Dealing with hard deep shots

#1
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
 
#3
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
Get alot better. That’s how you deal with this kind of ball.
 
#4
Either you sit ~4 feet behind the baseline or you get really good at taking the ball on the rise. High level players regularly sit around 3-4 players behind the baseline and only move up if they push their opponent back, which is honestly pretty difficult to do. You'll regularly see pros hitting around 4-5 feet behind the baseline. When the ball comes in really hard, deep, and with a ton of action, there's really not much else you can do.
 
#6
Either you sit ~4 feet behind the baseline or you get really good at taking the ball on the rise. High level players regularly sit around 3-4 players behind the baseline and only move up if they push their opponent back, which is honestly pretty difficult to do. You'll regularly see pros hitting around 4-5 feet behind the baseline. When the ball comes in really hard, deep, and with a ton of action, there's really not much else you can do.
BTW: welcome back; been away for a while?
 
#8
Either you sit ~4 feet behind the baseline or you get really good at taking the ball on the rise. High level players regularly sit around 3-4 players behind the baseline and only move up if they push their opponent back, which is honestly pretty difficult to do. You'll regularly see pros hitting around 4-5 feet behind the baseline. When the ball comes in really hard, deep, and with a ton of action, there's really not much else you can do.
For some reason I kept thinking about the advice from Blair Henely about not camping out back behind the baseline vs. a pusher even though the guy I'm hitting with is definitely not a pusher. I was thinking maybe having an abbreviated backswing or something like that would help.

I could definitely hang back 4-5 feet as he is not exactly the touch or finesse type player. I'm hopefully going to play with him again (if I didn't mess up too much hitting with him) so I can try it out
 
#9
Welcome to the world of playing against a 5.0 player :)

Just watch some videos of college players to see how they handle deep balls from other college players...
Even when I play practice sets against pros I've never encountered someone who hits that hard and deep consistently. Of course the pros hit more variety, angles, height, etc. This guy was just hammering the same deep ball with topspin
 
#10
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
Learn to half volley from the baseline; stand 6 ft or however far back to hit just after his shots crest; (for now) ask the guy to ease up a bit because he’s just too good for you - you didn’t play college tennis.
 
#11
Even when I play practice sets against pros I've never encountered someone who hits that hard and deep consistently. Of course the pros hit more variety, angles, height, etc. This guy was just hammering the same deep ball with topspin
You play practice sets against current touring pros? Are you an open level player?
 
#16
Hey I took it to mean retired pros. I think my friend plays with someone who was ATP #4 every now and then at his club.
That's really cool. I hit with some long retired pros like Villas years ago and played with some former low ranked pros at an exhibition event, but would love to be able to hit with someone at that level consistently.

Last time we played the guy hadn't hit much and I was training like crazy and was able to keep up with him. He even commented that he didn't realize I was that good so he agreed to hit with me again. This time I just kept getting jammed, hitting late and had a great deal of trouble trying to get the ball back to him with all that depth. People usually comment on how consistent I am at cross court rallys, but this guy was just hitting near the line every time. When we played a few points from the baseline if I got him on the run I could get him to hit a short ball and win the point, but he just completely wore me down.

Assuming he'd be willing to play with me again I want to get myself ready. One thing I figured out was I was tensing up with these shots. I also found this video at 3:08 he says to prepare before the ball bounces.

 
#17
4 options here:

1) Stand back behind the baseline and just rally. I wouldn't recommend that against a pusher, but if he's hitting strong shots, that's okay.

2) Stand right on the baseline and take the ball on the rise.

3) Slice the ball back to him, hack him to death, don't give him any pace so he has to generate his own. This is the sabotage method.

4) Get inside the baseline and take one out of the air; attack the net. You've gotta have a strong mid-court volley but it can be very effective.
 
#18
I'm a bit sceptical about the slice. I got bagelled last night by a guy with a massive forehand. He had a quick feet and a good inside out so he was hammering my backhand from all over the court

I sliced a lot back but he kept hitting them and by the third or fourth shot I will always miss time the topspin and pop one short
 
#19
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
 
#21
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#22
That is a great drill. I used to do it when I was training quite a bit. I actually got to learn it even better when I was able to work with Chris, the coach in that video, for a summer as one of his coaches.
NYTA says he's quite expensive. His book is pretty good. Enjoyed it.
 
#23
NYTA says he's quite expensive.
He definitely is. I had an interesting relationship with him that summer. I learned a lot, some good things I still implement, and some things I wasn't a fan of that I try to avoid, but that's expected just about anywhere you go. All I'll say publicly is that I did not have an interest in working with him again the next summer.
 
