If your opponent is inspired from Juan Martín Del Potro then be ready to sulk the feeling that you are always late to react to those thunderous forehands. However, to rescue you from those embarrassing situations in this article we will learn how to handle fast balls in tennis and the tips to develop a long-term solution. We will focus on two aspects of the hard-hitting game:
- How to handle fast balls in tennis?
- Where do we lose time while returning this fast shots?
How to handle fast balls in tennis?
Playing with hard hitters in tennis is intimidating and you will always find opponents who hit bigger than you and are more consistent. However, there are kinks in their armor players at all levels who like big swings, but usually they are not always pinpoint accurate, and are unable to fire more than two balls in the court in a row. So, we have to learn the technique to return at least these two shots to improve the chances of winning the point and also to disturb the rhythm of these hard hitters.
When battling a big hitter there are things you can do to throw your opponent off of their groove to try to neutralize their power. There are also ways to prepare to return the hard strokes if you’re not comfortable doing so. There’s no need to return the shot of a big hitter with the same speed. Most of these super hitters like it when you hit the ball with lots of power, because it helps them generate power as well. Do not try to match power for power that’s the key to learn how to handle fast balls in tennis, if that’s not your natural game then you are falling right into their trap.
Go easy with these hard hitters, take the pace off of the ball and use the precise placements. Let them use their stamina and burn their energy to generate all the power in the shot. These will push your opponent towards multiple unforced errors and eventually slowing down the speed of the shots. That’s the key to solve how to handle fast balls in tennis.
Where do we lose time while returning this fast shots?
The fast shots is a relative term, in other words we can describe it as we are late to react to the shot. Hard hitters always enjoy the benefit of delayed reaction by the opponent and thanks to opponent’s mistake they are able to deliver the winner which they have been hunting for. In this article we will learn where we lose time while playing against players taking inspiration from Del Potro.
Below are the top reasons where we lose time while admiring those bullets fired by your opponent from their tennis rackets:
1) Anticipate the next shot
One of the most common errors done by the players against hard hitters is that we don’t focus on the movement of the opponent to understand where the next will land. We lose the crucial fraction of seconds where we can get the head start to be in position to return those unplayable shots. Senior players should include this exercise in their daily routine where they focus on anticipating the direction of the next shot. If we focus hard on the opponents playing style we can find the pattern in their game like what’s their favourite shot and in which direction they prefer to hit hard. These will help you in reaching the spot well in time to return those thunders and based on our experience if you are able to return two of those shots then you already have the lead in winning the point.
2) Be Brave
Playing against hard hitters can be intimidating sometimes. Once you miss few of these fast shots then you are already under pressure to perform and the opponent takes you for a ride. So it is very important to handle the pressure in the initial points of the match as in this period you will look for the pattern and setup your game plan to counter these fast shots. During this period you can attempt to reduce the pace from the balls. The bottom line is that be brave and survive the initial onslaught once you have understood the dynamics of the opponent then you are turn the tables.
3) Short Swings
Be smart use short swing shots to return the Del Potro’s pace. Don’t lose time in returning the shots with big swings of the racket. Don’t fall into the trap of power struggle. The suggestion might look funny, however if you are able to hold your racket firm by blocking these hard shots then you will be amazed to see your returns. It’s a definite recommendation to be added in your daily drill. In this drill ask you partner to hit the shots close to the net to save the energy however if you have bowling machine then nothing like it.
4) Spin it!
Though easy to say however spinning the ball is the best weapon against power players. Backhand slice or chop shots will make it very tough for your opponent to deliver their thunders as they are forced to hit upward on the ball. Deep shots with lot of top spin are another troublesome recipe for hard hitters as the bounce will throw the opponent off his balance.
All in all
As a conclusion let’s accept that we will definitely face opponents lesser our age and more powerful than us. So, the key to “How to handle fast balls in tennis?” is that our focus should be on playing with correct technique and finding the pattern in the opponent’s game. Our daily routine should include practicing anticipation of the next shots, returning the fast shots with short swings shots, taking off the pace from the ball, delivering lot of spin and losing few points initially to understand the game should not demotivate you. We are confident that if you follow this routine and put in sincere effort one day your shots will be admired by one of our favorite hard hitters Juan Martín Del Potro.