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Cindysphinx
02-15-2007, 03:12 PM
What happened in your last doubles match? Did you win or lose? Was there a point when you wanted to kill your partner? :D

I'm .500 on the season. I won my only ladies match 6-4, 6-3 and lost my only 7.0 mixed match 6-4, 6-4. In the win, we won ugly and never got a rhythm going. In the loss, we were just outplayed.

I have a ladies' match this weekend. Our No. 1 team is impossible to beat, and our No. 3 team doesn't have much of a chance. Which means it's all up to me and my partner. She and I are 6.0 combo, and we will likely face a 6.5 combo. Uh oh.

Wish us luck. We're gonna need it.

sureshs
02-15-2007, 03:18 PM
Won 7-5 in the first, lost 2-6 in the second. Then went home.

travlerajm
02-15-2007, 03:27 PM
2007 USTA Record = 3-0 in 9.0 mixed:

7-6,6-6, def.
4-6,6-0,1-0(11-9)
6-3,3-6,1-0(10-4)

Nick Irons
02-15-2007, 03:34 PM
Doubles:

Lost

7-6 (7-2), 6 - 3

Nick Irons
02-15-2007, 07:15 PM
And tonight Won

4-6, 6-4, 6-2

rasajadad
02-16-2007, 05:11 AM
I lost my last doubles match in a 4.0 league. Won the 1st set 6-2, lost the second set in a tie-breaker. Then lost in a tie-breaker played at 2-2 in the third as we timed out.

The team won, so it wasn't a total loss. But I was more than a little bit frustrated with the loss.

sigep1967
02-16-2007, 07:10 AM
first match last nite got drilled 1 and 1 since the partner i was put with doesn't seem to understand to hit the ball in thecourt:confused: Every time i hit a good serve getting a weak return to kill It was hit into the fence or the net sigh I hate playing dink tennis which is what i faced One guy basically served underhanded. After the match I got to play against some other guys from the local CC and drilled them with another partner so the night was not a toltal loss;) ;)

Cindysphinx
02-16-2007, 08:23 AM
first match last nite got drilled 1 and 1 since the partner i was put with doesn't seem to understand to hit the ball in thecourt:confused: Every time i hit a good serve getting a weak return to kill It was hit into the fence or the net sigh I hate playing dink tennis which is what i faced One guy basically served underhanded. After the match I got to play against some other guys from the local CC and drilled them with another partner so the night was not a toltal loss;) ;)

What level was this dink tennis?

BiGGieStuFF
02-16-2007, 08:51 AM
3-6, 7-5, 10-8. Our team played horrid. It was so friggin cold. 28 degrees and I couldn't even form a drop of sweat. Couldn't feel my left hand and partner was double faulting badly enough he resorted to serving underhand. Somehow we won in the 3rd set tiebreak. That has got to be the coldest weather I've ever played in.

You people up north who play in this weather have just gotten a buttload of respect from me now. Sometimes it just ain't worth it, but then again I hate losing too.

spot
02-16-2007, 09:14 AM
Mixed doubles against a big lefty guy with the biggest serve I have ever faced. We were playing line 2 when I had been line 4 to start the season but I haven't lost so I have been moving up. I don't think that my partner and I didn't win 10 points the entire match against his first serve when it landed in.

We lost the first set 6-4 when my partner double faulted 3 times in a row to lose her service game. We came back and won the second set 7-5. We just got the one break on the other girls serve when we needed it.

In the third set we got down 5-2 and my partner thought I was being too tentative at the net. My partner won her serve to get us to 5-3 and he had the chance to win the match on his serve. I was playing ad and I fought off 3 match points but we finally broke him. I think that the guy just couldn't move past the idea that he missed his chance and my partner and I were able to win the last 3 games as well to take the match. It was the toughest league match I have ever had by far. The guy was better than me and my partner stepped up huge. It was just an incredibly fun day.

Kaptain Karl
02-16-2007, 10:01 AM
Last week we both started-out ... stupid. 0-6, 6-3, 6-3. We finally "clicked" -- and the better guy on the other team actually started missing some shots. (First set, he was playing magical tennis! Even though we were getting *schooled* it was an honor to be on the court with him....)

We are .750 so-far as a team....

- KK

Topaz
02-16-2007, 02:45 PM
Lost a 6.0 mixed match last night 3-6, 6-3, 2-6. I held my serve all the way up to 2-2 in the third then got broken. Then we had three break points on the next game, but couldn't convert. (yeah, I know, I hear 'ya!) After that we just kind of lost our spirit a bit.

It was a great match though...very competitive. I had too many forehand errors...I'm working on my topspin and sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don't!

Last weekend I won a small tournament though...playing 7.0 mixed! It was a Valentine's Day tourny! ;)

peter
02-17-2007, 01:27 PM
What happened in your last doubles match? Did you win or lose? Was there a point when you wanted to kill your partner? :D


Won first set 6-4, lost the next two 4-6, 4-6. Really tight match and really fun. I served like crap. Well, actually not that bad - the serves went mostly in, and with good speed - but our opponents managed to handle it too well :-(-

But all in all it probably was one of our better doubles matches the last season :-)

(Both me and my doubles partner are more singles players)

Cindysphinx
02-18-2007, 01:29 PM
Oh, ouch. I'm still sore from the *beating* I just took.

We were facing a tough team We got spanked, 4-6, 1-6. I was actually thinking of you TW guys during the match. Wanna know why?

Because my partner was having serious trouble at net, and it was getting us killed. I came thiiiiiiiiiiis close to saying the dreaded words I abhor: "You know, if you're just going to keep dumping volleys into the bottom of the net like that, stop poaching already and just let those balls through to the baseline."

I didn't, though. I bit my tongue. I tried to remember all my yapping here at TW about playing to improve, about playing the game properly. So if the net person thinks she has a play on the ball, by gum, she should poach. She'll miss some, but she'll make some so it's worth it, right?

Uh, no. The trouble was that my partner was doing a number of things wrong on her volleys. The more she missed, the more she drifted back toward the service line, making the volleys even more difficult. The other team loved this and even started going right at her. And she was intimidated, so she was stepping backward when she volleyed. Ugh. I did get her to move closer to the net, which helped.

As for me, I played OK. Not too many errors, not many shots for the highlight reel. I felt pretty tight when I served and I think I could have pressured them a bit more by going for it. I didn't poach much, although I'm not sure why. The other team was awfully good at keeping their cross-court returns low and away. I just can't seem to get into points when that happens. Must work on this.

Overally, it was an ugly afternoon at the tennis facility. The other team was better, we needed to play out of our heads to win, and popping the ball up and missing volleys doesn't get it done. Oh well.

Kaptain Karl
02-18-2007, 02:49 PM
... my partner was having serious trouble at net, and it was getting us killed.Cindy - It's okay to think tactically -- and situationally -- you know....

... if the net person thinks she has a play on the ball, by gum, she should poach. She'll miss some, but she'll make some so it's worth it, right?Usually. Yes....

The more she missed, the more she drifted back toward the service line, making the volleys even more difficult. The other team loved this and even started going right at her. And she was intimidated, so she was stepping backward when she volleyed. Ugh. I did get her to move closer to the net, which helped.We've all had our partners game's fall apart. Rather than even *appear* to be judging her play, try this progression:

1 - Encourage her. If my partner misses the first 1-3 poach attempts, I assure him "I'll never get upset for you being aggressive at net. We'll get it; keep going."

2 - If the "flubs" become epidemic she can succumb to being very "down" on herself. If encouragement isn't helping, it's your job as her partner to suggest alternative tactics. (Like) "It seems like your getting killed on my Second Serve. Let's try this.... If I miss my First, drop back into the Two Back formation for my Second; we'll fight our way into the net together."

(Many times a floundering player loses his/her ability to focus on "fixes". They tend to dwell on the errors instead of the solutions. A partner can be invaluable during these times. Remember, you're a TEAM. Help him/her focus on tactical fixes....)

The other team was awfully good at keeping their cross-court returns low and away. I just can't seem to get into points when that happens. Must work on this.Read-up on Operation Doubles or other good Dubs sources on the Australian formation. It will force your opponents to abandon a "grooved" pattern of sharply-angled crosscourt returns. (Both Server's and Receiver's roles are different. Make sure you know your responsibilities.)

I am impressed that you are so dedicated to improving. Trying new tactics is part of that. You'll have some set-backs ... but you'll ultimately reach the next level. Keep going...!

- KK

Cindysphinx
02-18-2007, 08:20 PM
KK, I would have loved to try Australian, but this was the first time this player and I had set foot on a court before. It would have been a mess; she was subbing at the last minute for an injured player.

After the match, we played some social doubles, and I tried some signaled poaches. It was a complete mess. Ya just gotta practice this stuff beforehand.

raiden031
02-18-2007, 08:30 PM
Uh, no. The trouble was that my partner was doing a number of things wrong on her volleys. The more she missed, the more she drifted back toward the service line, making the volleys even more difficult. The other team loved this and even started going right at her. And she was intimidated, so she was stepping backward when she volleyed. Ugh. I did get her to move closer to the net, which helped.


