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View Full Version : One-up, one-back: When to follow a lob to the net


Cindysphinx
05-08-2007, 09:51 AM
In my last match, we were down match point. I was at the baseline receiving; partner was at net. I returned, opponent hit it back, blah, blah, blah. She was inching up toward net, but I don't really really remember her exact position.

Then I hit a lob, and I could tell it was a good one when it left my racquet. It was either going to land on the baseline (hopefully for a winner on these cramped indoor courts) or it was going out. I came to the service line. Opponent's partner remained at net; opponent ran back to play the ball off the bounce.

It landed it, and the other player sent up a hail Mary lob in my direction.

OK, now I admit I blew it, OK? I was kind of admiring my shot and expecting hers to go long, so I reacted way late. It was definitely going too deep to overhead (although maybe it wouldn't have been had I not been asleep at the switch), but playing from the ad court it would have required me to run around it or do a backhand overhead smash. I turned and tried to run it down, but it bounced in the back corner and I couldn't reach it. Match over.

My partner said I never should have followed the lob to net, as the opponent was likely to lob me back. I was thinking she'd send me a short lob or floater groundstroke which I could put away. But I have to admit that if I had stayed back, I might have had an easy overhead despite my mental errors.

So. I know you follow to the net any lob that drives both opponents off the net. If your opponents are also one-up, one-back, do you still follow your lob to the net as soon as you realize opponents can't overhead it?

This seems to come up a lot at my level. My instinct is to come to net if I hit *any* good deep lob, but my partners tend to think this is a mistake because a lob is such a likely reply to a lob. And they are usually right that the reply will be a lob.

Andres
05-08-2007, 09:57 AM
You should approach your lob to the net, but not make it ACTUALLY TO the net. Around the service line is the best thing to do.

Most likely, they're going to lob back, but how often do those lobs actually hit your baseline? Around the service line seems a good place to be, in case they lob back, so you can backpedal a couple of steps, and smash the heck out of that ball.

Andres
05-08-2007, 09:58 AM
Edit: But of course, you try to approach the net ONLY when you can be certain they can't smash your lob. If you're hitting a defensive lob, and they can smash it, you should stick to your baseline to chase that ball down, in case they're hitting directed to you again...

Did that make any sense? My english has been crappy lately :p

Jonnyf
05-08-2007, 12:26 PM
Edit: But of course, you try to approach the net ONLY when you can be certain they can't smash your lob. If you're hitting a defensive lob, and they can smash it, you should stick to your baseline to chase that ball down, in case they're hitting directed to you again...

Did that make any sense? My english has been crappy lately :p

just lately.? ;-)
and to the op, i'd agree with Andres you could approach to the service line so you can go either way easily and no matter what.

* Don't admire your shots.! lol. just keep getting back into position

spot
05-08-2007, 12:33 PM
Is your overhead solid enough that if a lob comes back a couple feet inside the service line that you would take it as an overhead? If yes then go ahead and take the net when you hit a nice lob. But the thing is that you have to realize is that the lob is the default response from 3.0 women in that situation. Maybe try lobbing to people's backhands- they have a tougher time lobbing back from that side.

kevhen
05-08-2007, 01:00 PM
I generally don't follow a lob to net unless it is very deep and landing for sure and then you have to be careful for the reverse lob and not get caught charging in too hard.

I prefer to stay back on most lobs and wait for a ball I can hit my forehand chip approach shot on for taking the net back.

LuckyR
05-08-2007, 01:21 PM
The vast majority of lobs that make it over the netman's head are not going to be smashed, regardless if the netman or his approaching partner hit it. For that reason the advice above: to head towards the net, but not to take second volley position, is right on. Personally I am pretty quick, so I stop behind the service line since I can get to second volley position from there as well as back up if they get lucky and hit the outside edge of the baseline with their lob off the lob.

But then again, I don't lob much.

lovin'it
05-08-2007, 02:14 PM
I agree with the replies, one thing I was told recently, (as I tend to head to the net like a moth to a light!!) is ... in that situation you were in, or when the ball is below net level, head on in, just stop at the service line in a split step...then evaluate. It has been good advise, as, they have to execute a pretty good lob to be unreachable from the service line (I am tall), I can easily go a step back to get it, and, moving forward is SO much easier than back, so you can still get to the net.

