trouble handling topspin

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tom-selleck, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

    Feb 21, 2005
    i was talking to some fellow intermediates (strong 3.5 or weak 4.0 depending on how your pro rates) and they were mentioning losing matches recently because they ran into guys who hit alot of topspin and couldn't handle it.

    i have similar experiences albeit against guys who are 5.0 or 5.5's (and maybe one 4.5 guy).....

    but the worst thing i find is that my stroke breaks down completely against these guys. almost all my shots go very long.... it's either trying to return with topspin and not being successful or hitting flat but the ball being much higher than expected on contact.

    what can we do about this???? i hit with eastern forehand maybe slightly towards SW forehand. i think the others are similar.... i hit flat to medium topspin and maybe heavy topspin defensively, but NOT offensively.

    more practice against these types?? move my forehand grip to SW? hit the ball on the rise??? .......... what has worked for intermediates dealing with alot of topspin.

    i know, don't play these guys till you get better.... but i could run into this at my own level, albeit with alot of inconsistency by opponent.

    thanks again in advance.
  2. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Jun 16, 2004
    Sometimes the worst thing you can do is handle topspin with topspin because the offensive player has the upper hand. Try giving your opponent low balls because it'll be difficult for him to send heavy topspin shots to you when he has to hit up on the ball.
  3. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    an eastern forehand is less modern but its still a good grip especially against people who put heavy topspin. If they put heavy topspin then they are using some sort of western grip, sw, w, ew. Slicing will do the same thing to them as topspin does to you, it will put the ball out of their comfort zone. I've heard though that eastern grip is really versitile, high balls may be unusual but find a parter who using lots of topspin and try to get used to it so you can predict its bounce.

    I don't really encourage or discourage grip changes, if you do decide to have a grip change don't lose your eastern forehand you may need to use it from time to time.
  4. ZhangM58

    ZhangM58 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2005
    Well, if your opponent is hitting with a TON of spin against your eastern grip, you are in trouble. It's hard to flaten out a ball that kick up to your shoulder height with eastern grip, that would take you out of the comfort zone. You can either backup, let the ball drop, and make sure you push the ball back deap. Or, you can take the ball on the rise, meaning you need very good footwork.
  5. mistapooh

    mistapooh Semi-Pro

    Aug 13, 2004
    I think it is just getting used to the pace. My strokes usually break down when I don't have time to prepare against their pace, but once you are used to it, it will be a great thing...Just prepare better, split step, take back, anticipate it...
  6. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Semi-Pro

    May 2, 2005
    I have a western grip and I either move back or take the ball on the rise. Rickson's suggestion on giving these type of players low balls will also help your cause.
  7. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

    Jun 19, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    I have to disagree with "sage of death". I have an Eastern Forehand and hit with a lot of topspin and I have a one handed backhand that I also hit with a lot of topspin. At the 4.0 and 4.5 level, it is a common complaint no being able to handle heavy topsoin. As you improve and your opponent improve, it will not be a problem anymore so just be patience with your skillset.

    for now, just learn to hit heavy topsin yourself, hint, make sure that you cocked your wrist vertically, racket head above your wrist, much like a volley and see what happens. You can also impart side spin, left to right and right to left with the "new" topspin stroke. The other solution is to take the ball early and slicing it, it will land low and make it more difficult for your opponent to really crack a big one against you.

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