Attacking Moon balls

5263

G.O.A.T.
Poking the hornets nest, I thought I'd bring this up again after watching Chang beati Lendl on the way to his FO championship. I pulled it up to look at the underhand serve point again, but also saw the part I'd forgotten where Chang was cramping so bad he resorted to moonballs to stay in the points. It reminded me of the many moonball points I saw when in NY for this year's US Open as well. Even the mighty Lendl, like Agassi at the US Open 15 yrs ago, was pretty much neutralized by the moonball tactic. Makes me wonder about the many claims I hear on TT about how any 12 yr old Jr will crush winners off you if you dare to try the moon ball. Do posters here still think blasting winners off this shot is a given? If so, why did I see it work so well at the US Open thru the years?
 
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Crushing moonball is high risk, high confidence needing shot. It's highly situational also. It needs impeccable timing. When confidence is high and there isn't lot of downside considering the situation, even many recreational players near 4.5 level are able to hit the ball through and take control of the point. I still would not say that even then 4.5's are able to crush the ball and win the point right away. That is hardly the case with 4.5's if ever. If the moonball are really slow and without spin, of course the option of drive volley is present. That certainly is not the case with the pros of the 80's. Even though those balls seen in the youtube, Wilander at FO or US Open etc, seem slow they are still hit with lots of spin and penetration.

Even current pros struggle with moonballs quite often if they haven't anticipated the shot early enough and if the ball is deep. Many times when a player frames a ball and it takes a somewhat unpredictable spin, quite 'easy' mistakes still happen in the highest level. I also have watched matches of Wilander moonballing in US Open and lots FO matches where moonballing is effective tactic in the 80's. I think it is not just the smaller frames. It is definitely the mentality and little bit of different techniques back in that day. Although Lendl pulverized the ball with his forehand, nowdays tempo is still much higher and pros have better technique and are better at being able to sustain hitting on the rise without errors.
 
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Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
A moonball can only be effective if it is deep. Even then, it's a defensive option or neutral at best.
The issue a lot of rec players have is when they try to imitate Nadal and misguidedly hit slow loopy balls that bounce on or inside the service line. Those will absolutely put you on the back foot against any decent player. With faster pace, you can possibly get away with service line depth, but slow balls without depth are inviting trouble. Even better if they bounce high and let you hit it flatter. Juicy.

The other thing is, like said above, even if your moonballs are reasonably deep, they give your opponent the option to take them out of the air. Moonballs are invariably slow and relatively easy to time swinging volleys.
 
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zaph

Professional
Moonballs are easy, because you have lots of time, depth and height over the net to work with. That if we are talking about a spinless req moonball, massive topspin shots are another matter.

For a start you don't have to hit a giant winner, just send it back deep to the backhand side and see if moonballer has a decent backhand. I can't say I find hitting them back hard all that difficult either, I have an extreme western grip and tend to put allot of spin on the ball. So on the forehand I hit a hard topspin shot, even if the moonballer gets it back, my spin means I was outlast them.

On the backhand I hit double handed, so slow highballs aren't really a problem.

I think the big mistake req players make with these is to try and hit them down. Like some horizontal smash, a shot which is always going to be low percentage.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Way to attack moonballs is not to give them sorry shots that they can moonball off of. If they can hit a moonball of your serve - you have a problem.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Poking the hornets nest, I thought I'd bring this up again after watching Chang beati Lendl on the way to his FO championship. I pulled it up to look at the underhand serve point again, but also saw the part I'd forgotten where Chang was cramping so bad he resorted to moonballs to stay in the points. It reminded me of the many moonball points I saw when in NY for this year's US Open as well. Even the mighty Lendl, like Agassi at the US Open 15 yrs ago, was pretty much neutralized by the moonball tactic. Makes me wonder about the many claims I hear on TT about how any 12 yr old Jr will crush winners off you if you dare to try the moon ball. Do posters here still think blasting winners off this shot is a given? If so, why did I see it work so well at the US Open thru the years?
I think that I hit looping topspin shots but according to many here I hit moon balls. But whatever you want to call them I know that my opponents do not hit winners off them. Not even 4.5 level guys can hit winners off these balls from the backcourt.

