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xFullCourtTenniSx 11-05-2012 02:55 PM

Approach shot placement
 
I couldn't figure out a good title, so I just simplified the problem.

Say you hit a good backhand or forehand down the line from your backhand side (ad court for righties, deuce for lefties), then they hit a short ball crosscourt.

The ball is hit at normal rally speed or a little less, and by the time you get to it, you will likely be hitting the from near the sideline (still inside the court though). Do you always hit this shot down the line (by far the easier shot as you can get your weight forward into the shot), or do you sometimes hit it crosscourt and behind your opponent who likely expects a down the line approach/winner?

Basically, imagine hitting an inside in forehand (running around the backhand getting a relatively clean ball that landed short, and having to run in a forward diagonal across the court to hit it.

Now, if you started from the forehand side of the court and hit this shot, you could easily hit the shot to both sides of the court while getting some weight transfer (since you can get to the ball much earlier, and there would be a less drastic change of direction to get your weight into the ball). If you're very fast and have strong legs (to change directions and push off in the crosscourt direction), you can probably also do it if you started from the backhand side of the court.

So if you were like a strong 5.0+ (or like 5.5+), then you could probably get to the ball quickly enough and have strong enough legs to change go crosscourt behind your opponent. If you were a 3.0-3.5ish, then the ball would be slow enough such that if you ran to the ball, then you could be able to go anywhere on the court with it.

At the 4.0-4.5 level (including upper 3.5 and lower 5.0), with mediocre/solid footwork and mediocre footspeed against a "medium" paced ball, would it ever be a good idea to take the risk to send the ball back crosscourt? Or should you just go with the flow and go down the line because the weight transfer into the shot is a million times easier? You will still always hit a strong shot that requires your opponent to produce a strong shot in order to win the point from you.

I tried it once recently, and felt how awkward the shot was to hit. It did not feel even remotely like a smart shot to ever hit in that situation.

Of course, you could meet the ball a few feet further back, giving yourself more time to settle yourself before hitting the ball, and then go crosscourt, but you've sacrificed about 5 feet of court and hit that ball from a few feet inside the baseline, meaning that all you did was hit a groundstroke that could either set up an easier short ball or be a conceding shot that gave up an aggressive opportunity and reset the rally into a neutral position.

I don't think I'm going to get any faster anytime soon (though my footwork can be better and I'm working on it), so should I just scrap hitting crosscourt in this position or should I occasionally take the risk and hit it crosscourt sometimes when I feel it will be a clean winner? Because if it is an approach shot, I feel like my ability to approach the net would be very slow (you're approaching crosscourt when your weight is moving off the court, just doesn't feel smart).

This is the sequence, but the ball lands shorter and you make contact with the ball at least 5 feet inside the baseline, as opposed to from on top of the baseline like Federer does here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nSDuILT5X4&t=117m50s

LeeD 11-05-2012 03:03 PM

Depends how good you can hit your low volley/half volley reply. DTL makes him run a bit, but he's ready for that. CC goes behind him. If he crowds the baseline, a deep shot works best. If he runs 4' behind the baseline, a drop volley or short angle works well.
And tendencies. Once you've developed a pattern, and he starts to catch on, you gotta vary it one in 3.
Key is to bounce your shot within 3' of his baseline, or drop shot it well inside his service line.
There can't be recommended scenarios because the scenery is contantly changing.

boramiNYC 11-05-2012 03:30 PM

I'm not a fan of that inside in shot you mention which Fed sometimes plays. you are way out of position for the next shot if it comes back. only a clear winner will work but the pressure is too high to make that winner. I wouldn't recommend that play to anyone but if you had to do it, you must very quickly assess what kind of return you will get and get you in position. but even doing this exposes a weakness and opponent with good running FH can hit dtl behind you while you try to recover. if you know it's gonna be short CC, my play would be fake dtl shot and drop CC and follow the ball and close the net. better disguise the better and the drop shot doesn't need to be a perfect one either.

Cheetah 11-05-2012 03:35 PM

going with the flow is hitting it back cc not dtl.

depends on your skill level and the situation - where the opponent is, opponents weaknesses etc

play w/in your self. otherwise you're playing low risk tennis.

if you hit dtl w/ bh or inside in you should be smart enough to know you have to recover immediately after or be skilled enough to hit a clean winner and even then expect to recover. if opponent is good enough to hit strong and short then you shouldn't have played that 1st shot in first place. if opponent is not great and he got to the ball that means either he was in that area anyway and for some reason you decided to go that way and then leave the whole court open with your mediocre foot skills or you aren't good enough to blast a winner past him on the same side of the court but you tried anyway and didn't play within your abilities. both not wise moves.

