Junkballers %^^$#$%%^

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by coloskier, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    I have one type of opponent that always gives me fits. The two hands on both sides chipper and lobber. I am a good S&V ranked highly in the State in my age group with a strong baseline game (5.0), but have nightmares when facing someone who gives you no pace, and can run down everything and lob within 3 feet of the baseline every time I approach the net, even on a good low or hard wide approach. The one shot that gives me more problems than anything else is the short angle underspin chip crosscourt. I always tend to overhit against them, although if I am really on my game I will blow them off the court. Unfortunately, their style of game tends to put me off of mine. I've tried being patient, but then it just feeds right into their game.

    To be honest, I am amazed that there are actually 5.0 players who will lower themselves to this type of game. Yet they continue to win, a la Santoro. Yeah, I know, as long as it wins. :twisted: Any recommendations????
     
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  2. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    Take control of the point early and do it on your terms.

    Some of the jb's I play are good from the baseline but average at net. I draw them into the net off their weak size and make them play from a less comfortable position. this won't always work against everyone.

    Fundamentally you need to take control of the point before they do.

    Good Luck! K_I
     
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  3. jigar

    jigar Professional

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    Beat them with their own game. Be consistent and force them to hit winner for initial few games of the set. Trust me, they will spray many balls out and then you can jump on offense.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Learn to approach shot.
    FabriceSantoro.
     
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  5. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Don't stand too close to the net when you volley. A junkballer most likely won't hit a clean ball with enough pace to abuse your position with passing winners and take sharp angles. If he chips the ball, hit a drop volley or a winning volley. If he tries to lob, step back and smash the ball. Test him at the net by hitting a couple drop shots and see if he can play up. If not, I recommend you pull him up to the net and go for the pass. Lastly, don't beat yourself mentally! Focus on being consistent and don't get frustrated by what they're doing. This is a tennis game that ends up being a test of wills, and junkballers are usually known for their mental toughness, which is why they usually win. You don't have to overpower him, just outplay him.
     
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  6. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Federer gives the best players fits with his short cross court slice backhand. It's a good shot. Kudos to your opponent for finding that it pays dividends against you. So stop hitting to his backhand!
     
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  7. Lazerus

    Lazerus New User

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    A 5.0 that can't handle junk ballers is not a 5.0.
     
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  8. cll30

    cll30 Rookie

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    I find that a lot of junkballers have trouble playing low balls hit with little pace to their weaker side. Many of them like for you to hit to them with some pace so they can just deflect the ball back or counterpunch. They also like balls that come up so they can more easily get under them and then hit their spins, drop shots, moon balls, lobs, etc.
     
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  9. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I was thinking the same thing. At 5.0 one should have the power, consistency, and variety of play to handle the junk. He said 'ranked... in his age' - I wonder if it's a patience/maturity thing more than a tennis strategy issue.

    I don't relish playing them. But in some ways there's less pressure - you don't have to worry about your opponent getting hot and drilling winners past you.
     
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  10. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    Mix it up. Don't hit it hard all the time. Slice A LOT!!! Hit bombs for first serves then throw in a kick serve as a first serve. Volley often then throw him off by hitting an approach shot, faking in and then retreating to the baseline. I played a JBer this past weekend (I hate them too), but mixing it up and staying patient paid off for me.
     
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  11. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    So you are saying there is no such thing as a pro junkballer?
     
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  12. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Age 55, former nationally ranked junior, college player Big 10, quit for 20 years after playing a little in the Satellite Pro circuit, picked it up again 5 years ago. I must admit that I still am not used to players now being able to handle the power I dish out. With the old strings and rackets if you could hit with power that was all you needed. Now they just let the racket do all the work for them instead of having to actually swing at every ball. In the old days blocking the ball back with no pace meant you were going to lose the point more often than not because you could not control a blocked ball. It is no longer the case now.

