What to do against junk balls

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
Ugh... I have a friend that is a huge junkballer. I don't even like to just hit with him. If we go out for hitting practice, all he does is feed chunky junky short slices and crap, pulling me up to the service line, and since we're just rallying and not actually playing, I don't hit angles or anything just put the ball back in play to him and then he pushes it deep at my feet. Or he'll continually hit slices until I pop one up and then he buries it... last time I went for a little practice with him, we hit for 45 minutes and I got fewer than a dozen decent forehands that I felt like were good practice strokes. That was over a year ago.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
What do you guys do with these balls?

1.Extremely low over the net slow barely bounces up
2.weird deflection at an angle that u can barely or cant even get to
3.weird spins that make the ball bounce extremely weird
This is my life playing practice sets against my wife. She surfs off my pace hitting flat low over the net balls that barely bounce and frequently will hit returns that bounce 3 times before the baseline. All from the same swing that pastes balls into the back fence. Only thing she doesn't do is #3. But I have some other male friends that play the spin game.

1. Learn to slice and drop shot off the slice. It becomes hard for them determine if you are going to drop the short ball just over the net or sail it into the back corner causing some hesitancy. Then come in and volley if its a short ball which most low over the net balls will be.

2. These are usually mishits so listen for the sound of frame and get you body moving forward since they won't have pace and depth if miss hit. If you get to it, flick it crosscourt short angle if he's playing back or flick lob it over him if he's advanced.

3. Watch the opponents swing plane and how he cuts across the ball. That will give you the spin. Assuming righty vs righty, a BH slice will bounce away from your FH and a FH slice will bounce into your FH. So anticipate the bounce location, set up closer for a BH slice and further for a FH slice. Keep on your toes and feet under you so you can correct. What you can do with the ball will depend on how well you set up and how high it bounces. But keep your eye on it through contact or else you risk framing it our air mailing it.
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
Ugh... I have a friend that is a huge junkballer. I don't even like to just hit with him. If we go out for hitting practice, all he does is feed chunky junky short slices and crap, pulling me up to the service line, and since we're just rallying and not actually playing, I don't hit angles or anything just put the ball back in play to him and then he pushes it deep at my feet. Or he'll continually hit slices until I pop one up and then he buries it... last time I went for a little practice with him, we hit for 45 minutes and I got fewer than a dozen decent forehands that I felt like were good practice strokes. That was over a year ago.
That sounds like a great workout.

I used to beat my regular hitting partner and he started hitting my hard serves high in the air with slice back deep. I had often expected these serves to be unreturnable - but they were only hard to return if he tried to do a lot with them. So what to do with these big nothing-balls? I started losing to him regularly against the high, soft balls mixed in with hard shots. And it was like this for a while until I learned to be a lot more patient, improve my fitness and footwork.

I eventually learned that he picked this up from watching ATP matches and seeing what guys like Federer and Wawrinka do with tough serves; or even not-so-tough serves. If it works for these guys, it could work for him.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
That sounds like a great workout.

I used to beat my regular hitting partner and he started hitting my hard serves high in the air with slice back deep. I had often expected these serves to be unreturnable - but they were only hard to return if he tried to do a lot with them. So what to do with these big nothing-balls? I started losing to him regularly against the high, soft balls mixed in with hard shots. And it was like this for a while until I learned to be a lot more patient, improve my fitness and footwork.

I eventually learned that he picked this up from watching ATP matches and seeing what guys like Federer and Wawrinka do with tough serves; or even not-so-tough serves. If it works for these guys, it could work for him.
I think that would make a lot of sense if we were actually playing games - I'm talking about just going out to hit - work on grooving strokes, that sort of thing. We're not even serving during these hitting sessions - this is the equivalent of having a catch with a baseball playing buddy...
 

movdqa

G.O.A.T.
I think that would make a lot of sense if we were actually playing games - I'm talking about just going out to hit - work on grooving strokes, that sort of thing. We're not even serving during these hitting sessions - this is the equivalent of having a catch with a baseball playing buddy...
You've described my regular practice.

