A bajada is an attacking ball played by opponents out of the window. Here are some tips for learning how to defend it.
Playing padel is a mixture of attack and defense. In general, the attack position is at the net and the defense position at the bottom of the field. But… depending on the move we have to make, we may be in attack position from the bottom of the track, especially when we have to play a ball above the level of the belt. Hitting the ball at this height allows us to have a descending trajectory therefore, fast. This is therefore the case for an exit from the attack window or bajada.
So how do you defend a bajada?
We are at the bottom of the track, we make a lob on our opponents and we take the net. This is when you have to play late. So that it is clear and simple for all, it is better to play in the most logical way, that is to say cross.
In this diagonal, you will logically find yourself facing a right-hander. During a lob, either this player will have to perform a backhand bajada (close to the side window) or forehand (in the center of the field).
- Backhand Bajada: In this case, the player will rarely opt for a ball towards the center. So after your lob, you and your partner will need to “stick” the net to cover the angles. Your opponent's options will be to play along the line or cross the grid, rarely at excessive speed. If he chooses a lob, you will have plenty of time to go back to the bottom.
- Forehand Bajada: Here the player will have more facilities to accelerate the ball. So the areas generally chosen will be the center or the body. After your lob, do not stick to the net but make a recovery of support in the middle of the serving area. This will allow you to block the fast bajada, see the ball coming and either continue towards the net or start again at the bottom of the track. Tip: To block a blow to the body, put yourself in the backhand position.
2 possibilities: If you have a left-hander in your diagonal, you will adopt the same tactic as on the left diagonal, either you will have a right-hander and here are his options: a back bajada from the center of the track, or a kick bajada right close to the side window.
- Backhand Bajada: After your lob, the player will have to perform a backhand bajada from the center of the track. Few options arise. Fast in the center or fast on the player who is in front of him, ie the player on the left. To defend this bajada, get close to the net, make the player on the right cover the center of the track, and the player on the left slightly shifted to the left. In this way you cover the angles and can make a volley in the back of the player who has just performed the bajada.
- Forehand Bajada: It is perhaps the most complicated to defend. If your lob towards the angle is of medium quality, the right-hander positioned on the right has many options: long line, in the center on the player on the left, in the center on the player on the right, fast on the body of the 2 players, short cross towards the grid, or a lob. How to do ? The first option would be to make a perfect lob or never play in that direction 😉 but it would not be professional on our part. The second option is to try to plug the angles with the player on the left slightly advanced compared to the player on the right. In this way you can cover along the line, the center is maintained by the right player, the short crossed ball can be played after bouncing on the grid, and you can counter with a bandja in the case of a lob.
Defending a bajada is something that is done as a team. Put your tactics in place for two, and most importantly, between each stroke, get your pala in front of you in the high position (chest height).
It's your turn
Julien Bondia is a padel teacher in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very appreciated by clubs and padel players. Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his many padel tutorials.