#24
He definitely is. I had an interesting relationship with him that summer. I learned a lot, some good things I still implement, and some things I wasn't a fan of that I try to avoid, but that's expected just about anywhere you go. All I'll say publicly is that I did not have an interest in working with him again the next summer.
what level are you now, and do you think the $200-300/hr investment was worth it?
i went to barcelona this summer... over there the coaches are ~100euro at the club (eg. sanchez casal).... but if you can go out of the club, the cost is only like 50euro (+15euro/hr court time)
are you in westchester, ny?
 
#25
what level are you now, and do you think the $200-300/hr investment was worth it?
i went to barcelona this summer... over there the coaches are ~100euro at the club (eg. sanchez casal).... but if you can go out of the club, the cost is only like 50euro (+15euro/hr court time)
are you in westchester, ny?
I worked with him as a coach for a summer, I never worked with him as a player. I actually lived with him while I was there as well.

He does a lot of great things as a coach and has developed plenty of solid players, but I personally think his prices are a little high. Granted, I think most coaching in that area is priced a little high because there's a lot of wealthy people that will pay those prices, but I would still take my child (if I had one and lived in the area) elsewhere.
 
#26
I worked with him as a coach for a summer, I never worked with him as a player. I actually lived with him while I was there as well.

He does a lot of great things as a coach and has developed plenty of solid players, but I personally think his prices are a little high. Granted, I think most coaching in that area is priced a little high because there's a lot of wealthy people that will pay those prices, but I would still take my child (if I had one and lived in the area) elsewhere.
agreed, that was my thought... but then again i'm not wealthy.
it's easy to dictate high prices when you have a demographic that doesn't think it's alot of money :p

i asked about westchester, because he used to play out of the hastings tennis club (i play there occasionally), last summer or a couple ago...
 
#27
agreed, that was my thought... but then again i'm not wealthy.
it's easy to dictate high prices when you have a demographic that doesn't think it's alot of money :p

i asked about westchester, because he used to play out of the hastings tennis club (i play there occasionally), last summer or a couple ago...
Yes, exactly. I don't think most of the kids' parents thought twice about how much it was because it didn't matter to them.

And yeah, that's where he was at when I was coaching with him, before he moved his summers to Vermont.
 
#28
All I'll say publicly is that I did not have an interest in working with him again the next summer.
I listened to a long podcast interview with him and he seemed a bit prickly.

One interesting thing came up though was that he said the USTA snatches his better young students from him. lol
 
#29
One interesting thing came up though was that he said the USTA snatches his better young students from him.
The USTA has been known to do that in the past, and they are trying to stop that and work better with coaches now. Some of his better students would also be picked up by other academies like the John McEnroe Academy because they could offer scholarships for (relatively) cheap or free training to the best players (similar to what the USTA would do) where Chris doesn't do that. That's not to say Chris has had a ton of students leave him for that reason, but it has happened.
 
#30
@nytennisaddict maybe you could help me out here there's obviously something I'm not understanding.

In the feel tennis Vid you linked Tomaz says on his number 3 point don't hit with a fast racquet against a fast ball.

Later on in the vid Tomaz says it should be more of a pushing then swinging feeling.

Which seems to back up what I was saying.

What am I missing?
 
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#31
Its probably an impossible question but what do you do if they have both power and touch. I m playing a lot of guys lately who have Canon forehands and nasty short angled slices with side.

So the obvious problem is if I stand 4 ft behind the baseline how am I going to deal with the droppers?
 
#32
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
1. Better setup: setup earlier, take racquet back BEFORE ball bounces, in preparation for your shot, figuring out what youre gonna hit (fh or bh).
2. Bend knees: get down lower, since youre gonna hit the ball practically on the rise
3. Shorter backswing: ball is coming in fast, you dont have time for a huge backswing, nor do you need one; use the pace of the incoming ball to your advantage
4. Hit in front of your body: crucial, if you dont do this youre dead.

All in all, PRACTICE. GET BETTER.
 
#33
And of course they are going to be trying to work you side to side. So I guess the old basic of turning and running with your racket in position already.
 
#34
I'm also wondering about going to a lob game. Otherwise you seem to be trying to out hit these guys which is surely playing their game.

Thoughts?

I think the other thing I am really really guilty of is when I am under pressure on the back hands I hit back to his forehand. I think in this kind of dog fight hitting Cross Court slices many many times under pressure is an essential skill.
 
#35
By the way I have to pay huge credit to this guy. I hit a big Cross Court forehand into deuce corner. And he came back with a full Rafa shot which loops into my corner and topspun so viciously it took me three meters off the court. Doing that from a full run is mad skills. I tried to squash shot it back and the ball slapped my racket away. Too good.
 
