View Full Version : On hitting the ball hard

Dec 24th, 2002, 05:06 AM
"I'm hitting the ball harder than before, but I'm playing like a moron. If you hit it harder but you're playing like an absolute idiot then it doesn't work as well."

-- John McEnroe, after losing to Michael Stich at the Delta Tour of Champions

That kinda sums up the plusses and minuses of 'power tennis' don'it? Ultimately, it only works if you play smart. If you just whack the ball from the baseline, 'then it doesn't work as well'.


Sam L
Dec 24th, 2002, 05:11 AM
IMO, you've got to have angles, pull the opponent apart from side to side with power, like Monica used to do in the early 90's.

Angled crosscourt or inside out or DTL POWER shots are favourite shots to watch. I try to hit them too but fail spectacularly LOL.

Dec 24th, 2002, 05:19 AM
*cautiously creeps in to see if this is another gag thread*

Dec 24th, 2002, 06:40 AM
Hitting hard is one thing being able to control it is another

Dec 24th, 2002, 10:56 AM
Johnny Mac has a big mouth, but he doesn't spare himself. I like players who are like that. If you play bad, they play well, and you lose, the response I like is, "they played well, but I stunk up the joint'. And every power player on the tour has days when their game won't work and they they really suck.

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:04 AM
I hope that when people read this they can stop bashing the sisters now for their power, power.... because as one of the all-time found it isnīt only power that matters! You have to have some technique because otherwise the power is useless if you canīt keep the ball in!!

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:19 AM
nuri, I think Johnny Mac did not just find that out. he has known that all along. He is not playing as much as he used and does not have the same feel or touch. Part of finesse is agility and flexibility. As you get older it's simply harder to react as quick, stretch out wide, get down low and do all the hard footwork and hand work it takes to produce stunning finesse shots especially at the net.

I notice that when I ratcheted up my power level in my game that suddenly a lot of my great finesse shots were not quite as good or more importantly I would simply forget to use them at appropriate times. Instead of using a good lob or good dropper I would try to power the ball and sometimes miss or not end the point when a finesse shot really would have sealed the point. Of course now when I am playing I am constantly telling myself to pick the right shot and that is when I am really tough to beat. Johnny Mac is most likely referring to that type of phenomenon. He probably loses points over and over and then says to himself why didn't I play that point differently, using my game, my finesse which is his real strength. If you don't use your true gifts then you are just making hard on yourself. And believe having the KILLER TOUCH (or finesse) is a huge weapon which is often overlooked.

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:21 AM
Ok dan treufruend! Thanks for the explenation!

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:26 AM
Other tactics I am using more is running around the backhand to hit my forehand, using loopy deep balls with angles if I have drawn my opponent short and out of position, using my slice when forced to the net and then staying there for the volley (I used to retreat), or drop shotting back. I also started serving more up the tee on the deuce side to get a forehand and I slice up the tee on the ad side which draws a ton of forehand errors from righties (or backhand errors from lefties). I am also anticipating really well and will sneak in really fast on floaty ball. I don't go for the winner always but just taking the ball and placing it well often draws an error or an easy put away. Finally I have developed a really good inside out two handed backhand. Because I take the ball early on both sides I usually hit with high clearance over the net and topspin down the line which is a great tactic. Safe and yet devastating.

I know that is not the topic of this thread, but what are you guys doing more of in your matches?

Dec 24th, 2002, 12:51 PM
A tactic I like is a short angle slice off the forehand, one that lands near the side line around the service line. The ball stays low, so it's hard for them to returnt a winner. Even better, the other player is out of position, AND has to make fast decisions. I've got an entire open court they have to defend. That means they have to move fast, and are vulnerable to my hitting behind them when they move. Also, they have to decide whether they come to net or go back.

Their only chance at a winner is to return short angle, but I've still got that open court, and a short angle return leads me right to an up the line winner off my forehand. The beauty of it is, everyone knows I do that, and they can't do anything about it except run. At worst, it grinds them down.

Also, most of us are not as fast as Serena. So if I'm at the service line, even a mediocre drop shot, followed by a lob, is really effective. And it annoys the hell out of net-rushers.

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:43 PM
That is very true, any girl could hit hard, but its the control of those shots that counts the most.

I mean Venus, Serena, Jen, Lindsay and especially Monica hit absolute screamers with such accuracy it is amazing.

When looking at Venus' BH or Jen's FH, I never feel that they are gona miss the target, no matter how hard it is hit.

My own game is a power game. Love winding up for a forehand. My only finesse is the dropshot and an effective FH slice.

Dec 24th, 2002, 11:57 PM
If someone is smart and has power and someone is smart and has no power, then the first will win. So even though it's not everything, it's still a HUGE advantage. Everyone hits hard these days so if you can't keep up it doesn't matter how smart you are.

Dec 25th, 2002, 12:57 AM
I hit the ball as hard as possible, and it pays off and sometimes not.. I can't stand too long a rallies and I end up losing them because the opponent is hitting harder. But i also use topsin on my forehand to keep the ball in play otherwise I go for a outright winner and it pays off!