Player Thread

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Posts
33,815
Likes
43,529
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
T'Wolves, Renault F1, Footscray
Moderator #105
Have recently gotten back into it after a few years out. Unfortunately fell away a bit through uni but really enjoying being back.

It's amazing how much your game changes with time off. My backhand drive is considerably better than I remember it being. It was always brutal on its day but the last few times I've played it has been extremely consistent. I've mentioned on here before but I play with an extreme eastern one-handed grip which is not something you see too often. I adore it.

My forehand on the other hand fell off a cliff. It was always my more consistent and diverse shot, but I've really struggled with timing and contact points since I've started back. Lots of shots straight into the net, which is weird as I've always been more prone to pushing it long. Slowly getting it back but it's a long way from where it was. Semi-western grip on the forehand side. As you can probably tell, topspin is a pretty significant part of my game off both wings.

Slice on both sides was always a (weird) strength of mine and they're still pretty lethal, but a lot less consistent. Love my drop shots but they've been, errr, interesting lately.

I'm still aerobically fit but not match fit.

Still can't really serve which is the biggest hole in my game. Not a great volleyer either, which is a real shame - I get plenty of opportunities to come to the net by virtue of my game style so I need to work on that. Slices and drop shots have always been a pretty big part of my game but I do tend to go for them too much, particularly on return where I'm not always as aggressive as I should be.

Still rocking the Babolat Aero Pro Drive which is about six years old now. I wouldn't mind a new one but I'm really picky with racquets and their feel - I like to be able to test them out before I buy them, which is difficult for obvious reasons.
 

pepsi

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Posts
10,275
Likes
9,915
Location
Maribyrnong
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Man Utd, Atlanta Hawks
I've missed playing so much while being overseas this year. Nice to hear you're getting back into it dan.

We should organise a day for those of us in Melbourne to go have a hit maybe in January some time before the aussie open begins if anyone is keen?
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Posts
2,876
Likes
1,747
Location
Albert Park
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
South Melbourne Hellas
I've missed playing so much while being overseas this year. Nice to hear you're getting back into it dan.

We should organise a day for those of us in Melbourne to go have a hit maybe in January some time before the aussie open begins if anyone is keen?
Sounds like a plan mate. Which courts?
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Posts
2,876
Likes
1,747
Location
Albert Park
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
South Melbourne Hellas
Have recently gotten back into it after a few years out. Unfortunately fell away a bit through uni but really enjoying being back.

It's amazing how much your game changes with time off. My backhand drive is considerably better than I remember it being. It was always brutal on its day but the last few times I've played it has been extremely consistent. I've mentioned on here before but I play with an extreme eastern one-handed grip which is not something you see too often. I adore it.

My forehand on the other hand fell off a cliff. It was always my more consistent and diverse shot, but I've really struggled with timing and contact points since I've started back. Lots of shots straight into the net, which is weird as I've always been more prone to pushing it long. Slowly getting it back but it's a long way from where it was. Semi-western grip on the forehand side. As you can probably tell, topspin is a pretty significant part of my game off both wings.

Slice on both sides was always a (weird) strength of mine and they're still pretty lethal, but a lot less consistent. Love my drop shots but they've been, errr, interesting lately.

I'm still aerobically fit but not match fit.

Still can't really serve which is the biggest hole in my game. Not a great volleyer either, which is a real shame - I get plenty of opportunities to come to the net by virtue of my game style so I need to work on that. Slices and drop shots have always been a pretty big part of my game but I do tend to go for them too much, particularly on return where I'm not always as aggressive as I should be.

Still rocking the Babolat Aero Pro Drive which is about six years old now. I wouldn't mind a new one but I'm really picky with racquets and their feel - I like to be able to test them out before I buy them, which is difficult for obvious reasons.
Good to see you are getting back into it Dan! Want to organise a hit somewhere?
 

Caesar

Ex-Huckleberry
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
23,138
Likes
7,866
Location
Tombstone, AZ
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Thread starter #110
Still can't really serve which is the biggest hole in my game. Not a great volleyer either, which is a real shame - I get plenty of opportunities to come to the net by virtue of my game style so I need to work on that. Slices and drop shots have always been a pretty big part of my game but I do tend to go for them too much, particularly on return where I'm not always as aggressive as I should be.
I reckon most players can play pretty solid S&V (and A&V) with the shots they already have. A lot of people get intimidated and think if they're not serving out of a tree, approaching the net is too hard.

I'd say it's more about tactics and mentality than anything else. I play it as pretty much my main game and here are my top 5 tips for playing S&V without improving any of your strokes.

1) Commit
Sounds obvious but most players get passed a couple of times in a row and then stop coming in. You really can't worry about it. Go back and watch Edberg play - he got passed constantly. Me, I know I can't win from the back of the court so I come in on absolutely everything. My best chance is making them beat me at the net - hit the hard pass over and over and over. I rarely play a baseline point on my serve.

2) Close Constantly
For some reason, I find that my S&V games are way more effective if I combine it with A&V on return games (even if I don't break much). I suspect it's because grooving groundstrokes during baseline rallies in their own service games makes their return game better. So I harass constantly on return. Chip and charge, junk balls, jump on every short reply and get to the net. Short points are good points. Baseline is lava.

