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-   -   What's the best strategy against this type of defensive baseliner? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=470543)

HughJars 07-17-2013 02:12 PM

What's the best strategy against this type of defensive baseliner?
 
I play a friend very often, who's strategy is to work me from side to side with low powered top-spinning and deep shots. I wouldn't call him a pusher - he can play a very good attacking shot when needed. His 'go-to' shot is the cross court booming forehand, especially on short balls. Ive learnt to pick this now.

He is very consistent, makes few errors (including off his serve). He also chases down balls very well and has a good lob. A has a fantastic return of serve - generally this is high and deep. I make a lot of mistakes returning his return - it just sits up.

His backhand is purely defensive. Slice is ok. However, whenever I try to come into the net on his backhand, he picks it up early and lobs me well.

Serve isn't massive by any stretch, but it goes in and never cracks under pressure.

Overall I regard him as a very good player. He doesn't do anything massive that makes you think 'wow', he's just a very good competitor, consistent, hates making errors, doesn't get too emotional and knows how to win.

My own game: I have a (relatively) powerful serve, can cover the ground quickly and can/like to do work at the net. My forehand is consistent. My weaknesses - overheads aren't good, my backhand is enough to keep the ball in play but not very attacking and I tend to try the big shot when it isn't there. I dont do well with slow balls either.

Overall, I think it is a bad match up for me. And frankly - he is better than me. We play very competitive and long matches but it always comes down to him winning.

Strategies I have previously tried is the serve/volley, except I get undone by his lob and return of serve.

Ive recently read Brad Gilbert's book, and have been thinking about a new strategy to put together before we play each other again. At the moment, my plan is:

- Serve to his backhand, always.
- Hit to his backhand as much as possible, deep and slow
- Take the pace off the ball and keep it deep as possible.
- When going to the forehand, cover the cross court and make him try and play down the line.
- Big serves are often ineffective against his strong return, and I get caught out of position a lot. Aim for a high %. Slower serves may frustrate him and be more difficult for him to work with.

How would you play this type of player?

TomT 07-17-2013 02:39 PM

That opponent sounds really good. But from what you wrote, I'll relay some advice I got regarding how to play an opponent in a recent match of mine. Hit everything to his backhand. Unless you've already tried that and it didn't work. If so, then videos would be necessary for anybody to give you useful suggestions I think.

Please post videos if you can, HughJars. Preferably from the back-centered court level perspective. You guys sound like good players. Would love to see the matchplay action.

Lukhas 07-17-2013 02:46 PM

How about bringing him to the net, and try the passing shot/lob? If he gets to the net in the middle of the court, hit the first passing on the body and finish with the second shot.

Is there really nothing he doesn't like? Like running back and forth, net play, being pressured on serve, high topspin balls, slices, being pressured on the BH, ect.

HughJars 07-17-2013 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lukhas (Post 7597253)
How about bringing him to the net, and try the passing shot/lob? If he gets to the net in the middle of the court, hit the first passing on the body and finish with the second shot.

Is there really nothing he doesn't like? Like running back and forth, net play, being pressured on serve, high topspin balls, slices, being pressured on the BH, ect.

Deep and high top spin backhands he doesn't like. Then again, who does...

Getting him into the net and trying to pass could be a good option. But how???

sunof tennis 07-17-2013 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597285)
Deep and high top spin backhands he doesn't like. Then again, who does...

Getting him into the net and trying to pass could be a good option. But how???

Short slices or even drop shots. Federer does that very well. Watch how he will hit a low, short slice basically forcing his opponent to the net.
Sounds like you could work on your overhead. If you can drill some winners, he will be less likely to lob or at least worry about hitting a better lob.

Lukhas 07-17-2013 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597285)
Deep and high top spin backhands he doesn't like. Then again, who does...

Gustavo Kuerten. ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597285)
Getting him into the net and trying to pass could be a good option. But how???

