The Flat Hitter - No Time to set up for your shots - why god why?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by caugas, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I think that's because you're a thinking player.
     
    #51
  2. Captain Ron

    Captain Ron Semi-Pro

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    Have the opposite problem. Flat shots don't bother me. There is this lefty who just kicks high topspin forehands to my backhand. Tried a more modern larger racquet but it didn't help.
    I would just play with people who hit properly but he keeps crashing the party at my favorite events.
    Any ideas?...
     
    #52
  3. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Play against the guy more often.
    Play against other lefties.
    Watch matches with Rafa against Djokovic, Murray and other pros and see how they try to counteract the lefty forehand to the backhand.

    One of the things that I added last year was an open-stance one-handed backhand to give me a little more time on lefty forehands to my backhand on the stretch.
     
    #53
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    flat hitters can be forced into lots of errors, because their shots are usually low percentage. If a ball comes in low and flat, slice it back and better yet, slice and approach. It's hard to hit flat winners and you will force a lot of errors this way. Also throw them a lot of variety with different spins, speed and height and depth. That will also force errors.

    Also, make sure you are split stepping just as he hits. That will buy you extra setup time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
    #54
  5. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    There are three types of flat hitter:

    The first are the Flat power blasters - they will miss quickly, just keep the ball deep to stop them hitting winners.

    The second are Flat dinkers who give you paceless shots, use your spin to angle them off the court and tire them, and drop shot back the really short ones.

    The third are the talented flat ball strikers like Berdych/Agassi who can hit flat shots with decent power all day. These guys are far more difficult to beat and they will be able to dictate play with deep flat shots when the ball is in their strike zone. You need to keep the ball out of their strike zone by hitting winners, keeping them on the run, and/or junking them - as otherwise they'll be able to dictate play. If you play one of these players you should have the skill to execute one of those tactics as they only really appear at 4.5/5.0 level, as until then flat hitters will be unable to hit with both pace and consistency.
     
    #55
  6. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You quoted my post and directly responded to it. What else am I supposed to think?

    If it was not about me why would you quote what I said and then directly respond to it?

    I get it - you wanted a passive way to insinuate I think it "all about me". Definitely don't think you are out to get me, but if you quote someones post, most normal people with developed social skills of any type will assume you are addressing them.
     
    #56
  7. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Do you see the irony here? You side up with an anonymous guy who insinuates I make everything about myself.

    Somehow you lack the self awareness to see how incredibly ironic that is.
     
    #57
  8. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    That's one way to see it, but does it serve you better seeing it that way?

    Another way is to see it as a general discussion. I quoted your post because it brought up a few interesting points and my experience happened to be different and I liked to discuss that. This is a public discussion board. All posts and points discussed have or should have a link to at least another post, no? We're not talking on a deserted island all by ourselves.

    Although I use your (or anyone's) points for discussion, I am not necessarily addressing you or that person personally. What a concept, huh?

    I notice you tend to take things personal. I said flat hitters are feared in competition (in my experience) as opposed to saying you (PP) fear them. See the difference? I remember we discussed balance. I made a different observation than yours, and you came right around and said something like I don't know how to hit a shot with balance, making it personally about me.

    Look at your post to LeeD "You side up with an anonymous guy who ..." Another sign that you think it's all about you. You insinuate that you're a known and some sort of important figure on this board. Lame, man.
     
    #58
  9. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    This is a very hard reach by you just to try and prove a point that is not even correct.

    "thats one way to see it, but does it serve you better..." Are you serious? That is the ONLY way to see it. Get some social perspective. Learn to interact properly with people, because that's just the most ridiculous attempt at spin I have read, and I have participated in enough BreakPoint threads in my day.

    The reason you are "some anonymous guy" is your username is generic, you have no problem dispensing mass amounts of critique and when asked to prove your experience, or show video of your game you side step and move on.

    Im not insinuating anything past the fact that I don't act like I know you inside and out and dissect your personality you like have done to me over the past few weeks in multiple threads that are easily referenced here.

