I played a match today against one of those f*cking Anna Pistolesi/Virginia Ruano Pascual type players and I lost 6-2 7-5. :sad:
My question is: what is the best way to handle those loopy extreme topspin balls that land near the baseline?
I always have to take a few steps backwards and then just loop them back, but that's not my style of play so I get annoyed and try to hit winners on them, usually without success. :(
This guy also kept attacking my backhand with those fucking loops, he didn't do anything else, just loops, both off backhand and forehand sides. I have a onehanded backhand so it's hard for me to attack on those balls, I just step backward and slice or loop it back.
Any hints for me? Thanks
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:06 PM
slice it back low on the backhand side and spread the balls well try to make as low unforced errors, wait untill the ball comes a bit shorter and then pound the ball (and then if still needed come to the net and play a volley) :p
It's just very important to keep your slice on the backhand side low and deep
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:07 PM
You can try to hit the ball early after the bounce. That way you dont have to take back so many steps, and you dont have to loop them. You have to keep them under pressure. Try to build up the point carefully, and not try to hit a winner as soon as possible. Those players will try to trick you into this, so be patient til you see a chance to score.
Good luck next time!
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:18 PM
This is the most difficult type of player to face for non-professional players (these days, this type of player is practically extinct on the professional tour, because it's too easliy defeated by accurate, controlled aggression)...unless you're one of these players, of course!:p
The first thing you have to do is be willing to be patient. That doesn't mean playing 'his/her' type of game all day, but you have to be more patient than usual to avoid making errors too early in the point.
With that mindset (i.e., 'I KNOW I'll have to play at least 8 or 10 balls before I can attack...'), you can try to move the ball around to see which side is weaker. You can then concentrate on attacking that side. But even if both sides are equally good, you'll have to wait until you get a slightly shorter ball from the person and be ready to attack with an approach shot or really solid groundstroke to the opposite side of the court from where the person is.
That's the tough part, because you have to be patient and accurate enough to both play that type of game AND be accurate in your attack once you get the chance.
So, you have to have a solid overhead smash, approach shots, and decent volleys to put this sort of person away. You'll probably have to hit more than one smash every time you try to be aggressive, as this type of player is usually very good at running down balls and throwing up high lobs. A few good smashes to the opposite corners will end the point for you, but obviously only if you don't make errors (the lobs will probably be pretty deep, so your smashes have to be accurate).
The best thing to do is practice your smashes and attacking groundstrokes down the line and crosscourt, and remember to be patient when you get this type of opponent...
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:23 PM
Oye... I hate players like that too. That's why I volley 90% of the time.
My only advice would be:
1) If you can hit a slice, it's not that hard to do with high balls.
2) Learn a 2-hand backhand... my coach insisted I do that because I could kill the ball 1-handed, but never stayed in the court. Same thing happens with my 2-hander... tis why I S&V 100% of the time, and chip charge return 90% of the time :)
3) Run around it, and hit an enormous forehand. I like the ball around my shoulders on my forehand, but maybe you don't.
Feb 26th, 2003, 04:47 PM
I know I am not the one who asked but those are all great tips!High loopy balls are the worst.Thanks!
Feb 27th, 2003, 05:25 AM
That's funny, I had the same type of opponent last week-end (and I lost too, 6-1, 6-2 : I'm not that advanced a player). The guy took me by surprise, because I expected him to play his usual game which is more "standard" and he was tactically smart because he knew I'm rather a hard-hitter and that was a good method to avoid me hitting winners on each shot, lol.
The interesting point is that his coach watched us playing and after the match he gave me some technical hints to play this kind of balls.
All the things that have been said by Martian Liz, Vancouverte and Leena are quite OK, I would just add that :
1) this kind of game is a "psychological strategy" which aims at getting you nervous. So you got to be patient and to stay very calm. That wasn't the case for me so I began to miss a lot and make a load of double faults.
2) in order to make something of the ball, you have to prepare high (if you're preparation is low, your ball will die in the net), put a lot of effect (to counter the opponent's lift) and DON'T PUSH THE BALL : just make a very fast movement of top-spin but don't try to give an impulsion to the ball unless your shot will fall out of limits (that's not really easy with a one-handed backhand : you must have a lot of power in your shoulder).
3) you need to be used with this kind of balls so ask your coach to help you practice on it. The best attitude is to try to hit the ball as early as possible, but as the ball has been shot with a lot of lift, it will accelerate and go very high on rebound so without a lot practice, you'll never find the good timing.
4) go to the net, providing you can hit good smashes and lifted volleys.
