Played a player w/ a lot of spin. What to do?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by cap217, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    I am new to tennis and have not played any matches at all. I am good though (not internet good) and can hit the ball well and play the game and am active on the court. I took some classes and the instructors said I could play with a 3.5 with no problem and my serve alone (if it gets in) is a great weapon and would be hard for people to return.

    Anyways, I played with a 4.5 yesterday on an outdoor court and he had A LOT of spin. So much that I couldnt hit soild shots back. He didnt hit very hard but the spin ate me up for sure.

    I have no experience with this at all. I knew I was going to get killed but is there a key to play vs high spin players? Most of my returns went a little long and I couldnt hit a solid shot or anything with much pace. Also, my backhands were cut floaters bc thats the only shot I have to return anything over the net.
     
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  2. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    You need to practice against players with a lot of spin.


    In the bigger picture though, I think we are long overdue for having poly strings be our aluminum bat like in baseball. Studies have already shown that with a babolat racquet and poly strings that players can now produce more RPM's than spaghetti stringjobs in the 70's that WERE BANNED. Time for some consistency here folks.
     
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  3. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Going on very little over here, but consistently deep and flat ground strokes, especially when aimed closer to the body of your opponent is one thing you can do if you're good enough.

    Speaking from my own experiences (I hit with a tonne of spin too), to generate that kind of spin, I need to have a fairly large takeback. Presumably, your opponent will have a fairly large takeback too. So I find it more difficult when dealing with very flat hitters, especially if they hit it deep, because then I either have to move further behind the baseline so I can hit from under the ball, or shorten my backswing to take the ball on the rise if I'm to hold my court positioning, which is even more difficult as a SW or W grip isn't particularly well-suited to hitting low balls.

    So yeah, if you can hit flatter groundstrokes well, try hit them nice and deep consistently (you don't even hit to hit them particularly hard). Hitting them on the rise will help as well as it would allow you to step into the court more regularly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
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  4. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    As far as my technique, do I combat spin with spin? Not as a shot but out of necessity to get it back? I feel like my swing doesnt produce much spin and is flat but bc of his high spin my ball is flying too much and is going out. Do I need to produce more spin and swing up on the ball or flatter with less spin and swing through the ball?

    Remember, I am new and dont know how to put this stuff into words yet. Also, I am out of my league with a 4.5 for sure.
     
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  5. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Even though I play with a gut/poly combo, I would not mind seeing poly banned. Tennis is like golf where the manufacturers count on new technologies to keep sales going. Poly string companies would stand to lose a fortune if the strings are banned. Even if the ban was only at the pro level (like the aluminum bats in MLB) I don't thil a ban is likely. Part of the reason why the aluminum bats were banned in pro baseball is because of the increase danger of pitchers and infielders getting hit by balls coming of the bats at insane speed. Even as hard as players hit in tennis now, there is no similar danger.
     
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  6. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    Mix it up with drop shots and slices.
    Keep the ball low
     
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  7. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    I'm not a regular poster on Tips/Instructions, so we're in the same boat pretty much!

    Do what you're more comfortable with for starters and modify the small things, one at a time. If a spin-oriented game doesn't play to your fortes, it shouldn't be the first thing you try.

    The fact that you state your groundies are flying out too often, suggests that you're hitting too late. You have to start hitting the ball as it enters your ideal hitting zone, not when it's already reached the apex of its bounce (of course, depending on what your FH/BH grips are, this could be fairly high or fairly low). This is what I meant by "hitting on the rise". If you already know how to do this, then incorporate it into your play when playing against the guy and try land your own groundstrokes nice and deep, so he's forced to stand further back to get under the ball. If you don't know how to do this already, you should try it out; it's an extremely useful skill to have.

    Anyway, I was thinking that if a low-bouncing, deep and pacey ball gives me difficulties, it should at least force him to play outside of his own comfort zone.
     
