What is the safest way to deal with a very high deep bounce to the backhand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by pondus, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. pondus

    pondus Rookie

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    Hi,

    I have a one handed backhand, and I'm a NTRP 3.5 player. I regularly play someone who does the sensible thing and loops high balls with no pace to my backhand side until I become unglued and miss or return a short ball.

    These balls bounce so high that moving back is not an option because they hit the back fence at shoulder or head level.

    Taking them early seems a risky and low percentage shot for someone at my level, esp. since the ball falls and bounces very vertically due to a lack of pace.

    Moving in and taking it out of the air also seems risky.

    What are my other options or what is the correct thing to practice in order to learn how to deal with this shot? (For a low intermediate)
     
  2. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Since low pace run around hit fh
     
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When I was 3.5, or C, I'd regularly step into NML, and volley the ball with a 2hbh slice stroke, like FrewMcMillian, GeneMayer, or Jimbo would.
    Now a hair better, I step in with a 1hbh slice and volley the ball at NML, usually around waist high, into a DTL corner.
     
  4. pondus

    pondus Rookie

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    and then scramble to recover. In other words I have to get in excellent shape to deal with this type of continuous assault. :eek:
     
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I'd practice taking it out of the air. Even just a half volley. It will ruin his strategy and is the best way to attack 3.5 level moon balls.
     
  6. pondus

    pondus Rookie

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    What is NML and DTL?
     
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    No man's land, down the line.
     
  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If it is 3.5 level and it isn't coming down into a reasonable strike zone before it hits the fence, he is hitting it quite high. Just move in, volley it, and move onward to the net.
     
  9. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

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    3 things:

    1. Learn to slice on the rise
    2. Use the extra time you have to better position yourself (either back or forward)
    3. Move in and volley in the air :)
     
  10. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    The best two options IMO are taking it out of the air with either f/h or b/h volley, or running round to an inside out forehand. Depends on the depth and the height etc. Needs practice. Also, maybe preemptive strikes by you so he cannot do this as much (drop shots, low slices etc).
     
  11. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    if returning it as a strong groundstroke, make sure you pick a safe target and give yourself margin for error, no need to aim for corners.

    people who hit these loopers to your backhand want to win by you making mistakes. they lack confidence in their shots to hit winners.
     
  12. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    If you just want to the return the ball, you should be able to hit a reliable, easy/deep slice by preparing the raquet high and hitting almost straight through the ball.

    If your opponent is smart, he/she will start coming to the net during that loopy shot and volleying your return, so you may need a plan B (taking the ball on the raise/etc.).
     
  13. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    if you want to give him a taste of his own medicine you can moonball it back to him... warning, don't aim for the baseline.
     
  14. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    These balls -- if they have no pace -- will not bounce over the fence. Although they might bounce _to the fence_.

    I would step back to the fence and hit a topspin lob right back at them.

    The topspin lob is a highly underrated shot. It is also a shot that is easiest to hit off of an incoming lob. And usually you can get it back with even more interest.

    Otherwise, you can try a punch half volley at your shins. But this is a much more difficult shot to time and will frame a lot of time if the ball has any kind of good spin on it.
     
  15. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Sidespin and Forget Topspin for Many High Balls

    I don't know if this is the best technique but it improved my game when at the 3.5 level.

    I asked an instructor several years ago. He said to hit across the back of the ball, apply a sidespin shot, and to forget about topspin (which I was still trying to apply on balls that were too high). Sidespin gives a controlled higher shot that you can place but not apply a lot of pace to. I found that on the backhand and forehand for balls above shoulder/head height I can hit a much better shot than trying to still put topspin on it. He mentioned that topspin was not necessary on a high ball anyway because it does not have to go up to safely clear the net and then dip because it already is up.

    Also, if people hit high to your backhand learn the good times to sneak in and take it in the air. Usually best done by waiting until they are occupied trying to moonball back your moonball.
     
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Slice works, but it should not be a habit.

    Moving back and looping it back should be the place to start.

    Running around and hitting it as a forehand is good if you want to be aggressive and feeling energetic, but it can become a habit too.

    The basic training must be to hit backhand on the backhand side.
     
  17. eleventeenth street

    eleventeenth street Semi-Pro

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    i just call all of them out.
     
  18. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    easiest way is to prevent it from becoming a high deep bounce in the first place by hitting it right off the bounce.

    dont listen to people telling you to moonball it back or to slice it.
     
  19. mr_fro2000

    mr_fro2000 Rookie

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    practice practice practice. practice taking balls on the rise... you can whip the crap out of them cross court by doing this.

    when playing casually w/ ur buddies, run around your forehands to practice your backhand... topspin and slice.

    its kind of like dribbling and dribble driving in basketball w/ your left hand. The only way to improve it is do do it over and over again.
     
  20. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    If they have no pace, why can't you run around them and hit an overhead or get in under them and volley?

    However, I would not describe balls that would hit the back fence at shoulder or head high as having no pace so I'm not picturing what kind of shot you are describing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  21. kopfan

    kopfan Rookie

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    3.5 1hbh.. hmm.. You shouldn't have issue timing hitting on the rise against no pace high ball into your bh. Unless your main issue is your technique with 1hbh. A 3.5 should be able to slice slow moonball return without much issue. Maybe you can try a 2hbh.
     
  22. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking the same thing. If it is a slow lob that can hit the back fence, it must be a really high lob.

    Play him indoors :evil:
     
  23. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    At the 3.5 level, very few players are going to be able to take the ball out of the air as a swinging volley on the BH side. Great if you can do it, but it's a very low percentage shot for most.

