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-   -   Moon-balled to death. Advice? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442095)

Long Face 10-04-2012 05:14 PM

Moon-balled to death. Advice?
 
Hey guys,

I need your advice.

I'm a 4.0 level player with a one-handed backhand, and I play an agressive type of all-court game. I just lost a match against a guy who hits moon-balls whenever possible. He tosses most of the baseline groundstrokes as high as possible (almost high enough for overheads, but not quite), and most of them land close to the baseline. He did this on 90% of his groundstrokes, and he enjoyed seeing me suffer from it. He used this type of shots as a weapon, and he has a lot of practice. I don't think he can be categorized as a "pusher".

I tried to deal with the moon balls by hitting them on the rise, but it is a very difficult shot for me, resulting in
a. reduced accuracy in my shot placements
b. more errors (mis-hits or wide/long shots)
c. when I attack the net, his moon balls becomes perfect deep lobs

As a result, his moon balls got to me. I hit them back once, twice, three times, but then I made an error sooner or later.

Could anybody give me some advice how I should play this guy the next time we meet? It will be very soon, in a couple of days.

Thanks again.

cluckcluck 10-04-2012 05:24 PM

That totally blows. I've been there myself. My suggestion would be to slice as much as you can, forehand and backhand. The lower you keep the ball on his end, the harder it will be for him to get under it for a lob/moonball.
Another thing you could do is moonball him right back. Play his game, it will suck but you might frustrate him just as much as he frustrates you.
If you get a lot of these types of players at your level, then you should play up, 4.5's. You'll likely get more competition and less moonballers.

Long Face 10-04-2012 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cluckcluck (Post 6936300)
Another thing you could do is moonball him right back. Play his game, it will suck but you might frustrate him just as much as he frustrates you.

Thanks for the tip, but I am not sure whether I should combat his well-practised strength with my absolute weakness (because I have never practised moon-balling).

But trying low slices makes sense.

Frank Silbermann 10-04-2012 06:11 PM

How often would you get to play him? You could just try hitting them on the rise, taking them in the air, making errors and losing until eventually get get good enough at those shots that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to beat you.

Long Face 10-04-2012 06:38 PM

What I'm thinking is: What if this happens in the pro level? How will moon-balls be punished?

Moon-balls must not be an effective way of play in pro level because not many pros do this. I guess there must be something I can do to punish such slow and high balls? But how?

t135 10-04-2012 06:43 PM

You have to move the ball around the court and use variety of spin pace and angles. You've got to have good footwork and fitness because those guys don't usually beat themselves.

There is a WTA player who plays like this. I was amazed. Frankly I enjoyed watching her play and was impressed with how well she stuck to her game plan. The only pro player I've ever seen play that style. Julie Cohen.

ace_pace 10-04-2012 06:46 PM

Hit shorter balls or even drop shots if he has a bad net game. Its hard to moonball when your at the net :) The short balls will force him to hit with less height. What I mean by short I mean SHORT. If hes good at running, you'll need to aim around the court more.

sportsfan1 10-04-2012 06:55 PM

If these are true moon balls, then run around your backhand and hit forehands?

Nostradamus 10-04-2012 06:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Long Face (Post 6936315)
Thanks for the tip, but I am not sure whether I should combat his well-practised strength with my absolute weakness (because I have never practised moon-balling).

But trying low slices makes sense.

no no. you never want to play the same game as the moonballer. that is exactly what he wants. He can stay out there and play 10 hours if he has to. and that is what he wants.

You have to be good enough to take the ball out of the air and hit swing volleys. 1-handed swing volley is alot easier than you think if your technique is correct. 4.0 guys don't even try it cause idiot pros tell them it is low % shot. It is easy shot even on the backhand side.

Also hit volleys off of the moonball too. but Location is Critical. Do not hit volley deep. Hit angles low and short.

Tennisguy3000 10-04-2012 07:23 PM

http://youtu.be/AyDeBdtOHTY

http://youtu.be/ILwKH83Pz5c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tilMGez0xos

jmnk 10-04-2012 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cluckcluck (Post 6936300)
That totally blows. I've been there myself. My suggestion would be to slice as much as you can, forehand and backhand. The lower you keep the ball on his end, the harder it will be for him to get under it for a lob/moonball.
Another thing you could do is moonball him right back. Play his game, it will suck but you might frustrate him just as much as he frustrates you.
If you get a lot of these types of players at your level, then you should play up, 4.5's. You'll likely get more competition and less moonballers.

yap, perfect advise. One cannot beat a solid steady 4.0 player that hits good shots near the baseline, and that bounce high - so let's move to a higher level. What 'more competition' does OP need at higher level if he can't beat a 4.0 :roll:

directionals 10-04-2012 07:33 PM

If he moonballs often, then you should be able to anticipate and volley the ball out of the air, or even get under the ball to hit an overhead if the ball is high enough. That will rob him of his time.

makinao 10-04-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Long Face (Post 6936419)
What I'm thinking is: What if this happens in the pro level? How will moon-balls be punished?