If someone is having trouble volleying, you think they should be closer to the net? I don't know if you read about my match earlier in the thread, but I was pounding the ball towards the woman who couldn't react quick enough since she was very close to the net, when her partner was sending me these really dinky serves. I would've stood at the service line if I was in her shoes. The only time I stand in the front part of the service box is when my opponent is at the baseline. Otherwise if the net guy diagonal from me hits any of my partner's shots they have a wide opening right behind me.

Raiden.Kaminari
02-18-2007, 08:41 PM
Oh, ouch. I'm still sore from the *beating* I just took.

We were facing a tough team We got spanked, 4-6, 1-6. I was actually thinking of you TW guys during the match. Wanna know why?

Because my partner was having serious trouble at net, and it was getting us killed. I came thiiiiiiiiiiis close to saying the dreaded words I abhor: "You know, if you're just going to keep dumping volleys into the bottom of the net like that, stop poaching already and just let those balls through to the baseline."

I didn't, though. I bit my tongue. I tried to remember all my yapping here at TW about playing to improve, about playing the game properly. So if the net person thinks she has a play on the ball, by gum, she should poach. She'll miss some, but she'll make some so it's worth it, right?

Uh, no. The trouble was that my partner was doing a number of things wrong on her volleys. The more she missed, the more she drifted back toward the service line, making the volleys even more difficult. The other team loved this and even started going right at her. And she was intimidated, so she was stepping backward when she volleyed. Ugh. I did get her to move closer to the net, which helped.

As for me, I played OK. Not too many errors, not many shots for the highlight reel. I felt pretty tight when I served and I think I could have pressured them a bit more by going for it. I didn't poach much, although I'm not sure why. The other team was awfully good at keeping their cross-court returns low and away. I just can't seem to get into points when that happens. Must work on this.

Overally, it was an ugly afternoon at the tennis facility. The other team was better, we needed to play out of our heads to win, and popping the ball up and missing volleys doesn't get it done. Oh well.

Doubles is a game where both players have to form a single entity. So I never feel like strangling my partner, because in essence, it was up to me to figure how we could do things better, and also to communicate with my partner to implement the change.

When I play doubles with a weaker partner, I only encourage them, and make small hints on how to make adjustments ONLY IF THEY ASK. Remember the golden rule ... treat others as you would have them treat you.

My regular partner and I lost a match a while ago because we weren't communicating. We kept losing the net, so I told him we needed to adjust our strategy and start double back from the baseline. When we did the strategy (including lobs to get them to back off of the net), we started winning. But once we were within reach of winning the match, he went back to rushing the net without me and we lost. It was a fun match, and I was pretty happy at how we performed since my partner was never really great at volleys. But I learned from this particular match I should have kept communicating with my partner, so that we weren't out of sync.

At a certain point, you should have adjusted your strategy. If you notice your partner doesn't have much confidence playing at net, recommend starting double back before advancing to the net.

Just remember, doing your best and losing is fine, but playing to lose isn't doing your best. And always apply the golden rule.

Cindysphinx
02-18-2007, 08:41 PM
Either be close to the net so you can get the volley above net level, or play two-back if you can't handle the pace.

People think that drifting backward will buy them more time, but it will also buy them a screamer on their shoe-tops. Our opponents went right at me a couple of times today, and I hit (reflex) winners up their gap. So they stopped.

Am I incorrect about this? If I am, I need to know before I get myself killed.

Cindysphinx
02-18-2007, 08:50 PM
We did make some adjustments. I suggested lobbing more, and this helped (but my partner says she can't lob so it was a lopsided effort). We took off some pace, and that drew some errors. We played two back on a few points, but they had heat on their groundstrokes that was tough to get back without popping up to the net person. And I served and volleyed to dig out of trouble on my serve once, which was certainly a change in strategy. We noticed that one server got the yips on her second serve, so we would charge the service line during her service motion and she would double-fault.

The trouble was that our opponents kept adjusting to our adjustments. Darn them!

But yeah, the volleying thing was frustrating. I kept waiting for the natural "Oh, crap. I've blown a bunch of volleys; maybe my poaching is too aggressive and ineffective so I'll stop" light to kick on and it never did.

Nick Irons
02-18-2007, 08:58 PM
Doubles is a tough gig in this sport when you're used to the gladiator vibe of singles and you're playing with competence and your partner is shanking. Unfortunately, it goes with the territory.

No apologies is what I always tell a doubles partner. Just have fun, go for it and play one point at a time.

Solat
02-18-2007, 08:58 PM
won 6 - 3, 5 - 7, 7 - 6

didnt drop serve which i was happy about, returned well.

in the super tb we were up 9 - 5 and my partner served a wide ball and our opponent blocked back a floaty FH so i jumped all over it, it was so slow i had time to chnge my mind from thru the middle to a c/c angle. In the end i hit it almost into the side fence, hilarious. Next point i hit a topspin lob off a deep volley that landed on the baseline to win it. Thank god, my partner would have killed me if we let them back after missing the easiest shot of the day.

travlerajm
02-18-2007, 11:07 PM
Won my men's match today: 6-4, 6-1.

Played with my 10.7-oz 365 SW tweener today and played well.

I had one of those days when I had "magic hands" so that every time someone pounded a ball near my feet, I seemed to find a way to send it back a few inches over the net.

Nick Irons
02-18-2007, 11:08 PM
Can we start adding the NTRP Rating to these updates ?

I find there is a difference between a 3.5 Tiebreak and 4.0 Tiebreak

(The 3.5 being who shanked less)

Kaptain Karl
02-19-2007, 07:47 AM
Cindy - It wasn't clear to me (before) that you were making tactical adjustments. It seems that you did the best you could in the situation you were in.

The trouble was that our opponents kept adjusting to our adjustments. Darn them!The fun thing about Dubs is most matches have a "friendly" tone ... even when it's tense competition. I enjoy bantering with the opponents in-between points with quick "editorial" comments.

(One of my opponents recently commented on my doubles banter.) He said, "You are the most psychological player I've ever met. You always have some subtle comment which makes us think about what we're doing ... instead of focusing on our strategy." He was quick to explain he didn't think my commentary was "under-handed"; just that I am capable of making the opposition over-think.

I decided that was cool. I have kept doing it.

That was a LOOONG preamble to my first thought on reading about your opponents adjusting to your adjustments. I'd probably -- with a friendly smile -- say something like, "I think it ought to be *illegal* to change your tactics to counter our changes. Please stick with one strategy so we have a chance...."

_______________


I was a Sub last week. I played with a guy I rarely play with and he was struggling ... except at the net. We won 6 and 4. (Wa-hoo!)

In the second set, on my serves, he started signaling whether he was poaching. I didn't even realize it until the last game, but my "Okay" to him on each signal seemed to -- ever so slightly -- disrupt the minds of the opponents. I think they were a bit rattled and thinking too much about what my Netman was going to do ... and not enough about just Returning my serves.

Either be close to the net so you can get the volley above net level, or play two-back if you can't handle the pace.

<snip>

Am I incorrect about this? If I am, I need to know before I get myself killed.As previously posted, I think it depends on the Level of Dubs.

I play with 5.0 and some 4.5 players. It bugs me to distraction if my Netman either crowds the net or plays "Net" too deeply. (If he crowds it at our level we'll get *killed* by Lobs. If he plays too far back, near the Service Line, the Bad Guys will be ripping topspin drives at his shoelaces.)

In my experience it's frequently somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0 that Dubs players start getting a grasp of the "Three Dimensionality" of Dubs. and learn to recognize (and exploit) a Net Player who is ... "postionally challenged."

At the 3.0-3.5 levels I'd encourage Net Players to be "quite mobile" for their Ready Position (while their partner is Serving) ... in an area that incorporates a Step and One-Half forward to a Step and One-Half back of the midpoint from Net to Service Line ... AND Two Steps either side of the lateral midpoint (from Service Line to Dubs Sideline). And I'd place a premium emphasis on them learning to *close on the Net* for each volley they make from whatever "Ready Position".

BUT ... the above paragraph assumes elastic/dynamic movements all through the points. Learn to close to volley ... and "ease" off the Net when play is redirected to your partner in the point.

(I hope that made sense. I'm hurrying....) Watch the Bryans when both are at net. Watch Paes/Bhup... or Bjorkman/Myrni. These great Dubs players are very active and dynamic when at the Net.)

- KK

spot
02-19-2007, 03:17 PM
Cindy- I agree with you on the positioning for a weak net player. if they are having trouble with the pace then they should either move up to the point where they only have to get their racket on it or back to the baseline. Otherwise they are just a target.

For the most part if I see someone playing right on the net I will try pounding them on their backhand volley. (I play ad so on return of serve thats to the middle of the court). If they can do something with that ball then I will topspin lob them to force them back.

