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I always wonder why moonballing is not more popular. I know it's seen as a "dirty" tactic, but grunting and screaming was too...and now look.

It can be highly effective as a defensive mechanism, allowing you to get back into position more quickly and stop your opponent from attacking. It can also work offensively, throwing your opponent off his/her rhythm - especially in this era of one-dimensional BBBing.

I know everybody is going to talk about the clip of Wozniacki and Kerber's moonball rally, so I'll save the trouble of posting it - here we go




We all know this clip was used by TF "experts" to demonstrate how Wozniacki and Kerber are "disgusting, the worst players ever, destroying tennis" etc. But the fact that so much was made of this rally shows how rare it actually is.


I was watching this match of Seles vs. Evert in 1989. Monica is moonballing like crazy - some points are entirely of her moonballing.



Evert can mostly deal with those moonballs, but I think in today's game with the strings and racquets we have, the enhanced topspin would make these moonballs even more deadly.

The closest thing we have to moonballers at the top of the rankings are Halep (especially on clay) and Wozniacki, but they're not true moonballers like this.
 

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because of Nadal :lol:

Chang also used it in his match against Lendl at RG89.

Sveta and Kirilenko :lol:


I know Gavrilova uses it sometimes too, and sneakily as she will come to the net after doing one when her opponent retreats and tries the same.

The issue of why it isn't used more? Well I'm sure one can guess.
 

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I always wonder why moonballing is not more popular. I know it's seen as a "dirty" tactic, but grunting and screaming was too...and now look.

It can be highly effective as a defensive mechanism, allowing you to get back into position more quickly and stop your opponent from attacking. It can also work offensively, throwing your opponent off his/her rhythm - especially in this era of one-dimensional BBBing.

I know everybody is going to talk about the clip of Wozniacki and Kerber's moonball rally, so I'll save the trouble of posting it - here we go




We all know this clip was used by TF "experts" to demonstrate how Wozniacki and Kerber are "disgusting, the worst players ever, destroying tennis" etc. But the fact that so much was made of this rally shows how rare it actually is.


I was watching this match of Seles vs. Evert in 1989. Monica is moonballing like crazy - some points are entirely of her moonballing.



Evert can mostly deal with those moonballs, but I think in today's game with the strings and racquets we have, the enhanced topspin would make these moonballs even more deadly.

The closest thing we have to moonballers at the top of the rankings are Halep (especially on clay) and Wozniacki, but they're not true moonballers like this.
I don't think any many complain if it's used as a defensive mechanism. In fact many aggressive players use it when they are on defense and have to get back to neutral position. It's an intelligent tactic used by many players from Azarenka to Serena and even Kvitova some times. But not when they are in a position to finish a rally which is unlike what happened in that Kerber-Wozniacki clip that you shared. Both of those players could have finished the rally as neither of them was attacking nor defending. But they just kept moonballing without any reason. It's worse than brainless ball bashing and deserves every bit of mockery that it gets.
 

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I agree with you. It can actually be highly effective if used sparingly... If you do it too much you'll get hammered but doing it very occasionally to reset the point seems useful tbh...

Players probably don't do it because it's frowned upon, like underhand serving.
 

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Because

 

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I always wonder why moonballing is not more popular. I know it's seen as a "dirty" tactic, but grunting and screaming was too...and now look.

It can be highly effective as a defensive mechanism, allowing you to get back into position more quickly and stop your opponent from attacking. It can also work offensively, throwing your opponent off his/her rhythm - especially in this era of one-dimensional BBBing.
Effective moonballing needs very soft touch and accuracy ==> iron hard nerves. If your muscles are tensed because of your nerves, your accuracy is gone.

Also, the taller and taller players can kill the moondballs better than earlier. (The shorter girls only with good shot-making technique.)
 

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You can try it on big stages and get mocked and laugh at by people worldwide.
 

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... But not when they are in a position to finish a rally which is unlike what happened in that Kerber-Wozniacki clip that you shared. Both of those players could have finished the rally as neither of them was attacking nor defending. But they just kept moonballing without any reason. It's worse than brainless ball bashing and deserves every bit of mockery that it gets.
It was about who has the better mental control (nerves). Kerber was down and had to find out something. She suddenly decided to give this thing a try.
Wozniacki, who usually has very good nerves (and consistency) agreed to enter the challenge. And in the end won the point.
 

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Whilst Moon-balling isn't particularly entertaining for a spectator. One must remember that a tennis-players prime concern is winning the point and match not entertaining you.

