Victimized by the Yo-Yo Technique

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by coolblue123, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    I was playing against a 4.0 player (I am around 3.5/4.0 as well) and I was out hitting him through the first 6 pts. At 4 - 2, he pulled the yo-yo on me. That is, drop/lob drop/lob drop/lob throughout the match.

    I was defenseless. After losing the first set 7-5, I lost 6-2 in the 2nd because I ran out of steam.

    Any defense against this? I tried various techniques, I think this is worst than playing against pushers. I tried dropping his drop shots, angling, and sometimes it works but he just ran down everything.
     
    #1
  2. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Newtown, PA
    This is a very difficult strategy to implement as good drops and lobs that can't put away require a lot of precision (a lot more precision than hitting groundies that can't be put away). I'd try to keep him off balance and make it even more difficult to hit those shots. If he can consistently hit precision droppers and lobs off balance and on the run, then you're probably not playing a 4.0...
     
    #2
  3. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,276
    You played a classic pusher/junkballer. How is your net game?

    When I play guys like this, I make sure I'm inching towards the net after one of my shots, so I can get there in plenty of time. I might serve and volley, too. Get to the net for easy putaways, but don't get too close... he can't put every lob over your head.
     
    #3
  4. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,546
    lots of players at this level don't know how to punish short balls.

    without wrist action on the FH, it's nearly impossible to consistently put an 100% swing on the short ball without it going out.... therefore you baby-dink the ball back, only to get lobbed on.
     
    #4
  5. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    Good point. I am primary play either on the baseline or a feet back. I usually come in only on short balls. He probably caught that and started drawing me to net and lobbing over me. I guess I should start more aggressive against these types of players.
     
    #5
  6. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I employ the drop/lob/drop/lob tactic if I find that it works. It isn't pretty, but it wins matches.

    The people who defend this tactic against me successfully always seem to do two things: 1) They return my lob with an even more brutal topspin lob... pushing me way back behind the baseline, 2) When I'm behind the baseline, they drop shot me. When I play someone with a good topspin lob and a great dropshot, I know I'm in for a long day.

    I can usually neutralize net players by just lobbing over their hands to the backhand side. Eventually, they either stop coming to the net, or they start trying to hit weird backpeddling overheads to their backhand side. Not the greatest of shots.

    Recently, I got crushed in a singles match by a lady who is a pretty good 4.0 doubles player. Initially, I just tried to trade forehands with her, but she was more consistent than me. Then, I tried to drop/lob/drop/lob her. That worked a little bit, but then she started lobbing me to death, pushing me back. Then she'd dropshot me. Game over. I lost 6-2, 6-3.
     
    #6
  7. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,976
    the obvious is you cant give balls he can easily hit drop shots off of.
    does he drop mainly on his backhand side and mainly hits slice backhands?
    does he telegraph the drop shot??
    if yes then when you hit to his backhand take a few steps in looking tor the dropper.
    hit more balls to his forehand etc
    if hes pulling you in only to lob you then you have to learn to be more aggressive on short ball situations
     
    #7
  8. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,774
    Location:
    Hotel CA
    Technique and Conditioning ...

    You probably could improve your technique for moving forward and hitting better approach shots and dropper gets and same for then recovering to put away overheads or better lob gets.

    Condition to faster/smoother move forward and hit with less jerky body interference. Same for ability to backpeddle and get up for put away overheads. The technique to perform these "yoyos" is critical and most players below open level have many flaws that make this type of defense very enjoyable for the pushers that make this thier game plans.
     
    #8
  9. Chenx15

    Chenx15 Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    276
    How is your serve? and your return of serve? your opponents ability to do a lob and a drop shot is because your serve can be predictable(lack of placement), not enough power and not enough spin.
    Your return of serve? your ability to return a serve means you can dictate play. if you are having issues with the return of serve and serving your opponent can dictate the play.

    after serving or ROS, how is your position, if your opponent is a pure junkballer with weak baselin game, paul annacone wrote the best thing about this. he said don't move back after the serve/ROS stay within the baseline or even a bit inside. The reason behind this is specially if you have sound footowrok, you can react quickly for a drop shot and you are ready for a lob shot
     
    #9
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,299
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    As said, if you outhit someone, there's no reason to stand behind the baseline. If you're in front of the baseline, you can get to most dropshots in time to put it away. If you're approach is short and a sitter, your opponent easily passes or lobs you....hit it DEEP with spin.
     
