How to deal with nasty low shots in “no-mans land”

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Nobody wants to hit those annoying low balls on the stretch moving forward, but the reality is, you WILL have to hit these shots from time to time. As a matter of fact, this

 

shot is a big reason why a lot of players wait in no man’s land. Players get burned a couple times with these short low balls, so they move forward to avoid them. This is not recommended. You’ll probably see a lot of these low shots if
you’re playing someone who slices a lot. The answer to this shot is to keep it simple.

Here are a couple tips on how to respond to this shot:

1. Bend your knees and not your back. It is very common for players to not get low enough when hitting this shot, which causes errors and tends to make the ball float.

2. This shot is usually not defensive or offensive. If you go for too much, your chances of error go up and you will be required to recover to the net faster. Therefore, your mindset should be to respond with a neutral shot (medium pace, not sharp angles and away from the lines.)

3. You don’t always have to follow these balls into the net because they are low and short. Be aware of your momentum, and especially of your style of play/comfort zone. What part of the court are you more likely to best your opponent in? Keep in mind you still want to be moving through the ball while hitting to allow your weight to transfer efficiently.

4. Don’t cross the body. Do not allow your arm to cross the front of your body. Focus on pushing the shoulder outward.

5. Keep the swing short and sweet. You don’t want to take your racket behind your hips, and usually not more than two feet out in front of you.

– Carlos Bermudez

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