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How to Hit the Ball on the Rise in Tennis

Let tennis pros Joe Perez and Kirk Moritz teach you how to hit the ball on the rise in this Howcast video.


Kirk: Hitting a ball on the rise. What does that mean? The ball's coming in and it's coming up to a high bounce. Rather than moving back and letting the ball dip, the player chooses to move in and take the ball before it hits the apex. It's a good, aggressive tactic. For many players it's going to be easier to move in and actually slice that ball rather than try and take it on the rise and topspin it.

You play someone like Rafael Nadal, his typical forehand is really jumping at you. And even Roger Federer has trouble handling the ball when it bounces so high. He doesn't want to back up and give Nadal more time and he struggles with being able to come in and catch it before it gets too high.

The key is, though, to come in and don't let it get over your head. A good way to practice it, because most of us don't hit balls like Nadal, is that balls might be more this high, is to learn to move in to just typical ground strokes and catch the ball that's bouncing this high. At least at the apex, not let any ball dip.

Speaker 2: Yeah. And the whole point to that method is that you're going to be hitting the ball back on your opponent's side quicker. Catching the ball on the rise doesn't give your opponent time to get back in position. The problem with catching the ball on the rise, as Kirk has spoken about, is that it's very hard to time your swing because you're catching the ball when it's coming up fast. So timing that swing is very difficult.

A few players in history, Andre Agassi and Jimmy Connors, were noted for catching the ball on the rise on the return of serve. So they could step into serves that were bouncing up and catch them on the rise. But those players are few and far between, because it's, again, a very hard shot to time. But, if you can do it, it's probably the most effective way to return serves, is to catch that ball on the rise.

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