Beating the Inside Out Forehand Strategy

Darkness

New User
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?
 
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Deleted member 120290

Guest
If you can hit good to very good backhands down the line, that would be best. If he can still get to them and return them with interest, there is not much you can do. He is just a superior player from the baseline. In that case, maybe try approaching the net.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?

First, if he's picking on your backhand it's because he thinks it's a weakness. Hitting DTL and drop shots to his forehand side will put pressure on him to go for bigger shots and lead to UE's. However, those are low percentage plays unless you get a short ball where you can step well in front of the baseline before going for one of these options. In the mean time, work on hitting deep penetrating cross court backhands.
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
Sounds like he's beating you by using his speed to exploit angles in a way you're incapable of matching with your lesser speed.

If nothing else is working, try taking away the angles. Return those I/O forehands with slices deep up the middle (still an outside shot for you -- just less angle...should still be a safe, high-percentage shot). That should give you time to get back to mid court and reset the point at neutral, and from there try to turn it into a hitting contest instead of a speed one. If he insists on going back to your BH from there, you've got less incoming angle to worry about, and can more freely try your hand at forcing the issue DTL.

If you can't outhit him, either, then all the strategy in the world isn't going to help you.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?

I play defense against this regularly and also play regularly against a lefty forehand and you can guess where he likes to hit it. What did Federer do to deal with Nadal's forehand into his backhand? He's developed the ability to rip it crosscourt sharply angled and DTL. Can you improve your backhand so that you can add those two shots? Can you practice them regularly? BTW, in a match this week, I hit a heavily sliced backhand down the line very low against someone camped over on the backhand side. It was within six inches of the sideline and didn't have a lot of pace. He watched it go by because he didn't expect it to go there as I was hitting the vast majority of my slice backhands crosscourt. Sometimes you throw a few DTL to keep him honest.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
Sounds like he's beating you by using his speed to exploit angles in a way you're incapable of matching with your lesser speed.

If nothing else is working, try taking away the angles. Return those I/O forehands with slices deep up the middle (still an outside shot for you -- just less angle...should still be a safe, high-percentage shot). That should give you time to get back to mid court and reset the point at neutral, and from there try to turn it into a hitting contest instead of a speed one. If he insists on going back to your BH from there, you've got less incoming angle to worry about, and can more freely try your hand at forcing the issue DTL.

If you can't outhit him, either, then all the strategy in the world isn't going to help you.

my bad... see below
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?

U return the favor and make it a FH rally inside out
 
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?

Here are a few suggestions. First, you should really realize what the inside out forehand is. It's a shot that gives up more court on your own end as you run around the ball to hit your better stroke (forehand). The angles you can create of being able to hit the ball to drag your opponent off the court on the ad side actually decrease when you're hitting inside out.

1. Recognize the inside-out as soon as possible and stay closer to the baseline so you can hit flatter off the rise down the line. This is a lower percentage shot if you're not comfortable hitting on the rise but the easiest way of instantly winning the rally. Since your opponent is running around the ball you'll be taking more time away from them. A great decision if you have a one hander and can redirect pace.

2. Hit a loopier topspin backhand DTL and reset the rally. Sounds like he wants to attack your backhand the whole match so just preemptively camp the AD side a little more. Dare him to hit to the deuce side.
 

SinjinCooper

Hall of Fame
U return the favor and make it a FH rally inside out

The problem here is that the OP acknowledges he is operating at a speed deficit. If both players are voluntarily giving up great expanses of wide-open court, the opponent has a much larger margin for error when he changes direction in order to create a shot that troubles the OP or hits a flat-out winner. Over the course of a full match, those percentages should be decisive, alas.

But what you suggest is totally what I'd do. Park wide enough that I increase chances of getting an inside ball I can change direction on, slice back everything else CC, and if he changes it up and goes DTL successfully, go full Sampras running FH on him. But as a strategy, that only works if you're fit enough and comfortable enough hitting running FH's. Steffi made a HOF career out of this ####.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The problem here is that the OP acknowledges he is operating at a speed deficit. If both players are voluntarily giving up great expanses of wide-open court, the opponent has a much larger margin for error when he changes direction in order to create a shot that troubles the OP or hits a flat-out winner. Over the course of a full match, those percentages should be decisive, alas.

But what you suggest is totally what I'd do. Park wide enough that I increase chances of getting an inside ball I can change direction on, slice back everything else CC, and if he changes it up and goes DTL successfully, go full Sampras running FH on him. But as a strategy, that only works if you're fit enough and comfortable enough hitting running FH's. Steffi made a HOF career out of this ####.

I use the same approach - leave lots of room on the forehand side relying on speed to get to the ball. I don't leave as much room as some people do but, if I get a ball DTL, I usually hit a high topspin deep to the backhand or forehand side or a short, sharply angled topspin forehand. Worst case is a forehand squash shot. If the other guy indicates that he's willing to hit good shots to the forehand side, then I go back to playing in the center.
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I think about it a little bit differently.
Backhand crosscourt is a lot easier and safer than DTL. You will want to hit DTL once in a while, but be picky about when to pull the trigger. Otherwise you feed an easy FH crosscourt to your opponent. Keep hitting those backhand crosscourt at them. As you get better you will get to their backhand more often. If your opponent has good backhand too, you can shake their hands hehe. Those that run around the backhand a lot, often have a good FH and a **** BH. You can get some errors out of that.
Running around the backhand is nice but it takes a lot of stamina, they will get tired eventually. Once they are tired, those FH will be come a liability.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
The problem here is that the OP acknowledges he is operating at a speed deficit. If both players are voluntarily giving up great expanses of wide-open court, the opponent has a much larger margin for error when he changes direction in order to create a shot that troubles the OP or hits a flat-out winner. Over the course of a full match, those percentages should be decisive, alas.

