Wide Angle Strategy

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by thebuffman, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    i've been hitting my wide angled cross court shot off of my 1hbh (from ad court) with good efficiency. during my ladder match today, with regularity, i would hit the wide angle shot to the ad court and pull my opponent out wide and approach off of it. time and time again i received a weak reply from his backhand which i volleyed away into the deuce court. i scored lots of points with this combo.

    now i am pondering "what is the best reply for my opponent?" of course his reply wasn't getting the job done, but i am not concerned with his reply. i am concerned about getting better and learning better strategy. i placed myself in his shoes and wondered what i would do if someone pulled me off the court with a wide angled shot to my backhand. literally i don't know what i would do. if i were to answer the question i would say to hit a shallow dipper to the deuce court or perhaps try a risky lob to the deuce corner. :confused:

    i would love to hear others chime in on this.
     
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  2. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The ideal reply, of course, would be a winner down the line. The court should be opened up since you hit from far over toward the sideline and he is stationed near his crosscourt sideline. To hit the winner, he has to be in good position when hitting the ball. He needs speedy court coverage and a reliable stroke for it to be a high percentage play. If you have put him in an uncomfortable postion, or he doesn't have a reliable powerful backhand down the line, the down-the-line winner reply is a very low-percentage play. Putting yourself in that postion, how well do you move and how reliable is your backhand? Are these things you can work on?
    If not in a good position for the return, best to play it safe going cross-court. The reply could hit a severe cross-court, but again it is low percentage if the player isn't set for the shot.
    The percentage play is to just try to put it back deep cross-court and re-start the rally - deep enough so it doesn't get attacked, maybe looped some so that there is time to recover court position. Speed in getting to the ball and speed in recovering postion are important.

    Me being old-school, I would probably reply to your cross-court with a slice approach up the line and come into the net, covering the down-the-line pass. How are your approach shots and volleys?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
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  3. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    If someone hits a shot out extremely wide and toward your backhand, the simplest way to get yourself back into the point is by hitting down the line.

    Since in your example, you're hitting a backhand from the ad side of the court, your opponent should have hit it down the line toward your deuce side of the court...so that at least he'll move you around.
     
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  4. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    see this is where things get confusing for me. i see the pros attempting to execute what you all advocate, reply down the line from an outside ball to the backhand. HOWEVER after studying "Directionals" I am learned that the reply to an outside ball is back across court. this is exactly how and why i destroyed my opponent. he always replied trying to bring the ball back across court where i was closing in and volleyed it into the deuce court for a winner.

    as far as my skills go, i am able to both hit slice down the line and topspin down the line. Directionals tells me not to do this though. perhaps the study of directionals is good for fundamentals but not for advanced situations. i am not sure.

    more discussion please.
     
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  5. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    I've never heard of anyone applying directionals to approach shots, passing shots or volleys. In those situations you hit the ball where you need to based on your and your opponent's positioning. Directionals is for baseline rallies. Nobody would suggest going crosscourt if your opponent is at the net guarding the crosscourt shot while leaving down the line open.
     
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  6. Dominik

    Dominik Rookie

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    If you're feeling good, take some pace off the shot and hit a better angle crosscourt.

    If they're not coming in, the percentage play is probably to slice/float it back crosscourt.

    If they're coming in, the down the line backhand is a fairly safe shot to try to make. You're already pulled out so you're hitting into the court and not away from it. Just roll it back, you have so much margin for error now *because* you're hitting from way out to inside of the court.

    NOTE: The last option is also why it's not always the best idea to approach off of cross-court shots unless you *know* the reply will be weak/poorly placed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pull me wide on the backhand side, first choice is a sharp angled and short CC slice. If you handle that, next time is a CC lob back to where you approached from, your backhand side, and CC to the deepest corner.
    If you handle that, lower percentage DTL pass attempt.
    If you handle that, I go up to the net and shake your hand.
     
