves(!), not good news at all. Not good enough placement or spin to be threatening, let alone pace. You really have to hit with much better placement, the middle of the box serve won't do at higher level. The pace isn't important here, you can fold your radar gun. Your placement is at fault.

    Tl;Dr:
    1) He's better than you are;
    2) Work on your groundstrokes technically speaking, use your body and core muscles more than before, you're only using your arms;
    3) Your serve lacks placement.

    EDIT: Look at DiGiulio in the video you link. Look at how much he tries to move his body weight forward. How much he tries to use his core muscles to hit the ball. How he coils and uncoils. That's what you lack. That's where you loose pace and hitting power.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013
    #5
  6. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I don't think there's much you can do here. Everyone's made some pretty good points so far, but face it, the kid's too good. It's all right though: he'd wreck me too. :)
     
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  7. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I think it is great that you are posting these. As others have said, he's just at a different level. If he does everything just a little better than you, the end result is that you are almost never pressuring him and he can easily hit whatever shot he wants.
     
    #7
  8. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    yeah... i wish i could play at his level :(

    problem for me now is that school starts in 2 weeks and i wont be able to play tennis anymore for improvement or work on what you guys suggested

    @Rafa4ever: I guess i could practice treeing every point haha
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Dude, I knew lots of Div11 players who had 15 units and played tennis 2+ hours, 4 days a week.
    School only takes the morning to early afternoon, then you play tennis till 7, go study till 11, and start the process.
    And none of them had cars or Mommy driving them around, they either rode public transport or rode their bikes.
     
    #9
  10. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Whats a div 11? I didnt know it went past div 3 haha. Yeah but they are on the team haha. Im a medical student with mcats coming up :O
     
    #10
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Get your priorities in order.
    You want to live now, or do you want to live 9 years into the future?
     
    #11
  12. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    You don't have the possibility to use a wall or a ball machine one hour a day, two or three times a week? Or even to shadow swing in your garden, who knows. If you can't, well indeed it sucks. :|
     
    #12
  13. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    he is teeing off on your loopy topspin balls and he hits a lot more flat robbing you time to react. two things. you gotta prevent that by learning to hit more flat when necessary. flat hitting requires quicker more forceful rotation of the core along with flatter swingpath. you gotta develop stronger core muscles. same with your serve. they just sit up. you need hard flat first serve to elicit weak reply which you can hit away by hitting more flat not loop it back.
    flat hitting can be very useful in defense and counter punching as well which you need against this player to have any chance.
     
    #13
  14. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Nice hitting.

    Obviously he’s hitting a bit harder than you and that’s putting a lot of pressure on you, but even with the strokes you have there are things that you were doing that were working. You were keeping the ball over to his bh. That’s good. His bh is good, but his fh was murdering you. When you do go to his fh you can’t just give him a rally ball near the middle of the court. You have to pull him out wide more or go for pace. You can’t just let him set-up on that ball to the fh. Consider going to the bh more until you get a ball you can either rip to his fh and keep some pressure on him or that you can approach on.

    On a couple of points that I saw you did come in. That was good. However you didn’t do much with the volley and you paid the price. If you come in you’ve got to hurt him with the first volley off the approach. I saw a point where you had the opportunity to do that but you just put the ball back up the middle without much on it and he ripped it.

    Ultimately you want to be able to put more pressure on him off the ground and be able to hurt him if he gives you a ball that you can really set-up on, but that’s a longer term thing.
     
    #14
  15. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I just looked at a bit of the Matt lin vs Diguilio video. Diguilio fed Lin a long, steady diet of bhs. When Lin did get a fh it had a good amount of pace on it and he wasn't able to set-up and pound it like he did when he got a fh from you. I think you just need another 10-20% more pace and spin, and a bit better placement (especially when changing directions), without losing consistency to better hang with these guys.

    Good stuff.
     
    #15
  16. Rafa4Ever

    Rafa4Ever Rookie

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    If Taylor Fritz can do it, so can you :)
     
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  17. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Man that was tough to watch. Sadly I know that feeling of being completely outclassed.

    Those are the guys you have to Brad Gilbert.

    Here is an excerpt from a vid that tennis WH sales where they do a drill about hitting with different power levels to throw the aggressive baseliner off their game. You were feeding him the same exact ball on almost every shot!

