Wheres "no-mans" land?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sinneTennis, May 23, 2007.

  1. sinneTennis

    sinneTennis New User

    Mar 25, 2007
    Wheres "no-mans land" or "dead-mans land" on the court?
  2. forzainter

    forzainter Semi-Pro

    Oct 27, 2006
    isnt that when your right in the middle of between the service line and the baseline? where balls will be at your feet all the time and bouncing right in front of you?
  3. mclee025

    mclee025 Rookie

    Jun 26, 2005
    It's the area on court between the baseline and the service line. It's a bad place to be because it's the zone where you are most vulnerable to your opponent hitting balls that drop near your feet and putting you in a very difficult position.
    tanventure likes this.
  4. z-money

    z-money Semi-Pro

    Apr 24, 2007
    you got it man
  5. HellBunni

    HellBunni Rookie

    Apr 13, 2006
    I think it's not just the ball being at your feet, because you can always hit it on the rise.

    it's the fact that you are too far to volley short balls.
    too close for deep balls, that land behind you.
    tanventure likes this.
  6. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

    Feb 21, 2007
    Yep, that's where it is, and why...

    ...but now that you know what and where it is, are you going to be able to avoid it completely for the rest of your tennis career? Not likely, so you'd best know what to do when you end up there. Typically, you hit a half volley...but depending on what kind of ball you get in No-Person's Land (to be politically correct...), you might be able to hit a volley or full on ground stroke. Not all balls in No Person's Land are Bad Things.

    Note that there is no way you can get to the net without going through No-Person's Land (NPL)...the idea is to move through it as expeditiously as possible to make the classical move of split stepping at the T and moving into your first volley.

    In practice, to echo Peter Burwash's comment that "tennis is a series of controlled emergencies", if you have any love for the net, you're going to have to get comfortable with hitting at least some balls in NPL. I think the key to that is just Doing It A Lot. Another key to it is that if you really love going to the net, as I do, NPL is just a minor interruption in the process. Or, as one of my coaches put it: "What's a short ball? It's any ball that you think you can hit for an approach shot and go to the net..." As Napoleon said [he was a 5.5, from what I remember] "Toujours l'audace"...which is French for "Watch this, sucka..."
    Topspin Shot and ThunderSnap like this.
  7. sinneTennis

    sinneTennis New User

    Mar 25, 2007
    Thanks for the info.
  8. LGQ7

    LGQ7 Semi-Pro

    Jan 26, 2015
    There's no such thing as "no man's land." Everything is a continuum between offense and defense. Balls land in the continuum of space.
  9. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    the area between the service line and baseline is no man's land. You don't want to position yourself here. You will step in and hit a ball from this area but then either follow your shot in toward net or slide back to the baseline. Yes, you may occasionally get caught in this area but strive to not stand in this area after your shot. Example of getting caught is you step 8 feet inside the baseline and hit a passing shot while your opponent is at net and your opponent volleys the ball back to you. You will likely not have enough time to move back because your opponent was at net to return your shot quickly. but, in general, get the heck out of no man's land and you should never intentionally set up there.

    I don't even like see the returner's partner setup behind the service line in doubles. I think the returner's partner should be a foot or 2 inside the service line.
  10. Kalin

    Kalin Hall of Fame

    Feb 22, 2004
    I always thought it was the expensive seats in a mixed doubles tournament. Turns out there's more to it...
    ByeByePoly likes this.
  11. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

    Oct 17, 2008
    It's the buffet after our great poaster visits for 1.5 hours.
    ByeByePoly and Kalin like this.
  12. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Disagree a little bit here.

    No man's land doesn't end at the service line. Any doubles players who dwell there too much aren't actually "at the net" because there's too much real estate in front of them for a ball to either get down really low or even bounce. The service line is only no man's land's front yard. To completely move forward out of that tennis player's twilight zone, get two steps inside the service line.