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  8. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    i think you misunderstood the situation. you are looking through the eyes of the person approaching the net. instead this thread is about the person being pulled off court out wide and getting pressured by and approaching opponent. rules of directionals say to go back across court. people in the thread say go down the line.

    you know i didn't think about it like this. going "down the line" from outside the court really is not "down the line" but more so a slight cross court angle. and you are right, that is a dangerous shot to approach on. really hadn't thought about it like that. now i know what to do when it happens to me.

    on the deep cc reply, do you rip this shot as much as possible? i notice a lot of times when pros are being approached by their opponent, they appear to add more heat to their cc passing shot. i could be wrong though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    DTL passes off a wide backhand is the lowest percentage you can play.
    Safest is CC short angle, if you have the shot.
    CC lob is also safe, since you have the longest court, can use slice to control depth and height, AND the player made the mistake of using a CC approach, so he's moving AWAY from your CC lob. He's moving forwards can covering center.
     
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  10. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    leed check my previous post. i modified it looking for your reply. thx
     
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  11. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    nlbwell gave a good reply
    what i do depends on what you do
    if you stay back and im reasonably balanced
    i'll take it up the line and approach.if its a winner ill take it
    or i'll more severely angle you back cross court slice or topspin
    if im in trouble and you stay back i'll try to float it back deep cross court or to the middle to give me time to recover.
    if you are coming in i go dtl for the passing shot
    or lob deep into the ad corner
    directionals are not written in stone and rules were made to be broken
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hardly ever a need to ADD more speed for your passing shots.
    You should hit where they can't cover, and that doesn't need ball speed, unless you're talking about 40 mph stuff.
    I hardly ever use a CC deep for a reply off a wide backhand. My opponents all can play net, and would move in, but would NOT choose to hit CC approaches.
    CC approachers get beaten by the combination of short angle CC, deep CC lobs, and DTL slices OR topspinners.
    CC approaches can only beat 3.5 players with no game.
     
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  13. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    andy roddick needs to read this and reread it until he gets it:)
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course, even the announcers know this, every spectator, the ballboys, the opponent, AND the drink servers back inside the stadium.
    But Andy got to his level by doing things HIS way, and we can see, with all that physical gift and talent, there is something upstairs holding him back.
     
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  15. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Directionals ONLY apply when you're trying to execute safe shots. Directionals is what you use when you're trying to keep a rally going.

    Directionals is still not as important as the most basic rule to win points in Tennis, and that is to hit it to where your opponent is not. If you're already chasing a shot out wide, what's the logic in hitting it back cross-court RIGHT BACK to where your opponent is standing?
     
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  16. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    It really depends on whether I'm out of position. If you got me out wide with a short angle forehand, then with a short angle backhand, I'd just try to get there as quickly as possible and either: a) if you're not too close to the net, hit a dipping shot(topspin or slice) at your feet and buy myself some time for the next shot if you're not too close to the net, or b) lob you if you are close to the net.

    If you're in the middle of moving forward to the net and I have some time to set up, then I'd try to hit a topspin or slice shot down the down the line, and cover the likely crosscourt response if you get there.

    Another option would be to wrongfoot you by hitting a crosscourt backhand (topspin or slice); because approaching crosscourt exposes the down the line pass, most people tend to move in quickly to cover that side, so hitting back crosscourt would force you to go back in the direction you came from.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    ..and if your opponent hits deep CC when you hit CC approaches, maybe you need a higher level of opponent's ??
    My first choice, the sharp angled CC, tests your backhand low and half volleys. Can you do anything with them, besides pop them up safely up the middle? I"m moving forwards after hitting the shot.
    My second choice, the CC deep lob, is in direct responce to YOU being able to handle my first choice. CC lobs can be hit higher and harder, and still drop in, drop in on your BACKHAND side of the court. What are you going to do, after running forwards, then running back to cover the lob? Are you going to run around and hit a FOREHAND? I'll just short angle you again, making you cover the whole court moving forwards off you overhead!
    Only a shortcircuited brain would hit deep CC when you've CC approached.
     
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  18. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    As far as the DTL return violating Wardlaw's Directionals, it doesn't really apply in this situation. Since you're out wide, the line is still to the right of your body. Thus, you can hit a "cross court" shot" with less angle and it will go down the line.
     
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  19. SweetH2O

    SweetH2O Rookie

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    No, I understood. Zachol82's latest reply illustrates what I was trying to say in better words. The person being pressured is looking for a passing shot, not a safe rally return. Hit it where they ain't. Otherwise you won't be making your opponent pay for trying to approach off a cross court shot.
     
