How to Deal with High Balls that bounce near the baseline?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by johnchung907, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Hello, just wondering, how would you deal with high balls near the baseline. My style is hitting nice low topspin strokes but once in a while I encounter a high hitter and always loose those high balls he pulls off. It gets me pissed off and when I try to wait for the ball to come down, I hit a high ball back that usually is out. When I try to jump and do a forehand, it mostly goes into the net. Please help!!!
     
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  2. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Don't back up, whatever you do. Hit the ball on the rise....just takes a little practice.
     
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  3. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    thats kinda what fed has to go through against the backhand with nadal. I would suggest stepping in closer to baseline and taking the ball early before it gets up that high! but the problem is your timing has to be perfect!! Another thing you is a drive slice! that will keep the ball low so when your opponent tries to hit the big topspin stroke again its not going to kick up that high this time!! This is the one I usually do on the backhand. On the forehand I usually hit it flat because spin is what will most likely hit the net
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The timid can back up to 8' behind the baseline, then hit it back high and deep.
    The bold might take it on the half volley, adding extra topspin to the ball, and go for the open court, hoping for a forcing shot or a winner.
    The middle ground is to take it on the half volley, but use a short controlled swing and hit it pretty flat and clearing the net by less than 3', but higher than a foot to continue the rally.
    The strong SW and W grip guys might just hit a reverse forehand, as a rally ball mainly.
     
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  5. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I hit high balls near the baseline and face them as well. I don't think it's necessarily timid to set back and let the ball drop if you can hit back deep and with power.

    I sat at a pro tournament on the court and watched pros do it when they had to.

    The main thing is you need to move your feet and be prepared before the ball bounces.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    A confident Roger or anytime JohanKriek would never back up to continue the rally. They'd just punish that first high deep ball for a forcing shot, end of high deep incoming balls.
     
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  7. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Cool. 2 examples out of the millions of people who play tennis. One is the greatest ever who has perfect footwork and lost many times to deep balls from Nadal.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You don't pass the car ahead of you by following directly behind it, do you?
    You don't beat a guy by trying to play his game better than he can.
     
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  9. serveitup911

    serveitup911 Semi-Pro

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    Lately, I've been sticking pretty close to the baseline for the heavy jumping deep topspin shots and catching them between chest and shoulder height, hitting a driving underspin forehand off of them.

    It is very easy to master this shot with just a little practice, and easier to control because you are not reversing the spin of the ball. This shot stays nice and low, so it makes it tough for opponents with extreme grips to hit another one of their loopy topspin shots back. The key is to make sure you don't chop down steeply on the ball, but make an extended volley stroke that starts slightly above the contact point and extends forward toward the target.

    On the backhand side, I like to either take it very early, just off the bounce with a short flat stroke, or step back and rip the ball through the court.
     
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  10. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    If you jump and the ball dives into the net all that means is you didnt flatten out your swing. High balls hit with ground strokes from the baseline have to hit with "more flat" swings and not "more loopy" swings if you're constantly finding that your ball is diving into the net. If the ball is too high to do that, just hit an overhead. They overhead doesnt need to be a flat 120 mph attempt either. You can hit a "second serve" overhead and its a pretty "safe" shot.

    The ones that jam me up are high balls to the backhand where running around and hitting an overhead is not an option. Hitting a slice here is a bit risky if the ball doesnt have a lot of pace on it you can borrow. When this happens I just take the ball early, swing flat and through the ball and hope for the best. Main thing about this is noticing the problem well before it gets to you. If you can see the problem coming well before the ball bounces these types of baseline balls become dramatically easier.
     
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  11. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    If you can't get the feel of jumping FH, you must catch the ball in your strike zone either before it bounces higher or wait until in falls. My advice is catch early before it bounces high but try not to be overly ambitious about hitting a winner or a great shot. Focus on a good contact but generally aim toward middle of the court and loop it back. You should be able to shorten your swing somewhat for good contact not for power. If the ball makes back you have another chance and the opponent understands you can defend that shot and will be pressured to hit a better shot. But, if the opponent can do that over and over, call it too good.
     
