As I begin playing better and better players, I'm noticing this is much more prominent in said opponents' strokes. For those of you who aren't familiar with the heavy ball, it looks just like a regular rally stroke as it leaves your opponent's racquet, crosses the net, and bounces, however, right after bouncing, the ball jumps out at you much faster than you had anticipated, forcing you to rush your swing and when you make contact, the ball seems to push you back. I'm not certain, but I'm convinced it must be excessive spin that's causing this "heaviness", however, the ball doesn't rise particularly higher than usual, it just comes at you faster than you think it should, which is why I hesitate to say excessive topspin (that explanation makes no sense to me either, so obviously, I don't know the answer). I guess my question is a two-parter: How do I hit a heavy ball, and equally as important, how do I COUNTER a heavy ball? I realize racquet preparation is one of the most important aspects in returning a heavy ball. For brief moments, when I added a delay to my forward swing, I believe that worked quite well, but I've lost that feeling and wonder if that's the answer to returning heavy balls.