Counter a chip and charger

#1
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
 
#2
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
Hummn
Try to get more first serves in the box !!!
 
#3
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
Hummn
Keep your passing shots super low and move in for his drop shots
Keep balls deep in rally
 
#3
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
One radical strategy would be to S&V and beat him to the net.

Assuming you don't want to go that route:
- Was he only C&Cing your 2nd serve? If so, take a bit off your 1st serve and increase your %.
- Serving out wide means his first move is away from the direction he wants to move in [ie towards the middle]
- Serving into the body means he has to get out of his own way first
- Work on your passing shots: you don't have to hit a winner - try a TS dipper at his feet [can be very difficult is the approach was deep into the corner] and make him hit up. Another one that works is the no-pace, floaty slice that drops at his feet also [due to gravity as opposed to TS], which again makes him hit up; also, the lob. The key is to be patient.

Remember that he's a level above you so it's unlikely that a mere change in strategy will be enough to suddenly start beating him. Many other things would have to improve also. It sounds like he has honed his game to a fine point.
 
#4
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
need to re-evaluate “decent”.

against mid level 4.5’s my kicker is decent.
against 5.0’s it’s a sitter unless placed perfectly.
problem is that it’s only in the 50’s, and high 4.5’s and up already “know” the bounce.



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#5
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?
Difficult to counter a good chip & charge, even at high levels!

 
#7
How quick was he in changing directions? Mix in some lobs with your passing shots. Even if he adjusts, it might keep him a little bit further back from the net and give your passes more of a chance.
 
#9
How quick was he in changing directions? Mix in some lobs with your passing shots. Even if he adjusts, it might keep him a little bit further back from the net and give your passes more of a chance.
Lobs on low slices were difficult. I'm basically hitting the shots below my knees and sometimes as low as 1 foot high. He's 6 ft. tall so covers the net well.
 
#10
One radical strategy would be to S&V and beat him to the net.

Assuming you don't want to go that route:
- Was he only C&Cing your 2nd serve? If so, take a bit off your 1st serve and increase your %.
- Serving out wide means his first move is away from the direction he wants to move in [ie towards the middle]
- Serving into the body means he has to get out of his own way first
- Work on your passing shots: you don't have to hit a winner - try a TS dipper at his feet [can be very difficult is the approach was deep into the corner] and make him hit up. Another one that works is the no-pace, floaty slice that drops at his feet also [due to gravity as opposed to TS], which again makes him hit up; also, the lob. The key is to be patient.

Remember that he's a level above you so it's unlikely that a mere change in strategy will be enough to suddenly start beating him. Many other things would have to improve also. It sounds like he has honed his game to a fine point.
Good advice. I didn't try to serve and volley. He was able to direct my 2nd serve well so I was afraid to S&V. He's a serve and volleyer. On baseline rallies I usually win the point. He would wait for a short ball and chip and charge. He's a good volleyer so he can dig low balls well.
Yeah he honed in his skills. He's in his 50s so he's been doing this for awhile. I can out rally him due to his age hence why he comes in ASAP. I guess the old saying is true, you are only as good as your 2nd serve. Need to work on placements and also improve 1st serve percentage.
 
#11
need to re-evaluate “decent”.

against mid level 4.5’s my kicker is decent.
against 5.0’s it’s a sitter unless placed perfectly.
problem is that it’s only in the 50’s, and high 4.5’s and up already “know” the bounce.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Decent for a 4.0 player. My 2nd serve is deep, usually within 1-2 feet of the serve line. Other 4.0 players can't attack it. I guess against a 4.5 player it's not as good. He was standing 2 feet inside the baseline and chipping it on the raise. I guess I need to add more pace and better direction on my 2nd serve.
 
