Moon-balled to death. Advice?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Long Face, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    Hey guys,

    I need your advice.

    I'm a 4.0 level player with a one-handed backhand, and I play an agressive type of all-court game. I just lost a match against a guy who hits moon-balls whenever possible. He tosses most of the baseline groundstrokes as high as possible (almost high enough for overheads, but not quite), and most of them land close to the baseline. He did this on 90% of his groundstrokes, and he enjoyed seeing me suffer from it. He used this type of shots as a weapon, and he has a lot of practice. I don't think he can be categorized as a "pusher".

    I tried to deal with the moon balls by hitting them on the rise, but it is a very difficult shot for me, resulting in
    a. reduced accuracy in my shot placements
    b. more errors (mis-hits or wide/long shots)
    c. when I attack the net, his moon balls becomes perfect deep lobs

    As a result, his moon balls got to me. I hit them back once, twice, three times, but then I made an error sooner or later.

    Could anybody give me some advice how I should play this guy the next time we meet? It will be very soon, in a couple of days.

    Thanks again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #1
  2. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    That totally blows. I've been there myself. My suggestion would be to slice as much as you can, forehand and backhand. The lower you keep the ball on his end, the harder it will be for him to get under it for a lob/moonball.
    Another thing you could do is moonball him right back. Play his game, it will suck but you might frustrate him just as much as he frustrates you.
    If you get a lot of these types of players at your level, then you should play up, 4.5's. You'll likely get more competition and less moonballers.
     
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  3. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    Thanks for the tip, but I am not sure whether I should combat his well-practised strength with my absolute weakness (because I have never practised moon-balling).

    But trying low slices makes sense.
     
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  4. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    How often would you get to play him? You could just try hitting them on the rise, taking them in the air, making errors and losing until eventually get get good enough at those shots that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to beat you.
     
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  5. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    What I'm thinking is: What if this happens in the pro level? How will moon-balls be punished?

    Moon-balls must not be an effective way of play in pro level because not many pros do this. I guess there must be something I can do to punish such slow and high balls? But how?
     
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  6. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    You have to move the ball around the court and use variety of spin pace and angles. You've got to have good footwork and fitness because those guys don't usually beat themselves.

    There is a WTA player who plays like this. I was amazed. Frankly I enjoyed watching her play and was impressed with how well she stuck to her game plan. The only pro player I've ever seen play that style. Julie Cohen.
     
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  7. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

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    Hit shorter balls or even drop shots if he has a bad net game. Its hard to moonball when your at the net :) The short balls will force him to hit with less height. What I mean by short I mean SHORT. If hes good at running, you'll need to aim around the court more.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012
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  8. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    If these are true moon balls, then run around your backhand and hit forehands?
     
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  9. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    no no. you never want to play the same game as the moonballer. that is exactly what he wants. He can stay out there and play 10 hours if he has to. and that is what he wants.

    You have to be good enough to take the ball out of the air and hit swing volleys. 1-handed swing volley is alot easier than you think if your technique is correct. 4.0 guys don't even try it cause idiot pros tell them it is low % shot. It is easy shot even on the backhand side.

    Also hit volleys off of the moonball too. but Location is Critical. Do not hit volley deep. Hit angles low and short.
     
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  10. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    #10
  11. jmnk

    jmnk Professional

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    yap, perfect advise. One cannot beat a solid steady 4.0 player that hits good shots near the baseline, and that bounce high - so let's move to a higher level. What 'more competition' does OP need at higher level if he can't beat a 4.0 :roll:
     
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  12. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    If he moonballs often, then you should be able to anticipate and volley the ball out of the air, or even get under the ball to hit an overhead if the ball is high enough. That will rob him of his time.
     
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  13. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    The male college varsity players I play with just eat up moonballs my taking it early. this is because they have great timing, can generate their own power, and send it back with speed and spin. Women have more problems, and will use moonballs more often, but only when they are very high and deep. Anything inside the service line get murdered with a swing volley.
     
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  14. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Just run around and hit a heavy forehand into his backhand corner. He'll pop up a short ball in no time.
     
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  15. tvu

    tvu New User

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    Try working on your overhead - you will have lots of time to run around your backhand if necessary - I know you said it is not as high as an overhead - but you can stoop down just a little bit to attack - remember you have the whole court to play with versus trying to get it into the service box. Probably need to perform some drills first - before you try it a match - because once you miss a couple, you become tentative and might abandon the strategy all together.
     
