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View Full Version : Why do so many players choose to receive?


Tchocky
05-05-2008, 09:35 AM
I've noticed on clay, many players choose to receive after they have won the coin toss as opposed to serving to start the match. I know a big serve doesn't mean as much on clay versus a faster surface but I still don't understand the logic. What are your thoughts? Do you elect to receive when you play on clay versus faster surfaces?

ilovecarlos
05-05-2008, 09:40 AM
I think there are several reasons for this. First, to get a feel for the court. Second, some players feel that their return game is strong and may have a better chance at an early break while their opponent has early match nerves. Just my most humble guesses

el sergento
05-05-2008, 09:44 AM
Because on clay, serving first is almost a disadvantage.

Blade0324
05-05-2008, 09:55 AM
I can't specifically speak to clay but I always choose to receive or choose a side if I win the coin toss. I rarely run into someone that chooses not to serve if they win so basically I always get to receive first. My logic is this, if they hold serve, no big deal I'm not out anything and it gives me a chance to work in to the match a bit before I have to serve. If I break them first then all I have to do is play smart and continue to hold serve to take the first set. I have a good serve and don't loose if too often so getting an early break when your opponent has early match nerves can be an advantage. Just my theories but it works for me.

boredone3456
05-05-2008, 09:58 AM
I gotta agree with ilovecarlos, its to get the early edge. when you serve first to start a match you are the pace setter, and at the begining of a match you are always a bit nervous also, so yeah by choosing to recieve you are saying you plan to try and be agressive and try to get the early break before your opponent can get fully into their rhythm. plus if you have a poor serve ( like dementieva for instance), and you get that early break, it takes a little pressure of you because you have the leway of getting broken and still being even.

Vision84
05-05-2008, 10:29 AM
I can't specifically speak to clay but I always choose to receive or choose a side if I win the coin toss. I rarely run into someone that chooses not to serve if they win so basically I always get to receive first. My logic is this, if they hold serve, no big deal I'm not out anything and it gives me a chance to work in to the match a bit before I have to serve. If I break them first then all I have to do is play smart and continue to hold serve to take the first set. I have a good serve and don't loose if too often so getting an early break when your opponent has early match nerves can be an advantage. Just my theories but it works for me.
That is a good way of thinking. Personally I like to serve first as I like to be ahead in the set and put the pressure on my opponent to serve well.

fantom
05-05-2008, 10:33 AM
I can't specifically speak to clay but I always choose to receive or choose a side if I win the coin toss. I rarely run into someone that chooses not to serve if they win so basically I always get to receive first. My logic is this, if they hold serve, no big deal I'm not out anything and it gives me a chance to work in to the match a bit before I have to serve. If I break them first then all I have to do is play smart and continue to hold serve to take the first set. I have a good serve and don't loose if too often so getting an early break when your opponent has early match nerves can be an advantage. Just my theories but it works for me.


That's exactly what Brad Gilbert says in his book. You must have read it.

Serpententacle
05-05-2008, 11:38 AM
I think I read or heard somewhere, so this is hearsay, that Nadal likes to return first because he likes to triumph over disadvantage. He thrives on coming back from being down.

Not sure this is a good reason, though...

samprasbackhand
05-05-2008, 11:51 AM
Because there's nothing worse than getting broken the first game of the set..

BallzofSkill
05-05-2008, 12:22 PM
'tis better to receive than to give.

Cup8489
05-05-2008, 12:31 PM
Because there's nothing worse than getting broken the first game of the set..

yeah, confidence murderer.

in my own experience i prefer serving first, because for some reason my lefty serve causes huge trouble for people i play, and if i hold and then break them (happens if it's an even match, because they tend to be dismayed by my easy opening hold) and then hold again, i'm all of a sudden up 3-0 without much effort.

but at these high levels of pro tennis, recieving allows you to warm up and get used to the match without any risk of a big penalty.

West Coast Ace
05-05-2008, 04:59 PM
That's exactly what Brad Gilbert says in his book. You must have read it.You beat me to it.

I haven't noticed that many players electing to receive - only players with weak serves. I personally think only big servers on fast tracks should serve if they win the toss. Everyone else should receive.


http://www.angrybackhand.com

Tempest344
05-05-2008, 05:59 PM
because they all recieve a complementary copy of Winning ugly


*edit* someone beat me to it.... ah well

Andres
05-05-2008, 06:19 PM
You beat me to it.