#13
Lobs on low slices were difficult. I'm basically hitting the shots below my knees and sometimes as low as 1 foot high. He's 6 ft. tall so covers the net well.
I have some luck slice-lobbing these lower balls. It's not easy to hit a great lob to the baseline that way, but if you can give him something to think about other than closing to within 3' of the net to angle off that low pass attempt, I think it would be helpful to open up some room for your passes.
 
#14
Lobs on low slices were difficult. I'm basically hitting the shots below my knees and sometimes as low as 1 foot high. He's 6 ft. tall so covers the net well.
You didn't mention how good his OH is. I'm assuming because he comes to the net a lot, it's above-average. But don't lob with the intention of hitting a winner; that's too low %. Lob merely with the intention of getting him off the net. Also, how well can he hit OHs from closer to the BL and off the bounce? You need to test his ability and mobility backwards.
 
#15
If the return is not coming to where you like it, you will need to improve the serve. Make it hard for him to put the ball where he wants.
Did you try hitting to his forehand? Difficult to chip and charge from fh.
 
#16
If the return is not coming to where you like it, you will need to improve the serve. Make it hard for him to put the ball where he wants.
Did you try hitting to his forehand? Difficult to chip and charge from fh.
He chip and charge for both sides. He’s really and old school player. So I guess I need to improve my serve to keep him back.
 
#17
The basic strategy against any volleyer is to make them hit from below the net level so their slice floats and sits up for you to hit. Your kick serve might actually be helping him hit a driving slice down into your court. Try a slice serve instead.
 
#18
He chip and charge for both sides. He’s really and old school player. So I guess I need to improve my serve to keep him back.
I charge the net quite often and the hardest shot to defend against is the dipping topspin or hard slice. I would also work on the quality of passing shot - I'm guessing your baseline shots could pack more spin so he is not able to come in easily.
 
#19
For me, it is the same strategy as playing against s&v ... play for passing them on 2nd swing/hit ... use the 1st (their approach) to set you up for the pass. That 1st shot will be different for each player per their strengths ... low slice, dipper, dtl. It also varies per opponents skills on that 1st shot ... sometimes you just have to go for more. This is all assuming they are hitting a decent approach ... if the pass is there on the 1st ... go for it.
 
#20
For me, it is the same strategy as playing against s&v ... play for passing them on 2nd swing/hit ... use the 1st (their approach) to set you up for the pass. That 1st shot will be different for each player per their strengths ... low slice, dipper, dtl. It also varies per opponents skills on that 1st shot ... sometimes you just have to go for more. This is all assuming they are hitting a decent approach ... if the pass is there on the 1st ... go for it.
Good advice.
Check how Murray played against M Zverev in 2017 ao.open vs Fed against M Zverev.
Murray was trying to pass in the first shot and Zverev was able to hit volley winners.
Fed would try to set up for a 2nd shot and hit passing in the next shot.
Fed would hit the first shot so that it would come back weak, but not trying to win right way. Then contrast with what Murray did.
It's a great lesson to learn against snv or approach shots.
 
#21
Good advice.
Check how Murray played against M Zverev in 2017 ao.open vs Fed against M Zverev.
Murray was trying to pass in the first shot and Zverev was able to hit volley winners.
Fed would try to set up for a 2nd shot and hit passing in the next shot.
Fed would hit the first shot so that it would come back weak, but not trying to win right way. Then contrast with what Murray did.
It's a great lesson to learn against snv or approach shots.
I was s&v and c&c ... I hoped they would go for it on first shot. I came in on my terms, felt like I had the advantage (otherwise would not be that type of player). I am on the way in ... and want something up I can keep the advantage with 1st volley. If their 1st shot forced a weak volley ... now I'm at the net more vunerable to a pass (they flipped it to their adantage ... pass or topspin lob).

It's a constant chess match ... sometimes a good player will hit a crap approach, and some players are better for their level at taking a cut on 1st swing (worth the risk). But in general, at the rec level singles I played ... players going for winners on ros or off a good c&c were losing.
 
