Why do pros hit right at their opponents at net

bjk

Hall of Fame
#1
I've seen this hundreds of times, a player will have an open court and hit right at their opponent at net instead. Here is Jaziri hitting it right at Klahn even as there is vast open space right in front of him.

 

bjk

Hall of Fame
#2
Hurkacz just did it in the Fed match. He had a mini overhead at net and Fed was in the doubles alley and HURKACZ HIT RIGHT AT FED IN THE DOUBLES ALLEY. Bill Gates was facepalming in the stands.
 

Aussie Darcy

Talk Tennis Guru
#3
Guarenteed way of winning the point? Nah but many times it's a petty move to show who's boss/who's the dominant one.

Raonic was doing it the other day with Giron.

Gotta love when they give the faux apology after doing it when they intentionally did it.
 

The Green Mile

Talk Tennis Guru
#4
4d chess, you're anticipating your opponent anticipating the DTL shot. ;)

Anyway, hitting at the opponent is not a dumb move at all, jamming your opponent tends to work well often. That first ball Jaziri hit, he was trying to whip it into the space, but failed to get enough width on the inside in, poorly executed.
 
#8
The reason for rifling the ball directly at the player at net is to prevent them guessing a direction on your passing shots. If the volleyer knows you're going either side of them they have a free guess on your passing shot with the chance to make a winning volley. If there's a 3rd possibility of the ball going 100 miles per hour straight at them they can't just guess either side unless willing to get hit, and also can't close down the net as effectively. Lendl going directly at Gerulaitis many years ago was an excellent example of a player being deterred from guessing either way, or getting too close to the net which makes volleying easier.
 
#10
This is what happens when you spend 99% of your time playing from the baseline

Almost all the new players are absolutely clueless at net nowadays
I think this is closest to correct. Definitely a by-product of the "get the ball back over the net" mentality these young baseliners have. It's not just an issue when they're at the net, it's just a bit more obvious.
 
#11
Guarenteed way of winning the point? Nah but many times it's a petty move to show who's boss/who's the dominant one.

Raonic was doing it the other day with Giron.

Gotta love when they give the faux apology after doing it when they intentionally did it.
I saw that happen and that it was a ****** shot and even douchier fake apology. May be awhile before I root for raonic again
 
#13

I feel like Almagro really didn't mean to intentionally hit Berdych here and Berdych was being overly dramatic with the fall as well.
Choosing to not shake hands at the end was super bitchy.
Not overly dramatic from Berdych. He got drilled hard enough for the ball to bounce off his body and back across the net. If you have a ball coming at you that fast, you would probably try to dive out of the way as well because that surely hurt.
 
#14
Not overly dramatic from Berdych. He got drilled hard enough for the ball to bounce off his body and back across the net. If you have a ball coming at you that fast, you would probably try to dive out of the way as well because that surely hurt.
Well maybe, but he still should have shook hands at the net though... You cant excuse that.
 
#15
Not overly dramatic from Berdych. He got drilled hard enough for the ball to bounce off his body and back across the net. If you have a ball coming at you that fast, you would probably try to dive out of the way as well because that surely hurt.
The only thing Berdych had to be upset about was missing the volley.
 
#16
Well maybe, but he still should have shook hands at the net though... You cant excuse that.
I'll agree that Almagro didn't do anything wrong there, but Berdych did not owe him a handshake at that moment. If he refused to shake hands after the match, then I'll agree he overreacted.
 
#17
It's hard to generalize, but in many cases, it's to handcuff the player at the net...although in some cases, in can be to intimidate. If, at the net, you're leaning to cover one side or the other, it's harder to handle one right at you.
 
#19
I think this is closest to correct. Definitely a by-product of the "get the ball back over the net" mentality these young baseliners have. It's not just an issue when they're at the net, it's just a bit more obvious.
"Hit harder, not smarter" must be plastered all over the walls at the academies these days. It's the only explanation.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
#20
Why? Because like every shot in a match, it's done in a match. What does that mean? You don't know the success the player hitting shot has had in other matches where it's been a successful shot. You don't know if during the match that shot seemed to be a good idea based on other factors/tells the opponent gave off that it may be successful. You don't know if the timing of the player hitting the shot was off enough that they felt it was the only option they had for a decent return. You don't know if the opponent is "known" for goading players into hitting dtl at net returns for easy put backs for a point. It's also better to committ to a shot than approach it unsure of what you're going to do, a sign of people who aren't pros that often leads to errors. You don't know if the player hitting the shot simply sensed the opponent in a place/movement that wasn't what actually happened as we see later after the ball in hit. Hindsight is 20/20, ya' know.
 