1) Dropshot.
2) Short, skidding slice to the backhand that flies off the court, something that forces you to slice back and go to the net since you don't have time to recover to the baseline.

andreh 07-18-2013 12:28 AM

You didn't mention anything about kick serves when you try to volley him. High kicker to the backhand side could work unless he's so good he can step in and take it early. It might get you easier volleys and get you closer to the net.

As the others already said, rec players (assume this is rec level, albeit high rec level) often move well side to side, but not so well into the court. So short shots (keep them low so he can't tee off) that will make him need to step into the court. It might give you some free points on errors and might move him out of position for your next shot even if he doesn't follow up to the net (i.e., moves back to the baseline).

BlueB 07-18-2013 12:52 AM

This is the key ^^^
Kick serve into backhand.

Dimcorner 07-18-2013 05:48 AM

I played someone that is very consistent in just bunting the ball back the other day and was decent at net. Decent forehand and meh backhand.

All servers were kicks (at least my attempt at it) to backhand side with a few in between to forehand wide to keep him honest. I also came into the net often, but not fast. He had a tendency to to a looping block so I just slowed down the approach and took it out of the air before fully getting to net.

I actually like hitting overhead shots and I'm pretty good at it (years and years of competitive badminton) so I put quite a few of those away when he tried to lob. This put more pressure on him and he started overhitting his lobs so free points (yay!)

RetroSpin 07-18-2013 07:30 AM

You don't mention your level, but I am guessing 4.0 or less because of your description of various weaknesses.

I would say you are way overthinking this. He is playing solid if unspectacular tennis. What are you doing? Making a lot of errors apparently. Concentrate on staying in rallies, hitting deep, then when you get a short ball, pound it to his backhand and come in. If he is able to beat you consistently on lobs, your approach shots aren't good enough. They have to be a foot or so from the baseline with pace.

Overheads are largely confidence. You have to be wiling to trust them. Think in terms of where you're hitting them from. Service line in, you should be looking for a short angle or high bounce it. Service line to baseline, go for deep corners. Baseline and beyond, just try to spin them in or run around and hit a ground stroke.

corbind 07-18-2013 08:12 AM

Two guys mentioned slice and drop shot and I'm the third to agree. The assets your opponent has sounds like an uphill battle. Are your sets usually 4-6 or 3-6 on average?

TimeSpiral 07-18-2013 09:26 AM

Hey there! I'll take a stab at this for you.

I perceived a common theme in your description, and I believe this to be a fundamental factor in your difficulty versus him: quality of shot (QoS). I'm going to go through your various statements, and comment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
I play a friend very often, who's strategy is to work me from side to side with low powered top-spinning and deep shots.

He's dictating play, meaning he's not under any pressure. If he can put the ball wherever he wants, while also varying his shot selection--as you indicate below--than your quality of shot is too low to put him under pressure.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
I wouldn't call him a pusher - he can play a very good attacking shot when needed. His 'go-to' shot is the cross court booming forehand, especially on short balls. Ive learnt to pick this now.

Key point. He's not playing that shot "when needed" as you suggest, he's waiting for the right opportunity to end the point. Since your QoS is something he's comfortable with, he can work your around until he gets a sitter. But, if your QoS is too far below his threshold, the ball doesn't even have to be a sitter for him to "decide to end the point."

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
He is very consistent, makes few errors (including off his serve). He also chases down balls very well and has a good lob. A has a fantastic return of serve - generally this is high and deep. I make a lot of mistakes returning his return - it just sits up.

Remember to add "versus me" in your head when considering his game. If he plays in a league, and you really want to beat him, go observe during match play versus someone other than you.

Once again, if he's making very few errors and also hitting winners, and you're returns are coming up short, we have a QoS issue going on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
His backhand is purely defensive. Slice is ok. However, whenever I try to come into the net on his backhand, he picks it up early and lobs me well.

^ This is his weakness.

This means he's not under any pressure on your approach shot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
Serve isn't massive by any stretch, but it goes in and never cracks under pressure.

