Help with moonballer

marianix

New User
Guys please help me.

I will play soon (again) with colleague who's playing the most annoying style.
We will play on clay.
He's 19 and very fast.

I thought to play moonball too, but something inside me explode. Im not patient.

Maybe you have some tips how to play with that type of player.
The worst thing is that he has skills to play fast and powerfull game, but from unknown reason he's attacking maybe 5 times for 2 sets.
We're on 4.0 level so its hard to finish all ball inside court :)

Here's some of hits which he use in different situations:
-when I hit to his forehand - he use slice,
-when I hit to his BH - he's mostly hit topspin bh 5 metres above net
-when I go to net - he play very good lob. even I can smash that ball - I can't handle with it and I shot on net or out, or court but he return me again lob. On clay in open space I have big trouble with smash - in hall 90% of smash is on target.
One chance to me is hit 2-3 topspin moonball to push him far away form baseline and play short ball, but its hard when ball return to me 8 metres above the ground.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Guys please help me.

I will play soon (again) with colleague who's playing the most annoying style.
We will play on clay.
He's 19 and very fast.

I thought to play moonball too, but something inside me explode. Im not patient.

Maybe you have some tips how to play with that type of player.
The worst thing is that he has skills to play fast and powerfull game, but from unknown reason he's attacking maybe 5 times for 2 sets.
We're on 4.0 level so its hard to finish all ball inside court :)

Here's some of hits which he use in different situations:
-when I hit to his forehand - he use slice,
-when I hit to his BH - he's mostly hit topspin bh 5 metres above net
-when I go to net - he play very good lob. even I can smash that ball - I can't handle with it and I shot on net or out, or court but he return me again lob. On clay in open space I have big trouble with smash - in hall 90% of smash is on target.
One chance to me is hit 2-3 topspin moonball to push him far away form baseline and play short ball, but its hard when ball return to me 8 metres above the ground.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
I d add practice slicing slow dipping angled passing shots and when you do take a couple of steps inside the court. Most guys will pop close up and then you can smack a forehand passing shot.
 
Guys please help me.

I will play soon (again) with colleague who's playing the most annoying style.
We will play on clay.
He's 19 and very fast.
Maybe you have some tips how to play with that type of player.
The worst thing is that he has skills to play fast and powerfull game, but from unknown reason he's attacking maybe 5 times for 2 sets.
The reason is not unknown. It works against you.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I d add practice slicing slow dipping angled passing shots and when you do take a couple of steps inside the court. Most guys will pop close up and then you can smack a forehand passing shot.
Dipping slices?
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
play inside the baseline... smash is a basic skill.... do some drills against wall to practice the smashes...

also practice swing volleys, basically the same as a high forehand.

also practice some basic volleys.. it's not complicated... put the racket in the path of the ball and squeeze the handle.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
You need to take balls off the rise and make yourself not back pedal to let the ball drop into your hitting zone. That's what he wants is to push you back and force you to go bigger and make errors. They thrive on letting their opponent beat themselves.

You'll not only need to hit on the rise, but also draw them to net and come to net yourself. Play some nice backhand slices deep and skidding low and follow to net. Force them to hit up in hopes you get an easy volley. You'll need to be confident in your overhead. That's pretty much it.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
You need to take balls off the rise and make yourself not back pedal to let the ball drop into your hitting zone. That's what he wants is to push you back and force you to go bigger and make errors. They thrive on letting their opponent beat themselves.

You'll not only need to hit on the rise, but also draw them to net and come to net yourself. Play some nice backhand slices deep and skidding low and follow to net. Force them to hit up in hopes you get an easy volley. You'll need to be confident in your overhead. That's pretty much it.
Not sure if hitting a moonball on the rise is a good idea but your other advice is good.

Be patient and keep them moving. Eventually they will hit a short ball. If you’ve been moving them around you should have a nice open court to hit into. Good luck. Everyone hates moonballers but if you can beat them you know you can play winning tennis anywhere.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
Not sure if hitting a moonball on the rise is a good idea but your other advice is good.

