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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    Thank you for the videos. I did watch them.

    Video #1 was about playing a pusher. However my opponent was not a typical "pusher". He used deep and agressive topspin moonballs as a weapon to win points, which was very different from those very soft and short shots in this video. He actually practised these shots.

    Video #2 and #3 are similar. They asked you to step into the court and play the points in the "no man's land", including taking high balls in the air. This requires a new technique and some practice.

    I plan to work on these in the next couple of months. Before the last match I only had one to two days, and I wanted to play it safe. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
    #51
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Deep and topspin moonballs hit aggressively is just a 4.0 or better, up to 7.0 level PUSHER.
    As told to me by HaroldSolomon.
     
    #52
  3. NJ1

    NJ1 Professional

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    ^Another fun night in
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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, nobody wants to hear about YOU.
    You don't have any experience to share.
     
    #54
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I can tell you from personal experience that learning a good topspin moonball off BH and FH is an express ticket from 3.5 to 4.0.

    The only way to stop me from hitting a moonball is to keep the ball short in the court (I like to moonball while close to the baseline) or to hit low slice (I can't get under it). Bonus for me: Taking a topspin moonball out of the air takes good volley technique, which a lot of people do not have.

    Anyway, OP needs to learn a very good slice to prevent the moonball and an approach volley to take them out of the air.
     
    #55
  6. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Watch how these two girls deal with balls that are high and deep.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osvVAOSjYGg

    Incidentally, when the video was taken, Odegaard was one of Norway's top juniors. I think she may have even played some FedCup recently.
     
    #56
  7. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Nobody volleys from the baseline. Not even a pro would do that. You think a 4.0 is going to effectively do that?
     
    #57
  8. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    When you actually employ that strategy, volley the moonballs, the volleys end up being mid-court, towards the service line. (meaning that's where you're standing) The reason why moonballs don't work at the pro level is because they're volleyed away for the winner. Watch any Fed/pro match and you'll realize they instinctively know when to charge the net. It's a very common strategy at the rec/college level to hit a high defensive shot when you're out of position, and usually they send a high shot down the center. Once you volley them away for the winner, they usually stop doing it.
     
    #58
  9. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Aren't you the same guy who suggested that it wasnt necessary to measure string lengths and that it was possible to string up a racquet whilst leaving the string on the reel?
     
    #59
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Torres, let's think this through a little more.
    When you move forwards to take a moonball out of the air, before it bounces, you are standing INSIDE of NoMan'sLand, not on the baseline. You shorten the court by at least 8' before you hit the ball. Most players take this as a driving topspin swinging volley. That ball goes fast. You give your moonballing opponent little time to recover, so any shot anywhere near the sideline is a clean winner.
    You post two pushers who want to sustain a moonball rally.
    Any decent volleyer, as CindyS mentioned, would take 4 steps inside his baseline positioning, volley the ball to a corner, move two more steps to stand just inside the service line, and be in perfect position to end the point with a short CC volley or overhead.
    Almost nobody can moonlob a ball that clears the racket of a player standing 1' inside his service line.
     
    #60
  11. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    I played with a co-worker who is a good 4.0 doubles player (very comfortable at the net) and a Pusher Retriever.

    Gets to every shots I throw, also equipted with great timing on employing half volleys. We average over 10 shots each point, its an all court battle and I have to really hit my shots with a good pace or wide shots with heavy topspin before I can move in to the net to close him out. Otherwise, you can bet he'll respond with a deep lob to the baseline. And he hardly missed.
    One answer is when moving to the net is to volley short and angle it to the corner.
     
    #61
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Let's figure out where to stand to intercept any moonball out of the air.
    Say you're standing 6' behind the baseline. You gotta move to at least middle of NML, right?
    Standing in middle of NML, you can take most moonballs about waist to shoulder high, just right for a driving swinging topspin volley.
    There is NO lob that will go over your head!
    Now take position AT the service line. Moonball coming, about to land 2' inside your baseline. How far back do YOU have to retreat? TWO STEPS MAX is the answer! The ball is flying an arc, not higher than 20', and you cut off with an overhead, any ball that lands inside your baseline.
    Why are you tentative pushers staying BACK behind your baseline, watching this slow loopy ball, then RETREATING to the backwall?
     
    #62
  13. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Nope. There are moonballs and there are moonballs. I'm not talking about the lame up/down moonballs hit by 3.5s that land in no mans land. The type of moonballs you're describing I'd be attacking off, even off the ground and be taking a good rip at.

    I'm talking about the moon balls than land on or very close to the baseline, come down almost vertically and have topspin to push the opponent even further back. Those were the balls I was hitting the other day. There is no way you are going to volley that. If my opponent had been standing in no mans land, the ball would have gone over his head. You're mad if you think somebody can't put a ball over your head or everything is going to be at waist or shoulder height.