#36
@nytennisaddict maybe you could help me out here there's obviously something I'm not understanding.

In the feel tennis Vid you linked Tomaz says on his number 3 point don't hit with a fast racquet against a fast ball.

Later on in the vid Tomaz says it should be more of a pushing then swinging feeling.

Which seems to back up what I was saying.

What am I missing?
i think he poorly misuses "slow racquet" as well.
main point is to take a short backswing... which causes the rhs to be slower through contact, because there's less runaway to generate rhs (think only pulling back the plunger 1/4 of the way on a pinball machine). and when you take the short backswing, you want to "swing factset" from the new short backswing position.

(when i describe "slow racquet" without the "short backswing" part... most folks take a normal size backswing, and swing slowly from there...)
 
#37
Its probably an impossible question but what do you do if they have both power and touch. I m playing a lot of guys lately who have Canon forehands and nasty short angled slices with side.

So the obvious problem is if I stand 4 ft behind the baseline how am I going to deal with the droppers?
...and what are you able to do to them?
 
#41
I don't want to be a know it all but the answer is common if you trained with top tier players and coaches or watched them do so like I have for 10 years now.

Its when its hit down towards the middle of the court (shorter court) fast, heavy (spin) and deep that people have issues. The feel tennis guy is half wrong imo. At the top levels there isn't enough time to do what he says. Like coming out of serve and the return is barreling back at you as you land. Or during baseline rally the ball is hit very hard and deep off a weak ball miss hit you offered.

The technique is to step back with your back leg. To make space for your swing. Since the ball is coming into you with no time or space you cannot make a full swing. But you still need to use a full swing to hit a good ball. How? You rotate around your back foot. Lifting the outside leg to rotate and land for the finish. Hit with the shoulder and push out. Then across. Full stroke.

It's usually called the "1 foot pivot" and is a counter defensive move. (I found the term later) Usually hit semi open. In the backhand side 2 handers hit it semi open as well. But for the 2handbh the move is much more exaggerated due to the body being in the way of the stroke finish because of the 2nd hand.

I don't know how 1 hand backhand does it. I suppose just like Federer. A half hop shovel.

My sons coach was the Davis cup captain for his country and he drilled all kinds of scenarios into him. This was a specific scenario they drilled on and on and on... and on....
 
#44
I'd be interested in what he'd say for Gregory Diamond!
I thought GD's strokes were good...
main issues I had:
1) insisted split step is a waste of time
2) 2hfh is the future of tennis... (yet it's been used for decades)
though i do agree that a 2hfh might be easier for novice's to learn (forces unit turn... 2 hands on handle helps control the racquet face - which can be floppy for novices hit 1hfh, etc...)
 

Nostradamus

Talk Tennis Guru
#46
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
Pros just take it on the rise and re-direct it into open court using opponent's power. they make it look so easy. how can I do it so easy too ?
 
#47
I thought GD's strokes were good...
main issues I had:
1) insisted split step is a waste of time
2) 2hfh is the future of tennis... (yet it's been used for decades)
though i do agree that a 2hfh might be easier for novice's to learn (forces unit turn... 2 hands on handle helps control the racquet face - which can be floppy for novices hit 1hfh, etc...)
I've definitely seen worse, but I don't know that I'd say they were good...
 
#49
How do you handle someone that consistently hits his shots within a foot or 2 of the baseline and hard with topspin? I'm not talking about a pusher hitting moonballs that deep. I mean regular shots with topspin.

The person I hit with today played in college and also used to teach tennis several years ago. Last time we played just hitting cross court and to each other I could keep up because his shots were landing just past the service line. With the deeper shots I kept backing up several feet and moving back in. Am I supposed to just camp out way behind the baseline? That doesn't seem right either.

This is not in a set type situation, but just feeding balls from the baseline.
I find, if possible, the best option is to hit on the rise with both feet on the floor, pivoting on your feet

Your opponent may just be a bit out of your league though, so dont beat yourself up if you're not as good. Remember Nadal was just 17 chopping up on the ATP tour
 
#50
I find, if possible, the best option is to hit on the rise with both feet on the floor, pivoting on your feet

Your opponent may just be a bit out of your league though, so dont beat yourself up if you're not as good. Remember Nadal was just 17 chopping up on the ATP tour
The other day I played against a teaching pro who hits the ball similarly, but this was in an actual doubles match. He just kept pushing me back more and more until he'd take my shot early and hit an angle around the alley. I think backing up too much is a problem.
 
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