Many commentators talk about the return of serve being a shot never practiced; but when was the last time you actually practiced hitting deep overheads standing on the baseline?
When your singles or doubles opponents drive you deep with a high, defensive lob, you retreat to the baseline and the ball bounces up high for you to hit. Even though it should be very much like a serve, there are very few of us who can actually whack a hard offensive shot from there (and keep it in play).
For most of us, it should NOT an offensive shot, but one to be put back in play in a good place. If your doubles opponents are both still at their own baseline – or one is up and roaming at the net – your objective should be to PLACE the ball in a good spot, deep to one of their backhand sides.
If both doubles players are up at the net, the safest shot is probably a lob back over their heads… and then you and your partner come to the net.
Taking a Ground Stroke
During a recent singles match on TV, Andy Murray had two baseline overheads and he choice to hit them both as forehand ground strokes. If you can time the ball coming almost straight down, this is an interesting option for getting some offense on this shot.
How do you handle the baseline overhead?
A Rising Star?
Did you see 15-year-old Catherine “CiCi” Bellis defeat the 12th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round at the US Open? She is pictured above just THREE YEARS AGO and is the youngest “woman” to win a match at the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996, and the youngest American to win a match at the U.S. Open since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1986.
What I really liked about her and her play was her “fearless tennis,” hitting out on shots no matter the pressure or score.
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