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  12. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    If the ball lands that deep, you can step forward and make a volley. Just as another option. It depends on the situation and your position of course. If it goes on my forehand I sometimes play drive forehand volley. You cut the time with that shot and if rush to the net, you can exert enormous pressure to your opponent.
     
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  13. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Well my jump forehands do work sometimes I think I just aim downwards to much sometimes. Is it better to hit topspin on that jump forehand then flat?
     
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  14. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sure..you can shop the ball down too.

    Or do you want to learn and play that game? There are multiple options. Both work. I like mine better - it is higher %. A lot of guys that chop my shots down hit the net more of than they'd like.
     
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  15. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    I also find that I reply better to high balls with a youtek ig radical pro compared to my pro staff six one 90. As I mentioned before, I love hitting low topspin balls and find that the youtek ig radical pro gives me the ability to hit lower balls more often and gives me better serves. The only thing that I do better with my pro staff six one 90 is my backhand. It's my strongest shot (double-handed) and I'm wondering why the radical lets me hit lower balls more constantly. I'm using the same technique (windshield-wiper) but get different results. Could this be cause by the tension? (Both have the same strings). The radical had significantly higher tension and a dampener added to it.
     
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  16. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    So you suggest to chop the ball? Like a slice? I do that sometimes but my results are sometimes unsatisfactory. If I hit a good slice they usually reply with even a lower slice of their own which I can't counter. I but sidespin on my slice to but it has no effect on them. The ball even swerves quite dramatically to their right side (I can't fix that... It just is a natural feeling.) Or do you mean to hit high balls back. See I usually play guys that hit the ball lower over the net (like me) and if I hit a high forehand to a accidental high forehand that they made, they'll punish me either with an amazing slice (this guy is consistent with the slice) or do an inside outside jump forehand.
     
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  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think you should work on your topspin game and footwork. It sounds like you are giving the guy easy balls no matter what you are trying right now.
     
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  18. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    try to hit the ball on the rise in front of you. if you are not that quick, you need to go back a few steps and hit it ( i dont suggest you that).

    I try sometimes to change my grip to western like and hit the forehand above my shoulders (it is hard and you need to work on it) but i dont suggest this to you as you need to change grip, and thats not really good.
     
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  19. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    I have pretty good footwork and can run down dropshots. My topspin game is good but I only reply good if they hit the ball a medium to low shot. And I do give him angled shots side to side but he keeps running them down. You see he pops a high ball once in a while and I just want to know how to get a free point off of that. I also play against my coach (moonballer) and he always does the high ball to me. He claims it's topspin he's putting on it. He says the more topspin you put on the higher the ball goes. He definitely does put topspin on his shots. It pisses me off when the ball goes high because as I said before, I don't return them well. I do overhead smashes which is fine but say it's not high enough for me to do overhead smashes.
     
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  20. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Like I am saying, you wont get free points off those shots. They are defensive shots meant to reset a point.

    So you need to get back and let that ball drop and then hit it deep into a corner or you need to try and block it early and get it low. You can also come over it right off the bounce. But all those options require very good movement and practice.

    dont try and hit winners off those shots..just work on returning the ball deep.
     
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  21. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Another easier way is to just block slice it back. Just step into the ball as it is rising with the racquet face open a few degrees and punch it back, deep if possible. Since it doesn't involve a big swing, you have more time to angle the ball off if possible. Anyway, they hit a good shot and your chances of getting aggressive on it are slim, so minimize the damage without trying to do something you are not able to do, like a jumping FH or BH.

    However, if it is a moonball and you have time, step in and take it in the air and approach the net with a good DTL shot.
     
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  22. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    not the best option but you can also take a step in and hit a deep volley. don't even let the ball bounce. especially slow moonbally kinda shots that aren't coming in with pace and spin.
     