If I'm getting good kick off my shots they don't even have to be real deep. I can hit shots that are halfway between the service line and the baseline and they still aren't attacked. However If I'm not getting good spin and kick then they can be attacked.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
I moon it up but its deep with lots of top.

Reality is that you need to attack them. It does not need to be a winner but it needs to change the rhythm of the point. What i do is take it high and hit across the ball. It can be an approach shot or just make the guy lunge. Regardless the shape of that shot will change the point from a moon fest to suddenly where the mooner is going to have to question how effective their strategy will be for an entire match.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Way to attack moonballs is not to give them sorry shots that they can moonball off of. If they can hit a moonball of your serve - you have a problem.
Yeah the problem is being an intermediate 3.0-4.0 level player. You do realize that would describe most tennis players.
Saying people shouldn't moonball your serve is like telling a golfer he should hit 300 yd drives down the fairway or he's got a problem.

But thanks for your elitist addition to the conversation.
 

onehandbh

Legend
I think that I hit looping topspin shots but according to many here I hit moon balls. But whatever you want to call them I know that my opponents do not hit winners off them. Not even 4.5 level guys can hit winners off these balls from the backcourt.

If I'm getting good kick off my shots they don't even have to be real deep. I can hit shots that are halfway between the service line and the baseline and they still aren't attacked. However If I'm not getting good spin and kick then they can be attacked.
1/2 way between the service line and baseline is pretty good depth.
 

onehandbh

Legend
On an average rally ball betweem two similar level amateurs, any shot near the service line is usually more attackable unless it is an angles shot to the corners of the service boxes.

All things being equal -- spin, speed -- the deeper shot gives you less time to prepare.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Really depends on your topspin. If the ball really kicks off the court, you don't need as much depth.
I agree I can get away with balls that are just past service line if I'm getting good kick and using angles. And as long as I'm not playing Attila because he can crank winners on these shots with ease.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
I guess but some think that you have to be within a few of feet the baseline to be considered deep.
Great stuff, but who can place there consistently, in realistic match conditions when you hit against incoming balls of various pace, depth and placement? Halfway between the baseline and service box line is good depth with a great margin of error.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Great stuff, but who can place there consistently, in realistic match conditions when you hit against incoming balls of various pace, depth and placement? Halfway between the baseline and service box line is good depth with a great margin of error.
I agree your right it is risky trying to hit to close to the baseline and again as long as you are getting enough spin and kick halfway to the baseline is good enough.
 
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Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
I agree I can get away with balls that are just past service line if I'm getting good kick and using angles. And as long as I'm not playing Attila because he can crank winners on these shots with ease.
Awww how sweet! Thanks for the appreciation, aren't you a doll!
 
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Chadillac

Guest
A moonball can only be effective if it is deep. Even then, it's a defensive option or neutral at best.
Consistent deep moonballs can be very effective. I lost twice to a guy in college (he won singles nationals the first year). He was a 6'4 swede who put plenty of loft on the ball and had a good serve (120ish but effortless).

Nothing to step in on, it can really break down a player, every shot was like at least 3ft from baseline above shoulder. I cramped in the third the first time, 2nd time was a blow out.

Its a very good strat, provides safety and threat. Like you said depth is key to make it work, becomes chinese water torture for some, breaking them down further after each drop.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
I think that I hit looping topspin shots but according to many here I hit moon balls. But whatever you want to call them I know that my opponents do not hit winners off them. Not even 4.5 level guys can hit winners off these balls from the backcourt.

If I'm getting good kick off my shots they don't even have to be real deep. I can hit shots that are halfway between the service line and the baseline and they still aren't attacked. However If I'm not getting good spin and kick then they can be attacked.
Ah, the six feet = moonballs discussion. There's this chap training under Simon of Talk Tennis and posting vids/vlogs from small tournaments. He was hitting really high looping forehands in drills with Simon and they were going through the court at pace, though that is supposed to be against the laws of physics.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Moonballs are the future of tennis. Thats why i am perfecting my moonball appraoch shot. When you are as slow as i am you need all that time and even then....