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  20. only4theweak187

    only4theweak187 Banned

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    i've hit countless backhand down-the-line passing winners when pulled out wide from a lefties FOREHAND to the same direction your hitting your one hander. They always thought they'd get a weak crosscourt backhand reply. i really use the leverage of my left hand and smack it through the doubles alley to land in the back court.
     
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  21. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    if the person hitting the shot(the one hitting the angle) is smart
    he will see if you are stretched out and take a few steps in expecting a weak reply which he will hit to the open court or behind you if you scurry quickly and dont split step well.
    this is different than hitting a cc approach shot.
    what to do with that ball has been well described above
    buffman what do you think??
     
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  22. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    well you helped me understand how i was able to milk this strategy all game. during a baseline rally i would hit a nice angled shot pulling the opponent off court but would not approach off of that ball. my approach came about when i would attack a low paced short ball which naturally brought me into the court. sometimes i would execute the shot from approx 2 feet into the court. because i have been practicing to be aggresssive and s&v, i follow the shot in close to the service line somewhere so that i don't over commit. each time he would hit a loft backhand reply trying to go cross court but because he would be stretched out or late, it would still land on my forehand side for an easy put away.

    what i didn't realize until your posting was that i was not following in a typical cross court shot. i was already moving into the court to attack a weak reply and continuing my momentum into the court.

    one thing i wanted to note here is something that became glaringly obvious with my opponent as i have become a more aggressive net rusher and s&v player. PRESSURE. at the 3.5 level of play it seems that players do not handle pressure well. i see a lot of indecision when make bold aggressive moves to the net especially behind my serve. my serve is not big as far as pro standards go but at the 3.5 level it is. everyone i have played with say that i have the biggest serve amongst he people they play with. it really aint saying much since my last readout months ago showed me top off at 94mph - there are women who hit harder than me so i am in no wise boasting believe me. i am only stating how much more pressure it adds since i have begun following my serve into the court. i am currently standing 7-0 on my tennis ladder and only dropped one set out of 7 matches. only saying that to say that my strategy of adding pressure by aggressively moving into the court has been outstanding and i owe a lot of that to advice i have gotten from this forum. what saddens me is that i feel that my skillset is soon leaving the 3.5 arena and will push me into higher levels of play. the reality is that all this success i am experiencing now will fade quickly once i start hitting with 4.0-4.5 level guys. heck even my serve will probably be practice for those guys where right now my first serve either aces, results in ue, or gets bunted back for me to attack. i am going to miss these days :(
     
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  23. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    just thought i would post my graph of performance increase since implementing a lot of what i have learned from this forum, fuzzy yellow balls and a few other online resources. it has been tremendous.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  24. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    im REALLY glad that something i offered helped:)
    you have to move up now
    why???
    because "pressure " wont work:shock:
    you need a quality shot to come in behind
    trial and error(ie getting burned enough) will teach you
    its worth getting burned to develop hardened steel:)
     
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  25. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    i fear that you are correct. it is interesting because my opponents will try adding pressure by coming to net behind a weak approach and i will start laughing on the inside as i hit easy passing shots for winners (i don't even have to put much juice on the ball just placement especially against a really sorry approach shot). one guy on my ladder is very impatient and doesn't like to rally so he will just rush the net. he gets passed every time. i pass just as easily with my 1hbh as i do with my fh. so i think you are right that it is time to start playing some stiffer competition. it is the only way i am going to improve at this point. it will suck though getting use to taking lumps however it is all for the best.

    thanks larry10s.

    while on the subject of wide angle strategy, let me change the scenario a bit. during a baseline rally, what is your reply to a cc shot that pulls you off court? my response is to ALWAYS go back cc with as wide an angle as i can for fear that if i don't pull it cc enough then i will give my opponent an inside shot and surrender control of the point. this opens the possibility of me having to make a mad dash to the other corner. but i don't know because i see pros do lots of different things when replying to a solid cc ball that pulls them into the doubles alley. sometimes they will return it to the middle of the court :confused::confused: i have never understood this strategy....why give your opponent an inside shot that could possibly send you running.