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  23. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I'm actually a big fan of this option and think this tactic is underused. The pros at our club like to teach people to either take a traditional high volley and use it as an approach, or the more advanced players can take a swinging volley Venus Williams style.
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, don't tell Federer, DJ, or Murray what to do with high deep balls. They take an aggressive shot, and that ends the moonballing for the set.
    If you choose to play the moonball game, it's gonna last for many strokes, testing your concentration and endurance.
     
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  25. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    Two options. Take the ball early before it bounces up high on you, or back up and let the ball drop a little
     
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  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree...nothing bad about backing up and it gives you a great chance to lay
    into one with everything, returning a high, heavy TS that can create all kinds
    of good results.
     
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  27. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Just play deeper back. Hitting on the rise takes perfect timing. Just step back and hit it like a normal shot.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Problem here, all you pushers.....
    If you choose to step back and hit a hard topspin drive, you are playing your opponent's chosen game. Can you beat him at HIS game? Do you want to run and fetch for him?
    Federer says NO, by taking the ball as it's rising, pummelling it to a corner, following his shot IN to service line position.
    What do you want to do?
     
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  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes because that is my game too. I hit hard topspin drives and this is what happens in a match with a higher level guy who hits the same. I may drop back and drive a few balls, but the point evolves from there and is not a moon fest.

    The fact that you think this is pushing is telling me you really have not experienced how this plays out on clay against a heavy topspin hitter. One thing i have never been called is a pusher..lol.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Harold Solomon called himself a "PUSHER". He sat 4' from me, talked about his game at the TransAmerica Tourney Official Stringing Booth.
    Harold Solomon plays tennis better than you do, did, or ever could.
    DanaGilbert calls her brother a pusher. He is named Brad.
    PeanutLouie calls every other woman in tennis a PUSHER, including her 3 sisters, one of whom WON the CanadianOpen.
    A pusher smacks the ball back with no intention of ending the point on that one shot. Don't matter if they slice it, flat hit moonballs, or topspins it, it's still PUSHING , when you rely on the other players mistakes to win a point.
     
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  31. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Why are you arguing so much when you dont even really understand what we are talking about? You dont have to prove yourself in every thread.
     
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  32. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I was wondering what his angle was. Not everyone is Federer...as only Federer is Federer. He and Davydenko are the only two pro players who are known to take balls ridiculously on the rise.
     
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  33. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It is silly stuff. I was taught how to play on clay last year by a coach who studied in Spain with the spanish coaches. The goal is to run back and then into each shot so your weight is being transferred into the shot and you are not falling back. So even on deep topspin balls you move back behind them and then back into them. You have plenty of time to get your weight moving forward and hit a ball in your zone if you do it this way.

    Hitting deep to corners is a great way to test your opponents footwork. If it is good they will be able to attack many times off balls like that if they are not hit with heavy spin and depth.
     
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Now YOU"RE being silly.
    You only think of slow clay courts and your quick footspeed.
    I think of fast cement courts and NO footspeed.
    Also, you like to run and sustain the rally, PUSH, if I may.
    I like to end the points with ridiculously risky winners and forcing shots, the epitome of the dumb artist.
    We're both 4.0's, admittedly on opposite ends of the class. I can pummell any 3.5 hitting pure winners and forcing shots. I don't need to run to beat them.
    However, any good 4.0 can wear me out with repeated deep balls and retreiving of my good shots.f
    Two sides to every story, and both work in certain situations.
     
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  35. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you have no footspeed than take it early and chop it down. they both work, but to get there early and chop it down means it better be a good shot or the opposite corner is wide open.

    I prefer to give myself time and not try and hit a winner off a ball that yeields low % winners.