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  16. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I recently watched a pair of 6.0 females in a final and one started popping up moonballs when she started losing badly. The other responding by hitting the first one back rather hard, thus encouraging a second moonball and immediately ran into the middle of no man's land to either overhead it or volley it into a corner. I think the fact that she was getting aggressive on the moonballs scared the other girl and she stopped moonballing.

    Less work is to just carry a pistol in your bag and shoot him. With all the problems in the world today, we certainly don't need moonballers. I suppose this goes for junk ballers and pushers as well.
     
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  17. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Long Face, do you play with an Eastern FH grip? What about your BH? I think which grips you play with will make a difference on the kind of advice given.

    I regularly face moonballers, and one player constantly hits particularly high, deep, and spinny moonballs. Eastern FH & 1HBH are particularly vulnerable to moonballs (I used to hit w/these strokes myself). Now I usually do well against them by: Hitting better moonballs. Hitting aggressive groundstrokes against them (but they must be consistent, placed well, and angled) until they hit too shallow of a moonball - and here you must be able to take the opportunity to finish off the point from mid court (I had trouble hitting aggressively off moonballs until I switched to SW grip). Rally until you find the opportunity to pressure them with an aggressive groundstroke that you think will cause a weaker reply (lower moonball) and follow up with volleys. If you can't do one or two of those things well enough to beat the moonballer then they probably just play better and/or you lack the ability to deal with them. They can be pretty tough.

    A trick that might work for an Eastern Grip player is to slice, chop, hack, or dink the moonballs a bit short to mid court, keeping it low or with little pace. Hopefully, your opponent is not that good at finishing off midcourt balls. Most of these guys can't hit moonballs from mid cout (they go out) so they will come in and either hit a flatter faster shot or slice. This would give you a ball that lands in your strike zone/height and give you a chance to counter-attack while they are stuck in mid court or coming to the net.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  18. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    Exactly. When the varsity girls I've seen smell a short moonball (usually with the opponent backing up), they move in for an short angled or crosscourt swing volley at the service line, specially if she has a 2-handed backhand.
     
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  19. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    As the bit famous coach Heath Waters take it:

    Premise: "dont let the Pusher push".

    How to?

    1. Serveice return. End point before it gets started. Pushers often has a weak 2nd serve. Hit winner down the line or go crosscourt at depth 3/4.

    2. Move Pusher where he is not used to be. Give him dropshot, then pass him or lob him.

    3. If you can, go for serve and volley.

    4. Use angles, pushers usually push well from middle of court, less from the sides and when running to the ball.

    5. When in rally, give him short ball like near the T, if he moves forward make a dip shot he has to volley up or pass him.

    6. When in rally (2), move him from corner to corner. Take the ball high. Or take the ball early. Move in on short balls. Hit swing volley, then move in and take ball on volley or overhead.

    To be able to execute the above you need to have skills and cool head.

    Thats why Pushers normally dont exist on 4.5 and higher level.
     
    #19
  20. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    when I see play like this I bend my knees a little more than a normal overhead to hit and overhead...or I forehand slice it on the rise making it skip low and causing them to dig it out and give me an easy overhead/volley if i get to net in time.
     
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  21. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    I don't moonball (am not a patient or proficient lobber), but a friend does this shot to me often from his baseline on a ball that bounces to him over shoulder height. It has wicked side spin which wrenches my racquet when I try to move in for a volley, and skids really low if I let it bounce... it stays so low I have trouble getting under it for my topspin FH or BH. So I end up blocking it back on a short hop, and he has usually followed his shot in and has an open court volley put-away. The shot you describe is a weapon if you can hit it well... it's big trouble for me for sure. I respectfully hate that shot and can see how it could punish a moonballer or pusher.
     
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  22. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    A 4.0 player should have a good overhead. Move up in the court and hit overheads.


     
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  23. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Take it on the rise instead of waiting for it to finish its bounce.
     
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  24. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    If you are not in good shape, you will lose to a moonballer. It doesn't matter how much your shots look textbook and you hit awsome topspin shots. to beat a moonballer you have to be in good shape.
    being able to hit 30 shots and stay out there 5 hours is part of the game.