#22
I already see that @S&V-not_dead_yet posted the best advice. But I will re-iterate the same. You HAVE TO beat him to net. It is NOT as difficult as you think. Get out of your comfort zone to get him out of his comfort zone. There is a good chance that he does not have a super topspin grinding fine tuned passing shot.

If he still beat you.... well.. that just means you just have to improve a bit more....it is not about strategy anymore.

He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him.
 
#23
I already see that @S&V-not_dead_yet posted the best advice. But I will re-iterate the same. You HAVE TO beat him to net. It is NOT as difficult as you think. Get out of your comfort zone to get him out of his comfort zone.
OP is a baseliner and he said he wins more there. Is he going to win more coming to the net? Sure, once he learns approach and net game, it's not going to happen in the match.
He needs to develop the skill, I don't think anyone can learn 4.5 level net game in matter of days or weeks. It's going to take months in my experience(with humany possible hours for a rec player). I have started years ago and still poor at it more than the folks I play against.

Op's comfort zone is ground strokes, he has a better chance of beating a net crasher who has honed net skills over a period of 10-20 years with a superior passing strategy and shots.
 
#25
Some players feed off high-bouncing slowish kick serves. They depend on the height of the bounce to be able to attack downward on the return. The key against these players is to have an alternative second serve in your repertoire that bounces lower. Use full side spin rather than coming over the top of the ball. The spin will still give you ample margin for consistency, while the lower bounce will make it less attackable for when you play against good high ball attackers.
 
#28
I lost today to a chip and charger. I’m a 4.0 player who has a decent kick second serve. My opponent is a 4.5 old school chip and charger. He would slice my second serves deep into the corners. Since it has pace and stayed low it was hard for me to pass him. Even a decent return was volleyed into the other corner. What’s strategy should I try against such a player? Is my only option is to improve my second serve so that it would be harder for him to chip it into the corners?

Serve and volley every time. Make him have to hit perfect shots.
 
#29
Why would it be different for any level? It's harder to hit winners from near the baseline than from inside or the near the service line.
Agreed in general and as the game plan ... but rec tennis isn't as predictable/scripted as the pros. You could wait all year for Edberg to hit a weak chip ... so the opposing strategy (risk/reward) was not varying much per Edberg approach. But a 4.5 c&charger is going to chip some that aren't good enough against a great baseliner ... and on those that baseliner should just take the gift on 1st attempt. The Kamikaze net rusher puts constant pressure on opponent. If the opponent hurts the net rusher on weaker placements ... then he can't come in on a bluff. I always made quick assessments on that basic question ... can I come in on anything/bluff.

Stuff happens at rec level. 8-B

On the topic you and @Morch Us were discussing, full-time Kamikaze s&v and c&c was best suited for the fast and agile. A great baseliner without the best speed would most likely not do well forcing constant net play. What I saw great baseliners do that increased ther tournament results was take advantage of their great groundstrokes and come in behind a big fh when it presented itself in the point. They didn't have to be a speedster, or even have a great volley ... they basically won the point on the swing right before their simple finishing volleys. I had a friend that became a contender in the singles tournaments with this simple change. Great groundstrokes ... not fast ... no great volley but no trouble hitting the block finishing volley. It turns out most people can hit their volley after sending their opponent on a dead run to their corner.
 
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#30
Good advice.
Check how Murray played against M Zverev in 2017 ao.open vs Fed against M Zverev.
Murray was trying to pass in the first shot and Zverev was able to hit volley winners.
Fed would try to set up for a 2nd shot and hit passing in the next shot.
Fed would hit the first shot so that it would come back weak, but not trying to win right way. Then contrast with what Murray did.
It's a great lesson to learn against snv or approach shots.
I've watched Murray v M. Zverev multiple times and I'm struck by how often Murray was caught a few feet inside the BL and having to hit his second shot [after the service return] from an awkward position; Federer did not have that problem.
 
