How do you junkball a 5.0 basher?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TimeToPlaySets, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I have a former 5.0 in my hitting rotation.
    This guy is a beast, and generates massive RHS.
    He is the hardest hitter in my rotation.

    I step up and hit my hardest, but I'll never out bash him.
    I know I am giving him the shot he loves.
    I noticed he makes more errors on my 2nd serve than my first.
    I need to mix it up and make him play his B and C game.

    How exactly do you junkball a 5.0 ?
    Drop shot? Moonball? slices?
    The balls are coming with huge pace so I can't just hit moonballs.
    Slices are hard to control and often come up short.
    Short balls are bad.

    When you face an uberBasher, how do you not give him what he wants?
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  2. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    Short sitters are bad. Short, low, angled slices that make him leave his BL comfort zone are good; the only problem is being able to pull them off under the circumstances.

    Try to hit any shot that incentivizes him to leave his comfort zone. Your 2nd serve is probably doing that.
     
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  3. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    He can attack any short ball. I just need to figure out what he's practiced the least.

    I think I will try to slice everything the next time we play a set.
    I will report back the results. I suspect most of my slices will be wild, popped up, or too long, or too short.
     
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  4. Wise one

    Wise one Semi-Pro

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    Watch this:

     
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  5. gallen1999

    gallen1999 Rookie

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    Don't let him get in a rhythm. Do a little bit of everything. Interchange topspin and slice, hit drop shots, hit moonballs, serve and volley, chip and charge, hit angles. Likely he will have a weakness and you can find a pattern to exploit it.
     
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  6. steve s

    steve s Professional

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    If he is a better player, do not beat yourself. If he can not hit your second serve, how good can he be.
     
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  7. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Can you explain what this means, and why it is helpful?

    He can handle it, he just tends to overhit it.
    Also, at this point, my 2nd serve with tons of lefty spin is quite effective against many players.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
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  8. ptuanminh

    ptuanminh Professional

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    Whatever happened to playing beautiful strokes and hitting like you are practicing?
    Welcome to the junk-ball club!
     
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  9. StringSnapper

    StringSnapper Professional

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    If he's 5.0 i think you need to accept you wont win, and just work on your own game.

    I play someone my level and my serves win me some points, i can hit a few winners, often take control of the point. Against a 5.0 level guy their serve is insane, the best i can do is get it back into play. Hopefully deep. They will probably start dictating play even off a deep return. My serve gets no winners, and they dictate play off it.

    Pushing is probably the best strat for me for the score board, and hope they lose focus and double fault a bit. Lol. But i still wont win. Better to try and practice my serve and return and some plays when i can, even if i make an error.
     
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  10. AdrianC

    AdrianC New User

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    If he's a hitting partner why not just rally with him best you can. Who cares if you lose, its about improving. Before long his strengths will start to become your strengths. Thats how id treat it anyway.
     
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  11. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

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    I'd just try to get used to his pace and try to meet pace with like pace. That will make you better. junk balling him might briefly feel good but it won't get you better that learning how to hit with someone above you tit for tat.
     
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  12. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    Just watch Santoro v safin.
     
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  13. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    Yup. A 4.0 has no chance against a 5.0. The 4.0 can’t do much to take the 5.0 out of his comfort zone. So like you said, he just needs to get better at everything.
     
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  14. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    Those guys are both pros. There’s not a huge gap in skills between them like ttps and the 5.0.
     
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  15. Bender

    Bender G.O.A.T.

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    Unless you have a 5.0 junkball, the short answer is that you can't.

    Based on your posts, junkballing is not something you have spent a significant time improving.

    If so, then how do you expect to use an underdeveloped junkball game against someone who outranks you, when even the shots you have practised most won't work?

    Your best chance is to still use your best shots and execute them as well as possible, and then throw in a few spanners here and there like a drop shot, floating slice or low slice to make playing against you more erratic. You can't make the junkballing the main part of your game against a better player if you've never focused on it before.

    At the pro level, Nadal is a great example. He makes adjustments to his classic game depending on his opponent, but he does not change his style completely. You won't see him S&V at Wimbledon even though he has the volley and a serve that works well for that kind of game (spinny, well placed, not too fast, difficult enough to put the receiver at a disadvantage while the server closes the net). Even Federer, who IMO is miscategorised as an all-courter plays his normal game on all surfaces with minor adjustments here and there depending on opponent and surface.