    #10
  11. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    I've consolidated everyone's comments. Seems like I have to work on these things:
    Footwork
    Serve
    Return of Serve
    heavy topspin groundies
    All in all I think i just need more match play against these types of players.

    Would you say that this is one of the many tools in a pusher's toolbox?
     
    #11
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,299
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Most pushers and all defensive specialists have great drop shots and great lobs....at their level. Those two shots determine their actual level.
    Groundies they can hang by looping slow deep balls and retrieving anything close to the inside of sidelines. Serves they don't need, as they want to tire you out more than win the point quickly.
    Volleys they can do, and hit exceptionally weak overheads that land IN, causing you consternation and resignation.
    They are NOT trying to win the point with the least shots, they only want to wear you out by hitting MORE shots.
     
    #12
  13. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    In other words, they'll win. But it isn't going to be pretty.... But one thing I did notice, he really did break my rhythm and concentration.
     
    #13
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,299
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Only if they're actually a higher rating than you....NOT if they're a better or stronger hitter!
    You can choose to shorten points, don't rally with pushers, don't allow them to groove into any shots, and constantly mix things up with slices, heavy tops, flat shots, drops and angles.
    Since most counterpunch/pushers want to hit lots of balls, don't give that to them!
     
    #14
  15. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Lee, this reminds me of what a guy I played a couple of months ago told me: "You are proof that it is possible to beat a 4.0 without 4.0 strokes." Initially, I was taken aback, but he was basically saying what you are saying above.
     
    #15
  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,299
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Sure, even at any level, it's the determined and smart that can prevail over a gifted ball striker.
    There's too much talk here about a "4.5 would never lose to a 4.0". We know this game is all about matchups, playing well as opposed to walkabouts, and good and bad days. There is lots of overlap between ratings of .5. Less, of course, for a full point.
    But I can tell you it's happenned before, a player a full point below goes on to win several matches where he should have been breadsticked, before getting his comeuptence.
     
    #16
  17. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Play strategically.

    Some drop shots you have to let go, it's just the way it is.

    Drop shots usually occur from another weak shot, so hit very well and you'll rarely run into it.

    Get a good volley placement, so you don't burn as much steam when running back.
     
    #17
  18. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,066
    Until tennis' modern era began in the late 1940s, the drop-shot / lob combination was the basis of top-level women's tennis.
     
    #18
  19. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    12,540
    Location:
    Mar del Plata, Argentina
    Why don't you do the exact same thing? When he dropshots you, instead of dropping it back or angling it, lob it to his baseline, and wait for the defensive lob to smash.
     
    #19
  20. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    If I am playing someone how drop shots a lot, I set up inside the baseline so I can take the net a couple of steps quicker. I will gradually move forward (into no-mans) land during the match unless they response with more action of their shots. There is not much you can do, however, against someone who hits heavy, deep shots combined with good drop shots.

    If I am playing someone who lobs a lot when I am at the net, I set up near the service line, and it is almost impossible to lob over my head.
     
    #20
  21. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,794
    Location:
    Rockville, MD
    That guy got to every ball. Unfortunately, he's game is built for rallying all day long. My game is to rally till I see an opening and pounce on the ball. Either or, this match taught me that I have to be more strategic when playing against these types of players. I have alot of footwork exercises I have to work on.
     
    #21
  22. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    900
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Thanks!

    In my Homer Simpson personal thought voice, "Yum. Pizza. Yum. Beer!"
     
    #22
  23. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    When someone does this to me -- starts cheating towards the service line to prevent the lob -- I will just lob to the backhand side or start to mix in passing shots with backhand-side lobs.

    If my opponent is able to hit backhand-side volleys from no-mans land at head-high (or higher), they'll beat me for sure. But a lot of people (at my levels at least) don't have that shot in their arsenal.
     
    #23
  24. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    20,197
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I play a guy who does this on a 5.0 level and is probably the best player at my club because he just does not miss.

