How to deal with short, off pace balls below the net...?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennisbody, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. tennisbody

    tennisbody New User

    Feb 19, 2004
    I know, this maybe sound silly but short off pace balls, played below the net, like off pace slice or miss hits have always giving me trouble, especially when I am caught in the middle of baseline rally. When I watch Pro's this shot seems an easy putaway, but in my reality it is nightmare. I'm either to soon (crowding the ball) or to late (streaching to the ball). Since ball is below the net I have to play it up......and here comes the question....should I attack with topspin or should I slice it ? What is the best way to handle this assuming that your opponent is still on the baseline.... :roll:
  2. mistapooh

    mistapooh Semi-Pro

    Aug 13, 2004
    maybe you should look into the windshield wiper motion, search some threads about it.
  3. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    Although others might have different views, I think its rather difficult to hit a winner on a short ball thats below the net cord. Wouldn't it be more advisable to just dink it back - short to short principle - obviously you can't hit down on a ball thats below the net. Some balls you can angle great but on most others I just try to return the favor (keeping it as low as possible) and see what "they" can do with it.
  4. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Jun 16, 2004
    You're better off slicing it than topspinning a low ball. I usually just hit a flat ball with a continental grip by taking an open face and playing the angles(thanks to Bill's tips). Don't go for a topspin winner, you're gonna net the ball.
  5. finchy

    finchy Professional

    Apr 11, 2004
    a while ago, i was able to topspin low balls very easily. you just need to use the windshield wiper motion as many people say.
  6. Exxion

    Exxion New User

    Jul 15, 2004
    buggy whip shot works well on low balls (if you practice buggy whip shot). Its when you brush the ball on the outside instead of inside. Think of it as slicing the ball but with opposite spin. Also if you can hit it with the right combination of topspin and sidespin, you can make it "break" like on a twist serve, balls curves to left, but bounces right. I'm still experimenting with this though lol
  7. cervelo

    cervelo Rookie

    Sep 9, 2004
    Not a silly post at all ... (I have always struggled with this)

    For me, the stroke wasn't the problem. Rather, it was my failure to anticipate the short ball ... Now, if I hit a good shot or execute my strategy and "open up" the court during a point, I always try to anticipate a shorter ball from my opponent. This way, I will have more time to deal with it. Short, low balls are tough. Just getting to this ball a fraction of a second sooner can make things a whole lot easier. It took me a while to realize that my opponents were able to "stab" the ball back and win the point b/c I got caught a half second short of what "should have been" an easy putaway.
  8. bob

    bob Rookie

    Feb 20, 2004
    Cary, NC
    I play a couple of very quick "retrievers" that use the short low ball against me a lot. What I'm going to try next time is to float a deep no pace ball right at them or a little towards their backhand.

    I agree with cervelo that if you can anticipate that a shot is coming you can get to it sooner and attack.
  9. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

    Feb 19, 2004
    I agree with Cervelo.

    You need to carefully watch the ball coming off your opponent's string bed.

    I was watching Hewiit VS Federer US Open final. During the rally, Federer would hit a short slice bh crosscourt to change the pace.

    Hewitt was already running towards to the ball before the ball was over the net.
  10. AJP

    AJP New User

    Mar 3, 2004
    The short slice is one of the most underutilized shots in the game. I was going to bring up the Fed. Hewitt match as well. When it's that low, short and angled it's simply a brilliant shot. Graf had mastery of that shot was well.

    I agree that the best reply is to slice it back as well. If it's in the middle of the court you may consider hitting the slice approach. If its one of those tough angled shots, you'll need to slice it deep cross court to buy some recovery time.
  11. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

    Feb 23, 2004
    I just slice it... sometimes I hit a short drop shot back if I can manage it, otherwise I slice it deep to one of the corners of the baseline to give myself some time to recover... which for me is to position myself properally at the net.

    It's not an easy shot to use top spin on. It's way too much trying to get under the ball to lift it up over the net and then focus on getting the ball to get down into the court. If you're good enough to hit that shot... you're good enough to just hit the drop shot or the slice and still be in a good position to win the point with taking a much smaller risk.
  12. splink779

    splink779 Guest

    I just dink it back over, but with huge angle. Depending on how close it is to the net when you hit it, its almost like hitting the ball sideways.

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