    So if your main game is topspin FH CC to the BH, then keep doing that and execute as close to perfectly as you can. You can fiddle with how much spin and pace you put on the ball, how wide or deep you hit the ball, and even add a few junkballs in your game here and there to keep the 5.0 off rhythm, but you can't change your entire game to junkballing. Not only will it not work, but I'm sure the 5.0 would not enjoy it either. He keeps playing with you, so clearly he thinks you're good enough to practise with, so don't change that.
     
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  16. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    Which is he? A former 5.0 cannot be a 5.0.
     
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  17. Bender

    Bender G.O.A.T.

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    Moral 5.0
     
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  18. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    You can't beat an opponent that is so much more superior to you, no matter what you do.

    If you are at a level where you can play with him and compete and maybe lose 6:4 6:4 6:3 and such, then perhaps you could use different tactics and strategies to better your chances and perhaps win a set or so, but against someone who crushes you easily 6:0 6:0 theres nothing you can do, wait a few years and keep working hard and improving your game.
     
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  19. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Professional

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    +1

    Or watch Hsieh versus any of the WTA bashers...

    Santoro and Hsieh are masters at using deep slices, drop shots, sharp angles - anything but trying to go toe-to-toe with a basher...

    If a basher is not great at net, you can try to pull him to net on your terms (with droppers and short angles) and then pass/lob. My first couple years of HS tennis I had to play a couple of big hitters this way, as I was much smaller physically at 14/15 years old than they were at 16/17/18.

    For your baseball analogy - Greg Maddux wouldn't have fed a steady stream of 93MPH fastballs to a fastball hitter...
     
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  20. DNShade

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  21. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    true, but at least he can develop a plan, rather than rolling over and feeding him a steady diet of balls that his opponent will smash.

    in my early days, my game plan against a big hitter was to try to out hit them. fail.
     
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  22. Hmgraphite1

    Hmgraphite1 Professional

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    Don't want to lose him in your rotation unless he likes junk
     
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  23. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus Talk Tennis Guru

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    http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/video/highlights.html

    watch the Tatiana Maria vs Elina Svitolina in 1st round of Wimbledon match highlights or the entire match. This is so much typical of USTA 3.5 player junk ball tactics employed by Tatiana on Top 5 player Svitolina and it worked like a charm, at least on grass anyway. It had it all. junk ball slice backhand, forehand, junk ball mishit volley, and the most infamous Junk spin Semi high height Lobs with no pace,,,, these are very effective cause it doesn't look like a typical high Lob and it isnt' a high volley either,,, it is somewhere in between, usually to the backhand side..... LOL
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    You can't win by bunt pushing against a 5.0. You either need a consistent and deep topspin or a mixed junk game like Santoro who would mix heavy slices with drop shots and some regular topspins. People like to bring him up but Santoro could actually hit a decent backhand topspin, plus his slice and droppers were super nasty, he had a great net game, world class feel for the ball and great footwork.

    Chances are that you are not Santoro and you can't beat a 5.0 by pushing.
     
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  25. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Exactly.

    The point of advanced tennis is to find the opponents weakness.
    Just like Gilbert/Krik., you can't give him the A game.

    People are conflating junkball/variety with pushing.
    They are not the same. This guy will devour any short ball.

    I am not tossing out my basic game against him.
    But, I must introduce variety that is not needed against a 3.5 or 4.0
    (Hit hard/deep, attack short ball, hit to BH)

    As for losing this guy in my rotation, that is a valid point.
    This guy loves to rally, and when we rally, I also crush, and I can hang with him.
    It's enough of a spectacle that people on other courts stop and watch.
    You typically don't see this on public courts.
    But, he's got a clear edge, and I am playing HIS game.

    So, when playing sets, I need to get smarter. I view it as a challenge.
    Right now, score ranges from 6-1 to 6-4

    I need to get this guy moving around.
    I need to start slicing and drop shotting.
    I will take this into my other matches, as well,
    as many 4.0 players do like pace, as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  26. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016...ovak-djokovic-us-open-semifinal-tennis/60959/
    http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2016/09/gael-monfils-novak-djokovic-us-open-tennis-semifinals/60923/
    "bunt pushing" is just off pace shots... if you can do it against world #1, and go 4 sets,... you can certainly do it against a 5.0.
     
