Two ball pass is a term in tennis that happens when a player passes a ball to an opponent who comes near the net after making a first shot. This motion eventually causes trouble among the players especially if there is a follow-up volley. The two ball pass is considered a forceful shot and aims to prevent the receiving player from returning the ball while he or she stands near the net.
The alternative for a two ball pass is the lob. A lob or a great horse is done by hitting high and deep into the court of the opponent. This can be used as a defensive or offensive weapon by players.
Two Ball Pass Strategies and Famous Players Using It
There are three main ways to make sure that a pass can be effective, which can also be used in a two ball pass. These strategies include fast return, angled shot and bluffing.
The fast return is considered as the most common and simplest form of passing shot. This is due to the fact that the opponent only has a shorter reaction time since they are standing near the net, and thus catching them off-guard. A fast return needs to be executed with power and speed and angled either down-the-line or cross-court. It is done by players who come with a strong backhand and flat forehand. Notable players who can execute this motion with ease include Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi.
The next strategy is the angled shot. This shot is subtler but harder to execute compared to the fast return. The angled shot involves hitting the ball at an acute angle. The more acute the angle is the better the outcome will be. The shot is done usually cross-court so that the ball falls right in front of the net and after which bounces towards the side. This motion makes it impossible for the opponent to catch and return the ball. One takeaway of this shot is that it needs a soft touch and a lot of top spin. Players who can make the shot are those who are good in using top-spins like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as well as those who have top-notch skill in directed passing like Chris Evert.
Third is bluffing. This strategy is considered the hardest of the three. It requires a player the ability to confuse their opponent as well as a good touch. Bluffing involves deceiving an opponent and making them think the shot will be played in a certain direction, when in actuality it goes to another. This is usually done by looking in a direction where the ball will not go, often making it impossible to aim accurately since the player will be hitting the ball without looking at it. This rare and difficult move had been mastered but only used sparingly by Roger Federer.B