Is "Moonballing" Cheap? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Is "Moonballing" Cheap?

Gabe32
12-15-2011, 08:23 PM
This may be my least favorite term on MTF (after maybe "mug").

I don't understand how a legitimate tennis tactic is considered cheap. Federer (probably the greatest tennis player ever) can't handle Nadal's "moonballing" to his backhand.

Do people complain when Del Potro or Djokovic flatten out their shots and hit a bullet? Or a player that uses an abnormal amount of drop-shots?

To me, there is nothing wrong with hitting a "moonball." Rafa hits his forehand with an astounding amount of RPM (I think it is still the highest in the ATP). Literally, nobody in the world can do that but him. It seems like a very practical shot to have in one's arsenal, especially against shorter players/player's with weak backhands.

So is moonballing, in your opinion, cheap?

SetSampras
12-15-2011, 08:47 PM
This may be my least favorite term on MTF (after maybe "mug").

I don't understand how a legitimate tennis tactic is considered cheap. Federer (probably the greatest tennis player ever) can't handle Nadal's "moonballing" to his backhand.

Do people complain when Del Potro or Djokovic flatten out their shots and hit a bullet? Or a player that uses an abnormal amount of drop-shots?

To me, there is nothing wrong with hitting a "moonball." Rafa hits his forehand with an astounding amount of RPM (I think it is still the highest in the ATP). Literally, nobody in the world can do that but him. It seems like a very practical shot to have in one's arsenal, especially against shorter players/player's with weak backhands.

So is moonballing, in your opinion, cheap?

I think it is. Of course it doesn't work against Nole or others who have solid backhands.. But it does continue to work on Fed and has since 2004.. Why change a winning strategy I guess. But it is cheap IMO. The only surface it doesn't work on is fast low indoor courts. But its like figuring out a loophole on slow courts. Once Nadal hits to the Fed BH he is already in control of the point. Of course, some of that can be deemed Fed's fault. There are guys with One HBH who wouldn't fall prey to Nadal's moonaballing. And Fed definitely should have employed more of a net game vs. Nadal and change his strategy up IMO

I would like to see Nadal just plain flat out hit Fed off the court.. He rarely does though.. He just moonballs it to the BH and Fed dumps it into the net

Johnny Groove
12-15-2011, 08:52 PM
It is only called cheap by those who have no counter to it, or by those who's fave player has no counter to it.

r2473
12-15-2011, 08:53 PM
I can get you a dozen for $6.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Moon-Balls

Commander Data
12-15-2011, 08:54 PM
pretty cheap, just costs one knee-capsle

Time Violation
12-15-2011, 09:10 PM
Well, as Dr. Ivo said, if you can win matches with only one shot (in his case serve obviously), you must be some kind of genius :lol:

Gabe32
12-15-2011, 09:27 PM
I would like to see Nadal just plain flat out hit Fed off the court.. He rarely does though.. He just moonballs it to the BH and Fed dumps it into the net

Why!! That isn't his style. That is like saying "I would love just to see Roddick out-talent Federer" or "I would love it if Nadal just finally out-served Federer."

Is every style that you don't enjoy watching cheap? Must players "out-hit" (I don't agree with that term) their opponent for the win to be satisfactory?

eieieishockey
12-15-2011, 09:27 PM
moonballing is CRIME! :no:

Sham Kay
12-15-2011, 09:37 PM
Just another tactic employed mainly to put your opponent off his or her rhythm. Tennis is not just about playing well yourself, it's about knowing how to best make your opponent uncomfortable and make them play worse when possible. There are so many amateur players who just do not know how to deal with them, I've begun imitating Nadal whenever possible.. sort of a plan C (B being slice like crap - unpredictable bounce = doomed amateurs) it might not look entertaining for the neutral viewer, but by gosh is it entertaining for the one playing the shot.

