Need help with high topspin bounce and one hand backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Texas Scrambler, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    What is my best strategy to handling a high bouncing topspin shot deep to my one handed backhand? I can slice the ball back into play but not very offensive in nature. I can rip a high topspin moonball back and hope for a deep bounce on my opponent. When I try to catch the ball early, I often mishit due to the variable nature in the bounce (hard courts).

    Any advice on how to tackle this type of ball?

    I am a 4.0 player with an all court game with the ability to hit topspin on both sides and chip / charge.
     
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  2. Danstevens

    Danstevens Semi-Pro

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    You're doing the right thing when trying to take it early and on the rise. Just practise doing it and eventually, the timing will come. Remember to watch the ball all the way on to the stringbed.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hmm....
    A 4.0 who can't handle overhead backhands? Just who have you been playing? You can top it, slice it hard and low, or halfvolley it flat with a short, compact stroke.
    Maybe you should self rate yourself back to 3.5.
     
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  4. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    Thanks Dan, and will practice catching the ball early on the rise
     
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  5. tribunal4555

    tribunal4555 Semi-Pro

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    "Overhead" backhands? If that's the case (up at net), it's a difficult shot to use effectively... I won't comment on it as it is one of my weaker shots. But as I believe you are talking about on the baseline, it depends on the shot. Any shot can be taken on the rise, but this takes a lot of practice to get the timing down. Just drill it w/ your normal hitting partner. Another option is, as you said, to chip it back, but that is more of a defensive shot. If it is anywhere from shoulder height to about mid-chest height, you can hit a hard, flat shot deep into your opponent's court. Above that, your only other option is to loop it back; this shot usually carries me a few feet into the air, so that I make contact around chest or shoulder height. Whatever you try, just practice!
     
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  6. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    Thanks 4555. I am practicing hitting a big loopy top spin (if the ball is sufficiently short) return like clay court strokes and placing the ball deep with lots of topspin. If I am too late to catch the ball on the rise, then I am practicing chipping with a hard stroke deep into the opponents court. Didn't know if I was missing something out there, and yes we are talking baseline.
     
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  7. plowmanjoe

    plowmanjoe Rookie

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    i would keep on practicing taking the ball on the rise. just try not to kit it like a half-volley, but on the rise at your strike zone.

    and if someone constantly hitting high topspin like that, just surprise them with an approach volley and go on the offensive.
     
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  8. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    It depends on what your opponent is doing, hence how much time you have. If you have plenty of time because your opponent stays at the back, you have time to go back and then move into the shot to hit it when it's dropped to the normal strike zone (like claycourters do). Alternatively, and again if your opponent stays at the back, you can take it earlier and slice it to the opposite far corner - it doesn't need to be an attacking shot, but may well end up so if you get good depth and the ball stays low after the bounce, as you change the spin and rhythm of the rally which makes it more difficult for your opponent to go back to playing another loopy, deep topspin backhand.

    On the other hand, if your opponent uses the shot as an approach to move up to the net, then you have to take it earlier, but the target changes - you have to get the ball to bounce around the service line, to force a first upward volley (forget going for a pass on his approach ball, you go for the pass off his next shot, the upward volley). Personally, in this situation I would again go for the high backhand slice - the natural trajectory is from high-to-low (all other shot options have to rise first to clear the net, and if you overcook them they offer him easier volleys), and you have a little bit of extra time to play it while the ball rises to the highest point of the bounce, which gives you extra time to pick your target more precisely (like, the service line but on his backhand side). One other reason is that it's more difficult to hit good volleys against slice - the ball travels fractionally more slowly, so volleyers often punch it fractionally too early and miss the sweetspot. On a difficult low volley, this can mean dumping it in the net, or giving you an easier ball to attempt the pass on.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    You need to get good at all three. Work on hitting on the rise a lot, it does take some practice to get the timing down. I also like to hit the high slice hard down the line - pretty flat with just a bit of backspin. Especially on a pretty slick hard court where the ball skids this will often be a winner. It will get through the court a lot faster than a topspin drive. This gives you a fourth option.
     
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  10. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    I guess Federer should rate himself a 3.5 when playing Nadal then? ;-)
     
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  11. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    The high backhand is just a hard shot to handle. I try to hit high topspin shots to opponents with 2 handers. Many of those come back weak. It's also an especially good shot when you draw them wide to their forehand side.

    One of the marks of really great players is they limit how often their opponent can find a weakness like this. If a guy can drive his forehand with heavy spin to my 1HBH then I am going to be as careful as I can be about giving a forehand in his strike zone. Of course I'm not that great a player, so I fail, and then if I'm short on time, the slice works best for me. I'll go down the line or angle it short depending on where my opponent is, and if he hit a really good shot, I just hope it goes in. ;-)
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Geez, you guys have very limited imagination, skills, and repetoire....
    You get a baseline groundie bouncing up over the top of your head, why not hardslice crosscourt low and service line deep near the alley and make the opposition run wide past his doubles alley, and then he still has to dig the ball up.
    Why not hit a deep floating or line drive slice crosscourt deep to the opponent's corner, giving you time to get back into position?
    You can even choose to go on the real offensive, if you KNOW your opponent is bouncing a high ball to your backhand, by moving IN and taking the volley as an approach shot just behind your service line .... volley it DTL deep, and move in....
    But to claim 4.0, and you don't know what to do, well, what can I say?
    Don't forget dropshots, DTL's, and even hard skidders right back at your opponent who gave you that deep, high bouncer.
     