When the ball is short, I work on moving forward to hit it on one bounce and then moving back. If it's a powderpuff, then I work on hitting a hard topspin shot right back to the other player.

I have a co-worker and he's a self-admitted pusher and I went out to hit with him for 90 minutes a few years ago. And it went similarly to my regular practice - there were just far more high, soft balls - there weren't any fast pace - grooving shots rallies. But that's okay - it's nice to practice a lot of stuff.

I have one guy I hit with that hits bullets. He's a former football player and he likes to hit bullets to the corners. They are easy to return - just a short stroke and use some of the incoming pace to hit it back to the other corner. That can be a lot of fun but it, too, is one-dimensional. You need to practice against these players as you will run into them but I think everyone should practice with other kinds of players too.

I think that playing against the slow-ball players may actually be more work.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
You've described my regular practice.

When the ball is short, I work on moving forward to hit it on one bounce and then moving back. If it's a powderpuff, then I work on hitting a hard topspin shot right back to the other player.

I have a co-worker and he's a self-admitted pusher and I went out to hit with him for 90 minutes a few years ago. And it went similarly to my regular practice - there were just far more high, soft balls - there weren't any fast pace - grooving shots rallies. But that's okay - it's nice to practice a lot of stuff.

I have one guy I hit with that hits bullets. He's a former football player and he likes to hit bullets to the corners. They are easy to return - just a short stroke and use some of the incoming pace to hit it back to the other corner. That can be a lot of fun but it, too, is one-dimensional. You need to practice against these players as you will run into them but I think everyone should practice with other kinds of players too.

I think that playing against the slow-ball players may actually be more work.
Yeah, you've got great points here, but I am still in the stage of trying to groove my strokes, so having to "play" when I want to just have a hit and practice muscle memory to groove 3/4 speed forehands and backhands is pretty annoying.
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
In the past few weeks I played 2 decent players and ive played decently against them even tho im rusty, won both matches, some good points, high quality points.

Then I played a weaker opponent, decided to practice my kick serve because he cant return my 1st serve at all.

Anyway long story short I won 6:2 6:3......
So what's the problem?
 
Its frustrating because il make more errors on them than against high pace spin groundstrokes, and yet the quality is way worse of these beginner junk balls, so i should be having more trouble against tougher shots from tougher players than against weaker players and these easy sliw weird spinny junk balls.
Again, your expectations are dragging you down: "I should be able to put that shot away!"; "I shouldn't have so much problem with junk!; "My training should have prepared me for this."

Instead of accepting that something is not working out and trying to figure out a solution, both in real-time and post-match, you expend most of your energy getting frustrated.

@nytennisaddict gave some great suggestions but if you focus too much on expectations, you will never get around to implementing them.

This is a recurring theme in your posts.
 
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D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Ugh... I have a friend that is a huge junkballer. I don't even like to just hit with him. If we go out for hitting practice, all he does is feed chunky junky short slices and crap, pulling me up to the service line, and since we're just rallying and not actually playing, I don't hit angles or anything just put the ball back in play to him and then he pushes it deep at my feet. Or he'll continually hit slices until I pop one up and then he buries it... last time I went for a little practice with him, we hit for 45 minutes and I got fewer than a dozen decent forehands that I felt like were good practice strokes. That was over a year ago.
If your strokes aren’t grooved... avoid junk ballers at all costs, until grooved.

Once grooved, junk ballers are good to practice against to make sure you can hit your grooved strokes from all positions on court.

That said, even the greats with grooved strokes have fallen victim to junk ballers (safin v santoro 2-7 h2h)
 

Steady Eddy

Hall of Fame
The ball will often take a bad or unexpected hop. So watch the ball intensely, and be ready to keep moving your feet to get into the right position.

Don't 'tee off' on the ball if it's too low or if you're off balance. Junk ballers often count of the opponent getting frustrated and making lots of errors. But if you stay calm and keep moving your feet to get into correct position, he really can't hurt you, because his shots lack pace.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
Playing junkballers you have to be patient and watch the ball carefully. An unskilled player may look very beatable but they can be tricky because of their unpredictability. As soon as you think they aren't very good you're concentration drops and errors start creeping in.

