Best balls to play against a chip and charger?

#1
Besides lob, or trying to hit a passing shot, what is the most effective and secure thing to do?
(This -the opponent coming to the net- doesn't need to happen only after the serve, like with regular chip & charge play, but maybe early during the game as well.)
 

Kevo

Hall of Fame
#2
Depends on the particular opponent and what you are comfortable with, but besides the two options you mentioned, I like the dipsy doodle and the hot potato. Dipsy doodle is just lots of topspin so they have to dig it out. That usually means they are going to have to hit up to get it over the net, so as long as you position well on the shot you should have multiple options with the next ball. The hot potato is going right at them. Many people are not great at knowing what to do with those. Even if they are good at it, targeting the forehand side hip is very effective regardless if you can really make it hot. :)
 
#3
I like what Kevo said. Another tactic that I use is to not try to thread the needle on the passing shot, but try to get the player to stretch out as much as possible on the shot, so try to put it right on the edge of where they can get to it. This usually results in a weak ball, or one hit out or into the net. There are lots of ways to hit this shot, high with lots of topspin down the line, sharp angle cross-court, etc.
 
#5
Get good at hitting the incoming slice: most C&C plays start with a slice approach and if you aren't accustomed to dealing with that, straight into the bottom of the net your passing shot will go.

There's nothing magical about the play: as the one who typically is on the giving end, the people who beat me love a target, can control where they hit it and with what spin pretty well, and, most importantly, they don't panic when they see me approach. Too often the guy on the BL panics, overhits, and donates points.

The lob can be very effective but you have to determine how good his OH is: someone who does a lot of C&C is likely to have a better than average one. It's least effective on your first shot after he approaches because he likely hasn't gotten close enough to the net. The only time I'll lob under those circumstances is when I see him charging with no intention of putting on the brakes.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#6
Depends on the particular opponent and what you are comfortable with, but besides the two options you mentioned, I like the dipsy doodle and the hot potato. Dipsy doodle is just lots of topspin so they have to dig it out. That usually means they are going to have to hit up to get it over the net, so as long as you position well on the shot you should have multiple options with the next ball. The hot potato is going right at them. Many people are not great at knowing what to do with those. Even if they are good at it, targeting the forehand side hip is very effective regardless if you can really make it hot. :)
My HS coach taught us to hit one of the shots you describe first, and then go for the passing shot on the 2nd attempt.

Often times it's easier to pass on their weak volley, as opposed to their tough approach shot...
 
#8
Another tactic to use is a soft chip at the feet of the net rusher that will force him/her to hit up on a ball with little pace.
 

Dragy

Professional
#10
Another vote here for uncomfortable shot at the net approacher instead of clean pass as a first play. Generally CC dipping shot is working great and may be pretty reliable in terms of margins - it can usually go even right over the middle strap, not something crazily angled. Hit one and get ready to move in and finish anything he digs from around his shoelaces. If he floats it deep, be ready to volley from around service line.
 
#15
I like what Kevo said. Another tactic that I use is to not try to thread the needle on the passing shot, but try to get the player to stretch out as much as possible on the shot, so try to put it right on the edge of where they can get to it. This usually results in a weak ball, or one hit out or into the net. There are lots of ways to hit this shot, high with lots of topspin down the line, sharp angle cross-court, etc.
Do you know how can I return short, weak ball in an unrushed way? Like not over-hitting or trying too hard for spin etc. so that it may go to the net? Assuming the return to me is a sitter like ball front the net, what's the best way to placing the ball effortlessly? I'm asking, cause when I try this, I usually slow down my racket too much and I hit the net. It is probably about the swing path, that I stop the racket too early besides slowing down, but just want to hear tips. :)
 
#16
Get good at hitting the incoming slice: most C&C plays start with a slice approach and if you aren't accustomed to dealing with that, straight into the bottom of the net your passing shot will go.