How often do you break his serve? If it's not very often, then "massive" or not, doesn't really matter. You're not returning well enough to gain an advantage. My question here would be: how well can you attack his second serve?

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
Overall I regard him as a very good player. He doesn't do anything massive that makes you think 'wow', he's just a very good competitor, consistent, hates making errors, doesn't get too emotional and knows how to win.

If I may be frank, I think you're underestimating your opponent. If he's making it look easy, then chances are he's thinking of the game at a higher level than you. One way to find out, is to just talk to him about his game. If you're friends, he won't mind revealing his thought process.

Get him talking about his strategy, what's he thinking, and try to get an idea of how deeply he thinks about what he's doing. This will provide insight into what level he's on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
My own game: I have a (relatively) powerful serve, can cover the ground quickly and can/like to do work at the net. My forehand is consistent. My weaknesses - overheads aren't good, my backhand is enough to keep the ball in play but not very attacking and I tend to try the big shot when it isn't there. I dont do well with slow balls either.

Overheads are a specialty shot, happen fairly rarely, and at our level, aren't really a huge deal. You have a similar chance of winning the point whether you hit an overhead, bounce overhead, standard volley, or drive volley. You could miss every overhead in a match and that might only account for a few points--hardly a weakness worth considering at the top of your list.

You weakness, as I see it, is this: "My forehand is consistent." I'd be curious to know what you think your Winner to Unforced Error ratio is. Is it close to 1:1? Is it much worse, 1:3 or 1:5? Or, as I suspect might be the case, do you rarely hit winners versus this opponent?

Your backhand may be an issue too, but that seems easy to fix. Don't worry about hitting winners with your backhand until you can end points with your forehand reliably. Fix your BH super easily by just applying patience to it.

The forehand seems to be the primary driver of the low QoS issue which is making beating your friend nearly impossible.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
Overall, I think it is a bad match up for me. And frankly - he is better than me. We play very competitive and long matches but it always comes down to him winning.

There's a meta-game component to this as well. He knows how to win, expects to win, and is better than you. You're coming from way behind in this match-up, and I think the way to fix it is by putting him under more pressure by increasing your QoS.

You may be thinking, "Dude, is this guy's advice to hit better tennis shots?! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard ..." But yeah, it is, and no it's not! Haha.

If you have long, competitive matches, but always lose, that means you're grinding long rallies until he hits a winner, or until you hit an unforced error. Yes, by increasing your QoS--by going for winners and hitting him heavy balls, with pace--your unforced error ratio will feel like it's going up, but it's probably not, they're just happening faster because you're not in super long rallies. What should be happening is this: the rallies will get shorter, and you will hit more winners. If you can manage to hit these winners when it counts: game points and break points--you have a chance to win the match.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
Strategies I have previously tried is the serve/volley, except I get undone by his lob and return of serve.

Ive recently read Brad Gilbert's book, and have been thinking about a new strategy to put together before we play each other again. At the moment, my plan is:

- Serve to his backhand, always.
- Hit to his backhand as much as possible, deep and slow
- Take the pace off the ball and keep it deep as possible.
- When going to the forehand, cover the cross court and make him try and play down the line.
- Big serves are often ineffective against his strong return, and I get caught out of position a lot. Aim for a high %. Slower serves may frustrate him and be more difficult for him to work with.

How would you play this type of player?

I'll parrot what others have said about the serve: definitely try a nice kick serve. If you don't have a kick serve in your bag, this is no small ask. It's a difficult and time-consuming shot to learn, but it's worth it. One of the effective attributes of the kicker is not so much the height (although that's important), it's the spin. The "kick" can make it slightly harder to time your wing and you might miss the sweet spot on the racquet and peter a weak return over the net--or even better--send the ball careeing out of play.

My second serve is not great, by any means, but it's a decent kicker. Sometimes my opponent's racquets will actually buckle on my second serve, because of the spin. Give it a shot!

TL;DR -- Increase your Quality of Shot and put him under pressure. I think slices and drops could be effective, but those will only take you so far. You need to be able to edge your way from a neutral rally, to an offensive position, and then be able to win the point with a winner.