#31
I've watched Murray v M. Zverev multiple times and I'm struck by how often Murray was caught a few feet inside the BL and having to hit his second shot [after the service return] from an awkward position; Federer did not have that problem.
You are right, and also Murray hit some great passing return winners (1st shot)
Federer didn't hit a single return winner, his return was always right at Zverev's feet and Zverev had no angle to work with. Fed would hit his second shot screaming past Zverev from well inside the baseline.
Murray tried to blast to corners and hit some great winners but not enough of them. Zverev was able to simply block some returns from corners to the opposite corner and caught Murray in awkward position.
Murray's pace and target to corners went against him.
Fed hit less pacy shot right at Zverev's feet.
Zverev had no pace or angle to block to. He had to hit up without an angle and Fed was ready for the next shot in much stronger position.
It was such an eye opener to play the net crashers.
 
#32
You are right, and also Murray hit some great passing return winners (1st shot)
Federer didn't hit a single return winner, his return was always right at Zverev's feet and Zverev had no angle to work with. Fed would hit his second shot screaming past Zverev from well inside the baseline.
Murray tried to blast to corners and hit some great winners but not enough of them. Zverev was able to simply block some returns from corners to the opposite corner and caught Murray in awkward position.
Murray's pace and target to corners went against him.
Fed hit less pacy shot right at Zverev's feet.
Zverev had no pace or angle to block to. He had to hit up without an angle and Fed was ready for the next shot in much stronger position.
It was such an eye opener to play the net crashers.
Zverev also out-rallied Murray on multiple occasions, which surprised me.
 
#33
Decent for a 4.0 player. My 2nd serve is deep, usually within 1-2 feet of the serve line. Other 4.0 players can't attack it. I guess against a 4.5 player it's not as good. He was standing 2 feet inside the baseline and chipping it on the raise. I guess I need to add more pace and better direction on my 2nd serve.
definitely not strong enough against the 4.5 you're referencing.
i can c&c against some 4.5-5.0 kickers when they are in my strike zone... but typically they are moving it all over the box, have more spin, etc... and jerking me all over the place, so even if i get it back, it's short and an easy sitter.
 
#34
4.0 versus a 4.5 that makes their living off of coming in off of serves. If you aren't able to attack your opponents with your second serve at the 4.0 level, it'll be a piece of cake for a guy like this to attack you off the return. Mix up the placement and learn to consistently get the ball wide and into the body.
 
#35
Good advice guys. I definitely was going for passing shots on the 1st volley. His style put a lot of pressure on me so I felt like I had to go for it. And you are correct he was feeding off of it. I hit some good shots and he was right their to put them away. I will try to setup the 1st shot for a pass on the 2nd. The slice serve I didn’t think about. It’s not my preferred serve but I can hit it so will try that. His groundstoke is 4.0 so if I can keep him back I can win. Lost 7-5 6-2. 1st set my 1st serve percentage was higher. He was able to get more comfortable with my kick 2nd serve in the 2nd set. Also correct that patience is key. He was winning his serve games easy so I had a lot of pressure to hold my serve. He broke me at 5-5 and from that point I felt like I had to play better which make me more impatience.
 
#37
I don't remember, but I agree it's hilarious if Zverev with his ground shots can out rally Murray.
You mean Murray with late career hip issues ... or Murray prime? Baseline is a mix of defense and offense, and I put Murray in the top two in defense of all time ... Djokovic #1. Zverev's 2hbh is off the charts good ... but Murray's is pretty good 8-B, and Zverev doesn't come close (never will) to Murray's defense.

Edit: {written by someone who is not a fan of Murray (at least not when he is on court), and big fan of Zverev}.
 
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#38
You mean Murray with late career hip issues ... or Murray prime? Baseline is a mix of defense and offense, and I put Murray in the top two in defense of all time ... Djokovic #1. Zverev's 2hbh is off the charts good ... but Murray's is pretty good 8-B, and Zverev doesn't come close (never will) to Murray's defense.