There's nothing magical about the play: as the one who typically is on the giving end, the people who beat me love a target, can control where they hit it and with what spin pretty well, and, most importantly, they don't panic when they see me approach. Too often the guy on the BL panics, overhits, and donates points.

The lob can be very effective but you have to determine how good his OH is: someone who does a lot of C&C is likely to have a better than average one. It's least effective on your first shot after he approaches because he likely hasn't gotten close enough to the net. The only time I'll lob under those circumstances is when I see him charging with no intention of putting on the brakes.
So if he is waiting at the net, I should return the ball with a slice too? But Like in my OP some players do not get to the net after hitting a slice, from my latest match, the opponent mostly came to the net not after the return of the serve, but after getting the ball returned one or two more times. (so sometimes, it wasn't a slice)
 
#19
I learnt recently that i don't need to hit a spectacular passing shot. An OK one with pace can give me a chance on the next shot.
The problem is that even if I could return his volley, the volleys mostly were aimed at the corners, so I got to be fast, in that case the quickest solution came to my mind was the lob thinking it would be easier to execute rather than a regular hit cause he kept returning them.
 
#21
Guys, do you usually start going to the net right after hitting a ball at their feet, and also when you hit a drop shot while they're waiting at the baseline?
 

Dragy

Professional
#22
The problem is that even if I could return his volley, the volleys mostly were aimed at the corners, so I got to be fast, in that case the quickest solution came to my mind was the lob thinking it would be easier to execute rather than a regular hit cause he kept returning them.
If he hits the volley from above the net and places it to the corner, most likely your previous shot was bad for the situation. That's what everyone telling you - hit it in a way that he's either stretched to reach it (like semi-lob through the backhand side) or has to hit from below the net (topspin dipping shot). If you put him in such conditions, he's not likely to consistently pull a great volley. Also, those shots are generally easier to execute for you than clean passers and lobs.
 
#23
I would you say you should mix things up, don't give your opponent the same ball everytime. Don't be too predictable or your opponent will easily anticipate your shots. Don't overlook using lobs (could be underspin or topspin), and passing shots. But some other options to consider, low topspin dipper that lands at their feet, forcing them to hit either an awkward low volley or half-volley. Also targeting their body to force an error is another good option.
 

Dragy

Professional
#24
Guys, do you usually start going to the net right after hitting a ball at their feet, and also when you hit a drop shot while they're waiting at the baseline?
Would be smart to step into court, but not charge to the net. Split stepping at around service line is good option after hitting a good dropshot. After a bad dropshot... well, that's area of chances.
 
#25
Would be smart to step into court, but not charge to the net. Split stepping at around service line is good option after hitting a good dropshot. After a bad dropshot... well, that's area of chances.
Alright thanks. So in such scenerio, where I get the opponent to the net myself by hitting a drop shot, if he returns it (preassumely as a weak, short ball) - then what's the best option to return such ball now?
 

Dragy

Professional
#26
Alright thanks. So in such scenerio, where I get the opponent to the net myself by hitting a drop shot, if he returns it (preassumely as a weak, short ball) - then what's the best option to return such ball now?
Put it to the open court.
 

Dragy

Professional
#28
So in that case ripping the ball is not important, but the placement. Thanks.
Usually if you hit a good dropshot, your opponent is in bad position - close to net and at either side, and you are in good position - in the middle of the court hitting a weak ball or volleying from above the net much earlier than when he can recover. So you usually have a widely open court and only have to get the ball past the opponent.
 
#29
Do you know how can I return short, weak ball in an unrushed way? Like not over-hitting or trying too hard for spin etc. so that it may go to the net? Assuming the return to me is a sitter like ball front the net, what's the best way to placing the ball effortlessly? I'm asking, cause when I try this, I usually slow down my racket too much and I hit the net. It is probably about the swing path, that I stop the racket too early besides slowing down, but just want to hear tips. :)
Without seeing how you're trying to hit that sort of ball now, I'd say either use a slice or a regular stroke with an abbreviated back swing.