    while typing this message i just watched henin get into a backhand cc rally with serena. henin pulled serena into the doubles alley and serena replied with a nice deep cc shot to henin's bh. then henin whipped it dtl for a winner :confused::confused: this is totally against what i have studied on wardlaw's directionals. the strategy here really intrigues me and it seems that directionals is really just a template to follow for low risk tennis (which they say wins out). but it seems the pros play higher risk tennis and still win.

    insight anyone?
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Insight?
    Henin got tired of hitting rally ball after rally ball against a 5'10" 170 lbs monster.
    Serena KNOWS Henin is NOT approaching net, so a deep CC is the safest play. Had Henin approached, she would be passed by a short angle CC first, then a DTL 2hbh'er.
    Had Henin hit a deep CC back to Serena, it's just prolonging the agony.
    Warlaws are basic strategy moves. Basic strategy moves are for basic players in basic rallies.
     
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  27. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    That's pretty amazing improvement for the last 2 months. Was it just a change of strategy that netted these gains, or was their certain parts of your game that also improved during this time period (last 6 months).

    I've played some low-level 4.0s, and the easiest way to win a point is to serve to their backhand. My serve isn't that fast either, maybe in the low 80s, but it's usually enough to get a service winner. You said your serve is one of the strongest part of your game, so do you have the ability to serve wide, down the T, and to their body? I'm confident enough in my first and second serve now, so I go all out on my first serve. That means I try to hit it as hard as I can, while trying to place it. I know this won't work against high 4.0s and 4.5s, so I'll need to just add some more juice to it.

    Against the 4.0s, they're probably be way more consistent so you'll have fun trying to construct points and use your patterns. Pros use that pattern all the time. Except they'll serve wide, and then hit it to the open court for a winner. Have you thought about trying to incorporate this variation into your game?
     
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  28. Netspirit

    Netspirit Hall of Fame

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    I am probably the weidest of you all, but hitting a slice down the line has been working pretty well for me as a counter to that short-and-wide CC backhand shot.

    When my opponent pulls me wide and attempts to crowd the net, there is usually plenty of time to pass him down the line (since his approach is a CC one). If I just hit a good slice DTL, I get better control, better percentage, and my shot can still be a significant challege.

    If the person hits a wide CC shot to my backhand and stays behind, I throw a DTL dropshot from time to time.
     
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  29. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    wardlow does address the change of direction stroke
    he mentions to try to hit it parrallel to the sideline from where you hit it
    and not angling into the corner where if you dont hit it right it will be out wide
    the time to change direction is when you get an outside ball you are comfortable with
    lets say a cross court ball comes to your bh not too much distance away
    you are very balanced you could probably comfortably go dtl with that ball
    the first reply when you are in trouble ie pulled into the alley is to get depth on your shot
    if you go back cc you give your opponent more angle shot to hit cc AND he has the open court dtl
    when you go deep to the middle you take away some angle so the amount of court you have to cover is less.
    when you go down the line its either you feel the point is over anyway and ill go for a winner or all the other answers above.
    you must also realize pros practice hours changing direction in balls in forcing positions because they know they just cant get the ball back
     
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  30. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    I'd like to work on my angle volleys in doubles which has high successful rate to put away balls.
     
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  31. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    sounds like a good thread for you to start
    it has nothing to do with this one
    JMHO
     
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  32. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    I hear you.
     
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  33. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    have to disagree on this one my friend. i thought that you never wanted to change the direction when you get an outside ball because you have no leverage. i understood directionals to emphasis the only time to change direction of the ball is if you receive an inside ball.
    hmmm....never thought about it like that. so this is what i have gathered: your opponent hits a nice cc shot to your backhand which pulls you into the doubles alley. he is not approaching. if i reply with a wide angled cross court shot, i set myself up for a bad situation because of the dtl threat. if i go middle of the court, i put myself in a better position to remain in the point. does that sound about right?
     
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  34. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    [ deleted ] 10 chars
     
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  35. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    In pretty much any situation when my opponent approaches I hit my reply cross-court until he proves he can volley. Handling an angled cross-court ball and volleying it DTL for a winner is harder than volleying off a DTL reply to open court.