    I agree about less pressure, except when the player can lob you to death effortlessly. I do agree about trying to dropshot the guy or bring him into the net. The key is getting that first aggressive shot into play before he can start his chipping and moving you around the court. At 55 I don't quite have the speed I used to, and playing 20-30 years olds can become a disadvantage. That is why I do OK in my age group, because they are usually even slower than I am. :lol: As much as anything I need to cut down on my unforced errors when trying to take command of the point against these young rabbits. Like I said, when I am in God mode, I crush these guys because I am always hitting winners. But if I am a little off (which happens a little more often now at my age), the unforced errors can get to be huge. In fact, most of the guys in my age group play nothing but S&V, chip and charge, trying to end the point as quickly as possible to conserve energy. And then there is the other end of the spectrum, the guys that get everything back and give you nothing to hit off of and live off of unforced errors. I usually do well against both of these types. It is always the guys that hit short angle low bouncing chips and high lobs that give me problems.
     
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  13. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Tell that to Fabrice Santoro.
     
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  14. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    He hits it off of both sides. Two hands on both sides, there is no forehand/backhand. Once he gets you into that chip back and forth, side to side, it is tough to break the cycle in the point. I've seen Santoro do it to the best in the world.
     
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  15. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    who was it that said show me a junk baller and I'll show you a guy with a case full of trophies?
     
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  16. stapletonj

    stapletonj Semi-Pro

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    I believe vic braden said that
     
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  17. forehandshanker

    forehandshanker Rookie

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    You probably know this already but on those skidding slices you've got to do a step down pivot: squat down with your knees, transfer your weight from back leg to front leg and pivot your back leg around after contact to speed your recovery.

    At any rate look up Fed v Santoro match at AO on you tube to see how Fed takes apart a junk baller by net rushing. One thing (and not the only) thing tough to replicate is how fast Fed gets to a lot of balls. The kind of JBer you're describing seems to demand a lot of foot speed.
     
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  18. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    My guess is > 97% of the posters on this Forum have not played against a "junkballer" who wins at the 5.0 level. The advice so far is geared for junkballers and "pushers" they run into at the 3.0-4.0 levels.

    I can add my name to those with no experience at the 5.0 junkball level. What kind of ball does this player hit ordinarily (when not pushed by angle or pace)? What is their response to a well struck ball with angle?
     
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  19. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA...uhhhh no...they got better while you were away from the game. Quit finding reasons or making excuses. Maybe you need to...er...dish out some more of your "power." LOL
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
    #19
  20. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    Deleted post
     
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  21. decades

    decades Guest

    hahaha these folks that "lower" themselves have their foot on your chest at end of match. perhaps you should deem to lower yourself to such levels.
     
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  22. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    Typical diatribe from players, everything was "better" back in the "good ol' days"...yeah...sure.
     
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  23. subban

    subban Rookie

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    I've played a 4.5 junker. The pace is way faster and harder than a 3.5 junker. At that level 4.5 junker can consistenly hit a hard flat slice to hit both corners or a heavy topspin lobby type moon ball with a lot more pace compared to the 3.5 junker. So its all relative. Brad Gilbert and Matts Willander would be examples of junkballers that played at the pro level. Maybe compared to you or me they would seem to be always hitting hard shots for winners but relative to the level they play the ball they hit is more of a consistent medium pace ball to the level of players they play.
     
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  24. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    When not pushed, will hit a short angle low bouncing chip to either side, when a well struck ball is hit at an angle, immediate deep lob that always seems to land within three feet of the baseline, no matter which side you approach on. He will NEVER try a passing shot, but lobs so well that it is hard to hit an offensive overhead. Needless to say he has great court coverage.
     
    #24
  25. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Never said it was "better", just different. Since you are still playing with a Dunlop McEnroe and Ashaway strings, I would have thought you might be able to relate.
     
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  26. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    ^^ Er...you know there is a modern Mac right?
     
    #26
  27. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I think you meant to attach this reply to Lazerus's post, not mine.
     
    #27
  28. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    I attended the US OPEN in 2008, from everything I ever watched from TV was that the pro's hit all winners all the time....Well being there in person and watching all the big guys, I realized that they throw every shot in their repitoire at an opponent...dice and slice, shake and bake..etc,etc.. It helped my game so much to witness what the tennis greats were doing...
     
