REALLY SLOW, DINK Serves!! ARGGHHHH

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by James Brown, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. James Brown

    James Brown Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    478
    Guys, pardon the seeming lack of order in this post but OH MY FREAKIN GOd, I CANT STAND DINK SERVES. I just played today with my friends brother, his first serve is decent (its hit marginally hard, but it lands short and stays low, so its really annoying) but his second serve is just a dink. I had way too much trouble handling it. i tried to rip it down the line and i netted them all. i tried to whack em deep and i netted/floated em. my forehand just died. i dont know what i did! Maybe i didnt extend properly? No idea, thankfully i held my serve (served surprisingly hard and well) and managed to break him after i double faulted a game away. But still, its disheartening, because im much better than him but i just coudlnt put my forehand on the dink in. i can handle hard hit balls,etc , but generating my own pace seems really hard. Can i get some advice? How do i deal with the 'pansy' serves? I ended up just hitting deep backhands but still. I will make note to try to get a video up relatively soon.

    Thanks

    Thanks in advance guys
     
    #1
  2. jayserinos99

    jayserinos99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,888
    i think it's because you tried to hit it hard and go for winners instead of putting your opponent immediately on the defensive by placing it away from him and getting into the net. what you need to do is to shorten up your swing and get your feet moving to the ball and stop trying to 'whack' and 'rip' the ball.
     
    #2
  3. speedofpain88

    speedofpain88 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Messages:
    357
    Maybe you just had an off day. It would probably help if you aren't as agressive. Maybe hitting with a little less power and more spin would do it. Don't try to kill the ball and aim for 3 or so feet inside the line.

    Like jayserinos said you could also just place the ball well and use this as a set up shot while you go to the net and then finish him off.
     
    #3
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Feet, feet, look at the feet, the more you look the more you meet. Feet, feet, look at the feet, the more you look the more your meet. :) There is your hint.
     
    #4
  5. Real McCoy

    Real McCoy New User

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    24
    In addition to foot movement, try taking the ball early at its highest point, shortening your back swing and punch the ball, similiar to a volley - a line drive. You might try telling yourself, don't rush, don't rush. That's a common problem when waiting for a slow ball
     
    #5
  6. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    On his second serve move way inside the baseline. Don't try to hit that ball with extreme pace because obviously you can't control it. Instead put it deep and well placed into a corner at 75% speed of a your hard hit shots. You won't net the ball if you are way inside the baseline and you don't try to go for too much. Come into the net put his second shot away which presumably will be weak. You can also drop shot his dink serve back occasionally to **** him off.
     
    #6
  7. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    If you feel your on, than go for it.. if you've been netting or hitting a few long, than go deep to the backhand and charge the net, cover the line.. im assuming the guy doesnt have a great backhand if he's dinking 2nd serves.. a great way to hurt a weak backhand is go high .. so give it some moderate pace topspin DTL on the duece side and see if that works.
     
    #7
  8. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith New User

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    48
    On slow balls its important to get in position well so that you can meet the ball at a ;preferable height. On fast balls the ball just comes to you so you don't have to move as much (forward/back).
     
    #8
  9. kickingbird

    kickingbird Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    169
    Firstly, I completely understand how you must be feeling. I used to make the mistake of blasting the heck out of the ball too (down the line is a big mistake as you'll see why...) but I am gradually getting better at dealing with these types of serves/shots.

    As most people say, the most important thing I've learnt when dealing with dink serves is:

    Move in and hit it at its highest point (or just before it and hit it on the rise). So check where you are contacting the ball.

    I have a hitting partner who sounds like the person you mention: second serve is just a 'get it in' shot. What I do is stand half way inbetween the service line and the baseline, and from there, 'run into' the shot, sometimes with slice, sometimes with a drive. Standing so close sometimes pressures them into double faulting too.

    From experience, I think biting slice is more effective than a full blooded drive for a few reasons.

    1) You will be taking a high, short ball. This makes it much easier to hit down on the ball with slice.
    2) Slice has a more compact swing= easier to conrol.
    3) You don't need to swing hard because you don't have much court to work with.
    4) You might not hit a winner off the first shot, but it puts you in a good position for the next.
    5) (IMPORTANT) The ball doesn't come to you- you have to go after it. You can hit slice on the run which is a great advantage on these slow balls. Try it, you'll like it.

    A little bit of info on mentality:

    On dink serves you might think 'Oh boy, high short ball there for the killing' and want to take a full swipe at the ball. But:

    You have less court to work with. This means you have to hit down on the ball flat and hit a near-net skimmer. Or hit with plenty of topspin and NOT much lift, cos if you hit a high loopy topspin, it won't dip down fast enough. I repeat, this is if you are hitting with severe racquet head speed!

    Bottom line: Maybe you could just trick yourself and from now try and think of a short high ball as a good opportunity to come into net. It worked for me, and I highly recommend it!

    Good luck and go get 'em dink serves!
     
    #9
  10. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,825
    Something that hasn't been mentioned. Think of it as the shortest ball you are going to get in the rally. Hit a very short extremely angled shot to run the guy off the court or so he can't get to it at all. If you are a counterpuncher, well, waist high balls at the service line is where we tend to hit our most aggressive shots, bang on them as you would against a groundstroke and go for an outright winner immediately. Do this a few times and watch the FIRST serve speed start to come down if the opponent has any brains at all.
     
    #10
  11. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,546
    First of all, let's assume you are at least a weak 4.0, otherwise you just may not be good enough to deal with dinks. If you have at least a half-assed volley and overhead, then just hit it with topspin to his weaker wing, and ready for the put-away.