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-05-2012 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6997073)
Depends how good you can hit your low volley/half volley reply. DTL makes him run a bit, but he's ready for that. CC goes behind him. If he crowds the baseline, a deep shot works best. If he runs 4' behind the baseline, a drop volley or short angle works well.
And tendencies. Once you've developed a pattern, and he starts to catch on, you gotta vary it one in 3.
Key is to bounce your shot within 3' of his baseline, or drop shot it well inside his service line.
There can't be recommended scenarios because the scenery is contantly changing.

The strength of my volley or half volley is irrelevant. I'm in a better position at the net. The ball is more likely to come back if I hit down the line, but I'm also in a much better position. If I go crosscourt, then I'm much more likely to get a winner, but for any ball that comes back I'm also more likely to be in a bad position.

Quote:

Originally Posted by boramiNYC (Post 6997125)
I'm not a fan of that inside in shot you mention which Fed sometimes plays. you are way out of position for the next shot if it comes back. only a clear winner will work but the pressure is too high to make that winner. I wouldn't recommend that play to anyone but if you had to do it, you must very quickly assess what kind of return you will get and get you in position. but even doing this exposes a weakness and opponent with good running FH can hit dtl behind you while you try to recover. if you know it's gonna be short CC, my play would be fake dtl shot and drop CC and follow the ball and close the net. better disguise the better and the drop shot doesn't need to be a perfect one either.

If he hits down the line, I can still get it back deep unless it was hit in a way that I wouldn't get to it unless I was sitting there waiting for it (ie, it'd have to be hard AND well placed).

I like the inside in play a lot. I'm realizing more and more it's a more necessary play for me, as strong baseliners can literally demolish me if I rally crosscourt on the ad side. If I choose the lowest risk play, then it would be to hit the backhand crosscourt. The issue with that is that some players can actually bash through my backhand. For players that can't, it's not a big issue, I can play as low risk as I'd like. For players that CAN, I need to take some sort of risk in order to balance out the situation and give myself a better chance to win the point. I can run around the backhand and hit an inside out forehand, I can hit an inside in forehand, or I can hit a backhand down the line. My backhand down the line is not a very strong shot, but it's a decent change of direction. An inside out forehand is okay, but if I commit and for some reason don't hit it well enough, they just step in and rip the backhand up the line for a winner. If I hit inside in, he at least has to run for his forehand. From there, he can go crosscourt or down the line. If he goes down the line, he takes a risk, and I can hit it back crosscourt and put him on the run (which is good for me, since this sort of alleviates the difference in backhands, though for only one or two shots). If he hits a winner, then kudos to him. If he goes crosscourt, he either hits it deep, short crosscourt, or short crosscourt winner. Again, if it's a winner, still a tough shot. If it's short crosscourt, I can hit my own running forehand to either side, and it'll become a running point, which I won't like, but it's still better than rallying with a weaker backhand all day. If it's deep, then I get what I want, which is a crosscourt forehand rally.

However, there is also the chance that my shot forces a short ball. If he goes down the line and it lands short, I can take it with a forehand or a backhand to either side and approach the net. But if it lands on my forehand side instead, I have to run a bit more and with my weight going outside the court and forward, going crosscourt would be awkward. Though I'll consider your drop shot suggestion for when I do want to go crosscourt. It'll probably be a bit better than trying to hit a solid forehand crosscourt with no weight transfer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 6997137)
going with the flow is hitting it back cc not dtl.

depends on your skill level and the situation - where the opponent is, opponents weaknesses etc

play w/in your self. otherwise you're playing low risk tennis.

if you hit dtl w/ bh or inside in you should be smart enough to know you have to recover immediately after or be skilled enough to hit a clean winner and even then expect to recover. if opponent is good enough to hit strong and short then you shouldn't have played that 1st shot in first place. if opponent is not great and he got to the ball that means either he was in that area anyway and for some reason you decided to go that way and then leave the whole court open with your mediocre foot skills or you aren't good enough to blast a winner past him on the same side of the court but you tried anyway and didn't play within your abilities. both not wise moves.

I think you mean high risk. ;)

Do you understand the situation? He hits a ball short and crosscourt when I am in the middle or backhand side of the court. I have to run forward and to the sideline to catch it early. It is MUCH easier to hit down the line because I still have a forward component of momentum to transfer into my shot. If I went crosscourt, then I would have a 0 or even negative component of momentum to transfer into the shot because I'm going in a completely different direction. It is NOT a strong and short ball. It is about normal rally speed or a little bit slower (so quite a bit slower than if either of us took a rip at it looking to be aggressive).

