Turning low pace balls into high pace balls requires so much skills

Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace? In fact, turning 'easy' low pace balls (landing in the service box for example) into high pace balls requires really a lot of tennis skills. Anyone has an explanation for that?
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace? In fact, turning 'easy' low pace balls (landing in the service box for example) into high pace balls requires really a lot of tennis skills. Anyone has an explanation for that?
Feel like pushers are good at sensing where groundstrokes are going. I would try to work on taking balls out of the air as they are harder to anticipate.

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FiReFTW

Legend
I get what your saying but I don't agree with it 100%.

People often say this is true but they don't look at the whole picture.

Get a player who plays tennis for 1 year and get him to play another player that plays for 1 year, say both are 3.0 players with more bunty type strokes, and also get him to play another player who is 5.5 heavy hitter.

Which balls do you think the bunty 3.0 would find harder to even get into play yet alone hit well? Slow 3.0 balls? Or heavy spin 5.5 balls?

Its not hard to put a slow ball into play at all with decent spin and controlled swing speed, infact for alot of beginner or more lower level players its much easier to hit against these balls than heavy balls.

The problem starts when someone starts getting a bit better and they start treating these balls as EASY balls and try to crush them for winners with 100% swing speed, that of course is VERY HARD and takes excellent footwork and skill which needs many years of honing.

If a ball is hit with good pace and spin you don't need to hit it that fast to get good pace and spin yourself, but when the ball is dead you need to basically provide all the pace and spin yourself, of course its much harder, so if you overdo it and really try to crush it you can easily hit it long, but equally if a ball is much faster or heavier than you are used too its also hard.

That requires good timing and skill to take very fast balls or heavy spin balls take them on the rise and redirect that pace aswell, some people are better at that than others (Djokovic, Federer, even miself I love very fast balls and taking them on the rise).

It also requires good spacing and footwork to hit dead balls with aggression and effectively, and again some players are better at this than others (Nadal can absolutely crush slices and dead balls while Djokovic tends to struggle much more against these balls and spin them more instead of being able to crush them)

For someone who tries to hit with fast swing speed and tries to hit fairly big I would say that balls with comfortable amount of pace and spin (that they are used to most) are the easiest, while dead balls AND heavy balls from a much better player are both harder, so its not just dead balls are hard period, its more complex.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Instead of trying to add ball speed, maybe try to hit a moderate paced ball into one of the corners.
The pros smacking that high slow ball have drilled against those balls for years with feeding practice.
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Everything in tennis is sequential, I want to say more but feel saying this again is important: everything in tennis is sequential!

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zaph

Professional
I have to confess hitting sitters is my favourite shot because I like having time to set myself up perfectly. Dealing with real pace is harder because you have no time and can end up being pushed back.
 
Killing short low pace balls consistently is a trait of excellent tennis players. The big differentiator here is height of the bounce. Anyone above 4.5 can kill short balls that bounce higher than the net court but killing low and short balls is a trait of the very best players, even many top100 guys have trouble with this. Killing belt high sitters is pretty easy though if you have good technique so a key skill is recognize the short ball early so you can hit it as high as possible.

If you let them drop below net height regularly you are going to lose unless you have low ball killing skills like federer (who still tries to hit it higher of course if he can) so you need to improve your recognition and your first step forward.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I think it’s all about technique. I won’t claim to have excellent technique but I can create pace as long as I focus on the ball and trying to use correct technique to hit high percentage shots. I feel like what the OP is describing is the classic floater which can cause you to get the big eyes and try to crush the ball when all that is needed is a nice controlled hit.
 

Goof

Professional
Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace? In fact, turning 'easy' low pace balls (landing in the service box for example) into high pace balls requires really a lot of tennis skills. Anyone has an explanation for that?
No, I don't agree. Those are the easiest shots in tennis.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
No, I don't agree. Those are the easiest shots in tennis.
If they were, then pushers wouldn't be so prevalent and reviled all the way to 4.0.

It's clear that handling those balls with ease is a high 4.0 to low 4.5 skill. Redirecting moderate pace is the easiest thing in tennis. Don't need much of a stroke and it's easy to hit a horizontal belt high ball. Applying pace to a slow vertically traveling ball takes timing and a full stroke which is a higher skill. Only thing harder is dealing with faster pace than you can get a racquet on.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
If what the OP said was true, then the men and women in their 80s would rule the courts.

These people bunt, chop, spin, dink, whatever their shots to produce some of the slowest, lowest balls.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
If they were, then pushers wouldn't be so prevalent and reviled all the way to 4.0.

It's clear that handling those balls with ease is a high 4.0 to low 4.5 skill. Redirecting moderate pace is the easiest thing in tennis. Don't need much of a stroke and it's easy to hit a horizontal belt high ball. Applying pace to a slow vertically traveling ball takes timing and a full stroke which is a higher skill. Only thing harder is dealing with faster pace than you can get a racquet on.
True!
 

Goof

Professional
If they were, then pushers wouldn't be so prevalent and reviled all the way to 4.0.