    It is just as important as hitting 70 mph topspin shots and hitting great kick serves. Moonballers and pushers will teach you that.
     
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  25. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    if the strokes are almost lobs, this is the key. No matter how deep a lob or semi-lob is, if you approach and are anticipating this shot, you should/could put these balls away fairly easily... either w/ overhead or an aggressive volley.

    if this doenst work (i dont see why it wouldnt) draw him to the net. pusher-types typically (not always) are not comfortable at the net/no mans land.

    since they guy is an annoying pusher, dont go for passing shot winners. hit it hard straight at him.:twisted:
     
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  26. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Unless you have a reliable weapon that you can consistently punish moonballs with (uncommon among rec level players), the best response to a moonball is a moonball. It's a safe shot that keeps you in the point until you have a high percentage opportunity to attack with the weapons you have. Further, you will find that many moonballers, who are accustomed to hitting mb's off of aggressive shots, don't handle mb's that well themselves.
     
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  27. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    how good is your opponent's depth control?

    can he keep his deep moonballs *in the court* if you bring him closer to the net?

    If he can't, then either bring him to net by hitting short on purpose, or taking his moonballs in the air with soft angled volleys they'll force him to moonball from spots in the court he's not familiar with (like beyond the doubles alley but inside the baseline)
     
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  28. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    THANK YOU, guys, for so many constructive suggestions. I'm playing him again tonight, and I will report back to you how it turns out. Last time I lost 6-2, 6-3.

    Here I will summerize several tips that I think I will employ in tonight's match:

    1. If a moonball is too difficult for me to strike back agressively, I will play it back safe. The worst thing that can happen is another moonball.

    2. If a moonball is high enough for an overhead smash, I should step into the court (instead of backing up) and hit an overhead. Try not to smash down. Hit it like a serve so it will go over the net, and use placement.

    3. If a moonball is not high enough for an overhead, and if it is deep, try to take it early on the rise. Play it safe, too. Footwork!

    4. If a moonball is short, wait for it, put it into a corner with heat, and guard the net. Be ready for a lob.

    5. Serve and volley from time to time. Serve wide and drop the ball to the other side of the court. Be ready for a lob.

    6. Try some soft and short balls, and see how he handles mid-court and volleys. Get him to the net, and pass/lob him. This should be his most uncomfortable zone.

    Let's see what happens!

    Thank you guys, again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
    #28
  29. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    Yep...soon as I see moonballing I just smile because I have my game plan in place. Works even better on clay because the ball digs in and comes up about ankle height.
     
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  30. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    I do use Eastern grips, both forehand and backhand. This is why it is so hard to strike the moonballs, even with my forehand. If I can't take it on the rise, it becomes almost impossible to hit it back, unless making it a moonball.

    My opponent actually smiles when he sees me returning with moonballs. I guess this is exactly the type of game he enjoys playing, and he will be able to dominate me with better and deeper moonballs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  31. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    I don't buy into the claim to beat a moonballer you must moonball. I think the key thing you need to beat them is patience.

    It's a good learning process, and I myself used to lose to this one guy who had great strokes but insisted on moonballing instead. After losing two matches to him through frustration I adapted then began beating him. Thing is, it still wasn't much fun so we don't hit anymore but I do thank him for improving my game.

    Only issue (and it's quite a big issue:))with the patience approach is it must be allied to consistency, and I'm not sure how much of that 4.0 players have.
     
    #31
  32. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You win again. I'm amazed how often I agree with your assessment of things in this section.

    As an aside, I often moonball / push, etc when playing an unfamiliar opponent. Its amazing how many people don't know what to do and get frustrated and just hand me the victory.

    I've played against many moonball / pusher opponents as well. I just stay steady. Often, that's enough (they are expecting their opponent to get impatient and frustrated). But against the better guys, you just have to be patient and until you get a ball you can be aggressive on. Sometimes you win those points, and sometimes you make an error (or get lobbed or passed) anyway.