If you hit down the line, you can't recover fully to the crosscourt side because the down the line shot becomes almost just as viable as the crosscourt shot because they don't have to change the direction of the ball. So you recover to around the middle of the court.

And even if my opponent WAS good enough to hit a winner on the run off my down the line shot, I still need to play it like I stated before. Against some players, I NEED to protect my backhand if I want to win. I don't need to hit the ball especially hard or look for a winner, I just need a change of direction (unless the ball was short and/or slow to begin with, in which case I would approach the net right after instead of waiting for the next shot). If by chance, the change of direction forces a short ball, I need to take advantage of it (obviously). If I play with 0 risk, I will lose to some people 2 and 2. If I take a few calculated risks, I can win a tight set or lose a tight set. Either way, it gets far more competitive and disrupts their rhythm (because some players would like nothing better than to rally backhands with me all day).

With this shot, I am just looking to change the rally up and take pressure off my backhand.

Cheetah 11-05-2012 06:01 PM

will reply in 1 hr

Cheetah 11-05-2012 07:06 PM

I thought you said you started the sequence by going down the line. That's different than being in the middle.

the shorter the ball the less momentum matters. And if you run correctly ie by cutting off the angle there is still momentum no matter where you hit it but won't matter much. and there's also angular momentum.

going dtl is a low percentage shot coming from a cc. you're changing the direction of the ball (low percentage) plus your hitting over high part of net( low percentage). Plus you didnt say what the opponent is doing. is he recovering to right of center after his shot ball? is he coming in? is he waiting cc? did he take a step up? is he behind the baseline?

if i hit a short cross court and you have to run in im going to take a step in and bisect the angle and adjust according to the height that you're going to be able to reach the ball. if you're going to reach it low then i'm going to give mental weight to anticipating dtl because i can reach it no matter what you do cuz it will most likely be soft because you have to hit over high part of the net. all the other shots (cc, etc) i have covered by my physical position so i don't have to worry about those shots.

when you go dtl you give up the whole lot of court. so you are saying you went dtl w/ an inside in just to change direction and then want to go dtl again from a short ball? what if he gets to that ball? you're at the net near the sideline and he's most likely got a soft ball from you to hit.

inside in dtl should be aggressive. not just a change in direction. otherwise you're just protecting a weakness and it becomes obvious and subject to repeated attacks. when you protect a weakness you give up something else. like court position. It would be a better play to continue to hit cross court or i/o fh until you got an attackable ball instead of dtl to change direction.

it's hard to say what to do because it's already not an ideal situation and i don't know your level. hitting 2 opposite dtl's in a row is not something you should do often. too much open court.

It sounds like you're playing without a strategy. Just reacting. If your bh is weak then you should already have established patterns of play to protect it. You don't have a bh slice to deuce side? You could also hit straight up the middle hard and a little deep to get them to stop hitting to your bh. you can use moonballs, drop shots, battering ram, a looping shot dtl would be better too. it would give you time to recover. etc

junbumkim 11-05-2012 09:30 PM

I guess it is still situational.
If you are still inside the court around the service line, you could go down the line and close in at the net. Crosscourt would be the percentage play for him, but you could cover it unless it was really sharp. If you go crosscourt, you are leaving too much court wide open - unless it is a quality shot (very short sharp or very hard and deep.)

If you are inside the court between service and baseline, you are probably better of going cross court. If he smacks DTL winner, that's too good.

If you are pulled off the court, you just gotta pick a place and try to finish the point..

This is why inside in forehand from backhand corner has to put your opponent on defense or force an error. You have way too much to lose to hit this shot to change the direction. You are better off hitting more inside-out forehand to elicit a weaker reply to the mid-court.

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-05-2012 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 6997445)
I thought you said you started the sequence by going down the line. That's different than being in the middle.

the shorter the ball the less momentum matters. And if you run correctly ie by cutting off the angle there is still momentum no matter where you hit it but won't matter much. and there's also angular momentum.

going dtl is a low percentage shot coming from a cc. you're changing the direction of the ball (low percentage) plus your hitting over high part of net( low percentage). Plus you didnt say what the opponent is doing. is he recovering to right of center after his shot ball? is he coming in? is he waiting cc? did he take a step up? is he behind the baseline?

if i hit a short cross court and you have to run in im going to take a step in and bisect the angle and adjust according to the height that you're going to be able to reach the ball. if you're going to reach it low then i'm going to give mental weight to anticipating dtl because i can reach it no matter what you do cuz it will most likely be soft because you have to hit over high part of the net. all the other shots (cc, etc) i have covered by my physical position so i don't have to worry about those shots.

when you go dtl you give up the whole lot of court. so you are saying you went dtl w/ an inside in just to change direction and then want to go dtl again from a short ball? what if he gets to that ball? you're at the net near the sideline and he's most likely got a soft ball from you to hit.

inside in dtl should be aggressive. not just a change in direction. otherwise you're just protecting a weakness and it becomes obvious and subject to repeated attacks. when you protect a weakness you give up something else. like court position. It would be a better play to continue to hit cross court or i/o fh until you got an attackable ball instead of dtl to change direction.

it's hard to say what to do because it's already not an ideal situation and i don't know your level. hitting 2 opposite dtl's in a row is not something you should do often. too much open court.

