Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx
Actually, if I played without a strategy, I would rally crosscourt forever, until I get on the run and wide, then I'd go for what I would see as the most likely to get me a winner or until I get a short ball, which I then attack and follow to the net. But I am more or less reactive. If I feel like I can rally all day (not playing at a disadvantage), I will do just that and keep going crosscourt all day. If not, then I will start mixing up the ball (high topspin, slice, flat, or forehand down the line) and try to find ways to give myself more forehands. I avoid hitting drop shots as much as possible because most of the times I use it, it is because I don't want to rally anymore and use it as a bail out shot.
As for short balls (approach shots), I've learned that going down the line with them is almost always a good choice (unless you want to go behind them or attack a weakness), because it's easiest to get into the right position to cover the net. I agree that the first down the line is much riskier, but as I said, I need to take some risks against people who have better backhands (or groundstrokes in general). I would also prefer to go with my body weight as it is easier and more comfortable (meaning it's easier to repeat the shot 100 times).
Also, the sequence probably doesn't start with an inside in forehand. I just remember being near my backhand corner or the middle of the court behind the baseline, then having a short ball to my forehand that I can easily attack. I hate hitting down the line with my backhand (though I'll do it a few times), so I assume that my forehand would be the shot I went up the line with, which makes sense since that shot would more likely than not produce a short ball. It's actually far more likely to produce a short ball than any down the line backhand I could hit consistently.
Also, I usually get to it before it gets low, so I can really attack it. Even if it goes low (unless it's close to the net), for some reason, I can still smack it and get it over the net. My brain tells me not to because it doesn't make any sense for that to be considered a percentage shot, but my body seems to keep producing the shot, so I keep going for it and it keeps going it. Maybe I've just been on a lucky streak with it. It's usually a winner, a forced error, or an easy volley.
Unless you are leaving out info then it appears you are playing w/o any strategy. If you have days where you feel you could rally all day then why don't you mix it up then when you're on?
Why do you hate hitting dtl on a bh? Because you're not good at it? Why don't you just practice it? dtl bh has a high cool factor. If you don't like hitting dtl on a bh how long do you think it takes someone to figure that out? 2-3 games? After that they have now have 5 feet of free court width that they don't have to worry about covering and will be that much more prepared for the reduced set of possibilities of replies from you. Not only that but now you are limiting your options because you hate that shot so you have to do more work trying to hit than optimal shots putting you in less than optimal situations.
And you shouldn't avoid drop shots. Do it to make the guy run. Do it as a change-up. Do it to make them angry. Even if you miss it. I do that all the time haha. Ppl don't like getting beat more than once from a drop shot. They have to expend a lot of energy for a 'soft shot' and then if they don't get it they want to kill on the next point and try to hit harder than they should producing errors. They want 'revenge' and will deviate from their plan A if they had one. A player who uses their mind will figure out in the first set that you don't hit drop shots given the opportunity.
Not sure what you mean w/ the body weight thing. If you are moving forward you have momentum going dtl, up the middle or cc. if you cut the angle while running.
It seems like you're pretty set on doing what you've always been doing in this situation so go w/ it if it works. If i were you i'd work on ways to avoid getting into that situation in the first place. It's obviously an issue or something you want to improve right? That's why you posted.
The soft i/o dtl to change direction is not a good play. DTL i/o has to be a winner attempt or quite aggresive with intent to hurt. If you watch the pros or anyone 5.0+ they are going all out on that shot every time. Not because 'they can' but because it's the right play.
I'd recommend more aggressive play. Try to control points more. It's not that difficult. You just have to make a conscious choice to do it and have some basic play patterns to utilize.
You should check out FYB's new course. The free one. I forget what it's called. "Singles playbook" or something like that. It's pretty good. He goes into some patterns that work and help you to control the point. If you're not controlling the point your either in 50/50 rally situation or defensive. Those are not winning strategies.
Also you might want to just fork over $19 and get brad gilbert's 'winning ugly' book. That book will increase your winning percentage the day you finish reading it guaranteed. It teaches you how to win when the other guy is better than you.