By gosh - who even says that anymore? But I digress.. and that.

stewietennis
12-15-2011, 09:38 PM
Isn't a moonball hitting the ball up with no pace or spin, it's basically just to extend a point? I'm not sure why Rafa's is called a moonball as it's hit with a lot of pace and a massive amount of spin.

samanosuke
12-15-2011, 09:40 PM
it costs a knee or two , more or less

Sham Kay
12-15-2011, 09:41 PM
Isn't a moonball hitting the ball up with no pace or spin, it's basically just to extend a point? I'm not sure why Rafa's is called a moonball as it's hit with a lot of pace and a massive amount of spin.

Nadals appearance forced the super secretive underground organization of Tennis term definers to redefine the word 'Moonballing' to a broader definition.

bleu_cheese
12-15-2011, 10:40 PM
Moonballing is what Chang did in his match against Lendl. Nadal hasn't quite reached that level yet.

xdrewitdajx
12-15-2011, 11:03 PM
there's a difference between real moonballing (Wozniacki comes to mind on occasion) and what Nadal does most of the time that gets called moonballing. In any case, it's not cheap...if it's legal and it works effectively, it's a good tactic, and that's that.
It's obviously not an indestructible force, and it might not be very fun to watch..but to say it's "cheap" is absurd. It's not a cheat code

LoveFifteen
12-15-2011, 11:04 PM
What Nadal does is not moonballing. His haters just call it that to mitigate the pain they feel from all the times that Nadal has crushed Roger in Slams. :sad:

allpro
12-15-2011, 11:33 PM
Moonballing is what Chang did in his match against Lendl.

now that was moonballing. clever, effective moonballing done out of desperation, not strategic planning.

allpro
12-15-2011, 11:41 PM
What Nadal does is not moonballing. His haters just call it that to mitigate the pain they feel from all the times that Nadal has crushed Roger in Slams. :sad:

:haha::haha:

Haelfix
12-15-2011, 11:44 PM
Almost any male pro tennis player in the top 200 will more or less crush a standard moon ball 99 times out of a 100. Once in a blue moon it might throw them off, but once they get a bead on it, its a losing tactic. I mean, the usual way of dealing with them is to step into the court take it early and rip a big angled shot.

Now, certain players like Rafa who can put an incredible amount of spin on the ball (far more than normal humans) can increase their net clearance to the point that it does look similar. But then its a completely different proposition, b/c its very difficult to hit Rafa's shots early due to the bad bounce from the excessive spin. Which means that almost all players have to step back and deal with it on the way down. (the one exception seems to be Nalbandian)

allpro
12-15-2011, 11:46 PM
Just another tactic employed mainly to put your opponent off his or her rhythm. Tennis is not just about playing well yourself, it's about knowing how to best make your opponent uncomfortable and make them play worse when possible. There are so many amateur players who just do not know how to deal with them, I've begun imitating Nadal whenever possible.. sort of a plan C (B being slice like crap - unpredictable bounce = doomed amateurs) it might not look entertaining for the neutral viewer, but by gosh is it entertaining for the one playing the shot.

By gosh - who even says that anymore? But I digress.. and that.

i bet most americans harping about "moonballing" have never even played on a clay court, much less gotten his/her ass kicked by a european or s. american who grew up on the stuff.

Zare1
12-15-2011, 11:52 PM
if moonballing is cheap then slice is cheap

leng jai
12-16-2011, 12:24 AM
Almost any male pro tennis player in the top 200 will more or less crush a standard moon ball 99 times out of a 100. Once in a blue moon it might throw them off, but once they get a bead on it, its a losing tactic. I mean, the usual way of dealing with them is to step into the court take it early and rip a big angled shot.

Now, certain players like Rafa who can put an incredible amount of spin on the ball (far more than normal humans) can increase their net clearance to the point that it does look similar. But then its a completely different proposition, b/c its very difficult to hit Rafa's shots early due to the bad bounce from the excessive spin. Which means that almost all players have to step back and deal with it on the way down. (the one exception seems to be Nalbandian)

The most effective way of dealing with Nadull's "moonballs" is the take the the ball early nullifying the topspin. Its much easier to do at a certain height so its the tall ballbashers such as Del Potro who can consistently do this. For most players its simply too physically draining and risky to adopt for an entire match.

tommyg6
12-16-2011, 12:24 AM
To best sum up Rafa's gameplan throughout his career is like this..