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  8. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, but courts have also slowed down to accommodate the changing game. You also have to remember that players' techniques have changed over the years.
     
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  9. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    do you have any links for these studies? im really interested in what the differences are between different strings and the science behind them.
     
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  10. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    Does more spin hurt the opposing player? When a ball has so much top spin, that turns into backspin by nature when you go to hit the ball back.

    So do you need more topspin to combat topspin? Make sense?
     
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  11. CRWV

    CRWV Rookie

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    (This is something I've been wondering why Fed doesn't do...)

    Why not slice a ton? If the guy is hitting with a ton of topspin, it's likely he has a sw or west fh and a 2h backhand, meaning it's likely he isn't comfortable on lowballs. a nice skidding slice would elicit a soft shot back, which would negate a lot of the difficulty in handling the topspin...

    make sense?
     
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  12. syke

    syke Professional

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    No, you combat topspinners with low balls deep into the court. Take the ball early, topspinners usually have big loopy swings and its hard to deal with fast returning balls.
     
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  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Well apparently the solution for some is to complain and then wait a lifetime for a play style to be banned.lol.

    And yes, the smart play is to chop the balls down with slice for a while until you get used to the balls and can do more with them.
     
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  14. ChickBowdrie

    ChickBowdrie New User

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    To Syke and Power Player -- who's the lady in your icon?
     
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  15. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    just keep playing and try to get better, i find if my opponent hits spin, hitting a spin shot back is the norm

    Try to develop a dropshot
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm just a 4.0 woman, but I play with a lot of topspin for a 4.0 woman. Surely nothing like the topspin you saw from a 4.5 guy, of course.

    Hitting with topspin makes people insane. Which is precisely why I do it. It takes the ball out of their comfort zones and makes them mis-time it. It makes them hit off their back foot or resort to pushing.

    I can tell you what I do not like.

    I do not like any low ball. Hate it, hate it. I do not like slice. I do not like balls I have to run a long distance to reach, and I am not a huge fan of balls aimed right at my body because I need time and space to take big 'ol swings.

    Good luck!!
     
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  17. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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  18. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    What i am asking is the science behind it. When a ball is hit towards me with a lot of top spin it affects how the ball reacts off the raquet.

    So do i need ro git with more topspin to equal my normal shot with a return of "normal" spin?
     
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  19. t135

    t135 Semi-Pro

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    Topspin shots come in all shapes and sizes. The toughest ones are those that take an unpredictable jump or that ate above your shoulders.

    Unpredictable jump? You just gave to deal with timing your stroke.

    Above the shoulders? Have to take it on the rise in your hitting zone.

    I hit the same basic stroke all the time except on low balls sometimes I have to change closer to an eastern forehand I it's really low.

    You need racquet head speed no matter what...generates your own spin and helps pull your shot into the court.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As a 3.5, you have no business returning shots hit from a 4.5 in anger. Don't expect to return many of them.
     
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  21. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    What's worked for me for these two types of incoming balls is to take a harder swing at it with a reverse finish. It puts massive amounts of spin and pulls the ball in the court, even when you're hitting a slice that's landed just outside or on the edges of the service box.

    Having tried it a few times, I can kind of see why Roger's slices don't work against Rafa.
     
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  22. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Shorten the backswing, step into the shot, flatten it out and take it on the rise.

    Low skidding flat balls will play havoc with a topspin players timing.

    Mix it up with some slices.

    I know. Easier said than done. But if you want to stand up against such players this is what you must do.
     
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  23. monticore

    monticore Rookie

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    i assume topspin balls kick off the racket adjusting your trajectory slightly more on the high side and maybe adding some power, so you end up hitting long normal after a hard topspin shot, try aiming lower than normal to account for that. most have a tendency to try hit hard shots with an equally hard shot just use his pace, even if the ball seems to be coming slow which topspin shot seem to once they hit the court that spin will add pace after the bounce.

    cory
     
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  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is very interesting. I have been tending towards the same. I noticed in the Nads-Joker FO final that neither of them could do a regular counter topspin against a topspin shot which landed away from their forehand and was moving further away. Instead, they went for a reverse finish. In other words, they were not really rotating into the ball or swinging up and across with torso rotation. The torso rotation was little, and the ball was heavily armed.

