How to hit banana shot?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Bergboy123, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    I know for us average humans this isn't very realistic, but I'd still like to know how. It seems to me that you need to be running (this at least helps) make absolutely clean contact in the sweet spot with the ball, and be extremely strong to be able to hit it out enough to pull it back in.

    Anyone ever hit it themselves? Or know how to?
     
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  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Cheetah hits it all the time - ****es me off. He does it both dtl and cc to great effect. I can do it against the wall, but haven't tried it on court.
     
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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah cheetah can do it. The ball spins on a sideways axis.
     
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  4. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    The idea is simple: you have to catch the ball on the side and top to make it curve. Now, try to do it... ahaha.
     
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  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Top it? no. you're not going to get any banana action if you try to put any top on it.

    It's hard to tell what's happening when you watch nadal and most likely you won't get it if you try to imitate his method/style. A better model to learn the banana shot are the guys from 1 era ago like roddick for example.

    If going dtl, make contact at around 7 o'clock and brush to around 3 to 3:30ish. (not 2oclock. that's too much top)

    the follow through and finish is on the same side of the body like on a running forehand. you're main objective is to impart sidespin. not topspin. don't think about hitting the ball forward. just concentrate on swinging the head towards the side fence. side spin. side spin. side spin.

    try to be running some degree forward because you will need this forward momentum to make to ball go forward over the net. even if you are on a dead run out wide try your hardest to have a few degrees of foward motion to cut the angle of the incoming ball. if you can't move forward at all then you have to figure out how to swing your arm forward with the core while using your arm to swing the racquet sideways out to the side fence.

    contact should make a brushing sound like a kick serve. not a pop.

    if going cc it's the same only imagine that 12 oclock now is pointing to the side fence (left side for righties) instead of at the middle of the net as usual when talking about clocks.

    Watch roddick here. he does all the things i just mentioned. has a few degrees of forward movement to power the ball over the net. he's swinging totally towards the side fence from 7 to 3ish. He finishes with his racquet pointing to the side fence because of his main intention which is to create sidespin in that direction.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puA_WvHyXMs
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
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  6. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    ^^The Maestro hath thus spoken!^^

    I'll try that... I can bend the ball slightly sideways on cross-court shots off both wings, but I never been able to throw a curve ball down the line a la Nadal.

    As a personal request which risks to be joined by many, it would be really nice if you caught yourself on a video to show us how you do it.
     
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  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    you don't need to swing like crazy. you just need a good ratio of side spin to forward pace. so if you cut off the angle slightly by trying to run a few degrees forward instead of directly parallel to the baseline that will give you the forward ball movement. all you have to do is concentrate on side spin so swing to the side fence. don't try to 'carve around the outside of the ball'.

    if you actually practice it for 5 mins you'll get it. you just need someone who's willing to feed you balls for 5 mins while you work out the mechanics.
     
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  8. y11971alex

    y11971alex New User

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    Federer plays banana shots regularly on the backhand slice.

    As long as you're not trying top + side spin, it shouldn't be any problem. :confused:
     
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  9. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I think the W grip helps with this, not that it can't be done with a more conservative grip.

    And note that this ball is different than a rally ball hit with top and side spin that has a lot of pace. The banana shot isn't going that fast but has a ton of spin.
     
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  10. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The Fed shot your talking about is a slice with a low contact point so that the natural path of the racquet cuts mostly across the ball from left to right (for a rightie) instead of mostly down. The side spin of the ball makes the ball tail off toward the deuce alley of the opposing player (again for a rightie). If you work on your slice a bit this shot becomes pretty standard, but it's very useful. It works great as an approach dtl because it tails away from your opponent.

    Here's a video that shows both a bh slice with mostly side spin (by Verdasco - note a lefty) and the fh "banana" shot by Nadal in response for the winner.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuXsWt53cHs
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
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  11. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    I know in soccer/football, you kicck the ball on the outside, your foot is at an angle, but your kick (path) is straight. The ball needs to have enough side spin to make it curve in. You do not kick the ball wide/out as it would be much more difficult to make it curve back.
    The visual also fools you a little bit. The ball never really curve as much as it looked.
     
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  12. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Yeah - you want to imagine carving the side of the ball. With a more extreme grip, like a western, it is a little easier to get side spin because the contact point is out front, where the arm is starting to go across the body.

    Also note that most of curving shots you see are down the line because it is visually spectacular, you can certainly bend shots crosscourt to great effect (the ball spins away from the opponent). Likewise, I like to hit slice approach shots down the line with side spin.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Mine.
    Forehand, when pushed wide, hit topspin, but hit the outside of the ball also, so the ball starts heading just wide DTL, but curves back into the court after it clears the net.
    Backhand, hope for a low somewhat short ball, slice outside in, the ball starts out middle DTL, then curves away from the baseliner making him run another step or two to hit the ball.
    Overhead, the best one. Opponent cancels out my net play by lobbing over my head, I huff and puff to barely get there, too late for an overhead after the bounce, so hit a forehand sidespin slice with contact point about chin high, so the ball curves from DTL alley to middle of the court, at maybe 27 mph but with lots of sidespin RPM. This one is most fun, to watch the reaction of the lobber, as he has never seen such a slow moving ball curve THAT much in the span of a tennis court.
     
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  14. Bigjohn89

    Bigjohn89 New User

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    thats a pretty sick exchange there!!!
     
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  15. Velvet Ga el

    Velvet Ga el Rookie

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    The only thing I'll add to an already great thread is that, like Roddick, you need to put a bit more air in this shot than you think because you don't have much forward momentum. My first time practicing this with a pro felt like I was going to hit it over the back fence, but it almost always came back down into the court.

    Although the DTL passing shot is most common, I've found that when I'm forced deep and wide to my forehand (more deep than wide), you can play a high CC version of this shot with great success. Not only does the height and pace of the shot give you time to recover, but the side spin combined with a high bounce can really pull your opponent off the court to their forehand. I don't come in behind it very often because I hate approaching CC, but if I see a player struggling to get it back with pace, occasionally I'll mix in an approach and CC volley off it. It's a great way to turn what should be a defensive shot into something approaching an offensive one.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The reason I used DTL as my examples is that you can see the sidelines, and compare the actual arc of the ball to the sideline.
     
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  17. y11971alex

    y11971alex New User

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    In fact, you probably don't need a western grip to pull this off: somewhere on YouTube Laver pulled off a couple at his '69 final against Newcombe at Wimbledon.

    Then again, I've never tried this shot with success, primarily because I'm not the Rocket.
     
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