Hope this helps!

goran_ace 07-18-2013 09:45 AM

Quote:

I wouldn't call him a pusher - he can play a very good attacking shot when needed. His 'go-to' shot is the cross court booming forehand, especially on short balls. Ive learnt to pick this now.
I'm not a huge fan of the idea of intentionally drawing an opponent into the net (unless his net game is a liability) especially in light of this info ^^^. When using a drop shot/short ball there's not a lot of room for error. Too short and it's in the net, hit it too deep or let it sit too high and he's got the ability to make you pay. Then, once he's up at the net, you still have to make that pass or else you are completely defensive even if he's got an average net game. Sure the tactic may pay off for you in isolated instances, but against a good player I wouldn't make it part of your main game plan. If you're in position to play a dropshot offensively you've got other options.

I think you are on the right track about hitting a lot to his backhand, but one thing to be cautious about is overplaying the backhand. I see people do a good job of rallying to the BH side, getting the short ball, then they hit an approach to the BH and getting lobbed or passed because the opponent was already camped out in that corner and didn't have to move to get it. Work the backhand, but don't be afraid of hitting to the forehand. Eventually you have to hit it to his FH to keep him moving and to open up the BH side a little more.

maleyoyo 07-18-2013 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
I play a friend very often, who's strategy is to work me from side to side with low powered top-spinning and deep shots. I wouldn't call him a pusher - he can play a very good attacking shot when needed. His 'go-to' shot is the cross court booming forehand, especially on short balls. Ive learnt to pick this now.

He is very consistent, makes few errors (including off his serve). He also chases down balls very well and has a good lob. A has a fantastic return of serve - generally this is high and deep. I make a lot of mistakes returning his return - it just sits up.

His backhand is purely defensive. Slice is ok. However, whenever I try to come into the net on his backhand, he picks it up early and lobs me well.

Serve isn't massive by any stretch, but it goes in and never cracks under pressure.

Overall I regard him as a very good player. He doesn't do anything massive that makes you think 'wow', he's just a very good competitor, consistent, hates making errors, doesn't get too emotional and knows how to win.

My own game: I have a (relatively) powerful serve, can cover the ground quickly and can/like to do work at the net. My forehand is consistent. My weaknesses - overheads aren't good, my backhand is enough to keep the ball in play but not very attacking and I tend to try the big shot when it isn't there. I dont do well with slow balls either.

Overall, I think it is a bad match up for me. And frankly - he is better than me. We play very competitive and long matches but it always comes down to him winning.

Strategies I have previously tried is the serve/volley, except I get undone by his lob and return of serve.

Ive recently read Brad Gilbert's book, and have been thinking about a new strategy to put together before we play each other again. At the moment, my plan is:

- Serve to his backhand, always.
- Hit to his backhand as much as possible, deep and slow
- Take the pace off the ball and keep it deep as possible.
- When going to the forehand, cover the cross court and make him try and play down the line.
- Big serves are often ineffective against his strong return, and I get caught out of position a lot. Aim for a high %. Slower serves may frustrate him and be more difficult for him to work with.

How would you play this type of player?

Since you seem to understand quite a bit about the game, Iíll suggest a slightly different perspective in determining the match up between players.
The global approach to evaluate a tennis player consists of 4 main components in order of importance:
1. Mental/Psychological
2. Physical (physiology/footwork)
3. Tactical
4. Technical/Technique

Since the mental aspect is top of the list, your goal is systematically break him down mentally employing components 2, 3, 4. The reverse is also true that you must understand how your game breaks down and make corrections (your weapon as your serve ineffective against him and that could also be a mental let down).

From the technique standpoint there is not much you can change overnight with the exception of how you serve. How about no first serve, just two second serves (w/ faster swing) exclusively into his BH with a few first serves as a surprise when you are ahead?