It sounds like you're playing without a strategy. Just reacting. If your bh is weak then you should already have established patterns of play to protect it. You don't have a bh slice to deuce side? You could also hit straight up the middle hard and a little deep to get them to stop hitting to your bh. you can use moonballs, drop shots, battering ram, a looping shot dtl would be better too. it would give you time to recover. etc

Actually, if I played without a strategy, I would rally crosscourt forever, until I get on the run and wide, then I'd go for what I would see as the most likely to get me a winner or until I get a short ball, which I then attack and follow to the net. But I am more or less reactive. If I feel like I can rally all day (not playing at a disadvantage), I will do just that and keep going crosscourt all day. If not, then I will start mixing up the ball (high topspin, slice, flat, or forehand down the line) and try to find ways to give myself more forehands. I avoid hitting drop shots as much as possible because most of the times I use it, it is because I don't want to rally anymore and use it as a bail out shot.

As for short balls (approach shots), I've learned that going down the line with them is almost always a good choice (unless you want to go behind them or attack a weakness), because it's easiest to get into the right position to cover the net. I agree that the first down the line is much riskier, but as I said, I need to take some risks against people who have better backhands (or groundstrokes in general). I would also prefer to go with my body weight as it is easier and more comfortable (meaning it's easier to repeat the shot 100 times).

Also, the sequence probably doesn't start with an inside in forehand. I just remember being near my backhand corner or the middle of the court behind the baseline, then having a short ball to my forehand that I can easily attack. I hate hitting down the line with my backhand (though I'll do it a few times), so I assume that my forehand would be the shot I went up the line with, which makes sense since that shot would more likely than not produce a short ball. It's actually far more likely to produce a short ball than any down the line backhand I could hit consistently.

Also, I usually get to it before it gets low, so I can really attack it. Even if it goes low (unless it's close to the net), for some reason, I can still smack it and get it over the net. My brain tells me not to because it doesn't make any sense for that to be considered a percentage shot, but my body seems to keep producing the shot, so I keep going for it and it keeps going it. Maybe I've just been on a lucky streak with it. It's usually a winner, a forced error, or an easy volley.

Cheetah 11-06-2012 12:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 6997681)
Actually, if I played without a strategy, I would rally crosscourt forever, until I get on the run and wide, then I'd go for what I would see as the most likely to get me a winner or until I get a short ball, which I then attack and follow to the net. But I am more or less reactive. If I feel like I can rally all day (not playing at a disadvantage), I will do just that and keep going crosscourt all day. If not, then I will start mixing up the ball (high topspin, slice, flat, or forehand down the line) and try to find ways to give myself more forehands. I avoid hitting drop shots as much as possible because most of the times I use it, it is because I don't want to rally anymore and use it as a bail out shot.

As for short balls (approach shots), I've learned that going down the line with them is almost always a good choice (unless you want to go behind them or attack a weakness), because it's easiest to get into the right position to cover the net. I agree that the first down the line is much riskier, but as I said, I need to take some risks against people who have better backhands (or groundstrokes in general). I would also prefer to go with my body weight as it is easier and more comfortable (meaning it's easier to repeat the shot 100 times).

Also, the sequence probably doesn't start with an inside in forehand. I just remember being near my backhand corner or the middle of the court behind the baseline, then having a short ball to my forehand that I can easily attack. I hate hitting down the line with my backhand (though I'll do it a few times), so I assume that my forehand would be the shot I went up the line with, which makes sense since that shot would more likely than not produce a short ball. It's actually far more likely to produce a short ball than any down the line backhand I could hit consistently.

Also, I usually get to it before it gets low, so I can really attack it. Even if it goes low (unless it's close to the net), for some reason, I can still smack it and get it over the net. My brain tells me not to because it doesn't make any sense for that to be considered a percentage shot, but my body seems to keep producing the shot, so I keep going for it and it keeps going it. Maybe I've just been on a lucky streak with it. It's usually a winner, a forced error, or an easy volley.