3) Expect a Pass, not a Lob
Most people are terrified of the lob when they come to net. Rationally, I reckon you lose more points by sitting back on your heels than actually being lobbed. Position for the pass. If they hit a good lob, so be it. Concentrate on (4) and they won't be too common.

4) No Standing Shots
Possibly the most critical thing. If your choice is a weaker/shorter approach to the empty court, or a stronger/deeper approach at their toes - go for the empty court. Passing a target is easy off a stable base, but nobody does it regularly on the run unless their name is Nadal or Sampras.

5) Learn to Read
See where the passing shot is coming, It sounds hard, but it's a lot easier than people think.
  • Understand the most common replies to your shots. For example, I know that my deep forcing slice is coming back DTL a lot more often than CC.
  • Understand what their shots look like. 2HBH is a dream to read - hand on the neck is an early signal of slice, and the closed stance means you can see the DTL shot coming early. FH is harder, but a lot of amateur players have obvious differences. Pay attention in the warmup and early games.
  • Understand their shot patterns and preferences. Amateur players are not super adaptable. Especially under pressure, like when hitting a passing shot. Be observant.
I'm reading opponents' shots pretty well by the 2nd or 3rd service game. Not perfectly, but enough to give me an edge. I still get wrong-footed regularly but overall I come out ahead.

After you get that stuff under control, most of it is about constructing points, which there is plenty of stuff about on the web. Just keep it simple - decent serve variety, play for the open court, and jump on anything short.

Good luck.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Posts
33,815
Likes
43,529
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
T'Wolves, Renault F1, Footscray
Moderator #112
Dannnnnnnnnn would u recommend the Areo Pro Drive? Looking for a good backup racquet.
It's a nice racquet, but I remember you suggesting that you're looking for more power in your game - I'm not quite sure the Aero Pro is the solution there.

It certainly can generate some power when used properly but given the shape of the neck I find it tends to encourage you to come over the top of the ball rather than hit it flat. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're already getting hit off the court it might not be the best choice. That could just be me though.

Overall though it is a very nice racquet. It's quite stiff and not everybody likes that, but otherwise there really isn't much to dislike.

If there's somewhere near you that lets you try before you buy I'd definitely recommend taking advantage of that.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Posts
2,876
Likes
1,747
Location
Albert Park
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
South Melbourne Hellas
It's a nice racquet, but I remember you suggesting that you're looking for more power in your game - I'm not quite sure the Aero Pro is the solution there.

It certainly can generate some power when used properly but given the shape of the neck I find it tends to encourage you to come over the top of the ball rather than hit it flat. Not necessarily a bad thing, but if you're already getting hit off the court it might not be the best choice. That could just be me though.

Overall though it is a very nice racquet. It's quite stiff and not everybody likes that, but otherwise there really isn't much to dislike.

If there's somewhere near you that lets you try before you buy I'd definitely recommend taking advantage of that.
That's true about power- if it's quite a restrictive racquet then that's probably not for me. Any others you can recommend?
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Posts
33,815
Likes
43,529
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
T'Wolves, Renault F1, Footscray
Moderator #114
That's true about power- if it's quite a restrictive racquet then that's probably not for me. Any others you can recommend?
Sorry mate I completely forgot about this.

I wouldn't call it restrictive as such - Tsonga uses it so it certainly has power potential. It's about finding a racquet that fits you though, and if you're already struggling with power I would probably look for something which encourages you to hit the ball a bit flatter.

I'm probably not the right person to ask for racquet recommendations though, as I haven't hit with anything other than the Aero Pro in a long time.

As an aside, might be worth getting your racquet strung a bit looser if you're looking for more power. It won't fix everything and you'll lose a bit of control, but it's something to look into.
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Posts
33,815
Likes
43,529
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
T'Wolves, Renault F1, Footscray
Moderator #116
My hitting partner is away so I've gone back to coaching for a bit, just to get a hit in and work on a few bad habits that have developed in my time off. Shortening the backswing on my forehand side and flattening out my backhand are the priorities. I've always adored my extreme eastern backhand but as a general rally shot I'm just not consistent enough with it. I'm using a more traditional grip and man it feels odd.

Oh, and actually having a serve would also help.
 

pepsi

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Posts
10,275
Likes
9,915
Location
Maribyrnong
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Man Utd, Atlanta Hawks
Any of you on holidays for the next week and a half? I've got time during the days if someone is up for a hit.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Posts
2,876
Likes
1,747
Location
Albert Park
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
South Melbourne Hellas
My hitting partner is away so I've gone back to coaching for a bit, just to get a hit in and work on a few bad habits that have developed in my time off. Shortening the backswing on my forehand side and flattening out my backhand are the priorities. I've always adored my extreme eastern backhand but as a general rally shot I'm just not consistent enough with it. I'm using a more traditional grip and man it feels odd.

Oh, and actually having a serve would also help.
With the serve, what are you struggling with? Speed or accuracy?
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Posts
33,815
Likes
43,529
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
T'Wolves, Renault F1, Footscray
Moderator #120
With the serve, what are you struggling with? Speed or accuracy?
Consistency in height, predominantly. I've always had a broken service motion and have had a number of coaches try to fix it, haha. My contact point is very inconsistent which is obviously an issue. My power is ok (although nothing special) and my placement is fine, I just vary spectacularly between hitting it into the net and hitting it long way too regularly.
 
Top Bottom