 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Moonballs are the future of tennis. Thats why i am perfecting my moonball appraoch shot. When you are as slow as i am you need all that time and even then....

Some WTA players already approach behind moonballs. But you need to get it up higher and it should kick up on bounce. He was able to hit it on the half volley which ideally shouldn't happen.
 

kramer woodie

Professional
Personally, I absolutely love the player that hits moon balls to me. If they are deep at the baseline, I just return with an open stance with a giant
windshield wiper stroke. Puts both sidespin and topspin on the ball by hitting across the ball 5 to 10 o'clock. My return this way goes deep into my
opponent's court high over the net and comes down hard and bounces up high above their shoulder or head. Let them moon ball all they want, I enjoy returning this type of shot because it gives me large amounts of time to set up.

Now if that moon ball lands half way between the service court line and the baseline, plus bounces up to my head height, well that's a big piece of
cake to use that same giant windshield wiper stroke. Now instead of brushing the ball approx...ly 5 to 10. I instead hit the same stroke finishing closer
to 11 or 12 o'clock driving the ball down flat with heavy topspin. It is usually a put away if hit to open court or takes time away from your opponent if
hit back to them. If hit back to them, their return is usually weak for a volley put away.

So please, hit me all the moon balls you want. I appreciate all the time you give me to set up. There are many occasion when my return will bounce
over my opponent's reach and hit the back fence.

Aloha
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Poking the hornets nest, I thought I'd bring this up again after watching Chang beati Lendl on the way to his FO championship. I pulled it up to look at the underhand serve point again, but also saw the part I'd forgotten where Chang was cramping so bad he resorted to moonballs to stay in the points.
It looks like those moonballs are absolutely un-attackable. That said, the world's #1 player Lendl should not be losing to a guy with such restricted movement.

Here's a clip. Very boring to watch the rallies and Chang's injury drama and delaying was annoying, IMO.

But a historic match in terms of tactics.

 
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Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
Consistent deep moonballs can be very effective. I lost twice to a guy in college (he won singles nationals the first year). He was a 6'4 swede who put plenty of loft on the ball and had a good serve (120ish but effortless).

Nothing to step in on, it can really break down a player, every shot was like at least 3ft from baseline above shoulder. I cramped in the third the first time, 2nd time was a blow out.

Its a very good strat, provides safety and threat. Like you said depth is key to make it work, becomes chinese water torture for some, breaking them down further after each drop.
The main issue I see in handling deep moonballs is that a lot of recreational tennis courts (at least in my part of the world) don't have a comfortable amount of space behind the baseline. If you don't tryst your ability to take these balls in the rise, you may wanna play them from a deeper court position, that is if you prefer to let them bounce in the first place. Often you'd worry about meeting the back fence.

Just yesterday in doubles my opponent hit a deep lob return, with the wind behind it too, it bounced over my outstretched racket while I was trying to hit the ball right on the back fence.
 
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Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
This covers the options of dealing with these balls.


And here Brady talks a bit about how in today's game a shoulder height forehand should be a perfectly comfortable shot, in fact an aggressive player is probably looking for this sort of contact zone to do a lot of damage from.

 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
This covers the options of dealing with these balls.


And here Brady talks a bit about how in today's game a shoulder height forehand should be a perfectly comfortable shot, in fact an aggressive player is probably looking for this sort of contact zone to do a lot of damage from.