You can do a lot with tactics: hit your FH 70% of the time including inside out, inside in FH if you have them and donít be afraid to get into a F crosscourt battle with him. Slice after a few FH or BH exchanges
Attack his consistent second serve as much as possible with your FH. Make him hit a running BH as often as you can and come to the net.

Physical: Most recreational players move well laterally but not vertically and that usually throws them off their games.

If your goal is to win the match then you can pick and choose one or all of the above depending on your skill set and preferences. Most tennis players know all this but the key is do they have the mental discipline to follow through especially when playing the big points and adjust accordingly.

Good luck and have fun.

DirtBaller4 07-18-2013 12:24 PM

I would amp up my return game to his backhand hard and deep and keep the pressure up on his service game all night until you crack it.

Step into his soft shots and aim for his heels.

Make sure when you serve you are calm, cool, relaxed, and let the racket flow like a piece of rope. The looser you are the better you will serve. Keep hitting the serve to his backhand and force yourself to step into the court for the short returns for easy angle put aways.

RetroSpin 07-18-2013 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7598976)
Hey there! I'll take a stab at this for you.

I perceived a common theme in your description, and I believe this to be a fundamental factor in your difficulty versus him: quality of shot (QoS). I'm going to go through your various statements, and comment.



He's dictating play, meaning he's not under any pressure. If he can put the ball wherever he wants, while also varying his shot selection--as you indicate below--than your quality of shot is too low to put him under pressure.



Key point. He's not playing that shot "when needed" as you suggest, he's waiting for the right opportunity to end the point. Since your QoS is something he's comfortable with, he can work your around until he gets a sitter. But, if your QoS is too far below his threshold, the ball doesn't even have to be a sitter for him to "decide to end the point."



Remember to add "versus me" in your head when considering his game. If he plays in a league, and you really want to beat him, go observe during match play versus someone other than you.

Once again, if he's making very few errors and also hitting winners, and you're returns are coming up short, we have a QoS issue going on.



^ This is his weakness.

This means he's not under any pressure on your approach shot.



How often do you break his serve? If it's not very often, then "massive" or not, doesn't really matter. You're not returning well enough to gain an advantage. My question here would be: how well can you attack his second serve?



If I may be frank, I think you're underestimating your opponent. If he's making it look easy, then chances are he's thinking of the game at a higher level than you. One way to find out, is to just talk to him about his game. If you're friends, he won't mind revealing his thought process.

Get him talking about his strategy, what's he thinking, and try to get an idea of how deeply he thinks about what he's doing. This will provide insight into what level he's on.



Overheads are a specialty shot, happen fairly rarely, and at our level, aren't really a huge deal. You have a similar chance of winning the point whether you hit an overhead, bounce overhead, standard volley, or drive volley. You could miss every overhead in a match and that might only account for a few points--hardly a weakness worth considering at the top of your list.

You weakness, as I see it, is this: "My forehand is consistent." I'd be curious to know what you think your Winner to Unforced Error ratio is. Is it close to 1:1? Is it much worse, 1:3 or 1:5? Or, as I suspect might be the case, do you rarely hit winners versus this opponent?

Your backhand may be an issue too, but that seems easy to fix. Don't worry about hitting winners with your backhand until you can end points with your forehand reliably. Fix your BH super easily by just applying patience to it.

The forehand seems to be the primary driver of the low QoS issue which is making beating your friend nearly impossible.



There's a meta-game component to this as well. He knows how to win, expects to win, and is better than you. You're coming from way behind in this match-up, and I think the way to fix it is by putting him under more pressure by increasing your QoS.

You may be thinking, "Dude, is this guy's advice to hit better tennis shots?! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard ..." But yeah, it is, and no it's not! Haha.

If you have long, competitive matches, but always lose, that means you're grinding long rallies until he hits a winner, or until you hit an unforced error. Yes, by increasing your QoS--by going for winners and hitting him heavy balls, with pace--your unforced error ratio will feel like it's going up, but it's probably not, they're just happening faster because you're not in super long rallies. What should be happening is this: the rallies will get shorter, and you will hit more winners. If you can manage to hit these winners when it counts: game points and break points--you have a chance to win the match.