They don't hit hard but don't miss much and seem to get lucky returns when you least expect it. Good player/bad player you have to respect them and don't lose focus Daniel San.
 
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r2473

G.O.A.T.
Working in the healthcare field, especially during the flu/cold season, washing with hot soapy water for 20 sec or singing happy birthday twice ensures that all virusus and bacteria are eliminated. I do both hand washing and sanitizer just to be safe. I don't want to get sick or for that matter spread something to other people or patients.
That’s how to deal with junk ballers?
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
footwork footwork footwork (especially getting your spacing right and force myself to take 4-5 adjusting steps especially on "easy" balls).
IMO it's much easier to get a neutral/defensive ball back, with poor/sloppy footwork...
but as soon as you go on offense, your footwork and spacing need to be much more precise.

these kinds of balls are exactly why i try to focus on serve (50%), followed by attacking/approaching mid court balls... (30%)
it's one thing to move side to side... it's another to move forward, with an compact stroke, and precise footwork to be able to get the ball up and down quickly, or slice with precision
if you're not intentional about practicing the mid court ball (especially low), which to me, feels like different shot than a full swing stroke from the basleine (because you need to get it up and down quickly, and you have less room to do it), if you're like i was, you'll only practice it during a match,... and you'll lose the majority of them (when you've really just earned the right to go on offense)

these mid court balls are why i:
* practice mini alot... same type of compact stroke & feel
* practice volleys starting from behind the service line
* after warmup, in coop hitting, i force myself to attack all short balls (still hitting back to baseline person)... even though it's more tiring and disruptive to my own rhythm.

my $0.02
Very good post. Your right footwork can be off some on normal rally shots, but I’ve found like you say that when I get a short weak shot I want to attack I need to focus on footwork and getting in the correct spot. I think many players are so caught up on their swing that they don’t put enough into the right spacing and position in order to hit the ball in their wheelhouse.
 
That’s not a junk baller. That’s just someone who is not good enough to handle your shots.

A junk baller is some one with crappy strokes that spin in weird lucky directions who is better at tennis than you are.
 
Very good post. Your right footwork can be off some on normal rally shots, but I’ve found like you say that when I get a short weak shot I want to attack I need to focus on footwork and getting in the correct spot. I think many players are so caught up on their swing that they don’t put enough into the right spacing and position in order to hit the ball in their wheelhouse.
I definitely have a problem with spacing even against non-junkballs but it gets worse with junk: instead of just being too close, I'm now too close and too high. Result = into the net.

So for me, it's a combination of footwork and kneework [bending low enough to get under the ball].
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I definitely have a problem with spacing even against non-junkballs but it gets worse with junk: instead of just being too close, I'm now too close and too high. Result = into the net.

So for me, it's a combination of footwork and kneework [bending low enough to get under the ball].
I know exactly what your talking about I have screwed up on many sitters by setting up too close to the ball. I usually get in the right spot as far as height goes, but my problem is not having enough space sideways. It’s hard to whip the ball up and down quickly when you don’t have enough space sideways.
 
@FiReFTW The easiest solution against those junk ball in my opinion is to stand closer to the net and play the half volley or volley game since they can't handle your shot, therefore most of the return will be within the baseline, so by standing closer you are guaranteed to return a lot of shot back. You don't have to worry about not returning the shots since their return is going to be angleless and slow, now all you need to do is to be more patience, instead of playing a power game, play an angle, slice, drop game.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
The ball will often take a bad or unexpected hop. So watch the ball intensely, and be ready to keep moving your feet to get into the right position.

Don't 'tee off' on the ball if it's too low or if you're off balance. Junk ballers often count of the opponent getting frustrated and making lots of errors. But if you stay calm and keep moving your feet to get into correct position, he really can't hurt you, because his shots lack pace.
Yea ans its hard to get in good position specialy when ur suprized and caught of guard with such a weird short low ball, you end up sprinting and barely lunging forward not balanced well.

