CHIP AND RIP BY MOON PHILLIPS (27)

“Moon” Phillips taught me a lot, about this time. They called Danny
“Moon” because his big round head looked like Charlie Browns’s (Peanuts).
It also sat on a frame of about 100-plus pounds. But Danny had some
trump cards. Great touch, hands, and volley, and he could hit it anyway it
came at him. A fine doubles player having grown up in Goldsboro, North
Carolina, he taught me several things: The backhand underspin volley,
return, and approach are true keys in college tennis. Danny, from the
backhand court, would slice a little cross-court return that the receiver had
to hit up. “Slam dunk” on our next shot. And he convinced me of another
great use of this in singles. Maybe Tim Wilkison, North Carolina’s finest
player, solidified the term “chip and charge” in tennis. I watched with pride at the U.S. Open when Tim won three straight five setters with that attach-
ing off the second serve and turning it into an approach shot. Danny showed me the “chip and rip” in Kansas City. He played an undefeated (number three in the country), serve and volley specialist. I’d heard a lot about this boy, but Danny’s tactic made breaking serve easy. He’d slyly move in, chip it at the “T” and as his opponent could only touch up this “super soft” return, Danny would then rip a big passing shot by the
defenseless volleyer. Chip, bang, lob, angles. Set him up with number one,
pass him with number two, works in singles and doubles. Chip and rip.
I began to encourage my net players to take any middle ball on the
backhand volley or service return. Ask John McEnroe. He could “touch that
chip on a dime.”

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