The High-Bouncing Ball

The High-Bouncing Ball

The top players today develop topspin on shots from the baseline that are bouncing 6-8 feet up from the court. The challenge here is how to take the ball in an effective manner.

Players today back up and try to strike the shot as high and deep as possible. The other challenge is to hit with power in the situation to keep the opponent deep in the court and not on offence. The physical capability of the player also plays a role and the type of shot hit.

The one-handed player usually uses underspin to place the ball deep and keep the opponent in the backcourt. The underspin also presents the ball down or low to the court which is an additional challenge for the topspin player.

The ball rotation is clockwise with topspin and counterclockwise with underspin so the player is hitting with the spin and not against it.

The two-handed player has the additional hand on the racquet and this benefit of strength facilitates striking the ball with more power and taking the ball on the rise. The best example is Jimmy Connors with his two-handed backhand.  He could not only place the ball deep, it comes in like a rocket. I also feel the two-handed player today has an advantage on high-bouncing serves when returning.

The two most common ways to strike the ball are on the rise; (that is on its flight up before peak) and as the ball's flight path is coming down. The on the rise method is by far the most difficult and requires timing most players don’t have.  This is why the tactic of hitting the ball high presents the deepest and most difficult shots to return.

If you'd like to improve your handling of high-bouncing balls, contact us for a private lesson where the coach can focus on this development skill with you.

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