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  1. #1
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    Apr 2009
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    Generating top spin against off-pace shots.

    I just lost a match to somebody who hits as hard as a 10 y.o. I had more unforced errors in one set as I do in a match with 4.5s (I'm only a 3.5). What sort of things do you people do to maintain rhythm, generate top spin, and connect well with the ball when playing an off-pace ball?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    132
    If it's really low shorten your swing and lift up more. If it's just a slow ball with a decent bounce run around it and send it for a ride. You can probably afford to step in to the court and hit it on the rise because I know on a lot of off pacers they dip mighty quick. Running around balls helps me keep my rhythm because for some reason my timing can go off if I don't keep moving. Can you be more specific is it a skidding shot or a moderately short ball or are they just slow?
    Last edited by clock-; 04-29-2010 at 01:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Clearwater, Florida
    Posts
    32

    Playing Safe

    Keep the racket face slightly closed but lift up a lot more than usual, almost a vertical windshield wiper.
    The ball should clear the net by 2-3 feet, drop down quickly and kick up, somewhat a la Nadal. This
    will cut down your errors and keep you in the game.
    Last edited by Oscar; 04-29-2010 at 12:22 PM.
    Oscar Wegner
    www.TennisTeacher.com
    THE LEADER in modern tennis teaching methodology.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    If it's really low shorten your swing and lift up more. If it's just a slow ball with a decent bounce run around it and send it for a ride. You can probably afford to step in to the court and hit it on the rise because I know on a lot of off pacers they dip mighty quick. Running around balls helps me keep my rhythm because for some reason my timing can go off if I don't keep moving. Can you be more specific is it a skidding shot or a moderately short ball or are they just slow?
    Great idea! By running around, I won't have the extra time to think (second and third guess) as you said. This guy has been playing since high school and he's about 50 y.o. The vast majority of his balls stay low and it's because he hits with so little pace. He does slice a good bit, but i think they even bounce higher than his topspin forehand! He can hit the corners if given the opportunity, but still they are so slow it's never a problem getting to them. I don't think he can hit winners on a baseline rally even when the ball drops short.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar View Post
    Keep the racket face slightly closed but lift up a lot more than usual, almost a vertical windshield wiper.
    The ball should clear the net by 2-3 feet, drop down quickly and kick up, somewhat a la Nadal. This
    will cut down your errors and keep you in the game.
    Okay, i can do that. Thanks so much for the ideas. I felt as though I connected well with many forehands only to see them fly out by a foot or three!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    55
    If the guy hits as softly as you say, come in attack the net and make him do something else. Volly that soft stuff. Don't just let him get into a rhythm and softball you to death while rallying with him from the baseline. Guys like this hate it when you come into the net. Then again I've played the same type who can kill you with lobs too so watch out for that.
    Last edited by Architeuthis; 06-01-2010 at 03:47 PM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
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    you guessed it. he was lobbing them 30 feet in the air every time i came to the net. i guess i wasn't coming in at the right time..

