In my post 7 Shades of Green, I list 7 scenarios to look for to give you the opportunity to go to the net. This post focuses on the #1, the short ball.
How do you recognize when you are receiving a short ball from your opponent?
The misperception of most players is that a short ball is defined by where it lands on your side of the court. That is not necessarily true; a ball can land at the service line on your side and have massive topspin and still keep you pinned to the baseline. The same can be said about a ball hit with lots of pace which lands at the service line – it will keep you behind the baseline.
So, what is a short ball that you can use as an approach shot to the net?
Simply, it is a ball that you are going to play which draws you inside the baseline. That’s it. No over-thinking it. If you have to step inside the baseline to hit the ball, it’s party time! Time to connect with your partner at the net and really be double trouble to your opponents.
- The higher level aggressive players need to take a step or two to begin their assault on the net.
- The lower level aggressive players have to be drawn at least three steps inside the baseline before they can approach the net.
Follow these tips and you will be playing high percentage tennis when it is time to leave the baseline and begin pressuring your opponents from the net.
As a tennis doubles strategy, what’s a good example of a short ball?
It’s when the return of server is receiving a second serve. The next time you play, notice where you stand to receive that second serve – I bet you are somewhere inside the baseline. I say, it’s PARTY TIME!
In the following Shades of Green post, I’ll introduce you to the second transitional doubles approach pattern – taking the floater (moon ball) as a volley.