Moon-balls must not be an effective way of play in pro level because not many pros do this. I guess there must be something I can do to punish such slow and high balls? But how?

The male college varsity players I play with just eat up moonballs my taking it early. this is because they have great timing, can generate their own power, and send it back with speed and spin. Women have more problems, and will use moonballs more often, but only when they are very high and deep. Anything inside the service line get murdered with a swing volley.

TheCheese 10-04-2012 08:48 PM

Just run around and hit a heavy forehand into his backhand corner. He'll pop up a short ball in no time.

tvu 10-04-2012 09:40 PM

Try working on your overhead - you will have lots of time to run around your backhand if necessary - I know you said it is not as high as an overhead - but you can stoop down just a little bit to attack - remember you have the whole court to play with versus trying to get it into the service box. Probably need to perform some drills first - before you try it a match - because once you miss a couple, you become tentative and might abandon the strategy all together.

KenC 10-04-2012 10:06 PM

I recently watched a pair of 6.0 females in a final and one started popping up moonballs when she started losing badly. The other responding by hitting the first one back rather hard, thus encouraging a second moonball and immediately ran into the middle of no man's land to either overhead it or volley it into a corner. I think the fact that she was getting aggressive on the moonballs scared the other girl and she stopped moonballing.

Less work is to just carry a pistol in your bag and shoot him. With all the problems in the world today, we certainly don't need moonballers. I suppose this goes for junk ballers and pushers as well.

Hi I'm Ray 10-05-2012 01:53 AM

Long Face, do you play with an Eastern FH grip? What about your BH? I think which grips you play with will make a difference on the kind of advice given.

I regularly face moonballers, and one player constantly hits particularly high, deep, and spinny moonballs. Eastern FH & 1HBH are particularly vulnerable to moonballs (I used to hit w/these strokes myself). Now I usually do well against them by: Hitting better moonballs. Hitting aggressive groundstrokes against them (but they must be consistent, placed well, and angled) until they hit too shallow of a moonball - and here you must be able to take the opportunity to finish off the point from mid court (I had trouble hitting aggressively off moonballs until I switched to SW grip). Rally until you find the opportunity to pressure them with an aggressive groundstroke that you think will cause a weaker reply (lower moonball) and follow up with volleys. If you can't do one or two of those things well enough to beat the moonballer then they probably just play better and/or you lack the ability to deal with them. They can be pretty tough.

A trick that might work for an Eastern Grip player is to slice, chop, hack, or dink the moonballs a bit short to mid court, keeping it low or with little pace. Hopefully, your opponent is not that good at finishing off midcourt balls. Most of these guys can't hit moonballs from mid cout (they go out) so they will come in and either hit a flatter faster shot or slice. This would give you a ball that lands in your strike zone/height and give you a chance to counter-attack while they are stuck in mid court or coming to the net.

makinao 10-05-2012 02:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KenC (Post 6936648)
I recently watched a pair of 6.0 females in a final and one started popping up moonballs when she started losing badly. The other responding by hitting the first one back rather hard, thus encouraging a second moonball and immediately ran into the middle of no man's land to either overhead it or volley it into a corner. I think the fact that she was getting aggressive on the moonballs scared the other girl and she stopped moonballing.

Exactly. When the varsity girls I've seen smell a short moonball (usually with the opponent backing up), they move in for an short angled or crosscourt swing volley at the service line, specially if she has a 2-handed backhand.

tommyfr 10-05-2012 03:36 AM

As the bit famous coach Heath Waters take it:

Premise: "dont let the Pusher push".

How to?

1. Serveice return. End point before it gets started. Pushers often has a weak 2nd serve. Hit winner down the line or go crosscourt at depth 3/4.

2. Move Pusher where he is not used to be. Give him dropshot, then pass him or lob him.

3. If you can, go for serve and volley.

4. Use angles, pushers usually push well from middle of court, less from the sides and when running to the ball.

5. When in rally, give him short ball like near the T, if he moves forward make a dip shot he has to volley up or pass him.

6. When in rally (2), move him from corner to corner. Take the ball high. Or take the ball early. Move in on short balls. Hit swing volley, then move in and take ball on volley or overhead.

To be able to execute the above you need to have skills and cool head.

Thats why Pushers normally dont exist on 4.5 and higher level.

Alchemy-Z 10-05-2012 03:37 AM

when I see play like this I bend my knees a little more than a normal overhead to hit and overhead...or I forehand slice it on the rise making it skip low and causing them to dig it out and give me an easy overhead/volley if i get to net in time.


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