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Seeking cross-court tips

Published: 14 Apr 2005 - 11:38 by tinny

Updated: 15 Apr 2005 - 12:58

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I’m looking for some tips to overcome a problem with my game.

First off I play left handed. When my opponent has played a short loose shot and I want to capitalise on that situation I have trouble both deciding what shot to play and executing the shot effectively.

For example, the ball is in the front left corner and I am there with plenty of time to strike. The opponent is lurking somewhere near the T.

I am reluctant to play a straight drive, because if its not tight I could concede a stroke.

Also reluctant to play a drop, as a poorly executed one would result in a tin or handing the ascendancy to the opponent.

I like the idea of playing a cross-court drive most of the time in this situation, but it seems I’m not playing it to the right area, as all too often the opponent is able to volley my cross-court to the back right corner (which puts me in trouble). When I try to play the cross-court with more angle, all too often the opponent is able to just move back play a firm drive after the ball bounces off the side wall.

Ideally my cross-court would nick 95% of the time, but I’m not that good! So in short, what should I be aiming for when playing a cross-court from one of the front corners?


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From raystrach - 15 Apr 2005 - 12:58

dear tinny

what has been written already is good advice - but can i offer some more!
  • please do not be so negative about your options. for each negative point about each shot, i can probably name two positives.
  • it is not so much where you hit the shot, but the time you opponent has to get it back and what they "expect" you to do with it.
  • because of this last point, you must vary your play and not "telegraph" your intentions
  • you must approach each shot with confidence and a picture of what is going to happen with it - don't just run up and bash it!

best of luck!

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From vitty - 15 Apr 2005 - 06:04

I think it isn´t a good idea to play crosscourt drive in this situation.If your opponent is standing on T,you are at his will.I´m playing (in the same situation) simple or crosscourt drop,or,if I don´t know where he is standing,a crosscourt lob.
A simple drive is much better if you´re able to execute it properly - near the side wall,low and hard.Your opponent probably miss the ball if he try to volley.
Also angle shot could works.
Anyway,if you like to play crosscourt drive,the ball must hit the side wall at opponent´s level (to make the volley most difficult).
Nice squashing!

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From rippa rit - 14 Apr 2005 - 18:30

Hi Tinny.
I confirm, from what you said, that you are hitting a cross court from the front of the court. That will be the basis of my reply.
It is important to develop a variety of returns from the front corners. The fact that you are left handed does not really mean much except that the opponent might try to hit a backhand boast so you have to reply on the backhand side. That does not matter as I find a backhand lob easier to hit than a forehand lob. So looking at the sequence of shots in various situations, eg
1. Opponent hits a drop shot, from the front of the court. It is important to get the return away asap before the opponent can get into position, and it does not have to be accurate or tight but executed quickly (aim a racket head above the tin).
Optional replies: Cross court drive or straight drive, hit with authority (don't try to hit it too fine, but get it away into the open court).

2. Opponent hits a boast from the back corner, lands in the front corner.
Optional replies: Drop shot (if the opponent is hanging back, or cross court lob, if the opponent is coming forward).
Note: It is important to "mix up" these replies so there is always some doubt in the opponent's mind whether to come forward or wait back. DO NOT hit a cross court, as the ball will probably land on the opponent's racket, for sure! All lobs must be soft and very high on the front wall (open the racket face well) to get over the opponent's head.

Tinny, this will all take a lot of practice. There is heaps of info on squashgame to help improve your tactics, eg go to the Library (Home Page), the cursor will bring up a menu, click on Tactics, and all sub menus; then go to Strokes/Movement, and click on sub menus. There are many topics which can assist, eg Why Play a...; About the Opponent; The Reason Behind the Strokes, etc.
For training, start working through the routines, eg Drive/Boast/Drop/CC Lob.

Please keep us informed of your progress. Good luck, and be patient!!

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