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View Full Version : Doubles game is a whole universe!


In D Zone
08-22-2007, 01:10 PM
Funny thing for me is I choke when I play doubles but hardly when I play singles.

I had a hard time getting into a rhythm and found myself worrying about setting up my doubles partner for the next point. I ended up thinking too much.

Also, I noticed my doubles partner is having problems as well, he's a great singles player (he really bad on doubles - does not know about court spacing, he likes to crowd the net even when I am returning a serve). We got beaten badly by our opponent ( a 3.0 / 4.0) player while me (4.0) and my partner a (4.5 or 5).

I really enjoy playing doubles but I found that it really requires more team work and knowing your court position to play good a this game. Well, it a definitely a new challenge for me.

burosky
08-22-2007, 01:48 PM
This is why I have serious doubts if a pair like Federer and Nadal can beat the Bryan brothers on a consistent basis.

LuckyR
08-22-2007, 02:18 PM
No doubt there are nuances to the doubles game that the singles game just doesn't have to worry about.

Vision84
08-22-2007, 02:46 PM
I could see Federer being a good doubles player but not Nadal.

koopa_troopa
08-22-2007, 02:46 PM
Doubles is a really different game. Unfortunately I started only playing singles. This summer I had played a casual doubles match and found it really diffiicult.

JRstriker12
08-22-2007, 02:57 PM
Funny thing for me is I choke when I play doubles but hardly when I play singles.

I had a hard time getting into a rhythm and found myself worrying about setting up my doubles partner for the next point. I ended up thinking too much.

Also, I noticed my doubles partner is having problems as well, he's a great singles player (he really bad on doubles - does not know about court spacing, he likes to crowd the net even when I am returning a serve). We got beaten badly by our opponent ( a 3.0 / 4.0) player while me (4.0) and my partner a (4.5 or 5).

I really enjoy playing doubles but I found that it really requires more team work and knowing your court position to play good a this game. Well, it a definitely a new challenge for me.

Can a 5.0 or 4.0 player really be unfamilar doubles? I would think most players of that level would have enough tennis under thier belts to be fairly proficient in doubles. Also, were you sure those guys were 3.0/4.0 players? I would think that the 5.0/4.0 pair could at least hold serve against that type of team and get to a tie-break at least.

Anyway, yeah, it's alot more about teamwork and strategy. Keep playing and practicing. I don't know. I'd say that it often takes me about 6-10 matches with a new partner before we are really in synch with each other.

If your partner doesn't want to work on his positioning, then I would get a new partner. Rhythm can be tough to come by in a doubles game if your opponents are agressive, take the net and end it quick with a volley, so make sure that you warm-up really well. Try to establish your rhythm before you take the courts against the other team.

Also work on your game plan - Where are your serving - when do you poach --when do you fake a poach - come in or stay back - change up formations?

Also work on your communications - who calls the play - what do you see out there - does your partner need to get pumped up or does he need to calm down or does he need encouragement - what's working and what's not

Hokiez
08-22-2007, 03:04 PM
I completely agree that doubles is a different game, but no way a 4.0 and 4.5/5.0 would get beaten by even good 3.0/4.0. (8.5/9.0 getting beaten by 7.0?), much less beaten badly unless you digressed to a 2.5. 4.5/5.0 strokes are solid enough they don't break down badly and he would blow the ball through the 3.0 even on ground strokes. Unless you both are the world master bunters w/o no real skill beyond chasing balls down.

Back to the topic though, the hardest part seems to be the return of serve for singles players (myself included). You can't just bunt a hard serve back and get back in the point. Bunt - loss of point. Singles you can play very defensive and stay in the point at a reasonable level, but in doubles you have no chance. Aggressive play in singles help significantly in the occasional doubles match (mainly in that they crash the net and have volley skills). Defensive singles players (guys that stay back, never come to net, never volley) seem to get eaten alive.

Steady Eddy
08-22-2007, 04:11 PM
It is a weird universe in doubles. Especially if you ever go to mixer events, where you keep rotating partners.