    #28
  29. Riosfan

    Riosfan Banned

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    I'm a junkballer and proud of it : ) Won over 35 trophies in 13 years.

    Variety is the spice of life. and tennis
     
    #29
  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, there is no substitute for being there yourself but reading about it, here are my thoughts:

    Once someone can be classified as NEVER doing thus and so, it frees you up to compensate for that knowledge. For example, if you were to hit your approaches up the middle, you know he won't pass you, he's going to lob. Since you know that, fake into second volley position and back up to first volley position for the overhead you know you are going to hit. Since you know the ball is going to land in, you don't have to waste time evaluating whether to hit it or let it go.

    Yes he has great court coverage, but probably not as good as Michael Chang (in his prime). And if Michael could be run ragged to the point of making UEs, this guy can too. If you keep using angle (which he will successfully retrieve), as he hits safe shots more towards the center of the court (no passes, remember) he will run way, way more than you. At first his legs will be better than your consistancy, but eventually the tide will turn and you will have a higher percentage of hitting to the outer thirds of the court while not running much, than he will have hitting into the center third running like a madman.
     
    #30
  31. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    What about camping out around the service line after you hit your approach shot?
     
    #31
  32. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    Dropping anchor so I can find this thread later. Interesting stuff.
     
    #32
  33. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    That is what I was doing, and his lobs would land 3 feet from the baseline, very high, so you had to let them bounce. I did hit at least 5 overhead winners from the baseline, but that didn't stop him from continuing the tactic. What it came down to was that I basically had to hit a winner, or I would be lobbed to death, and if I didn't go for it, he would immediately start short angling me to death. I guess the 20 year age difference didn't help. Anyway, there are some great suggestions from you guys, some comments from guys who have obviously never played "good" junkballers, and then there are the usual trolls. The match came down to two BP's that he converted and the 10 that I did not (usually an unforced error out by a matter of inches).
     
    #33
  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I play a guy like this except he'll angle me off the court with a short medium topspin forehand or a backhand slice. As soon as I get him in a defensive position, I attack and 80% of the time up comes the super lob. I finally just stopped letting them bounce unless I think there is a chance they'll go out. It will take practice trying to hit an overhead from that deep but it usually works for me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
    #34
  35. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    High lob to the baseline to get back into the point. Something that you cannot return with anything offensive unless you are willing to hit an overhead on a ball hit 30-50 feet in the air without letting it bounce.
     
    #35
  36. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Nothing that has to do with McEnroe is "modern". :)
     
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  37. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    See last paragraph post # 30...
     
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  38. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    Play them indoors with a low, preferably flat ceiling ;-)
     
    #38
  39. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Heavy wind would work just as well. :)
     
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  40. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    Yeah, did that, but because I wasn't totally on my game, hit a lot of shots wide. My game is more blowing it through or past someone rather than angling someone wide.
     
    #40
  41. Chris Rizutto

    Chris Rizutto Banned

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    And Murray. And Fed to some extent. Variety is a good thing.
     
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  42. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Wank the wanker

    I see some good advice here - and believe me I commiserate. Nothing is more irritating than being whipped by a junkballer. I try to keep an upbeat attitude and not get p'd off - that's number one. The more frustrated you get, the more mental/emotional energy you waste on negative thoughts, instead of focusing on how to beat this wanker.

    I try to "beat them at their own game" as others have advised. Make them run balls down til they collapse, by hitting sharp angles and droppers, and varying your pace; and every chance you get, blow their doors off with a passing shot. Once they're properly de-moralized, their game falls apart, at which point you move in for the kill, switching to your power game which they can't handle.

    Let's teach these posers a lesson!:)
     
    #42
  43. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I would say Nadal is more of a junkballer than Federer. I've noticed Nadal frequently going for the backhand slice, and his forehand is screaming junkball. Federer just junkballs off of one wing ;)
     
    #43

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