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 - adidas CYD Reflex shoe
How to Beat the Aggressive Baseliner
CSU Bakersfield Women's Head Coach Dan Mc Cain
Before you can beat any player, you must assess his or her strengths and weaknesses. This begins the moment you walk on to the court for your pre-match warm-up. What is the body type of your opponent? Quick or slow? Left or right-handed? Does she prefer forehand or backhand during baseline exchanges? Is you opponent comfortable at net with volleys and overheads?
Most importantly, you want to identify your opponent's style of play. Is your opponent an all-court player, counter-puncher, or an aggressive baseliner? There are specific ways of beating each of these types of players, and most of the time players will fall into one of these three categories.
By making these identifications your first priority during a match, you can more easily draft a plan on how to beat them. A good strategy is often better than hitting good shots, and this is absolutely true when competing against an aggressive baseliner.
Beating the Aggressive Baseliner
When you play an aggressive baseliner, typically you are playing someone who likes to hit with topspin and with pace, often from both forehand and backhand sides. The best aggressive baseliners (think Andre Agassi) hit with pace and also take the ball early. They prefer to use their groundstrokes to both set-up and finish points.
Click photo to go to website: Against baseliners, Federer is the master at using sharply angled slice backhands to bring them to net where they are least comfortable.
Expect aggressive baseliners to have solid groundstrokes, but many have limited confidence when brought to the net. In men's tennis the aggressive baseliner will often favor the forehand slightly over the backhand, but these players can control a point from both sides if given the opportunity. In women's tennis, the aggressive baseliner can also control points from both wings, but many females in today's game favor the backhand side.
Aggressive baseliners play power tennis so expect a lot of pace and topspin. And they play their best tennis when their opponents respond with pace and topspin of their own. Drive the ball short and you will pay a heavy price.
The general rule here is find out what your opponents like then feed them a steady diet of the the things they don't like. So since aggressive baseliners like to hit balls in their strike zone that have pace and a little topspin, mix it up and keep them off balance.
Keep the Ball Out of the Strike Zone
First and foremost, beating aggressive baseliners means forcing them to hit balls out of their comfort zone. This could mean hitting high-bouncing, heavy topspin shots that force them to hit above their shoulders, or low slice shots that force them to hit shots below their knees. Keep the ball in their strike zone and may earn yourself a quick trip to the showers.
Mix Up Your Shots
Don't be afraid to mix it up against this kind of opponent. Aggressive baseliners love a consistent pattern of topspin baseline rallies, so mix up your shots and don't allow them to find their rhythm. A good combination would be a three-quarter rally ball, followed by a slow, high topspin shot, followed by a short, angled slice. That's three different types of shots on three consecutive shots. Of course, there is a range of different combinations you can use to give them fits, but giving them different looks is what it's all about.
Don't Provide Rhythm
Click photo to go to website: Rafa uses wicked topspin drives to keep aggressive baseliners pinned deep behind the baseline.
Tennis is all about confidence. Allow these players to get grooved and you'll most certainly be in for a very long day. Your goal is to disrupt their rhythm so they become impatient and start taking ill-advised shots. Alternatively, aggressive baseliners may lose confidence and stop going for their shots, giving you the chance to the aggressor.
Aggressive baseliners love long rallys from the baseline, allow them to camp out there and your playing into their power. But many of these players are uncomfortable at the net. In fact, the only time they approach the net is to shake hands when the match is over. So disrupt their rhythm and bring them in whenever possible. Roger Federer uses this tactic as well as anyone – a sharply angled crosscourt slice followed by an aggressive forehand.
On the other hand, these players are extremely adept at passing shots from either the forehand or backhand wing so hit a well placed approach shot out of their strike zone (a low slicing shot that brings them in and forces them to hit up or a high topspin shot that pushes them back near the fence) or you're likely to find yourself on the losing side of the point.
The best way to beat any opponent is first to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and the "type" of game they like to play, then implement a game plan that gives your opponent all the things he or she doesn't like and you, the best chance to win.
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.
A lot of mistakes club players and even professionals make on the court is because they are not managing their intensity level properly. Players don't realize they are under energized and that's what makes them drag their first step and a little slow on recovery.The modern game is so fast that, at the pro level, those balls are changing ends in one second. That's how long you have to read, react, get into position, and strike the ball. Pat Pat Dougherty explains what it takes to prepare for the today's high-speed tennis game.
A Competitive Mentality
Most battles, whether in sport or business, are won or lost long before the event take place. Developing a strong competitive mentality and the mind of a champion takes time and experience. Each time you improve the discipline and the control of your thoughts under pressure adds to the creation of a champion’s mind. Star performers have a competitive desire for success that becomes instinctive. David Sammel examines what it takes to develop this competitive mentality.
Middle Brings Middle
Alan Margot looks at a tactic that everyone uses when playing doubles and all four players are at the net, and that is is volleying to the middle between your opponents. So, why volley down the middle in this situation? The pros understand that when you control the middle, a lot of favorable things can and will happen. Alan Margot explains the how and the why.
ProStrokes 2.0 – Marin Cilic's Backhand
This 21 year old has been on tour for five years, but he got everyone’s attention at the 2009 US Open when he outplayed Andy Murray in the quarters, losing in four sets in the semis to eventual winner Martin Del Potro. Currently ranked 9th,he may be poised to climb much higher. Marin has notched wins in 2010 over Roddick and Del Potro as well as Nadal in Beijing in 2009. Big hitter, clean strokes, a bit of a kick serve motion, but the young guy hugs the baseline and bangs the ball to the corners, and fearlessly I might add. New this issue, the Cilic backhand.
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