how do i come on top of this situation??
i just played my second match in a half amateur tourny.
the match wasn't finished because of some time limits (club closed).
i need some precise help here, i'll explain the situation:
i have a decent game usually, except maybe for net game which i tend to avoid.
i have effective serves, decent groundies i can control, good lobs, slices, and i'm a fast runner (but i'm pretty short).
ok, now - the guy i played against has a totally different game than me. his groundies are below average, especially the backhand. slow mover, but coming from mostly doubles matches, he is exceptionally good at the net, also coming into the net (volleys, overheads). he also has a good 1st serve.
first set he was still struggling and i won 6-2 pretty easily.
i had a problem with my forehand, it just left the building, many nets and sitters, so i was relying mostly on my solid backhand.
2nd set he took control, many times winning at the net, overcoming many good lobs. i played very bad and lost 6-1. he even managed to punish me on my decent returns with great volleys.
we stopped at the 3rd set when he broke me once and it's 3-2, his serve.
my only idea (that obviously didn't work well), was to always aim to get deep to his backhand. if my game was on, i could have taken the 2nd set.
but i just had NO forehand at all. it was ridiculous.
now, let's say i'll get my forehand back,
can anyone give me specific game plan on how to win this? (ANY idea is acceptable).
today i have a coach lesson, so i can use it to get more prepared (maybe i can think of a specific drill?)
P.S - i forgot to mention this guy was Romanian, and he came to the match with his dad (also his doubles partner apparently) who sat inside the court, and gave him instructions between the games. they were very friendly so we joked about it but obviously it helped him :(
Slice your forehands and hit deep with it instead of trying to set the point with it. Use your forehand to play more backhands.
Your luck is that he's going to serve first, so given the fact the match was interrupted, he'll maybe be a bit cool. One of the reasons Gilbert says you shouldn't serve first...
You're also too much focused on your side of the court. Look at what's happening on the other side. If he's so good at net, just hit deeper or/and with more spin to make him stay at the baseline. If he's eating your lobs, then your lobs aren't good enough. Or these lobs are defensive, which lets him plenty of time to hit a smash.
i gotta settle my forehands so my game will feel more secure.
what started to happen repeatedly was that he started to give me deep moonball returns that slowly gave him time to approach the net. i had hard time to return deep and solid. besides, he was good at solid defense moonballs.
i usually am quite good at lobs, but he read the court quite good most of the times.
think of him as a doubles rec "expert", rarely playing singles (his dad and him even won some decent rec level tourneys in Romania)
OK, first off, your forehand didn't leave the building on its own. Your form broke down, probably because he saw he couldn't win straight up and altered his approach to playing moonballs and charging the net. I would guess that your forehand timing was affected by having to play a variety of shots instead of just settling into a rally. Perhaps you are looking up prematurely to see if he is at the net.
So job one is to concentrate on your own form.
Job two is to counteract his pattern of moonballs and getting to the net. Generally, a moonball is not a good ball to come in on, because it is easy to run around it and hit a forehand or lob off it. However, it does give the player plenty of time to get in really close to the net. If he is doing that, you have to keep lobbing, just don't be hitting easy putaways. It's better to hit it long, then adjust. You can also try taking moonballs out of the air, not as hard as it looks.
The way to get to his backhand is to set it up by hitting wide to his forehand, then coming back to the backhand.
Basically, I think you need to regain confidence in your FH and you will be fine. Go back to basic fundamentals, prepare early, keep your eye on the ball, etc.
If he's a bit slow in rallies and not experienced at playing singles, you can maybe grind him from the baseline. Think about the moonball return as a putaway, don't hesitate to go back. If he's getting to the net in the middle of the court, play the passing shot hard on the body to pass him in two hits. When he's hugging to a line, well choose since it's basically a penalty kick.
good tips guys.
i also wanna use every trick possible to first break him on his serves, to go to 3-3. after that, i'll be able to concentrate on the above tactics.
problem is that he has a good 1st corner serve, i had trouble with.
If you're unable to consistently hit deep and hard to his backhand, just keep it to his backhand and mix up the pace and height of the ball.
Once he pops up a short ball, either put it away to the open court (since he's slow) or if he has recovered hit it to his backhand.
well, i had my coach lesson and i was playing like a pro again :P
we worked on all possible tactics quite successfully.
let's hope i'll manage to wrap it up tonight, carrying this momentum.
playing him tonight..
if you have any other dirty tricks to break his first serving game let me know ;) (i am now re-reading Gilbert's book LOL)
he cancelled and i got a free win...
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