Be it at the net or on the baseline, the half volley is a key shot when you’ve been surprised by the pace of the ball or are launching an attack.
Let’s take an example. The first clip in the Federer supercut below shows the Swiss stretching David Ferrer with a wide, cross-court backhand before unleashing a perfect down-the-line half volley before the Spanish player can run along the baseline.
So, aside from copying Roger, how can you pull off a defensive or offensive half volley? The most important elements to remember are to get down low by bending your knees, watch the ball (as always) and reduce your backswing. This video from Top Tennis Training runs through the basics:
Image: Wikimedia Commons