Height over the net - 4.5 tennis

AnyPUG

Professional
Latest tennis troll match has two hard hitters who in the first set seemed to never go for net clearance. So this kinda 'coachy' rules about needing to do this or that are more like rules of thumb.. Could this yellow shirt guy beat Mark or Cole? I dunno.. I wouldn't bet against it. Dude's serve is pretty sick.. Guy also seems like super quick around the court..

I think both of them could beat Mark. Cole might be hard - but could be very competitive. This is an interesting matchup - 2hfh vs righty serve/lefty gs.
 
What you can see with good players is they can control net height very well and vary it if needed. They can hit a rally ball 3 feet over the net but also for example a passing shot lower and a defensive shot higher.

Lower level players have variance too but it is more like coincidence just like their depth and side to side control.
 

WildVolley

Legend
The second part of the match has been posted.

To me, more interesting than the net clearance is the preferential serving to the forehands on almost all first serves. Was this good strategy on both players' parts?
 

Dragy

Legend
The second part of the match has been posted.

To me, more interesting than the net clearance is the preferential serving to the forehands on almost all first serves. Was this good strategy on both players' parts?
One thing I think Mark lacks is heavy drive BH. He can hit some screamers, but cannot construct a point neither maintain fast rally off that wing. Has to use slice, which is too limited against a player of Cole’s caliber.
 

WildVolley

Legend
One thing I think Mark lacks is heavy drive BH. He can hit some screamers, but cannot construct a point neither maintain fast rally off that wing. Has to use slice, which is too limited against a player of Cole’s caliber.
I agree. Cole (the college player) may have started serving mostly to Mark's fh because early in that set, Cole was faulting when targeting the bh on his 1st serve.
 

AnyPUG

Professional
I agree. Cole (the college player) may have started serving mostly to Mark's fh because early in that set, Cole was faulting when targeting the bh on his 1st serve.
Don't they backup too much from the baseline - rarely saw on the rise shots. They were trying to catch the ball down most of the time way behind the baseline.
The other thing I noticed was the recovery position - both of them recovered mostly behind the hash mark instead of couple of feet to the right or left based on where the shot went.
Most likely because the balls didn't have as much pace - and the opponent could easily change direction.
Cole tries to take the BH shots than the FH for some reason - though he had good shots on both wings.
 

WildVolley

Legend
...
Cole tries to take the BH shots than the FH for some reason - though he had good shots on both wings.
Cole showed he felt more confident trying to hit winners off the bh side than the fh. His forehand was mostly a defensive shot, but with enough pace and spin to not be attackable unless he was dropping it very short. However, he hit a number of backhands in the net in that second set game he dropped on serve.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
It’s like no one remembers watching this video and watching in amazement the net clearance of these two grand slam winners. Rally with clearance, strike with depth and pace.


Interesting in the ATP Finals yesterday the difference between Nadal and Rubelev. They posted a stat in there and it was a considerable difference with Nadal using a lot of variety, but in general more net clearance.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Interesting in the ATP Finals yesterday the difference between Nadal and Rubelev. They posted a stat in there and it was a considerable difference with Nadal using a lot of variety, but in general more net clearance.
The problem for rec players is if they hit with some much net clearance - they can't hit the ball fast enough through the air to really punish the other player. So its not clear to me this is a great strategy for every rec player. Pros can hit the ball so hard that even a ball with a ton of topspin is still going 80mph. It's like a kick serve. Is it really useful to hit a kicker when your flat serve is only 80MPH? Your kicker will hang up and go like 50mph.
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
The problem for rec players is if they hit with some much net clearance - they can't hit the ball fast enough through the air to really punish the other player. So its not clear to me this is a great strategy for every rec player. Pros can hit the ball so hard that even a ball with a ton of topspin is still going 80mph. It's like a kick serve. Is it really useful to hit a kicker when your flat serve is only 80MPH? Your kicker will hang up and go like 50mph.
Real quick.

Angles are also important in winning points. At the rec level, possibly more important than speed depending on who your playing. To hit good angles, which will bring your opponent off court, requires less speed, and, in many cases, more topspin.

You're hitting a lesser distance.

J
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Real quick.

Angles are also important in winning points. At the rec level, possibly more important than speed depending on who your playing. To hit good angles, which will bring your opponent off court, requires less speed, and, in many cases, more topspin.