It's clear that handling those balls with ease is a high 4.0 to low 4.5 skill. Redirecting moderate pace is the easiest thing in tennis. Don't need much of a stroke and it's easy to hit a horizontal belt high ball. Applying pace to a slow vertically traveling ball takes timing and a full stroke which is a higher skill. Only thing harder is dealing with faster pace than you can get a racquet on.
Don't take such a full stroke. You don't have to take a big swing to hit hard. Hit these balls relatively close to your body and use your core/torso rotation for power (and let your arm go and use your hand for placement/spin).
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
need a long swing path to kill slow ball.. and most people under 4.5 cannot control the racket face in a long path, hence the difficulty.
 
Key on a regular half court sitter is to not get overeager. Just be cool and calm, look at nothing but the ball and execute the full stroke technique and footwork (common mistake is to get too close to the ball). It will be good enough in most cases (no need to paint the lines) and if not you're usually set up for easy volley. Also never change mind in last moment where you want to put the ball, it often doesn't end well. Of course these mistakes even the best players on pro tour do sometimes, so it's not the end of the world if us mortals miss some sitters. There's always the next point and that's all one should be focusing on.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Don't take such a full stroke. You don't have to take a big swing to hit hard. Hit these balls relatively close to your body and use your core/torso rotation for power (and let your arm go and use your hand for placement/spin).
That's a high level skill that requires impeccable timing. Hence the high 4.0-low 4.5 level needed for mastery. Have you watched 3.0-4.0 tennis? Core rotation is exceedingly uncommon.
 

dman72

Hall of Fame
Killing short low pace balls consistently is a trait of excellent tennis players. The big differentiator here is height of the bounce. Anyone above 4.5 can kill short balls that bounce higher than the net court but killing low and short balls is a trait of the very best players, even many top100 guys have trouble with this. Killing belt high sitters is pretty easy though if you have good technique so a key skill is recognize the short ball early so you can hit it as high as possible.

If you let them drop below net height regularly you are going to lose unless you have low ball killing skills like federer (who still tries to hit it higher of course if he can) so you need to improve your recognition and your first step forward.

I'm a low 4.0 and I can kill balls near the service line that bounce higher than the net.

A low slice near the service line is much harder to put away. You really have to focus on shaping the ball with spin and a full stroke..at some point it's too low to even do that and you have to just slice it or drop it back. This is why guys with really good slice backhands can neutralize guys who hit a lot but rarely see low sliced junk.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace?

No it is not hard to inject pace. The difficulty is making sure to use good footwork and not muff the shot when the dink balls suck the energy and fun out of a match.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
Just curious, what does the OP think on hand feed or feeded balls, do you get them speeded up?

Maybe the thing is the slight slice in the slow balls, that makes it more difficult?


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No more on -sorry, again on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are subject to disclaimer
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
If they were, then pushers wouldn't be so prevalent and reviled all the way to 4.0.

It's clear that handling those balls with ease is a high 4.0 to low 4.5 skill. Redirecting moderate pace is the easiest thing in tennis. Don't need much of a stroke and it's easy to hit a horizontal belt high ball. Applying pace to a slow vertically traveling ball takes timing and a full stroke which is a higher skill. Only thing harder is dealing with faster pace than you can get a racquet on.
I’d see the culprit being, that pushing is way easier on fast balls than beating a pusher, who really knows, where to place them slow balls. Adding speed on the move requires a lot of footwork and that is often the weakest skill a player with hard strokes have. Given the slow balls land near where you are positioned, it is really easy to hit them back hard. However spacing becomes an issue, when the opponent can place the ball.

Footwork and proper prep.

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No more on -sorry, again on pain meds - all contributed matter and anti-matter are subject to disclaimer
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I'm a low 4.0 and I can kill balls near the service line that bounce higher than the net.

A low slice near the service line is much harder to put away. You really have to focus on shaping the ball with spin and a full stroke..at some point it's too low to even do that and you have to just slice it or drop it back. This is why guys with really good slice backhands can neutralize guys who hit a lot but rarely see low sliced junk.
That is true. But when you’re slice is off you’re a dead duck.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
I feel like in this regard, watching pros at all is a problem. They show how it can be done, but not how it aught to be done by a normal player. Thats why when I know I'm gonna play a lot, I try to avoid watching pros on TV, because I feel watching their aggressive strokes will make me error prone on the court. It messes with my perception of what I can do.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace? In fact, turning 'easy' low pace balls (landing in the service box for example) into high pace balls requires really a lot of tennis skills. Anyone has an explanation for that?
Playing against powerful hitters is an athletic challenge. Playing against slow balls, especially if you are trying to add pace and dictate the point, is a technical challenge. The technical challenge requires more formal tennis practice and training to overcome.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I feel like in this regard, watching pros at all is a problem. They show how it can be done, but not how it aught to be done by a normal player. Thats why when I know I'm gonna play a lot, I try to avoid watching pros on TV, because I feel watching their aggressive strokes will make me error prone on the court. It messes with my perception of what I can do.
I totally agree. With the exception of the serve since it is easily practiced and you have total control over it.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I feel like in this regard, watching pros at all is a problem. They show how it can be done, but not how it aught to be done by a normal player. Thats why when I know I'm gonna play a lot, I try to avoid watching pros on TV, because I feel watching their aggressive strokes will make me error prone on the court. It messes with my perception of what I can do.
It's completely opposite for me.

