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Old 05-25-2009, 01:00 PM   #13
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
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Originally Posted by Cindysphinx View Post
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.
Well the way I handle these players which normally works is to hit those off the rise and try and force a short ball. I tend to put extra topspin on these to give myself a larger margin of error as the timing can be tricky. Once you get the short ball you can generally move in to hit a winner or a forcing shot and then volley.

The other option I sometimes take is to hit them very flat with a higher contact point than normal and adapt the swing so it's more like a baseball swing (if that makes sense). This allows me to take time away from the moonballer on the other side and generally again force a short ball to come in on.

I would avoid the swinging volley from the baseline if possible as it's not an easy shot to hit with any degree of consistency. Occasionally if I'm on a "shot from nowhere" ball and very out of position i.e. someone hits behind me on clay while on the run I'll occasionally hit one of these with a very open stance as I can't get into position to let it bounce. I'll just hit the hell out of it and go outright for the winning shot. Success ratio is only about 1 in 5 though. Not great but when you're out of options sometimes it just feels good, one of those "Nadal for a second" shots

I hit a lot of unforced errors on this occasion, particularly off the short balls and it really killed me in this match. That and the mental game was off. This guy really picked up well on all the shots I was having trouble with and played me perfectly. Strangely I'm looking forward to a rematch as it was a tricky game.
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