GRANITECHIEF
02-19-2007, 03:45 PM
Yesterday my 11-yo step son was my secret weapon. We picked up a dubs match against a couple 4.5's (one is a very strong 4.5, maybe 5.0). We won 6-4,6-4. The boy made drop volley angle winners, about 6 of em, from the net position. I think that's my first dubs match of the year. (1-0)

travlerajm
02-19-2007, 04:29 PM
I play with 5.0 and some 4.5 players. It bugs me to distraction if my Netman either crowds the net or plays "Net" too deeply. (If he crowds it at our level we'll get *killed* by Lobs. If he plays too far back, near the Service Line, the Bad Guys will be ripping topspin drives at his shoelaces.)


KK,
I find that I'd much rather have a partner who crowds the net than one who plays too far back. As a quick player who always plays the ad court, it makes it easier for me to make a quick decision on whether I should roll right to cover a lob over my partner's head if my partner is close enough to be out of my way.

In fact, in mixed doubles, I think in most cases it's imperative to have the woman crowd the net and always have her play on the deuce side (if the guy is righthanded). And I always serve Aussie from the deuce side when I'm playing either mixed or with a male partner with weaker volleys than me, because that allows my partner to "cheat" closer to the net and not worry about the threat of the opponents lobbing. Once the opponents realize that any weak lob over my partner's alley is going to be hammered down hard, they stop lobbing. And then they have to decide between hitting at my partner, who is close enough to the net to be a legit offensive threat, or playing a ball to my side of the court. Also, having the weaker net player up tight on the net makes it possible for her to poach floaters over the middle that she would ordinarily have no chance at.

On the other hand, if my weaker volleying partner plays too far back at the net, then there is no reason for the opponents to ever hit a ball to my side of the court. And we end up with my partner hitting every ball from her shoelaces, and that's no way to win in doubs.

My point is that most people divide the doubles court up into two side-by-side zones, where each person's responsibility is one side of the court. But I think that it makes more sense in mixed or even in men's doubles to have one player cheat closer, because it really only takes one player to cover a lob. It's just as easy, if not easier, to roll back and to your right to cover an overhead, than it is to backpedal straight back to cover a lob with an overhead. This type of positioning makes better use of both the weaker player and the stronger player, as it tends to channel the opponents' shots to the stronger player.

Kaptain Karl
02-19-2007, 05:11 PM
travelerajm - What I like about your post is ... you have a firm foundation -- strategically speaking -- which forms the core of your approach to dubs. Good job.

As much as I post from the POV that "There's only one RIGHT way to play Dubs" I really am capable of allowing for variances. If you can back-up your mindset with a well-thought-out strategy, I'll support you in your methodology. You seem to have thought it through quite well (and I assume it's working for you). "Carry on...."

- KK

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 05:29 PM
This word Dubs ? I've never heard it used before. It's kind of maddening that you keep using the word to drive me insane.

travlerajm
02-19-2007, 05:41 PM
travelerajm - What I like about your post is ... you have a firm foundation -- strategically speaking -- which forms the core of your approach to dubs. Good job.

As much as I post from the POV that "There's only one RIGHT way to play Dubs" I really am capable of allowing for variances. If you can back-up your mindset with a well-thought-out strategy, I'll support you in your methodology. You seem to have thought it through quite well (and I assume it's working for you). "Carry on...."

- KK
My strategy was born after playing some 8.0 mixed matches, where I played as a 4.5 with a 3.5 partner. In this situation, I quickly learned that a team MUST play the general strategy I described if they want be a competitive team. You show me a 3.5 gal who doesn't crowd the net in 8.0 mixed, or a 4.0 gal who doesn't crowd the net in 9.0 mixed, and I'll show you a team with a miserable league record.

Obviously, the strategy I described won't work for everybody. But I do think that it can really help some teams (that are unbalanced in net skills) to liberate the weaker net player from the burden of worrying about the lob.

My golden rule of doubles is that the effectiveness of a player's volleys is inversely proportional to the player's distance from the net. By evening out the effectiveness of you and your partner, you take away the obvious target for your opponents so that they don't have a free "safe" place to put the ball.

J011yroger
02-19-2007, 07:14 PM
This word Dubs ? I've never heard it used before. It's kind of maddening that you keep using the word to drive me insane.

It is very common among higher level players, and teaching pros, I don't think I have ever heard a fellow pro say doubles unless they were mocking someone at the club. As well as any circiut/tour players I have met/casually spoken with.

J

Kaptain Karl
02-19-2007, 07:37 PM
This word Dubs ? I've never heard it used before. It's kind of maddening that you keep using the word to drive me insane.I have only this to post, "You'll get used to it."

The following is how I type my contact notes in my records:

Ths wd trly drv y crzy. I rrly use any vwls whn typ'g my nts. My prob is, I typ ths wy so mch in my nts to myslf, I actly hv trbl -- & hv to *thnk* mr -- whn typg ltrs to clnts or gn'l biz ltrs. (& as smlr as ths "styl" is to "AOL-spk" I hv enrms diffty cmprhndg wh AOL kds ar typg! I thnk th diff is, AOlers do it to be "cl" ... I do it to sv tm.)

There have been (two) times when clients have requested copies of my contact notes. That ^^ is what they received. (I told them, "I'll re-compose them ... but I'll charge you for doing so. Or ... you can get them straight off my system. Both times they elected to see the "raw" notes....)

- KK

Nick Irons
02-19-2007, 11:36 PM
LOL

Scary, I actually could understand it !

It is very common among higher level players, and teaching pros

I've been around both; strangley have never heard it used (Then again, I'm a singles kind of guy).

raiden031
02-20-2007, 05:48 AM
My strategy was born after playing some 8.0 mixed matches, where I played as a 4.5 with a 3.5 partner. In this situation, I quickly learned that a team MUST play the general strategy I described if they want be a competitive team. You show me a 3.5 gal who doesn't crowd the net in 8.0 mixed, or a 4.0 gal who doesn't crowd the net in 9.0 mixed, and I'll show you a team with a miserable league record.

Obviously, the strategy I described won't work for everybody. But I do think that it can really help some teams (that are unbalanced in net skills) to liberate the weaker net player from the burden of worrying about the lob.

My golden rule of doubles is that the effectiveness of a player's volleys is inversely proportional to the player's distance from the net. By evening out the effectiveness of you and your partner, you take away the obvious target for your opponents so that they don't have a free "safe" place to put the ball.

So lets say you are playing with a partner crowding the net, when you are hitting the ball. If your opponent poaches your shot, you are guaranteed to lose the point because your partner is out of position to respond and they can volley it cross-court right behind your partner.

I find that playing close to the net is counterproductive if your partner can't hit the ball deep and keep from getting poached. The other day I was playing doubles with a guy that was a pusher hitting dink shots and I couldn't play close to the net because our opponents kept coming up into the two-up and were attacking all of his shots. I kept having to step back to the service line so I had any chance of keeping the point alive.

I guess my stance is that if your partner is crowding the net, there is the out of position problem when your shot gets poached. I also see them as a target, because if they already are weak volleyers, the closer they are, the less time they have to get their racquet in position to hit the ball, which means they are more likely to get hit with the ball. But then again, if they are in the back part of the service box, if you can hit the ball low at them they will have problems volleying as well. I guess thats why mixed doubles is usually frustrating, because you are always going to have someone at a higher skill level pounding shots at someone who is at the net with lesser volleying skills.

I think the women should be rated higher than the men in league mixed doubles, to even the playing field.

Topaz
02-20-2007, 06:12 PM
I think the women should be rated higher than the men in league mixed doubles, to even the playing field.

Why...because *YOU* think the women are weaker? In my mixed team, there isn't one 3.0 guy who is as good as the 3.0 women. They make tons of errors because they always try to macho the ball, hit the crap out of it, and into the net (or out of the court) it goes. Most of the 3.0 women don't even bother with 6.0 anymore...they all play 7.0 with a 4.0 guy because it ends up being a better match up.

Just because *YOU* have had a bad experience, don't put down a whole gender of players!

Cindysphinx
02-20-2007, 06:24 PM
Raiden, if your team is one-up, one-back and the other team is taking the net, you're pretty screwed unless your partner can lob or has a good passing shot.

Yes, you should fall off the net a bit when your partner is hitting. But if he can't get the ball past the two opponents at net, you are much better off if you play two-back rather than one at baseline and one at service line. Then at least you have formed a wall at the baseline.

I think that's the conventional wisdom.

Regarding whether women playing mixed ought to have to be higher-rated than the guys, my understanding is that the weakest 7.0 mixed combinationis 4.0 woman + 3.0 guy. That's what I hear, anyway.

sigep1967
02-21-2007, 02:56 PM
Cindy benn gone a few days so in response to your question on the dink tennis it was 3.0. I play much better with higher ranked players 3.5 to 4.0 for some reason. I am a 3.0 on the computor but I have only played one season after a 20+ year of not touching a racquet. My brother in law from a another stat who is a good 4.0-4.5 says i am sandbagging;) I play him very tough but I always play the dinkers terrible just can't get into the game at all just no fun at all watching 5 lobs go over the net in a row:mad: If i every get a serve worth a damn I will move up and quick to get away from the dinkers.

cak
02-21-2007, 08:31 PM
I'm on vacation, so I had my first match since last Wednesday. And this one was different, we played on CLAY! (My first time ever, in California clay courts range from incredibly rare to illegal.) And I played with my husband in a mixed match, which really doesn't happen much. It was great fun, we won 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 against some tough and incredibly nice players. They needed a set to warm up, I'd been in a clinic, and had gotten used to moving on the clay. My husband never got really comfortable with the bounces and sliding, so he was less fast than usual, but compensated by setting me up for poaches at net. (I alway play ad, and I'm a ball hog, and he plays with me anyway...) I love how slow the ball is on clay, you can really position your shots.

