Tips on approaching the net

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JRstriker12, May 4, 2007.

  1. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Trying to improve my net game a bit in singles. Right now I am trying to improve my positioning.

    I can usually hit a pretty deep shot with plenty of top spin. This tends to push my opponents pretty far back behind the baseline. I’m not a S&V player, but I do want to work on putting the pressure on the other player and finishing some points closer to the net when I get a chance.

    I am just trying to figure the best place to stand- or rather how to move in and position myself- to increase my chances of getting the return and not getting passed.

    I know I probably don’t want to come straight down the middle, and give my opponent a 50/50 chance going either way. I want to make my opponent choose; hit the riskier shot and go down the line and risk hitting over the higher part of the next, or go cross-court where I have a better chance at the ball.

    So what’s the best positioning to help cut the court down for my opponent and in these situations:

    1. Slice BH approach down the line.
    2. Driven topspin FH approach down the line.
    3. Hard hit cross-court forehand, where I think the other player will cough up a weak ball.
     
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  2. mrHan

    mrHan Rookie

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    Either side FH/BH, you want to hit a down the line when approaching the net. On several occassions you may hit cross court but only in the situation where it is a wide open court and you are confident you'll get a weak return.
     
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  3. Lindros13

    Lindros13 Semi-Pro

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    I think the general consensus (and highest percentage play) is to hit the majority of your approach shots DOWN THE LINE. It enables you to be in position much quicker because you should always "cheat" a little toward the side where the ball is. And if you go down the line, you are already on that side of the court.

    I remember seeing this pointer on the Tennis Channel, and it is very effective since I've implemented it.

    From your choices, you should do 1. and 2. most of the time, but be sure to mix in 3. as well every so often to keep your opponent off balance.

    Also, keep in mind that the more spin you put, the more time you are giving your opponent. I'm not saying you should flatten it out, but just keep in mind that excess topspin slows the ball down (such as a high blooping topspin shot) so you don't want to do too much, especially if you have your opponent on the run.
     
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  4. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the tips guys, but my question is not really about where to hit the ball, but what path I should follow into the court to get in position to hit the volley.

    For example, if I hit down the line, how much should I cheat in towards the middle?

    I don't want to stand too close to the sidelines becasue that just leaves the cross ourt too open. Then again, I don't want to provide too much space for the down-the-line shot. For example, how close do I want to be to the alley and how close do I want to be towards the center line?

    Should run straight in down the line or move at a slant toward the center mark?
     
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  5. Lindros13

    Lindros13 Semi-Pro

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    Your exact location depends upon the ball you hit. But yes, you should definitely cheat toward the side where the ball is, leaving a larger gap for a cross court winner. This way you cover the down the line shot "just enough", and if they go for a cross court winner, you only need to dive and get your racquet on the ball for a drop volley winner.
     
    #5
  6. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    uh oh....looks like sunday could be interesting.....maybe i should work on my lobs before then :D
     
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  7. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Hall of Fame

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    Don't forget the hard chip forehand on a ball not hit deep. Quick low shot deep into the corner hit by you over the middle (low part ) of the net. Cheat to the corner where you hit the ball as described above. Stay on your toes and think "attack"

    Deadly.

    Unless you have a low slice backhand and can create a lot of pace I would avoid that play mostly.
     
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  8. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Where you stand is the same as a goalie cover the net in other sport, it depends on where the ball is. You want your opponent to beat you only with the best shot (ie. paint the line). It also depends on if your opponent is well setup or struggling or stretching, his tendency to lob, etc. But basically, cover the court like a goalie cover the net.
     
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  9. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    [​IMG]

    i've posted this previously in a similar thread
     
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  10. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Good stuff.

    Do you have a bigger picture?
     
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  11. pro_staff

    pro_staff Semi-Pro

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    My coach always told me to approach down the line and run under control at a slant to cover the cross court shot. Going down the line for your opponent is a risky shot so there's a bigger chance that he'll miss it. It also depends on how good your approach is. I suggest a short low slice to the backhand. People seem to think that approach shots have to be deep but it's more effective to hit a ball as low as possible, regardless of how deep or short it is.
     
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  12. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    just approach a lot in practice matches, or when you're up in a game. only match repetition can truly give u enough confidence to put the tips into use.
     
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  13. Solat

    Solat Professional

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    yeah i can send you the original file
     
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  14. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

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    follow the ball.... move right at your approach shot, and split step a few steps inside the service line.

    and a low slice down the line is very hard to hit a passing shot
     
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