    If they pass that test several times then I have to up the risk of my reply. In the original scenario it sounds like you are approaching behind a cross-court ball. The reason the general mantra is to approach behind a DTL ball is that approaching cross-court requires more movement to cover a DTL reply so my next step would be to attempt to pass DTL. I would focus more on location control than pace of my shot.

    It sounds like it worked for you both b/c your opponent never changed his cross-court strategy or didn't have the skill to pull off another shot.

    Re: Deep center balls limiting angles, I recall FYB doing a video on Fed/Del Potro U.S. Open where they said Fed went away from this strategy and it cost him vs. Del Potro's big fh. Not an exciting strategy but one to limit an opponent's weapons.
     
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  36. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    i took sound advice from this thread and this thread and incorporated it into my game. in a nutshell i added more aggressive play style which pressures my opponent as well as adding the wide angle cc ball and short ball attack (volley, half-volley, skip step...) to my arsenal. it's funny because there is a direct relation to the progression noted in my thread and the progression seen in the chart.

    yes my serve placement is pretty decent. the only serve i am missing is the slice. it has been difficult for me to rely on this serve as it is very inconsistent. typically i end up hitting a topspin-slice instead of a slice. if i ever learn a slice serve, it will take my win percentage up tremendously since most people cheat a little to the middle fearing my dtl heater which hardly ever comes back.

    i am going to have to dig for this strategy. i have never heard of hitting to the center of the court as a strategy except for center court to center court rallies where no one wants to be the first to create the angle.
     
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  37. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    You will soon be a 4.0.

    Using angled roller 1bh's to open up singles acreage will get you so many good things at the 3.5 level. At 4.0 you will encounter more court speed to set up a DTL and some folks who will attack it with the slice to get to net.
     
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  38. Totai

    Totai Professional

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    So approches should be only hit dtl?
     
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  39. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    yes, but not exactly. according to the Directionals technology, approaches should be hit directly north of your position. some of us call that dtl. limpinhitter did an excellent write up on this in one of my threads:

    link

    Limpinhitter:
    It's very simple, you have to learn what the "high percentage" shots are. If you play strictly high percentage tennis, that is, you hit the correct, high percentage, shot depending on where you are on the court, and you are disciplined about it, and you are a bigger hitter than he is, you will win. Period! Only when you allow a hacker to goad you into hitting low percentage shots can he beat you. But, you have to know what the "high percentage" shots are. It's not a mystery. Jack Kramer is the master of high percentage tennis. Here are the basics:

    (1) Groundstrokes from behind the baseline - The high percentage play for all groundstrokes hit from behind the baseline is cross court. Unless you're world class, even if your a few feet in front of the baseline, you should still go cross court. Hitting down the line from behind or near the baseline is a tactical error. If your opponent hits 20 cross-court's in a row, you have to hit 21. You must make him deviate first. Once he deviates (which, by definition means he hit a low percentage shot), then you have to play the high percentage shot depending on where he hits the ball, as explained below. I love to see a pusher hit one of my cross-court shots down the line. It instantly tells me that he doesn't know what he's doing. You can bet your bottom dollar that my next shot is going to be . . . that's right, cross-court into the other corner. Now he's on the run. Invariably, the pusher won't be able to hit cross-court while on the run. Guess where my next shot is going? That's right, cross-court into the other corner. YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO FOR WINNERS. Just hit nice solid cross-court groundies in the direction of the corners. Eventually, your opponent will either give up or hit a weak shot that you can knock off for a winner. Also, never try to change directions by trying to hit an opponent's hard hit cross-court shot down the line even if you are well in front of the baseline. That is very difficult to control and will result in more unforced errors than winners. If your opponent is a big hitter, and is lucky enough to hit your cross court shot down the line for a winner, give it to him all day long and smile knowing that you have him. Percentage tennis dictates that he will make more unforced errors than winners going for that shot.

    (2) Passing shots from behind the baseline - All passing shots from behind the baseline must be hit cross-court. If your opponent is at the net and hits a deep approach putting you behind the baseline, you are at a big disadvantage. But, you still have to play the highest percentage shot available to you - either a cross court pass, or a lob. If your opponent knows what he's doing, he's covering the down the line pass. So, if you hit cross court, the best your opponent can do is hit a stretch volley down the line, which is going lateral, but not away from you. Hitting a down the line passing shot from behind the baseline is a tactical error because if you are behind the baseline, your opponent has more time to get to the ball and a cross court volley is going away from you, almost a certain winner, rather than lateral to you where you have a chance at a second pass attempt.

