Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
I was talking to my No. 1 singles player (3.5). She lost recently, and a particular shot from her opponent was giving her fits.
Opponent would hit a deep moonball to the center of the baseline. My friend said she didn't know what to do with these balls. She said the option of an overhead wasn't workable because the ball was too low. Hitting on the rise would likely cough up a weak shot. Backing way up for a groundstroke left her not hitting anything offensive, and the next shot would be yet another moonball.
My thought (as a non-singles player who really doesn't know the answer) was to step in and take it as a swinging volley. The idea would be that you wouldn't necessarily look to win the point off of the swinging volley, but it would take time away and perhaps give you a better angle.
What options does she have? She is all ears, 'cause this keeps happening to her and she thinks it is costing her the matches.
Are you sure you want her to try and win with a swinging volley strategy at the 3.5 level? Swinging volleys are usually a tough shot, and I would test this out in practice to see if she really will be consistant with it.
As an alternative, how about suggesting to her to take a systematic probing strategy to find the best combination to win.
One of the frustrating things about playing a moonballer or pusher is the feeling of a loss of control over long pointless rallys.
On her serves, try serving out wide, then engaging in a side to side pattern for several shots, before attempting to wrong foot the opponent.
If the wrong footing, or lateral shotmaking results in a short ball, she should hit an aggressive approach shot and take the net.
She could try a pattern of long crosscourt forehands, followed by short backhand slices(if she has a consistant slice backhand).
As already suggested, she could hit short,bringing her opponent to the net, to test her volley and overhead skills.
She should notice if there are more errors on the forehand or backhand, and set up the exploitation of this first with a shot to the stronger side, then to the weaker side. (And by weaker, not just unforced errors, but short balls as well.)
Your player should be made to welcome the opportunity to test out all these patterns of play in an opponent who will be nice enough not to have the ability to forcefully counter attack. She should welcome taking control of the match in this way.