If you feel like you're slowing down your racquet as you swing to contact for this shot, that's trouble. Using a smaller back swing gives you less distance to accelerate before contact and if you combine that with a normal follow through, that should give you a quick and consistent swing that you can control. The shorter back swing should help to restrict you from over hitting, which sounds like what you're looking for here.

If that short, weak ball that comes to you is a slice, I believe that the best response to that shot is often a slice of your own. If you're not especially comfortable with your slice right now, I'd say embrace it. The slice is a nuts-and-bolts fundamental shot that everybody should have in their tennis tool kit, but it can often be left on the back burner these days.

When an opponent leaves the baseline to get toward the net, change your thinking. Instead of the side to side placement that we typically use for baseline exchanges, shift your priority to controlling the elevation of your shot. Keep the ball down against a net rushing opponent and that player will be more neutralized compared with what happens when we give that attacker a ball up around shoulder or head height. That's usually a free lunch... or at least a free point.

The low shot to a net rusher is the first ball of perhaps a two shot counter attack. Force that opponent to hit a soft volley around waist high or even a softer half volley from around the shoe tops and then get ready to move in and make more trouble with your next ball.
 
#30
The problem is that even if I could return his volley, the volleys mostly were aimed at the corners, so I got to be fast, in that case the quickest solution came to my mind was the lob thinking it would be easier to execute rather than a regular hit cause he kept returning them.
Between a half-ass lob and an attempt for a good pass, go for glory. At least you get practice on the pass. Ur opponent is going to put away an easy lob any way, and you don't gain anything from it.
 
#31
Depends on how well you know your opponent. If you're serving on the ad side out wide and you know they're going to hit it back to you then maybe prepare yourself to hit down the line, especially if it's coming into your forehand. With the serve have your follow up shot already in mind, this way your body can prepare itself ahead of time to hit that shot. You won't be stuck thinking about it.

If it's in the middle of the rally you have to assess quickly. If I'm coming in I sometimes struggle more with a passing shot right at me, but put one that I have to stretch for and I'll somehow stick it for a winner with some sort of crazy angle/spin. Someone mentioned it earlier, but I do like the ones that dip right at them, or if they're at a bad angle I'll go into the open court. Depending on the shot they hit to me I might lob it, especially if their overhead is weak and there's some sun involved. The better you know your opponent the easier it'll be to make the right shot. I have opponents who like to grip and rip right at you and I have to be ready. Sometimes (most of the time) they miss me and the court, occasionally I stick a shot and other times I can't handle the shot. You'll figure it out.
 

Devil_dog

Hall of Fame
#32
Depends on the particular opponent and what you are comfortable with, but besides the two options you mentioned, I like the dipsy doodle and the hot potato. Dipsy doodle is just lots of topspin so they have to dig it out. That usually means they are going to have to hit up to get it over the net, so as long as you position well on the shot you should have multiple options with the next ball. The hot potato is going right at them. Many people are not great at knowing what to do with those. Even if they are good at it, targeting the forehand side hip is very effective regardless if you can really make it hot. :)
Spot on, Kevo. I play a guy that loves nothing but CC all the damn time. I found against him that the hot potato isn't as effective but the dipping crosscourt ball causes him all sorts of crazy. I look at the point as setting me up first with the dipper and then I close in for the weak response and then put away.
 
#33
Spot on, Kevo. I play a guy that loves nothing but CC all the damn time. I found against him that the hot potato isn't as effective but the dipping crosscourt ball causes him all sorts of crazy. I look at the point as setting me up first with the dipper and then I close in for the weak response and then put away.
But what if he hits a moonballish ball at the net-what would you do?
 
#34
Without seeing how you're trying to hit that sort of ball now, I'd say either use a slice or a regular stroke with an abbreviated back swing.