Plan A - Moonball to your opponent's backhand.
if that doesn't work, go to plan B which is...
Plan B - Moonball even harder to your opponent's backhand
Then eventually fluke a slam win.

leng jai
12-16-2011, 12:27 AM
To best sum up Rafa's gameplan throughout his career is like this..

Plan A - Moonball to your opponent's backhand.
if that doesn't work, go to plan B which is...
Plan B - Moonball even harder to your opponent's backhand
Then eventually fluke a slam win.

*fluke 10 slam wins

MatchFederer
12-16-2011, 12:27 AM
I find it pretty cheap and I'm thinking of these insane moonballs which Rafa started offering up to Djokovic after he had no ideas left in those Masters 1000 clay finals.

I saw Fish hit a crazy one against Nadal in WTF, Nadal looked WELL IMPRESSED!! 'Good moonball, son, you earned my respect, no?'

Was a classic moment of the tournament, I'm sure you all remember it so vividly...

Topspindoctor
12-16-2011, 12:40 AM
The most effective way of dealing with Nadull's "moonballs" is the take the the ball early nullifying the topspin. Its much easier to do at a certain height so its the tall ballbashers such as Del Potro who can consistently do this. For most players its simply too physically draining and risky to adopt for an entire match.

Strange, the H2H is 7-3 to Nadal - I guess "tall ballbashers" can't do this as consistently as you think, especially if you consider other H2H's Nadal has against other power hitters like Berdych, Soderling, Cilic etc.

leng jai
12-16-2011, 12:48 AM
Strange, the H2H is 7-3 to Nadal - I guess "tall ballbashers" can't do this as consistently as you think, especially if you consider other H2H's Nadal has against other power hitters like Berdych, Soderling, Cilic etc.

These are players that trouble Nadull, not necessarily win all the time. Do you ever have anything to contribute other than talking about results? Try actually assessing what happens during the match, not just the end result.

Naudio Spanlatine
12-16-2011, 12:51 AM
this thread:rolleyes: :ras:

echf
12-16-2011, 12:53 AM
This is a pointless discussion. Everything that helps you win according to the rules is good strategy, period. It's your opponent's fault if he can't counteract it.

Also, what Nadal does is not moonballing. It takes a lot of technique to put so much topspin on the ball, otherwise we would see lots of players doing the same against Federer. It also has the advantage of keeping the ball high over the net and minimizing errors, which is good. But even if it were moonballing (which it isn't), and even if this were the only weapon he used against him (which it isn't either), if would be fine as long as it gets the job done.

For example, if you were defeated by some guy that kept hitting lobs the whole match, you would be to blame for letting such a simple strategy hurt you.

MatchFederer
12-16-2011, 12:55 AM
Looking forward to the next Fish Nadal match just so I can see the look of adulation and admiration in Nadal's eyes for his talented moonballing protégé.

''Use moonball force young Jedi American sea creature, no? Respec'.''

Chris Evert was a good moonballer SORRY I FORGOT it's a men's tennis forum my bad.

fast_clay
12-16-2011, 01:08 AM
moonballing is Tennis For Dummies 1.01

Pirata.
12-16-2011, 01:08 AM
A pure moonball is a terrible tactic :o

Topspindoctor
12-16-2011, 01:09 AM
A pure moonball is a terrible tactic :o

Good thing, nobody on the ATP tour only moonballs...especially Nadal.