    Even against better opponents that can be both patient and more aggressive against the moonball stratedgy (meaning they do both), mixing in moonballs and push shots are a great way to not give them rhythm and often "steal" a few cheap points.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  33. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    I have good consistency as long as I don't try to paint the sidelines. However my moonballing opponent has good movement and stamina, and I do get a little frustrated facing one moonball after another. This is when consistency goes out of the window and I try to hit impossible shots (such as wide shots and drop shots that are either too short or too long). Error after error, and the set is gone. :oops:
     
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  34. pnoytennis

    pnoytennis New User

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    Moon Balled to death? So the player was more consistent with better top spin and they jump off your backhand side? people always assume moon balls is a bad way of playing tennis. rafael nadal is a known moonballer not because he has ugly technique but he can just hit an amazing amount of spins that explodes of the ground. the secret to moonballers is patience. you should be willing to grind things out and take out the one shot winner mentality. moonballers only know one thing and that is to win. they are metnally tough and amazingly physically fit. pushers don't exist on higher levels is also not valid. people just say that all the time. but in reality the more consistent player always win. i was an aggressive player before and i ended up losing to players "with lower ranks" when as a matter of fact they were smarter players. they feed of my errors and played high percentage tennis.

    don't be tempted to go for winner shots and try to go for percentage. slice it down and don't topspin your backhand.
     
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  35. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    Here's the thing...unless you can devote considerable amount of time to tennis there is always a chance you will lose to good lobber/pusher.
    I have seen it happen in open tournaments to good players or ex college player who don't play 6 hrs per day anymore. That's the truth.

    Reason you don't see it at the pro level is because they have perfect timing practicing every day for hours. They will simply take it on the rise or out of the air. Something that even if you develop will quickly go away if you don't have time to maintain that level by hitting every day, a luxury most of us don't have.

    One thing is that as an amateur you can chose not to play with him anymore and no harm done. Life is too short do deal with that.
    If you guys are part of the league and have to play one advice i would give you is don't underestimate him because of his choice of strokes BUT take easy almost as a practice match and clear your afternoon schedule since you will be on the court for a while. :) it is after you relax you will find way that you can beat him. Often this notion that he is beating u with inferior strokes puts too much pressure on you to go for winners and punish him for his "poor strokes" while the truth is at this level you are not equipped to do that consistently.
     
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  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You lack what is called "shot tolerance." When a rally continues too long, your anxiety rises and you get impatient because you don't have confidence in your ability to just keep the ball in play. So, you end your anxiety by ending the point, for better or for worse. Sometimes just knowing this phenomenon is enough to cure the problem. You won't turn in to a pumpkin just because you have to hit your 5th or 6th shot in a rally. Be patient, moonball with him, and wait for a short ball to attack.

    Having said that, if you really want to be able to be a human ball machine, and it is an invaluable skill to have if you want to win tennis matches, there's nothing better than doing cross court drills with a like minded drilling partner. When you can hit 10, 15, 20 cross court groundies in a row (each), deep to your opponents corner in practice drills, hitting 5-6 in a match is easy, and you will usually draw an UE or weak reply to attack well within that shot count. When your cross court groundies are really grooved in, it's a piece of cake to set up for a moonball and drive it with good pace and spin cross court to the opponent's corner, and continue to do that until he hits a weak reply you can attack, an UE, or he is so far out of position that a standard cross court groundie becomes an outright winner. You don't have to kill the ball, just execute good quality cross court groundies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  37. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    While I agree with the patience part as I wrote it earlier, describing Nadal as a "known moonballer" is way off base in my opinion. He hits with some loopy topsin no doubt, but when I think of moonballs I'm thinking of things that clear the net by 20 feet ala a cramping Chang in the FO final.
     
    #37
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Can't believe it took until poster 12 to mention....take in out of the air, approach volley, then camp out at service line in anticpation of another lob.
     
    #38
  39. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    Moonballers on pro level grow up to counter punchers ala Djokovic nadal ferret Hewitt etc...
    :)
     
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  40. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    #40
  41. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    the problem is the other guy is a 4.5 moonballer
    So as of the last match, long face's overheads were no match for his moonballs :)
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, if the mooner was a real 4.5, any 4.0 would lose.
    But drawing the moonballer IN, dropshots, short angles, and then lobbing them takes some of their legs away, and avoids their best shot, the baseline high moonballs. You know he's only a 4.5, he cannot hit every shot well and every shot consistently.
     