    Your idea of a quality moonball seems to be alot lower than mine. Either you have no idea what you're taking about, or you're just used to playing crappy players, because I can guarantee you that there's no way you could volley the balls I was hitting without a ton of errors or setting me up for a winning next point. Unless of course, you think that you can volley above your head whilst running backwards from no mans land.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
    #63
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Ah Torres, my young, uninformed friend....
    What you say defies physics. A ball cannot be dropping straight down at the baseline, not a moonball. A sky high lob with backspin can, but you have all day to get under it and hit an overhead.
    Why don't you watch the vids of those two girls hittng moonballs? Balls are 20' high, no higher.
    To intercept those, do as I say.
    To intercept sky high lobs that land nearly vertical, stroll under the ball, crush your overhead.
    You have no idea of the physics of hitting a topspin moonball, and how it travels through the air.
     
    #64
  15. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    #65
  16. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Anything's possible from the courtside armchair of your fantasy tennis world.

    LeeD thinks he's going to be volleying from no man's land at 0:31 and 0:41.

    Then again he also thinks he can coach Federer better than Annacone, and thinks he knows how to to shave another 0.3 secs from Usain Bolt's 100m time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    #66
  17. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    those balls Serena would hit a swinging volley.
     
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  18. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Hi Arch

    How do you like your Apdgts? How big are you that you can handle that kind of weight? I find that mine at 240gr (12oz) already feels very stable. I can't imagine any opponent's shot could push it around. Is your weight overkill?
     
    #68
  19. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    yeah but then again, Serena is one of the greatest tennis players ever, she can do stuff which most good players simply cannot do.
     
    #69
  20. PrinceMoron

    PrinceMoron Hall of Fame

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    Just die, it is less painful. You just wake up the next morning feeling stiff.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Torres, you may remain a 4.0 pusher foreever, I don't care.
    But if you want to improve, now with your huge 100 sq in racket, step into middle of NML, take the ball in the air and hit it to a corner, then follow it in to service line positioning.
    Chrissy was a baseliner, afraid to come to net. Why didn't everyone just dropshot and lob here? Because it wasn't considered "proper" tennis at the time.
    Are you a girl? If yes, then stay back and hit a moonball reply.
    If you're a GUY, move forwards and use your volleying skills.
     
    #71
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    And what is the PURPOSE of this thread?
    If the answer was so easy to do, OP would not need to ask the question.
    Sure, you gotta practice volleys from NML. Sure, you gotta hit some balls, watch the ball, and use some energy.
    Otherwise, you can sit content with your game as is, and get killed by moonballers.
     
    #72
  23. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    They are fine for me. I'm 5'9" tall. 150 lbs. When I got back to tennis after years off I just went to the store and asked for the new racket. They handed me an apd c. It played fine but it didn't feel right. I picked up my dusty Wilson bag and fished out one of my ps85s with lead all over from my college days and it felt and hit better. So I just put lead on the apd to match better the weight and balance of my old ps85s. It works well. I play better with some heft. It's still very head light so I don't feel like it is heavy. Since I switched from the cortex to the gt model I think the gt model hits even better at this weight and balance.
     
    #73
  24. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I agree. But it really is not all that difficult to hit swinging volleys even from close to the baseline. I do it all the time. And I am not Serena .
     
    #74
  25. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    You have to keep in mind Torres hits uber super moon balls. You can't return the torreball.
     
    #75
  26. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    maybe that's why you have a solution because most people don't hit that shot, the swinging volley, all the time. When they encounter the moonballs, they would try to play it and because it's not their normal shot, they would make the errors and fail miserably.
    It would be interesting to see video clips of Serena or Federer responding to moonballs since they possess all the offensive techniques there are :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    #76
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    #77
  28. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Well yeah to be fair you have to practice it. When I was a kid the drill was the coach fed 3 balls. The first one you hit to middle of court. 2nd feed you hit it hard into the BH side. Third feed was a moon ball. You step into the baseline and hit the swing volley to the fh corner. Always going for a winner on that shot. Almost always cross court. Its just much easier to make that shot cross court. The coach would then change the number of balls fed and alter when he fed the moon ball. At times you would be out of position and not looking for the moon ball. Then he lobs one up. This drill really hones your anticipation of hitting the swing volley. The focus was you had to finish the point on that shot. And to look for that moon ball reply off of your previous ball.
     
    #78
  29. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    I dunno..... To win? :)

    I will revisit this thread after I practice the following playing styles:
    1. Step into the court when there is a deep moonball;
    2. Swing volley or overhead the deep moonballs.

    I will report back how I handle these shots. I am solid on most other strokes, both at net and around the baseline. But these shots are new to me, and require a very different mind set.