    Like Bunglow B says, it's feet feet feet. With short balls you have adjust yourself into position, and STOP, and then hit the ball. Running thru the shot is the most common cause of errors on short balls.

    I have a friend who is a decent 4.5 player, with lots of power from the forehand side and when we play that forehand often draws a short ball from me.... but his midcourt ball often goes 3-4 feet long, and clearly he is running thru the shot.... this is gonna be something he has to figure out on his own, hehehehe... otherwise I will have too tough a time dealing with him.
     
    #11
  12. babar

    babar Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    713
    JamesBrown,

    The biggest thing I have learned in the past year or so, is that most peoples footwork mirrors the speed of the ball. On speedy, hard-hit balls your feet tend to move more. On slower ball, foot work slows down and becomes lazy. I have not lost to a pusher/dinker, slow-server in a while b/c I remind myself to move my feet for my shots no matter the kind of shot my opponent hits. It has really helped me become a more aggressive returner on second serves. I have really got the hang of returning serves well down the line on slow second serves to make my opponent stretch. I have good angled groundstrokes that I use to open the court after the return. Just try to remember to keep you feet moving!
     
    #12
  13. Nikeman0092

    Nikeman0092 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    If your using a semi western forehand grip on your return, try to get the racquet head lower. I've had a lot of trouble with that.
     
    #13
  14. Skinny Dip

    Skinny Dip New User

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2004
    Messages:
    99
    I've always had a big go for it first serve with a lame get it in slow heavy spin 2nd serve. But few players I've played can put away the second serve. That's because the spin keeps it low and trailing away.

    It's hard to put away shots that you have to hit up on. All this is to say, just because its a dink doesn't mean its an automatic put away.
     
    #14
  15. ferreira

    ferreira Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    Messages:
    129
    I second this tip. Thus, you must be inside the court to hit. Take it, like has also been said, with a short preparation. I'd personally hit it as an approach and com in for the volley. He will have very little time to react, and will also be pressured by seeing you at the net. But the angled crosscourt is fine, too.
     
    #15
  16. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    I would agree, but that is easier said than done. If you have the proper footwork, a nice relaxed stroke will do the trick. Most club players dont have good footwork to support changing their thinking and making it an "approach shot" or to hit "eye popping" angles!
     
    #16
  17. James Brown

    James Brown Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    478
    yeah, you guys are right about one thing, i started to get real lazy and slowed downa whole lot. i wondered why..lol, during ym service games, id have plenty of pep but during his i felt like the wind was out of my sails (discouragement and speed). Im gonna play him again soon and pay attention to my footwork (not while im swinging! :>) thanks for the tips guys.

    and no,i dont think im a 4.0 lol, i can hit everything fine, but ive never been evaluated and my confidence is probably a 0.0
     
    #17
  18. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,151
    Move those feet (like others said), hit some angles, and throw in some drop shots and volley the returns
     
    #18
  19. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,365
    I have dealt with dinks that didn't even rebound above the netline. They are tough to hit outright winners on, so I rarely try. Most people who dink also have a very weak wing. If your opponent has a terrible side, then hit it to that side under control and move to the net. My opponent only sliced the backhand so I knew he couldn't pass me with that. Also, moving to the net will help stamp out the lazy footwork.
     
    #19
  20. Zoroaster

    Zoroaster New User

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    15
    Hi,

    When I asked this same thing, most of the people that responded said I probably wasn't as good as I thought I was, and that's about it.

    Brad
     
    #20
  21. Rod K

    Rod K New User

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    10
    Three words: Chip and Charge!
     
    #21
  22. sarpmas

    sarpmas Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    229
    Man! Talk about slow, dink 2nd serves!! I just played one yesterday. Even though I beat him 6-2, it was one of the most frustrating games I've ever played. I wonder sometimes whether I'm more pissed with his play or my own errors!
     
    #22
  23. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,825
    BB - I find slow dink serves to be really easy to hit. Maybe most don't. The other option would be to hit a drop shot, since a slow dink serve is going to pull you in close to the net. If the server is standing back there at the baseline, why not?
     
    #23
  24. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I would probably cheat in if he hit dink serves alot. Then I would probably hit an aggressive shot if I got there early either crosscourt or up the line. If I got there late I would hit safe, deep, not hard, and down the middle and prepare to volley. Also I would often return his dropshot serve with a low dropshot myself and force him to come to net and battle it out from there. The key is to anticipate and get to the ball early so you can decide what you want to do. You can hit hard and put the ball away but the ball still needs to be on the rise or at it's peak.
     
    #24
  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Most likely your footwork is naturally inclinded to work well with these shots. Remember without balance and footwork that is complimentary to getting to the ball. It makes the shot more difficult than it really is.

    Some power players dont have the footwork to help them time the shot properly. Power players can still take a stroke at the ball but with better balance more of them would be winners. ;)
     
    #25
  26. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,365
    Exactly, dink serves don't take any time away from you and they don't bounce deep, so getting to net is as easy as it is going to get. If your volleys are so bad that you cannot put away a reply from a shot that jams them or puts them on the run to their weak side, then you are going to have to practice, because moving up to put the ball into play and retreating back is a poor strategy. In can work, but it is doing it the hard way.
     
    #26
  27. living4tennis

    living4tennis New User

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    20
    IMO Having a high racquet head preparation is key...then you can either slice it quicky or flatten it out before it drops.The dinkers usually bounce pretty high. It also helps to stand closer to the service line...they may even double-fault.
     
    #27

Share This Page