Oh, and on poaching, our club pro tells us your partner gets 10 misses for everyone they make before you can get mad. It really takes the pressure off, and lo and behold, before we hit 10 misses we are making our poaches like mad. So, when your partner is netting them, just remind her, okay, only 9 more before I get mad...:-)

And I've heard mixed with the woman rated >= the men referred to as queen's doubles. I'd love it if they had a season of that offered here every year, as it would get me back into mixed doubles leagues. At this point I'm a 3.5, and though I have no problem facing a 3.5 man at net, I don't feel I have the reflexes to face a 4.0 guy. Between that, and the fact my husband hasn't been bumped yet, due to taking a season off or so off, my partner and I add up to 6.5, and our mixed 7.0 captain wouldn't play us together. But boy today was fun, I wish there were leagues we could play together again.

travlerajm
02-21-2007, 08:43 PM
So lets say you are playing with a partner crowding the net, when you are hitting the ball. If your opponent poaches your shot, you are guaranteed to lose the point because your partner is out of position to respond and they can volley it cross-court right behind your partner.

I find that playing close to the net is counterproductive if your partner can't hit the ball deep and keep from getting poached. The other day I was playing doubles with a guy that was a pusher hitting dink shots and I couldn't play close to the net because our opponents kept coming up into the two-up and were attacking all of his shots. I kept having to step back to the service line so I had any chance of keeping the point alive.

I guess my stance is that if your partner is crowding the net, there is the out of position problem when your shot gets poached. I also see them as a target, because if they already are weak volleyers, the closer they are, the less time they have to get their racquet in position to hit the ball, which means they are more likely to get hit with the ball. But then again, if they are in the back part of the service box, if you can hit the ball low at them they will have problems volleying as well. I guess thats why mixed doubles is usually frustrating, because you are always going to have someone at a higher skill level pounding shots at someone who is at the net with lesser volleying skills.

I think the women should be rated higher than the men in league mixed doubles, to even the playing field.

raiden,

The whole idea is to have the weaker player crowd the net, not the other way around. If you are hitting shots that gets poached, and your partner is good enough to do something with it if she stays back further, then it sounds like YOU should be the one who is crowding the net, not her.

Anytime your shots are getting poached, that's a sure sign that you are not close enough to the net.

Phunky_Phorehand
02-22-2007, 12:40 AM
I was supposed to play #1 Mens Dubs for my 3.0 team but due to my arriving late, I was thrown togeteher with another straggler to play #3 dubs. We won the spin and I let my partner serve. Up 30-love we get into a net exchange and my partner gets nailed in the sack! Needless to say we got broken, but that seemed to be the only bad spot in the day as we took the match 1 & 2
(1-0)

Raiden.Kaminari
02-22-2007, 05:04 PM
Can we start adding the NTRP Rating to these updates ?

I find there is a difference between a 3.5 Tiebreak and 4.0 Tiebreak

(The 3.5 being who shanked less)

Hmmm ... but that also applies to the pro grame. Did you see the SAP Open on the webcast?

Topaz
02-22-2007, 08:47 PM
Won 6-3, 6-4, and hit one of my opponents in the face with a volley! Eeek!

GRANITECHIEF
02-23-2007, 09:55 AM
Won 6-3, 6-4, and hit one of my opponents in the face with a volley! Eeek!

On purpose or incidentally? Was it a drive volley? Did the opponent go down or what? BTW, nice shot!

Topaz
02-23-2007, 02:44 PM
On purpose or incidentally? Was it a drive volley? Did the opponent go down or what? BTW, nice shot!

I was at net on the ad side...opponents mis-hit a shot to the deuce side...I run over and it is a classic sitter. I let it bounce and then let 'er rip! And the opponent's net person was right there...I was going for the angled forehand between the players, but she was standing there! I hit her right underneath her eye and the side of her nose. It was most certainly *NOT* on purpose. I went over to their side to see if she was ok. No bleeding!

The thing is...it bounced off of her face and went back over the net!!! Who's point is that?

We ended up just playing a let eventually, and she was an excellent sport about the whole thing.

GRANITECHIEF
02-23-2007, 03:18 PM
The thing is...it bounced off of her face and went back over the net!!! Who's point is that?

.

Your point, it has to go off the racket to be the other teams point.

Topaz
02-23-2007, 03:25 PM
Your point, it has to go off the racket to be the other teams point.

Yeah, I had figured as much, but I think we got guilted into replaying the point...which we won again anyway, as well as the match.

But next time...I'll know!

Topaz
03-02-2007, 06:56 PM
Got another doubles win tonight...3.0 level. I got to play with the partner I played with at Districts last year, and we're very comfortable with each other. We squeaked out a *very* tight first set 7-6 (8-6). Then we started to rock and roll in the second, and we were up 5-2 when we ran out of time.

Things I did well: volley, overheads (they were putting up a lot of lobs), held serve every time and NO double faults!

Thing I didn't do well: racked up soooo many UE from my forehand! Ack!

Phunky_Phorehand
03-03-2007, 11:50 PM
Another weekend, another good match! We dropped a couple of breadsticks on the visiting mens' #2 3.0 team. My partner was on fire I had the best seat in town to enjoy the show! They broke my serve in the 2nd set so that's something to improve on.
(2-0)

volleyman
03-04-2007, 01:45 PM
Lost 6-1,6-3 at the 4.5 level (playing up). Match was split up by rain, so today we started with me and my partner down 0-4.

The good: I served well (held every time) and returned OK.

The bad: I missed too many volleys.

The ugly: nasty wind..again. Only once out of the last 7 times I've played has the wind not been howling. It's getting old. Also, all the nets at the public park we were paying on were at least an inch low, and there was no way to adjust them higher.

Cindysphinx
03-04-2007, 07:43 PM
Huzzah!!

I got the monkey off my back tonight. My partner and I (combo 6.0) picked off a 6.5 pair, 6-3, 6-3.

Better yet, we won the combo 6.5 team match 2-1.

Better yet, the team we defeated was in first place and had only lost one individual match all year.

In the car on the way to the match, I decided that I was going to win or lose at the net and stop cowering at the baseline. Funny. If you decide you are going to volley your head off no matter what, good things happen.

Topaz
03-05-2007, 07:00 PM
Woo hooo...way to go Cindy!

Topaz
03-09-2007, 07:10 PM
Ouch! Got spanked by a 3.5 team tonight, 6-2, 6-0...they were backboards, and me and my partner just made too many errors. My forehand was a little more shored up tonight, but the backhand is still my reliable shot.

Kaptain Karl
03-10-2007, 09:46 AM
Cindy - Good work! (I'm really enjoying your posts....)

- KK

Cindysphinx
03-10-2007, 06:52 PM
Cindy - Good work! (I'm really enjoying your posts....)

- KK

Thanks, KK. Tomorrow is a mixed 7.0 match. I'm playing with a 3.5 guy who has been steadily getting better but who hasn't had a win. Neither have I.

So we are hungry indeed.

Topaz, my condolences. Was this 7.5 combo?

spiderman123
03-11-2007, 08:14 AM
For the fourth time in a row, our team lost 2-3.

Most of our doubles matches had been pretty much regulation stuff...until yesterday.

This one guy was a lob-master. To top that he also was a spin master. I have never played anyone who tried to impart so much spin to the ball (outside of ping pong that is)

The ball used to lob down, I have a decent overhead but that spin made me lose all confidence in my shot. If I let it bounce, it seemed to defy physics and I figured that I was in no position to hit it back cleanly, something I need to work on. Once I got so frustrated that I returned it with a slice with as much spin I could to the spin master. I had to stop myself from doing a fistpump when he had a UE there.

Anyway, we won in straight sets but felt that we let them win at least 3 games more. I am off to the courts now and I am going to spin the ball with my hands, let it land and try to smack it.

Topaz
03-11-2007, 12:28 PM
Redeemed myself with a 6-1, 6-0 win at the 3.0 level today.

So, I get spanked at 3.5, but I do the spanking at 3.0. I need a 3.25 league! :)

Of course, it helped that I had a stronger partner (one of my regular partners) today, and our opponents didn't seem to like to....move. Interesting, as they were both pretty young, too. Oh well.

Another match with 0 double faults! Yay! And the forehand was not nutty today.

Cindysphinx
03-11-2007, 03:04 PM
I learned something today: 7.0 mixed makes me want to cry for my mommy.

Yup, another whippin', 6-3, 6-2. This time it was me (3.0) and my male self-rated 3.5 partner against a 3.0 guy (who is really 3.5 IMHO) and a . . . . get this . . . a 4.0 woman. So it really was a 6.5 team against a 7.5 team.

