Playing like Desmond Douglas

Ask the coachCategory: Strokes & techniquePlaying like Desmond Douglas
Tyrone asked 7 months ago

I would like to add topspin to my game. Being an older player, but younger than Desmond Douglas, I was captivated when I was watching the video of his playing style and want to copy his forehand topspin and backhand drives, as like Desmond Douglas, don’t want to use long topspin strokes, starting from low to high.
I know his style is something you wouldn’t personally coach but would his short topspin forehand stroke at the top of the bounce and backhand drive at the top of the bounce work against backspin? If not, would his short forehand topspin and backspin drive be better suited as counter topspin and against drives?

1 Answers
Tom Lodziak Staff answered 6 months ago

Personally, I love the way Desmond Douglas plays and I believe his short strokes are applicable to all players.
When attacking backspin balls, Des still uses short strokes, but he opens up his bat angle much more to lift the backspin over the net. In the video I made with him – How to play like Desmond Douglas – he describes getting his bat below the ball and then a quick movement up, brushing the back of the ball.
This is the technique you can try to emulate. The key is the racket speed. You have to condense a lot of acceleration into a short space. This will generate enough topspin to counter the backspin.