Both of these examples are shown against slow no spin lobs which is nothing like a heavy top spin looping forehand that kicks up quickly with force.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Poking the hornets nest, I thought I'd bring this up again after watching Chang beati Lendl on the way to his FO championship. I pulled it up to look at the underhand serve point again, but also saw the part I'd forgotten where Chang was cramping so bad he resorted to moonballs to stay in the points. It reminded me of the many moonball points I saw when in NY for this year's US Open as well. Even the mighty Lendl, like Agassi at the US Open 15 yrs ago, was pretty much neutralized by the moonball tactic. Makes me wonder about the many claims I hear on TT about how any 12 yr old Jr will crush winners off you if you dare to try the moon ball. Do posters here still think blasting winners off this shot is a given? If so, why did I see it work so well at the US Open thru the years?
So did you get enough hornets to come out of their nest? :)
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
... hear on TT about how any 12 yr old Jr will crush winners off you if you dare to try the moon ball. Do posters here still think blasting winners off this shot is a given? If so, why did I see it work so well at the US Open thru the years?
Yeah, pros don't crush them all the time, college players don't, and juniors don't. They do know how to better attack them, but it is usually not outright winner shots. Maybe more an aggressive shot or aggressive placement.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
So did you get enough hornets to come out of their nest? :)
Speaking of subject, I remember back then in '80's overhead smash from the baseline was considered a risky shot and I've seen many miss from there back then. But nowadays % is drastically better and balls are fiercely killed with overheads from everywhere on the court. Is this because of poly strings which are deader, have more spin, so overall control is better, or tennis players just got better generally compared to then? Or combo of both? Anyway, poly strings really changed the game so it's hard to tell, at least to me lol.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
OP is talking about using moonballs judiciously, not as an exclusive game plan. Attila...you're an Australian...and quite familiar with cricket. Is every batsman able to tee off on spinners? I'm sure when spin first started there were a whole bunch of folks sitting around the bar table commenting how they'd blast those moonballs easily. Anyone can put youtube videos showing how to theoretically attack such a ball. In fact, the reason all these videos exist is because it's not easy to handle those balls. Just because a ball is slow and hit up in the air doesn't mean it's easy even for pros, because no two slow high balls dip down the same. It's difficult because you have to move your feet very well. Now in tennis compound it with the racquet size and court dimensions it gets even more difficult. The pros and higher level players have great footwork and so it won't work consistently against them. Plus with their power the first short ball you hit, the point will be over. Most rec players have nowhere near that level of footwork to handle balls in the air consistently or ability to punish the first mistake the opponent makes.

The players who intercept the ball up in the air and start pressuring the net are few at the rec level even up to 4.5, despite all the theoretical advice dished out here. Before anyone comments how the quality of players I've seen must be poor, I've seen it work against plenty of solid rec players, as long as it's not overused. I'm not advocating playing that style. My problem is hitting too flat. All I'm saying is that this blanket statement that those balls will be easily punished by good rec players severely underestimates the footwork and precision required to playing balls in the air that dip from varying heights, speed and depth.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
OP is talking about using moonballs judiciously, not as an exclusive game plan. Attila...you're an Australian...and quite familiar with cricket. Is ever batsman able to tee off on spinners? I'm sure when spin first started there were a whole bunch of folks sitting around the bar table commenting how they'd blast those moonballs easily. Anyone can put youtube videos showing how to theoretically attack such a ball. In fact, the reason all these videos exist is because it's not easy to handle those balls. Just because a ball is slow and hit up in the air doesn't mean it's easy even for pros, because no two slow high balls dip down the same. It's difficult because you have to move your feet very well. Now in tennis compound it with the racquet size and court dimensions it gets even more difficult. The pros and higher level players have great footwork and so it won't work consistently against them. Plus with their power the first short ball you hit, the point will be over. Most rec players have nowhere near that level of footwork to handle balls in the air consistently or ability to punish the first mistake the opponent makes.

The players who intercept the ball up in the air and start pressuring the net are few at the rec level even up to 4.5, despite all the theoretical advice dished out here. Before anyone comments how the quality of players I've seen must be poor, I've seen it work against plenty of solid rec players, as long as it's not overused. I'm not advocating playing that style. My problem is hitting too flat. All I'm saying is that this blanket statement that those balls will be easily punished by good rec players severely underestimates the footwork and precision required to playing balls in the air that dip from varying heights, speed and depth.

Exactly right, when some talk how easily these shots can be attacked it just shows that they have no idea of what their talking about.
 
