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Old 03-06-2014, 01:03 PM   #242
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 636

Originally Posted by spun_out View Post
I agree with Power Player that attacking the net is a great strategy at lower levels, but I think that many of the posts in this thread suggest why many choose not to do so. What I mean is that people still have an idea that going to net is a high risk, high reward play. I think that at rec level, a good strategy is more important than in the pros because a rec players have many weaknesses. In this sense, it is much easier to achieve the 'ultimate' goal in tennis: to hit easy shots to make your opponent hit difficult shots.

In terms of attacking the net, I think players put too much emphasis in a good approach shot and good volleys. These are not easy shots so strategically speaking, they aren't good. A good approach shot (difficult), replied with a lob (easy), to be finished with an overhead (depends) isn't really a winning strategy. In fact, many players miss the approach shot trying to get to net. I'm not including Power Player in this group because he is using a relatively easy shot (inside out forehand) to get to the opponent's weakness (backhand), but the strategy would be even better at lower levels by moonballing with little pace and spin to the opponent's backhand and coming into net. This achieves multiple strategic advantages: 1) easy shot to hit 2) more time to get into net (less chance of having to hit a half-volley) 3) the opponent has to create all the pace, which is very difficult to do at lower levels, especially on the backhand side (and especially if it is 2hbh) 4) the opponent has time to think, which is never good at the rec level 5) if the opponent hits a lob (easy shot), at least, it will be hard to get to your backhand side.

In hitting this approach shot, it is easier if the shot you are returning isn't too deep as it becomes harder to get the ball back down the shorter the ball is. For a shallow ball, it might be better to dink a slice to the backhand and come in.
I play doubles with someone who likes to hit moonballs to the backhand and come in behind it. It is an effective sneak attack. He does not do it all the time to keep things honest.
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