Be patient and keep them moving. Eventually they will hit a short ball. If you’ve been moving them around you should have a nice open court to hit into. Good luck. Everyone hates moonballers but if you can beat them you know you can play winning tennis anywhere.
If they're moonballing like a fiend, you should have plenty of time to run around the backhand if it's to that side and start hitting inside out forehands off the rise. Have a hitting partner or ball machine feed you lobs and just start practicing. Yes hitting off the rise requires precise timing but it becomes easy once you do it 1000 times.

Then you take massive amounts of time away from them and make them uncomfortable. Makes them start thinking that their strategy isn't going to work after all then they go into panic mode.

Ask me how I know.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
If they're moonballing like a fiend, you should have plenty of time to run around the backhand if it's to that side and start hitting inside out forehands off the rise. Have a hitting partner or ball machine feed you lobs and just start practicing. Yes hitting off the rise requires precise timing but it becomes easy once you do it 1000 times.

Then you take massive amounts of time away from them and make them uncomfortable. Makes them start thinking that their strategy isn't going to work after all then they go into panic mode.

Ask me how I know.
I disagree. Hitting on the rise never becomes easy. Even the pros don’t seem to find it easy. That’s why everyone went nuts over Agassi. Some people are better at it than others. But the majority of players are advised to avoid it if possible.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
I disagree. Hitting on the rise never becomes easy. Even the pros don’t seem to find it easy. That’s why everyone went nuts over Agassi. Some people are better at it than others. But the majority of players are advised to avoid it if possible.
Just means you need to practice it. I don't know what level you are but hitting off the rise at the 4.0 to 5.0 level isn't that bad because you're not facing pace like the pros play with. It's just timing. Practice it and you'll get good at it. Simple
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
I hit off the rise on my one hander and forehand all the time against pansy moonballers. That's how you beat them. And coming to net and using biting slice.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Just means you need to practice it. I don't know what level you are but hitting off the rise at the 4.0 to 5.0 level isn't that bad because you're not facing pace like the pros play with. It's just timing. Practice it and you'll get good at it. Simple
Lol heavy spin or pace balls are much easier to time off the rise than slow loopy moonballs that jump almost completely vertical up.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I think you actually don’t have an easy-win solution against good moonball. It’s high, traveling deep and bouncing with good vertical component. You should make your opponent uncomfortable so that he doesn’t consistently pull those out. Once you can make him hit weaker shorter moonballs you get your options: hitting on descend from inside the baseline, or stepping in to take it out of the air... use your serve and your return to not let the moonball fest start, keep the ball low, short, angled.
 

blablavla

Professional
I think you actually don’t have an easy-win solution against good moonball. It’s high, traveling deep and bouncing with good vertical component. You should make your opponent uncomfortable so that he doesn’t consistently pull those out. Once you can make him hit weaker shorter moonballs you get your options: hitting on descend from inside the baseline, or stepping in to take it out of the air... use your serve and your return to not let the moonball fest start, keep the ball low, short, angled.
your description doesn't sound like a moonball, rather like a heavy top-spin.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
your description doesn't sound like a moonball, rather like a heavy top-spin.
Well, is there a distinguishing line? OP claimed to play 4.0 level. I suppose his opponent hits high over the net, moderate topspin balls. When it’s high enough it lands deep and is tough to handle, that’s what I’m talking about. When it bounces barely past service line or shorter, it can be comfortable to deal with as it passes it’s peak and descends to good strike zone still inside baseline. Or you can hit it down into opponents court from chest height as it rises/peaks.
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
Lol heavy spin or pace balls are much easier to time off the rise than slow loopy moonballs that jump almost completely vertical up.
this is somewhat true... as said before you can actually play in the no man's land against such style... from the NML you are not vulnerable to lobs, can step in to swing volley.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
Here's the strategy that I was taught that has been very effective.