The guys were about even. Not so the women. Perhaps I should have closed my eyes and clicked my heels together three times and wished I too was a 4.0. Coming in didn't work. Staying back didn't work. Serving hard didn't work. Serving soft just made me double-fault. I was broken every time, and I rarely got a racket on anything at net. The worst part was that my technique on my groundstrokes/service return completely broke down. I just wasn't doing anything right by the end.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to suck my thumb.

Cindysphinx
03-18-2007, 09:59 AM
Another 7.0 mixed match, but this time my first win! My partner was a great 4.0, which didn't hurt. The other team was a 4.0 woman/3.0 man. My serves were good, my half-volleys were awful. My partner did most (all?) of the heavy lifting.

I had to serve for the match at 5-1, knowing my teammates were all finished and knowing my partner's shoulder hurt and he didn't want to have to serve again. Man, I was so nervous. Even my skirt felt tight! They had me on the ropes the whole game, what with me spraying my first serve long and tossing in my first double fault. I had to say "Ad out" more times than I can remember. But they made two unforced errors in a row, and that was the match.

Whew! I'm glad to have the monkey off my back. That little critter was up there a good long time! :)

Topaz
03-18-2007, 10:28 AM
Good job Cindy!

I did not fare as well this weekend. Lost 2-6, 2-6 against two very strong players. I was playing with someone new, and she felt the 'need' to coach me the whole time. I understand where she was coming from, but she basically told me not to play my game...which is attack the net. I felt like I played well though...they really were attacking my partner most of the time. She was having more trouble with their pace than I was.

I had four double faults! Yikes! This after not having any for three or four matches. But, I also had two aces...soooo that's the trade-off right? I was trying to go for more on my serves on purpose. I would like to have a few options available on my serve when the 'real' USTA season starts.

Cindysphinx
03-19-2007, 09:04 AM
Good job Cindy!

I did not fare as well this weekend. Lost 2-6, 2-6 against two very strong players. I was playing with someone new, and she felt the 'need' to coach me the whole time. I understand where she was coming from, but she basically told me not to play my game...which is attack the net. I felt like I played well though...they really were attacking my partner most of the time. She was having more trouble with their pace than I was.

I had four double faults! Yikes! This after not having any for three or four matches. But, I also had two aces...soooo that's the trade-off right? I was trying to go for more on my serves on purpose. I would like to have a few options available on my serve when the 'real' USTA season starts.

Geez, don't you hate when people try to coach you out of attacking the net? I mean, I attack the net because this usually works better for me, as staying back and trying to trade groundstrokes doesn't work for me. If it did, I would do that first. I'm already *shaking* at the thought of coming in, so the last thing I need is my partner undermining my confidence.

You'll get 'em next time!

J011yroger
03-19-2007, 02:54 PM
When I play with 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 players, they are usually timid about being aggressive at net when I am serving or returning, and if they flub a volley they are usually embarrassed and apologetic.

So I have made it a point to always pull my lesser NTRP partners aside and tell them that I wan't them to be aggressive at the net wheneve I am serving or returning, to go after everything that they think they can get a racquet on, and that it doesn't matter if they miss them, or flub them, just our opponents knowing that you are up there and looking to do damage will help us by making them try to make better shots and not be able to relax.

I also never ever coach mid game, if my partner misses a shot, I say "Don't worry about it, next point." If they make a shot or a good effort, I say "Nice shot." or "Good hustle there." If they want advice or coaching, they will usually ask AFTER we are done playing, if they don't, then they wont.

I think a lot of same NTRP partners could apply the same mentality I do.

J

FitzRoy
03-19-2007, 03:23 PM
When I play with 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 players, they are usually timid about being aggressive at net when I am serving or returning, and if they flub a volley they are usually embarrassed and apologetic.

So I have made it a point to always pull my lesser NTRP partners aside and tell them that I wan't them to be aggressive at the net wheneve I am serving or returning, to go after everything that they think they can get a racquet on, and that it doesn't matter if they miss them, or flub them, just our opponents knowing that you are up there and looking to do damage will help us by making them try to make better shots and not be able to relax.

I also never ever coach mid game, if my partner misses a shot, I say "Don't worry about it, next point." If they make a shot or a good effort, I say "Nice shot." or "Good hustle there." If they want advice or coaching, they will usually ask AFTER we are done playing, if they don't, then they wont.

I think a lot of same NTRP partners could apply the same mentality I do.

J

Good post. I agree with that last part. You seem like you have a very good outlook with this and others would do well to adopt it.

Topaz
03-19-2007, 04:05 PM
When I play with 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 players, they are usually timid about being aggressive at net when I am serving or returning, and if they flub a volley they are usually embarrassed and apologetic.

So I have made it a point to always pull my lesser NTRP partners aside and tell them that I wan't them to be aggressive at the net wheneve I am serving or returning, to go after everything that they think they can get a racquet on, and that it doesn't matter if they miss them, or flub them, just our opponents knowing that you are up there and looking to do damage will help us by making them try to make better shots and not be able to relax.

I also never ever coach mid game, if my partner misses a shot, I say "Don't worry about it, next point." If they make a shot or a good effort, I say "Nice shot." or "Good hustle there." If they want advice or coaching, they will usually ask AFTER we are done playing, if they don't, then they wont.

I think a lot of same NTRP partners could apply the same mentality I do.

J

That's basically how I try to treat my partners as well, but they are usually the same level as me!

I think it was just a difference in playing strategies and philosophies...she thought we should back off of them when they were up at the net, and I'm used to playing all four at the net (yes, and I'm a 3.0!), so that doesn't bother or scare me. The net is my strength, so I felt like it was taking away my game.

It didn't bother me too much during the match, though, because I did feel like I was playing pretty well. Oh well...that's the thing about tennis, there's always another match to look forward to!

kevhen
03-21-2007, 08:50 AM
Good job Cindy! Nice description of how even your skirt felt tight under pressure serving for the match.

volleyman
03-23-2007, 04:49 PM
Play finally started in our 4.0 league. Our first match was away against the team that has historically been our toughest competitors. To make things even more tense, they had significantly upgraded their team, poaching two of our players from last year and adding two other quality players, while my team had replaced more than half its roster and just lost its best singles player for the season due to a skiing accident.

I put myself in on doubles court #3, with one of the holdovers from last year's squad. We faced a really solid team: a righty hitting two handed off both sides who didn't take anything off his second serve (and rarely double faults) and a lefty with nice touch. My partner and I are both right handed.

The first set proceeded on serve until my partner served at 3-4. We played an ugly game. He provided two double faults and I blew an overhead and failed to poach a return I should have gotten.

We tried to get the break back from the hard-serving right hander, but after a couple of deuces, the other team took the set, 6-3.

I wasn't panicking, though. Every return game of the first set, we had gotten closer and closer to getting a break. I felt confident that we would break through and take the second set.

I held serve, the hard-hitting righty held, my partner held. 2-1 us, and the lefty stepped up to the baseline to serve.

And we broke him. I held, and then we broke the hard-hitting righty. My partner served us home, and we had the second set, 6-1.

The match tiebreak went by really quick. We went up 7-1, and cashed it out at 10-3.

It felt good to get that first win of the season under my belt, even better to do it against a good team.

Overall, my team won the match, sweeping all 5 courts, two in match tiebreaks. Only one match could have been considered easy, though, and I felt fortunate that we had pulled it out.

Cindysphinx
03-23-2007, 09:51 PM
Did anyone catch the stench coming off of Court Two tonight, maybe around 9 p.m.?

Yeah, that was my partner and me stinking it up in 7.0 mixed. We were hopeful of closing out our season with a win, but we didn't get close. We went down 1-6, 4-6.

The first set was an out-and-out nightmare. We were playing on clay, so it took me some time to get used to the bounces, which cost us dearly. My partner, who was on fire the last time we played, couldn't do a thing right tonight. He couldn't get his big serve working. His left wrist hurt so badly that he resorted to a 1HBH when he normally hits a 2HBH, so the thing kept floating long when it wasn't being crushed by the net person. I can't believe you can throw a racquet that hard and have it not shatter into a million pieces!

As for me, I did OK in the serving department. I was undone by my service returns and poor volleys, as I just wasn't getting any weight on my volleys. I've never missed so many volleys, including match point. I even *whiffed an overhead.* I cannot remember the last time that happened.

Funny, though. In the second set, I figured out that our opponents liked pace. So I started throwing up junk. As much spin as I could muster on my serves, stoopid-looking lobs. Any ball that bounced high gave the male opponent a hard time because he would try to hit down on it. So I was able to hold a few times with junk balls, which was good.

Death by a thousand unforced errors. It never gets any easier to take.

slice bh compliment
03-24-2007, 05:23 AM
My tennis buds and I usually drill, then play a set or two of singles...If four of us can coordinate playing at the same time, we use two courts for a set of singles, then get in a set or two of dubs. So, I don't play actual doubles matches much.

