It is extremely frustrating for players when the ball lands close to the glass wall. This situation can be avoided very easily if you know how to fix it.

There are two situations where the ball is played close to the glass:
  • When the ball comes close to the glass on the side of the playing field or;
  • When the ball is lobed and lands close to the back wall.
In both situations you will have to be able to handle and use the glass wall.

The sidewall
A ball close to the sidewall can arise from a myriad of situations. This can vary from a smash that is played in the corner and ends up at the side wall via the bounce to a forehand that is played close to the glass wall.

There are two ways to handle this ball
  • 'Swot a fly': This means that the ball is played close to the glass wall. It is important that the racket does not hit the wall. This can cause damage to the racket.
  • Give the ball space to move away from the wall, then play the ball across the glass wall to the other side.

By processing the ball in the second way, you run less risk of hitting the side wall with the racket. It is important here that the ball is really hit to the other side through the glass wall. A common mistake is that the ball is rightly hit against the side wall and therefore does not make it to the other side.

The back wall 
In most situations, there are two cases where problems arise around the back wall.
  • A direct lob: the ball bounces over the service line and 'sticks' to the back wall.
  • The opponent uses his own back wall, then bounces near the opponent's back wall. This ball has a lot of effect, so that it 'sticks' to the back wall.

For both situations there are three possibilities to handle this ball.
  • Anticipate a high ball and walk back a bit, then you can play the ball back above your head. This choice is made because the player is convinced that this ball is easier to play before the ball hits the glass wall. A player who is focused on control will choose this ball the fastest. It is a situation in which the player can easily place the ball and needs little power.
  • Pull back and play the ball back with a lob, this choice is often made when the ball stays very close to the back wall and it cannot be played back to the other side. This trick will also be preferred by a player who plays with control. Playing the lob ensures that a lot of time is created before taking the desired position.
  • Play the ball through your own back wall up to the opponent's back field. The advantage of this is that there is quite a bit of topspin on the ball, so that it sticks very much to the back wall of the opponent. This choice will be made most quickly by a player who plays with a lot of power. This shot is extremely difficult to perform, but it is very effective for a player with the right technique and a large amount of power.
In the ideal situation, the choice to return a ball in a certain way is made as quickly as possible. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for yourself to return the ball. If you make this choice too late or if it is a wrong choice, you always have the glass wall as a backup to be able to use. Within padel you have a second chance on almost all balls.
November 11, 2022 — Lars van IJzendoorn