Killing the net player with the ball

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Majik, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I'm playing 3.0 USTA league tennis. And I'm starting to develope a 100mph or more forehand as an aggressive baseliner. When I set myself up for hitting the ball that hard, I'm focused on the ball and really don't know where exactly the opponent is. A few times I've hit it really quite hard directly at him, he drifted into the strike zone. He had no choice but to defend himself and bat it away, giving me a point.

    It then occurs to me that the net position is really quite a valnerable place to be. What are you going to do with a 100mph ball coming at you, place it in a particular spot? I don't think even the professionals can do that very well.

    So I have to wonder how acceptable is it to hit those kind of hard balls directly at the opponent? Are there any liability issues to worry about? Or is that an obvious risk inherent in approaching the net? Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. ThA_Azn_DeViL

    ThA_Azn_DeViL Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    536
    If a pro goes to net, they make it hard for the opponent to make a clean hit off of the ball, but since its only 3.0, the balls should be easier to handle and you can set up faster.
     
    #2
  3. yebo

    yebo Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    aside from doubting that you are developing a 100mph forehand, there are no rules or liability violations in hitting the ball hard at the net player. It is assumed that it is a possibility for anyone coming up to net.
     
    #3
  4. dlesser13

    dlesser13 Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Messages:
    311
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The obvious answer here is, it depends on your opponent. If the opponent has decent reflexes all he has to do it stick his racket out and block it back, there is no punch involved when your dealing with balls that fast, if he's even better he will direct it elsewhere and you could possibly lose the point. You generally don't feed the bear unless it's quite obvious that they don't have a clue what they are doing. As a 3.0 though, I am doubting you ability to consistently hit if even at all that 100 mph+ forehand.
     
    #4
  5. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Messages:
    984
    If you're still a 3.0, my advice is to learn how to hit 100 50mph forehands in a row before you work on hitting 1 100mph forehand. You'll win a lot more matches that way.

    At the higher levels, many people hit hard, close to the baseline, with topspin or slice, which makes it hard to drill the netman. At 4.5, you'll only see a few sitters or short balls per match. But beware, a 4.5 with good hands can reflex volley a 100mph forehand all day long. I used to pound the ball at people, but the better players can handle the pace, so now I hit a slower, but spinnier ball, usually up the middle that just clears the net and then dips below, forcing them to volley up. If they pop up a sitter inside the service line, then it's time for target practice.

    Going at people is a great tactic at the lower levels, but if you're a 3.0 then you're hitting as many out or in the net as your are hitting winners. Even 3.5 and 4.0 matches are decided by unforced errors, not winners. By the time you get to the level that you can consistantly hit hard with placement, you'll be facing guys who can handle the pace, so you'll also need to mix in angles, lobs, and the dipper up the middle. As a baseliner in a world of net-rushers, I can see where you're coming from. Good luck!
     
    #5
  6. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I've not actually measured. I'm comparing to what commentators say about fast balls from professional players.

    Actually, if I don't have to worry about getting it in, since the opponent at the net can't duck that fast, I'm free to hitting even harder. Those kinds of balls are even easier than serves since with a side arm shot you can line your arm up with the net. And it doesn't hurt being 6'3" and over 200 lbs.
     
    #6
  7. miniRafa386

    miniRafa386 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    1,689
    i find it bad sportsmanship to hit the player at net deliberatly, but it isnt a bad idea to go for him sometimes. and im 99.9999999% that your not hitting a 100mph+ forehand, thats something thats tough for the pros to even do
     
    #7
  8. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    This is only my second term playing USTA. I've been playing a couple of year recreationally.

    I've also got a back-spin game that seems effective. I'm starting to get pretty consistent keeping it low on the bounce. I can be quite the spin doctor. And I go there when I get tired of hitting those 100mph forhands. I'm using those Big Banger rough strings for durability and extra spin at 64 lb tension.
     
    #8
  9. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,905
    Location:
    Pffft, like I'd know
    Successful troll is successful. :lol: Or OP is just stupid, which is actually funnier. :lol:
     
    #9
  10. cak

    cak Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    1,013
    I'm guessing if you are actually winning points off of a hard forehand from the baseline you are probably playing against 2.5 or very low 3.0 players. A decent 3.0 player will either give you maybe two points on a return of serve before they stand back and let you whale the ball out a few dozen times, or they will have fast enough reflexes to hold their racquet up to use your power to angle it away for a winner.

    I have found that players that count on a hard forehand as their strength in 3.0 play get to hang out at that level longer than those who work on consistency and placement.
     