I see.
Unless you are leaving out info then it appears you are playing w/o any strategy. If you have days where you feel you could rally all day then why don't you mix it up then when you're on?
Why do you hate hitting dtl on a bh? Because you're not good at it? Why don't you just practice it? dtl bh has a high cool factor. If you don't like hitting dtl on a bh how long do you think it takes someone to figure that out? 2-3 games? After that they have now have 5 feet of free court width that they don't have to worry about covering and will be that much more prepared for the reduced set of possibilities of replies from you. Not only that but now you are limiting your options because you hate that shot so you have to do more work trying to hit than optimal shots putting you in less than optimal situations.

And you shouldn't avoid drop shots. Do it to make the guy run. Do it as a change-up. Do it to make them angry. Even if you miss it. I do that all the time haha. Ppl don't like getting beat more than once from a drop shot. They have to expend a lot of energy for a 'soft shot' and then if they don't get it they want to kill on the next point and try to hit harder than they should producing errors. They want 'revenge' and will deviate from their plan A if they had one. A player who uses their mind will figure out in the first set that you don't hit drop shots given the opportunity.

Not sure what you mean w/ the body weight thing. If you are moving forward you have momentum going dtl, up the middle or cc. if you cut the angle while running.

It seems like you're pretty set on doing what you've always been doing in this situation so go w/ it if it works. If i were you i'd work on ways to avoid getting into that situation in the first place. It's obviously an issue or something you want to improve right? That's why you posted.
The soft i/o dtl to change direction is not a good play. DTL i/o has to be a winner attempt or quite aggresive with intent to hurt. If you watch the pros or anyone 5.0+ they are going all out on that shot every time. Not because 'they can' but because it's the right play.

I'd recommend more aggressive play. Try to control points more. It's not that difficult. You just have to make a conscious choice to do it and have some basic play patterns to utilize.

You should check out FYB's new course. The free one. I forget what it's called. "Singles playbook" or something like that. It's pretty good. He goes into some patterns that work and help you to control the point. If you're not controlling the point your either in 50/50 rally situation or defensive. Those are not winning strategies.

Also you might want to just fork over $19 and get brad gilbert's 'winning ugly' book. That book will increase your winning percentage the day you finish reading it guaranteed. It teaches you how to win when the other guy is better than you.

xFullCourtTenniSx 11-06-2012 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 6997707)
I see.
Unless you are leaving out info then it appears you are playing w/o any strategy. If you have days where you feel you could rally all day then why don't you mix it up then when you're on?
Why do you hate hitting dtl on a bh? Because you're not good at it? Why don't you just practice it? dtl bh has a high cool factor. If you don't like hitting dtl on a bh how long do you think it takes someone to figure that out? 2-3 games? After that they have now have 5 feet of free court width that they don't have to worry about covering and will be that much more prepared for the reduced set of possibilities of replies from you. Not only that but now you are limiting your options because you hate that shot so you have to do more work trying to hit than optimal shots putting you in less than optimal situations.

And you shouldn't avoid drop shots. Do it to make the guy run. Do it as a change-up. Do it to make them angry. Even if you miss it. I do that all the time haha. Ppl don't like getting beat more than once from a drop shot. They have to expend a lot of energy for a 'soft shot' and then if they don't get it they want to kill on the next point and try to hit harder than they should producing errors. They want 'revenge' and will deviate from their plan A if they had one. A player who uses their mind will figure out in the first set that you don't hit drop shots given the opportunity.

Not sure what you mean w/ the body weight thing. If you are moving forward you have momentum going dtl, up the middle or cc. if you cut the angle while running.

It seems like you're pretty set on doing what you've always been doing in this situation so go w/ it if it works. If i were you i'd work on ways to avoid getting into that situation in the first place. It's obviously an issue or something you want to improve right? That's why you posted.
The soft i/o dtl to change direction is not a good play. DTL i/o has to be a winner attempt or quite aggresive with intent to hurt. If you watch the pros or anyone 5.0+ they are going all out on that shot every time. Not because 'they can' but because it's the right play.

I'd recommend more aggressive play. Try to control points more. It's not that difficult. You just have to make a conscious choice to do it and have some basic play patterns to utilize.

You should check out FYB's new course. The free one. I forget what it's called. "Singles playbook" or something like that. It's pretty good. He goes into some patterns that work and help you to control the point. If you're not controlling the point your either in 50/50 rally situation or defensive. Those are not winning strategies.

Also you might want to just fork over $19 and get brad gilbert's 'winning ugly' book. That book will increase your winning percentage the day you finish reading it guaranteed. It teaches you how to win when the other guy is better than you.