@pencilcheck has a good point about playing these balls patiently, angling, dropshoting.. that worked a bit better for me later too, at first i was trying to spin them over more aggressively but was hard.
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
When the ball is short, I work on moving forward to hit it on one bounce and then moving back. If it's a powderpuff, then I work on hitting a hard topspin shot right back to the other player.
This thread has just made me think. There is someone who I hit with over the last few years and he is pretty much a junkballer. We practice more often than not and he really frustrates me because I don't work my groundstrokes like I want to. Or any shot for that matter. He will often hit the ball short (his feeds are terrible), and then when he hits it back it will be at an angle or a loopy one on the baseline.

But it's good to play these guys because ultimately you'll realise that your footwork needs improving and that's the key thing to work on.

And for short balls...well, I used to what you did - hit and move back. But then I had a light bulb moment - no longer move back! I used his short balls as an approach shot and then hit volley winners at the net. It was a great way to work on this part of my game and now I do this regularly in matches - take the short ball, hit a weighty approach shot where possible, and get ready for the volley at the net.

This just highlights for me you can pretty much hit with anyone, there is always something to take and work on.
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
I am suspicious about this tread, the OP claims to have won 2 and 3; then asks for advice about how to player "weaker" players. My advice is to do exactly what you did before, it worked and you won in straight sets. Making this a pointless thread.

However if you lost, you need to admit it. Which will allow people to give useful advice.

Maybe I am too cynical but this thread starts off like all classic pusher threads, with the OP saying they have no problem with "stronger" opponents.
 

Cawlin

Semi-Pro
If your strokes aren’t grooved... avoid junk ballers at all costs, until grooved.

Once grooved, junk ballers are good to practice against to make sure you can hit your grooved strokes from all positions on court.

That said, even the greats with grooved strokes have fallen victim to junk ballers (safin v santoro 2-7 h2h)
Yep, this is my current "theory" about things. I am not yet at the point where I have suitable (to me) consistency with groundstrokes, so junk ballers do me no real good.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I am suspicious about this tread, the OP claims to have won 2 and 3; then asks for advice about how to player "weaker" players. My advice is to do exactly what you did before, it worked and you won in straight sets. Making this a pointless thread.

However if you lost, you need to admit it. Which will allow people to give useful advice.

Maybe I am too cynical but this thread starts off like all classic pusher threads, with the OP saying they have no problem with "stronger" opponents.
i think it's a legit request... when playing a pusher/dinker/etc... the feeling is that they have no weapons to hurt you (other than their ability to get alot of balls back).
sounds like this opponent, fed him a steady diet of "sitters" that he felt should have been put away easily.
and to me it highlighted a strength in his game (serve & attacking from baseline)
but exposed weaknesses in his game (forecourt & finishing points).

the value & takeaway from this thread, if i were him, would be to work on handling balls in the forecourt (one element being footwork).
+1 for what a couple of other folks mentioned, sounds like against his player ("unintentional junk baller?", s&v should have been the appropriate way to finish this opponent off quickly (which is a challeng if yoiu don't practice s&v much)
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
i think it's a legit request... when playing a pusher/dinker/etc... the feeling is that they have no weapons to hurt you (other than their ability to get alot of balls back).
sounds like this opponent, fed him a steady diet of "sitters" that he felt should have been put away easily.
and to me it highlighted a strength in his game (serve & attacking from baseline)
but exposed weaknesses in his game (forecourt & finishing points).

the value & takeaway from this thread, if i were him, would be to work on handling balls in the forecourt (one element being footwork).
+1 for what a couple of other folks mentioned, sounds like against his player ("unintentional junk baller?", s&v should have been the appropriate way to finish this opponent off quickly (which is a challeng if yoiu don't practice s&v much)
I have no doubt he struggled, I just doubt he won, otherwise he wouldn't asking the question and putting in all that stuff about doing well against "good" players.