On neutral balls, hit it deep and push your opponent back until they cough up a short ball. Don't blast that ball off the court (unless you have that shot and can put it away 80-90% of the time), instead angle it off to the side. The goal would be to have the ball bounce in the service box and the second bounce would be outside the doubles alley. Your opponent may get there but they will be hitting a shoe top shot on the run and will be completely off the court. Move in and hit that ball into the open court. If you get a ball that's in between a neutral ball and a short ball then hit a drop shot pull them to the net.

The idea is that you can't beat them at their game, and you probably can't beat playing your game, so do something in between. Pushers like to stay on the baseline, and they are never out of position - so don't let them just hang out on the baseline. Make them scramble on every point, and put pressure on them by making them play the whole court and taking their time away.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
Lol heavy spin or pace balls are much easier to time off the rise than slow loopy moonballs that jump almost completely vertical up.
Hmmm. I guess speak for yourself. I have no issues taking balls of the rise whether they're dropping in high or off 60 to 70mph groundies. Doesn't matter. If you keep your eye on the ball and focus you can make clean contact.
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
so basically you gotta have at least 1 of these 3 tools -

- a great smash, but so-so volley - you can stand right on top of the net;
- great volley, but so so smash - stand back in the service box to protect against the lob but step forward to finish off the volley;
- a swinging volley (basically a high forehand/backhand), but no smash/volley skills, then play from the NML.

if you have none of these you are at most a 3.5 lol.
 
Some of you folks are overlooking the fact that any good moonballer will not moonball once you come to the net. The reason he moonballs is because you are not a threat to come to the net.
 

user92626

Legend
Some of you folks are overlooking the fact that any good moonballer will not moonball once you come to the net. The reason he moonballs is because you are not a threat to come to the net.
Yeah but you are overlooking the fact that most folks suck at the net.
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
I would practice hitting deliberately weak forehand and backhand (that doesn't bounce, means no topspin) that forces him to come forward to the net, then practice lobs to make him run around, or drop to trick him up. That will help your game I think. :)
 

marianix

New User
Played once high deep ball, once short ball. I played 80% time neutral balls. When he give me short ball - I tried attack. It was important to didin't find winners, but hit slice or top spin and wait for finish him at the net.
Im also noticed that slow, short serve > fast serve . When I served fast he played high deep return using my power. When I hit weakly - he must add own power and return was usually on middle of court. (he didn't attack my short serve).

Also I remember that lots of points I achived playing short angle
(sorry for my english)
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Played once high deep ball, once short ball. I played 80% time neutral balls. When he give me short ball - I tried attack. It was important to didin't find winners, but hit slice or top spin and wait for finish him at the net.
Im also noticed that slow, short serve > fast serve . When I served fast he played high deep return using my power. When I hit weakly - he must add own power and return was usually on middle of court. (he didn't attack my short serve).

Also I remember that lots of points I achived playing short angle
(sorry for my english)
Nice idea on the serve. You could always go full Kyrgios with the underhand serve too.

It may be that moonballers prefer pace because they have less work to do.

My feeling is that the best way to be comfortable with moonballers is to practice with one on a regular basis.
 

marianix

New User
You are right. Regular practice with moonballer should give more benefits than practice with similar style player.

btw. he tried several times Kyrgios serve :D but it was noticable and I had time to preper hit
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
So how would you adjust this long short strategy if the guy also has a good net game?

I face a guy like this pretty regularly and he's beaten me the last couple of times.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Sure understood. It was more a question to the other guys on this thread.

and it should be of interest to you too because you are going to find guys who have a relatively passive baseline game but play net as well when you try and bring them short.
 

marianix

New User
Well. I always check which side is worse. Usually is BH volley. So when my opponent is going to the net I hit to his bh side. But Im not try hit perfect passing shot - because bigger probability is that my opp. doesn't hit winner, and return me easy ball to finish.
 

Lovepub

New User
Bring him to the net, then lob him then bring him in again. Run him dead.

Or if u can volley, hit it deep and attack the net. Or even do drive volleys 3/4 &1/2 way into the court.
Tske time away from him.
But this would require pretty good skill.
 
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