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/productvideo.html?pcode=USPTAAB
     
    #17
  18. HughJars

    HughJars Professional

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    Hi, first of all, I really enjoyed watching your game. Nice play. You guys are damn good. Personally I dont think your that far away from his standard. I think it mainly came down to you giving him too many oppurtunities to capatilise on his strengths. And extra bit of pop on your serve would help too, but in the meantime focus on the placement.

    What I noticed was you were feeding him an awful lot of easy slow balls mid court or to his forehand that he monstered. There were a lot of occasions when you could of gone to his backhand but didnt. Either maybe because you were too rushed to get the placement, or maybe you werent playing this strategy.

    I agree with rkelly - whatever you do, dont give him those slow, loopy balls that sit up there. He'll eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday of the week. Slices are the way to go, preferably to his backhand.
     
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  19. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    I've only watched half of the video.

    It is clear he has a heavier ball and putting you under the pump on almost every point,

    But I also noticed that the difference between you two wasn't night and day that you actually had your chances. He gave you a few short balls but unfortunately you hit all of those into the net.

    I know it's easier said that done; when you're under pressure in every rally and suddenly you get that opportunity ball it, is soooo easy to over cook it. But I guess when you're playing with a better player you really need to take those chances. You really aren't looking for a clean winner against him but rather a short ball you can attack to get another weak ball that you can then put away. When the opponent is blasting a few past you, it can be easy to lose that bit of patience.

    Also for a one hander you really need to develop a slice backhand. I think if you can develop that one shot really well, you'll see a but more of immediate returns to your results.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
    #19
  20. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    I think Fuzzy Yellow Balls calls this "The Death Grip." Just try to stay calm and loose when you get a short sitter and focus on placement. You guys look great BTW.
     
    #20
  21. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    I thought he's the guy with the two hander.
     
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  22. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Thanks for the tips and im the two hander haha
     
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  23. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Upon watching the video more closely, I noticed one particular dynamic that was playing out on a lot of the points. You seemed afraid to go to his forehand, and as a result, he got to run around a lot of backhands. You player loopier shots than he does, so he has the time to hit inside-out forehands that you don't. Rather than changing your game to hit flatter, you can try to hit more to his forehand, pulling him to that side of the court and then putting the next one to his backhand. He may not be able to attack your (relatively) loopy shots from his forehand corner as well as he does from his backhand corner.
     
    #23
  24. RockChalkOhio

    RockChalkOhio New User

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    Have you tried wearing a glove?
     
    #24
  25. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Ha ha! Classic!
     
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  26. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Thought you were Matt Lin who is the guy with the one hander in both videos playing with different opponents?

    Anyway I was referring to the second video..didn't watch the first.
     
    #26
  27. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    a glove? what do you mean?
     
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  28. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    He's being sarcastic/a troll. It isn't that funny.
     
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  29. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    There's a troll called tennissean who has a thread going on Tips/Instruction where he goes on about how wearing a glove helps with your game and why don't the pros use them, etc.
     
    #29
  30. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    He is homeschooled now, and also gets to train part time in Boca.
    ( yep, another one sucked into the USTA PD lore, must have been the wild card for singles for the US Open juniors)
    And btw, suppose to be no junior names anymore.
     
    #30
  31. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    ah yeah... i dont read those kinds of threads haha
     
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  32. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    But since you take videos often, will you wear a golf glove and video it next time you have a practice? Review it for ttw.
     
    #32
  33. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    How good and old is this guy. Its hard to tell from a video his level. He looks like an alright player, but these highlight reel videos are hard to give you any real insight into how to beat him. If there are full match videos where you can work out what the score is at any given moment you can provide more specific strategy against guys like this. Looking at his placement, when he misses, when he wins points, why he wins and loses them etc. Videos like this miss too much of the match to do that.

    Also full matches of your tennis can help a coach construct a game plan against a guy like that.

    Its very hard to generalize but I'd be looking to soak up a lot of his power try to keep the rally neutral for as long as you can and hope he misses when he loses patience which he will eventually if you're good enough to stay neutral for long enough (which im not sure you are on the FH side) or wait until you get a chance to play your strength into his weakness.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
    #33
  34. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    If a person is hitting harder while maintaining the same level of consistency and control (or better), you have to attack intangibles (mentality, impatience, predictable plays/patterns, etc). But finding that during the course of a single match when you've never met the guy... Might be too difficult to consider. Best you can really do is to keep working yourself to keep yourself physically competitive with your opponents to the degree that intangibles become a deciding factor rather than an equalizing factor.

