Le padel is an strategy where the attack positions, to the defense and transition. How to play a bouncing ball in “no man's land”? Response.
You are at the back of the court, you agree to defend the balls of your opponents posted at the net. Strategically all is well since, even with the bottom panes, even outside your comfort zone, you are not outdone. Finally comes the moment, after so much waiting, to play a ball from your comfort zone. You opt for a fast ball directly to the opponent's body in the diagonal. The tactic works because you fixed it. He sends the ball back to you, but it remains as "dead" in the middle of the service box. So the question is: what to do then? Several options present themselves but we will focus on three of them: two attack and one defense.
This is perhaps the most chosen option. After this ball without speed in the middle of the service box, we find ourselves with a shot to play in front of us. Pala in front of us, tip pointing down, we will play a bottom up shot, a lob. This lob, aggressive, will be high enough so that your opponent in the diagonal cannot play a smash, but not too high either to avoid giving him time to get back to the bottom. The idea will therefore be that your ball dies at the bottom of the lane, either making defense impossible, or forcing a high lob which will allow you to retake the net or even finish the point, or forcing him to play a counter-window. An expert on the subject is Fernando Belasteguin.
Always an offensive shot. This time instead of looking for the lob, we will play a chiquita, a short ball that will force the opponent on your diagonal to play below the level of the net. You will be able to direct this chiquita either in the feet of the rival, or in the center or towards the grid. This short and slow ball will allow you to leap forward to impact the next volley over the net and thus push opponents down the court.
This time we decide to stay in defense after impact. Ball in the middle of the service box we force the player on our diagonal to play with a volley in the center of the field. Why in the center? In order to avoid opening the angles and ending up with a very difficult ball to negotiate. So if we play in the middle, logic will push the opponent to also play in the middle.
Let's resume. Ball in the center of the square, we play towards the center then we quickly return to our comfort zone with the idea that we will certainly have to negotiate a window exit in the center. With this window exit you can either play a lob and recover your defensive position, or try a chiquita to put your opponents back under pressure.
You couldn't find a solution with the balls to play in “no man's land”? Now you will know what to do according to your desires and your skills. After one bandeja short or a low volley from your opponents, you will decide either to go on the attack or to maintain your defense, all this in an organized way, to avoid endangering your partner.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.