If I can beat someone by hitting crosscourt all day, forcing them to beat me or until I get a short ball to attack, I see no reason to change it.

I hate hitting backhands down the line because I hate hitting anything down the line (forehands included) unless it's off a short ball or I'm attacking.

I'll try throwing in more drop shots later on. I don't want it to end up being a bail out shot that becomes overused whenever I'm under pressure. Djokovic did that to Federer in the 2007 US Open and got WRECKED for it. The only difference in my mentality when someone uses a lot of drop shots on me is to watch for it if I hit short, which means I'll hug the baseline more even if I hit short.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nSDuILT5X4&t=117m50s
This shot (actually the entire sequence) is what I mean, only a bit shorter. Instead of hitting the ball from on top of the baseline, I'll be like at least 5 feet in so my weight will be moving more forward, as opposed to running to the side, planting, and ripping it. Given that same shot/situation at my skill level, I'd just rip it to whichever side I feel like. I'd lean more to the down the line, and hit it crosscourt whenever I feel like they will cheat to the down the line (like Murray did). Note that Federer initiates his split step from the ad court and finishes it in the middle of the court. This is basically the exact situation I'm talking about.

It's not a situation I want to avoid. On the contrary, it's a situation I want to reproduce as often as possible (would certainly shorten my points a fair bit). This is a situation in which I am 100% comfortable and am on complete offense. The reason I asked about it, was to ask if going crosscourt in this situation is ever really advised, because I can always comfortably go down the line and big. However, if it is recommended that I hit the crosscourt variation, then I will work on that. Otherwise, I will hit every last one of these short balls down the line.

And I don't really hit a soft inside in forehand ever unless I put a LOT of topspin on it to keep them back. I almost always rip it with a lot of spin or with a combination of spin and drive. If I think about it, if I ever go for this shot, my instincts will always say to go for it (because it is a chance for me to 1) get a winner, 2) force an error, or 3) go on the offensive/transition to the net). The only time I'll ease up on it is if I take it way early (basically a swinging half volley) while moving forward and transitioning to the net. So I guess in retrospect, if I did initiate the sequence with the inside in forehand, then I drew out a weak ball that I sort of have to run up for. Either way, it's a kill but I'm more comfortable hitting it down the line. I probably initiate this sequence more often than not with a backhand drive down the line.

I guess I'm more cautious about more outright aggression because I used to just bash the ball mindlessly for winners, and it wasn't really the best course of action. At this point I'm just rallying until I see an opportunity to let loose on a forehand.

I'll look at the FYB videos. Most of my patterns are derived from watching pros play then instinctually repeating them. I try to avoid down the line though unless it's off of a short ball or a slower shot with a forehand.

Cheetah 11-06-2012 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 6997734)
If I can beat someone by hitting crosscourt all day, forcing them to beat me or until I get a short ball to attack, I see no reason to change it.

I hate hitting backhands down the line because I hate hitting anything down the line (forehands included) unless it's off a short ball or I'm attacking.

I'll try throwing in more drop shots later on. I don't want it to end up being a bail out shot that becomes overused whenever I'm under pressure. Djokovic did that to Federer in the 2007 US Open and got WRECKED for it. The only difference in my mentality when someone uses a lot of drop shots on me is to watch for it if I hit short, which means I'll hug the baseline more even if I hit short.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nSDuILT5X4&t=117m50s
This shot (actually the entire sequence) is what I mean, only a bit shorter. Instead of hitting the ball from on top of the baseline, I'll be like at least 5 feet in so my weight will be moving more forward, as opposed to running to the side, planting, and ripping it. Given that same shot/situation at my skill level, I'd just rip it to whichever side I feel like. I'd lean more to the down the line, and hit it crosscourt whenever I feel like they will cheat to the down the line (like Murray did). Note that Federer initiates his split step from the ad court and finishes it in the middle of the court. This is basically the exact situation I'm talking about.

It's not a situation I want to avoid. On the contrary, it's a situation I want to reproduce as often as possible (would certainly shorten my points a fair bit). This is a situation in which I am 100% comfortable and am on complete offense. The reason I asked about it, was to ask if going crosscourt in this situation is ever really advised, because I can always comfortably go down the line and big. However, if it is recommended that I hit the crosscourt variation, then I will work on that. Otherwise, I will hit every last one of these short balls down the line.