In singles you might decide to go for an ace on 2nd serve, and if you miss, oh well. But in doubles you're going to be worried about what your partner thinks. Also, your partner is worried about what you're thinking about him!

Maybe as much as half this game is how well you can keep your partner loose. Say stuff like, "That was a good un". Never say, "C'mon, let's get this!!" That team goes down so fast. So you walk a fine line. Stay loose but don't give the impression that you're not trying or just screwing around.

Lot's of 5.0 singles players will lose all day long in doubles. In fact, their good strokes can sometimes even intimidate their partner into playing worse. It's really an interesting learning experience to go from singles to doubles.

LuckyR
08-22-2007, 04:54 PM
I guess my experience is different. I can't think of a 5.0 singles player who couldn't hold their own against a 4.0 doubles specialist. They might lose, but they wouldn't get "beaten badly".

ChocolatePie
08-22-2007, 05:27 PM
I was always a singles player until this year. I started to play doubles and even played doubles for tryouts. I ended up in Doubles 3 and you need to get used to the communication and signals and all. I think doubles is much more fun and you get more action. Unless you're like the singles 1...they just hit the ball so amazingly it makes you want to hit like that.

Steady Eddy
08-22-2007, 05:37 PM
I guess my experience is different. I can't think of a 5.0 singles player who couldn't hold their own against a 4.0 doubles specialist. They might lose, but they wouldn't get "beaten badly".

Maybe one part wasn't made clear. This would be in a mixer or drop in format. Say the 5.0 and 3.0 play a 3.0 and 3.5, (a not uncommon scenario). If he makes his partner jumpy they're sunk. And, "no", they've paid to play, so they won't accept "stand over the netpost" as a strategy. So they each cover half the court, and their opponents will aim as many balls as they can away from the 5.0. Now how is he going to win?

This isn't just a hypothetical scenario. I've seen things close to this happen. Alot of times the club pros lose. Sometimes it's not their fault, they have a partner than is impossible to carry. You're a good player, haven't you ever participated in a doubles event that was frustrating?

Bagumbawalla
08-22-2007, 06:55 PM
Yes, though there may be some overlapping, the qualities that make for a good doubles player and those that make a great singles player are not exactly the same qualities.

Singles puts a premium on fitness and the stamina to run all over the court, slugging away at the ball. Singles, generally, rewards groundstroking and hitting deep to the corners, patience, taking your time to move the opponent around- waiting for them to be out of place or produce a weak ball you can take advantage of.

Doubles, obviously, stresses teamwork and strategy, getting to the net, volleying and hitting pin point placements for winners or to force the opponent to pop the ball up where you can put it away.

Though good players should be well-rounded and have all the strokes, singles specialists often become lax in practicing some of finess shots, while doubles players are, generally, more versitile and knowledgeable as far as court strategy is concerned.

My suggestion is-- play more doubles, even if you are not so good at it. Doubles is good practice for singles and will, quickly, point out areas of your game, that could use improvement-- which you should then go out and practice.

JRstriker12
08-22-2007, 07:32 PM
Maybe one part wasn't made clear. This would be in a mixer or drop in format. Say the 5.0 and 3.0 play a 3.0 and 3.5, (a not uncommon scenario). If he makes his partner jumpy they're sunk. And, "no", they've paid to play, so they won't accept "stand over the netpost" as a strategy. So they each cover half the court, and their opponents will aim as many balls as they can away from the 5.0. Now how is he going to win?

This isn't just a hypothetical scenario. I've seen things close to this happen. Alot of times the club pros lose. Sometimes it's not their fault, they have a partner than is impossible to carry. You're a good player, haven't you ever participated in a doubles event that was frustrating?


Okay, in an albatross match, mixer event where you have a 5.0/3.0 vs. a 4.0/3.5, yes I can see the side with the better player losing, but I do have a hard time believeing the scenario of the poster at the top where a 5.0/4.0 team lost "badly" to a 3.0/4.0 team unless they just tanked the match and didn't take it seriously.

