Elevate your tennis by taking the ball on the rise
In today’s game at the competitive level every player is looking to take the ball on the rise. Taking the ball on the rise can really simplify things or if not done properly can turn things disastrous. You need proper technique and a solid strategy for this style of aggressive play to work.
When you watch the pros, collegiate players or top juniors they have all trained for years to perfect it. In addition, they have all learned to take the ball from behind the baseline and generating pace and a variety of defensive options as fall backs, alternatives and ways to mix up their play also.
It is important first to develop proper clean strokes from behind the baseline which includes hip rotation and a strong wide base allowing the player to get behind the ball and generate pace with less time to load and prepare.
Once you develop the technique you can start to move in closer and closer to the baseline based on your level of confidence and what kind of ball you are receiving from your opponent. Once there it’s important to rotate the hips and shorten the backswing. With the proper technique taking the ball on the rise can really allow a player to open up the court and dictate points.
While taking the ball on the rise is generally a good overall strategy, many of today’s top players are developing better all around games so you also need to be able to mix in other styles of play in order to maximize this style of aggressive play like using heavy balls, slices and varying the speed and trajectory of the ball. In fact, many of the top European players learn early on to play solid from behind the baseline first so when they learn to transition to play forward and take more balls on the rise they have more of an all around game to complement this style of play.
One other important thing to remember. Not all opponents will let you execute this strategy successfully throughout an entire match so variety is key. Also, when you are out of rhythm or just having a bad day step back behind the baseline to get your confidence back. Once back, start moving back up on the baseline so you can go back to dictating the points.