    (3) Lobs - Cross court toward the corner - longer court, across the opponent's hitting zone, etc. etc.

    EXCEPTIONS TO CROSS COURT

    (4) Approach shots - All approach shots must be hit down the line. An approach shot is one in which you intend to follow up by coming to the net and hitting a volley. Typically, your opponent has hit a short shot that's below the level of the netcord, and you're too far in to go back. Pusher's will do this pretty quickly if you put them on the run. The high percentage play is to block or chip the ball down the line, deep into the corner, and position yourself at the net slightly to the side that you hit the ball on to cover a down the line attempt. Unless your opponent can hit a huge cross court passing shot, or lob, you should be able to knock off the volley for a winner. An approach from the middle of the court should be hit down the middle to eliminate any angles. A cross court approach shot is a tactical error because you have left a down the line pass open, so your opponent has the choice of hitting into the opening that you are scrambling to cover, or go cross court behind you. Not good.

    The exception to the down the line approach is when a short shot is a sitter that is above the level of the netcord. Then you should go for a winner into which ever side is open, so it's not really an approach shot. Remember, you don't have to crank winner attempts. A nice solid shot is all that's needed. Better that you hit it in, and he runs it down, and you hit a winner on the next shot, than for you overhit and hit an UE.

    (5) Passing shots from in front of the baseline - Passing shots from well in front of the baseline should be hit down the line. If you are well in front of the baseline, you can't hit cross court without hitting the ball across the middle, right to your opponent, as it passes over the net, who will just knock it off into the open court. If you hit a sharp enough angle to get it by your opponenet, it will almost certainly be way wide.

    Those are the basics. With this, alone, you should be able to handle any pusher. To be clear, you obviously won't win every point. But, you want to have the discipline to always make the high percentage play and make your opponent make the low percentage play. That's how to win matches.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
    #39
  40. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    Here's my experience, FWIW...

    It is easy to get into the habit of approaching to the backhand at 3.5-4.0, even crosscourt. Not many 3.5 or weak 4.0s have good (accurate) backhands, least of all DTL backhands. Playing strong 4.0 to 4.5s, I'm starting to see guys who can pass me regularly if I approach on a cross-court to their backhand, or lob well. Alot of this is staying calm under pressure, and I'm getting better at hitting those passes myself. Against these guys, you just have to be smarter about when you approach, expecially crosscourt - and you have to hit a good deep approach either with lots or spin or hard and flat, depending what they don't like.
     
    #40
  41. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There is NO "never" in tennis.
    Say you're approaching DTL and your opponent cobbles up your shot, hitting clean winners at will. Time to change your strategy, eh?
    Say your opponent has the backhand of Nadal. Maybe not hit there too often?
    Say your flat first serves, and you hit then on a dime at 136 mph, keeps coming back at 110 past you before you can set. Maybe hit some spinners?
    Play your DTL approach until your opponent PROVES he has an answer. THEN, vary it.
     
    #41
  42. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    an outside ball that doesnt make you run and is in a comfortable strike zone can be one of those balls where rules were made to be broken;


    limpinhitter YOU GET A TROPHY:)
    you said in one post what take many years to understand and thousands of dollars in lessons
     
    #42
  43. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    There are things where experts condense their knowledge down and share it with everyone, and it's called books. But I guess no one wants to read a book anymore. Books are free too if you go to the library..
     
    #43
  44. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Here's my experience, FWIW.

    OP asked when you go DTL off of a crosscourt rally, asking specifically about Henin rallying with Serena and pulling Serena into the doubles alley and then going DTL for a winner. Why did Henin choose that moment to go DTL?

    Heck if I know.

    All I know is what my pro told me about this. He said that many people think that you choose to go DTL or crosscourt based on where the ball is. For instance, you don't take a deep ball DTL; you wait for a short ball.

    His thinking was that you go DTL from any position, so long as you are in good balance and get there early enough to set up. What you don't want is to try to change direction from deep in the court when you are off balance because you'll miss every time.

