View Full Version : Question on Matching Opponent's Force
04-08-2008, 01:21 PM
I teamed up with this guy in doubles who advised me to soften up the return stroke when opponent hits with great force, as if to have better control of the ball, and to hit hard and deep when the opponent's stroke is short/weak. In other words the forces between us are complementing each other instead of going head to head.
However, I also notice that if I put a good force into my swing to an strong incoming ball, I'd have better control, sort of like I overwhelm and dictate the shot. I hope I make sense.
What do you think?
04-08-2008, 01:30 PM
well, against big servers, it is very effective to use the pace that they give you and just to change the direction. when trading groundstrokes it depends on your stye of play. counterpuchers use what they are given and try to change direction whereas baseliners will try and hit out on the majority of shots. both can be effective.
04-12-2008, 08:34 PM
He is suggesting this to you for a couple of reasons. I also would guess he is a more accomplished player than you. He is giving you sound advice. Here are some reasons why. The a big key in doubles is being consistent and playing smart. A shorter swing using your opponents pace is about being consistent. And can generate all the pace you need. Trying to crush a big return off of a big serve is not going to happen consistently until you are around 4.5 and up, or higher. If you are not that level or above, count how many returns you miss per game and per set. The number will surprise you. Most severely underestimate how many returns they do not get in play. Your should be striving for 1 error every three service games or better. I cannot emphasize how important this is to good doubles.
A short compact swing if struck correctly gives you all the control and power you need on a big serve. My guess is when you are trying to overwhelm the shot as you say, you are not quite catching the sweet spot and having to muscle the ball. This says your timing is a bit off. Muscling the ball will not work over the long term and takes more effort than hitting the ball correctly.
If they give you a weaker serve you will have to lengthen your swing to add a little pop as he suggested. For example, I hit 80% of my returns at 60-80% effort depending on the level I am playing at. Remember in doubles you only have to come up with something special 10% of the time.
I hope this helps you. Good Luck
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