when to hit an approach shot in singles?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dlam, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Hi all
    I like to find out what you all think about WHEN to hit an approach shot during a baseline rally.
    I have tried the chip and charge on a weak serve and rush up the net and cover and it has worked well, Im not sure when to do it during an baseline exchange.
    Net play seems to be seldom done now a days. As seems like a lot of players have developed good passing shots. So most of the time I do it when some one has weak shot and pulls me into the court or I forced in with a drop shot.
    So whats the strategy?
    My question is this ----->-If i have a midcourt floater in no mans land , do I try to blast away and never try to do the approach shot?
    I think it depends entirely on the which side for me. If i get a low drop shot to my BH I can get there and blast it or drop it back, but prefer higher spinner shot to approach.
    If I get a low drop shot to my FH and forced to the net, then I can block drive with a hop into the net for my next shot. If its high then i think the percentage shot for me would be inside out smash.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  2. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    Do it whenever you get a short ball. If you get an easy put-away you can smash it. But for an average short ball going for an outright winner is too risky. If you play at the rec level you won't have to worry about improved passing shots too much. While college, junior and pro players have changed their style, rec players passing shots have stayed mostly unchanged.
     
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  3. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    If you get a ball that lands shorter than the service line and is hit kind of softly, the general idea is to play the ball to the opponent's weak side (assuming you don't have an open court; if you do, just hit it there) and come in. Find a ready position a little in front of the service line, and the instant you realize your opponent won't be lobbing, close in on a diagonal and volley the ball into the open court. No need to hit too big; hit big enough so your opponent has to hit on the move but not so big you'll miss the ball except on rare occasions.
     
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  4. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    Answer: whenever you approach shot makes it difficult/unlikely for your opponent to successfully hit a passing shot.

    Generally the shorter the ball you decide to attack on, the better.

    How short is short enough will depend on the quality of the opponent's passing shots, the quality of your approach shots, and the quality of your net play.
     
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  5. sientelo

    sientelo New User

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    Topspin excellent advice. I've been making the mistake of just approaching to the backhand and getting too close to the net. Then being lobbed too much. I'm going to start trying this
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Note that hitting the approach shot to the weaker side is not necessarily the best option, unless their weak side is very weak compared to the other wing. Typically, approach shots are usually hit down-the-line (if they are hit from somewhere other than the middle of the court). This makes it much easier to get into an optimal position for the other player's response. Refer to the image below. If you hit your approach x-court, then you need to move over very quickly in order to get to the optimal net position.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    good advice above:

    1. approach shots are typically hit DTL and you move as far inside the service line as you can before you split step but no farther than 1/2 way between net and service line.
    2. OK to not go DTL on approach shot if opponent has much weaker side.
    3. when you move in behind your approach shift to the side where your shot lands. If you approach DTL, move in and to side of your DTL approach. If you approach CC which generally is only done if weak side of opponent or opponent way out of court, then quickly shift over to the other side to cover the DTL pass. You basically will always shift to get your opponent's contact in front of you. You may be 3-4 feet to the side of center if your approach lands near the sideline.
    4. split step at contact and move in diagonally to volley
    5. You have to learn you short range. You want to be able to hit your approach shot and get to or inside the service line before opponent makes contact. So, your short range will depend on how quick you are. Generally, if you are making contact 6 or more feet inside the court at rec levels, you should move in after your shot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
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  8. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Thanks. Just make sure when you do realize you'll be getting a volley you close in on net. The best volleyers will start pretty deep in the service box but will be on top of the net when they hit the ball. Like so. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT4-gY9_vrc
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This is Classic tennis advice and used to work perfectly. The reason that the net game has essentially disappeared from the Modern game, is that currently a Nadal (and a kid at your club) can place the ball into the right sided corner beyond where the black line is "defining" possible returns.
     
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  10. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    okay thanks for the discussion all.
    after thinking about this. I come with the conclusion that rushing to the net on every single point isnt the percentage play all the time.
    I will still try the occasional serve and volley as I like it.

    But I think coming up the net during a point might be better when I can anticipate a weak floater. Currently I working on a put away BH drop volley and a put away FH swing volley.
     
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  11. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    At levels below 5.0, it is still very good advice. 4.5 and below are not passing like pros and I am of the opinion that applying net pressure causes errors. There are not too many players under 5.0 that can pass you from at or behind the baseline if you hit a decent approach shot.

    Even in open level local tournaments that I watched last summer on clay, you see lots of attacking tennis. I think the success of the attacking amateur player is a function of how skilled he is at approach shots, volleys, 1/2 volleys, and overheads and not a function of the opponent hitting incredible passes.
     
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  12. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    If you are able to hit your ground strokes with spin, height, and depth you will get a short ball. The short ball is the one that lands either inside the box or around the service line and it could be in the right zone, left zone, or in the mid-court area:

    If the short ball is to your forehand you may rip it down the line and come to the net for volley cross-court or wrong-footing volley behind your opponent.

    If the short ball is to your backhand you may slice it deep down the line and approach the net. You can then volley the ball in the open court or hit behind for a wrong-footing shot. Remember, cross-court approach shot in this situation is easier to hit but it places you in a bad volleying position. Quality, deep approach hit down the line limits your opponent's return options.

    If the ball is in the mid-court area you may use inside-out and inside-in forehand combinations and possibly go to the net for a volley.

    Daily practice will make these combinations easier to master.
     
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  13. MyTennisTools

    MyTennisTools New User

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    And then to practice

    Great discussion and good tips. My tennis "mentor", who made the observation that the quickest way to move up the rankings was to develop a net game, had me really work on my net game by making me come in on almost everything. Whether it was really appropriate or not. And as some people have mentioned, what appropriate at the 3.5/4.0 level may not be appropriate at the 4.5+ level.
    It seemed suicidal at the time, but the quickest way you learn to play the net is by getting up there. That way you see a variety of balls and learn how to handle them. And you learn, by doing, just which balls you should approach on which you shouldn't.
    Using the forgoing posts as a blueprint, then going out and making your self force the issue, you will learn quickly and get comfortable up at the net. Personally, I love to serve and volley, it's quite an adrenalin rush, especially if you don't hit a great approach shot. But can your opponent come up with the goods? Now we're having fun!
     
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  14. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Federer was routinely hitting that corner before Nadal rose in the ranks. Roddick knows that all too well. Sure, many lower level players, like me and the kid at the club, have learned to hit that corner as well. Not everyone can do it however. You need to make sure that you are hitting a deep, forceful approach shot against some players so that they cannot easily hit that corner. Also, be sure to move diagonally to cut off shots to that side.
     
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  15. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Lots of good stuff already said so I'll add:

    - Play more doubles for more net practice
    - If you're playing someone with a great passing shot, go to the net sparingly. You might still surprise them and get an error back. It's kind of like Tomas Berdych hitting a drop shot - he's hitting groundstrokes at 80-90 MPH so most don't expect something without a lot of power. But he uses it very sparingly.
     
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