    In a doubles match when a player is the returner's partner, that player will traditionally stand on the service line at the beginning of the point to help with making an accurate call on the serve - easier for this player to see a serve that lands slightly deep. But once the serve lands in and the point is underway, that returner's partner should step up into the service box once the return gets past the server's partner up at the net. If this player stays stuck on the service line, he/she stands a better than average chance of catching a shot down on the shoes and having to hit up. Not good.

    The deep end of no man's land (NML) really depends on the surface. On grass courts, it's not unreasonable to stand right on the baseline without actually being stuck in NML. Clay courts can typically require dwelling a step back from the baseline and slippery hard courts might require generally standing a step and a half two maybe two steps back from the baseline, but this depends on the court as well as what sort of pace is coming from the other end. In simple terms, the back edge of NML is the baseline.
    Irrefutable likes this.
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    NML location depends on the player used as an example.
    Baseline only player's find NML anywhere inside deep NML.
    Net player's find NML anywhere deeper than mid NML.
    And some old good volleyer's find the BEST spot to position themselves is mid NML, between service line and baseline.
    NML, not where you're effective in tennis.
    NML for me, anywhere near a tennis court.
  14. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

    Dec 12, 2015
    There are a ton of disadvantageous positions on a tennis court depending on the surface and situation. But it's probably important to not call them NML as that becomes confusing. I strict definition of the court between the service line and baseline is understandable to all and simplifies things so that when a coach tells you to get out of NML, you don't have to say "Which NML are you referring to?"

    I have definitely been in situations where NML was actually the best spot for me to stand. Playing short ball dinkers that can never get the ball deep but love drop shots and short angles. Playing defensive lobbers. I still call it NML because it defines an area of court rather than an instruction.
  15. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Jun 18, 2004
    No man's land is 2-3 feet in front of the service line to 4-5 feet behind the service line. It is the area where balls bounce at your feet when you are serve and volleying.
    Some people who are ignorant of this (like, it appears, Ian from Essential Tennis) think that it is defined by the service line and the baseline, but that is ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. I hate to see tennis terms that have been the same for around 100 years become corrupted by those who are not knowledgeable. It is based around the service line.
  16. joe sch

    joe sch Legend

    Feb 19, 2004
    Hotel CA

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  17. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

    Mar 16, 2015
    Between BL & SL is a simple way to define things. It's certainly simpler than your definition [is it 2' or 3' in front of the BL? Is it 4' or 5' behind the SL?] but they both have merit.

    What I get out of either definition is that it's not a place I generally want to be spending the majority of my time; hit your shot and get out [either by moving forward or backward]. For me, NML is a dynamic concept, not a fixed space. Ian is trying to reach a broad audience so the simplest definition is probably the best.
  18. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Hall of Fame

    May 19, 2011
    San Jose, California
    There is no strict definition for NML dimensions.

    A baseliner that never comes to net does not want to be continually standing 1 foot inside the baseline. A lot of shots will land at his feet. I see this a lot with rec players. They camp out 1-2 feet inside the baseline with no intention of coming to the net. They are in NML.

    OTOH, I see a lot of senior doubles players that camp out exactly in between the service line and baseline. And they hit amazing half volleys. It's not NML for them; it's where they want to be...

    Brady considers NML to be only ~4 feet -- starting from 1 foot inside the baseline.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  19. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

    Aug 2, 2016
    Anywhere near the net if @Shroud is playing. :eek:
    Shroud likes this.
  20. thomas daniels

    thomas daniels Rookie

    Aug 12, 2017
    That's the area behind the service line and in front of the baseline. So be careful never to get got there during play. You should be either moving in or stay behind the baseline and wait for a short ball to attack. In practice, start coming in on all short balls, that way, you won't get caught in no man's land.
  21. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

    Aug 20, 2007
    Westchester (lower), NY
    lol, answering a 10y old question.
    the OP is probably a 5.0 by now :p

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