Last thing : if you have trouble with that kind of ball, then you must keep in mind that your opponents might have the same, so don't hesitate hitting the same, especially against a hard hitter. Last year, Patty Schnyder reached Charleston Final, beating Serena and Jennifer back to back by hitting those loop balls which are particularly efficient on clay.
Feb 27th, 2003, 05:29 AM
Thanks everyone! My arch nemisis also plays like this. :fiery:
Feb 27th, 2003, 05:51 AM
Yeah its my problem too. I wish i was able to just slam those loopers like Jelena does ;) but then i start piing UE. So i loop/slice back and thats not my game so i lose.
A few times at comp. i had beaten the #1 player from a team, then gotten trashed by the #2 cos they give no pace and im not good enough to handle that ....junk!
Feb 27th, 2003, 05:54 AM
i have a problem in that the main person i play with hits so f*cking hard and flat all the time, so when i play anything different i am in trouble!
but im just playing for fun now, so no need to stress over it like some of you guys ;)
Feb 27th, 2003, 06:04 AM
either slice it back or if you are really confident with your groundies off both sides and especially their depth you can stay a metre or two behind the baseline and hit them as hard as you can with a bit of topspin, but you have to hit the ball low and flatten it out. you have to be quick to do that. i prefer hitting the ball when it's low rather than taking it on the rise because i can get more power on them because my judgement is better with those. i mainly do this when my strokes ar going long or wide.
you can also go to the net if your comfortable at net and are quick and if you have some reach or can jump.
otherwise you can hit at three quarter pace down the lines. you could also try hitting your groundies with more angle or not as deep.
probably the best thing to do would be to hit your groundies depth inconsistently. it might sound stupid but if you hit one deep and the next not so deep it might work.
for example, (say you're right handed) hit a deep forehand down the line basically on the baseline (and say you get one of their groundies down your forehand line or to the middle of the baseline reply with the following), then hit another down the line forehand as deep as the service line down the line as well and then you can hit a deep one cross court or if you get a bad reply from them you can hit an awkward shallow volley cross court angled away from them.
just really structure your points and change things up.
i think it would be a good idea for you to sit down by yourself or with another tennis player and work out a few strategies like this (say about 5 or 10) and keep them in the back of your mind for when you come up against these type of players. most of those players aren't that quick around the court and that is why they slow the pace of shot down so if you get them out of position then they find it hard to get back into the point and there is an easy put away.
Feb 27th, 2003, 06:09 AM
my nemesis plays a similar game too :rolleyes: :p
i had success when i stepped in before the ball could bounce too high. slice work to some extent too...
losing to him so often - i'm often tempted to play like that against my hard-hitting pals... :devil: - not that i hit that hard in the first place... :o
quasimodo: good point about Patty. Iva did a pretty good job whacking the high rollers.
Feb 27th, 2003, 06:12 AM
Hmm...interesting insight. *registers info. into head*
Feb 27th, 2003, 06:18 AM
I agree, you expend alot of energy against those Conchita-type players. :)
I played alot of loopers in college, so I am an expert in ANTI-LOOPING. :)
1) Hit the ball EARLY. Don't step back and play their game! That's what they want!
Stand firmly on the baseline, and hit the ball as EARLY as possible. Never let your opponent decide how you play!
2) Surprise them by approaching the net occasionally.
3) Hit the occasional drop-shot or short ball, to get THEM into the net. This type of player usually has horrible volleying skills!
4) Bring plenty of bananas and sports drinks, because these loopers can play for hours!
5) Say under your breath: "Loop THIS, bitch!" (optional) :)
Feb 27th, 2003, 06:35 AM
The guy who plays loopy was the only match I loss this season.... 8-5.... :sad: I would have been #1 if I didnt lose that match, now I'm only #2. :sad:
Feb 27th, 2003, 07:02 AM
Question Glenn-what are YOUR strengths and weaknesses?
Do you have a good overhead and /or volley?
Can you loop the ball back 2 or 3 times?
Can your loopy de loop opponent play the net?
If you possess a swing volley I find one good strategy is to loop back high (I know you say you hate it but stick with me) and then come in off YOUR shot. The trick here is:
Vary the tactic. Sometimes you rush the net-sometimes stay back and trade a few more loops, and sometimes PRETEND you are rushing the net by stepping in then backing up. When you 'fake it" make lots of noise with your shoes. This will hopefully produce some errors.
If the high ball to your backhand gives you problems run around it unless you get punished for it. Don't be afraid to take some of those and drop shot too if the other person hates the net.
The object is to break up the enemies winning pattern and get him /her out a comfort zone. Keep them guessing and they'll have a harder time hitting you the same ball over and over.
What kind of balls does this person hate? 6-2 7-5 is close, so stay with it!