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TECH TALK: Sebastian Korda is on the rise—no literally, he’s hitting On The Rise
The young American is taking advantage of his tall stature to make some big moves on court.
Published Aug 10, 2023
FLASHBACK: Sebastian Korda hits the Hot Shot of the Day.
At 23 years young, Sebastian Korda has already reached a career high of No. 25 in the world. But that doesn’t nearly scratch the surface of accolades that he’s looking to achieve.
Playing the typical right-handed, two-handed backhand game, it seems that Korda has all the tools he needs to be a solid competitor on tour.
What’s going to take him from tennis pro to tennis champion? That’s going to be his ability to hit most balls on the rise and work his way up to the net.
Hitting On The Rise is a strategic choice that allows a player to take time away from the opponent, even from all the way at the baseline.
It takes more effort and accuracy on the player’s part, but it can make all the difference between taking action on the point and reacting to the opponent controlling the point.
Taking the ball On The Rise essentially means hitting the ball on its way up from the bounce. Most groundstrokes are hit on the way down after the first bounce which means it was on its way to the second bounce. On The Rise means not only is the ball not going to have a chance to bounce twice, but the contact is going to be more pronounced as the player hitting the ball’s pace head-on in order to redirect and attack.
Korda is not only taking time away from his opponents using this strategy, but he’s taking advantage of his 6’5’’ stature to do so.
Unlike most players who mostly hit on the way down and only take balls On The Rise to make a move, Korda only hits on the way down when he’s forced out of position.
Because he stands much taller than the average person, his point of contact is higher off the ground, letting him get up to balls more frequently than most players.
His tall stature doesn’t only help him hit the ball earlier, but also allows him to move forward with fewer steps and less energy spent. Since Korda is all about taking time away from his opponents, it’s fitting for him to make his way to the net as often as possible.
That only works if he was able to generate a successful offense from the baseline, of course. But as one of the Americans to look out for heading into the US Open, rest assured that Korda and his On The Rise game will be well in tact come time for the slam.
Learning to hit an On The Rise shot is essential for every player type and level. Not only is it adding another layer to the tennis tool belt, but it helps a player start to develop awareness on the court.
For instance, in order to hit On The Rise, a player must track the ball, determine that their position in the court is synonymous with the ball’s travel path. This can also be said for tracking slices, and for determining whether it’s a drop shot or a deeply placed slice to neutralize the point.
Being able to assess the various ball patterns and have a response for each of them makes for an all-around, competitive player. And a player who is capable of hitting On The Rise?
Well, let’s just say you don’t get to No. 25 in the world for having pretty technique.