    #10
  11. EasleyTennis

    EasleyTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Upstate, S.C.
    If you're hitting a 100mph forehand consistently and still a 3.0 then the rest of your game must suck. Hitting directly at the net man is not cool either, if you're going to hit at his side just try to go down the line.
     
    #11
  12. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Yes, I think you are right. So I'm thinking of aiming say a foot away from him so he'd have to actually go for it. Either that or go for a backspin game. That's usually easier to force a bunch of errors, but not as glamors. Nobody seems to like a spin-doctor. But when I smash a forehand winner, they look at me like they're weak and a little resentful. Do you know the look?
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Hit that shot if you can....
    It's the server's reponsibility to serve to your body and backhand. Let them hash it out.
    A good volleyer already knows where your ball is going, first op down the middle low and service line deep.
    So just keep using your shot and see how smart your opposition is...
     
    #13
  14. investorofmercy

    investorofmercy New User

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    87
    "So I'm thinking of aiming say a foot away from him"
    "I'm playing 3.0 USTA league tennis"
    "since with a side arm shot you can line your arm up with the net"
    "New User"
    "I can be quite the spin doctor"
    "I go there when I get tired of hitting those 100mph forhands"
    "I'm using those Big Banger rough strings for durability and extra spin at 64 lb tension."

    Question.....Which of these doesn't belong?

    Nice troll.

    I actually know a girl like this though. She has been playing for 6 months at 3.0 and if you listen to her for 20 minutes, you would think she is a 4.5, 21 minutes, it all comes to the fore.
     
    #14
  15. EasleyTennis

    EasleyTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Upstate, S.C.
    Hitting a low backspin shot at the net man isn't a bad idea, most 3.0's will try to volley and end up putting it in the net. How long have you been playing, just wondering.
     
    #15
  16. shell

    shell Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,337
    :) Just keep doing it, you will be a 5.0 soon :twisted:
     
    #16
  17. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    Sorry--you lost me with the "3.0 with a 100mph forehand".
     
    #17
  18. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    I have the same problem with my 4.0 156 mph second kick serve hitting opponents in the stomach--always worried about a lawsuit and all. Geesh....
     
    #18
  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Nuttin wrong with a 3.0 having a 100mph forehand.
    Maybe the guy is 6'3" and 220lbs, strong as a linebacker, quicker than a defensive back, and young.
    No rule to say a certain level has to hit a certain speed.
    I had a 129 mph serve as a C player, or 3.5. Not at all unusual.
     
    #19
  20. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    There is no legit 3.0 consistently hitting 100 mph forehands on a continual basis as a guaranteed weapon.
     
    #20
  21. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I first started 3.0 USTA this winter and just started the spring term. Besides that I've been playing a friend a couple times a week for a couple years. About 15 years ago I had a chance to develop a pretty fast flat serve. I've recently abandoned it to develop a more consistent top-spin second serve. I'll go back to that 120mph flat serve after I gain more consistency in the second serve. As such I don't have a lot of experience returning those kinds of fast serves yet.

    My stamina has diminshed over the years so I have to put the ball away quickly. I've become an aggressive baseliner who approaches the net quite often. Some time soon I'm going to have to start some interval training to increase my endurance.

    I've noticed during cardio tennis at the club, where we rotate opponents quite often and go for points, that no one seems to be able to handle these back-spin balls that barely clear the net, but are not too fast. I'm thinking they should be easily returnable with a back-spin return. The only way to remove spin is to put spin on it yourself, right? It's pathetic, they hate me, I can put so much spin on the low, slow balls, that the girls can't even hit it. I see them over there swinging there racquets and missing because they don't know how to antisapate the direction after the bounce.
     
    #21
  22. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235

    My first 3.0 USTA term last winter was the first time in my life that I entered competition. It was a learning experience. I'd lose to dinkers because I'd let them set the pace out of politeness. Or I'd get matched up with a weak partner and lose points after a heroic effort. I was not playing like I practiced; I'd let them get me into a dinking contest, and when the ball got more than a few feet over the net, they'd blast it for a winner. It seemed like I had to fight everyone, including my partners just to hit the ball like I wanted to. I was tentative, and self conscious, and dealing with too much ego.

    I starting reading some books on how to get into the zone and books by top USTA coaches that tell how to find your own style and gave you permission to pursue your own game. Now I intend to play like I practice. I'm going to kill the ball whether they're in the way or not. Man, talk to the hand, I'm not listening.
     
