PDA

View Full Version : blasting the net guy in doubles


lendl lives
03-16-2004, 11:43 AM
is it bad sportsmanship if you blast the net man in a competitive (term used loosely) game of doubles (especially if he's the weaker player)?

Asclep
03-16-2004, 12:03 PM
I dont think it is. As a friend who is a 4.5 once explained to me. If he is on the court "willingly" then you should use any shot you have to play against him.

This of course would include returning serve hard right at the net person.

Now.. If he is turned around and your hitting a short overhead and you both are close to the net you should try to hit your overhead normally but not hit him in the back.

Bungalo Bill
03-16-2004, 12:07 PM
Absolutely not.

Going after the net man will force them to change strategy. Plus, if your able to clock a return at the netman it isnt your fault. Maybe the netman needs to have a talk with his server about serve placement and speed or play back.

It doesnt matter if he is the weaker player on the team. The "team" chose the partners and came into the battle with those players. A smart dooubles team will hit to the weaker opponent to score points.

As long as your shots are to win points and they are not intended to be personal then fire away. If they are personal, then just be prepared for retaliation.

kevhen
03-16-2004, 12:56 PM
It's part of the game. If he can't handle your pace at the net, he should back off the net or retreat to the baseline. I tend to back of the net a little myself against hard hitters so I have more time to react and also I move all the way back to the baseline when my partner is returning serve against a good server, waiting for the offensive opportunity to move in and take the net back.

Thunnus
03-16-2004, 01:08 PM
It is one of those things that should be fine but can look bad. When playing against old but very good doubles players, they often get right on top of the net and try to be aggressive at the net with quick hands. They almost dare you to hit at them, but it does look bad when I blast one and hit them hard. After a couple of these, you would expect them to change but sometimes they don't. The looks you get from them, spectators, and sometimes your own partner make you think twice about hitting the old guy again.

Of course, this is a lot worse when playing mixed doubles with a female player standing right at the net. I am sure it is OK, but it sure doesn't look good to hit old or female players.

Grimjack
03-16-2004, 03:18 PM
Probably bad form, except in a "gotcha" sense (with a conspirational wink) in a low-key recreational match. In a competitive recreational match, or CERTAINLY in a tournament match, by all means blast away.

Grimjack
03-16-2004, 03:20 PM
BTW:

You should be ashamed for even ASKING this, with a name like "lendl lives." The man was the unquestioned KING of trying to disembowel the volleyer.

Marc C.
03-16-2004, 04:14 PM
At times, I have gotten so ****ed while losing in a doubles match that I have tried to hit the net player in frustration and I lost my concentration on the match preventing any comeback.

fastdunn
03-16-2004, 05:55 PM
It can get tricky in a non-tournament situations.
It also depends on the context.
Let's say one guy argued aggressively over a line call you made. You did not grant a let or replay and the guy was disgruntled. A few points later, you got nailed at the net
by that same guy who argued and let's say he did not signal he's sorry. Everybody played by rule and should be fine, right ? In my case, it would take 10 times Edberg to control myself in this situation. Ha ha ha.....

Cypo
03-16-2004, 11:06 PM
In social doubles I guess it's the group playing which determines it, but I think it would be pretty boring if no one tried. As a woman, I can tell you what fun it is in mixed when the other guy tries it and I block the volley. The first time there is a look of disbelief. My standard line is "Just checking if I'm still awake huh ?" (or, "caught me sleeping !", if I miss) .

You can always claim you were just trying to go down the line.

I guess the question is also can you keep your shot low. A close range shot at the head crosses the border between competitive and nasty.

Phil
03-16-2004, 11:27 PM
In tournament and league matches, this is a completely legit strategy, and, if the net player is weak, should be used again and again. I saw the Toray Pan Pacific doubles semis a few weeks ago, and poor Corina Moreau (playing with Lindsey Davenport) was getting absolutely DRILLED. The opposing team didn't dare hit to Davenport if they could help it.

In "social" doubles, playing older people or players well below one's level, it's somwhat bush to DRILL the net person, but a reminder, once in a while-just to keep him/her honest-is okay. But I don't play social doubles anymore, so I don't have this dilemma.

ucd_ace
03-16-2004, 11:32 PM
Going after the people at net seems to have been taken away from the game such as what baseball has lost from pitchers being able to pitch inside. I personally feel that it's fair game; that player choses to be in that position and the other team has set you up to go after him. It's not like your secretly setting him up for it. I found in high school matches that hitting the other players provided a mental edge in many matches as people will start to move out of the way and open up the court more or just stay away from the net more often and other such cases.

The idea in my practices has always been that you don't hit anyone, they hit themselves because they weren't moving their feet or able to get their racquet out to stop the ball so it's always been fair game... we go after each other a lot and there it's no big secret that if you do something stupid it'll probably end up getting you hit.

Phil
03-17-2004, 12:15 AM
"The idea in my practices has always been that you don't hit anyone, they hit themselves because they weren't moving their feet or able to get their racquet out to stop the ball so it's always been fair game..."

Oh, so it's kinda like boxing, huh? One boxer can NEVER hit his opponent-actually that opponent hits himself, due to his poor footwork and inability to block the punch. LOL.

