Originally Posted by HughJars
Sorry, I really should of said neutral and defensive situations.
Still, I think there are way too many variables in play to dictate what height the ball is played over the net consistently in these situations. Just my opinion though.
I think that being in a neutral rally doesnt necessarily dictate a specific net clearance height. Same as it doesnt dictate shot type or exact court positioning. You dont have to be playing top spin shots dead down the middle if the conditions or the type of opponent doesnt favour this. You might be in a neutral slicing rally cross court on grass - net clearance will be less than if your on a clay court keeping an opponent at bay behind the baseline who has a great approach shot or net game, or a weakness dealing with shoulder high balls.
Down the line neutral rallies will naturally have greater net clearance cos of the actual height of the net and the decreased distance you need to hit to keep the ball from going long when compared to cross court neutral rallies.
Tennis is such a dynamic sport.
Everyone still has a height they feel most comfortable hitting the ball over the net at. Hitting your regular distance behind the baseline, against a lower level opponent, hitting slightly crosscourt, on a mildly warm day on an average speed court - how high would you hit the ball over the net?
I'm hoping to see roughly what the height distribution of regular shots is in tennis. I aim for 4-5ft on neutral shots against most players, but I will change this if it is attachable for certain (tall) opponents. Against one player I attempt to keep the ball lower than 3ft above the net (or about 7ft with lots of spin to his backhand), as he can crush high forehands all day long!