In singles especially, when your opponent comes in, you are more often then not inclined to attempt a passing shot.
In doubles, your response is probably the same… “I gotta come up with a really good shot and challenge or press them, or I have GOT to pass them.” This could be because “the” book and the TV gurus say when the opponents have the net, they already have an advantage. Which is kinda true for the Bryan bros and the like.
In the league world these scenarios occur quite often:
– the approaching player is not really pressing us with their “approach” shot.
– or they come in on ANY ball they hit, because they “gain the advantage if we go in.”
– or they’re so far back when they hit the approach that it’s more like approaching the service line and not the net.
If you can do whatever you want with any ball in any position, the below is not for you.
For the rest of us:
As the approachee, if not facing a (terribly) pressing approach shot*, it is OK to just hit (drive, roll, chip, whichever) the ball cross court withOUT the intent to pass or even challenge the approacher. Especially if she doesn’t make it past the service line (you know there are those players who simply won’t go past the service line no matter what).
Just MAKE the shot (of course, a low-ish firm drive or a low roll or chip is preferable to a slow high floater). If you make your shot and she’s behind or at the service line at impact, what’s the worst that can happen? She’s gonna make her first volley? You may very well find that her first volley will be an even less challenging ball than her approach. Not to mention she may miss her first volley.
If she makes her first volley or half volley, and makes no forward progress, do it again. Make her make her second volley. Or choose a lob or a middle drive or short-angle roll.
If she makes her first volley and closes in, a cross court lob that bounces wins the point.
Go try it!
Please share this post and also let me know what you think below.
*If the approach shot is pressing, well then lob them down the middle and get ready to defend or counter. Oh, how I love the lob!