I haven't noticed that many players electing to receive - only players with weak serves. I personally think only big servers on fast tracks should serve if they win the toss. Everyone else should receive.
You mean, only players with a strong return game? ;)

Babb
05-05-2008, 06:21 PM
Everyone and their mom beat me to it. It's in the tennis bible.

thejackal
05-05-2008, 06:23 PM
like gilbert said, if u recieve, losing the first game ain't losing

BounceHitBounceHit
05-05-2008, 06:31 PM
Ever read Brad Gilbert's "Winning Ugly"? ;) CC

Mansewerz
05-05-2008, 06:43 PM
Yep, that's where I heard about it. Well, from summaries on this board.

tennis_hand
05-05-2008, 07:02 PM
if u serve first, u can wrap up the set faster.

serve/and/volley
05-05-2008, 07:12 PM
Why do so many players choose to receive? Because they are either playing against givers and/or ... BEARS!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bear_community

bad_call
05-05-2008, 09:42 PM
I can't specifically speak to clay but I always choose to receive or choose a side if I win the coin toss. I rarely run into someone that chooses not to serve if they win so basically I always get to receive first. My logic is this, if they hold serve, no big deal I'm not out anything and it gives me a chance to work in to the match a bit before I have to serve. If I break them first then all I have to do is play smart and continue to hold serve to take the first set. I have a good serve and don't loose if too often so getting an early break when your opponent has early match nerves can be an advantage. Just my theories but it works for me.

in the past, i employed that same logic for a good number of matches. sometimes it worked, others it didn't but then the outcome could have been the same if i served. today would probably elect to serve.

HoVa
05-06-2008, 02:41 AM
Lets put it this way. If i was up against Roddick or Sampras, I would take my chances and serve first.

origmarm
05-06-2008, 02:56 AM
Brad Gilbert has 6 reasons. A poster here:
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2207233

Lists them.

There are some exceptions and these are designed for club players (i.e. where the serve is not a major weapon).

35ft6
05-06-2008, 05:59 AM
If you're nervous at the beginning of the match, it might be better to receive. On my first return game, I would go for winners on the first two returns. Figured why not? If they fall in, I'm looking at an early break, and even if they go out, it felt good to just hit the nerves out.

the_flying_wallaby
05-06-2008, 06:07 AM
If you're nervous at the beginning of the match, it might be better to receive. On my first return game, I would go for winners on the first two returns. Figured why not? If they fall in, I'm looking at an early break, and even if they go out, it felt good to just hit the nerves out.

Behind you 100%. I have a great serve that will win me alot of points, and set up alot of easy winners. Recieving first helps to knock out the nerves and helps me alot during the rest of the match.

Not fulltime player
05-06-2008, 06:50 AM
Many claycourters are deffending players or at least have developed deffence skils, and recieving is fine for counter-punching.

nytennisaddict
05-06-2008, 06:59 AM
Because my serve sucks (I always choose to receive first when possible)!

I look at receiving first a "1 game pass" to get settled into the match. My opp is expected to win their serve, so if they do that's fine, and hopefully I'm a bit better grooved (mentally and physically) for when it comes time for me to serve.

The only exception is when I'm able to get alot of serve warm up (ie. 10+ min) prior to starting and I feel like I'm "on", then in the hopes I won't lose my rhythm I'll elect to serve first (but this never usually happens).

Captain
05-07-2008, 04:50 AM
samprasbackhand??????
It is MUCH worse to be broken in the LAST game of a set than the first!!!
Just think about it.

Duzza
05-07-2008, 05:02 AM
I play on en tout cas and mostly choose to receive for these reasons:

I get a little bit more of a warmup returning serves and I have no pressure to win the game like I shoulda service game.

Might be able to get an early break and apply some pressure.

Always serving down the side they just did (which helps me if they are having problems with the sun and what not)

Blade0324
05-07-2008, 06:55 AM
A number of you have mentioned Brad Gilbert having the same ideas that I mentioned. While I do know who it is I didn't realize he has a book. What is the name of it and where can it be found I'm curious to see what else is there if it states some things with respect to this that I have already adapted then it may have other good insight as well.