    Have no idea who you are, cause UCLA>>Matt Lin>Person in white. Matt Lin really started forcing shots at the end and tried to play outside the realm of his abilities. That's not the answer unless you're on fire for the day, so it doesn't hurt trying a few if you're confident, but if you're missing then go back to the foundation and look to outplay rather than outhit. Again, absurdly difficult. I mean, you could go Brad Gilbert on them and look to be an annoying ***** at every opportunity and pretend like it's totally normal (they might crack). If it's someone you've seen play a few times and have had a few matches with already, it'll be much easier to formulate an intangible-based plan.
     
    #34
  35. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    I'm not going to talk about what happened in the match even if I did watch it. I'm here to explain how to beat a baseline basher. Just think about it this way... If a baseline basher hits hard, it requires a lot of energy which tires him out. All you need to do is use his pace and strategically place your "redirected" shots well. After awhile he'll be gassed chasing down those shots and hitting them back again with power. Then you basically have the match. Or... You could hit harder than him but I find this very unlikely. So basically play a counter punching style (I use this strategy half the time. Other half I blast it). Now I'm going to talk about the match (yes I'm contradicting myself... I just had the urge to do it). You hit spinny shots. You're giving the guy plenty of time to set up and hit his powerful strokes. You need to hit more flat. Your ball just doesn't have enough bite to it to be really effective as a topspin stroke. It kinda reminds me of Harrison's forehand topspin shot. It just sits there nicely... Begging to be put away. Get the picture? Less topspin, more flat. It'll give the guy less time to react, the ball won't be just sitting there for him. More unforced errors from his racquet. Also some points I've noticed where you set the point up brilliantly it made me almost cry. But when you're about to go for the big shot that matters, you miss it. So work on mental strength and consistency to. Good luck though and I hope my advice was helpful.
     
    #35
  36. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    Simply not true. I hit the ball harder than a lot of people on this bored and I expend less energy than a lot of them hitting it that hard than they do hitting it 2/3rds of the pace.

    For the level of play here that answer is way to simple. To put it bluntly the other guy is better at tennis. If you hit flatter your percentages drop and hes good enough to force you top play the heavy spin ball a lot of the time which is a lot of whats happening in this game

    Best bet is finding a few patterns of play that suits you and don't suit him and using it over and over. Its the highest percentage way to beat a guy you have seen play before and know is the favorite to win the match
     
    #36
  37. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    There are three main things you can do to beat a bigger hitter better than yourself.

    1. Defend really really well and keep points going while playing higher percentage tennis than him. This seems obvious, but will only work if you are on the same level as the big hitter or they are having an off day. If this does not work...

    2. Give him as much junk as possible. Slice harder than you ever have before. Don't be afraid to hit moonballs. Try to make him play worse. If this strategy is not working you have to move onto the final strategy...

    3. Let your racket fly and smack the ball every chance you get. Play risky and hit shots as big as you can. If you are not on the same level as your opponent and the above strats aren't working, you have to go for big shots and hope that the tennis gods are looking kindly upon you today. If you get to step 3, you have to realize there is nothing left to lose.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
    #37
  38. 10nisne1

    10nisne1 New User

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    I always enjoy your video clips. Keep posting them.

    As for suggestions against hard hitters, I suggest the following for easiest way to improve your game against a hard hitter:

    1) Work on your serve. Probably the easiest to improve because you don't need to depend on a hitting partner. Just didn't seem like you were hurting your opponent with your service game. Seen too many shots where he teed off on your serves.

    2) Concentrate on getting the ball deeper on your ground strokes. Too many shots were landing near the service line where your opponent would step in for an aggressive shot. The key is depth over pace if you think you are out powered. Mix it up with short slices to make your opponent hit on the run and up on the ball, especially to the backhand side. Not too many players can hit an aggressive shot from the ankles on the backhand side.

    3) Know when to defend and know when to look to control the point. Seen some points where your opponent gave a short ball and you didn't do too much with it (better placement vs power). When your opponent gives you an opportunity, you have to take advantage to put the pressure on your opponent. Need to keep your opponent on edge to psychologically wear him out.

    And most importantly, don't get discouraged. Enjoy the challenge of playing better players and go out and enjoy the game of tennis for what it is. It's amazing how much better I play now that I'm married with kids. Losing isn't end of the world anymore. I have higher priorities in life now. :)

    Good luck!

    10
     
    #38
  39. KMV

    KMV New User

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  40. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    People still posting. Grind him out and hit harder?! Clearly not going to work at this level, he tried grinding him out and got pumped and he makes it fairly clear he cant just out hit him. There is no advice anyone can give on here which will specifically help him beat hard hitters as they are the only two strategies when playing anyone, however they play. Hit more winners or make more balls in the court (if possible into their weaker wing).