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  13. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    the high bh for a one hander is not an offensive position you are trying to get to neutral.imho. the slice and topspin roller is usually my choices. i have in grained in me not to back up that i dont consider that option. but if the opponent is not sneaking in dropping back to let the ball fall into a more comfortable strike zone may be a good option for variety.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maybe kinda depends what you practice and who you play against, doesn't it?
    At my paltry level (real 4.0, not self proclaimed with a guess), everyone topspins their forehand high to my backhand, and I get lots of practice countering that shot. Not my favorite to counter, but I get it lots from players at 3.5 thru 6.0 levels, for about 25 years.
    After a few tries, most people tend to learn a little about the counter, and might consider it part of normal tennis, not something that is a surprise that you have to learn thru the internet.
    As for offensive or defensive, you don't need topspin to go on the offensive. Are any of your volleys topspin? Is every approach shot hit with topspin?
    Open you minds and expand your tennis horizons.
    An offensive shot is not about how you hit the ball, it's about where you hit it and what you plan to do afterwards.
     
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  15. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for all the helpful replies. I liked the comment about Federer being a 3.5 because he has trouble with Nadal's topspin to his backhand side. Well put.

    I have and am using all the techniques suggested including catching the errant high short ball and volleying in. Just now with more confidence because I know I am not missing a "secret" or better shot. Thanks for the help, Texas Scrambler.
     
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  16. plum

    plum Rookie

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    Can someone please provide a worthy argument for the backhand downward slice not pretty much always being the best response to a high bouncing topspin forehand/backhand to YOUR backhand? OR maybe, if you can learn a jumping/hoping two hander as part of your repertoire; then why wouldn't you handle high balls in this fashion if you could. Maybe the days of training one or the other one handed or two handed backhand will come to an end when it is realized-- that having both one and two handed backhand-- backhand slice and flat or topspin-- provides the ultimate of options. For example, sometimes, when coming forward and toward the deuce court as right hander, a OHBH is a smoother option when wanting to go crosscourt or down the line. Here is why: because the extra reach required when hitting both those shots lunging forward-- required more effort to get into proper footwork position. And time is money-- righty? OR wrong-y?
     
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  17. rk_sports

    rk_sports Hall of Fame

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    I face the same issue mainly when there NO time to go back or get forward to take it on the rise..

    How does players with real good SHB play that ball? like Gasquet or Wawrinka

    -
     
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  18. tribunal4555

    tribunal4555 Semi-Pro

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    They jump, I guess. Other than that, it takes immense wrist and shoulder strength (which unfortunately I do not possess, although I'm working for it!), but it's possible to make contact using a OHBH around shoulder height, which effectively extends your range of contact points up a few feet.
     
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  19. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    You have two options, slice it or hit it around shoulder height. I am against the slice and if you watch pro players(wawrinka, gasquet, federer) they will topspin it if they can and only slice when absolutely necessary It's difficult to slice high balls offensively enough.

    The problem is if the ball bounces high enough and is fast enough and you're out of position, you MUST give up real estate by taking a more defensive position.

    Taking the ball shoulder height is a practiced shot, but eventually you can become aggressive with it.
     
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  20. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    Instead of backing off the ball they take a bigger cut at it while putting a tremendous amount of topspin on it. However, that takes a tremendous amount of talent and incredible physical strength to pull that off.
     
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  21. tribunal4555

    tribunal4555 Semi-Pro

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    It's really a very difficult shot to play, which is why some one-handers have so much difficulty with high topspin shots.
     
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  22. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    back-up and rip

    or

    step-up and blast

    or

    get-ready and cut
     
    #22
  23. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    I like the thought of alternating between a OHBH and a THBH but I do not think I can do it. I have not seen many others play with both. The disadvantages must outweigh the advantages or I would guess we would see much more of the two different styles of BH in one player.
     
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  24. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    I dont know how good of an idea this is but, have you ever attempted to half volley?
     
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  25. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Sums it up nicely. My response to heavy topspin aimed at my 1 hander is to loop high topspin balls back to my opponent. Most of my opponents are not coming in off those shots, so I know I don't have to worry about them picking it off at the net. Even if they do, they have to hit a difficult high volley that is probably not going to give them a winner. This high volley is not going to kick up with heavy topspin so I'll get a decent look at a passing shot.
     
