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-   -   Medium height forehands? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=470255)

Lautrec 07-15-2013 05:47 AM

Medium height forehands?
 
Been playing off and on for 15 yrs, maybe a 3.0 player. I can hit backhands fine at any height, I can hit good topspin forehands on low balls and I can ram high flat forehands down the court. But I never feel comfortable hitting medium height forehands (about chest height).

Hitting it flat feels too risky, and I feel uncomfortable going for just a little bit of topspin at that height. My chance of making that shot is so low I usually dont even try and end up pushing it lamely back into the court or waiting until it drops so I can hit a low forehand.

Any ideas what I should think about when hitting them?

TimeSpiral 07-15-2013 06:38 AM

I recommend posting a few basics, perhaps: what grip are you using on both the FH and the BH? Are you having trouble with this shot as a rally ball? Do you notice trouble in any specific court position? What's your preferred shot: FH or BH?

It seems at least slightly unusual that you're fine with BH's of any height, but not chest high FH's--leads me to believe you're using a 2HBH, and a neutral FH grip, like the Continental or Eastern.

At the 3.0 level, you're probably getting a ton of high balls, because players are more inclined to push the ball back in play--as opposed to attempting to hit winners.

I don't feel there is a "right way" to play this shot, but I'll throw a few ideas out there:
  1. If you want to spin the ball back, and keep the rally neutral, get the racquet in a semi-western grip during your set up, and spin the ball to your opponent's weaker shot.
  2. If you want to attack the ball, you can still use the SW grip, but try driving through the ball for a flatter shot, and hit to the open court (perhaps come in behind it).
  3. Don't discount the FH slice (I don't mean the backspin push!). If you're getting a ton of high balls, throw a few FH slices back at your opponent and make them "hit up" on the low bouncing ball. Sometimes, if someone bounces a ball to--or above--my shoulders on my forehand side, I will throw in a half-overhead FH slice. The ball moves in the air a lot, and essentially skids low on the court surface.
  4. Taking the ball early is fairly advanced, imo. I probably wouldn't recommend it during match play until you're comfortable with it.
  5. Taking the ball late--sometimes called "holding" the ball--can be effective. Sometimes while holding on to the ball your opponent will show his hand. You might see him leaning to his BH, or FH, or maybe wanting to come in. Either way, giving him a bunch of time will actually show you how he intends to return your shot, and since you're holding it, you can alter your shot selection to punish what you perceive to be his choice. I find this tactic more effective when you're going for the winner though.
  6. And of course, depending on your court position, chest high balls can be relatively easy drop shot opportunities. Just remember to come in behind your DS and keep the ball in front of you.
  7. At the 3.0 level the shot patterns can become very predictable and players rarely have reliable passing shots. Once you're figured out your opponent's shot patterns, consider coming in and taking some volleys.
I don't know that any of this helps. It's a pretty general question about a fairly common shot.

Lautrec 07-15-2013 08:53 AM

Allright. I'm using a 2HB with a pretty neutral/traditional grip, great for hitting flat hard backhands. I use a minimum amount of spin on my backhand and have great accuracy and confidence with it. My best hitting side, but not as fun as the low forehands. I have an excellent slice for my level on both sides as well.

On my forehand I'm pretty sure I use a semi-western grip, with the racquet face facing straight down if I hold it out from my body. I usually hit my low forehands with a whipping motion with lots of topspin.

I have the biggest trouble hitting the chest-high FH from the baseline as a normal rally shot. I just can't seem to find a good racquet trajectory for generating a little topspin but not too much. As you mentioned it's less noticeable against better players who hit lower.

Hope I've provided some additional information now. I'll think about using the FH slice more too!

TimeSpiral 07-15-2013 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lautrec (Post 7591875)
Allright. I'm using a 2HB with a pretty neutral/traditional grip, great for hitting flat hard backhands. I use a minimum amount of spin on my backhand and have great accuracy and confidence with it. My best hitting side, but not as fun as the low forehands. I have an excellent slice for my level on both sides as well.

On my forehand I'm pretty sure I use a semi-western grip, with the racquet face facing straight down if I hold it out from my body. I usually hit my low forehands with a whipping motion with lots of topspin.

I have the biggest trouble hitting the chest-high FH from the baseline as a normal rally shot. I just can't seem to find a good racquet trajectory for generating a little topspin but not too much. As you mentioned it's less noticeable against better players who hit lower.

Hope I've provided some additional information now. I'll think about using the FH slice more too!

That description does not sound like 3.0 level play, imo.

I wouldn't worry about "too much topspin" if you're hitting high balls from the baseline, unless you're dunking the ball into the net or dropping it super short. Assuming you're hitting a TS rally ball, the solution to both problems is either (a) hit the ball harder, or (b) aim for deeper in the court.

Lautrec 07-15-2013 10:24 AM

I kind of am hitting them super short though, from that height I can't really hit a deep topspin shot either.

(I do think I'm a 3.0 player, an uneven one maybe. My strengths aside, I have a couple of big flaws like this one that means I'll consistently lose to a 4.0.)

TimeSpiral 07-15-2013 10:50 AM

Hmm, okay.

If the high ball is catching you off-guard--which it sounds like it is if you're dropping it short--then pay attention to these two things when anticipating your opponent's next shot:
  1. Your shot quality (the ball he has to hit)
  2. Your current court position
Chances are, you're hugging the baseline too closely when hitting him low quality shots. Then, a deep ball comes back, you're too far in to return it properly, you start to backpedal, the ball gets up high on you, and you're hitting the shot off your back foot--maybe even while moving backwards!


Make sure you're in the right court position to return the shot that is likely to come back, set-up early, and make sure you're moving your body into the shot. If you're in the right position, and get set up in time, you should start seeing those shots penetrating the court more.

Lautrec 07-15-2013 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7592088)
Hmm, okay.

If the high ball is catching you off-guard--which it sounds like it is if you're dropping it short--then pay attention to these two things when anticipating your opponent's next shot:
  1. Your shot quality (the ball he has to hit)
  2. Your current court position
Chances are, you're hugging the baseline too closely when hitting him low quality shots. Then, a deep ball comes back, you're too far in to return it properly, you start to backpedal, the ball gets up high on you, and you're hitting the shot off your back foot--maybe even while moving backwards!


Make sure you're in the right court position to return the shot that is likely to come back, set-up early, and make sure you're moving your body into the shot. If you're in the right position, and get set up in time, you should start seeing those shots penetrating the court more.

Okay, thanks! :)

TimeSpiral 07-15-2013 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lautrec (Post 7592135)
Okay, thanks! :)

You're welcome.

Let's see if anyone else chimes in.


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