But the last time I did....
it was against two good players I hit with regularly. They were getting ready for a tournament. My partner was a solid 4.5 player, and he's a great athlete. Friend of a friend, and our sons go to school together. He plays more than I do, but we'd never played together. Nice guy, kind of a baseliner, but like me, he is comfortable at the net in doubles.

Well, we were outclassed 6-2, 7-6 (6). The two across the net from us played well from the start. They even used signals flawlessly and we never could break them. Respect. We lost to a good team, and we had a drink after.

I usually do not blame a loss on a partner (it is a team effort out there, win or lose) buuuuut;) , my partner spent more time talking than playing.......whining about how poorly he was playing on that particular night (please), and asking for advice. He kept switching racquets, noting that one had a lower tension than the other....he's telling me this while I was about to serve, at break point. Insisted he had a great 2handed BH return, so he NEEDED to play the ad court. And he had to remind me every ten seconds that he's just happy to be here, and that he doesn't usually play this badly. Made me wonder, who the hell does this cat think he is?

Sorry for the rant. I'm sure he was nervous ... he was just trying to justify a blown volley or two (we all do it). I'm sure he was also trying to show me that he is knowledgeable about strings or whatever.

I'm generally pretty laid back, but I feel bad -- I must have made him tense in the first set. Well, he settled down nicely in the second set. No breaks. We both played great overall.
Wish we could have taken that breaker...but oh well.

Over a beer after, he told us now he knows how his 4.0 friends feel when they play up a level. I just wished the cat would shut up and enjoy the moment.

But maybe I'm being a dick, I don't know. I want to like the guy. Our wives are friends and so are our kids. I think I need to be more compassionate. Maybe just hit with him every now and then. Just drill or something. No doubles.

Onto a more positive note, I'm playing singles and dubs today with a friend, a superchamp 16s kid and a teaching pro today. The pro is older, but just awesome in dubs. Can't wait. Got two cans of Dunlops in the bag. Better eat a good breakfast.

grimmbomb21
03-24-2007, 09:15 AM
I just played my first match of our 3.5 doubles tourney last night. They put us against the #1 seed. They were really consistent, but we didn't have much trouble with them. We won 6-4, 6-4. It was horrible though. I was really sick with the flu Wednesday and Thursday. Then we played Friday at 6:00pm. I thought I was going to pass out at the end of the second set, but we served it out. I went home and crashed out.

Hopefully I am better today, as the rest of the teams looked better than their team.:-(

Topaz
03-25-2007, 06:36 AM
Well, it seems I'm on a bit of a streak. A *losing* streak that is! Lost a 3.5 level doubles match last night, 1-6, 4-6. We were all 3.0s on the court though. In fact, I knew both of my opponents, as I used to play on their team. We're all friendly though...I didn't leave under 'bad' circumstances, so there is no drama surrounding it.

My opponents are regular partners, though, and I knew they would be tough. I played with my captain again...the same woman who told me to back off the net and coached me the whole way through our last match. Nice lady, but that drives me buggy! Especially when I'm stronger than her.

An example...I missed a volley...she tells me to 'try opening your racquet face'. Um, I KNOW how to hit a volley!!!! Just because I miss ONE doesn't mean I need a volley lesson! GRRRR!

Anyway, she stopped the coaching when it became evident that she was not having a good night. And our opponents were smart and started playing her hard.

We switched sides and put me on ad side for the second half, and that seemed to work better...I felt like I could be more aggressive from there. And the second set was much more competitive, and really could have gone either way.

So, I felt good about how I played...I really didn't have a lot of errors, and my serve was grooving. They just played better!

slice bh compliment
03-25-2007, 08:40 AM
...Anyway, she stopped the coaching when it became evident that she was not having a good night. ...

What is it with the coaching? Where is the love? Where is the humility?

Is it out of genuine concern? Is it done out of selfishness? Or do people 'coach' from a cover-their own-*** perspective? Or is it just letting others know that you know a lot about the sport? Passive aggressive BS?

Even if a partner perfectly diagnoses a problem and communicates the answer to you.....does that ever actually work DURING a match?

Well, for me it has. ONE TIME in all the years I've played. A partner (who was an actual tennis professional) simply told me something like, "stay in the moment, you're fine...don't force the returns...trust me at net". It improved my return game instantly. Which improved the rest of my game.

Topaz
03-25-2007, 08:59 AM
What is it with the coaching? Where is the love? Where is the humility?

Is it out of genuine concern? Is it done out of selfishness? Or do people 'coach' from a cover-their own-*** perspective? Or is it just letting others know that you know a lot about the sport? Passive aggressive BS?

Even if a partner perfectly diagnoses a problem and communicates the answer to you.....does that ever actually work DURING a match?

Well, for me it has. ONE TIME in all the years I've played. A partner (who was an actual tennis professional) simply told me something like, "stay in the moment, you're fine...don't force the returns...trust me at net". It improved my return game instantly. Which improved the rest of my game.

I'm not sure...maybe because she is older than me she assumes she knows more about the game?

After her unforced errors, I always said something like 'Good try' or something like that. I always try to keep my partner lifted, not beat them down.

She is a nice woman, and it isn't like she is mean when she does it...but if I play with her anymore, I think I will just nod my head, and play my own game anyway. Like I said, she stopped as the match went on.

volleyman
03-25-2007, 06:42 PM
This afternoon was Cary League tennis day, and so I zipped off down the road to play for my 4.5 team. I'm playing up for the experience, and I'm on team that has a significant contingent of 4.0s.

Today we were playing one of the two teams that has a chance at winning the league (we are not one of those two teams). And it was an experience.

The team my partner and I took on consisted of a right hander and a left hander, both tall and lean. I'm 6', and each of our opponents were taller than me by at least a couple of inches. Both had big serves, big forehand and big backhands.

I've played 4.5 doubles matches that featured a fair amount of spin, placement and touch.

Not today. Today was meat-and-potatoes power doubles. Huge serves, huge returns, rapid-fire exchanges at the net. A few lobs and a single drop shot were attempted, but for the most part it was a mighty testosterone fest.

My partner and I fought hard, but went down 6-3, 6-1 in the face of superior firepower.

On the good side, I returned well in the second set, and was generally able to keep up with the pace of play. I wasn't broken during the first set. I also hit some damn fine first volley winners off scorching returns.

On the bad side, I was broken twice in the second set, because I threw in two double faults in the first game, and another at 40-30 in the second game.

What's really frustrating, is that these were all dumb double faults. The first two were because of bad tosses, and the last one because I hit the ball with the frame. Sun and wind weren't a factor, so there's no excuse...just the cold hard fact that I couldn't execute a second serve. And on two of them, I had the option of just letting the ball drop and trying again. :-(

As for the difference between 4.0 and 4.5 doubles? Well, it seems to come down to unforced errors. Every mistake seems magnified at the 4.5 level, compared to the 4.0 level. Sometimes, like today, the speed seems dramatically quicker. Other times, the speed isn't any faster, but the court seems wider and longer. And always, there are fewer gimmees, a lot of having to hit just one more shot, and fewer blown put aways by my opponents.

Well, you don't get better if you don't challenge yourself, right? :-)

cak
03-25-2007, 08:55 PM
Played today, UGLY, UGLY, UGLY, but we won. Gotta luv those ladies that run in on anything.

Cindysphinx
03-26-2007, 03:49 AM
Lost 6.5 combo doubles. Ran into a couple of lob queens. Was paired with a 3.0 who can't run down lobs, has a cupcake serve and has no overhead. Won the first set 6-3, then the lob queens decided to do whatever it took to keep the ball away from me at net.

Did I mention it was on clay (again!), thereby making those 10 foot bounces into 15 foot bounces?

Nope, we had no arrows in the quiver to do a thing, losing the second set 0-6 and losing the tie-break. By the end, we were arguing about who calls a "switch!". Gee, I seem to recall a lob going over your head is your responsibility, silly me. So don't scowl at me when you waddle backward, can't reach it, and then think I was supposed to be behind you for when you miss.

Oh, yeah. Further handicapping me was that this lady is the one who insists her partner start on the service line when she is serving, as having her partner at the net is too distracting. It's a long night when you have to start so many points out of position and then spring forward.

Oh, well. We were 6.0 against 6.5, so there was no chance of an upset with such a limited partner.

kevhen
03-26-2007, 10:25 AM
Won a 4.5 doubles match with 4.0 partner, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Opponents were very different, one with steady shots and good touch and the other liked to rip both forehands and 2h backhands. Ripper had a good kicker too. Joked about playing Canadian doubles when his partner and captain wasn't at the court yet but found out he was Canadian. He said they call it American doubles in Canada.

We slowed the ball down against the ripper. We played back alot to have a chance against the ripper's power and he sailed a number a few inches long. We play some Australian and experimented when we got down 0-4 in the second set which helped us know what to do in the third.