    How about you email me directly and tell me your personal issues with me instead of quoting me directly, responding to what I say with passive aggressive insults, and then acting like you have no idea why I would react the way I do? How does that sound?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2014
    #59
  10. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Since you are arguing with both User and LeeD you should that in comparison:
    [​IMG]
     
    #60
  11. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    If you are rushed against pace you need to improve your footwork and get there quicker.
     
    #61
  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    PP,

    You're beyond lame. So your pp alias is less generic? You post 3 times more than I do and think I dispense a mass amount of critique?

    The irony.

    You may feel you need to prove your experience or whatever the heck you think important here, you're barking up the wrong tree if you think I feel the same. And dissect my personality? LOL.
    And, why the he.ll do I need to email you?
     
    #62
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Ok, obviously you don't have the courage to take this offline and not derail the thread.

    That's what I figured. Keep attacking me if it makes you feel better. It's easy to do behind an alias.
     
    #63
  14. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Good point. The calorie count seems low though.
     
    #64
  15. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I've been playing someone like that lately. We also play on a poorly lit court. I struggle to hold my own against someone who doesn't even know much about tennis. I have trouble seeing, but the lights are just as bad for him. Still, I think it works more against me, he makes many UEs, but when it goes in it's clears the net by inches and bounces ankle high. It doesn't feel like real tennis, but I'm pretty sure that when I get the rust off my game, even with the poor lighting, I should get his high UE factor to work in my favor.

    (If it doesn't then maybe I should start hitting flat 1 inch over the net?)
     
    #65
  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Possibly, wrong strategy.
    Instead of trying to be more consistent, to fetch and hit everything back, it's advantageous for you to hit some high loopy shots deep, to hit some low skidding slices, but mainly to move your opponent OFF his favorite hitting spot.
     
    #66
  17. Maximagq

    Maximagq Banned

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    I don't like playing good flat hitters who consistently paint the lines and put me on the defensive. I love playing flat hitters who can't keep the ball in the court for more than 6 shots.
     
    #67
  18. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Trying to reason with a guy with a Simpsons avatar is an exercise in futility.
     
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  19. bullet1020

    bullet1020 New User

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    I thought I was the only one!! And I also hate a powerful under spin .. it sucks but yeah .. different people .. different style .. that's just how it is
     
    #69
  20. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    True. Last time I worked on making him run, hitting to his backhand, (he likes to run around his backhand), and coming to the net when I get him on the run. Now I've got the upper hand. :)
     
    #70
  21. Captain Karma

    Captain Karma Rookie

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    The truth be told. I am one of those flat hitters @ NTRP 3.5. Although I'm not consciously trying to frustrate my base-line / top spin crazy opponent ( @ 3.5-4) , they get ****ed and even start name calling ( stop hitting like my sister :). I'm just trying to stay in the game and not get bageled. It is a reflection of the opponent's inadequacy. A true NTRP 4.0 would kill the game off. Work on your fundamentals. It's like that boxing expression :"Protect yourself at all times!" hehe
     
    #71
  22. Connors Fan

    Connors Fan Rookie

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    I am a flat ball hitter and the best way to beat me when I am playing well is to look for those short balls.

    The younger breed of players loves deep topspin balls to hit, and short flat balls give them fits when they try to play deep behind the baseline and blast.

    Heck I love big topspin guys, as you have a surpsing about of time to hit the ball, and its a comfortable shot to return. I still get trounced by tons of big topspin hitters, but I alwasy like hitting against them.

    I hate playing guys like myself, flat forehands, slice backhands. Its uncomfortable to play against that type of tennis.
     
    #72
  23. freelans

    freelans Rookie

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    flat shots are deceptive in that the ball speed correlates directly to raquet speed. On topspin shots, the raquet travels faster than the shot.
    I would just prep faster to get into the rhythm.
     
    #73
  24. freelans

    freelans Rookie

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    Also bend your knees for those low flat shots, prep earlier, hit deeper, use massive spin, reverse forehand, hit flat yourself
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
    #74
  25. freelans

    freelans Rookie

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    learn the two handed backhand
     
    #75
  26. HoyaPride

    HoyaPride Semi-Pro

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    Or shorten your strokes...
     
    #76
  27. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    For myself, the best way to beat me (am also a flat hitter) is to make short angled balls and move me side to side + up and down.

    That's usually the way to get short balls from a flat hitter...
     
