The dreaded Moonball

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The player who hits moonballs is one of the most frustrating styles to play against, appearing to have mastered the ability to keep the ball in play forever until you make an error. How often have you lost to these players who "cannot play tennis"? Here is a wake-up call: if they beat you it is because they are better than you... at least tactically. 

But fear not, prepare yourself for a long battle and follow these simple tips:

  1. Patience and focus are key! You definitely have to keep your patience and don't lose focus: you are in for a long match.
  2. Hit some moonballs of your own! Often you’ll have to hit a few moonballs of your own, but stay focused, wait for an opportunity to step in and take control. Don't get drawn too much into those kinds of rallies as it’s easy to get frustrated in these situations but if you can hit a good moonball you will create an attacking opportunity.
  3. Don’t force your opportunity! You will have to wait for your opportunity. When they give you a ball that’s in your "strike zone", that’s the one that you want to play.”
  4. Give them what I call ‘return to center’. Give it back to them and then wait for a ball you can attack.
  5. Don't let them force you into bad decision making where you take risks when you're in a tough position to hit a positive shot.
  6. Stay further back and work on your transition game (beat the second bounce on deep balls and take the ball on the rise on shorter balls)
  7. But if you naturally lack patience,  since moonballers play far behind the baseline you should move forward to take the ball on the rise then look for an opportunity to approach the net to end the dreadful point with a volley or overhead.


Hopefully next time you will meet a moonballer you will record a win.