2 wins now in 2 tries at 4.5 doubles with a 4.0 partner but then our opponents have been weaker 4.5 players. But a win is a win!

kevhen
03-26-2007, 11:59 AM
If you are playing on clay against lob queens then why are you up at the net watching balls go over your partner's head? Usually the faster-stronger player covers lobs especially if one is a lot slower and struggling to get back. As the stronger player, you have to step up and take as many balls if you can. If the other team is lobbing all the time, then play back more or learn to anticipate the lob so that you can cover your partner. Better luck next time and just get a different partner if you don't like playing with her.

Kaptain Karl
03-26-2007, 04:20 PM
By the end, we were arguing about who calls a "switch!".Usually the player *not* scrambling for the poach, angled shot or lob.

Gee, I seem to recall a lob going over your head is your responsibility, silly me.That is one method. I happen to subscribe to the other. I think the partner has the better read, "jump" and angle on the lob. That's one of the things you and your partner should discuss and decide on before it's "suddenly" something to act on.

Further handicapping me was that this lady is the one who insists her partner start on the service line when she is serving, as having her partner at the net is too distracting. It's a long night when you have to start so many points out of position and then spring forward.On this one you, by acquiescing, made "her problem" your problem. I think I'd have chosen to let her problem remain her problem. (IOW, I'd have played Net properly; not by some fool's method....)

- KK

cak
03-26-2007, 05:57 PM
Was paired with a 3.0 who can't run down lobs, has a cupcake serve and has no overhead.
...

Oh, yeah. Further handicapping me was that this lady is the one who insists her partner start on the service line when she is serving, as having her partner at the net is too distracting.


Back when I was serving cupcake serves I would warn my partner. If she still wanted to hug the net she could, but if they decided to nail her it wasn't my fault. Perhaps she was trying to be more diplomatic about it, saying a partner at net was distracting, rather than she feared for your life when she puffed her serve over.

I've played with many a partner who couldn't run down the lobs. But I can. So as long as I yelled "I got it" they wouldn't get in my way. Just assume after the first lob she didn't get that they are all yours. Makes your life easier.

kevhen
03-27-2007, 01:03 PM
Cindy, can't you start in the doubles alley but closer to net and then just move over after the serve goes by?

If she is scared to hit you or your presence bothers her serve then she is not much of a doubles player, so tell her she needs to get used to it or don't play with her.

Nick Irons
03-27-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm a high 4.0 and my partner is a 4.5

We won 6-1, 6-4 against two 4.0 players (one of them weak)

sigep1967
03-28-2007, 05:24 PM
Actually got acused of playing below my level last nite lol. I am a 3.0 playing up to 3.5 and last nite I played with a legite 3.5 possibly 4.0 by the end of the season. He is a great singles player but not much at doubles. We played two pushers from the "pusher" team (they are all pushers) in 3.5 league play. We took the first set 6-4 after I helped my partner understand not to stand in the middle and to quit hitting looping topspin ground strokes like he does when playing singles. I basically told hit to hit hard low passing shots which he is very good at and we blew them off the court 6-1 in the second. My forte is the net game I actually have trouble with most of the guys I play with backing up when I come in as they just do not understand the 2 up is the better way to go lol. One of our opponents was grumbling that we were not 3.5 players and had to be 4.0 or up when i told him I was actually a 3.0 he really grumbled lol.

volleyman
03-28-2007, 09:41 PM
Back to the 4.0 league tonight. My partner and I ran though our opponents, 6-1, 6-2. A spectator wondered how my partner and I had gotten our ratings - how we were 4.0s rather than 5.0s.

I laughed, and then I told her that I've played 5.0s, and that they kicked my a--. :-)

Trainer
03-29-2007, 11:03 AM
Won it 7-5, 6-3. Big win for my partner and I. We usually play line 2 in the league, but these guys were on the first line of their team.

Match was memorable for high percentage, effective first serves, and good volleys and returns of serve that neutralized their power game.

This match made us decide to push to play first line when the next city league starts up.

slice bh compliment
03-29-2007, 02:37 PM
Hey, how's it going fellow players?

Is this the false modesty thread....or the self-congratulatory thread?
Well, either way, on Tuesday we beat a couple of great players and I suck. My partner is good and I think I just got lucky....or something, I don't know.

Oh, and then Wednesday, my partner and I just played a couple of guys who play together all the time. We were down a break in both sets, but we won 6 and 6, thanks to my great nerves, big serves, clutch returns, crisp volleys and superb court coverage.

Well, thank you for listening.

EDIT: sorry, I was just making all that up. Just poking a little fun. I'd do it to myself, you know.

Topaz
03-29-2007, 08:45 PM
Won a 3.0 doubles match 6-4, 6-2. I served out both sets, though the second one went to many deuces games before we finally closed it out. I had two aces, but four doubles. I'm working on my serve to get more pace on it, and I guess having some doubles in there is part of the process of fixing it.

It was a good match...and my partner was one of my regular partners, so it was good to get some more practice together before the 'official' USTA season starts.

Cindysphinx
04-04-2007, 02:12 AM
Another crushing disappointment. How many of these is one chick supposed to handle in one season? Gads.

My partner and I (6.0) are on Court One and our opponents are 6.5. My partner and I had practiced together twice before, and we had found that signaled poaches worked well for us. They helped us turn one practice match around. (And between you, me and the wall, they *forced* my baseline-hugging partner to get into the points and poach now and then).

Our game plan for the match was that we'd start off with plain vanilla tennis and we'd start using our signaled poaches if we fell behind.

In the first set, I was playing the net aggressively and got a lot of winners. I even got one easy poach when partner served to the deuce court and I faked a poach but then went back toward the alley to pick off an attempted pass. Very sweet. We won the first set 6-4.

In that first set, though, my partner started losing her confidence at net. She got passed down the alley. She made it difficult for me to hold by waving at volleys and missing a couple per service game. Toward the end of the first set, she resolved to play two-back. I was OK with this at first (I think it's a good idea to start two-back if we're having trouble keeping our returns from the net person).

Trouble was, we did *way* too much two-back. My partner never, ever transitioned to net. Our opponents did not make this mistake. Observing that we could be counted on not to take the net, they started taking it. They started waddling to net on every single point, forcing us to hit passing shot winners from the baseline. I just could not coax my partner up to net to put a stop to this; she firmly believed that we should play two back.

In the second set, we fell behind early. My partner didn't want to do signaled poaches, even though my serve was being broken with great regularity. So I was serving to stay in the second set 2-5, and still she wouldn't play the net or do signaled poaches. I tried S&V, but you know what happens when you S&V while your partner stays at the baseline? The opponent calmly sends the return to the baseliner. We lost all ability to pressure the return; even though I managed some well-placed serves, 2-3 aces and had a good first-serve percentage. All our opponents had to do was get a racquet on my serve and they were in the point. We dropped the second set 2-6.

We then lost the third set tie-breaker 8-10, again playing two back against two up.

:throws up hands:

cak
04-04-2007, 07:00 AM
Last night was one of those magical games. My partner was on fire. She turned anything, and I mean anything, I did into gold. The opponents were both 3.5s with years of success playing 3.5/4.0. The rallys were longs, but in the end the point was almost always ours. My first blowout at the 3.5 level, 6-1, 6-1.

Kaptain Karl
04-04-2007, 03:08 PM
I don't understand partners who would rather lose and be "comfortable" ... than win "ugly". You need a new partner, Cindy.

- KK

Pro Staff Pete
04-04-2007, 03:13 PM
Won a doubles match tonight; 6-4, 6-4, 4-0 and then we quit. It was indeed a training match. I played very well, especially when serving when I lost about 5 or 6 points in total / hit 7 aces. Was good fun!

Cindysphinx
04-04-2007, 03:37 PM
I don't understand partners who would rather lose and be "comfortable" ... than win "ugly". You need a new partner, Cindy.

- KK

I understand how she felt. She doesn't volley well, and getting passed is embarrassing. Bless her heart, she really did try to play the net in the first service game. I served one up the middle in the deuce court, and she dutifully took up a position right in front of the ball. The right-handed returner somehow hit a backhand angle winner up the alley past my stunned partner. I could see at that moment that my partner was through trying to poach and wanted nothing more to do with the net. And it was only our first service game!

Ah well. She's going to be a singles specialist in the spring, so it's all good.

volleyman
04-04-2007, 08:07 PM
Its been a rare two-match week in my 4.0 league.

Monday night, my partner and I were really tearing the cover off the ball. I mean, just crushing it! Alas, our opponents weren't there to experience it, having defaulted the court. :-)

Tonight, there were enough opponents for all, so I actually got to play. My partner (different guy from Monday) and I faced off against a friend and former teammate of mine and his partner.

The courts, well, the courts were a mess. Our net strap was attached to the ground by crude stakes fashioned out of branches. The net itself was high, but given the Rube Goldberg nature of the net strap attachment, we decide to play without attempting a net adjustment.

The surface, none to good to begin with, was covered with a heavy dusting of pollen. Big puffs of green occurred every time the ball hit the court. Wind gusts became mini dust storms, creating visible streams of pollen in the air. The lights were old, dim and uneven in their illumination.

There was some good natured ribbing, and even a low key attempt by my friend's partner to con me into over playing/over thinking. Nothing objectionable, mind you, and it led to more banter.