    #77
  28. LoboLaw1984

    LoboLaw1984 Rookie

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    I know how you feel. I hate hitting against hard flat hitters. I am a 4.0 as well, so maybe my approach will be of some help to you.

    Do not, under any circumstances, get into a bashing war with these players. They probably do it better than you, and that is a war you will lose. For example, I played a guy yesterday who hits hard an flat. I hate it. I tell him he plays "caveman tennis." (we are friends so I can give him ****). He used to beat me all the time. However, I have won our last 5 encounters. I do this by keeping the damn ball out of his strike zone. Change it up. I will give him like 2 high loopers, one slow slice, and then when he hits the short ball, I will come in with a deep forehand down the line. Neutralize his pace, don't let him get into a rhythm. Just as you and I hate his flat shots, he hates our deep topspin loopers. Try and hit with variety. I like to watch videos of Federer hitting - he changes it up constantly and never lets his opponents get into a rhythm. Obviously you and I can't do it as well as he does, but you get the basic idea.

    The other thing that works for me is kind of obvious, but make your footwork a priority. If you stand flat footed those lasers will go past you every time. Get into position early to take control of the point and don't let him hit his hard flat shots.

    Also, I am not afraid to throw in a few flat bombs of my own as long as I am doing it to screw with him and mess with his timing. Just don't do it often.

    Anyway, I hope that helps. It has been working for me as of late.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
    #78
  29. GrandSlam45

    GrandSlam45 Rookie

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    There used to be a guy at my club who was a very masterful flat hitter. He would absolutely feed off anyone who hit high-bouncing top spin shots, i.e. 90% of most club players. He was so good, he could basically hit a slap-shot winner off of any high bouncing ball. His shots would just skim within in a foot of the baseline.

    To beat a guy like this, you have to hit hard and deep and completely forgo the high loopers. He'll feed on anything soft, high, and shallow. Hit as many slices as you can, and mix him up with drop shots.
     
    #79
  30. peakofthebounce

    peakofthebounce Banned

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    Hit angles to get the guy off the court. He will return the angle with yet another flat fast shot, thus giving him no time to recover since he's already off the court.

    Conversely, a guy who hits good topspin could throw up a heavy looper to give himself time to recover.
     
    #80
  31. President

    President Legend

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    He probably makes a ton of unforced errors too, unless he's Andre Agassi or Tomas Berdych.
     
    #81
  32. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    OP -

    I love strong flat hitters. There is nothing like being able to sustain a fast pace flat hitting rally. If you played table tennis you will know what I'm referring too. It is just much harder to do that in tennis. But you need it.

    Unless you are facing pro like top spin on clay, ts shots can be easily read and got used to. After a while I would know where to meet the ball. It would be much harder if the opponent can mix it up with flat shots. If you say the guy's flat shots lands near the service line, they are really short. I would actually come up to hit those since I know they won't bounce high and out of my hitting zone.
    The problem for you is pace. If you say you don't know time it means these balls are too quick for you. The only solution is to keep practicing your timing. You don't need to take a full swing at the ball when it already got so much pace. And flat balls should be taken early because they don't bounce high. Use slices if you have to.
    If you can't defend or rally with flat balls coming from a 3.0, you got a lot to learn in matches. Cos a lot of attacking balls are flat balls.
     
    #82
  33. looseleftie

    looseleftie Rookie

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    To the OP... If u feel u are really rushed, can u remember when those times occur, is it after u have hit a weaker short ball, and find the opponent puts it back at u that bit harder, thus robbing u of time to prepare?? And/or, do u split step before your opponent hits the ball? Get onto this if u have not done so!!!!!!

    It sounds like u have a new challenge here.. force yourself to play this guy that bit differently, work on something in the time u play him, and develop a new aspect to your game.. U say he is only 3.0, easy peasy for a 4.0..u admit do not want to volley, focus on exactly that. Float back his balls with side/under spin wide to either wing on the court, and get into net. Develop your volleying game.. Just my 2c here mate

    U can't always get to play the exact way u want.. U must learn to have a couple of broad back up plans.

    If u are slow to move, u will always be under pressure regardless of whether the guy is a flat hitter or not... Tennis is a game of legs, and getting quickly to the ball is what u want to get down pat into your game..
     