Edit: {written by someone who is not a fan of Murray (at least not when he is on court), and big fan of Zverev}.
Murray , the seed 1, against Misca Zverev in 2017 AO early round. Not Sascha Zverev his younger brother.
 
#41
Good advice guys. I definitely was going for passing shots on the 1st volley. His style put a lot of pressure on me so I felt like I had to go for it. And you are correct he was feeding off of it. I hit some good shots and he was right their to put them away. I will try to setup the 1st shot for a pass on the 2nd. The slice serve I didn’t think about. It’s not my preferred serve but I can hit it so will try that. His groundstoke is 4.0 so if I can keep him back I can win. Lost 7-5 6-2. 1st set my 1st serve percentage was higher. He was able to get more comfortable with my kick 2nd serve in the 2nd set. Also correct that patience is key. He was winning his serve games easy so I had a lot of pressure to hold my serve. He broke me at 5-5 and from that point I felt like I had to play better which make me more impatience.
I lost to a S&V player a few years ago and had a similar experience to the one you're describing. I think kicking into his body on your 2nd serve might help instead of into his backhand, which he is probably waiting on to slice. Of course also try to incorporate the lob if you can. When I lost to my S&V player I lost badly the 1st set and as others have said came in before him off his serve in the 2nd set and broke him multiple times with that. My problem was he'd chip short to my BH off my serve so I had trouble holding. I'm actually thinking of playing him again so I was happy to see your thread.
 
#42
When I lost to my S&V player I lost badly the 1st set and as others have said came in before him off his serve in the 2nd set...
Wait a minute: you chipped and charged while he was serving and volleying? That's an interesting strategy. I've had a few opponents try that against me but they give up when they realize I'm still playing S&V and that I'm getting to attack first.
 
#43
I wrote it before, the best thing you can do is not hitting a short, weak serve to the middle of the box. If the chip and charge guy can hit the return standing 8 feet inside the baseline you have already lost the battle.

But if you serve deep and push him back to the baseline it will be much harder for him to get to a good position.
 
#44
But if you serve deep and push him back to the baseline it will be much harder for him to get to a good position.
But a deep serve isn't enough: it has to have enough pace on it to give the potential C&Cer some difficulty. A deep serve that has little pace won't help much. I'm not sure how good OP's serve was relative to the opponents returns but obviously it didn't trouble the opponent enough.
 
#45
Wait a minute: you chipped and charged while he was serving and volleying? That's an interesting strategy. I've had a few opponents try that against me but they give up when they realize I'm still playing S&V and that I'm getting to attack first.
Yep! Got it down at his feet and then beat him more times than not with the next volley. I don't think he was used to seeing it and it rattled him. Of course it was only off serves I could come in on. If he hit too good a serve I'd just try and chip it at his feet. He was mainly hitting kick serves and the slice return was more effective for me than my usual 2 handed backhand. I actually got the idea from here:

 
#46
But a deep serve isn't enough: it has to have enough pace on it to give the potential C&Cer some difficulty. A deep serve that has little pace won't help much. I'm not sure how good OP's serve was relative to the opponents returns but obviously it didn't trouble the opponent enough.
Yeah. Also Not hitting too many second serves. Better hit a hard spin first serve than missing a flat one and then hitting a weak second.

You have to hit some flat serves but not all the time. Few chip and chargers can do it consistently against first serves
 
#47
Yep! Got it down at his feet and then beat him more times than not with the next volley. I don't think he was used to seeing it and it rattled him. Of course it was only off serves I could come in on. If he hit too good a serve I'd just try and chip it at his feet. He was mainly hitting kick serves and the slice return was more effective for me than my usual 2 handed backhand. I actually got the idea from here:

Well done! That wouldn't be the first thing I'd suggest, especially if the person wasn't a net aficionado, but you made it work.
 
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