HKz
12-16-2011, 01:24 AM
What Nadal does is not moonballing. His haters just call it that to mitigate the pain they feel from all the times that Nadal has crushed Roger in Slams. :sad:

Mostly this, but Nadal still technically does hit high looping groundstrokes especially off his forehand that are meant to be extremely consistent and uncomfortable for the other player. Moonballing, if we go by its exact definition, is obviously an over-exaggeration but those who understand what is going here get the main point that Nadal tends to just play solid, play the percentages and play to his opponent's weaknesses rather than actually going for outright winners, etc. Fact is it isn't his game plan, and he has shown that his strategy is clearly not effective against several types of players (see early Hewitt, Youzhny, Blake, early Berdych, some Soderling, current Djokovic, etc) and on most surfaces. Fact is his results off clay represent his success. Yes, he has been consistent, but he certainly hasn't shown any clay-type consistency on the other surfaces. This can also be seen by his inability to successfully defend even one non-clay title. His style of play is just not viable over a long period of time on those surfaces. He has just been too good mentally and even slightly lucky on certain occasions to get to the point where he is today.

Mountaindewslave
12-16-2011, 04:01 AM
Nadal does not techniqually moonball BUT his shots often do appear more in line with it than many other players on tour. decieving though because all of his spin is in face incredibly hard to handle!

how can a tennis strategy be cheap? I would agree if the thread was asking, "is "Moonballing" boring?" or if it asked "does Nadal playing style sometimes get frustrating when you wish he would just line up shots and hit them fast and flat?" but the question in itself is silly. do i think "only serving and doing nothing else is lame?" that is a similar question, and of course no. Is Ivo Karlovic's style cheap because he has no game besides whacking a ball into play and leaving it up to the opponent to fail on the return?

both really fall onto the same thing; the opponent allows it to *Possibly arguably be a cheap* strategy by failing to adapt and figure out a defense against it.

Nadal would not hit such looping shots with all of that spin if it did not work! do recall however, not only is it harder to control than it appears from watching, but it also greatly removes chances for errors. Nadal hardly ever smashes a ball into the net EXCEPT for when he decides to step in or hit the ball flat in an awkward position. coincidence? I think not!! his "moonballing" style prevents him from spraying unforced errors and keeps the W/UE ratio great enabling him to win matches!!

remember what they always used to say about Nadal and still applies!! he makes the opponent hit an error. it's not him going for a winner, or him crossing his fingers. he gets it to the opponent as awkwardly as possible and leads it to them to miss. his looping "moonballing" is clearly a perfect tool for this strategy

finishingmove
12-16-2011, 10:23 AM
Moonballing is cheap on the WTA tour but gets punished on the ATP.

leng jai
12-16-2011, 11:09 AM
Moonballing is cheap in club tennis where the back fence is 2 metres behind the baseline.

LoveFifteen
12-16-2011, 05:48 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".

Logical
12-16-2011, 06:06 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".
:lol::worship:

Sapeod
12-16-2011, 06:10 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".
You can't exactly say this when the man can do anything on court and has 16 slams due to this talent. Nadal's moonballs aren't lob high, but they are incredibly high looping balls that bounce up. Federer's backhand doesn't like balls like that, that's why it breaks down like that. You know very little if you think Federer is untalented or pathetic.

Naudio Spanlatine
12-16-2011, 06:37 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".

:haha: i love you

Nirjhor
12-16-2011, 07:20 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".

Yeah... you are the best!! :worship:

A proposal for you. Let's stand on the middle of a road. If you cannot stop a running car by applying your force and then if the car run over you, you are very pathetic! ;)

MaxPower
12-16-2011, 08:12 PM
Moonballing is cheap alright. The only thing Nadal sold was his dignity. The last time his dignity was valued it came in at about $2-$3 and a free practice session with Uncle Toni.

Naudio Spanlatine
12-16-2011, 08:39 PM
A pure moonball is a terrible tactic :o

i hope you can tell that to miss sunshine, the girl is a pro:p

Matt01
12-16-2011, 08:54 PM
What Nadal does is not moonballing. His haters just call it that to mitigate the pain they feel from all the times that Nadal has crushed Roger in Slams. :sad:


:yeah:

Dougie
12-16-2011, 09:17 PM
A moonball goes up almost as high as a lob. It has very little pace. If that's the shot that has broken down Federer's backhand, then Federer is one of the most pathetic players of all time. Calling what Nadal does a "moonball" just highlights how limited and untalented Federer is if he cannot deal with "moonballs".