I shot a few moonballs in my last match. Put severe topspin on the balls.
They never came back across the net.
Instead, I got to see a comedy of blunders like Chevy Chase doing Gerald Ford impressions.

Of course, here in fantasy land TT, all moonballs are "eaten alive" by 3.0s.
In the real world, Lendl could not even attack a moonball.
Of course, every here who has never posted a video can crush Lendl and his crappy old 1980s racket.
 
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iChen

Semi-Pro
Both of these examples are shown against slow no spin lobs which is nothing like a heavy top spin looping forehand that kicks up quickly with force.
Exactly right, when some talk how easily these shots can be attacked it just shows that they have no idea of what their talking about.
I will say though that it's not easy doing a nice ts moonball and I can't. So I'm guessing it's not as hard so to say for some rec players who are looking at weaker moonballs or more like lobs.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
I will say though that it's not easy doing a nice ts moonball and I can't. So I'm guessing it's not as hard so to say for some rec players who are looking at weaker moonballs or more like lobs.
I agree much easier to attack a weak no spin moon ball as opposed to a topspin shot that kicks with force.
Here is a clip of me hitting around with my wife you can see me hit some of the topspin loopers I'm talking about. I'm not going all out like in a match I would hit with more spin and force. If you watch at 27 sec. I hit a flatter faster shot and my wife hits that ball much better than the higher loopy shots.

 
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Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
OP is talking about using moonballs judiciously, not as an exclusive game plan. Attila...you're an Australian...and quite familiar with cricket. Is every batsman able to tee off on spinners? I'm sure when spin first started there were a whole bunch of folks sitting around the bar table commenting how they'd blast those moonballs easily. Anyone can put youtube videos showing how to theoretically attack such a ball. In fact, the reason all these videos exist is because it's not easy to handle those balls. Just because a ball is slow and hit up in the air doesn't mean it's easy even for pros, because no two slow high balls dip down the same. It's difficult because you have to move your feet very well. Now in tennis compound it with the racquet size and court dimensions it gets even more difficult. The pros and higher level players have great footwork and so it won't work consistently against them. Plus with their power the first short ball you hit, the point will be over. Most rec players have nowhere near that level of footwork to handle balls in the air consistently or ability to punish the first mistake the opponent makes.

The players who intercept the ball up in the air and start pressuring the net are few at the rec level even up to 4.5
, despite all the theoretical advice dished out here. Before anyone comments how the quality of players I've seen must be poor, I've seen it work against plenty of solid rec players, as long as it's not overused. I'm not advocating playing that style. My problem is hitting too flat. All I'm saying is that this blanket statement that those balls will be easily punished by good rec players severely underestimates the footwork and precision required to playing balls in the air that dip from varying heights, speed and depth.

Yeah, I CAN take a moonball out of the air and hit a swing volley but I have to be really feeling it because it is not a safe option per se. Even less in doubles if both players are standing back. Older crafty players will wait until I am a bit behind the baseline and then hit moonballs that land somewhere past the service line. I am too far behind then to take it on the full while also forced into a defensive rally hit point if I am going to take it after bounce. Again, a very effective play in doubles where there is no open court for me to blast the ball into. Drop shot would be in play but only if I am able to catch it within the baseline.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Older crafty players will wait until I am a bit behind the baseline and then hit moonballs that land somewhere past the service line. I am too far behind then to take it on the full while also forced into a defensive rally hit point if I am going to take it after bounce. .
Rather than trying to hit a swing volley, what about just a regular volley? Chip it deep and come in. If their MB is high enough, you should have enough time to cover that distance, especially if you are anticipating it.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Rather than trying to hit a swing volley, what about just a regular volley? Chip it deep and come in. If their MB is high enough, you should have enough time to cover that distance, especially if you are anticipating it.
I would normally be too far behind the net for a volley. Say at the halfway or beyond point between the service line and the baseline...from there, at least I am more comfortable going for a swing volley than a volley. I could of course let it drop but get close to the bounce and hit a half volley but I find I generate much better power on a swing volley, so providing I catch it high enough, it's a better option for me. Others may think differently; it's all about what we feel more confident about.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Rather than trying to hit a swing volley, what about just a regular volley? Chip it deep and come in. If their MB is high enough, you should have enough time to cover that distance, especially if you are anticipating it.
On weak floating shots this can be done, but it's much tougher on a shot with a lot of dipping action.
 