Camilio Pascual
03-17-2004, 03:28 AM
If it is social doubles, it is wrong. If it's competitive, fire away, I aim at the player's feet. I've only recently been playing a lot of doubles and so far it has been pretty well understood what is social and what is competitive.

AAAA
03-17-2004, 04:04 AM
Every shot you play has a natural angle dependent on the trajectory of the incoming ball and your court position. It's easier to rip the ball along the natural angle. Also if you've decided to rip the ball anyway the natural angle is often the only angle you have time to set up for. IMO in competitive mens doubles or singles you have every right to hit your most aggressive shot whenever you can even if the natural angle is at the opposition.

Thunnus, I think some of those old guys who don't back off from the net after getting clocked are using mental warfare against you. My theory is they're hoping your sense of 'goodwill, sportsmanship, chivalry and guilt' will make you comprise your efforts to win and play the ball away from them even if it's the more difficult reply from you. If you back off they win on three counts:

1) They maintain the aggressive net position

2) They've made you play less aggressively

3) They've made you comprise your own shots

Simbah2004
03-17-2004, 07:55 AM
I'm totally against it in RECREATIONAL tennis and I think it is extremely rude. That's the reason why I don't play doubles often.
You can lob the person, place a well volley or go for the passing shot if there's a corridor; many different options.

Thunnus
03-17-2004, 09:20 AM
Even in competitive tennis, I run into older guys or women in mixed doubles. When the guy at the net is good, have a quick hand, and is good at overhead and is crowding the net, I think it is legitimate to hit at him hard, especially after I have tried other plays like lob and hit it with less pace and have been burnt.

As AAAA said, they are basically trying to prevent me from playing my game and limit my options, I think they deserve a couple of body blows and they are welcomed to stand their ground at their peril.

The same thing with women, they give me dirty looks after I hit a ball hard at their direction but not at them. Well, that is how I hit the ball, and I can't play as well if I have to slow down my swing. IMHO, they should back up if they can't handle the pace, after I had shown them several times how I hit the ball. Some won't even back off when I have an easy overhead, and they give me dirty looks, if I hit one anywhere near them. It is not like I am waiting for my chance to score a body blow.

lendl lives
03-17-2004, 10:49 AM
Grim,

I hear you. Its just that I often play against players who are less advanced and sometimes I feel a little gulity. But I don't like changing my game. I hit a guy with glasses once and it scared the crap out of me. Somebody shouted, "That's assualt". Stupid really but most of the guys where I was playing at at the time kinda resented me. But it got me thinking could someone sue? I'm sure they could but I wonder if they'd be successful.

@wright
03-17-2004, 11:12 AM
"That's assault" LMAO

Unless you have an easy overhead and intentionally tattoo someone, then they have no complaining to do. Your job is to hit the ball on the court, so if they are on the court and get hit, they didn't do their job, which was to get the ball back.

jayserinos99
03-17-2004, 11:49 AM
I"ve been hit by one of those point blank overheads in the eye when my partner threw up a really short lob. Sometimes you wonder if these people have control at all.

Anyways, I hit the ball not at the person, but at the feet and never full blast. But I never let my opponent take my focus off the ball since that takes away from my control and would likely get them hit instead.

lendl lives
03-17-2004, 11:54 AM
I'm not even talking overheads. I'm talking about blasting a forehand from the base line during a rally. lol....=0)

jayserinos99
03-17-2004, 12:01 PM
I'm just posting my experiences with getting hit. Although I've never been hit by a ball from a forehand before *knocks on wood*.

kevhen
03-17-2004, 03:00 PM
I remember seeing Lubicic last year drilling Mardi Fish at the net over and over when playing him in doubles in Davis Cup until Fish lost it and melted down and then the match was over quickly.

cak
03-17-2004, 05:33 PM
I think you know you crossed the line when people quit asking you to play. If you are still getting invited then you are hitting at folks that expect to get hit at, and its fine. If it's a league or tournament situation (not a club social mixed doubles) its also fine. If the club pro has to pull you aside in the middle of the Sunday round robin and BBQ, you've crossed the line.

Bungalo Bill
03-17-2004, 08:09 PM
I agree with AAAA on the mental warfare. I also think it is a challenge to them and they are on high alert. They want you to hit to them as they believe they can "just get a racquet" on it. This obviously, if your not prepared, could backfire on you and your partner.

They may be older but that doesnt mean they dont have fast hands or reactions. There is not much movement in volleys compared to groundstrokes etc. That is why older players can play doubles effectively especially if they have fast hands.

lendl lives
03-18-2004, 11:18 AM
cak. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JAYDOG THE RDX ATHLETE
03-18-2004, 11:59 AM
I see it as a lesson in tennis....if you can't handle it or scared of the ball coming towards you hard....then don't come to the net against people like that. I play with a guy who will blast a ball straight at you doubles or singles just to see if you can handle it. I don't find it rude at all. I thrive on it to tell you the truth. I would do the samething as well....there are exceptions though. I remember last year I was playing doubles and I blasted like 4 shots at the net guy.....each one hitting him square in the shoulder.....felt kinda bad for the guy to tell you the truth. But in the end I think it'll help the player be more confident in coming to the net. You have to take the punishment early to be ready in the future....just like I have :D

Ace
03-18-2004, 02:11 PM
Go ahead and blast that ball at me from the baseline when I'm at the net... but I guarentee, its gonna be YOUR net player that gets hurt when I volley that ball through his aorta! muhahahahahahah

peter
03-18-2004, 02:16 PM
Grim,

I hear you. Its just that I often play against players who are less advanced and sometimes I feel a little gulity. But I don't like changing my game. I hit a guy with glasses once and it scared the crap out of me.