People should respect junkballers more, Arthur Ashe junkballed Jimmy Connors to win Wimbledon in 1975, which wasn't Ashe's natural style. Does the OP think he should beat a player of Ashe's standard 0 and 0, when that player junkballs?

So if the OP won, what is the point of his question?
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
So if the OP won, what is the point of his question?
Why should winning any match stop you wanting to improve yourself as a player?

Even in the face of victory, are there not questions you ask? Are there not answers and ideas you'd like to bounce off with other fellow players / posters?
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Well @zaph

You obviously dont know me.

I can play great, hit great serves and great shots and play against a really good player and still lose, and i will be satisfied, because my performance was good.

On the other hand I can win quite comfortably but if i struggle somewhat or have to grind out some points and its a bit of a struggle and miss too many easy balls I shouldnt, im not happy even if I win, I habe a bitter taste in my mouth and im not happy at all.

I dont know how other players here are but thats how i am.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
So if the OP won, what is the point of his question?
so you're saying when you doing things well (anythign in life), you don't ask how you could have done it better? if so, you're missing out on alot of opportunities to learn.

even when i win 0, 0 - i still have notes on something i could have done better.
 

jhick

Professional
Don't usually run into these types of players at 4.5, but about 5-6 years ago, I played a 4.0 junkballer that hit pretty much everything with either slice or sidespin and no pace, and he was pretty good at it. It was an ugly match that I ended up winning 6-2, 6-1. Somehow afterwards I didn't feel like I played all that well, but what worked best was to continually attack the net.
 
  1. went away with a bit of bitter taste because I really should have won 6:0 6:0
  2. I really struggled the most with his extremely junk balls, I dont know how to describe them otherwise.
  3. I was of course having quite a bit of problems and had quite alot of errors on these balls because im not used to them at all, never practiced them much.
I will comment since I have PM'ed extensively with @FiReFTW about this very topic. Match play is real world tennis is more than technical mechanics (overrated)

First, re-read your 3 statements above.
You assume should have won 6-0 6-0?
Why? Why do you think that?
You could not handle his shots, have not practiced those shots, and made lots of errors!
(There is a huge lesson in unpacking this assumption. Pretty strokes don't win trophies)
Again, stop and re-read your 3 statements above.
Do you see the contradictions?

It is one thing to lose a point that deflects off the throat or frame and ends up a winner. You just accept that as luck, and move on. But was this happening all match? If so, call it an unlucky day. Selective memory b/c just as many of those throat frame balls did not end up winners.

So, I will only address intentional junk, not accidental deflection winners. The flaw in your thinking is that those shots should be "easy". Why do you assume they should be easy? B/c pros on TV put them away easily? (They don't. Even pros can't put away junk reliably. Watch ATP junk. They will often slice the low short junk right back, pushing defensively)

Why do you assume junk easy? Because they are slower than rally balls? Have you drilled putting away short junk slice balls as much as baseline rally drills? A low ball, close to the net, with side or back spin. It is nothing like a baseline shot. Why do you assume they are easy? They are not! they need to be practiced like anything else.

Your mindset is backwards. Those junk balls are the hard shots, since you have not hit thousands of those balls. Baseline shots, you have taken thousands of swings, and should be easy for you, since you've done the reps.

When you see a big baseliner, you should think, "Easy. I have hit millions of rally balls". When you see a junker, you should be scared, and think, "Hard. All match I will have to hit low bouncing junk balls with weird skid spin, shallow depth, and weird angles. My timing will be crap. My positioning will never be quite right"

Your problem is not strokes, it's mindset. Narrow definition of what constitutes real tennis. Once you fix your mindset (accept that those shots are not in your wheelhouse, and they are not automatically easy because internet says so) then you can start to learn how to hit them (coaching and drill) Treat junk with the respect it commands. It is harder to hit than topspin rally balls that you have drilled for 100's of hours. You should pay a junker to hit with you, especially when you meet an older 4.0/4.5 junker who can handle ALL your "big" pace, and dish out junk with ease..... like my nemesis guy we've discussed privately.

