approach shot placement

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Well weaker/shorter balls every while, either provoked with good attacks or from mishits. Besides, approach shots need not be fast - there's a slice option, but also what travelerjam mentions, a loopy deep ball which doesn't have to have a huge pace - gives you some time to approach the net. Anyway me and my crowd are 4.0 and the best of my hitting opponents were 4.5's, let's say. But I guess similar things apply, with a lower level you expect every aspect and shot is bit worse in average. But weaker balls happen at every level, so...neither of us play s&v. we mainly attack the net when opportunity arises, or after a successful good attack, as the element of surprise...no one of us did it at all cost. But even if we played this as a part of a gameplan, it was more likely attacking with slice on a BH side. Few guys did that to me occasionally, my BH lob is not as consistent against a decent slice so it made actually sense.
Yeah I agree it all works, that’s what I actually was talking about - every point will have it’s own pattern and degree of chance: how approach shot will be executed, how the defender will get to the ball and how executes the passer... and how the approacher will handle the passing shot, even in good position))
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
another thing to consider OP... not sure what level you are... but at 4.5 i almost never go for passing shot off the first ball..
typically i got for a 2-shot passing combo...
first "pass" is typically low at their feet, make them reach if i can, but definitely a makeable volley
then i actually go for a pass/lob.
Federer does this as well. Sometimes he doesn't even try to hit a dipper, he just blasts it right at them.

He usually hits his first "passing shot" right at the net guy. Advantages: low part of the net, and you're not going to hit it wide.

I was watching highlights of a recent match with Zverev - Fed blasted 5 in a row right at Zverev, who finally missed the 5th volley after being unable to put away the first 4...
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
for me, when going to the bh side, because i want to elim the possibility of them running around the bh
True, but you definitely don't have to flirt with the line (and risk hitting wide) in order to keep it to their BH.

A common aiming spot for me is the BH side, halfway between the center hash and the sideline. Hard for them to run around to hit FH, yet I'm not flirting with missing wide, and gives me plenty of open court to put away the volley.

I'm finding a real good time to do this is chip & charge on the 2nd serve deuce side, taking the return inside the baseline with my backhand slice. The server seems to have less time to set up for a passing shot than on a typical baseline approach shot. I also think putting just a little pressure on the 2nd serve in this way, draws a few more DF from your opponent throughout the match...
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Yeah I agree it all works, that’s what I actually was talking about - every point will have it’s own pattern and degree of chance: how approach shot will be executed, how the defender will get to the ball and how executes the passer... and how the approacher will handle the passing shot, even in good position))
I like to understand my opponent's strengths, weaknesses, typical/probable choices in given situations at the net. And I like to adjust my net approach to him. It's generally like a mind game to me - if I don't like being lobbed but still like to approach relatively close to the net, I must figure out how to play it to make my opponent play the way I want him to play against me. I like to make him believe he'll have a good chance if he tries to pass me, but then to close down the corridor he'll use (and I anticipate he will). And it's percentages, of course. In other word, I see a net game as an opportunity to outsmart my opponent, even when I'm the one trying to pass him.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
As a baseliner, a while ago i made the decision to rush the net more. Play serve and volley regularly and just approach the net during rallies. This to take more control of the points and practice my volley's (my volley technique is fine, but because i so rarely go to the net I'm not comfortable there and often miss easy volley's). It's like i'm playing a different game now. I get in all kinds of different situations. A lot of fun i must say and i think it makes me a better player.

An interesting thing i found out about the placement of the approach and i was wondering if other people have experienced the same. To me it seems that the best placement is in the middle between the sideline and the center mark (right or left doesn't matter). If i have enough time to get to the net and position myself just right or left (depends what side of the court i hit my approach) of the center serviceline I almost never get passed. My approach doesn't even have to be that fast as long as it has reasonable depth. Also hitting it cross court or down the line doesn't matter as long as you're able to get in position in time.

A DTL passing shot will be very difficult since the opponent can't hit it the ball straight (that's pretty much in the hitting zone of the netplayer). To pass DTL he has to hit with a bit of an angle and if the ball is too long it will be outside the line. Almost impossible, so that side is covered. Now you only have to worry about the cc passing shot, which will also be difficult due to the small angle and the fact that you'll be anticipating that shot. Now i'm not an experienced volleyer, but 9/10 i get my racket on it (when i don't get lobbed ofc).

I've been watching some tennis on youtube with a special eye on the approach and it seems to underline my theory. The pro's have somewhat more succes due to their abilities, but it's still the best choice i think. Was wondering what you guys think.
Absolutely correct! Give that man a prize!
 
How close to the net do you usually approach the net?
Also, what about the pace? Slice/topspin/flat choices?

I find the ideal position depends a lot on your opponent. If I successfully challenge him to try to pass me (or try to murder me with sheer pace lol), and especially if he likes low, fast, flat bullets, then I want to get really close to the net. On the other hand when you deal against a good lobber or a player who usually hits a ball with a higher trajectory, then staying behind might give you better options. The thing is...there's no unique approach which works the best. It depends on a situation and your opponents skill and choices, where you actually try to either make him play what you want/expect him to play, or where you can anticipate his choice with decent % and make sure you take a good position for expected option. It's like a mind game.

I even see many pro players coming really close to the net when they anticipate their opponent will go for the passing shot instead of lobbing. It's a worthwhile risk whenever you have a good % in anticipating what your opponent is likely to do. So if this works even at highest level of tennis...as for the shots to the middle, it's less usual choice at pro levels, but it's natural: those guys are usually able to create insane angles from whatever spot of the court, proveded they have enough time to set up, and they usually can generate huge pace no matter how much you scrub the pace from your approach shot (if this is a decision). But IMO in rec tennis approach down the middle should be more effective than in pro tennis no matter which level - simply because ball placement ability is not compareable.
I agree with your answers: it's very much an "it depends" scenario.

In general, I welcome the lob because most of the time it's overhead-able and I like my OH. So I'll tend to close more than most people I'm confident I can reach and hit the OH. If they are a very good lobber, I will have to re-think.

As to the pace question, are you still talking about the approach? I'll mix it up and see what he dislikes the most. Oftentimes, it's slice.

I rarely approach flat: I'm looking either for the margin of TS [without leaving it sitting up] or the skid of slice. The speed of the flat ball is not enough reward for the higher risk I'm taking.
 

toth

Semi-Pro
I have the biggest problem with a short incoming bh slice.
It comes to my weaker bh wing, if i approach dtl it goes to my righty opponent stronger fh side.
I think i am under 50% from this situation.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I have the biggest problem with a short incoming bh slice.
It comes to my weaker bh wing, if i approach dtl it goes to my righty opponent stronger fh side.
I think i am under 50% from this situation.
Then try directing it deep at him, approach the net in front of him.
 
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