And I don't really hit a soft inside in forehand ever unless I put a LOT of topspin on it to keep them back. I almost always rip it with a lot of spin or with a combination of spin and drive. If I think about it, if I ever go for this shot, my instincts will always say to go for it (because it is a chance for me to 1) get a winner, 2) force an error, or 3) go on the offensive/transition to the net). The only time I'll ease up on it is if I take it way early (basically a swinging half volley) while moving forward and transitioning to the net. So I guess in retrospect, if I did initiate the sequence with the inside in forehand, then I drew out a weak ball that I sort of have to run up for. Either way, it's a kill but I'm more comfortable hitting it down the line. I probably initiate this sequence more often than not with a backhand drive down the line.

I guess I'm more cautious about more outright aggression because I used to just bash the ball mindlessly for winners, and it wasn't really the best course of action. At this point I'm just rallying until I see an opportunity to let loose on a forehand.

I'll look at the FYB videos. Most of my patterns are derived from watching pros play then instinctually repeating them. I try to avoid down the line though unless it's off of a short ball or a slower shot with a forehand.

Fed set that whole point up. his dtl bh was heavy and he was recovering as soon as it left his racquet and was back to center already as murray hit the ball from a defensive position plus his split step was exceptional. these 3 things factors equal time taken away from murray. it was an easy put away because fed was basically waiting for the only reply murray had in that situation. Fed wasn't 'reacting' in this situation. So it's kind of a different situation than yours.

You can go cross court if you see opponent is sprinting to recover. You can deceive and feint going dtl to make him sprint that way. then hit behind.

What's a typical play pattern you use currently?

rkelley 11-06-2012 08:25 AM

On the Fed/Murray point, Murray got himself in trouble on his backhand off Fed's return. Murray's cc backhand was short and weak. This weak, short shot gave Fed options. Fed chose to hit into the open court dtl. Fedís dtl shot hurt Murray even more. Murray had to now run this ball down and really didnít have many high percentage options. He could try dtl with an on the run fh, but thatís would have been a higher risk shot and because the recovery from a running fh would have left almost the whole court open he would have need to put it away. Murray went cc, which was the higher percentage play and would give Fed less winner options, but again he didnít get much on the ball and didnít get it that deep. Fed had set-up for the cc response, but with Murrayís weaker reply all Fed had to do was hit behind Murray. The only way Murray could have covered Fedís cc winner was to guess.

Murray lost that point on the short bh he hit. The cc fh might have been able to get him out of trouble if it had been really good, but it wasn't.

LeeD 11-06-2012 10:50 AM

Of course, most important is how good or bad your low volley/half volley is.
If it hits 1' from the baseline, you win the point. If you pop it up in short NML, soft and high, you lose the point.
That is more important than anything else, how good YOU are.

dominikk1985 11-06-2012 10:50 AM

A deep DTL shot is the best choice here.

usually angles and CC is the best option in tennis but if you do that as an approach you will give him a lot of open court.

so I would approach DTL and deep. If you do you force him to a good short angle passing shot or very good DTL because you cover the long cross and DTL pretty good.

to keep him guessing hit an occasional short cross but aimed more for a winner than an approach.


on a cc aproach you have to cross the whole court to get in position at the net


xFullCourtTenniSx 11-06-2012 07:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 6997754)
Fed set that whole point up. his dtl bh was heavy and he was recovering as soon as it left his racquet and was back to center already as murray hit the ball from a defensive position plus his split step was exceptional. these 3 things factors equal time taken away from murray. it was an easy put away because fed was basically waiting for the only reply murray had in that situation. Fed wasn't 'reacting' in this situation. So it's kind of a different situation than yours.

You can go cross court if you see opponent is sprinting to recover. You can deceive and feint going dtl to make him sprint that way. then hit behind.

What's a typical play pattern you use currently?

You're right, I'd be reacting, but I'd still end up hitting the same shot in my skill range. The instant I see a ball to attack come off the racket, I get in on it unless it's those short high ones. Those I stare at for a bit before I move, which is a bad habit (also because I can't always gauge accurately where and how it will bounce, so I'm more cautious about them). I will expect a deep, crosscourt shot, and when I see a short one, I will move up.

My typical pattern... Take everything on the rise and go crosscourt. Occasionally I throw a high topspin down the line or a slice a backhand (been doing more down the line backhand drives recently). I basically only actively think of taking balls on the rise and going crosscourt unless it's short, then I go up the line. Again, I used to be a mindless baseline basher, and I've been trying to improve my shot tolerance so I haven't developed any good play patterns yet.