Incorrect mindset limits growth. If you assume junk is automatically easy, then you will never practice hitting them, and you will never learn to hit against junk. Then you will be like all the others crying about fake tennis and annoying hitting partners. I am incorporating more junk into my game (which also takes years of practice), precisely because of the default mindset exhibited by most tennis players.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
so you're saying when you doing things well (anythign in life), you don't ask how you could have done it better? if so, you're missing out on alot of opportunities to learn.

even when i win 0, 0 - i still have notes on something i could have done better.
Just to expand on your point, there are people who I hate playing because their style vexes me even though I always beat them but I keep playing them because I think what if I had to play a better version of this guy.

J
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
Well @zaph

You obviously dont know me.

I can play great, hit great serves and great shots and play against a really good player and still lose, and i will be satisfied, because my performance was good.

On the other hand I can win quite comfortably but if i struggle somewhat or have to grind out some points and its a bit of a struggle and miss too many easy balls I shouldnt, im not happy even if I win, I habe a bitter taste in my mouth and im not happy at all.

I dont know how other players here are but thats how i am.
What made suspicious is this bit:

In the past few weeks I played 2 decent players and ive played decently against them even tho im rusty, won both matches, some good points, high quality points.
Why are you telling us how you did against two "decent" players? It is the classic defence used by people who lose to junkballers, it also implies you somehow think you are better than a junkballer, who you don't consider to be a decent player.

Anyway long story short I won 6:2 6:3, but went away with a bit of bitter taste because I really should have won 6:0 6:0
Here is your real problem, assuming that was actually the score. The idea you should have won love and love. Junkballers are good players, they are tough opponents. You are not going to blow them off the court and win every point. By definition they rarely miss and put the ball awkward places.

2 and 3 is a good score line against such player. So my advice is carry on with what you are doing, it worked. The only metric in tennis the result and winning a match 6:2, 6:3 is a good result. Why on earth do you want to change a game which is obviously effective? Unless we are not getting the whole story.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I will comment since I have PM'ed extensively with @FiReFTW about this very topic. First of all, welcome to match play. Now, you will learn that real world tennis is all much more than technical mechanics (overrated)

First, re-read your 3 statements above.
You assume should have won 6-0 6-0?
Why? Why do you think that?
You could not handle his shots, have not practiced those shots, and made lots of errors!
(There is a huge lesson in unpacking this assumption. Pretty strokes don't win trophies)
Again, stop and re-read your 3 statements above.
Do you see the contradictions?

It is one thing to lose a point that deflects off the throat or frame and ends up a winner. You just accept that as luck, and move on. But was this happening all match? If so, call it an unlucky day. Selective memory b/c just as many of those throat frame balls did not end up winners.

So, I will only address intentional junk, not accidental deflection winners. The flaw in your thinking is that those shots should be "easy". Why do you assume they should be easy? B/c pros on TV put them away easily? (They don't. Even pros can't put away junk reliably. Watch ATP junk. They will often slice the low short junk right back, pushing defensively)

Why do you assume junk easy? Because they are slower than rally balls? Have you drilled putting away short junk slice balls as much as baseline rally drills? A low ball, close to the net, with side or back spin. It is nothing like a baseline shot. Why do you assume they are easy? They are not! they need to be practiced like anything else.

Your mindset is backwards. Those junk balls are the hard shots, since you have not hit thousands of those balls. Baseline shots, you have taken thousands of swings, and should be easy for you, since you've done the reps.

When you see a big baseliner, you should think, "Easy. I have hit millions of rally balls". When you see a junker, you should be scared, and think, "Hard. All match I will have to hit low bouncing junk balls with weird skid spin, shallow depth, and weird angles. My timing will be crap. My positioning will never be quite right"

Your problem is not strokes, it's mindset. Narrow definition of what constitutes real tennis. Once you fix your mindset (accept that those shots are not in your wheelhouse, and they are not automatically easy because internet says so) then you can start to learn how to hit them (coaching and drill) Treat junk with the respect it commands. It is harder to hit than topspin rally balls that you have drilled for 100's of hours. You should pay a junker to hit with you, especially when you meet an older 4.0/4.5 junker who can handle ALL your "big" pace, and dish out junk with ease..... like my nemesis guy we've discussed privately.