#22
This is what happens when you spend 99% of your time playing from the baseline

Almost all the new players are absolutely clueless at net nowadays
I haven't watched enough of Hurkacz to comment about his net game globally. However, this could just be an honest mistake from him. It seems like he thought Federer was gonna be sprinting into the open court and he could just volley it right behind him.

The way Hurkacz apporached the net wasn't bad by any means. I feel like Shapovalov and Zverev are another level of awful at the net.
 
#23
Regardless of Hurkacz' reasons for doing this, generally speaking this is just a decent tactic. Regardless of what parts of the court are open, hitting clean passing shots is a lot harder than hitting a heavy, dipping ball over the lowest part of the net that then seriously limits the angles that the net player then has to work with. Plus body volleys are tricky, regardless of what angles you might have.
 
#26

I feel like Almagro really didn't mean to intentionally hit Berdych here and Berdych was being overly dramatic with the fall as well.
Choosing to not shake hands at the end was super bitchy.
Don’t know why Berdych was so upset, it’s not like he could have got hit in the balls as he doesn’t have any.

Not shaking hands is an extremely disrespectful thing to do.
 
#27
Right hip on dominante right hand is undefendable against power. It also prevents further angles. Look at the axis and its proportion to length on the shorter potential angles. Very hard to pull that sharp angle off in a defensive postion from the center.

Its like hitting a passing shot up the line, the opponent has an easy xcourt put away if in position. The ball will be moving away from you, where as a xcourt pass will make the ball move in a straight line vs the same shot, giving time.

Its the way the angles intersect, hitting down the middle prevents their potential.
 
#28
Lendl used to aim for McEnroe’s head every chance he got. He never apologised and McEnroe never cared. Part of the sport. That was when tennis was played by real men.
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
#30
And then Berdych complained after the match. Is there a single instance of a tennis player (not an umpire) being injured by a tennis ball?
 

Enga

Professional
#31
Average human reaction to visual stimulus is something like 200+ milliseconds. Hit it fast enough at the net person, unless he predicted the shot's path based on your setup-- which is difficult to do unless you're familiar with and studied your opponent's game extensively, as well as playing a lot of net tennis- he won't be able to react in time to hit a decent volley. Especially given that since most people don't spend much time at the net anymore, their reflexes are not sharp enough to deal with a direct to you shot. Even standing 15 meters apart which is a deep in the service box volley, say he hits the ball at 150kmph at you, you'll only have 375 milliseconds to setup properly and react. (I'm not certain on my math, I'm a highschool dropout :p)

This is why people will not volley. The margins are too small now. Though it is of course possible, you need a lot of speed, and a lot of experience to put yourself in the right position to react to volleys, something that takes years and fast reflexes.
 
#32
Because if you hit to the open space you merely win one point. However, if you manage to drill the ball through your opponent's eyeball then you will maybe win the entire match because your opponent is forced to retire - or you might even force your opponent to stop playing tennis permanently. And if he was a significant rival of yours, that may potentially have won you many titles in the future. So, you have to think of the LONG GAME, not just winning the next point.
 
#33
Because if you hit to the open space you merely win one point. However, if you manage to drill the ball through your opponent's eyeball then you will maybe win the entire match because your opponent is forced to retire - or you might even force your opponent to stop playing tennis permanently. And if he was a significant rival of yours, that may potentially have won you many titles in the future. So, you have to think of the LONG GAME, not just winning the next point.
Dimitrov to Goffin at Rotterdam last year?
 
#36

I feel like Almagro really didn't mean to intentionally hit Berdych here and Berdych was being overly dramatic with the fall as well.
Choosing to not shake hands at the end was super bitchy.
Not shaking hands was inexcusable, but trying to dive out of the way was definitely warranted. Almagro ripped it straight at him and hit hard enough to rebound over the net
 
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