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  26. plum

    plum Rookie

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    Speaking of Half-volley: Why do mine go upward on trajectory? I guess I have to close the racquet face more, like rotate the wrist backwards more. Trying to change grips to a more extreme SW or something seems ridiculous for a half volley so what's the answer to get the racquet face in exact position besides practice?
     
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  27. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    Yeah practicing and paying attention to the spin on the ball, notice if the ball has top spin its going to kick of your racquet differently (most likely higher) than if the ball is hit flat
     
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  28. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    kick off**
     
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  29. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    Awesome advice and it worked

    Thanks for all the good advice. A year later, I can take the high topspin to a my SHBH no problem. My best solution is taking the ball on the rise and ripping it cross court. Feels great to turn an opponents strategy against them in one stroke. Also, took the advice to chip and charge by volleying the deep topspin balls and coming to the net. The first tactic generally works better for me.
     
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  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Why can't you hit your slice offensively? Just turn your back about 3/4's to the target, straighten your elbow, let the head of the racquet drop below your hand, and turn hard on the ball while suppinating the forearm bringing the racquet head down and through the ball. You should be able to hit the crap out of the ball that way.
     
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  31. Tennis Is Magic

    Tennis Is Magic Semi-Pro

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    Move your grip over to an extreme Eastern/Semiwestern. This ball now becomes easy sauce. You're welcome 8)
     
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  32. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    I like how people read the first post and completely ignored the last post, which was an update to the first post :p.
     
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  33. Tennis Is Magic

    Tennis Is Magic Semi-Pro

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    [​IMG]
     
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  34. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    From http://www.usta.com/Play-Tennis/USTA-League/Information/1237_NTRP/

    3.5 backhand: Hits with directional control on moderate shots; has difficulty on high or hard shots; returns difficult shots defensively

    4.0 backhand: Directs the ball with consistency and depth on moderate shots; developing spin

    4.5 backhand: Can control direction and depth but may break down under pressure; offensive on moderate shots

    5.0 backhand: Can use backhand as an aggressive shot with good consistency; has good direction and depth on MOST shots (emphasis added); varies spin

    5.5 backhand: This player is capable of hitting dependable shots in stress situations; has developed good anticipation; can pick up cues from such things as opponent’s toss, body position, backswing, preparation; ...can analyze and exploit opponent's weaknesses; can vary strategies and style of play in a competitive situation.

    Sounds to me like he's a 5.0 looking to become a 5.5
     
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  35. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    Here we go again.
     
    #35
  36. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    OP has turned pro by now.
     
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  37. Texas Scrambler

    Texas Scrambler New User

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    Don't get all the comments??

    I am a 4.5 on good days and a 4.0 on bad days. I have not been able to slice offensively a powerful topspin shot to my backhand. Too much ball movement for my timing. I can slice defensively but lacks power. I can crank with a little bit of topspin off the short hop though. Still working on getting my consistency better on the technique.

    Good advice, thanks
     
    #37
  38. ssonosk

    ssonosk Semi-Pro

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    Watch Richard Gasquet he's really good at taking high balls on the 1hb

    But tilt back and swing up on the ball
     
    #38
  39. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    You need to do several things...


    ...learn to hit the ball on the rise.

    Second, develop an offensive slice backhand.

    Third, do Other Things to keep your opponent from getting into a pattern where he/she can hit a high bouncing ball to your backhand. As in...beef up your serve, you'll start seeing weak returns you can hammer instead of getting high bouncing balls to your backhand...hit more forcing returns so you won't see as many high bouncing balls to your backhand...come to net, where you won't see any high bouncing balls to your backhand...that kind of stuff...
     
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  40. KMV

    KMV New User

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    I used a semi-western 1hbh grip back in college days, when i played most of my tennis on clay.. With that, the natural go-to (safe) stroke both on clay and hardcourts is to counter a high topspin forehand was a topspin backhand.. Slices are a good variation while taking the ball early works though not a high percentage play..
    In the last few years i have gradually shifted to an eastern 1hbh grip, as a played more on fast hardcourts and to improve my return of serve.. now its a lot easier to take it on the rise (on fast hardcourts) or slice.. Stepping back and countering with a topspin does work though its more prone to shanks and errors.. its certainly a lot tougher on clay, less effective overall (though there are a lot of other advantages..)

    So it does depend a lot on your grip/technique on the 1hbh does
     
    #40
  41. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    At your level, putting a high-topspin moonball works well with that kind of ball. :D
     
    #41
  42. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    I've always liked that alternative, and although I'm not facing Nadal's balls - (wait, that just sounds so wrong) - I find if you do catch a high one right you can send it back screaming with a lot of backspin, and if the court is fast at all it will barely come up, making for a good opportunity to pounce on the reply (if it comes back).

    I stumbled across a youtube vid that has some pretty impressive high backhands being hit by a fairly young female player. If you pause you can see she drops the racket head almost completely down before she flings it around and up through the ball. Pretty crisp.

    http://youtu.be/4i3M9tY-oKE
     
    #42

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