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  43. not_federer

    not_federer Rookie

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    Advice? Don't play moonballers ;)
     
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  44. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    haha. there's this old man that plays on the courts where i play. he's a moonballer and like long face, my overheads weren't good enough to derail his game. Apparently, he had been playing like this for years and I had not been hitting overheads for that long but I knew i was stronger, fitter, faster, and just as consistent as he was. So, whenever he moonballed, i would return his moonball back. It was like shooting at airplanes but I would end up winning most of these exchanges. Nowadays, whenever he plays me, he doesn't moonball anymore and if he doesn't, i would not play that way either :)
    I guess this was applying what Kaptain Karl was saying about Bill Tilden's advice on playing against your opponent's strength.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
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  45. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    That was a long list! That usually jumbles up the player but if you can keep your mind clear it gives you a lot of backup plans when things aren't going well. How did it go?

    Yeah the big problem I found with eastern grips was that it was difficult to drive aggressive topspin shots much above waist height. Its also difficult to hit with pace unless you are moving forward, and moonballers tend to push you back. Hitting it on the rise requires that you already have the timing to do this regularly, and if you wait for the moonball to fall low enough to land in your strike zone you will be so far back that you lose angles and even a hard shot will take a long time to get to your opponent. I actually hit better moonballs and topspin lobs than most of my moonballing opponents and even they find it frustrating to deal with their own medicine, but I guess you shouldn't try this against them if you are not good at it.

    That is exactly what they want you to do. Play it patiently and don't attack shots the shots that you know you can't, send them back with enough to prevent youself from getting attacked, but don't give into the urge of overhitting and making UE's. With eastern grips I found that at shoulder height I couldn't drive a topspin shot but I could still hit a good moonball, topspin lob, or slice/chop effectively, find the shots he dislikes or returns weakly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
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  46. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    LOL. I moonballed a guy to death a few week ago. You sure it wasn't me that you played? :) My calves were cramping badly, to such an extent that I felt as if my calf muscles were going to snap every time I pushed off from my legs, particularly on serves, hitting anything on the run etc. So in order to reduce my movement, instead of setting up to rip the ball, I just lofted the ball up and by chance noticed that he really struggled with anything high and deep. I honestly couldn't believe it because I had spent almost the entire match cranking the ball and running myself into the ground with 'conventional' tennis.

    Over the next few games, I tried to refining it by adding more top spin so in addition to the ball landing deep, almost on the bseline, it would in addition, push him even further back beyond the baseline. He just couldn't handle it, and his game just compltely self-destructed from that point. He was trying to hit balls above his head, standing 7ft behind the baseline. If it wasn't for the fact that there was crowd of people watching, I would have started laughing with every super destructive moonball. :mrgreen:

    Heres what - in my view - you need to consider to have a chance of countering moonballs:-

    1. You need be able to neutralize the rally. In other words, you need to able to return the ball in a way that doesn't leave you exposed. If you return a short ball, you're just inviting him to finish the point or play a drop shot, and you're never retrieving that if you're starting from 7ft behind the baseline. If you can't neutralize the moonball, you've lost control of the rally. You need to return deep, so that he can't attack off your return, or have time to launch another moonball. Ideally, you want to return to his weaker side (see below).

    2. You need to be physically fit. You need antcipate the trajectory of the moonball, move quickly and best position yourself so that you can hit the most effective (deep) return. Usually this is going to be from the FH side, so don't be afraid to run around your 1BH if that's what it takes to hit a deep return. Unless you have a very well developed 1HB, its more difficult to return a moonball bouncing high and deep to your BH side. If you can't repeatedly run around your BH, repeatedly run deep, repeatedly run forward to get yourself in the best position to hit a neutralizing return, you're already at a disadvantage.

    3. You need to be patient enough to wait for an opening, and mentally tough enough not to let this faze you. Return to his weakness, which may be his BH side, high and deep. This is a real battle of wills here, and game intelligence.

    4. Don't give him time. The moonballer can only really hit an effective moonball if they have time to do so. It's hard to hit a moonball if the moonballer is under pressure, on the run, pulled out of position, scrambling for the ball etc. So given the that, it follows that you need to put the moonballer under pressure so that he doesn't have the opportunity to repeatedly hit moonballs. Don't let the moonballs get started if you can prevent this (see below).