Moonballing is a highly effective stratergy against some players. It can cause frustration and if a power player isn't hitting winners they are hitting long/wide. That's why Errani had success and players like Giorgi, Barthel and similar have never and will never reach a slam final. Errani's patience and grinding with moonballs isn't something to dismiss because it isn't pretty. If you don't like to watch it because it can drag your fave into an error prone BBB that's your problem.

I'm using Errani as the easiest example as she is the most disliked of the moonballers and Wozniacki and Kerber have far more weight behind their shots than she does.

Main conclusion, does Errani care that some people find her game ugly and unattractive? My guess is that her, her millions of prizemoney and her titles do not care that much.
 

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It's all relative. TF loves to label players, but the bottom line is all the women, whether we tag them as servebots, BBB, moonballers, net players or Swedish-women-who-can't-hit-backhands, have a variety of shots and have to mix them in. If you just hit moonballs (or try to smack the cover off the ball) on every shot, it's not going to take long for your opponent to adjust to your strategy (or lack thereof).

Moonballing through a match works in the juniors--and I mean the junior juniors--but that's about it.
 

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because of Nadal :lol:

.
Not a MTF moderator calling Nadal deadly topspin forehand, the most difficult shot to handle in tennis right now (specially on clay and specially against OHBH) “moonballing”. The nerve :spit:
But the nonsense in that forum is really something, specially regarding him so I guess this can work like a running joke or something in such a stupid environment.


Now regarding this question, I’m ok with players using moonballing occasionally with a purpose, like get back in a rally from a defensive position or disrupt rhythm’s opponent. Smart players like ASV knew when making use of it and even very offensive players like Mary Pierce did it at times. I think a complete player should know using it properly like lobs or dropshots.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I know Gavrilova uses it sometimes too, and sneakily as she will come to the net after doing one when her opponent retreats and tries the same.
True, Dasha does it!

It is popular, watch more ITFs
Maybe I should haha

Oh yeah. Forgot this :SNE:

I don't think many complain if it's used as a defensive mechanism. In fact many aggressive players use it when they are on defense and have to get back to neutral position. It's an intelligent tactic used by many players from Azarenka to Serena and even Kvitova some times. But not when they are in a position to finish a rally which is unlike what happened in that Kerber-Wozniacki clip that you shared. Both of those players could have finished the rally as neither of them was attacking nor defending. But they just kept moonballing without any reason. It's worse than brainless ball bashing and deserves every bit of mockery that it gets.
True, that was a really bad example of moonballing and I'm glad we haven't seen anything like it since (as far as I can remember).

Azarenka is a good example of someone who uses a moonball on her forehand when she's pushed deep in the court.

It was about who has the better mental control (nerves). Kerber was down and had to find out something. She suddenly decided to give this thing a try.
Wozniacki, who usually has very good nerves (and consistency) agreed to enter the challenge. And in the end won the point.

It seems like Wozniacki is the one who started the moonballing in this point.

Still, I feel that being the aggressive player is actually the tougher role to play in a tight match!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Whilst Moon-balling isn't particularly entertaining for a spectator. One must remember that a tennis-players prime concern is winning the point and match not entertaining you.

Moonballing is a highly effective stratergy against some players. It can cause frustration and if a power player isn't hitting winners they are hitting long/wide. That's why Errani had success and players like Giorgi, Barthel and similar have never and will never reach a slam final. Errani's patience and grinding with moonballs isn't something to dismiss because it isn't pretty. If you don't like to watch it because it can drag your fave into an error prone BBB that's your problem.

I'm using Errani as the easiest example as she is the most disliked of the moonballers and Wozniacki and Kerber have far more weight behind their shots than she does.

Main conclusion, does Errani care that some people find her game ugly and unattractive? My guess is that her, her millions of prizemoney and her titles do not care that much.

That's exactly how I always see it. Anyone who's played competitive tennis knows how frustrating it is to play against moonballers - and there are tons of them in junior and lower-level competitive tennis. I know it's bad "etiquette", but do you really care if you value winning above all else?


It's all relative. TF loves to label players, but the bottom line is all the women, whether we tag them as servebots, BBB, moonballers, net players or Swedish-women-who-can't-hit-backhands, have a variety of shots and have to mix them in. If you just hit moonballs (or try to smack the cover off the ball) on every shot, it's not going to take long for your opponent to adjust to your strategy (or lack thereof).

Moonballing through a match works in the juniors--and I mean the junior juniors--but that's about it.
Some of those descriptions :rolls::rolls:rolls::SNE::SNE::SNE:

Deep and high moonballs are seriously difficult to deal with though. Like, what do you do? Hit them all on the rise? Go back? Come into the net and get lobbed?
 
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