You're hitting a lesser distance.

J

No disagreement there. More top can help you hit the angled shot. But there is a trade off on the rally balls. If you try to ramp up topspin on those balls they will travel slower as such rec men can run them down easier. Whereas a WTA style rally ball (which still has spin) can take some time away and help you open up the court.

Basically saying look at how much topspin so and so hits on the men's tour isn't relevant because you are generating problem half as much energy into the ball on your rally shot. It's the same for the kick serve. Watch some 4.5 tennis and while some guys might serve pretty big - not seeing a lot of kick serves mess people up. Reason is because you need to develop massive RHS to hit a sweet kicker at the rec level. It's pretty uncommon. Now a simple top slice serve - you will lose alot less MPH and can hit a more dangerous serve with everyday RHS.

Nadal's style works for him because he is a beast and can get away with putting massive spin on the ball and still keep the ball moving fast enough to bother his opponent. Joe Average cannot do that.. His massive topspin shot will just sit up.
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
The problem for rec players is if they hit with some much net clearance - they can't hit the ball fast enough through the air to really punish the other player. So its not clear to me this is a great strategy for every rec player. Pros can hit the ball so hard that even a ball with a ton of topspin is still going 80mph. It's like a kick serve. Is it really useful to hit a kicker when your flat serve is only 80MPH? Your kicker will hang up and go like 50mph.
Agree and disagree at the same time. In my experience, mixing up things is an important component to keeping your opponent off balance. That means a heavy, high loopy ball is a great change-up to a more predictable crosscourt rally ball. Of course this depends on the opponents strengths/weaknesses, but considering many rec players with a 1HBH tend not to like high heavy balls to that side, it is a favorite of mine to target. I also like to use the high ball (with a lot of topspin) to pull someone off the court and leave it wide open for the short ball put-away.

I agree that just hitting high repetitively is not a useful strategy most of the time...just as hitting the same rally ball over and over is usually not smart (unless your opponent has poor shot tolerance). Variety is the spice of life.

And finally, on the kick serve -- I think a "50 mph" kicker is still a tremendous tool at 4.5 as long as you can place it well. My most effective kick serve is a slow, short angled serve on the ad side. It is very predictable...my opponents all know it is coming yet they still cannot do anything about getting pulled off court and then leaving it open for an easy +1 for me. If I could hit that serve 15 mph even faster, great. But, the reality is I can't reliably hit that angle at a high speed, and suspect many others would have difficulty as well.

In my opinion, the worst possible thing any player can do...rec or not...is fail to return the ball over the net. Giving yourself clearance is a first step to massively reducing both forced and unforced errors. I like that the guys in the video start their match off going for high margin shots and as they settle in go for lower margin shots when it makes sense and within their skill level.
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
No disagreement there. More top can help you hit the angled shot. But there is a trade off on the rally balls. If you try to ramp up topspin on those balls they will travel slower as such rec men can run them down easier. Whereas a WTA style rally ball (which still has spin) can take some time away and help you open up the court.

Basically saying look at how much topspin so and so hits on the men's tour isn't relevant because you are generating problem half as much energy into the ball on your rally shot. It's the same for the kick serve. Watch some 4.5 tennis and while some guys might serve pretty big - not seeing a lot of kick serves mess people up. Reason is because you need to develop massive RHS to hit a sweet kicker at the rec level. It's pretty uncommon. Now a simple top slice serve - you will lose alot less MPH and can hit a more dangerous serve with everyday RHS.

Nadal's style works for him because he is a beast and can get away with putting massive spin on the ball and still keep the ball moving fast enough to bother his opponent. Joe Average cannot do that.. His massive topspin shot will just sit up.

You would have to play D-1 tennis to take a match away from a WTA.

Even at 5.5, these guys are generally sluggers who really can't vary spin, speed and loft all that well, let alone serious ball placement. And they lack consistency in the lob and drop shot. These shots don't get practiced often, the "touch" shots.
 
D

Deleted member 771407

Guest
You would have to play D-1 tennis to take a match away from a WTA.