    Make sure to slow down your game..don't kill the ball, and always keep him moving. In fact the exact pattern I use over and over that works is DTL, CC, CC, CC. You have to swing relaxed..have good technique and hit those shots consistently and be patient.

    The CC shots are your answer to his lollipop lobs and drops. You will gethim running side to side like he got you running back and forth.
     
    #24
  25. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    #25
  26. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    A couple of quick side steps and I am not hitting a backhand lob... You have to be almost perfect (hitting to a tiny area with sufficient pace) to force a player to hit backhand lobs
     
    #26
  27. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Agree. It does require very good/quick footwork and a solid volley. The lobs I am talking about are almost always to the back corners. Running around those is certainly possible, but it isn't an easy task.

    I know how players at my general level react, but I'm curious how better players elect to deal with this. So how would you elect to return (primarily) these kinds of backhand-side baseline corner lobs? Pure overhead smash? Another lob? Drop volley? Hard forehand volley?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    #27
  28. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,274
    If you have time to position and the lob is high enough, do an overhead. If only time and not height, a regular bh drive to an opening. If no time at all,
    a high spinny backhand return to buy you time and recover.

    You should already know all of this. What more important is if you can do it. :) What's new?
     
    #28
  29. TheBoom

    TheBoom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,341
    Location:
    Kingwood texas
    Stand a little farther back once you get the dropshot back. A guy once told me make a runner hit a make a hitter run. If he likes to run down balls pound strokes in one spot, inconsistancy will show
     
    #29
  30. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Messages:
    359
    1) very few players can reliably lob off the backhand side, so when you hit his drop shot, hit mostly to his backhand.
    2) it's tough to hit a good lob off a low short ball (and pushers can't really punish this type of ball), so try hitting more slice shots.
    3) don't stand too close to the net. Think about "rushing the service line" rather than "rushing the net."
    4) it's tough to drop shot or lob well when on the run, so hit the ball from side to side and keep him running.
    5) turnabout is fair play - yoyo him.
    6) draw him to the net and pass him.
    If none of the above work, hang on and enjoy the ride.
     
    #30
  31. jdawgg

    jdawgg Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Messages:
    166
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I never have problems with drop shots because I have good anticipation and im fast. Anticipation is important! once you recognize his swing path is a drop shot then start sprinting as fast as you can to the net, if he changes his shot mid swing hes screwed anyway. Dont be lazy with this!!!!!!! Send a message on the first drop shot he hits, sprint as hard and as fast as you can and just light the ball up, dont overhit, your momentum will give you a lot of pace already especially if it sits up because you got there so fast.

    Second... the lob... once you hit his drop shot -- dont just stand there! recover to the service line as fast as you can. In tennis how fast you recover is so overlooked and important. Backpedal like a maniac then split step and you'll be spanking winners all day.
     
    #31
  32. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,413
    This is what I do too. As long as they don't have the strokes to drive the ball with pace it works pretty well. It's difficult to lob me because I'm so far back. If they try to hit a passing shot then it's weak enough that I have time to close on the net and angle it off.

    One of the tricks to this technique is hitting your approach deep and up the middle most of the time, but as little pace as possible. Make them generate their own pace and give them no angles.

    Rich
     
    #32
  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,299
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Instead of responding to that perfect lob, you should hit a better approach shot DEEPER to within 2' of the baseline, then move just inside the service line for you volley. If it comes low and hard, you can lowvolley it DTL for another approach. If it comes hard and hit, within reach, CC the putaway.
    If it comes higher and slower, go for the sharp angle or DTL deep.
    It won't be lobbed deep over your backhand because you aren't playing against a 5.5 player.
     
    #33
  34. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,597
    I don't really have a definite strategy against these types of players, but I have no fear in punishing them if their lobs are any less them 10 feet feet high. The smash can be your friend if you are able to hit it. If you have some good speed, what I do is run to their backhand lob which is usually garbage and do a deep top spin shot to their weakest side. Trust me, once you can stop a pusher from getting into a groove, your life will be a lot easier! :)

    -Fuji
     
    #34
  35. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    3,929
    Location:
    Oakland
    Play two feet inside the baseline. When you come in, stop at the service line and force him to pass you, not lob you. He won't know how to deal with that. Approach dtl to his bh side only.
     