    #83
  34. zaph

    zaph Rookie

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    The OP isn't as good as he thinks he is, I am British so don't use your rankings, but if a 4.0 is a good player, I am way below that level. However your short hitting opponent wouldn't cause me many problems. At my level I see that sort of player all the time.

    First thing to remember, tennis is won by the player who gets the ball into the court, not the player who hits the most rocket winners. If you can't get your feet in the right place, chip, slice, chuck the ball over the net. Make the other guy hit the ball again.

    Move your feet, and bend your knees. These sort of players use to cause me nightmares, because i hit the ball straight as an ironing board. You ain't gettinfg topspin unless you can get under the ball, so bend your knees. Keep moving, I use to be very flat footed, still am at times. Trying to get your feet moving, it makes life so much easier.
     
    #84
  35. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    if a flat hitter doesn´t get twice the depth of a top spinner, he ain´t no real flat hitter

    Look at Borg and Connors
     
    #85
  36. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    OP, yes. You have to shorten your normal strokes esp. if your strokes are a big production. Berdych and Agassi have nice compact strokes.
     
    #86
  37. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    In rec level you got tons of people who hit a soft ball with no spin, but those are NOT considered drop shots. These balls lands at the service line or one foot behind the service line. You need to come up to no man's land to meet the low bouncing ball, and hit it over the net with spin to keep it in. They don't or can't hit with power and don't know how to hit a higher projectile (not moon balling) because they don't swing from low to high. And even if they do, they don't hit with any brushing at all. They just hit the ball over the net and it just die out because of lack of pace. If they hit any harder they will hit it out, or miss (shank). So they resolve to hitting these little chicken balls because without spin it is extremely hard to adjust your depth by power alone. Needless to they never get under the ball and never bend their knees.

    When I was starting out I see tons of rec people I played doing these kind of shots. That's their safest way to keep the ball in but unfortunately this kind of stroke will never help them to improve. The next for them to hit deep is just lobbing with no spin.

    The story is not new. There are countless threads here about people not getting the results when they need to generate their own power AND controlling the ball at the same time. When hitting with a ball with pace, once you got used to it, you can just hit with a very light swing and redirect the ball back. In other words the hitting partner is doing all the heavy lifting.
     
    #87
  38. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    A heavier racquet helps a lot blocking back shots with a lot of incoming pace. I have to add spin or use an abbreviated shot on flat balls with a lot of pace. I'll hit the back wall if I take a full cut on a hard, flat ball.
     
    #88
  39. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, and when lower level player trying to use the heavy stick they forget it takes a full swing when they need to generate power and spin.:)
     
    #89
  40. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Exactly my point (from the opposite camp, of the flat hitters).
     
    #90
  41. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Well, that's a given. I was thinking that that was the default mode of the OP. Seems like he plays mostly baseline topspin players. It's good to play the flat hitters too who are most likely older.
     
    #91
  42. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    And they probably wouldn't be able to keep the balls in play, that way.
     
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  43. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    Yes. Late hit is probably what happens before they can adjust. Not easy if they don't know they late hit. :)
     
    #93
  44. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    It's not only the late hit but some beginners are not aware that if you "don't take a full cut/swing at the ball and you just baby your shots"( as a friend put it), the balls will sail long, due to lack of spin (side spin I guess, not as much top spin).
    One needs a relaxed arm and high racket head speed and that's not easy to achieve- how many people even at club level know or are capable of ATP style FH with the arm lag and so forth?
     
    #94
  45. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    If they can use a heavy stick and hit the ball long (and near the intent target), they are already half way there :)

    Many don't understand the RHS concept, and cannot do a proper full swing, lack of prep, poor follow thru, and not hitting thru the ball. The lack of footwork also puts them out of position more, so forget about relaxing the swing. It's the whole package!!!
     
    #95
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Seems to me, if the incoming ball is truly fast, usually low bouncing, and you have little time to prepare as normal, a very spinny reply is the best to implement.
    The fast hitter has no time to come to net. Spinny balls are hard to volley. Spinny balls usually take the fast ball hitter out of his game plan.
     
    #96

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