How do you handle unexpected high bounce ?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by oldhacker, May 21, 2007.

  1. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

    Feb 8, 2007
    Every now and again I get a ball (lets stick to the forehand side) which bounces much higher than I was expecting. Usually due to one of the following:

    1. ball hits a ridge or stone on a poor court surface - we have a few gravelly ones around here which I seem to encounter when playing away league matches.
    2. my footwork is slow and I am not where I think I am or should be.
    3. I misread the amount of spin.
    4. I forget what court surface I am playing on.

    In an ideal world the above would not happen but they do so lets take it as a given that it happens from time to time. And I have invariably taken my racquet back before the bounce expecting to hit a waist high shot. But then I see the ball is coming shoulder high or above and all I can find to do is a big upward swing of the racquet (like a sharp uppercut) in order to get it on the ball. My follow through is almost straight up to the sky (rather than my usual round the shoulder) and the result is a fairly soft heavily topspun shot with little control. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions I could try?
  2. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Feb 21, 2007
    In a word, expect it...

    ...either that or stop playing on those wretched courts. Hopefully, this doesn't happen very often, but if you keep your feet moving and stay loose, you're able to do whatever is necessary to get the ball back over the net...and as I think you've figured out, that's about the best you can do in one of these situations. Peter Burwash called tennis "a series of controlled emergencies" and he wasn't lying...make that your mantra, and you'll defeat the Evil Stones (sounds like a heavy metal group, doesn't it?)...
  3. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Jul 22, 2005
    I think a soft heavily spun topspin shot is about all you can hope for in the situation you describe. You can focus on watching the ball bounce to see sooner when the ball bounces strangely but once you are out of position on a ball then just getting it back over is about all you can do. I mean there just isn't room to plan ahead for a scenario you describe as literally unexpected.
  4. Dangus

    Dangus Semi-Pro

    Apr 29, 2006
    The shot you describe is pretty much all you can do in that situation.
  5. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    uh...if its kicking up fast, you can just try brushing up a lot on the ball to return it as a moonball. i like to go Nadal with it and try to whip the racket over my head and everythung, but its more show than effect.
  6. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

    Jul 28, 2006
    agree. even pros do this brushing up. and if u can make it a topspin moonball, you can force an error. The topspin moonball is not an easy shot to return, unless ur opponent is very good at attaching it on the rise or a smash overhead and the court is long enough.
  7. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

    Feb 17, 2005
    Big Canoe, GA
    #1 is a bicth, but that's going to happen from time to time on a soft court. WHATEVER you can do to get those balls back is fine. What you've BEEN doing sounds fine.

    BUT, #2, #3, and ESPECIALLY #4 are all within your control. None of those problems has to happen. Move your feet and get to the ball early. Watch the ball - pay attention to the spin. Get more mentally into the match - quit daydreaming.

    As one old fart to another: Come on oldhacker - this may be the best tennis you play for the rest of your life. Make the most of it! Cut out those stupid mental errors.

Share This Page