    5. You need to be press your game onto your opponent and play onto his weaknesses (whatever they are). You need press, press, press, keeping up the pressure of your normal game without overhitting or making UEs. How you do that is down to you, your individual abilities and how your opponent plays. It might be hitting with pace and spin onto his backhand for example, particularly if he has a 1HB. It's hard for him to hit a controlled moonball if the ball's coming at him big, with pace and spin onto his BH side. You can't give him time. It might mean you slicing and keeping the ball low, because its harder to tee up a controlled moonball if the ball is slicing low through the court. It might be moving him around and coming to the net to finish with a volley or OH. You put him under pressure and the quality of the moonball he hits will diminish in quality or you'll force him into a UE. The worst thing you can do is hit a mid court ball with medium or little pace and no spin. What's going to be most effective is going to depends on your opponent particular strengths/weaknesses. If you can't press your game onto your opponent enough of the time and when you have the chance to do so, then you just need to work on your own game, because he's found a weakness that causes your game to self-destruct. If that's the case, then kudos to him (he presumably wants to win) and its something that you need to work on neutralizing.

    6. I don't agree with the comments earlier this thread about volleying or slicing moonballs. The way I was hitting moonballs in my match, they were landing practically on the baseline. You're not going to volley or slice that from there. Sure, you can try a swinging volley or a serve type OH, but its not the percentage play and you're at risk of alot of UEs.

    At the end of the day, you just need to have game, patience, intelligence, and tenacity to deal with this stuff, but if you take into account the above, you should be in a good position to deal with him, and it should push to you develop your technique/physical/mental game further, which is all good in my book.

    Going to try and find you a video in minute of a couple of ITF players effectively dealing with deep / high balls because I saw a video on here a months back that illustrates how good players effectively deal with this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
    #46
  47. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    339
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I played the moonballer again on Friday evening, and this time I won. 6-4, 6-3.

    I believe the following two changes in my game helped me win this match:

    1. I was much more patient this time.
    When I faced the high moonballs this time, I was less scared and less frustrated. If it was deep, I just hit it back, on the rise, in a very safe manner, to the general left or right side (depending on his position), and wait for the next one. No errors, I told myself. I found that with a more relaxed mind-set, I felt that the moonballs became less tiring, and I could last a much longer time in long and boring rallies.

    If the moonball was short, I made sure I punished it with authority. I would drive it deep into one corner, and then kept him running, or went to the net. I had some success at the net, and was able to hit some good overheads, since I was expecting the lobs. Got passed quite a few times, but those didn't change the final result.

    2. I found out that he was not so good at net, so I drew him close as much as possible.
    During several of those "safe shots", the ball landed short on his side. I saw that those short balls actually made him uncomfortable. I started using soft forehands or backhand slices to produce pathetic short balls (which usually mean suicide), passed/lobbed him and won many points doing so.

    But it was still a tough long match, and I still lost a number of points by mis-hitting some deep topspin moonballs that landed near the baseline. The first set lasted more than one hour due to the many long rallies. I broke him at 4-4, and was able to serve it out. At the end of the first set, I could see that he was very tired. Me too. The 2nd set was somehow easier because his moonballs often landed shorter.

    In this match, I didn't try the following two advanced techniques, because I have never practised these shots, and I didn't feel that they were safe/high percentage for my game plan:
    1. Volleying the moonball in the air;
    2. Hitting an overhead if the moonball is high enough.

    Maybe I can try a few of these when I play him next time. Now with a little more confidence, I could probably start trying new things. The goal of the last match was to win. :)

    Thank you again, everybody, for your tips and suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #47
  48. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Messages:
    427
    It's cool to hear you beat the moonballer. Not many of us here do.

    If there's one thing I've learned in tennis, it's that most players don't like to play a copy of themselves - be they a moonballer or flat blaster.
     
    #48
  49. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,519
    Location:
    shiran
    I would withdraw from this match and take a few months to work on your moonballs and aggressive game.
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,696
    Derailed.
    I like to end the points quickly, whether by S/V, hard hitting groundies, or drawing the opponent IN then attempting a pass.
    I love playing those kinds of points, because to me, it's real tennis. Real losing tennis, maybe. But I get to hit and I get to face shots hit like the pros.
    Or closer than facing a pusher's shots. The "pro" part is pure delusion, of course.
     
    #50

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