Even at 5.5, these guys are generally sluggers who really can't vary spin, speed and loft all that well, let alone serious ball placement. And they lack consistency in the lob and drop shot. These shots don't get practiced often, the "touch" shots.
You mean bottom level WTA ? I don't know, but I would love to see that.
Here is the closest I could find :


the guy sucks but the girl seems beatable :D
 
It’s like no one remembers watching this video and watching in amazement the net clearance of these two grand slam winners. Rally with clearance, strike with depth and pace.

Amazing how stan varies his height. He plays shots with a very high arc like 4 or 5 feet over the net and then out of nowhere he will hit a really straight one low over the net.

Must be very hard for an opponent.

Nadal too, he hits more high arc shots but also some low ones
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
The second part of the match has been posted.

To me, more interesting than the net clearance is the preferential serving to the forehands on almost all first serves. Was this good strategy on both players' parts?
Well,

Why do you think they do this?

Did you notice the ball curve on their spin serve? Broke quite a distance.

J
 

WildVolley

Legend
Well,

Why do you think they do this?

Did you notice the ball curve on their spin serve? Broke quite a distance.
I think that Cole was faulting often on first serves aimed at the bh, so he reverted to his more consistent shot which was a slice serve to the forehand. Not sure about Mark.
 

socallefty

Legend
I‘ve seen a lot of posts over the years on TTW where there seems to be a debate on whether hitting with a lot of topspin is better or hitting harder with more pace is better - I don’t think the contrast is so black-and-white. In reality, I see some advanced guys who can hit with a lot of pace and spin or other guys who can hit flatter with a lot of pace - in general, the guys who hit with pace and spin are more consistent and win more.

Everyone else at the rec level just hits slow without much topspin - if they hit moon balls, they are just slow balls that are hit high and they are not the kind of 3,000 rpm heavy topspin, high trajectory, high-pace shot that an advanced player can hit. It is kind of an unicorn to think of a rec player who hits at 2,000+ rpm, but at too slow a pace to bother their opponents - if they have a good enough swing to generate that kind of rpm, they are usually also hitting the ball above 60 mph. So, if you develop a good enough swing to generate very high topspin, you probably will know how to generate good pace and also know how to flatten out your shot to go for a winner off an easy ball.

The young bashers who hit very hard and make a lot of errors at the rec level usually have an inconsistent swing with very little topspin and that lack of spin is what causes many of their errors. There are some older players with old-fashioned linear swings that can hit hard, flat and still be consistent - but, that generation is over 60 years old and they all hit less hard now than they used to.

I would advise most players to learn to hit with as much topspin as possible and if they string with poly or poly hybrids, they can start swinging out hard and learn to generate good pace over time. Most players who hit with a lot of topspin have close to textbook technique and there is nothing to stop them from generating pace if they want to swing hard and do so. On the other hand, many of the guys who hit hard without spin have erratic technique and they might never learn to be consistent or generate high rpm.
 
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I‘ve seen a lot of posts over the years on TTW where there seems to be a debate on whether hitting with a lot of topspin is better or hitting harder with more pace is better - I don’t think the contrast is so black-and-white. In reality, I see some advanced guys who can hit with a lot of pace and spin or other guys who can hit flatter with a lot of pace - in general, the guys who hit with pace and spin are more consistent and win more.

Everyone else at the rec level just hits slow without much topspin - if they hit moon balls, they are just slow balls that are hit high and they are not the kind of 3,000 rpm heavy topspin, high trajectory, high-pace shot that an advanced player can hit. It is kind of an unicorn to think of a rec player who hits at 2,000+ rpm, but at too slow a pace to bother their opponents - if they have a good enough swing to generate that kind of rpm, they are usually also hitting the ball above 60 mph. So, if you develop a good enough swing to generate very high topspin, you probably will know how to generate good pace and also know how to flatten out your shot to go for a winner off an easy ball.

The young bashers who hit very hard and make a lot of errors at the rec level usually have an inconsistent swing with very little topspin and that lack of spin is what causes many of their errors. There are some older players with old-fashioned linear swings that can hit hard, flat and still be consistent - but, that generation is over 60 years old and they all hit less hard now than they used to.