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  27. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    ^^ Excellent link!
    If it's good enough for someone who was ranked #6 in the world, it is good enough for me.

    He needed to stop what was happening.
    We had three different ones we wanted to use: slice more, bring the speed down and try to go further back.”
    But the coach was pleased to see his player adjust, rather than play the same conventional game.
    "[If] the momentum is for the [other] guy, you can't just keep doing it just because it looks better," he said.

    What does he mean by the 3rd tactic?
     
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  28. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    i translate that to a guy that has all the offensive strokes, but because he hasn't played in a while, doesn't yet have the footwork, timing, conditioning, etc...
    when i took 5y off from tennis, i was still technically rated 4.5.
    i lost 5,5 to a mid level 4.0
    because i was going after attacking shots, i had no business attacking because my footwork/timing/conditioning were not there yet
    i tried appealing down to 4.0... due to "layoff"... was rejected as my rating was mid level 4.5 (not even remotely close to 4.0)
    fortunately i trained the summer and found my game... went back and beat the mid-level 4.0, 1,1... but it wasn't automatic

    similarly, my guess is the "former 5.0" has taken some time off (presuming no injuries, old age, etc...), and is working his way back to his previous form.
     
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  29. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    @nytennisaddict, my advice wasn’t to just bash against this 5.0. It was to continue to improve all aspects of his game. All aspects of the game includes deep and short slices as well as drops shots and working on a heavier more penetrating topspin forehand.
     
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  30. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    if i'm bashing and you're bashing... it makes for great looking rallies... but if you're winning the majority of them, i need to abandon that strat
    or if we're both having long 10-20 ball rallies, it might be entertaining for the crowds watching, but again if i'm losing the majority of them, i need to abandon the strat (doesn't matter if i "normally" beat my opponents that way)
    etc...
     
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  31. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    agreed.
    needs more variety.
     
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  32. mcs1970

    mcs1970 Professional

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    For where TTPS was, that was the correct advice. For most rec players learning to rework a shot, as TTPS was at that time, that was the correct advice...hit with high clearance to take the net out of the equation, and then slowly add pace and reduce the height a bit. TTPS is not going to trouble, let alone beat, a 5.0 any time soon regardless of what strategy he would have pursued. However, learning to hit with a higher clearance has clearly improved his forehand based on the recent videos he's posted.
     
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  33. Hmgraphite1

    Hmgraphite1 Professional

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    Agree abandon the strat in favor of the les paul or in hendrix's case the flying v, but keep the strat cause it sounds so much better to watch
     
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  34. Dan R

    Dan R Rookie

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    It shouldn't be that hard to moonball off of a hard hit ball. Just hold the racket out and use the pace to deflect/block the ball high and deep like you would a return of a hard hit serve. If he starts taking those out of the air it won't work.

    Another way to throw a hard hitter off their rhythm is to hit it hard right at them. That forces him to jump to the side one way or the other, which makes it very hard for them to get behind the ball and step into it. Hopefully he'll then hit back a ball that is not so lethal and you can work with it.
     
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  35. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  36. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Exactly. I rally hard with him to be viewed as a worthy hitting partner, but know it is a doomed match strategy.
    He is beatable. Hence, this thread.
    If that happens, and he dismisses my off-speed game as inferior, that would just reveal his constitution as a player.
    I am happy to play the role of Ashe.
    Maybe one day, center court will be held in TTPS Stadium.
     
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  37. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    Damn, this story just gets better.
    Great shot analysis here.
    Ashe had some massive balls to do this on center court.
    Brad Gilbert needs to tip his cap to Ashe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  38. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I have never tried to moonball him, but next time we play sets, I will.
    Ashe was able to moonball a brash basher like Connors, and I will too.
    More importantly, it gets him off his rhythm and confidence.

    It will also be great practice for my slice, which I've been using a lot more the last few months.
     
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  39. TimeToPlaySets

    TimeToPlaySets Legend

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    I just watched the Mecir/Lendl video.
    I'm not sure what Mecir's plan it.
    He's clearly hitting softer than normal, but it does not seem to produce any results.
    Lendl is just patiently hitting them all back.
     
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  40. vex

    vex Professional

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    Revisionist History. TTPS (and others) were not advocating drilling 6 ft net clearance as part of a progression towards hitting higher level strokes. He repeatedly insisted that moonballing was superior and he could neutralize any amount of incoming pace and accurately top lob deep back to the opponents backhand.