maleyoyo

Professional
Moon balling tactic is successful because it exposes a few flaws in technique and a mental aspect of the game namely patience.
Technique wise most players are not frequently exposed to situations where they have to take the ball out of the air in no man's land, taking a high incoming ball on the rise, or taking a step back to hit that high ball within your strike zone which is between the waist and shoulder for most players.
Coupling those with lack of patience rushing to hit a forced shot which technique you are not comfortable with results in unforced errors. Much like a pusher, he can't hurt you but he makes you hurt yourself.
If you choose to deal with moon balls consistently with the above technique that you are most proficient with then you will have all the time in the world to pick your targets running a well-conditioned moon baller all day long.
I may lose the battle of the first set but will win the war in the third set.
You've got to have patience and enjoy to torture him. Otherwise the moon baller will make your life miserable.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
The main issue I see in handling deep moonballs is that a lot of recreational tennis courts (at least in my part of the world) don't have a comfortable amount of space behind the baseline. If you don't tryst your ability to take these balls in the rise, you may wanna play them from a deeper court position, that is if you prefer to let them bounce in the first place. Often you'd worry about meeting the back fence.

Just yesterday in doubles my opponent hit a deep lob return, with the wind behind it too, it bounced over my outstretched racket while I was trying to hit the ball right on the back fence.
As someone who often employs moonballs, especially against players uncomfortable coming to the net, I always pay careful attention to my opponent's court positioning as he sets up to reply to my moonball. If I hit a solid deep moonball, and I see my opponent take a couple of steps backward behind the baseline (meaning he's not going to take it on the rise), that's my cue. I charge the net. Not charging the net in this situation is wasting a prime attack opportunity, since it's very low risk on the approach shot itself, and it's very hard for anyone to hit a good passing shot from 12 feet behind the baseline.

PS, why would anyone let a deep lob return bounce in doubles?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
On weak floating shots this can be done, but it's much tougher on a shot with a lot of dipping action.
Agreed. But if the alternative is to get pushed backwards or trying to hit the ball high out of one's strike zone, maybe it's a risk worth taking?

If I was feeling patient that day, I would back up and work on driving the ball. If my patience was running low, I'd start moving in before he hit it, anticipating a MB. Of course, if he was good he'd see me doing that and alter his shot.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Just moonball back. First player to get it to bounce higher than 2m wins.
This is pretty easy on red clay at summer (when courts are dry and hard), you don't even need more than moderate topspin for that. However, when bounce gets to something like 3m on you, you hear yourself jumping at the ball just to return it anyhow while saying 'oh shhh*****tt' :D
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Yeah the problem is being an intermediate 3.0-4.0 level player. You do realize that would describe most tennis players.
Saying people shouldn't moonball your serve is like telling a golfer he should hit 300 yd drives down the fairway or he's got a problem
Not elitist. Its hard for people of like level to hit moonballs of solid shots. If your return/serve has decent pace and zip its much harder to moonball it back. If its a slow high bouncing ball its much easier to moonball. So if you want to guard against the moonball you need to improve your groundstrokes.

it's EXACTLY analgous to the come into the net stuff discussion we have around here. The most important shot to come into the net is the shot BEFORE you come in - the approach shot. its not elitist to point out that you need a good approach to come in. Likewise the better your groundstrokes - the more you can guard against moonballs. This works for all level. A pro can certainly moonball back a hard shot. But your average 3.0 cannot.

Again if your opponent is moonballing you to death - you are doing something wrong. You are giving them too much time - or giving them easy high bouncing shots. With a topspin moonball you want to get your racquet going up (and forward some) to generate the topspin lob this swing path is more difficult to time then going more straight through the ball.