    That is why I never bought the "sunny day" coaching advice of across the ball hits and over the shoulder finishes. Even in the sunny day case, pros don't seem to hit across the ball unless they want to go inside out - they rotate into the ball and try to meet it at 90 degrees. When the ball is outside their comfort zone and high and spinny, they hit reverse with minimal body rotation.
     
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  25. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    This is knd of what i was looking for. Actual adjustments based on the fact that everything i hit bqck was a bit more Powerful and went deep by a few feet.

    I turned the racket down a little more to adjust during the match.
     
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  26. goober

    goober Legend

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    Yes I would like to see a link as well. I thought the main issue with spaghetti strings were that the spin and therefore the bounces were very unpredictable.

    But I don't see poly being banned any time soon. We have a whole generation of pros that have not hit with anything else and it is a huge part of the string industry. A small group of tennis purists are not going to change this.
     
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  27. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That's what a good player hits like. There's no trick to playing against it. You don't need to hit reverse forehands or special shots. You just have to put the work in to get better. You get used to it the more you play against it. The better you get the more you'll find that you're able to handle the spin, and pace, as well as dish it out.

    About a year and a half ago I played a 5.0 guy. Balls were kicking up everywhere - up, to the right, to the left . . . it was nuts. I had trouble keeping anything in. This was the experience that got me to learn the modern forehand. Long story short, a year and a half later I hit with the same guy and I can hang with him, handle his spin and pace, and make balls kick up on his side. It took lots of hours against a wall, and lots of hitting. I was also better than a 3.5 when I started this journey.

    Just keep at it.
     
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  28. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Practice, practice, practice. It can be very difficult to adjust to big topspin if you don't see it regularly.

    One of my regular practice partners hit a lot of topspin After hitting with him a while it didn't bother me and I was able to move in and consistently attack it on the rise. I didn't have any problem with any topspin players. After not hitting with him for a long while, I now have problems timing the ball when playing against good topspinners. I'm just not as familiar with it anymore.

    Find someone who hits a lot of topspin and:
    Practice, Practice, Practice.
     
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  29. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    If you are brand new and haven't ever played a match, then you aren't 3.5. I guarantee it. You are also seriously overrating your serve and hitting ability. You *might* be able to hang with a 3.0. But a 3.5 would absolutely tear you apart.

    I don't think you should even remotely be hitting with a 4.5 right now. If anything, it is going to screw you up. You should just hit with people that are just above (or even with) your level.

    Forget about things like "how do I hit against players with tons of spin". You should be more focused on things like "how do I hit a consistent deep forehand?" "How do I control direction of the ball?" Et cetera.
     
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  30. Pete Player

    Pete Player New User

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    Very low and deep slices will also make a top-spinner strugle. And they are way easier to produce, than a heavy flat shot to the base-line.
     
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  31. Pete Player

    Pete Player New User

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    Second that!

    Also, while just fooling around the court there is usually way less tension to finish well and then you will hit your shots as you've learned them in practice. However, when the winning will take over your shotmaking there is a tonn of faulty spins on the ball and you end up making unforced erros a lot.
     
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  32. Pete Player

    Pete Player New User

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    Timing, timing and timing. Then after accuracy and pace, moving and digging the shots all over the place like Rafa. ;)
     
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  33. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    This can be true, but it's not universal. I good player generally will be able to handle low deep slices with some level of skill. He might not like it, but he should have some answers. He might even feed you low, deep slices right back (one of the better responses).
     
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  34. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    i played a fellow who was GREAT at taking your low slice and turning it into a low shot with a lot of topspin DTL!. when you play someone like that youre just like "oh, sheet"
     
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