FYB talked about hitting topspin backhands mixed with short slices crosscourt to create some up and back movement for the opponent, but I'm a bit more wary of that combination because I would probably take the slice with the forehand or hit a slice approach if it wasn't placed very well, so I'm more wary of hitting short slices. I can't really think of what I would attack on a person aside from their generic consistency or a side weakness. I would also prefer to avoid high ball rallies, as I have a one handed backhand... The only thing I can think of to use is low balls (ie slice backhands) but one handers prefer that and from my experience hitting two handers for fun, they probably prefer that too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6998593)
Of course, most important is how good or bad your low volley/half volley is.
If it hits 1' from the baseline, you win the point. If you pop it up in short NML, soft and high, you lose the point.
That is more important than anything else, how good YOU are.

If I hit my standard volley (be it good or bad), then if I'm in a good position at the net, it will be that same volley, no better and no worse. If I hit it while in a bad position, I will very likely miss it. Given the same volleys, they are irrelevant when compared to my position at net.

Also, for the record, my backhand volley is quite good and my forehand volley is much shakier unless it's in doubles. There's not much stick to my forehand volley.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominikk1985 (Post 6998596)
A deep DTL shot is the best choice here.

usually angles and CC is the best option in tennis but if you do that as an approach you will give him a lot of open court.

so I would approach DTL and deep. If you do you force him to a good short angle passing shot or very good DTL because you cover the long cross and DTL pretty good.

to keep him guessing hit an occasional short cross but aimed more for a winner than an approach.


on a cc aproach you have to cross the whole court to get in position at the net


Thought so... So I guess I should keep practicing the crosscourt to have more options?

And holy crap that hole on the crosscourt pass is so much bigger than I thought it was. I always felt it was huge, but looking at the diagram, it's ridiculous!

Cheetah 11-06-2012 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 6999582)
You're right, I'd be reacting, but I'd still end up hitting the same shot in my skill range.

well, yes technically it's the same shot. but if you want to become a better player you have to think of the mental aspect. Fed in that point was in control. Fed knew it and Andy knew it. Andy's stress level was up. Fed was building up for the kill 3 shots earlier. Once the opportunity came Fed's mind and body was all over it. During the whole point Andy was probably thinking "oh sh*t i'm under attack.... damn.... don't hit to short!!!... shoot!!!... how do i get out of this??.... don't panic!!..... maybe on the next shot if i can just..." then boom! point over. Control of the point is king. Not just the kill shot. That's why analysts and instructors always concentrate on 'taking control of the point'. Once you have control of the point it's an immediate advantage. If you don't have control it's neutral or you're reacting. It's easier to play once you have control.

Quote:

FYB talked about hitting topspin backhands mixed with short slices crosscourt to create some up and back movement for the opponent, but I'm a bit more wary of that combination because I would probably take the slice with the forehand or hit a slice approach if it wasn't placed very well, so I'm more wary of hitting short slices.
Short slice is effective even if you lose the point. You need to not let an opponent get into a groove. A groove is comfortable. Smart playing is taking time away, putting the opponent in uncomfortable situations and attempting to control points. Hitting cc all day is likely to get someone in a groove. You have to move players up and back too and not hit every ball penetrating through the court. Not every rec player is going to be able to crush every short ball. If they are smart players they won't try to either. then they are at the net and you have a chance to end the point which kind of forces you to be aggressive.

Quote:

I can't really think of what I would attack on a person aside from their generic consistency or a side weakness. I would also prefer to avoid high ball rallies, as I have a one handed backhand... The only thing I can think of to use is low balls (ie slice backhands) but one handers prefer that and from my experience hitting two handers for fun, they probably prefer that too.
You can also hit repeatedly to their strength. When you get an attackable reply attack to their weakness. Even if you fail you were aggressive and you have mixed it up and you attempted to take control with a plan.

Also you can always work on footwork. If you notice the better a player gets the more they talk about how important footwork is.

OHBH 11-06-2012 10:12 PM

The better you're anticipation/footwork becomes the more time you will have time to wait for your opponent to make a move and the choice between cc or dtl will make itself clear.

At the lower levels it is better to just go forehand dtl and come to net. At the lower levels the anticipation is so bad that you rarely can go behind your opponent as they do not have the sense to recover to the middle before you hit the ball.

corbind 11-06-2012 10:57 PM

Almost any time I'm 15 feet inside the baseline I'm going to hit the ball (regardless of which side the ball is on) to the ad court corner. That's normally a righty's backhand and I find hitting approach shots to their backhand works well for me.

Even if I'm mid court at the deuce side hitting a FH I'll hit DTL to their ad court corner (their backahand). If I'm mid court hitting an approach from the deuce sideline I'm gonna hit crosscourt to the ad corner (to their backhand).

Netspirit 11-06-2012 11:09 PM

If you watch the video carefully, Federer wrong-footed Murray who had already started his jump to the left to cover the expected DTL approach.


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