My partner and I played well. Our opponents appeared to be having an off day. The result was 6-2, 6-1 victory for me and my partner.

Simon Brown
04-11-2007, 05:32 PM
My partner and I finished the southern hemisphere season (down here in New Zealand) with our best performance, winning 6-2 6-3. One of our opponents looked very talented but never quite found his range. Turned out afterwards he played for Ireland at under 16 level (about 10 years ago!) and was just getting into the game again after a long break.

Raiden.Kaminari
04-12-2007, 12:40 AM
Actually got acused of playing below my level last nite lol. I am a 3.0 playing up to 3.5 and last nite I played with a legite 3.5 possibly 4.0 by the end of the season. He is a great singles player but not much at doubles. We played two pushers from the "pusher" team (they are all pushers) in 3.5 league play. We took the first set 6-4 after I helped my partner understand not to stand in the middle and to quit hitting looping topspin ground strokes like he does when playing singles. I basically told hit to hit hard low passing shots which he is very good at and we blew them off the court 6-1 in the second. My forte is the net game I actually have trouble with most of the guys I play with backing up when I come in as they just do not understand the 2 up is the better way to go lol. One of our opponents was grumbling that we were not 3.5 players and had to be 4.0 or up when i told him I was actually a 3.0 he really grumbled lol.

Ummm ... that's a very good strategic mind for a 3.0.

volleyman
04-17-2007, 08:58 PM
Monday, 4.0 League, won 6-2, 6-1. Played ok, did well in some rapid fire net excchanges, but started slow.

Tuesday, 4.5 league, lost 6-1, 6-1. Played horribly. Double faults galore, and I was zoned in on the net tape all match. The kind of match that makes you wonder if all the time spent on practice and trying to improve was just a huge %$^#@!ing waste.

J011yroger
04-17-2007, 09:51 PM
^^^Dude, we all think like that at one time or another. I say to myself, "How can I work this hard, and play this bad" But as long as your good days get better and your bad days are not as bad, then you are making progress.

J

slice bh compliment
04-17-2007, 09:55 PM
Monday, 4.0 League, won 6-2, 6-1. Played ok, did well in some rapid fire net excchanges, but started slow.

Tuesday, 4.5 league, lost 6-1, 6-1. Played horribly. Double faults galore, and I was zoned in on the net tape all match. The kind of match that makes you wonder if all the time spent on practice and trying to improve was just a huge %$^#@!ing waste.

Practicing....I used to wonder sometimes, too. The practice court makes me think of three great quotes:

"I don't want to have any regrets at the end of my tennis career"
"There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be"
"Wherever you are, dat's da place to be."

Agassi, The Beatles and Vic Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

volleyman
04-19-2007, 09:40 PM
Well back to the 4.0 league. Had a better night, but not a great night. I did serve well though, only one double fault and two aces, including one of my patented second serve aces.

Still had problems returning, though, and had a few points where I should have been decisive and aggressive, and wasn't for some reason.

My partner and I won 6-2, 6-3.

kevhen
04-20-2007, 08:18 AM
Played on court #1 at the club with the top dogs and in a round robin, won one set and won 10 games overall to tie for last with another 4.0 guy against two very strong 4.5s. Did not play that great but am coming off an injury, broke 4 strings on one frame on one shot and had to use underpowered backup racquet, played indoor doubles in poor lighting after playing lots of windy outdoor singles, so plenty of excuses but the top two dogs are very aggressive players who don't make many mistakes so it was tough competition. Lost 0-6, 6-4, 4-6.

dennis1188
04-21-2007, 01:35 AM
We won 6-3,6-2 . My partner had bad back (however, glad he took the painkillers and did play).
We got off to slow start. Once we got ahead in second set, we just jumped on them and hit winners on our service returns.
I served well with the windly conditions, just lowered my toss and hit good hard kick serves, so my partner (at the net) could 'knock down' their weak returns.I served out both sets.

J011yroger
04-21-2007, 03:02 AM
^^Good job, you did the perfect thing for a windy day. So many people don't realize the two most important things to do on a windy day.

Get your serve in the box.

Get to net ASAP.

J

goldiemcg
04-24-2007, 10:01 AM
We lost 6-3 4-6 4-6. My first loss of the season...our team is in 1st and the opponents were in (still are) last. We were playing fine until in the second set my teammate hit a floater cross court and the up man decided to poach the shot. He hit the overhead and nailed me in the eye...idiot. Needless to say I wasn't in such a great mood after that. The other team was very apologetic and offered to postpone the match but I insisted on continuing the play. From that point on neither of us played our game and we ended up losing...my only loss this season...to the last placed team. Oh well, we're still in first.

travlerajm
04-24-2007, 10:15 AM
I had just posted consecutive 6-0, 6-2 victories in my 4.5 league doubles match to run my record to 5-0 in the league, and then Sunday I got humbled 6-4, 6-3. My partner and I kept waiting for our opponents to cool off and miss a shot or two, but it didn't happen.

kevhen
04-27-2007, 06:56 AM
Lost 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (4) last night playing doubles with friends. I partnered with the the weakest player who was rusty but he volleyed pretty well late in the match and his forehand improved too. I spaced out a couple times and lost points when our opponents who were tall and fast tracked down balls that would normally have been winners. Good match, probably last indoor one for this spring.

cak
05-06-2007, 05:09 PM
Only my 3rd USTA match of the season. My partner and I were not on. It was a mid day match, on the first warm day of the year, and my feet were glued to the ground. I was hitting long, and wide, and what a mess. However, we could hold it together enough to win games. (We'd be down love - 40, but then we'd wake up.) We won ugly, 6-1, 6-1. It would sound more awesome, but it was a 3.5 league against two 3.0s playing up. (Yep, they flipped their lineup...) Though, to their credit, they played awfully good for 3.0 players. They had lovely serves and some great net plays.

The best news was our team also won. We were up two matches to one, (won 1st and 2nd doubles, lost 1st singles) with two matches still on the court, both split sets and were in 10 point tie breaks. And we won them both.

randomname
05-06-2007, 05:47 PM
just for fun, me and a friend (were both 4.0s) played a 4.0 ish girl and a guy who won an open tournament a few years ago. it was probably the most fun ive ever had in a match (this guy is probably the best volleyer I've ever seen, besides pros) lost the first set 3-6 and got up 5-3 in the second set only to lose it 8-10 in a tiebreaker (stupid partner, I serve it waaaay out wide to the guy's forehand and my partner tries to poach leaving the entire alley open to hit an easy winner into) although I was happy that I burnt the open player down the line twice in a row off the girl's serve

JZImmer123
05-06-2007, 10:05 PM
Had a fun match with some friends. We played on the court that was closest to the fence. I was receiving on the deuce side and lines up wide along the outside of the alley cause the guys slice serve had been killing me all set. He hits a slice serve out even wider but thankfully it didn't have too much pace. I run after it and get a racket on it but I can't stop myself so end up getting slingshot off the fence like "pro" wrestlers do off the ropes. My return ends up going right to the net guy but he miss hits the volley and ends up hitting this lob over my partners head onto the ad court. Thankfully being slingshot off the fence I'm able to run it down and get a nice little backhand topspin lob of my own for the winner. Too bad we lost the set though. We were gonna play another but we all got hungry so we stopped paying and grabbed a bite to eat.

GRANITECHIEF
08-29-2007, 08:54 AM
Tough doubles match last nite in our weekly league of local clubs. I played #1 (out of 6) with the pro at our club, who has played some tour events in the past. We played against a guy who currently plays #1 doubles for stanford and his partner is a guy who plays for UCSB. These guys used to play together in high school and are both big hitters with huge serves. The stanford dude has a great game all the way around and also gave his partner, who isn't quite as strong at the net, but still a great players with bomber serves and ground strokes, a psychological lift.

We got pummeled 6-2, 6-3, however it was a lot of fun. My partner served first and we got broke at love. Then the stanford dude served and we broke right back, each of us hitting some good returns and the server not yet grooved. I held, including an ace on the stanford dude. Then the opposing team heated up and took the next 5 games. We had a couple game point chances and a break point to tighten up the set but missed our opportunities. Similar pattern in the 2nd set, although we played a little better and made it more competitive. Really fun to play against such good players.

Overall, we tied on matches 3-3, tied on sets, and won on games, helped immensly by the fact that they couldn't fill the 6 spot and their 3 team had to retire after 4 games when a really big player strained a muscle.

It was the first round of playoffs, which we were #1 seeds, and after a bye in the first round and a win last nite, we are in the finals for the first time in the history of the league, approx 20 years. YEAH!!!!!! Bring on SB tennis club on Tuesday!!

goober
08-29-2007, 11:39 AM
Hah- an older dubs player decided to bring in a ringer this week: 19 year old current college player. He had a big kick serve but didn't volley that great. We could not break his serve but we still managed to win 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Better bring in a satellite player next time old dude :)

gdsballer
08-29-2007, 11:59 AM
last doubles watch was in the finals of a usta tounrament, and me and my partner won 8-2, not very entertaining but we both played really well so it was satisfying