    It was fantasy then and I’m just chuckling that now he’s playing the exact type of tennis he attacked me for advising him to focus on. The “progression” happened naturally when he realized he was wrong.
     
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  41. mcs1970

    mcs1970 Professional

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    This begs the question here. I always see how junkball tennis has limits to how far one can progress in rec level tennis. Yet the moment someone like TTPS posts that his topspin shots are standard fare to a higher level player, the advice is to mix it up and throw more junkball type stuff in there?

    Asking TTPS to add variety to his game is different from asking him to view Ashe or Santoro, regardless of his excitement at seeing those videos. The bottom line is he's not going to beat or even trouble a 5.0 by playing a style that he is good at, let alone try one that he is not adept at.

    In any case, I'm not sure if this is a serious thread or TTPS crying for attention again. I wouldn't be surprised two days later if he came back and wrote how he beat up this 5.0 using a junkball strategy.
     
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  42. mcs1970

    mcs1970 Professional

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    TTPS says a lot of things that you can't take seriously. I'm just talking about those who were supporting him learning to rework his stroke that way. That was the correct strategy for where he was then.
     
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  43. vex

    vex Professional

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    There was really only one Santoro. There’s no magic pill, just gotta keep improving your groundstrokes. Everyone is somewhere on the spectrum between a 4.0 with a decent TS Forehand and Federer/Djokovic. There really aren’t any secret side roads to junkball heaven.
     
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  44. vex

    vex Professional

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    I’m fine with that. My issue is when people push dead end advice (kinda like the junkballing in this thread) and newcomers seeking info see people here claiming you can 6ft net clearance your way to a college scholarship

    That said, mixing in occasional slice isn’t junkballing IMO and can be useful to prevent an opponent from getting his rhythm. Andy Murray was always great with that.
     
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  45. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    probably should rephrase the question to...
    "how would you play a very rusty former 5.0, who hit's much bigger than you, but is clearly off due to lack of practice?"
    id' say, keep feeding him a steady diet of balls that will keep him off his rhythm... if you start trying to bash to him, he'll use that pace to get grooved faster.

    i recently play a "former 5.0", (20y ago he played at an ivy)...
    groundie to groundie he was better than me, but he didn't have the match toughness to deal with consistent arrythmic slice/lob/moon/drive/etc...
    while i squeaked out a victory, there's no doubt that he'll be beating me 2-2 by the end of the summer, once he shakes off the rest of his rust.
     
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  46. mcs1970

    mcs1970 Professional

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    You Sir are a different beast. You can play different styles and change styles during a game and are a high level player yourself. I know TTPS from the videos he posts. He is no nyta.
     
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  47. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    why do you think junkballing is dead end advice?
    worked for ashe, monfils (for a set against djoker), etc...

    "junkball" is just a derogatory name for any shot that lacks pace... slice/moon/dink&lob/etc... which all are designed to change rhythm.
     
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  48. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    lol, thx, i appreciate the compliment... but to me "junkball" is just another way to say "how do i play a different style against someone who outhits me from the baseline?" whatever the level.
    imo, ttps is at the development phase of, "i have a hammer so everything is a nail" (eg. serve & big topspin fh)... but now has run up against someone with a sledgehammer, so he has to develop a B,C,D game to cope.
    side note: this is why i always advocate trying your B,C,D game style against lesser opponents (ie. ones you've beaten before), because you never know when you'll need it because your A game is not working.
     
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  49. vex

    vex Professional

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    I think the weight of the evidence speaks for itself. You can become the best player in the world if you have the greatest topspin groundstrokes. The same cannot be said for having the greatest junkball shots. That said, plenty of people get as far as they like with junkball and no one here is a pro so to each thier own

    Also I specifically addressed change of pace slices to prevent Rythm
     
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  50. rogerroger917

    rogerroger917 Hall of Fame

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    For ttps junk balling is bad advice. He is not a junk player. He has been trying to get better hitting out. And now he is trying to junk against a vastly superior player? Good players are not bothered by junk balls by clearly inferior players. They just run you to the ground and laugh about you scrambling all over. How is a 3.5 or a 4.0 going to win any easier against a 5.0 moon balling and slicing? That's not happening.
     
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