But what you suggest is totally what I'd do. Park wide enough that I increase chances of getting an inside ball I can change direction on, slice back everything else CC, and if he changes it up and goes DTL successfully, go full Sampras running FH on him. But as a strategy, that only works if you're fit enough and comfortable enough hitting running FH's. Steffi made a HOF career out of this ####.

or do a backhand down the line ala the GOAT style. You have all the room on the court to do it BECAUSE your opponent gambled and left the rest of the court for you to pillage

 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
If mainly the inside out forehand is beating you, then drop DTL, drop CC, and loop it high and deep. It's your backhand, so you can hit short CC angles easily with slice.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Patience is key: if you try to hit too many DTL BHs without being deliberate, you will likely end up making more errors than forcing shots. If you can stay in the rally without becoming defensive, you may be able to outlast him because the IO FH takes more energy than your normal BH. Also, he may get lazy about worrying about the DTL BH and this is a good time to uncork one.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
Patience is key: if you try to hit too many DTL BHs without being deliberate, you will likely end up making more errors than forcing shots. If you can stay in the rally without becoming defensive, you may be able to outlast him because the IO FH takes more energy than your normal BH. Also, he may get lazy about worrying about the DTL BH and this is a good time to uncork one.

why people are so enamored about outlasting. Take the chance and do the down the line backhand. Only robots keep rallies going for 10+ shots and hope one makes an error.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
why people are so enamored about outlasting. Take the chance and do the down the line backhand. Only robots keep rallies going for 10+ shots and hope one makes an error.

Speaking only for myself, it's because I am lousy at outlasting. It's a weakness of mine and I'd like to work on it. I take massive chances playing S&V and C&C so no one needs to tell me to increase my risk profile. OTOH, I could probably benefit from a little more patience.

As for your strategy, it's lower % so, all other things being equal, with you hitting the majority of the lower % shots, you will have a higher probability of losing. If that doesn't matter to someone, then so be it. If it does matter, then it's worth consideration.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
I am a 4.5 player and struggle against an opponent that consistently uses an Inside Out forehand and hits cross-court to my backhand. I have improved my backhand and get in long rallies, hitting back cross-court, trying to hit to his backhand but he keeps running around it and hits to my backhand. He is wicked fast, so if I hit attempt to hit down the line, I take a higher risk shot and he is fast enough to make me pay with his awesome forehand.

Any thoughts on some strategies to beat somebody who overutilizes this Inside Out Forehand strategy?

Short slices up the line to keep him from cheating over. Short balls cross court will also get the job done, he is only able to hit a fh because your ball is landing deep. If he could hit a good xcourt backhand he wouldnt run around it. Using a slice is more effective because he will have to lift the ball over the highest part of the net to make an offensive shot on the fh side.

Angle off the side and it puts him in a really position if he doesnt come up big up the line. Or you get his bh, what you were looking for.

People who run around their fh have false arrogance, they lead you to believe their fh is better than it is by making you "try to get to their backhand".

When you take control of a player like this, they fall to pieces.
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
Personally, I like to hit a crosscourt BH with sharp enough angle on the that the opponent will wide off the court when hitting the inside-out forehand. I hit slow/loopy enough that the opponent has time to run around the backhand, but fast enough that that the opponent will not have an easy shot down the line. Then (when the opponent is hitting outside the sideline), I can go down-the line with a decent percentage.

A few years ago, I really worked on the consistency of my crosscourt backhand because I kept on losing to this type of player. I would crank up the ball machine to get 20+ shots back crosscourt. The inside-out forehand takes a lot of energy and when I started to outlast opponents, they stopped hitting the shot.
 

KenC

Hall of Fame
If you hit with a 2HBH do it open stance. The 1HBH open stance is also a solution for those with 1HBHs, but it needs a bit of practice to pull off. At first I thought I had finally driven my coach insane when he suggested hitting my BH open stance. But it works and is not so hard to hit. You see, the problem with the 1HBH is that it is normally hit with a closed stance leaving you with your back to the entire court and your feet inverted, which makes recovery much harder and longer. But if hit open stance, much like you would hit an open stance FH, the court suddenly gets more easy to defend. I'm a lefty, so sometimes those with killer FHs are too strong against my 1HBH, so I developed this shot and it has become a godsend.

Another thing to do is to not recover so much from your BH shot and leave a little more room open for them to al least think about a DTL. If they do try the DTL you have to be ready to get it and send it CC, but if they still insist on hitting their FH inside out then you may get a ball that also allows you to get into position to hit a FH inside out, or rip if DTL.

Lastly, this is why the Butterfly drill is so useful, as you learn how to hit DTL from CC shots from both wings.
 

chikoo

Hall of Fame
If OP can hit BH DTL consistently, he won't be posting this.

If OP has any shots that can handle his friend he would not be posting this. Time for him to get to the ball machine and practice some new shots... ones that others have suggested and/or the ones I have suggested.
 
2

2HBH-DTL

Guest
develop the 2 hander DTL or you could hit a short slice cross court to his backhand and see if he'll still run around it to hit a forehand. this will most likely draw him into net not under his own power and may make him uncomfortable on a low slice shot. but definately need to work on the 2 hander up the line. hit it flatter up the line so that it takes his time away. he'll be scrambling after that. trust me :)
 
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