A slice lob is easier - to hit off a hard shot or serve - but they are also easier to put away.

Again rather then worrying so much about attacking moonballs - we should be worrying about preventing moonballs where possible.
 

willeric

Rookie
Not elitist. Its hard for people of like level to hit moonballs of solid shots. If your return/serve has decent pace and zip its much harder to moonball it back. If its a slow high bouncing ball its much easier to moonball. So if you want to guard against the moonball you need to improve your groundstrokes.

it's EXACTLY analgous to the come into the net stuff discussion we have around here. The most important shot to come into the net is the shot BEFORE you come in - the approach shot. its not elitist to point out that you need a good approach to come in. Likewise the better your groundstrokes - the more you can guard against moonballs. This works for all level. A pro can certainly moonball back a hard shot. But your average 3.0 cannot.

Again if your opponent is moonballing you to death - you are doing something wrong. You are giving them too much time - or giving them easy high bouncing shots. With a topspin moonball you want to get your racquet going up (and forward some) to generate the topspin lob this swing path is more difficult to time then going more straight through the ball.

A slice lob is easier - to hit off a hard shot or serve - but they are also easier to put away.

Again rather then worrying so much about attacking moonballs - we should be worrying about preventing moonballs where possible.
Why do you think it's hard to moonball off of "hard serves" or "lots of pace"? It's easier to moon ball if your opponent is giving you pace. You don't need a lot of time to set up properly either. I would say it's much harder to moonball off of low skidding slices.
 
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tlm

G.O.A.T.
Not elitist. Its hard for people of like level to hit moonballs of solid shots. If your return/serve has decent pace and zip its much harder to moonball it back. If its a slow high bouncing ball its much easier to moonball. So if you want to guard against the moonball you need to improve your groundstrokes.

it's EXACTLY analgous to the come into the net stuff discussion we have around here. The most important shot to come into the net is the shot BEFORE you come in - the approach shot. its not elitist to point out that you need a good approach to come in. Likewise the better your groundstrokes - the more you can guard against moonballs. This works for all level. A pro can certainly moonball back a hard shot. But your average 3.0 cannot.

Again if your opponent is moonballing you to death - you are doing something wrong. You are giving them too much time - or giving them easy high bouncing shots. With a topspin moonball you want to get your racquet going up (and forward some) to generate the topspin lob this swing path is more difficult to time then going more straight through the ball.

A slice lob is easier - to hit off a hard shot or serve - but they are also easier to put away.

Again rather then worrying so much about attacking moonballs - we should be worrying about preventing moonballs where possible.
Like in most tennis points it depends on who gets control of the point first. If opponent hits good serve and you reply with a weak return your opponent starts moonballing then it's going to be tough to stop. I don't get this you are doing something wrong if opponent moon balls you.

I use high looping topspin shots a lot and it's not easy to stop me from using this tactic. It may take me a while to get the shot I need to start looping but I have patience and will work the point until I get the ball I need. Once I start looping side to side it's not easy to stop.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
As someone who often employs moonballs, especially against players uncomfortable coming to the net, I always pay careful attention to my opponent's court positioning as he sets up to reply to my moonball. If I hit a solid deep moonball, and I see my opponent take a couple of steps backward behind the baseline (meaning he's not going to take it on the rise), that's my cue. I charge the net. Not charging the net in this situation is wasting a prime attack opportunity, since it's very low risk on the approach shot itself, and it's very hard for anyone to hit a good passing shot from 12 feet behind the baseline.

PS, why would anyone let a deep lob return bounce in doubles?
If its too good :). Or if its windy i suppose
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
This covers the options of dealing with these balls.


And here Brady talks a bit about how in today's game a shoulder height forehand should be a perfectly comfortable shot, in fact an aggressive player is probably looking for this sort of contact zone to do a lot of damage from.

I use Brady's strategy of getting a big cut with a flat, high speed shot and it's not hard if you have good fh technique. I have practiced it quite a bit using ball machine and it's fun shot to hit flat at shoulder level.
 
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