The smash at the grid is a stroke more and more used in padel, among amateurs and professionals alike. Let's find out what are its advantages.
If you have been following padel for a few years, you certainly know that the smash on the grid is one of the most used shots by Pablo Lima and Juan Martin Diaz, two left-handers who played tennis before going to padel.
In France, these are certainly Benjamin Tison, also left-handed, and his former partner Adrien Maigret, who master it best. You will certainly have also noticed that Paquito Navarro or even Franco Stupaczuk more and more use this move which has many advantages.
A technically demanding move
It is no coincidence that this is the favorite shot of left-handed people with a very flexible wrist and former top tennis players. Indeed, this shot requires a high level of precision because the margin of error is lower to find the grid on a smash than to send a Bandeja-type ball to the bottom of the track.
In addition, it is necessary enough angle to achieve it with a lower level of risk therefore a right-hander on the left or a left-hander on the right will have many more opportunities to do so in a match than a right-hander on the right.
A perfect shot for tennis players
If you have a tennis background and are used to serving topspin or slice, you won't not take long to assimilate the smash to the grid. In terms of grip, but also in terms of movement, this shot is very similar to what you have certainly done a thousand times with the big racket.
You just have to be careful when you lack angle to lower your arm speed and take the ball a little more to the side, like on a slice serve, so as not to commit the fault.
A less physically demanding shot
To achieve a smash on the grid, you hit the ball higher than on a Bandeja or a Vibora. In addition, no need to shift to take the ball to the side with his arm outstretched. So we have no need to move so much and on a match all these less steps allow you to save yourself physically and certainly to end up less tired. Think about it if you are the type to finish the parts on the kneecaps.
A more destabilizing blow
The grid generates a random bounce, and if you're precise enough to hit the bottom of the fence on your smashes, then you could end up with a lot of winning points on that shot in a match. Compared to a Bandeja which sends the ball to the bottom without too much uncertainty, the smash grid very easily generates panic among defenders. It can therefore very often bring you favorable situations.
Be careful of course, because as said above, it's a bit more risky so you have to be careful not to put too much speed in the ball when you are badly placed.
A blow more easily concealed
If you watch play Paquito Navarro, you will notice that his preparation is always the same whether he is about to make a par 3 or a smash on the grid. The two movements being carried out with the same grip and in a similar position, you can with a little practice succeed in masking your stroke until the last moment.
This will generate even more uncertainty among your opponents who will not know until the moment of the strike what you are going to do. They will therefore not be able to anticipate a defense as can be the case when a player prepares a Bandeja.
The smash on the grid is certainly a bit more risky but it can be very profitable if it is well mastered. Above all, it can very quickly be assimilated by tennis players who start padel. For those who take up padel without having a background in racket sports, it will certainly take a little longer to learn, but can be just as effective. Be careful, Julien Bondia prepare an article where he will discuss all the technical aspects of this shot !