    #22
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,238
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Majik....
    Obviously, you are lost and confused, and therefore cannot understand and comprehend anything you read....
    Just what did I say in my post?
    Didn't I condone hitting hard? Didn't I say a good team can force a certain return from you? Didn't I say a dumb team serves to your 100mph forehand over and over again?
    Just exactly WHAT are you replying to my post?
     
    #23
  24. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Sorry, I may have meant to reply to a diffent post. My last comment about talking to the hand was meant as a joke - the attitude I intended to take in general about anyone who might have a problem with my style.
     
    #24
  25. EasleyTennis

    EasleyTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Upstate, S.C.
    How are you configuring the mph in your serve and backhand. Those numbers would blow 99% of 3.0's off the court imo.
     
    #25
  26. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    3.0 with a 120 mph first serve and 100 mph forehand. Oh my--that fish is getting huge! Let me know when you set a world record landing that majestic fish, Majik!

    HAHAHAHA

    Thanks for making my evening worth staying up....
     
    #26
  27. saram

    saram Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Messages:
    5,371
    #27
  28. OnyxZ28

    OnyxZ28 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,143
    saram, the difference is, unlike the locomotive, this thread just simply can't. :lol:
     
    #28
  29. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Sarcasm, USA
    120 MPH serves and 100 MPH forehands by a 3.0? Highly doubtful! However, if you were to hit that forehand at me consistently, all I would need to do is keep my racket firm and volley it away for a winner. If you know it's coming you can be ready and punish it.
     
    #29
  30. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    1mi/hr = (5280ft/hr)*(1hr/60min)*(1min/60sec)=1.46ft/sec

    So 100mi/hr=146ft/sec which equals 73ft/(half second)

    A tennis court is only 78ft long. And it seems as though it is only taking half a second between hitting the ball and it landing on the other side. I'm not actually measuring the time or speed. I only said I'm in the process of getting there.

    I'm using a semi-western grip, and if i get a weak reply that T's the ball up about 5 1/2 ft in the air, I can usually time the jump and the swing well enough. All I have to do is get the racket back high enough and throw it against my shoulder so that the racket is whipping around as it meats the ball. Since I can see the net in the process, all I have to do is get my arm lined up with the net.

    I've only done that a couple of time during USTA matches. But I've done it about 10 times when playing my usual tennis partner. The trouble is that you cannot hesitate while doing it. You have to be focused and fully committed to the shot from the start. That's easier to do when play your usual tennis partner, not so easy when playing strangers. They might get upset and cry fowl, etc, etc, etc...
     
    #30
  31. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    have you ever hit a heavy top-spin ball at the wall? What does it do? It bounce up into the air. Are you telling me you can gage the amount of spin on a 100mph ball in a quarter of a second? Your natural reflex is going to be to hold your racket tight, and you'll barely have time to get to the ball. All you're going to do is end up being a backboard that hits it back long.
     
    #31
  32. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    808
    Majik it sounds like you more of a pusher with your severe backspin drop shot type of shots,

    Even the most sandbagging 3.0 doesn't hit a 120mph serve or a 100mph forehand.

    A hard serving 3.0 is probably more in the 85-90mph range
     
    #32
  33. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    Speed aside, you can hit at that netman all that you want, and although you think he has no chance, I would assure you that most players could dodge that ball if it is going out.
     
    #33
  34. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First, you are supposed to hit to the net man. He is there to block your balls back.

    Second, I think you should consider to not add numbers to your shots, you may be mistaken and it doesnt add anything to your thread.
     
    #34
  35. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235

    When I start playing spin-doctor with heavy back-spin shots, I've been called a "chopper" because my swing is mostly down and not through. I'm relying on the magnus effect to make it float for the most part to the baseline. It's not actually a drop shot that stands still after bouncing. But it continues through after bouncing with very little hieght on it. It's taken a while to get that under control. But it's kind of fun to watch them consistently hit it into the net.
     
    #35
  36. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235

    Sure they can. And that brings up another issue. As I recall, the USTA rules don't say anything about hitting the receiver's partner at the net with a serve during doubles. Do you suppose if Andy Roddick was playing doubles and hit one of his 150mph serves at the receiver's partner at the net that he could duck in time? Is there any USTA rule or Code that prevents such a strategy? Who's point would that be if he did hit the netman with a serve?
     
    #36
  37. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If you hit any player of the other team with a serve before the ball hits the ground, even if the ball was going obviously long, the point goes to the server.
     