I would advise most players to learn to hit with as much topspin as possible and if they string with poly, they can start swinging out hard and learn to generate good pace over time. Most players who hit with a lot of topspin have textbook technique and there is nothing to stop them from generating pace if they want to swing hard and do so. On the other hand, many of the guys who hit hard without spin have erratic technique and they might never learn to be consistent or generate high rpm.
IME, I lose a lot more points because I didn't hit enough TS compared to too much. The typical error is a flattish FH that has a small margin of error, which I net or hit long/wide. I'm working on fixing that to stay in the point longer [or not try to end it so quickly].
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
IME, I lose a lot more points because I didn't hit enough TS compared to too much. The typical error is a flattish FH that has a small margin of error, which I net or hit long/wide. I'm working on fixing that to stay in the point longer [or not try to end it so quickly].
Pace is not speed.
 
You can also hurt your opponent with placement. Djokovic is extremely good at that, he doesn't hit the ball extremely hard (still plenty hard of course but there are harder hitters on tour) but he never just plays the ball back to a spot where you can just take 2 or 3 steps but he always makes you go that extra distance whether it is using angles or hitting the DTL when a normal player would just play it back cross court.

You can see that with Nadal and novak how they make each other run a lot with angles and good DTL shots and make the other guy go the extra mile.


Some old time players also were quite good at this, you think they aren't hitting that hard, why is the oppnent making errors but the answer is the placement keeps the opponent off balance and makes him go the extra mile so he is on the defense even though the opponents doesn't really hit harder and that often means they go the extra risk to escape from being run around like crazy.
 

Jake Speeed

Professional
You can also hurt your opponent with placement. Djokovic is extremely good at that, he doesn't hit the ball extremely hard (still plenty hard of course but there are harder hitters on tour) but he never just plays the ball back to a spot where you can just take 2 or 3 steps but he always makes you go that extra distance whether it is using angles or hitting the DTL when a normal player would just play it back cross court.

You can see that with Nadal and novak how they make each other run a lot with angles and good DTL shots and make the other guy go the extra mile.


Some old time players also were quite good at this, you think they aren't hitting that hard, why is the oppnent making errors but the answer is the placement keeps the opponent off balance and makes him go the extra mile so he is on the defense even though the opponents doesn't really hit harder and that often means they go the extra risk to escape from being run around like crazy.
You open the court with angled shots.
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
Shocking. "Smart" play in tennis involves a variety of shots including ones with high margin over the net -- especially useful to break up the natural rhythm that forms in a point with repetitive shots.

 

Morch Us

Professional
Because they are well aware of risk vs reward and time-advantage vs space-advantage.

High level players can comfortably hit multiple net clearence shots, multiple depths and multiple pace "on demand" especially when they are in neutral rally.
Unlike rec-tennis, pro players are never hurt by a single shot (well maybe except serve and and an aggressive return), and most of the magic is in how you set up the point.

why don't they?
 

AnyPUG

Professional
Because they are well aware of risk vs reward and time-advantage vs space-advantage.

High level players can comfortably hit multiple net clearence shots, multiple depths and multiple pace "on demand" especially when they are in neutral rally.
Unlike rec-tennis, pro players are never hurt by a single shot (well maybe except serve and and an aggressive return), and most of the magic is in how you set up the point.
I'm not sure you understood the context. Someone(not sure who, the name does not show up anymore, the poster must be in my ignore list now) stated that pros have the ability to hit with very low net clearance without negative consequences, and my response was "why don't they" if they can do it successfully.
It was a rhetorical question and my point was that hitting with low net clearance has multiple negative consequences depending on the situation - hit the net, ball landing very short, less recovery time for the hitter etc. The whole idea is that they are not hitting with low net clearance because they really can't afford to do it all the time - they are not doing it because they like the opposite style(high net clearance). It's a matter of substance and not style.
 
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Jake Speeed

Professional
I'm not sure you understood the context. Someone(not sure who, the name does not show up anymore, the poster must be in my ignore list now) stated that pros have the ability to hit with very low net clearance without negative consequences, and my response was "why don't they" if they can do it successfully.
It was a rhetorical question and my point was that hitting with low net clearance has multiple negative consequences depending on the situation - hit the net, ball landing very short, less recovery time for the hitter etc. The whole idea is that they are not hitting with low net clearance because they really can't afford to do it all the time - they are not doing it because they like the opposite style(high net clearance). It's a matter of substance and not style.
It's a matter of where you are on the court also. I explained this long ago.

J
 
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