How to Slide on Clay
This is the second installment of our three-video series on how to slide on clay. As the world’s leading supplier of clay court surfaces, the question we get asked more than any other, from teaching pros and players alike, is about how to slide on clay. Sliding not only makes you more efficient and more consistent on clay, it makes the game more fun, so we have put together a three-part video series on how to slide on clay. Check out part 2 on our website. We hope you like it and find it instructional. Give us your feedback. Play the Clay, Learn to Win and Play for Life!
"What's New" Product Video
- from Tennis Warehouse - Nike Air CourtBallistic 2.3 shoe (Rafa's shoe)
How to Beat the All-Court Player
Every player can be different, but in my experience all-court players typically have a strong forehand, a weaker backhand, and good volleys. For a professional model, think of Pete Sampras. Most importantly, all-court players like to take the net as often as they can. So the challenge of beating anyone with the title of all-court player sounds formidable. But there are gaps in the all-court approach, and here's how to exploit them.
Use Passing Combination Shots
Click photo: Great all-court players like Pete Sampras are difficult to beat, but with the right strategy, you can stay in the game.
When the all-court player approaches the net, think of using combination passing shots. To use a boxing analogy, don't try to knockout your opponent with one punch. When your opponent approaches the net, hit a "neutral" (with less pace) passing shot, low to one of the court. This will force the all-court player to volley up, giving you the opportunity for an aggressive pass or an offensive lob.
All-court players that rush the net a number of times without success will, over time, be discouraged from coming to the net. If you turn them into a baseliner, you've taken them outside their comfort zone–and they're more apt to go for ill-advised shots and the strategic advantage swings in your favor.
Hit groundstrokes with added net clearance and depth
Most all-court players like to take the ball early and look for opportunities to get to the net. A great way to keep the all-court player from rushing the net during baseline exchanges is to hit your groundstrokes with slightly less pace and more net clearance, which will push them further back behind the baseline, again taking them out of their comfort zone.
Take the net away from them
The all-court player believes in his style, believes in coming to the net. They want you to be the one hitting passing shots. When you take the net, you again force them out of their comfort zone, eroding their confidence, forcing them to rely on passing skills they typically don't possess.
Hit a high percentage of first serves
Many all-court players do not return that well when you make a good first serve. But most of them will look to attack your second serve, and - even worse for you - they often look to chip and charge or drive the return and rush the net immediately. When the all-court player comes to the net on a second server return, it puts tremendous pressure on your passing game.
Click photo: Nadal's looping topspin forehand gives Federer fits, especially when hit to his backhand side.
The solution is to increase your first serve percentage by taking a little pace off of your first serve and hitting it with a little bit more spin. The all-court player is robbed of the opportunities to come to net on the weaker second serve, eliminating a major weapon that can hurt you.
Hit smart returns
Because the all-court player often serves and volleys, knowing what to do with your returns can be tricky. When hitting your return, you want to keep your peripheral vision very active, pay attention as to whether or not your opponent is coming to the net behind the serve or staying back.
If you see your opponent coming in to the net behind the serve, the best thing to do is go back to the passing shot combination discussed above. Because the first shot will be the return, it is best to take some pace off of the return, get it low to one side of the court, and then look to hit an aggressive passing shot on the second passing shot.
If you see your opponent staying back on the baseline after their serve, then the best play is to hit your return to their weaker side. If they have a better forehand, which is most often the case, then returning to their backhand can prevent them from attacking after your return.
Tennis is about giving your opponents what they don't like. Follow these tips, and you may have your all-court friends re-thinking their game.
As always, we would love to hear from you! Questions, comments, personal experiences all create helpful dialogue for everyone! Please click here to send us your email.
Power for the Inside-Out Forehand
The inside-out forehand is one of the most widely used and most effective shots on both the men's and women's pro tours. But how do elite players generate so much power on this shot? The truth is, generating the kind of power the pros produce involves far more than just swinging from the heels. Many technical elements come together to make the forehand a major weapon for elite players. Here, using the SportsCAD Analysis package and Tomas Berdych's as his model, Michael McDowell breaks down this tremendous shot.
There's More Than One Way to Win a Doubles Match
One of the things that make doubles so fascinating is the many formations and strategies that you can use to win matches. In fact, during the course of a single point, you could easily move back and forth between different formations–several times. Plus, as you continue to improve you’ll frequently find yourselves with all four players up at the net battling it out. Learning to play confidently from of these different formations will go a long way towards helping you and your partner win matches at the higher levels. Greg Moran
ProStrokes 2.0 – Tomas Berdych's Serve
This young man from the Czech Republic, with the massive forehand, has been on tour since 2002. He turned pro at the tender age of 16, has amassed over $5 million dollars in prize money, and reached a career high ranking of 9th in 2007. Currently ranked 23rd, Tomas is a dangerous "floater" in any draw, capable of big wins and unexpected upsets. In 2009 he held wins over Safin, Cilic, Davydenko, Blake, and Wawrinka. Elegant ground game, two fisted backhand, Tomas is still young enough to become a solid competitor within the top 10. New this issue, the Berdych serve.
TennisOne Writers Store
One of your many new benefits as a TennisOne membership is your ability to purchase selected instructional DVDs at 20% off ($7.50 off each) in our new TennisOne Writers Store (login in first to access members links):
- "Building Your Ground Game," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Building a Kick Serve," Jim McLennan Members – Public
- "Achieving Peak Performance the Wholistic Way: The Mental Game," Happy Bhalla Members – Public
- "Building a World Class Serve," Phil Dent Members – Public
- "Building a World-class Volley," Dave Smith Members – Public
- "Best of Ken DeHart," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Corrective Techniques & Myths," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Defeating the Monsters in Your Mind," Ken DeHart Members – Public
- "Skills, Drills, and Games for Beginning Players," Ken DeHart Members – Public.
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