This is one of the reasons why I've personally have stopped playing with glasses and have switched to lenses for matches. I did not fancy being hit and have broken glas pierce my eyes... This "idea" of mine got even stronger a couple of weeks ago when I happened to see just that happen. That guy was incredibly lucky though. The glas just cut two big cuts above and below his eye. He bled *alot* but as far as I know there was no damage to his eye. He still plays tennis every week with glasses though. Insane.

(Other, more normal, reasons for using lenses instead of glasses is that lenses doesn't collect fog when there is high humidity on the court (or in my face :-) and that the viewport is much bigger. I just have to remember to insert the lenses early in the day so I can accomodate myself to them).

Phil
03-18-2004, 03:52 PM
Peter wrote:

This is one of the reasons why I've personally have stopped playing with glasses and have switched to lenses for matches. I did not fancy being hit and have broken glas pierce my eyes... This "idea" of mine got even stronger a couple of weeks ago when I happened to see just that happen. That guy was incredibly lucky though. The glas just cut two big cuts above and below his eye. He bled *alot* but as far as I know there was no damage to his eye. He still plays tennis every week with glasses though. Insane.

(Other, more normal, reasons for using lenses instead of glasses is that lenses doesn't collect fog when there is high humidity on the court (or in my face and that the viewport is much bigger. I just have to remember to insert the lenses early in the day so I can accomodate myself to them).

Peter - In the US you can buy safety glasses-the lens are made of nearly unbreakable plastic, and are used for sports like squash and racquetball. You can also find INDUSTRIAL GLASSES, which are even more durable. Are these products sold in Sweeden?

peter
03-18-2004, 11:55 PM
Peter - In the US you can buy safety glasses-the lens are made of nearly unbreakable plastic, and are used for sports like squash and racquetball. You can also find INDUSTRIAL GLASSES, which are even more durable. Are these products sold in Sweeden?

I'm sure they are available here too. But since playing with
lenses has a lot of other good side effects, why bother with
them (unless you can't use lenses of course).

ma2t
03-19-2004, 08:48 AM
Peter - In the US you can buy safety glasses-the lens are made of nearly unbreakable plastic, and are used for sports like squash and racquetball. You can also find INDUSTRIAL GLASSES, which are even more durable. Are these products sold in Sweeden?

I'm sure they are available here too. But since playing with
lenses has a lot of other good side effects, why bother with
them (unless you can't use lenses of course).

I don't wear lenses because of allergies. Also, because of windy dry conditions. Also, a lense could fall out. I can just imagine, "Halt! Wait, everyone stop! I lost a lense!"

dennis1188
03-19-2004, 01:10 PM
IMO, at the 4.0 level in doubles the player at the net wants u to hit at him/her their volley technique is solid. At the 3.5 level player can usually volley a ball 'hit at them' but the return volley is usually in my 'strike zone' and is a 'sitter' I can drill from closer-in towards the net to end the point . At 3.0 level a 'heavy ball' hit to the player at the net is only returned if u hit their racket in a open face position .
A example of a 'good ' target is a position off either hip of the player at the net. I never try to hit at their head from inside the baseline. Coaches will always insist that u be prepared and the racket is held up/in front esp. when playing at the net.

K!ck5w3rvE
03-24-2004, 11:45 PM
i say cain the pric, the harder the better, and you should be ashamed of yourself for 2 reasons:
1. Lendl lives-lendl was the king of hammering the net player
2. its an attacking ploy against a weak volleyer

AAAA
03-25-2004, 09:39 AM
'cain the pric' - 'Nuff said.

Hyperstate
03-28-2004, 02:59 AM
Love this topic. Can relate to it well. My social doubles have become soooo competitive that I have considered blasting the ball at the fella hovering above the net! Thunnus and L-Lives, don't feel bad about blasting the guy or gal at the net. It's tennis. Like, Serena-mean tennis or just plain legit tennis.

Bhagi Katbamna
03-28-2004, 08:51 AM
Probably bad form if it is social mixed doubles and the woman is at the net but otherwise hit away.

bsandy
04-02-2004, 12:45 PM
Blasting the net guy has never gotten me in trouble . . . but . . . blasting the net gal has gotten me some dirty looks before.

AndyC
04-02-2004, 03:16 PM
The only time I wouldn't aim for a player would be the female in social doubles. Other than that I do aim for the players (both singles and doubles) and I'd expect the guys I routinely play with to be able to handle it. The only time I would be playing someone really much weaker might be in the club championship in which case I'm gunning all out anyway.