PDA

View Full Version : How important is the lob in doubles


raiden031
08-28-2007, 04:20 AM
I'm playing 6.5 combo right now in USTA, and coming from mostly singles play, I'm still adjusting to the whole doubles game. My strategy when hitting from the baseline is to usually hit cross court or low over the net towards their feet. The only time I lob is if I'm running for a ball and have no chance of controlling a topspin shot so I just go for a defensive lob.

Anyways, my partners and opponents often will lob almost exclusively when at the baseline (except when returning serve sometimes), but some of them don't really have much authority in their topspin strokes anyways. Is it a good strategy to use the lob this much, or should it be used sparingly? When your partner is serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stand around the service line, rather than the front third, to handle the lob? Also if you are serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stay back rather than S&V?

Are there alot of lobbers at 4.0 and 4.5?

goober
08-28-2007, 04:32 AM
on the lower levels, lobs are used a lot because players have weaker overheads. Lobs are still used at 4.0-4.5 but you have to hit good ones or they will be put away .

Against the type of players you decribe I would just hang out at the service line since they are going to lob and they have little chance of passing you. Short balls with angles, drop shots are effective against these 3.0-3.5 players that just sit back and lob. Don't try to kill your overheads unless you have a sitter. Just go for placement and angle.

WBF
08-28-2007, 04:36 AM
A lob can be an effective shot at higher levels of the game.

Example: Playing an aggressive serve and volleyer. In singles, his momentum will be moving forward, and a well placed topspin lob to his backhand side will nearly guarantee a weak shot. In doubles, lobbing the net man as his partner moves in guarantees that the net man will need to get the lob, unless his partner is very, very quick: either way, if you place it well, you should end up with a winner or an easy putaway.

Is it a shot to rely on? No. It's a very, very useful shot to have though. I wish I had a good one :(

SlapShot
08-28-2007, 07:44 AM
The lob is a very effective shot if you can hit a good topspin lob. It's less effective when the net man is 6'4" (as my dubs partner is :)), but it keeps people honest, and you can really prevent the poach by lobbing over the net man.

LuckyR
08-28-2007, 08:53 AM
Is it a good strategy to use the lob this much, or should it be used sparingly?

When your partner is serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stand around the service line, rather than the front third, to handle the lob?

Also if you are serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stay back rather than S&V?

Are there alot of lobbers at 4.0 and 4.5?


Many 3.0 and 3.5's , especially those who play little singles lob better than they pass, so it not uncommon to have folks use it a lot.

Yes, I stand there every point, just to discourage the lob and make it to second volley position when the returner starts looking at the serve.

Depends on the quality of the serve. If you are making them hit defensive lobs, I would approach (if that is your preference) and your partner should be having a field day with the lobs. If your serve is such that they can hit good, offensive lobs, yes, you should stay back.

No, not too many "lob everything" folks at the higher levels. Not that they can't hit fantastic lobs, but they have good passing shots which are more efficient at winning points (without the risk of an overhead if they misjudge).

burosky
08-28-2007, 09:16 AM
At the higher levels, lobs are sparingly used. It is such a difficult shot to hit at the higher levels because in order for the lob to be effective, it has to be hit really deep. Anything short and majority of them would have reliable overheads that they can hit even at around the "no man's land". This being the case, it becomes a low percentage shot because the target area is effectively reduced to perhaps within 3 - 5 feet from inside the base line. Then again, you still have to disguise it well or they will be there well before it bounces and if it bounces high enough they may hit it it like a serve. All this makes hitting a passing shot a much higher percentage play when given the choice.

For lower levels, it is a different story. The effective range for their overheads are typically around inside the service box. Anything past the service box is pretty much hit or miss. As such, the target area is much bigger. In addition, the pace of the ball is much easier to control compared to the higher levels.

Steady Eddy
08-28-2007, 01:31 PM
At the higher levels, lobs are sparingly used. It is such a difficult shot to hit at the higher levels because in order for the lob to be effective, it has to be hit really deep. Anything short and majority of them would have reliable overheads that they can hit even at around the "no man's land".

I was finishing playing and watched the foursome on the next court. One guy was explaining to me why they were such great players. So I decided to check out their overheads. Two consecutive points ended w/ netted shots. I said, "They have trouble w/ the overhead." He said, "That's 'cause it's a tough shot." I said, "It is if you don't practice it." He replied, "No, even the pros have trouble with overheads." (??!!)

I've never personally known any pros, but on TV it doesn't look like they have trouble with that shot. Later this guy told me that he judges NTRP levels for leagues. Could a judge be that ignorant? Do they let anybody be a judge?

burosky
08-28-2007, 01:56 PM
I was finishing playing and watched the foursome on the next court. One guy was explaining to me why they were such great players. So I decided to check out their overheads. Two consecutive points ended w/ netted shots. I said, "They have trouble w/ the overhead." He said, "That's 'cause it's a tough shot." I said, "It is if you don't practice it." He replied, "No, even the pros have trouble with overheads." (??!!)