Bagumbawalla
05-08-2007, 03:38 PM
Didn't have time to read other replies- pardon if a repeat of someone's idea.

If you lob a ball, and there is any possibility one of the opponents may get to it-- they have three most common responses.

They can lob the lob back.

They can hit an overhead.

They can hit a groundstroke.

In two out of three of these situations, you should be in the backcourt near the service line.

For the groundstroke situation, you may or may not come in.

If you are not good at hitting awkward balls from your shoetops or racing back (or leaping up) to catch a lob, then I would suggest you go with the odds and hang back until you get a favorable ball to come in on.

More advanced concepts suggest moving in part-way, anticipating and moving back or in as the situation requires. I find this to be tiring and not so much of an asset that it is worth the extra energy (I am getting old).

B

ps60
05-08-2007, 11:07 PM
because a lob is such a likely reply to a lob. And they are usually right that the reply will be a lob.

I agree 100% with that, i won't go in with a lob, only with an angled shot or power shot.

equinox
05-09-2007, 12:06 AM
This is funny. On a decent lob your opposition will be moving backwards and off balance at the 3.0 level. Hell 3.5 footwork is so bad they'll have there *** showing while chasing lobs.

A shot hit off the backfoot isn't going to be a strong reply. Don't hesitate to move inside the service line and knock off the likely weak reply. If they do hail mary lob, watch the ball very closely and prepare early and take a bounce smash or groundstroke depending on depth of shot on your stronger side. If the lob is deep focus on placement, if short drill the net guy.

I can't believe you guys saying to run fast away from the net. omg.

spot
05-09-2007, 03:31 AM
equinox- if both of the opposing players are at the net and you hit a good lob hell yes get up there. But at 3.0 women's level when you hit a lob to a woman who is already back you are going to get a lob back in a vast majority of the cases. For a ton of "strong" 3.0 women they lob instead of hitting groundstrokes on virtually every shot. And how many 3.0 women do you know that have an overhead that can punish weak lobs?

Fred132
05-09-2007, 05:55 AM
Cindy, without a doubt here is what you and your partner should do in that situation.

Your partner should stay at the net, but go to the side where your lob is heading. Her job is to aggressively look for the short return and put it away, on either the ad or deuce side of the court.

Your job is to stay back and play the return lob if it gets past your partner, again on either side of the court. You can cheat in a bit if you have a good overhead.

oldhacker
05-09-2007, 07:48 AM
Cindy - without a doubt there is no without a doubt answer to this one ! It all depends on the exact situation. The good thing is that with all these lobs going up you have lots of time to make an assessment and position yourself accordingly. Once you have hit your lob and got back balanced you need to make an assessment of how good a lob it is. If it is a poor / short lob then you and your partner need to get back asap to try to pick up the inevitable smash. If it is a good low (but high enough to clear opponents) offensive topspin lob then chances are it is not coming back (or if it is it is coming back weakly) but still be on your guard and start approach to net but not beyond service line before ball is hit. Then react accordingly to move to the hit ball. If it is a high lob which gives opponents time to cover (most at your level are) you need to be careful, watch closely and react accordingly. I would start to approach the net (but stay behind the service line) while assessing the moveemnt of your opponent to the ball. If they are getting back behind the ball in order to play a controlled, balanced shot then you may need to back off but if they are looking to hit off-balance or blind then you want to keep ready just behind the service line and react to the shot they hit. But in no circumstances do you want to crowd the net as you leave yourself wide open to an offensive lob winner. When I am under pressure at the back of the court in doubles and I see the opposing players both crowding the net I think 'big let off' because I am well practiced in sending a lowish offensive topspin lob right over one of them for a clean winner. But if they were set-up on the service line I could not play that lob.

LuckyR
05-09-2007, 09:57 AM
Cindy, without a doubt here is what you and your partner should do in that situation.

Your partner should stay at the net, but go to the side where your lob is heading. Her job is to aggressively look for the short return and put it away, on either the ad or deuce side of the court.

Your job is to stay back and play the return lob if it gets past your partner, again on either side of the court. You can cheat in a bit if you have a good overhead.


Huh??????????????

Geezer Guy
05-09-2007, 10:58 AM
FWIW, I agree with the folks that said if you see your opponent is going to let the lob bounce near the baseline, follow it in but split-step at the service line.