If I don't watch pro matches in a long time, I will feel lost and unmotivated.

Worse yet, I'll fall into the pit of despair that is my recreational group which is a bunch of loudmouths, poor work ethics, hackers with bad skill even for rec level.

Btw, I learned all my tennis from watching pros and youtube coaches. I can't remember anyone at the courts taught me anything.
 

Enga

Hall of Fame
It's completely opposite for me.

If I don't watch pro matches in a long time, I will feel lost and unmotivated.

Worse yet, I'll fall into the pit of despair that is my recreational group which is a bunch of loudmouths, poor work ethics, hackers with bad skill even for rec level.

Btw, I learned all my tennis from watching pros and youtube coaches. I can't remember anyone at the courts taught me anything.
Its inspiring for sure, the way pros play. But for me I would benefit a lot more from cardio and gym training, because I cant even come close to how they play unless my body becomes a lot better.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Its inspiring for sure, the way pros play. But for me I would benefit a lot more from cardio and gym training, because I cant even come close to how they play unless my body becomes a lot better.
Cardio and gym workouts definitely help.

I think your mistake in how you relate to the pros is you literally compare yourself to them (their performance). Why would you think how close or far you can come to how they play? :)

Like you suggested, I look to the pros for inspiration and motivation. However, they do provide guidance to a certain degree. Personally I choose to believe that we rec players can do everything that pros do except at a much lower speed and intensity!

Eg. You can set a youtube clip at 25% speed and pick up pro's timing with split steps. You can learn their choice of shots in particular scenarios, ie drop shots when and where.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Cardio and gym workouts definitely help.

I think your mistake in how you relate to the pros is you literally compare yourself to them (their performance). Why would you think how close or far you can come to how they play? :)

Like you suggested, I look to the pros for inspiration and motivation. However, they do provide guidance to a certain degree. Personally I choose to believe that we rec players can do everything that pros do except at a much lower speed and intensity!

Eg. You can set a youtube clip at 25% speed and pick up pro's timing with split steps. You can learn their choice of shots in particular scenarios, ie drop shots when and where.
I think you can definitely learn a lot from watching the pros. However, you also have to realize that their athleticism changes the game. You will face a lot more junkballing, moonballing, etc. in rec tennis than you see in the pros. That’s because those strategies are easier to execute for less fit players and conversely require better than average fitness to battle, especially if you want to do it the way the pros would — with power — rather than just counter-pushing.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I think you can definitely learn a lot from watching the pros. However, you also have to realize that their athleticism changes the game. You will face a lot more junkballing, moonballing, etc. in rec tennis than you see in the pros. That’s because those strategies are easier to execute for less fit players and conversely require better than average fitness to battle, especially if you want to do it the way the pros would — with power — rather than just counter-pushing.
Depends what level ur playing tho
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I think you can definitely learn a lot from watching the pros. However, you also have to realize that their athleticism changes the game. You will face a lot more junkballing, moonballing, etc. in rec tennis than you see in the pros. That’s because those strategies are easier to execute for less fit players and conversely require better than average fitness to battle, especially if you want to do it the way the pros would — with power — rather than just counter-pushing.
I'm not exactly sure what my top level is, but my weekly partner and I seem to compete each other mostly on athleticism. Any ball that lands short and sitting up, we would likely kill it. This is proven for years of playing, no fluke. So, we always try to outpace and outlast each other on consistency. After 1 hours of playing, we tend to get exhausted.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
Normally I can crush balls with no pace, but I played against a pusher who would hit these moonballs and it was extremely difficult for me to time and generate pace off of them. It was like he was really trying to hit the moon. The balls seemed to have more height and less forward movement making it nearly impossible to take it on the rise. It's hard to describe. How are you supposed to easily generate pace off of these shots?
 

ThiTran

New User
Do we agree that turning low pace balls into high pace balls is much more difficult than hitting back balls which already have a high pace? In fact, turning 'easy' low pace balls (landing in the service box for example) into high pace balls requires really a lot of tennis skills. Anyone has an explanation for that?
Sometimes, I try to hit winner against low, slow balls below the net which is a mistake. I should only use topspin and get those balls back in place then wait for a higher bouncing balls. You can learn to hit low BH slide that stays low, and has side spin which can put the other player out of position.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
Yes, but I'm not serving off a ball hitting the ground with a ton of topspin and jumping up unpredictably.
If it has a ton of top spin, the ball will move forward after the bounce. You need to space yourself until the ball is at a comfortable height to crush.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
If it has a ton of top spin, the ball will move forward after the bounce. You need to space yourself until the ball is at a comfortable height to crush.
Yes, but it's still hard to time. Maybe spacing is the issue. It's just not a shot I see very often.
 
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