    #37
  38. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Sarcasm, USA
    Majik, Actually I am saying you are full of BS and don't hit your forehand that hard. I play with many 4.5 and 5.0 guys and we all hit the ball hard occasionally. Even if we go at the net person with a big shot, it almost always comes back. For you to try and do that to us, well, that would have us licking our chops, pal.

    Good luck with the rich fantasy life you seem to be enjoying!
     
    #38
  39. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Location:
    Elvisland
    That's amazing. I play better when I drink, too. Imagine that. ;)
     
    #39
  40. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    Georgia
    Maybe he's hitting a racquetball?
     
    #40
  41. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    It does seem to have me coming back for more.

    I suspect that they are not hitting as hard as they can because they're afraid you might duct in time and they want to get the ball in if you do. But if some 220 pound guy put all his overweight into whipping the racket with his extra long arms. I don't think you're going to even be able to see the ball, much less place it somewhere. But it might be interesting to find out. And what posture are you taking at the net? Are you crouched low and hiding behind your racket? Are you holding your racket with one hand?

    I'm trying to convince my tennis partner to wear a hockey mask and shoulder and chest pads just to see what's possible.
     
    #41
  42. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,672
    He said he is starting on a 100 mph forehand. It could be anywhere from 0 to 100 right now.
     
    #42
  43. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,672
    I never have that problem, because my kick serves usually bounce 8 feet high.

    One day I mistimed it and the ball hit Ivo Karlovic's nose after the first bounce.

    BTW, he was on the next court.
     
    #43
  44. GPB

    GPB Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    I love this discussion. In general, it is (well, might be) a good idea to hit directly at the net man. Because the net man should not give you a ball that you are able to hit your awesome forehand with. If you can hit your strong forehand off of a low skidding slice that makes you run out wide and scoop it off the ground, you're awesome. If you have to wait for a weak ball, then the netman deserves whatever you dish out.
     
    #44
  45. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    I remember playing men's singles ladder at the club against a 3.5, possibly 4.0. He approached the net, so I gave him a strong forehand, aiming right for the sweet spot of his racquet. I got it, it went up, but landed in, and T'd me off for another go at it. So this time a caught some air and gave him another, right in the sweet spot. This time he was crouched low and hiding behide his racket. It was like a tenth of a second between when I hit it and when it hit his racquet. Again it pops up, lands in, and T'd me off for yet another. So again I aim directly for his racket, probably out of habbit at this point. Only now he's crouching even lower and starting to hide behind the net. I hit the tape this time because his sweet spot is below the net. He had a health fear of approaching the net after that.
     
    #45
  46. EasleyTennis

    EasleyTennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    Upstate, S.C.
    This is more believable than the op's claims..
     
    #46
  47. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,710
    I wouldn't assign a number to my forehand speed, but I have a pretty fast forehand.

    And my own rules concerning intentionally blasting the netman in recreational tennis are as follows:

    1. Never if the netman is obviously not good at volleys and incapable of adequately protecting himself.
    2. Never if I am within the distance to kill the netman and the netman has turned his back or otherwise signaled surrender.
    3. Sometimes if the netman is capable.
    4. Gloves are off if the netman actively crowds the net, poaches, or uses gamesmanship to distract me (such as faking movement, tapping court with racquet or feet).
     
    #47
  48. Joeyg

    Joeyg Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Sarcasm, USA
    Majik Vs. Fedace??? I would pay to see it!

    As the NTRP level of the player goes down, his opinion of his own game goes up? Most of the good players I play with would laugh their butts off at the claims this guy is making.

    Sorry, dude but you are a double bagel waiting to happen. Even with your "120 MPH serve and 100 MPH forehand".

    I suggest you get together with Fedace and have a hit with him. I am sure his "massive topspin" and all of your attributes would make for an interesting match.
     
    #48
  49. Majik

    Majik Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    235

    Those sound like good rules to use.

    I gave my regular tennis partner a black eye once hitting too hard too close to the net. But there he was crouched down and hiding behide his racket, presenting a target for me. Instinct took over and I hit it real hard right at him. I must have thought he wanted some practice or something. Anyway, it hit the side of his racket and deflected into the sunglasses that he was wearing. Man did I feel bad about that. But it was an effective shot. So that's part of why I started this thread.
     
    #49
  50. GPB

    GPB Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,187
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    but if they're crouching down defensively, there's SO MUCH "other" court to hit your winner... i'd say it's a no-no to go straight at them in that situation. good thing your buddy had glasses, or who knows what coulda happened to his eyes...
     
    #50

Share This Page