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Old 07-14-2012, 04:24 AM   #7
mightyrick
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 4,176
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I'm also a 3.5. I've become very good at beating these people. In my area, these people play what we call "old man tennis".

You cannot hit through these players. It is impossible. They are master of pace absorption and redirection. So don't even try it.

First, a slice is only optimally effective if the incoming ball has pace and spin. So give him NO pace. Force him to generate his own pace and his own spin. This alone will draw floaters and sitters. You simply take a very slow, very easy stroke.

Second, you need to make a choice as to what his weaker side is. Which side is he able to most direct and control? Which side is the most predictable and yields the most floaters or sitters? All you do the entire game is rally to his weaker side. You don't RUN a pusher left to right. They *like* it. It brings out the best in them.

Lastly, you need one weapon. A dropshot / lob (rope-a-dope) combo or a net putaway, or hitting a short sitter into a corner. You must have one of those. If you don't have one of these weapons, you'll lose. So pick a weapon and develop it. For me, hitting the short sitter into a corner was the weapon I chose.

Here's an example of how my rallies with the people go:

mightyrick: Serve
slicer: slice forehand return
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice a few feet from baseline
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice a few feet from baseline
mightyrick: slow, no-pace shot to slicer's backhand near baseline
slicer: backhand slice short-sitter to no man's land
mightyrick: medium-pace flat forehand to slicer's forehand corner
(if he gets it back, repeat the process)

Eventually I gassed him out after a set and all of these corner shots were outright winners or unforced errors on his part. Yes, it is boring, slow tennis. But it is very high-percentage tennis. And this is what you need to play against "old man tennis".

Develop one of those weapons, if you don't have any! Good luck!
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