Beating the slice/chop player?

Ball Swatter

New User
This type of player may be a smaller category of the larger "pusher" category, but I'm wondering about strategy against these players. I played an individual the other night who hit almost every shot as a chop or slice. His serve was also very slicey. A lot of his shots stay low to the ground and led to a lot of net and hitting long errors on my part, I think because I had to dig out so many shots. He hit a mixture of deep, mid court, and short drop shots (especially frustrating). Any advice? I hit a lot of topspin groundstrokes with the occasional slice.
 

chrisak47

Banned
I personally think the best thing you can do against these players is keep moving. If your footwork is great, you should have no problems attacking the slices and chops.

Another important thing is timing. If you have decent footwork, your timing shouldn't be a problem.

If it gets out of hand with how much spin is on the ball, take it off the rise and when doing that, remember to bend your knees and really get down to the ball. Drive it with topspin for good margin.

I personally think, if you let the slicer/chopper dictate play, then your really out of shape. There shouldn't be a reason someone with a slice can hit winners left and right. It is really in your hands; either you hit winners, force them to hit unforce errors or you hit some yourself.
 

Ball Swatter

New User
Footwork could have been my problem. I worked 12 hours building decks and general construction just prior to the match. I was tired when I started the match, which probably meant not getting low enough, not moving like I can, and lack of focus overall.

Thanks for the tips.
 

zapvor

G.O.A.T.
This type of player may be a smaller category of the larger "pusher" category, but I'm wondering about strategy against these players. I played an individual the other night who hit almost every shot as a chop or slice. His serve was also very slicey. A lot of his shots stay low to the ground and led to a lot of net and hitting long errors on my part, I think because I had to dig out so many shots. He hit a mixture of deep, mid court, and short drop shots (especially frustrating). Any advice? I hit a lot of topspin groundstrokes with the occasional slice.

oh i love those players. yesturday i played with a guy in USTA league for fun and he hit lots of slices on forehands. once you get used to it and see it coming, just go up on the short ball and kill it. what i like to do too is slice it back/drop shot. its much easier to time a sliced ball than topspin. for me anyways
 

sinned

New User
Move in on the short ball, or aim at them so that they attempt to slice back, but it will usually end up as a block/lob.
 

Narcissist

Semi-Pro
These players drive me nuts on faster surfaces. Hitting balls below knee height the whole time isn't easy especially when they skid through. I lose due to my own unforced errors :(

When they do hit a higher ball that is short it is a very easy to put away since they sit up.
 

Bagumbawalla

G.O.A.T.
Chrisak47 is on the right track.

Playing that kind of player (junkballer) , will easily point out your shortcomings. To improve against players who give you no pace, but lots of spin, you must improve your own game. That is the first step.

Though it seems like a paradox, it is actually easier for a mid/low level player to hit against someone who hits the ball hard-- because it is consistant, you can groove to it, the opponent supplies the pace and you do not have to, therefore you become complacent and believe you are a better player than you really are.

So:

Work on your form. Work on moving/stroking through the ball smoothly without hitches. Groove your basic shots. Have someone hit you (or toss you) paceless balls- requiring you to hit solidly through them to make your own pace.

I gaurantee, if you have any weakness, they will find it and torment you with it-- hitting to your weaker side, lobbing if your overheads are weak, dropshotting if your movement or volleys are suspect. So you REALLY have to have a complete game. You can't just learn some one trick shot that will give you an edge against them.

Work on your footwork. It you buy a book on tennis drill, this will be covered. Also work on your conditioning so you don't tire as they try to run you around.

Play more players like this, when you can, so you get used to their style and it doesn't throw you.

Once you have done the things listed above, then play them pretty much like any other player. Hit steadily, play percentage tennis, set up your shots, try to control the game with your strengths, take advantage of their weaknesses. Wait for weak/short balls and go for open court. Keep the ball deep and low if you can. Move them about. Change pace, placement and spin so they do not grove to your same old shots.

Remember to hit EVERY shot with some specific reason or placement in mind.

Good luck,

B
 

Frank Silbermann

Professional
Since slices are slower than topspin or flat shots, they should be easier to volley.
Indeed, the best way to beat such people is to play serve-and-volley chip-and-charge tennis. Live at the net so you can volley and smash his chops and slices for winners.

In the days of wooden rackets, most club players could only block, chop and slice -- so the serve-and-volley player was the winner. That's why the serve-and-volley style became so popular. Even in the higher ranks, when opponents could drive their forehands, all but the very best relied completely on blocks, chops and slices on their backhand side. So serve-and-volley could take you to the very top. All you had to do was be a little bit better at breaking serve than your opponent, as everyone served-and-volleyed to their opponents' backhands.

In fact, it was to increase service breaks that the very best players learned to put a bit of topspin on their backhands. The serve-and-volley style only started to decline when people really began to master topspin on both sides. Of course, in doing so many of them began to forget how to serve-and-volley. (Why bother when your opponents have such good passing shots?)

But now, as fewer people feel comfortable at the net, the hacker style becomes more effective -- at least at lower levels.
 

AngeloDS

Hall of Fame
Footwork, deep knee bend and hitting low (racquet almost touching the ground) to high (finishing around the shoulders) and hitting earlier than normal.

Don't skimp on the racquet swing speed. You need the swing speed to really get the spin needed to go over the net and in. However, these are my favorite because you can really crank on these type of shots that are low.

A pictures to get an idea =)
http://english.chosun.com/media/photo/news/200611/200611220015_03.jpg
http://www.independent.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00169/fed290606_169546b.jpg
 
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shindemac

Hall of Fame
Yea, I have a difficult time with low balls on my bh side. So far, I've opened up my racket a little, and I hit up on it. It feels like I'm pushing it, and doing a mini lob. Actually, I'm not sure how open my racket is cause I don't have much control yet.
 

Doc Hollidae

Hall of Fame
Serving and volleying or bring them to the net. If you have the volleys and a consistent overhead this is probably the best way to beat a junk baller. Their slices and spins aren't going to have much pace or depth. Passing with only a slice can be tough.

Most junkballers or pushers are too comfortable at the net. Hit a lot of low slices around the service line to the middle of no man's land and try and lure him/her to the net.

The main thing is not to be sucked into their game. Do no reply with drop shots or short slices of your own. Remeber that their style of play is junk balling, not yours. So if you both junk ball each other, who's the more likely to win? The Junk Balller because he's in his comfort zone while your forced to play a game you're not used to.
 
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