Hitting short balls

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ED7, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. ED7

    ED7 New User

    Apr 18, 2012
    Does anyone have tips on hitting balls landing short and bouncing low as some of the players I play with tend to simply tap the ball in play rather than put any actual pace into the ball. Often I either over hit the ball or hit it straight into the net. I use a mix between the eastern grip and the semi western grip where my index knuckle is very close to the edge between the 3rd and 4th bevel, don't know if there may be a room for improvement there. Occasionally I can hit really hard winners if the bounce is right; however, that is not the case for the majority of the balls and often I either hit long or short. Any tips?
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Mar 29, 2011
    San Diego
    stay low through the shot. don't hop up. don't stand up. deep bend and stay bent until finish.
  3. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

    Mar 31, 2006
    My guess is you're trying to hit a winner instead of a deep approach. If the ball is really low, it may not be possible to hit a winner and it would be best to approach deep and try to knock off the volley.

    -Ball bounces low and is too close to the net (within 4-5 feet) - will have to lift the ball to clear the net, aim deep and down the line - get ready to try to volley the next shot

    -Ball bounces low and is around the service line - You may be able to hit a more aggressive ball with top spin, maybe even able to hit a short angle - work on brushing up the back of the ball to get it to clear the net and come down.

    Another thing to think about is footwork and anticipation. If you read the shot and can get there early enough, you might be able to hit the ball before it drops to far below the net, especially if they are just tapping the ball back.

    Your grip sounds fine, I would just work on either using slice approach to get the ball deep, or brushing up on the ball to get it over the net but back into the court. Keep in mind, you probably won't hit a winner, but you're setting up your next shot.

    You can improve here, it's just a matter of practice. One of my fav drills is being fed a deep ball to hit an approach, a short ball, then two volleys and an overhead. Alternate backhand and forehand sides. Great way to work on the transition/short game.
  4. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

    Mar 19, 2012
    get a bucket of balls, stand on the service line and throw them in front of you nice and low so you're forced to hit topspin shots to get the ball over the net and in the court.

    as above, brush over the back of the ball and whip the racquet while staying low to the ground, knees bent and eye on the ball and keep head still.
  5. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    So short (service line), low ball to the fh that you're trying to hit aggressively - i.e. with pace. You use a strong E. grip.

    I use that grip (though it's been drifting to a very strong E., almost SW). I found that the key is to really focus on the pronation and swinging up on the ball. The ball is low and close to the net. You're going to have to put a lot of topspin on it to keep it in if you're going to hit it aggressively. That grip is great for hitting through the ball, but I've found you really have to focus on getting the swing path almost vertical and not try to hit through the ball very much to get enough topspin on it. I still get lots of pace when I do this, but the ball stays in.

    Note that I'm not saying hit a super spinny ball with no pace. It's just with that grip I've personally found that you really have to emphasize (almost over emphasize) the pronation and upward component of the swing to get enough topspin on the ball to keep it in.
  6. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    Unless you can hit a winner or a shot that makes the opponent very uncomfortable, you don't want to hit a topspin shot because it will bounce up into the opponent's strike zone. Better to hit a low slice that they have to hit at ankle height - especially if you can get some sidespin on it so it is somewhat unpredictable.
  7. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2009
    Depends on how close to the net it is and how low it is when you make contact. There's a certain space that I feel you can never really lift it with topspin and still drop it in, which would be like, below 2/3s or 1/2 the net height and around halfway inside the service line. At that point, you're better off hitting a slice or lifting it up and deep with feel using a continental grip (flat shot). If you have a good forehand slice, definitely go with that.

    Shorten the swing, bend your knees, get the racket under the ball, and LIFT with some drive. Practice by (like someone else said) drop hitting them from maybe inside the service line.

    Also, best thing to do would be to anticipate the short ball the instant it goes in the air, and getting into position quickly. If you can get it on the rise, it's a much easier shot because you can likely catch it before it drops below the net.

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