    Im not being silly at all. I play on both surfaces but these shots are more effective on clay.
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "it is silly stuff"......
    Now if I was a young run and gunner, I"d take your advice and maybe play a little more consistent, higher percentages, safer shots, and extend the points.
    But, I wasn't raised in a patient generation. Everyone I played with had high risk, high reward S/V big hitting games. And by "big hitting", I don't mean hard shots with heavy topspin, but more like McEnroe....shots placed deep and into the corners to FORCE the action, not sustain the rally.
    Can you ever imagine a RoscoeTanner running backwards to deliver a topspin return? I can't either, even if he sometimes loses to HaroldSolomon, EddyDibbs, and RaulRameriz.
    You can choose to be the lion, the leopard, the hyena, the gazelle, the rhino, or the eleplant. I just happen to choose the leopard.
     
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  37. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Lee this thread is not about you. It is for the OP who asked the question. Not everything is about you my man. Your personality flaw is that you constantly demonstrate on here that you think it is.
     
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  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Are we really so different? :)
    I answer as it applies to me and my way of thinking.
    YOU answer as it applies to clay courts, spanish defensive tennis, and your way of thinking.
    Opposite answers yes. But as it pertains to ourselves? Also yes.
    I can't run, so I need to end points.
    You like to run and fetch, so you want to sustain points.
    Which is right? Well, either or neither, depending on the philosophy of the OP, and his skills.
     
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  39. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    My point stands. The OP stated he hits with top and prefers that over slice.

    Hence my answer.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Who mentioned slicing? Certainly not me. You CAN slice it back.
    But taking the ball early as it bounces upwards, crowding the baseline, and going for the angles, is the best way to stop the other guy from moonballing you.
    Take it at your sweetspot, turn well sideways, stroke thru the ball using slightly MORE topspin than normal, go for the sidelines.
    A little practice is recommended, to find your ball height at strikepoint and as it pertains to clearing the net.
     
    #40
  41. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Active feet, good footwork, short swing with full follow through, step into the shot, and don't go for power (aim for more spin, clean contact, and control).

    You can take it super early, or you can take it on the rise and roll it up and forward with a somewhat shortened swing that goes up and over the ball when it gets around your chest or shoulder.
     
    #41
  42. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Hm... All this arguing is confusing me... But I did practice with the tennis ball machine today and made it hit high balls to me. I practiced "chopping" or slicing the ball and found that it works wonders. I do prefer, however, to hit with a topspin shot that punishes the opponent more. I just mix it up more for the sake of it. And taking it on the rise does help! I find that now I can hit lower balls that I don't usually hit on a moonball bounce. Thanks for the advice everybody!!!
     
    #42
  43. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    In any case, you can blame "MTM" for this problem. If your opponents had been taught the correct techniques (which can be found in the books and magazines of the 1960s and '70s) you wouldn't have this problem.
     
    #43
  44. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    I like the swing volley from the forehand side
    I rather take the ball inside the baseline if it's a floater /moonball/ type shot
    I like the swing volley from the backhand side too but dont do it very much cause I am much better at hitting the ball of the rise on my BH side plus I also run around a soft dinker and more often than swing volley on my ad side
     
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  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Love your comments on this Frank, who ever they are intend to poke, lol.
    I think there is a lot of truth in what you say on this too.
     
    #45
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Earlier I said nothing wrong with stepping back and crushing it with heavy TS as
    it drops and I still think this, especially if the bounce is quite vertical, as those are the toughest to time on the rise......but
    for one where the bounce not so steep, taking it on the rise can be a great thing.
    IMO it is key to read the difference in these 2 quite similar balls to decide which
    you should attempt.
    I also agree that it can be good to volley these if the are deep enough for you
    to get there in time, which should fit with the OP.
     
    #46
  47. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    You don't want to hit a high ball back because it goes out. Trying to hit a normal stroke mostly goes into the net. Therefore, make it a point to only hit the ball back at one half the height of the incoming ball. It's safer.
     
    #47
  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OR, position yourself to take the ball on the rise, at your sweetspot, and pummel it into a corner, following your shot to service line position.
     
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