Hot Sauce
08-22-2007, 07:50 PM
Indeed it is. I find it hard to concentrate when you're only hitting half of the balls, taking up half of the court, and in control of half of the shots your team makes.

goober
08-22-2007, 10:32 PM
5.0/4.0 team of singles specialists should not lose to a 3.0/4.0 team even if they are doubles players only. There is no way a 3.0 can return a 5.0 level serve and should have a hard time with a 4.0 level serve. Also the 3.0 should have a very difficult time holding serve because the 5.0 and likely the 4.0 would be absolutely killing the returns.

In D Zone
08-23-2007, 06:41 AM
fact about my 5.0 partner - he's undefeated in Singles 10-0. We had players coming over from other clubs to play him. He beat a guy from San Diego (he still pays actively; not a washed out guy) who used to play at Bolletieri Academy and a guy from Montreal who claimed that he was a their top player in the club. But he does not play doubles at all ..... this is second time playing doubles.

I know its lame..... reflecting back I noticed my partner (5.0) is really bad on playing doubles. Aside from crowding the net during my return of serve, he likes to look back at me when I am at the base. That's where we get killed most of time. Yes he would ace the 3.0 plenty of time and hammer his returns. But 4.0 opponent is very skilled in doubles.

I was surprised to hear from my partner or saying that he sucks at doubles. He's not used to playing with other people around him - it affects his game. He normally very cocky and talking about his winnings in singles....

Doubles brought him back to earth! LOL!

AznHylite
08-23-2007, 07:23 AM
Well, I don't think the outcome of your match should have ended THAT bad. A 5.0 player should totally outplay a 3.0/4.0. If you couldn't at least get close to them in the score, then I believe that they aren't 3.0/4.0. Sounds like they were at least 4.5 each! :)

goober
08-23-2007, 08:08 AM
fact about my 5.0 partner - he's undefeated in Singles 10-0. We had players coming over from other clubs to play him. He beat a guy from San Diego (he still pays actively; not a washed out guy) who used to play at Bolletieri Academy and a guy from Montreal who claimed that he was a their top player in the club. But he does not play doubles at all ..... this is second time playing doubles.

I know its lame..... reflecting back I noticed my partner (5.0) is really bad on playing doubles. Aside from crowding the net during my return of serve, he likes to look back at me when I am at the base. That's where we get killed most of time. Yes he would ace the 3.0 plenty of time and hammer his returns. But 4.0 opponent is very skilled in doubles.

I was surprised to hear from my partner or saying that he sucks at doubles. He's not used to playing with other people around him - it affects his game. He normally very cocky and talking about his winnings in singles....

Doubles brought him back to earth! LOL!


Well maybe your opponents were higher rated than you think. The very first time I played doubles ever after playing only singles for years I was paired with a 3.0 male (who was decent at the net which made a big difference) against 3.5 female and 3.0 male. I completely dominated the match and it wasn't because I was a great doubles player.

LuckyR
08-23-2007, 02:50 PM
Maybe one part wasn't made clear. This would be in a mixer or drop in format. Say the 5.0 and 3.0 play a 3.0 and 3.5, (a not uncommon scenario). If he makes his partner jumpy they're sunk. And, "no", they've paid to play, so they won't accept "stand over the netpost" as a strategy. So they each cover half the court, and their opponents will aim as many balls as they can away from the 5.0. Now how is he going to win?

This isn't just a hypothetical scenario. I've seen things close to this happen. Alot of times the club pros lose. Sometimes it's not their fault, they have a partner than is impossible to carry. You're a good player, haven't you ever participated in a doubles event that was frustrating?

Sure, we have all participated in doubles where one individual hardly ever saw the ball. I guess I assumed since the point being made was that a singles specialist 5.0 got beaten badly, that the reason was his doubles inexperience. If the guy never saw the ball, then it doesn't matter whether he knew how to play doubles well, or poorly.