I'll parrot what others have said about the serve: definitely try a nice kick serve. If you don't have a kick serve in your bag, this is no small ask. It's a difficult and time-consuming shot to learn, but it's worth it. One of the effective attributes of the kicker is not so much the height (although that's important), it's the spin. The "kick" can make it slightly harder to time your wing and you might miss the sweet spot on the racquet and peter a weak return over the net--or even better--send the ball careeing out of play.

My second serve is not great, by any means, but it's a decent kicker. Sometimes my opponent's racquets will actually buckle on my second serve, because of the spin. Give it a shot!

TL;DR -- Increase your Quality of Shot and put him under pressure. I think slices and drops could be effective, but those will only take you so far. You need to be able to edge your way from a neutral rally, to an offensive position, and then be able to win the point with a winner.

Hope this helps!

I agree with most of this, but he wants to come to the net and said he was effective there. He can't come in if he doesn't trust his overhead. This guy is lobbing him silly, and apparently he isn't handling it too well. Getting this corrected has to be one of his first priorities.

pushing_wins 07-18-2013 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7597186)
I play a friend very often, who's strategy is to work me from side to side with low powered top-spinning and deep shots. I wouldn't call him a pusher - he can play a very good attacking shot when needed. His 'go-to' shot is the cross court booming forehand, especially on short balls. Ive learnt to pick this now.

He is very consistent, makes few errors (including off his serve). He also chases down balls very well and has a good lob. A has a fantastic return of serve - generally this is high and deep. I make a lot of mistakes returning his return - it just sits up.

His backhand is purely defensive. Slice is ok. However, whenever I try to come into the net on his backhand, he picks it up early and lobs me well.

Serve isn't massive by any stretch, but it goes in and never cracks under pressure.

Overall I regard him as a very good player. He doesn't do anything massive that makes you think 'wow', he's just a very good competitor, consistent, hates making errors, doesn't get too emotional and knows how to win.

My own game: I have a (relatively) powerful serve, can cover the ground quickly and can/like to do work at the net. My forehand is consistent. My weaknesses - overheads aren't good, my backhand is enough to keep the ball in play but not very attacking and I tend to try the big shot when it isn't there. I dont do well with slow balls either.

Overall, I think it is a bad match up for me. And frankly - he is better than me. We play very competitive and long matches but it always comes down to him winning.

Strategies I have previously tried is the serve/volley, except I get undone by his lob and return of serve.

Ive recently read Brad Gilbert's book, and have been thinking about a new strategy to put together before we play each other again. At the moment, my plan is:

- Serve to his backhand, always.
- Hit to his backhand as much as possible, deep and slow
- Take the pace off the ball and keep it deep as possible.
- When going to the forehand, cover the cross court and make him try and play down the line.
- Big serves are often ineffective against his strong return, and I get caught out of position a lot. Aim for a high %. Slower serves may frustrate him and be more difficult for him to work with.

How would you play this type of player?

why bother with strategy? learn to hit an overhead

HughJars 07-18-2013 02:31 PM

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I can see the possible merits of bringing him into the net, but I'm inclined to agree with Goran_Ace a bit - the margin for error/risk might outweigh the benefits. I'm not sure where the generalisation of rec players being unable to move backwards and forwards has originated from. A rec player could be an amazing athlete. My mate and I have both played a lot of football and moving around the court to get to difficult balls comes naturally to us. In fact we're always have a diving around on the grass!

Sets are generally around 6-4 or 6-3. If I win a set its usually in a tie breaker or 7-5.

Im thinking the kicker second serve on both serves, with an occasional big serve to keep him honest, on 'safe' points only (eg: 40-0) is something I'm going to try. And, as has been suggested, focusing on the quality of shot and reducing errors (my winners to errors against him is about 1:3 - higher than normal simply because he gets to everything. I think this alone puts pressure on my shots and increases the errors).

