We've all been there... you are in the middle of the point, your opponent receives a short ball on your behalf and they've been invited by you ( the host ) to their own personal net party... you know you need to lob them or pass them but you're not sure exactly which one to use. Here are some tips on how to deal with attacking net party goers.
Using the continental grip is a good choice. Always easier to get under the ball.
1. Make sure your grip pressure is set to medium. You want a relaxed wrist – so you can extend your wrist back to allow the racquet face to stay balanced- also helps you grab the sweet spot of the strings when you make contact with the ball –giving you more control and depth with your shot.
2. Insure that you move your feet as you prepare to hit the lob, you need space that allow you to still contact that ball in front of you and allows you to go after the ball with a balanced racquet head.
3. Go deep – I don’t mind missing my lobs long with an unforced error- I’d rather miss deep than have my opponent get the offensive overhead, which also gives them confidence going into the next point.
4. Get the most out of your lob. There will be times when you'll want to hit a higher ball which will allow you more recovery and travel time to get back in the point. This can be a useful strategy especially during a long match or a long point.
5. A shorter and faster paced ball should be used against a fast footed opponent. If you have a topspin lob, even better!
1. Make sure that you are not watching your opponent coming into the net – but be aware that they should and might play the percentages as they approach the net to volley. You already know where you need to go with the shot so focus on your task but be aware of their task.
Also – going right at the opponent can be a good call depending on their abilities. No matter where you decide to go with the pass – make sure you keep it low over the net. Make them earn it the point. If you are going for the pass, threading the needle isn't always necessary. Do what's necessary to win the point and play the percentages!
Cut down on the number of times you have to deal with an attacking opponent during your match by keep your balls deep to the base line. Bring the ball over the net slightly higher- when your opponent is back on the base line – and drive through your shot before bringing your racquet up to finish your follow through. Be aware that most opponents are going to keep coming into the net after being invited up by short balls.