    He had us rally crosscourt and then choose which ball to take DTL, and I have to say I think he is right. You can bust a BH DTL for a clean winner if you are set up, even if the ball isn't technically a short ball.

    When I am having a good day, I take my BH DTL a lot. Sometimes it will be a winner because my opponent is staying on her BH side anticipating a Xcourt angle. Other times it will make her hit a running FH, which will be Xcourt, which will then give me a FH angle I will like.

    So I guess I'd say that balance and set-up are more important than strict adherence to the percentages or Wardlaw's etc. JMO, of course.
     
    #44
  45. Totai

    Totai Professional

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    No wonder I am never successful with my approches.
     
    #45
  46. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I've gotten away from good percentage play in recent matches for one reason: playing so many lefties at the same level as I am (3.5). While the text book says keep rallying that crosscourt forehand from them back cross court with my backhand, that is a 100% recipe for a loss against the 4 lefties in my league.

    My backhand is my weak shot, as it is all of theirs, so I'm better off just blocking a ball to their backhand even if it is short, trying to establish the point being on my forehand. Sure, the guy now has a slow moving sitter that he gets to rather easily, but what does he do with it? Nothing special, 9 times out of 10.

    Of course, then I play a righty and my bad habits kill me for the first set until I reprogram my brain to stop hitting to their right handed forehand!! Same thing with the lobs. After 3 straight matches lobbing to the deuce court (lefty backhand), that same lob gets crushed by a right hander.
     
    #46
  47. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    Here are the videos I was referring to:

    In the first one watch about the 1st 4 minutes. Will talks about Del Potro's defeat of Nadal by hitting deep center to limit Nadal's angle opportunities.

    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/roger-federer-vs-juan-martin-del-potro-us-open-final/

    The 2nd start watching at about 2:30 as Will talks about Fed's "surprising" strategy of hitting deep center to Del Potro. Will then comments on how this actually worked well and when Fed went away from it in the 2nd set the match started swing in Del Potro's favor. Fed won the 1st set 6-3 and lost the 2nd 7-6.

    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/2009-us-open-final-recap-del-potro-vs-federer/

    I'm not sure why Will was surprised by Fed using the same tactic Del Potro had used effectively against Nadal the day before...nonetheless he notes the same advantages of the strategy to neutralize someone with the ability to hit hard sharp angles...Nadal b/c of his extreme topspin and Del Potro b/c of height even though he hits a flatter ball. With Del Potro he also mentions court length and ball speed potential with different court lengths available due to angles available and net height.

    I had learned from experience from my own volleys that volleying a cross-court passing attempt DTL is harder...must change the angle and guide it inside the side line...easy to hit it wide...but hadn't thought of the consideration bolded above. Thanks. So now I have 2 reasons to first attempt to pass cross-court. 1) Makes for a harder volley for my opponent 2) Their volley will not be travelling away from me...at least at not as sharp an angle as it would w/ a DTL passing attempt volley reply.

    Of course after hitting a few cross-court a DTL change up is usually in order as the opponent will start to anticipate cross-court. Even a small lean in the wrong direction is often enough to allow a successful pass.
     
    #47
  48. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    i agree you have to be in control when you change direction
    cindy read this post especially line 4
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=5283008&postcount=29
     
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Yes, agreed.

    I did have a pro tell me recently that when pulled wide, you really need depth, as you say. But he also said not to hit down the middle. The reason is you have more distance to cover to get back into position, and you have less time to do it. And if your opponent does decide to go DTL with that ball, she has a decent angle to work with.

    It did explain a lot, because I was in the habit of floating that ball back to the center hash, and that just wasn't working.
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    This is not rocket science here.....
    When pulled wide either side, highest percentage return is deep CC, over the lowest part of the net, to the LONGEST corner of the court.
    When your opponent comes IN, after forcing you wide, first choice is always short angle CC, to the service line, to the sideline. Low part of net, hit the ball slower, dip to feet, then move IN.
    If they can handle, then go DTL if you have it. If you don't have a solid DTL, easiest to revert to deep CC lob...longest court, ball gonna drop IN.
    Ain't rocket science here.
     
    #50

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