    I'm with the crowd that says slice it back or back up and lob it back.
     
  24. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    They must be very loopy to the point of being lobs. Thus you should not be hitting a single BH shot, you should be running around them and hitting inside out FHs until you get a short ball then go inside in for the winner.
     
  25. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    I'm having trouble understanding how a ball that is bouncing vertically with no pace is reaching the fence at head high level.

    I see this shot a lot from one of my hitting partners, and the safest way for me to return this shot is with a top spin lob hit at head/shoulder high level from my baseline to his backhand corner. I step into the stroke and brush up/sideways from 8 o'clock to 2 o'clock hit medium to fast pace cross court.

    If his shot is really bouncing vertical, try what's been suggested already and run around/under the ball and hit an overhead.
     
  26. trilix

    trilix Rookie

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    Stand behind the baseline and SERVE them back ;)
     
  27. wrxinsc

    wrxinsc Professional

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    el oh el .....
     
  28. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    I'm having the same problem with my main hitting partner. He's always been a little better than me, more consistent. I worked on a weak backhand and now closed the gap. When I get ahead he totally starts throwing high topspin bh shots that are angled away. No shame at all, itll be like 80% of the shots. These are usually head high. I'll start work on coming in for a bh slice volley. I also want to practice smacking these but not sure of the stroke. Is it similar to forehand where you hit across sideways? I've never beaten him. He must go down!
     
  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Use your high backhand volley stroke, chop it down and short angled CC or short DTL, come in behind it if you go DTL. Opponent can't dig up the short ball that you hit CC to hit heavy loop, so he's coming to net, so you lob him.
    If you go DTL, it's a regular high backhand approach shot.
     
  30. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    +1

    Don't panic, run back. Until you can run fast enough for a reg bh, or hit on the rise at bounce, just ts lob it back to his bh corner. If you use 2hbh you can try a bh slam. Some may prefer a slice. But the problem is if he knows a slice is coming he may come up to the net. A ts lob pushes him back.

    Since you are so far back you can't really drive it back with pace as a regular bh anyway, you will need to hit it with some trajectory anyway.
     
  31. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    I, sometimes, hit something similar to what LeeD suggested (above). Instead of chopping down (because the ball may be very high) I hit it back with lots of sidespin (away from the body)- sort of like a slice serve, but backhand. It's easy, requires no running about or precise timing- and the ball stays low with a bit of an odd spin to it
     
  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    NOT NOT NOT chop down on it.
    Chop it down.....meaning, take the high ball, slice it low over the net.
     
  33. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    If I can't anticipate early enough for a bh volley, this chop shot to cc short, sounds like a good option. I don't have the shot so ill have to work on it. This for the high balls of course. This a 4.0 guy so there's an element of skill and accuracy to these shots.
     
  34. KMV

    KMV New User

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    Since you mentioned loopy balls with no pace -> Best play would be to hit a cross court back to opponent with pace.. Can get you in an offensive position. A safe shot (gets ball in but can get you in a bad position) is cross court slice with a bit of side spin.

    Surprised that no pace loopy balls hit he fence. Are you sure they are no pace or is the fence really close to court?
    Are you sure
     
  35. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    the shot that kohlschreiber just hit on andujar is the exact one I need to practice. dropped in cc and bounced nowhere. I worked on the thbh high and deep to the corner. tried to 1hbh chop and it was ugly.
     
  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Learn to volley!
    So, high volley on your backhand side, do you pop it up weak and short?
    NO, you chop it down, firm wrist, solid stroke, body moving forwards, aiming for the service line to NML for an unreturnable WINNER.
     
  37. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah I agree with the volley technique. I should try that sometime.

    Usually I just go for hitting it on the rise. If I don't try to murder the ball back doing this I can usually keep the rally going.
     
  38. corners

    corners Legend

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    You can chop down like Lee suggests. When the ball is high like that you can carve around the outside of the ball and produce a sidespin/spiralspin that will bounce away from your opponent (when hit cross court it will bounce into the doubles alley). Against lower level opponents or guys that have never seen that type of spin, this will almost always draw an error or result in a weak return that you can attack. I produce this spin automatically on slices hit at shoulder level or higher so I'm not sure how to describe the technique.

    When you get better you can try a more difficult shot: taking it on the rise with a driving slice down the line. Follow this one to the net.
     
  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of good players don't like to high ball slice an approach shot, because the ball curves back into the court DTL, and a CC slice approach is always dicey, at best.
    If they do approach on a shot coming at them high and slow, they step IN, take it low on a half volley, DTL, so the ball curves into the doubles alley. Or drop approach DTL, as you cover the line moving in, and the high ball gives you more margin for error hitting straight ahead.
     
  40. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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    Well, you have great advice here. But besides taking it out on the air, using a high slice, etc, you should also think about pressing him in order to make it difficult for him to through you those higi balls to your BH. If you can pin him down or open angles he wont be able to do it often.
     
  41. luishcorreia

    luishcorreia Professional

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  42. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    A few strategies to try from easiest to more difficult:

    1. Back up and let the ball drop to below your shoulder and hit a high deep CC backhand.
    2. Move in and take the ball on the rise. I do this a fair amount but normally slice the ball as it is easier for me to time. But, you can take it with a topspin shot too. You don't have to swing as hard because the ball will be rising and have pace off the court, but you must accelerate through the contact zone.
    3. Move in and hit an approach volley either DTL or to your opponent's weaker side. Follow the approach volley to the net.
    4. If it is slow enough, run around and hit a forehand inside out. If you hit this forehand to inside in from deep in the court, you better hit it well because you are leaving a lot of court open to your forehand side.
     

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