  7. #7
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    55
    Yikes! I really can't stand playing that guy. It drives me nuts but it's something I have to come to grips with. I call it country club tennis rather than real tennis. My wife and I also play 9.0 Mixed doubles and we always run into the 40-60 year old 3.5-4.0 lady who can block anything back you hit at her with rediculous angles and lobs. I used to just try and smoke one through her but kept getting burned and having my own power used against me. Then my daughter's coach told us, "ladies love the pace and hate the high heavy topspin roller.....they just can't handle it." It works! In fact it works so well that I'm switching from my 95" frame to a wider beamed 100" frame just so I can generate more topspin. Also, I'll bet the guy you were playing was using a racquet big enough to land a bluefin tuna in. Most ladies do. Fight fire with topspin.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    104
    I'd advise thinking about your footwork more, and taking smaller steps, etc., and just let your game swing into automatic mode. Just let the muscle memory take over. A really high bouncing topspin forehand helps. My instructor told me to just swing straight up for some shots, finish over the same shoulder like Nadal, and if you hit it right, you can get a lot of height and loop. Andre Agassi used to hit a very crazy, high looping backhand, that people thought would go out, but barely went it in.
    What everyone else suggested sounds great too.
    If you really get frustrated , just treat the whole match as a warm up...beat him at his own game.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architeuthis View Post
    Yikes! I really can't stand playing that guy. It drives me nuts but it's something I have to come to grips with. I call it country club tennis rather than real tennis. My wife and I also play 9.0 Mixed doubles and we always run into the 40-60 year old 3.5-4.0 lady who can block anything back you hit at her with rediculous angles and lobs. I used to just try and smoke one through her but kept getting burned and having my own power used against me. Then my daughter's coach told us, "ladies love the pace and hate the high heavy topspin roller.....they just can't handle it." It works! In fact it works so well that I'm switching from my 95" frame to a wider beamed 100" frame just so I can generate more topspin. Also, I'll bet the guy you were playing was using a racquet big enough to land a bluefin tuna in. Most ladies do. Fight fire with topspin.
    Yes, it is especially not fun when your overhead comes and goes. How does that work - 9.0 level.. wouldn't that make you pro? Also, I did notice my kick serve gave him a lot of trouble to the backhand. I tried serving kicks to his backhand, and he quickly learned to run around them. As for groundies. I think I figured it out. I just needed to close off my stance. I just played a match against a guy who had about a 25-2 record against me! I just won 6-0, 6-2, 6-1! He hits very similar to the guy I mentioned earlier in this thread. Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    San Antonio, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03White View Post
    I'd advise thinking about your footwork more, and taking smaller steps, etc., and just let your game swing into automatic mode. Just let the muscle memory take over. A really high bouncing topspin forehand helps. My instructor told me to just swing straight up for some shots, finish over the same shoulder like Nadal, and if you hit it right, you can get a lot of height and loop. Andre Agassi used to hit a very crazy, high looping backhand, that people thought would go out, but barely went it in.
    What everyone else suggested sounds great too.
    If you really get frustrated , just treat the whole match as a warm up...beat him at his own game.
    Exactly right 03. The open stance just doesn't work with slow/low balls for me. Thanks so much.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    173
    Key is shoulder turn above all else.
    Closed shoulders insures long swingpath thru the strike, so less mishits and more solid contact, just like the old folks used to do.
    Might watch the ball a bit too...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    55
    [QUOTE=Lawn Tennis;20041] How does that work - 9.0 level.. wouldn't that make you pro?

    I meant combined mixed doubles. I'm a 4.0 my wife is a 4.5 so we have to play up. I am in no way a pro. Otherwise I wouldn't have any problem with what we are describing.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by 03White View Post
    I'd advise thinking about your footwork more, and taking smaller steps, etc., and just let your game swing into automatic mode. Just let the muscle memory take over. A really high bouncing topspin forehand helps. My instructor told me to just swing straight up for some shots, finish over the same shoulder like Nadal, and if you hit it right, you can get a lot of height and loop. Andre Agassi used to hit a very crazy, high looping backhand, that people thought would go out, but barely went it in.
    What everyone else suggested sounds great too.
    If you really get frustrated , just treat the whole match as a warm up...beat him at his own game.

    It really is all about the footwork and not trying to do too much with a slow paced shot.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2009
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    i was thinking that may be a possibility - 9.0 - the usta doesn't even rate after 7.0, right?...

    Well, thanks again everyone. I'm going to take the majority of these tips with me the next time I play this guy. I may have to play him in the playoffs - it was just regular season previously.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    55

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawn Tennis View Post
    i was thinking that may be a possibility - 9.0 - the usta doesn't even rate after 7.0, right?...

    Well, thanks again everyone. I'm going to take the majority of these tips with me the next time I play this guy. I may have to play him in the playoffs - it was just regular season previously.
    I think you are right but I would have to look it up. At my age I'm not even going to contemplate that level. I've done well to be where I am playing competitively for a year and a half:.

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