Once I get a head of steam I will start going after his second serve. But for the first few games it will be finding my groove and playing the percentages.

While I'm going to attack the backhand, I'm still keen to try and make him go for the FH winner down the line against his urge of going cross court to break down his confidence, as well as keep the ad court open somewhat.

Can't wait to play now and let you know how I go!!!

TimeSpiral 07-18-2013 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RetroSpin (Post 7599481)
I agree with most of this, but he wants to come to the net and said he was effective there. He can't come in if he doesn't trust his overhead. This guy is lobbing him silly, and apparently he isn't handling it too well. Getting this corrected has to be one of his first priorities.

The only reason the guy is able to lob him off every approach is because they are low quality approach shots. It's my opinion that focusing on QoS will pay off in the long run, as opposed to continuing to approach off LQ shots and hoping to hit a running-backwards-middle-of-the-court overhead.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HughJars (Post 7599573)
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I can see the possible merits of bringing him into the net, but I'm inclined to agree with Goran_Ace a bit - the margin for error/risk might outweigh the benefits. I'm not sure where the generalisation of rec players being unable to move backwards and forwards has originated from. A rec player could be an amazing athlete. My mate and I have both played a lot of football and moving around the court to get to difficult balls comes naturally to us. In fact we're always have a diving around on the grass!

Sets are generally around 6-4 or 6-3. If I win a set its usually in a tie breaker or 7-5.

Im thinking the kicker second serve on both serves, with an occasional big serve to keep him honest, on 'safe' points only (eg: 40-0) is something I'm going to try. And, as has been suggested, focusing on the quality of shot and reducing errors (my winners to errors against him is about 1:3 - higher than normal simply because he gets to everything. I think this alone puts pressure on my shots and increases the errors).

Once I get a head of steam I will start going after his second serve. But for the first few games it will be finding my groove and playing the percentages.

While I'm going to attack the backhand, I'm still keen to try and make him go for the FH winner down the line against his urge of going cross court to break down his confidence, as well as keep the ad court open somewhat.

Can't wait to play now and let you know how I go!!!

I like your attitude, and a 1:3 winners to UE ratio is not terrible, but something tells me it's probably worse than this.

I agree that drawing him to the net is a bad idea, unless you have an awesome passing shot on both wings, specifically your BH.

In my opinion, I would cover the line on your approach shot. Leave a small hole down the line, and a slightly larger hole Cross Court. If he can hit that CC Pass all night long--you can't win the match anyway, even if you cover the CC Pass (He'll just easily go DTL, which is a much easier passing shot anyway).

Quality of Shot, brother. Go get 'im!

HughJars 07-18-2013 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeSpiral (Post 7599684)
The only reason the guy is able to lob him off every approach is because they are low quality approach shots. It's my opinion that focusing on QoS will pay off in the long run, as opposed to continuing to approach off LQ shots and hoping to hit a running-backwards-middle-of-the-court overhead.



I like your attitude, and a 1:3 winners to UE ratio is not terrible, but something tells me it's probably worse than this.

I agree that drawing him to the net is a bad idea, unless you have an awesome passing shot on both wings, specifically your BH.

In my opinion, I would cover the line on your approach shot. Leave a small hole down the line, and a slightly larger hole Cross Court. If he can hit that CC Pass all night long--you can't win the match anyway, even if you cover the CC Pass (He'll just easily go DTL, which is a much easier passing shot anyway).

Quality of Shot, brother. Go get 'im!

Although my approaches aren't strong, I'd say the ability of him to get to difficult balls and the overall quality of his lob also has influence in why he lobs me successfully. And the quality of his own passing shots isn't spectacular - another reason. He lobs me at most approaches that he can get to cos that's a stronger shot for him in defensive situations.

Staying at the baseline could have an advantage - he loves to drop shot and come in, but I have the pace to get to them and believe I can beat him in a volley to volley battle.. If I can suck him into this it could work - I use this tactic against less mobile or older players successfully.


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