    #35
  36. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    court positioning can have a huge impact and you don't have to magically improve your footwork or strokes overnight to do it.

    kiteboard says stand 2 feet inside the baseline -- it works. i played a guy who hits a lot of drop shots off my weak 2nd serves and drop volleys when he comes to net. standing behind the baseline - i had no chance. standing INSIDE the baseline and being ready to move in pretty much nullified all of his drop shots and drop volleys. he still went for em but if they weren't perfect -- i'd be right there to put em away.

    same with approaches to net. he's forcing you to net with his drop shots and then lobbing over you. there's no rule that says you have to get as close to the net as possible. especially when you know he's almost certain to lob. hit a consistent approach to his weaker wing (bh usually) with LOTS of room for error. follow your approach but camp out at around the service line. he'll have to hit a backhand lob that is just about dead perfect for you not to have a shot at it and if he's off -- you've got an overhead you can hit into the open court - crosscourt too giving you even more room.
     
    #36
  37. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    OP's opponent is a 4.0. Not a 3.0 or 3.5. Setting up in no-man's land is asking for trouble. The opponent is just going to start to hit baseline balls right at OP's feet. Very tough to counter with a volley or half-volley. The opponent doesn't have to try to pass him at all. The opponent only has to try to hit deeper balls that cause OP to backpeddle.
     
    #37
  38. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    i disagree mightyrick. that backhand dipping shot that you think is so easy for a 4.0 is pretty darn tough. but regardless, the point is not to SIT at the service line. it's the reference spot where you split step before your opponent hits his backhand. if he lobs, then you are already in a good position to hit an overhead. if he dips a topspin short you can either come in and volley or let it bounce and hit a half volley or half groundie. the point is you give your opponent more to think about and you take away an option that has been working for him -- the dink and lob game.

    tennis is a game of cat and mouse. it's problem solving while sprinting around the court. OP has already lost twice doing the same thing. nothing to lose trying something different.
     
    #38
  39. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Messages:
    808
    I once lost to someone in a tournament first round. I was the one expected to win the tournament. I lost to same technique of play. I was far better player than him and a better athelet too but I was not used to playing someone who droped that often.
    The lesten learnt is, even if you are a baseline basher, you still need to keep looking for chances to keep moving towards the net as much as you can. This will expose you new angles and play better aproach shot. Once you have that attitude of moving forward you can easily beat such a player.
    Some people acuse your opponent as a pusher or dirt baller, but I call him a great stratgy player. He has read your game so well when he was down 4-2. He found that you were not having that forward momentum and urge to come to net. He just utilized it. What is wrong in that?
     
    #39
  40. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    4,870
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I agree with this statement. When something doesn't work against a given opponent, try something different.

    I think where we disagree is around the abilities of OP's opponent. I'm presuming that a 4.0 has a decent forehand. Even though he/she tends to lob/dink a lot. If the opponent doesn't really have a decent forehand, then setting up in no-man's land will probably work. If the 4.0 has any kind of a medium-pace forehand that they can place with some consistency, then OP is going to get burned setting up in no-man's land.

    To OP: What kind of a forehand does your opponent have? Did he lob/dink you to death because of his lack of a forehand? Or did he lob/dink you because he figured out your weakness?
     
    #40
  41. PINENUT

    PINENUT New User

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    FLORIDA
    I think the quickest/most effective thing to do is make sure your groundies are hitting deep...this way, he cannot hit great dropshots. More than likely if he tries a dropshot off a deep shot, he'll pop it up and you should be able to hit an approach winner or at least set yourself up to close the point.
     
    #41
  42. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Messages:
    741
    mightyrick -- i agree. it's not entirely clear what weapons the guy he's facing has. it sounds like in a regular groundies battle, the OP has it all over this guy. but yeah i guess this guy could be have pretty good placement and passing shots but it'd still be worth a shot and put him to the test.
     
    #42
  43. Andre D

    Andre D Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Messages:
    262
    the answer is 1 out of 2, either you arent a 3.5/4.0 or he is way better than that, i think its the first, no 3.5 against a 4.0 would be lobbed and drop shotted that frequently unless he is really in a bad day...if he does that its because he can do anything off your balls which means he plays way better
     
    #43

Share This Page