Incorrect mindset limits growth. If you assume junk is automatically easy, then you will never practice hitting them, and you will never learn to hit against junk. Then you will be like all the others crying about fake tennis and annoying hitting partners. I am incorporating more junk into my game (which also takes years of practice), precisely because of the default mindset exhibited by most tennis players.
Good post

1.no they did not happen all match long, but id say these lucky shots should happen 1 or maybe 2 times but were probably like 5-6 like this... that left me wondering how the hell is this possible is someone out to punish me if a higher power exist lol...

2. Your true that I need to practice it, coach also said that il get used to handling it in due time, just give it time and when we also start practicing these shots and when i play alot and meet many such players

3.my whole aproach was wrong, for example now i realize how dumb i was, in those weird slow just over the net low bouncing balls i had the mentality its easy and short and i have to hit an aggressive shot and tried to topspin and swing fast, very hard... when instead i should have :
Dropshot
Flick spin at an angle off court
Poke away at an angle
Etc..

But u wanted to do too much and hit it too fast and aggressive since im better and to show him lol..
 

FiReFTW

Legend
What made suspicious is this bit:



Why are you telling us how you did against two "decent" players? It is the classic defence used by people who lose to junkballers, it also implies you somehow think you are better than a junkballer, who you don't consider to be a decent player.



Here is your real problem, assuming that was actually the score. The idea you should have won love and love. Junkballers are good players, they are tough opponents. You are not going to blow them off the court and win every point. By definition they rarely miss and put the ball awkward places.

2 and 3 is a good score line against such player. So my advice is carry on with what you are doing, it worked. The only metric in tennis the result and winning a match 6:2, 6:3 is a good result. Why on earth do you want to change a game which is obviously effective? Unless we are not getting the whole story.
Because hes not a junkballer, he tried to play normal and i outplayed him but between he had alot of junk balls when he was caught off guard and kind of deflected or blocked shots and its those shots i struggled with...geez read the discussion better next time
 

AlexSV

Rookie
Because hes not a junkballer, he tried to play normal and i outplayed him but between he had alot of junk balls when he was caught off guard and kind of deflected or blocked shots and its those shots i struggled with...geez read the discussion better next time
Sounds like good defense.
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
Because hes not a junkballer, he tried to play normal and i outplayed him but between he had alot of junk balls when he was caught off guard and kind of deflected or blocked shots and its those shots i struggled with...geez read the discussion better next time
So what you're telling us is your opponent should switch to full on junk balling to beat you next time. Got it.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
So what you're telling us is your opponent should switch to full on junk balling to beat you next time. Got it.
I would probably struggle much more yes, but maybe not since i learned a few thimgs from this now, and also some posts here.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
If your strokes aren’t grooved... avoid junk ballers at all costs, until grooved.

Once grooved, junk ballers are good to practice against to make sure you can hit your grooved strokes from all positions on court.

That said, even the greats with grooved strokes have fallen victim to junk ballers (safin v santoro 2-7 h2h)
Naomi Osaka, the eventual Aussie Champion was down a set and 0-4 to Hsieh, a notorious female junk baller, before battling back to win. Finding your game against junk is not easy.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Naomi Osaka, the eventual Aussie Champion was down a set and 0-4 to Hsieh, a notorious female junk baller, before battling back to win. Finding your game against junk is not easy.
Was that at the AO? Need to find video, would be interesting to see.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
For me I would probably only want to play a junk baller once a week. It requires a huge amount of fitness/ running for awkward balls. Sounds like injuries waiting to happen if you over do it.

If I had to train with them I'd do cross court drills and let it bounce twice, start catching anything super crap, and make it clear this is a cooperative rally so step up to the plate
 
I met up to hit with a new practice opponent last week. He had been texting me to play for a few weeks after a mutual friend introduced us and talked up my game. This guy has a pretty solid baseline game and beat me the first two baseline games to 11 we played, before I won the third by playing more conservative.

