This shot has never been used intentionally
by the club player but has always had a place in the armoury
of the pros and of the connoisseur.
The objective is to play a shot that looks a though it is
going cross court - thereby making your opponent lean and
position his racket for this - but actually to hit it directly
at him, forcing an error or a very weak reply. The most enjoyable
outcome, of course, is to hit him as he flails helplessly
at the ball and for him to be left looking rather foolish
It can only be played towards the front of the court and
when the ball is about 6-18 inches away from the side wall.
(Following a hectic exhange at the front is a possible time
and also after a high backwall boast is often a good time:
sometimes an awkward shot to deal with if it is dying into
that 6-18 inches zone.)
Several elements are absolutely crucial to successfully excecute
- As you play the ball, you should simultaneously be moving
tight up against the side wall, thereby eliminating any
possibility (from your opponents point of view) of you playing
straight - thus "confirming" the shown cross court
and his readiness for it.
- The ball must be hit hard, fairly low and aiming to hit
your opponent's knee area.
- Immediately you have completed the shot, move back from
up against the side wall towards the T. If the shot is not
already a clean winner and the opponent has managed to make
contact with the ball, it should be a poor (late reaction)
shot and will allow you to take control.
Played correctly, it will be a winner. Played badly, it will
be a loser: definitely one for the connoisseur.