I've never personally known any pros, but on TV it doesn't look like they have trouble with that shot. Later this guy told me that he judges NTRP levels for leagues. Could a judge be that ignorant? Do they let anybody be a judge?

A pro who has trouble hitting overheads. Hmmmmm. I wonder if we are talking about the same pros. :confused: If he is talking about the occassional muffed overhead, sure. After all they are still human. That can't be thought of as having trouble with that shot though.

He says he judges NTRP levels for leagues. If I understand that correctly, the guy is an NTRP verifier. That doesn't necessarily give him instant credibility to make such statements. Pros are no longer under any kind of NTRP rating. Sure there is the 6.0 and 7.0 but those are not like your typical NTRP rating where there is a guideline or some specific strokes that they can execute. I would have to disagree with that statement. If that statement is true you would see more lobs when you watch pro matches.

Steady Eddy
08-28-2007, 09:02 PM
He says he judges NTRP levels for leagues. If I understand that correctly, the guy is an NTRP verifier. That doesn't necessarily give him instant credibility to make such statements. Pros are no longer under any kind of NTRP rating. Sure there is the 6.0 and 7.0 but those are not like your typical NTRP rating where there is a guideline or some specific strokes that they can execute. I would have to disagree with that statement. If that statement is true you would see more lobs when you watch pro matches.

Yeah, and even though I sure wasn't trying to get into an argument, somehow I think he didn't like it that I observed that these players had lots of trouble with overheads. Since he seemed to be under an impression that I didn't know a thing about the game, his reflex was to say, "The overhead's a tough shot" and later to add, "Even the pros have trouble with overheads."

A better reply would be something like, "That's just two points, watch more and you'll see that they don't miss many." That's sensible. He took it down the other path. It's plain from watching tennis on TV that although sometimes a player gets out of trouble with a lob, that usually that lob gets eaten up. Don't think I could win doubles there with a lob campaign.

Off The Wall
08-28-2007, 09:24 PM
Pros can hit overheads very nicely.

I remember the day I was playing doubles against a friend who was rapidly improving (and went on to have an excellent playing career). I tossed up a HIGH lob. He calmly parked under it and CRUSHED the ball away for a winner.

"That doesn't work anymore." he deadpaned.

JavierLW
08-28-2007, 09:54 PM
I'm playing 6.5 combo right now in USTA, and coming from mostly singles play, I'm still adjusting to the whole doubles game. My strategy when hitting from the baseline is to usually hit cross court or low over the net towards their feet. The only time I lob is if I'm running for a ball and have no chance of controlling a topspin shot so I just go for a defensive lob.

Anyways, my partners and opponents often will lob almost exclusively when at the baseline (except when returning serve sometimes), but some of them don't really have much authority in their topspin strokes anyways. Is it a good strategy to use the lob this much, or should it be used sparingly? When your partner is serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stand around the service line, rather than the front third, to handle the lob? Also if you are serving and the returner is a lobber, is it better to stay back rather than S&V?

Are there alot of lobbers at 4.0 and 4.5?

I played 3.0 doubles in League play and now play a lot of 3.5 players so I have some experience in this level.

I think if you have a good partner that works well with you in recovering the lob, which means basically you are backing each other up and you are not afraid of running it down, then you want your opponents to lob.

The reason is if you want to win points right away and more consistantly, you do it at the net, even at that level, and if your opponents are lobbing it means they may throw up several easy sitters as well that you can put away.

So for me, I still serve and volley (I want them to lob), but I know how to do it effectively so it still works. You have to split step when you come in and be prepared to reverse directions and shag down the lob if it goes over your partners head.

As far as where to stand, I dont stand on the service line because like I said, I want them to lob.

What works better for me is to stand somewhere about 2-3 feet in front of the service line, try to fool them into thinking you are closer then they really are and as soon as you notice they are putting up the lob back up so you have a shot at hitting the overhead on it.

It's hard to tell just how deep someone is unless they are standing right on the line, which is why this sometimes works.

As feared as the lob is, at your level (if you really are playing 6.5 combo league which is a 3.5 with a 3.0), it's rare that someone is an expert at lobbing. Unless they are putting it in the corner everytime, putting lots of topspin on it, or really just hitting a big heavy topspin shot that just clears your partners racquet, you shouldnt worry about it to to much but just find a way to deal with it.

As far as using it yourself, it's a good tool to have. But I think drilling the ball down the middle (not down the line for doubles....) is a more reliable consistant shot anyway.

It sounds like you are a baseline singles player though. It's likely you wont see quite as many lobs if you are staying back in doubles, but will see tons of cross court rallys that dont really go anywhere.