    For example, backing up to hit an overhead is pretty natural for me, but going forward, stepping into the court to hit an overhead? I need to practice this so I can build instinct and timing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    #79
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Didn't you always want to do Sampras's running forward leaping overheads?
    What about Fed's?
    If you don't embrace new ideas, you're doomed to stay as you are (that's for Torres).
    Running forwards to hit a jumping overhead is easy on the forehand side, I'd not recommend it on the backhand side.
    And guess what. After ONE day, you probably won't be able to hit all the shots everytime.
     
    #80
  31. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    As a serve-and-volleyer, Sampras hit a lot of leaping overheads at the middle of the court (when he was at the net, being lobbed). I watch a lot of his matches, but seldom see him going forward from the baseline and hit an overhead, like what we have been disccussing about.
     
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  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, but nobody moonballed Sampras, because he just moved forwards with a swinging volley and put the ball away.
    Lots of players barely return his serves with a stabbing reach, resulting in a moonball return of serve.
    If you need to nit pick the difference, maybe moving forwards is not for you, but that means the alternative.
     
    #82
  33. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    I play S&V too (do this after most of my first serves), so I understand what you are talking about. If the serve return is a defensive lob, you are already near the service line, and you hit an overhead right there.

    What I meant was, I seldom see Sampras going forward (from the baseline), during a baseline rally, to hit a moonball with overhead. Maybe nobody would play him with this shot.

    I have been trying to play tennis in the Sampras style. If he has this shot, I would have learned it long time ago. :)
     
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Let's say you are playing against a good volleyer, who always wants to get to net. Would you moonball this guy?
    Now let's put you up against a tough baseliner who hits hard shots with good placement. Would moonball this guy?
    I can't dot all the i's, cross all the T's for you guys.
     
    #84
  35. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    Good point. Hard to moonball a good volleyer. They will move in and take the ball out of the air. Today you see a lot of pros that don't even have good conventional volleys moving in. If they get a floater, they will move in and hit the swinging volley.
     
    #85
  36. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Yup. That's the toughest guy for me to beat with my "excessive topspin / moonball" game.

    BUT, the key is, it neeeds to be a GOOD volleyer. I don't don't see those guys too often these days.
     
    #86
  37. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Sure would. If by moonball we are now talking deep, heavy, high arcing spin shots.
     
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  38. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Evert would have dealt with it easily if she had had LeeD coaching her from his armchair. Probably would have won a few more slams as well.

    LeeD = 3.5 but maker of Champions (from his armchair).
     
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  39. Long Face

    Long Face Rookie

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    Hey guys, instead of arguing, why don't we actually try this shot (ask your hitting partner to feed some high topspin moonballs to you, and you try to swing-volley them or overhead smash them), and come back and tell us how easy/difficult it is?

    I plan to do this later this week, and I will report back.

    Now since I am actually able to win, the pressure is off. I can now practice the new technique and see whether it suits my game. Now I'm not sure, because I had never tried it before.
     
    #89
  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Did anyone suggest taking the high on the rise with your ww Fh?
    I will often take as they rise past my face and put a lot of side swipe on them
    with the ww.
     
    #90
  41. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    I don't know what was said, but I do it all the time for mains. I don't always pre-measure or pre-cut mains. Crosses, I get an approx. I have a feel for how much string I need. Do you HAVE TO cut the crosses off the reel? Strictly speaking no, but it makes it that much harder to string.
     
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  42. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    They had 4-5 seconds to charge teh ball and put it into the open court. You can't volley moonballs if you stay a couple yards behind the service line.

    For the rest of you, try it before knocking it. Volleying moonballs is the easiest way to win the point and prevent them from doing it again. Low volleys are hard, a volley 6+ feet high is very easy. It just requires an explosive first step to charge the ball.
     
    #92
  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For Torres....
    Well, if Chrissie did it, then YOU must also. You should wear a skirt too, put on makeup, and plant yourself on the baseline, and don't learn anything too new, it might take some practice.
     
    #93
  44. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    for me, i wish i could play like Chrissie. I would beat every single player that I know of and I just love her form/techniques :)
     
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  45. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Torres is the one hitting moon balls. Not his opponent. So what Torres is actually claiming is that his Torre moons cannot be volleyed or smashed. Reread his post.
     
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  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh..:(:(
    Well, I rated Torres a 4.0, so he would beat me, also a 4.0, because I cannot volley or overhead any of his moonballs. Just so I know.....
     
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  47. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Me either. God did you see Evert's look of disgust and anger at Seles (who was oblivious of the posturing/look as her back was turned)?
     
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  48. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    awesomeness...learned a new tennis word. :)
     
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  49. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    At least it's good to know even a pro like her hates moon balls.
     
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  50. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    OP, as an all courter you really should be able to take shots on the rise and be able to attack a moon ball out of the air. That's a lot of what being an all courter means. All courters can be offensive from any point on the court.

    I'm not going to try to give Internet advice, but most people that struggle with these skills need help with footwork.
     

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