If you feel like you're slowing down your racquet as you swing to contact for this shot, that's trouble. Using a smaller back swing gives you less distance to accelerate before contact and if you combine that with a normal follow through, that should give you a quick and consistent swing that you can control. The shorter back swing should help to restrict you from over hitting, which sounds like what you're looking for here.

If that short, weak ball that comes to you is a slice, I believe that the best response to that shot is often a slice of your own. If you're not especially comfortable with your slice right now, I'd say embrace it. The slice is a nuts-and-bolts fundamental shot that everybody should have in their tennis tool kit, but it can often be left on the back burner these days.

When an opponent leaves the baseline to get toward the net, change your thinking. Instead of the side to side placement that we typically use for baseline exchanges, shift your priority to controlling the elevation of your shot. Keep the ball down against a net rushing opponent and that player will be more neutralized compared with what happens when we give that attacker a ball up around shoulder or head height. That's usually a free lunch... or at least a free point.

The low shot to a net rusher is the first ball of perhaps a two shot counter attack. Force that opponent to hit a soft volley around waist high or even a softer half volley from around the shoe tops and then get ready to move in and make more trouble with your next ball.
I think till that part I am good (making them hit a soft volley), but the problem usually begins returning that low, weak ball.
 
#35
A
Usually if you hit a good dropshot, your opponent is in bad position - close to net and at either side, and you are in good position - in the middle of the court hitting a weak ball or volleying from above the net much earlier than when he can recover. So you usually have a widely open court and only have to get the ball past the opponent.
Alright. But sometimes surprisingly, they return a similar ball too where you cannot hit a volley from above the net.
 
#36
Get good at hitting the incoming slice: most C&C plays start with a slice approach and if you aren't accustomed to dealing with that, straight into the bottom of the net your passing shot will go.

There's nothing magical about the play: as the one who typically is on the giving end, the people who beat me love a target, can control where they hit it and with what spin pretty well, and, most importantly, they don't panic when they see me approach. Too often the guy on the BL panics, overhits, and donates points.
Yes, I had a big serve and excellent approach shots as well as an excellent chip and charge game, so I came forward most of the points. My volley's however, were always very poor, so my being at the net (if I didn't win the point earlier, which was most of the time), was really a bluff. There were a lot of people that I never had to hit volleys against because they constantly overhit their passing shots, assuming I could actually volley.
 
#37
So if he is waiting at the net, I should return the ball with a slice too? But Like in my OP some players do not get to the net after hitting a slice, from my latest match, the opponent mostly came to the net not after the return of the serve, but after getting the ball returned one or two more times. (so sometimes, it wasn't a slice)
No, my answer was based on the assumption that your C&C opponent had hit a slice approach shot to you and now you have to deal with it.

If he's already at net, unless you hit the slice just right, it might float and present a putaway volley opportunity. I generally drive my passing shots. The slice passing shot is good when you're trying to get your opponent off balance, particularly for his first volley, which means he's further away from the net than for subsequent volleys. If you can slice towards the alleys and make him lunge, that opens the court up for your next shot.

it goes without saying that you have to be aware of what your opponent is doing [ie is he approaching the net?] to formulate a good response.
 
#38
Guys, do you usually start going to the net right after hitting a ball at their feet,
I'll move inside the BL in anticipation of a weak shot. I probably would not move in too far in case he goes for a corner. It depends on how good my shot was and how good of a volleyer he is.

and also when you hit a drop shot while they're waiting at the baseline?
Depends on how well I hit the DS: if I see he's going to have a rough time making a decent play, then yes, I'll move in. If I hit it so-so, I'll stay on the BL and get ready to defend.

The problem with the DS is that the margin between a good one and a bad one is very small.
 
#40
Usually if you hit a good dropshot, your opponent is in bad position - close to net and at either side, and you are in good position - in the middle of the court hitting a weak ball or volleying from above the net much earlier than when he can recover. So you usually have a widely open court and only have to get the ball past the opponent.
And don't forget that "above" is also "past" [ie a chip lob].
 