    To beat this guy, get better at tennis, develop more skills and improve youre technique and then maybe youll beat him a few years down the line. If you want instant results, some match charting reveals the facts about you and him. Thats the only way, you need a few very specific strategies to give yourself a realistic chance of victory.
     
    #40
  41. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    It's obvious that he isn't going to magically beat better players than himself by following some of these tips. The other guys are supposed to beat him. As a last resort, following some of the quick tips may give him some more games or get him a chance at a win if the other guy has an off day. I was saying his only chance of winning against someone dramatically better than him is to grind and hope he has an off day or too just swing for the fences and try to get lucky. Both options are better than bleeding games slowly and letting your opponent bludgeon you for a few sets.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
    #41
  42. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    The difference in strokes isn't much. The biggest difference is footwork.
    There was a video you posted a while back where a 10 or 12 year old was
    hitting with you, find that video and watch his footwork, it was very good.
     
    #42
  43. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    #43
  44. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Watching your "new" video vs. Cedric...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV1Sw0POUig

    Look at yourself. It's almost like you're afraid to hit through the ball. Your FH lacks any kind of penetration whatsoever, you hit upwards, it results in fluffy balls that lack any kind of pace, you jump because you're hitting too late.
    [​IMG]

    Ex pro-player on the right. You're on the left. All your energy is put into hitting upwards. You barely hit through the ball at all, you lack forward momentum. That's why you don't have enough power in your shots. You don't hit while transferring your body weight forward. You transfer it upwards. It creates loads of spin, but no pace. A moonball in short. Swing forward. And stop jumping. Keep your feet glued to the ground when you hit. This will allow you to gain regularity and better use of your body, as well as better precision. You don't seem to have the confidence to attempt a full swing. How so? Contact the ball much more forward, much more in front of your body. Your racquet is too close to your body when you hit.

    Your volleys lack authority. You have to crush those balls, or at the very least, have good placement. If you go at net, it means you're willing to finish the point. Don't let your opponent hit the good passing shot/lob. Same for your approaches, they lack length and precision. Or pace. The ball will be a good passing shot opportunity for your opponent. Ironically, your slice approach isn't bad at all. And please, do not S&V behind low quality serves (lack of placement/spin/pace), unless you happen to be the second coming of Edberg...

    IMO, you're lucky Cedric only wants to hit on everything even if it isn't the right play. He could've killed you if he used his brain. and stopped jumping on every ball. You know, keeping his cool. But as of now, your superior regularity allows you to win the matches, or a least to be close.

    Oh BTW, I'm not a coach. I'm Captain Obvious. You should watch your videos more often TBH, at least to do a self-critic.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
    #44
  45. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Another big up for slices. Low and into nml. The change of pace can really make it hard for your opponent to establish a rhythm.
     
    #45
  46. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    Sometimes he may have a chink in his armor, and if you have a shot or patter that can penetrate it you can win a few matches until he patches that chink, but in the long run you should expect him to win most of the time.

    If someone hits harder than you, he's just the better player and you should not expect to have a winning record over him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
    #46
  47. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    In a game between two similar styles, it's quite easy to tell who is better, and hard to come up with ways to beat him.

    If on the other hand, you were a player with a different style, like a heavy slicer, with constant variety and good accuracy, then even though your opponent may hit harder, you could still be just as good a player.
     
    #47
  48. Tennisean

    Tennisean Rookie

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    And working out seriously with weights?

    Surely those things wouldn't help, right RockChalkOhio?

    If you have any problems with grip slippage, a glove, contrary to popular and moronically clueless opinion, works wonders.

    Building up your physique works too, though you'll hear plenty say otherwise. (by pencil-neck, bird-chested fools who wouldn't know)
     
    #48
  49. Tennisean

    Tennisean Rookie

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    That's what ALL the pros say, to a tee.

    A sure sign they're in lock step with the 'don't have a clue' crowd.
     
    #49
  50. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    5,389
    I'd have to agree with lukhas. The fh is all puff. I think its because your elbow is pinned to your side so you have a flipper fish type swing. Flappy flappy. You contact balls at waist high even when you can hit it higher to really drive the ball. The first video in this thread your opponent hit the ball at a much higher contact point and drove the ball down into the court. Your flapping them all up and down. Puff balls.
     
    #50

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