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Opening the Court: Pattern 4

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Good point, I did notice Mac and Fed’s ability to time a feint with a very subtle body lean to invite a return shot direction.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Split stepping is a finer art the many of us at one time thought. Not only must you split step at exactly the right time, you must also not split step to high. A number of pro players slightly mistime the spilt step or split step a tad high and lose efficiency. John did an excellent article on split stepping somewhere on the website. Reading the game comes from experiencing similar scenarios over and over again, which is perhaps players don't read as well when they are at the net, since few go there any more. Players with great hands like Roger and McEnroe can put the spanner in the works and make it difficult for opponents to read what they are about to do...sometimes via misdirection.

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    For years I did the bh down the line slice approach, but if I “read” the opponent’s down the line return first, l could not get in position for the second “ read” of a cross court return to volley. I attributed this weakness to either lack of foot speed or poor execution of my approach slice. Only through slow motion did I discover that part of the pros’ ability to position for the “read” was due to split stepping at the end of an opponent’s backswing. This EARLIER split step allowed the pro to stay balanced on his forefeet and then wait much LATER to make a “”read”, which allowed time fot a forceful volley. Club players tend to split step too late and then try to make up for lost time by subconsciously slightly guessing. If the guess is wrong they just have time to get a racket on the ball with out any power. Obviously you can get body cues in the “read”, but the only I answer I ever got about how to “read after the approach was: do it 10,000 times( or have Federer’s innate talent). Anyone else have this experience?

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by paddleguy1 View Post
    Thank you stotty. I am in agreement with you that we need to start bringing some old school approcahes back into the game. My son, who is top 30 junior ITF in the world is playing a little old school and having success with it. The key is knowing how to volley and reading passing shots. This skill is not taught much anymore. In my opinion Federer is still one of the only pros doing some of this and has huge success with it.
    My son is a handy player and also uses this old school tactic off approaching the net, which he learned from me. You are dead right about reading the game. A player needs to practice approach drills over and over again to learn the skill of split stepping, camping correctly at the net, and finally 'reading' and executing. Only through experience of playing the net game will a player learn to read the game. Unfortunately that means getting passed quite a lot for a year or so until one finally starts spotting the cues, which is discouraging at first. I encourage all my players to persevere until their volley and reading skills are accomplished...then the pay off is huge.

    Modern tennis with old school sewn into it is the future of the game for me.
    Last edited by stotty; 10-19-2018, 09:23 AM.

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  • klacr
    replied
    Originally posted by paddleguy1 View Post
    Thank you stotty. I am in agreement with you that we need to start bringing some old school approcahes back into the game. My son, who is top 30 junior ITF in the world is playing a little old school and having success with it. The key is knowing how to volley and reading passing shots. This skill is not taught much anymore. In my opinion Federer is still one of the only pros doing some of this and has huge success with it.
    Kudos to your son for bucking the norm and playing a different game. He will stick out in juniors but he will do well at the next level when being well rounded will have its advantages on the singles and doubles court.
    There was a junior at my club that was top 30/40 ITF that has since gone off to college in the last 3 months. He thanks me when I showed him patterns of play and ability to take pressure off of him to always have to play his best and onto his opponents to raise their game. Inevitably what happens is the opponents level lowers and my player is more free to play his game within his range. He is a freshman at a Pac-12 school and he is starting to see the value.

    Patterns atre crucial. Repeating winning patterns even more so. Great players are masters of redundancy. Seeing a winning combination and repeating it until game, set, match.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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  • paddleguy1
    replied
    Thank you stotty. I am in agreement with you that we need to start bringing some old school approcahes back into the game. My son, who is top 30 junior ITF in the world is playing a little old school and having success with it. The key is knowing how to volley and reading passing shots. This skill is not taught much anymore. In my opinion Federer is still one of the only pros doing some of this and has huge success with it.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    This drill has its roots in old school. It was once a bog-standard way to approach the net, and back then players didn't have semi-western grips, yet it was still effective. I always think it would be a good way to tackle Djokovic if the approacher had the volley skills to back it up.

    I like the way one of the players in the clip cuts inside his sliced backhand...lovely.

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  • paddleguy1
    replied
    Kyle I totally agree. Not only will you probably get a forehand after you hit the slice down the line, your opponent will probably dislike the spin and give you something weak!! It’s a win-win! Any more thoughts out there? I love this pattern!

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  • klacr
    replied
    Is there anything more confidence building (for you) and game dismantling (for your opponent) than to attack with the slice down the line to their forehand and both of you knowing there is no way that their semi western grip is going to be strong enough to do anything with it. Easy volley ahead.

    One of my favorite and therefore frequently used patterns. This is tennis tactical poetry

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic Opening the Court: Pattern 4

    Opening the Court: Pattern 4

    Let's get your thoughts on George Zink's article "Opening the Court: Pattern 4"

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