Then we started a set, he won first 2 games. But then I started probing him for weaknesses and eventually found that he was helpless if I hit a high loopy ball deep to his slice backhand and rush the net. After I ran off 5 straight games mixing in this tactic with serve and volley behind soft kickers and dropshot/pass combos to go up 5-2, he suddenly snapped.

“This isn’t fun!!! I play tennis to have fun. I can’t take any more of this soft stuff!”

We went back to groundstrlke games after that. I was careful to rely mostly on bashing, even though that is the opposite of my normal style.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Naomi Osaka, the eventual Aussie Champion was down a set and 0-4 to Hsieh, a notorious female junk baller, before battling back to win. Finding your game against junk is not easy.
Interesting that she confidently just kept with her game and eventually kept the balls in and hit her marks. She didn't start hitting yunk herself.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I met up to hit with a new practice opponent last week. He had been texting me to play for a few weeks after a mutual friend introduced us and talked up my game. This guy has a pretty solid baseline game and beat me the first two baseline games to 11 we played, before I won the third by playing more conservative.

Then we started a set, he won first 2 games. But then I started probing him for weaknesses and eventually found that he was helpless if I hit a high loopy ball deep to his slice backhand and rush the net. After I ran off 5 straight games mixing in this tactic with serve and volley behind soft kickers and dropshot/pass combos to go up 5-2, he suddenly snapped.

“This isn’t fun!!! I play tennis to have fun. I can’t take any more of this soft stuff!”

We went back to groundstrlke games after that. I was careful to rely mostly on bashing, even though that is the opposite of my normal style.
A personal victory for you sir. A crushed wimp, he resorted to crying and complaining like a little *****. At least finish the set and accept your loss like a man!
 
A personal victory for you sir. A crushed wimp, he resorted to crying and complaining like a little *****. At least finish the set and accept your loss like a man!
Tennis is humbling. I had been feeling confident, improving and playing really high level tennis since the start of the year. But today I hit a speed bump - my strings on my racquet had suddenly loosened up past the crispness threshold, which completed erased my ability to volley well. Without my usual net attacks, I was crippled against my regular hitting partner, who is a really good passer and never makes unforced errors. I win 90% of our matches, but today was one of those days when he pulled off the upset.
 
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coupergear

Professional
I
In the past few weeks I played 2 decent players and ive played decently against them even tho im rusty, won both matches, some good points, high quality points.

Then I played a weaker opponent, decided to practice my kick serve because he cant return my 1st serve at all.

Anyway long story short I won 6:2 6:3, but went away with a bit of bitter taste because I really should have won 6:0 6:0

I really struggled the most with his extremely junk balls, I dont know how to describe them otherwise.

He struggled alot with my kick that kicked right and also during groundstroke exchanges alot of times, the ball caught him by suprize and he kind of blocked it in a weird crounched way completely close to his body or something and alot of times the ball had extremely weird deflections and bounces.

Like it deflected at an sharp angle away from the court on the sideline at service line, or deflected short alot of times extremely low over the net and barely bounced up at all close to net.

I was of course having quite a bit of problems and had quite alot of errors on these balls because im not used to them at all, never practiced them much.

What do you guys do with these balls?

1.Extremely low over the net slow barely bounces up
2.weird deflection at an angle that u can barely or cant even get to
3.weird spins that make the ball bounce extremely weird
I mentioned it in your practice video thread, but one of your weaknesses is moving to the ball and executing your stroke. Cooperative hitting sessions don't give good practice on short/angled/off-speed stuff like you're struggling with. If you work with a coach they can feed you short balls...or even group workouts, often they do a lot of approach/volley type drills and they feed short balls. Make you really run to balls.

Also how's your net game? Another tendency for rec playeys is to practice baseline to the detriment of volleys. Often players in the 3.5 to 4.5 range will have very underdeveloped volleys. This will make you less comfortable approaching... And more wanting to put away the short sitter, rather than hitting a well placed deep ball then putting away the next volley.
 
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