:haha: i love you

Yeah... you are the best!! :worship:

A proposal for you. Let's stand on the middle of a road. If you cannot stop a running car by applying your force and then if the car run over you, you are very pathetic! ;)

I think what LoveFifteen was trying to say is that it´s not moonballs that have broken down Federer´s backhand, Nadal´s topspin shot are actually hard, heavy shots, far from moonballs. I don´t think he meant to mock Federer at all.

Nadal´s shots are far from moonballs. If you want to see some proper moonballing, check out Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario or Conchita Martinez. That´s moonballing.

Shirogane
12-16-2011, 09:50 PM
Mostly this, but Nadal still technically does hit high looping groundstrokes especially off his forehand that are meant to be extremely consistent and uncomfortable for the other player. Moonballing, if we go by its exact definition, is obviously an over-exaggeration but those who understand what is going here get the main point that Nadal tends to just play solid, play the percentages and play to his opponent's weaknesses rather than actually going for outright winners, etc. Fact is it isn't his game plan, and he has shown that his strategy is clearly not effective against several types of players (see early Hewitt, Youzhny, Blake, early Berdych, some Soderling, current Djokovic, etc) and on most surfaces. Fact is his results off clay represent his success. Yes, he has been consistent, but he certainly hasn't shown any clay-type consistency on the other surfaces. This can also be seen by his inability to successfully defend even one non-clay title. His style of play is just not viable over a long period of time on those surfaces. He has just been too good mentally and even slightly lucky on certain occasions to get to the point where he is today.Mostly this, but... mm.. actually, no 'buts' I can think of.

Nadal does not techniqually moonball BUT his shots often do appear more in line with it than many other players on tour. decieving though because all of his spin is in face incredibly hard to handle!

how can a strategy be cheap? I would agree if the thread was asking, "is "Moonballing" boring?" or if it asked "does Nadal playing style sometimes get frustrating when you wish he would just line up shots and hit them fast and flat?" but the question in itself is silly. do i think "only serving and doing nothing else is lame?" that is a similar question, and of course no. Is Ivo Karlovic's style cheap because he has no game besides whacking a ball into play and leaving it up to the opponent to fail on the return?

both really fall onto the same thing; the opponent allows it to *Possibly arguably be a cheap* strategy by failing to adapt and figure out a defense against it.

Nadal would not hit such looping shots with all of that spin if it did not work! do recall however, not only is it harder to control than it appears from watching, but it also greatly removes chances for errors. Nadal hardly ever smashes a ball into the net EXCEPT for when he decides to step in or hit the ball flat in an awkward position. coincidence? I think not!! his "moonballing" style prevents him from spraying unforced errors and keeps the W/UE ratio great enabling him to win matches!!

remember what they always used to say about Nadal and still applies!! he makes the opponent hit an error. it's not him going for a winner, or him crossing his fingers. he gets it to the opponent as awkwardly as possible and leads it to them to miss. his looping "moonballing" is clearly a perfect tool for this strategyAlso this. It is what it is, but I'd do the same if I were in his shoes... who wouldn't?

Nirjhor
12-17-2011, 06:41 AM
Well, Rafa always makes shots on Roger's backhand side because he knows that's how he can attack Roger. With his single-handed backhand Roger becomes embarrassed against Rafa's topspin shots. Yes, I have to admit that Rafa's topspin shots are really hard and heavy but that's all? This year Djokovic's best weapon was his backhand shot. They were really hard to defend. But Roger defend them with his poor single-handed backhand although he had lost to Djokovic four times. But if anybody wants to know who troubled Djokovic most this year then it is sure that Roger's name would come first. Rafa had lost to Djokovic in 6 finals this year and couldn't go close to a win. Roger had won a match in GS against Djokovic and very close to be the winner in another one where he missed double match points. In Indian Wells Roger played really good. That was a great match but that day Djokovic was the best one. In RG, Roger defeat that Clay Djokovic who beat The Clay God Rafa in Madrid and Rome. That means Djokovic was also very good in Clay this year. But then, what happened? Roger lost to Rafa in the final because his opponent was Rafa. Roger had broken Djokovic's hard and heavy shots in RG semi but couldn't do that in the final against Rafa. Yes, I know it was Roger's mental problem also but that's all? Think about it.

