How to beat a guy that absorbs pace well, w/ great defense but cant generate ownpace?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BirdWalkR, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. BirdWalkR

    BirdWalkR Rookie

    Jun 14, 2011
    Basically I play this guy with very rigid,tight strokes. He can get a lot of balls back and hits much better shots when i'm hitting harder too him. He is much more error prone when I more or less loop it in. His backhand is average with his forehand a bit better. I find that when I can attack his backhand it breaks down fairly quickly (usually 2-3 shots). But my backhand is much worse than his. I'm afraid he'll take hint from my strategy and start attacking my backhand as well. I really can't allow him to do this or I'll lose for sure. How can I make sure to expose his weaknesses without him seeing mine? And many times I'll have him on the ropes and he keeps getting every ball back until I make an error. I never have trouble handling the pace on his shots and he won't be able to overpower me. He's a very good side to side mover as well. I'm really just looking for a gameplan to implement here. I find myself going out there with no plan and making too many errors. Also I notice on my harder flatter serves he hits back much better than my softer slicier spinny serves. So maybe throw in more spin serves too his backhand? Really struggling to really attack this player consistently. Any advice from Talk Tennis?
  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2010
    I'd have to know more about your game before I could say.

    Generally though for players that handle pace well and don't make a lot of errors, I won't give them a lot of pace in general, hit softer and deeper and make them generate their own pace. I personally will also rush the net unforgivingly to access safe angles where I can hit high percentage volley winners. I have no desire to hit 30 safe rally balls point after point. My approaches will often be very deep up the middle with as little pace as possible. If they want to pass me then they will have to generate both the pace and the angles. And then every once in a while when I see one I like I'll pound it because nothing makes pace make more effective than not seeing it for a while and then all of sudden having to deal with it (the Mecir school of tennis).

    Same with the serve. If he hates hitting the spin, give him spin. Every once in a while crack one hard and see if he can handle the occasional pace.
  3. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Jun 29, 2009
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
  4. Ducker

    Ducker Rookie

    Jun 1, 2010
    Sounds like you have the case of just playing a somone who is all around better than you are. I would just work on my game in this case and try my hardest to win employing difference strats. At worst you'll lose and continue to get better.

    Since is backhand is better than yours and his back hand is is weakness, your best bet is to get your topspin forehand to his back hand.

    Heres what I would try: Loop heavy topspin to either forehand or backhand to protect yousel. Never aim too close the side lines but dont go directly down the middle either. It would be best to get it to his back hand. The Idea will be to play high percentage until he coughs up a weak ball you can run around and drive to his backhand side. By hitting the loopy topspin shots you will give youself time to recover, give yourself a large cushion for error. Basically play a pusher game with hard, heavy top loopy shots until you get something you really like and can attack.
  5. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

    Feb 3, 2005
    If you can get this far in the point then you just need to come up with a finishing strategy. There are two ways to do this. One is to hit the ball by him. It sounds like that will be tough for you to do given your strokes and his defense.

    Another option is to pick a shot to move in on and volley into the open court. This is a really good strategy if you are comfortable moving forward since he should be out of position and you said his pace doesn't bother you.

    Third option would be to look for angles. It doesn't matter how fast someone is, if you can get a short ball and hit a good wide angle, they won't be able to run it down more than once.

    So either learn to use the volley to end the point or work some geometry.
  6. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

    Nov 1, 2011
    Hit Moonballs until hes chucks a short one then proceed to punish :D

    Honestly though, although the tactic above would work I suggest you do something you do best. I'll provide an example. I presume your forehand is your best shot. If it is then try and mix up the pace and spin of the balls you hit and mix it by changing the direction every once in a while e.g. from his forehand to his backhand. Sometimes even short balls can cause a lot of trouble. It may not work for the first couple of points/games but the whole idea is that at least you are in control of the rallies and sooner or later you'll find a specific combination that works for you.

    But really we need more info about you before we can try to help. Also, why doesnt your opponent attack your backhand already? if he does, then there's nothing to lose by doing the same thing back to him.
  7. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

    Jan 25, 2010
  8. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    If this guy is a good lateral mover, you're not going to hit many balls past him from deep in your own end, so don't try unless you get him way out of position and have yourself a barn door worth of space to hit through with a routing rally ball. The good news is that he's not going to overpower you with his strokes. That means that he's not likely to produce a laser-bomb of a passing shot when you go to the net.

    When you get a ball that's at least a little short in your end (be patient and wait for it), hit a soft, slow ball deep to his end and go to the net. Your softer, slower flying approach will give you an extra fraction of a second to get further inside your service line, so you'll be better positioned to volley into a bigger angle more often. Even against a good mover, the bigger angles are up at the net.

    If your volleys aren't so good yet, get to work. That's the "Plan B" that will always help you against an opponent with a stronger set of strokes or good retrieving skills that can force you to press... and donate more errors from your own back court. While you're at it, start running around your forehand when you're on the practice court and hit as many backhands as you can. You won't get and better if you don't address that weakness.
  9. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

    Sep 2, 2008
    On my iPhone
  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    make him hit an approach shot and pass him with your hard fast passing shot.
  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW

    Overall it sounds like he is a better player than you. Therefore the obvious answer is: "get better", meaning: get more consistent. In the meantime, I would start each match by going for a few great shots and seeing if you are somehow in the Zone that day. If so, keep going for winners. You'll probably win those days. For the other >90% of the time, you've got your work cut out for you. By reading between the lines it sounds like he has a pretty good Mental Game (is he much older than you?), in any case I agree that drop shots could be your friend here as they will get you out of those losing patterns that you normally have with him.

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