Devil_dog

Hall of Fame
#41
But what if he hits a moonballish ball at the net-what would you do?
There's a ton of scenarios but if I'm inside the baseline maybe take the ball out of the air with a driving shot. If I'm back I may take the ball on the bounce and reset the tactic with another dipper to the opposite side of the court. And the last option if I'm back is probably throw a topspin lob over his backhand side.

YMMV.
 

Dragy

Professional
#42
A

Alright. But sometimes surprisingly, they return a similar ball too where you cannot hit a volley from above the net.
You should accept this. Sometimes they even hit crazy re-drops you cannot reach. If they hit something of that kind, look for optimal shot, to still win, or stay in point and try to figure out new solution. Don’t be bothered as far as you win more in such points - it’s mostly enough to win just over 50% of points in tennis.
 
#43
I think till that part I am good (making them hit a soft volley), but the problem usually begins returning that low, weak ball.
That's the ball you're trying to use against an opponent to force that player to hit up - so when it comes to you, don't hit up. Feather a low ball back across the net and keep moving in or improving your position. If you're not too familiar with hitting this softer, lower shots, I think that a backboard or wall is ideal for working on it. Just take a continental grip and slide those little "cut" shots against the wall just above the net line. If the wall doesn't have a line, you can just put a little masking tape or something on there to give you a reference height.

As far as hitting more of a full stroke off an incoming ball that's a little low and slow, you don't even need a backboard. You can self feed by putting a few extra balls in your pocket and toss them one at a time to your left or your right so that you have to move to the ball to hit it. Toss it up a bit higher than head height and hit the ball after the 2nd bounce so that it's mostly dropping and not moving much horizontally.

This self feeding may sound stupid, but a pro posted a Youtube video of himself doing this on a court and he was forcing himself to work really hard with the proper footwork and preparation to hit these slow balls well. Because the ball wasn't coming to him he had to take extra steps to set up on the strike zone and he also had to swing with control and focus because he was hitting balls with no incoming pace - he couldn't redirect them like we can in an easy baseline exchange.

Do this self feeding right and you can make yourself move a lot by going over to one sideline and then the other. When you use up the few you're carrying, scurry back to your hooper, cart, etc., reload, and hit a few more. If you do this right, you can be good and wasted after 25 or so balls and a ga-jillion steps. Lots of reps hitting off-speed balls and a potentially great workout.
 
#44
That's the ball you're trying to use against an opponent to force that player to hit up - so when it comes to you, don't hit up. Feather a low ball back across the net and keep moving in or improving your position. If you're not too familiar with hitting this softer, lower shots, I think that a backboard or wall is ideal for working on it. Just take a continental grip and slide those little "cut" shots against the wall just above the net line. If the wall doesn't have a line, you can just put a little masking tape or something on there to give you a reference height.

As far as hitting more of a full stroke off an incoming ball that's a little low and slow, you don't even need a backboard. You can self feed by putting a few extra balls in your pocket and toss them one at a time to your left or your right so that you have to move to the ball to hit it. Toss it up a bit higher than head height and hit the ball after the 2nd bounce so that it's mostly dropping and not moving much horizontally.

This self feeding may sound stupid, but a pro posted a Youtube video of himself doing this on a court and he was forcing himself to work really hard with the proper footwork and preparation to hit these slow balls well. Because the ball wasn't coming to him he had to take extra steps to set up on the strike zone and he also had to swing with control and focus because he was hitting balls with no incoming pace - he couldn't redirect them like we can in an easy baseline exchange.

Do this self feeding right and you can make yourself move a lot by going over to one sideline and then the other. When you use up the few you're carrying, scurry back to your hooper, cart, etc., reload, and hit a few more. If you do this right, you can be good and wasted after 25 or so balls and a ga-jillion steps. Lots of reps hitting off-speed balls and a potentially great workout.
Thanks. I will try self feeding balls next time I rent a court. Can you find the video you mentioned ?
 
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