tripwires
12-17-2011, 10:03 AM
I find it pretty cheap and I'm thinking of these insane moonballs which Rafa started offering up to Djokovic after he had no ideas left in those Masters 1000 clay finals.

I saw Fish hit a crazy one against Nadal in WTF, Nadal looked WELL IMPRESSED!! 'Good moonball, son, you earned my respect, no?'


Was a classic moment of the tournament, I'm sure you all remember it so vividly...

Looking forward to the next Fish Nadal match just so I can see the look of adulation and admiration in Nadal's eyes for his talented moonballing protégé.

''Use moonball force young Jedi American sea creature, no? Respec'.''

Chris Evert was a good moonballer SORRY I FORGOT it's a men's tennis forum my bad.

Moonballing is cheap in club tennis where the back fence is 2 metres behind the baseline.

:haha:

I saw Hantuchova hit a few moonballs in person yesterday and I had to hold back my laughter. It's a cheap tactic insofar as it's used deliberately to throw off your opponent's rhythm, but more importantly, it's horrible to watch. :o

nalbyfan
12-17-2011, 01:14 PM
Armanifatbutt = Dibbs = Solomon = Higueras = Borg...all boring players with such a boring game

BodyServe
12-17-2011, 01:14 PM
Actually at amateur level i used to hit very high moonballs (around 15m) to the opponents bh and come to the net, and because of the very short court (they had to hit volleys!) it worked most of the time :D

Shinoj
12-18-2011, 07:46 AM
Yes it is cheap. And the only reason it persists is because there are a lot of Clueless folks sitting at the Top of ATP who think that making Slow Slow courts will elongate rallies and the general public like that watching longer and longer rallies because they themselves havent played the sport a lot so they cant distinguish between watching pretty and entertaining tennis than watching labourous long dull... insane rallies ... And they continue to do the same.

In the 90s it was well controlled cause the only place where moon balling was prevalent was the Clay Court season which in itself was well defined and short... Some of the players weren't the only ones who switched off, Like Sampras,Agassi,Courier but the fans also. I for one hardly watched any of the Clay Court tennis except maybe Roland Garos and in that too just for my favourite Players and not any matches .

These days except for the AO Open and the Indoor season at the end, the Tour is one Big Big Clay Court Season :wavey:

tektonac
12-18-2011, 09:01 AM
It is only called cheap by those who have no counter to it, or by those who's fave player has no counter to it.

this.

buzz
12-18-2011, 10:50 AM
It's just a tactic, and you have to train really hard to perfection it enough to win slams and then you also have to have the physical talent to back it up.

It's like saying an olympic marathon medal is cheap, because I could also run.

Gabe32
12-18-2011, 07:47 PM
It's just a tactic, and you have to train really hard to perfection it enough to win slams and then you also have to have the physical talent to back it up.


I agree, it is not cheap at all. Anything within the rules of tennis is not cheap.

The only arguments I have seen against it are aesthetic/people who hate players that have high net clearance.

I wish I knew a "cheap" tactic that could beat the best tennis player in history.

hisham70
12-20-2011, 08:22 AM
Nadal moonballed Federer to death. It's a crime!

Mystique
12-20-2011, 09:05 AM
If you mean defensive pusher tennis and waiting for the error from your opponent, yeah it is cheap. Its no-b***s tennis. And terribly unwatchable. But I guess whatever works.:shrug: