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View Full Version : FHs down the middle?


ten10
12-22-2008, 07:57 AM
I'm a lefty and when I play doubles I prefer the deuce (FH to some) side.

Who should make this decision when both players prefer to play the same side? My understanding is that the stronger player is supposed to play the deuce side.

Is there a "rule" or strategic advantage to having a lefty play one side or the other?

Joeyg
12-22-2008, 08:08 AM
I would almost always have the stronger player playing the ad side. You want the better player returning on the big points.

Nellie
12-22-2008, 08:10 AM
Usually, the stronger player plays the ad side. That's because most service games (40-0, 40-30, Ads) end on the ad side, and only 40-15 end on the duece side.

Regarding lefty/righty, the strategy varies, but most people prefer the have the lefty on the duece side so that you have forehands up the middle since most volleys/overheads are up the middle.

Julieta
12-22-2008, 08:12 AM
I'm a lefty and when I play doubles I prefer the deuce (FH to some) side.

Who should make this decision when both players prefer to play the same side? My understanding is that the stronger player is supposed to play the deuce side.

Is there a "rule" or strategic advantage to having a lefty play one side or the other?

I was taught to pick sides by who has the strongest return of the team. The strongest returner then picks the side they want. If you get really lucky, you get a partner who has a strong return on the opposite side of your strong return.

jrod
12-22-2008, 08:14 AM
^^ If your partner is a righty, then many dubs teams prefer forehands down the middle, including the Bryans. I've seen it both ways and it really depends on the specific players skill set and how they work as a team.

I have seen arguments for putting the stronger player on the ad side, to increase chances of winning the more critical points.

ten10
12-22-2008, 08:39 AM
The strongest returner then picks the side they want.

I wonder if that is why I usually see the stronger player on the deuce side--they are picking their side--opposite of where they should be for the big points. Very interesting.

I can't see any of the women I play with at 4.5 saying, "I have the stronger return so I'll take "x" side". Too polite here, and don't want to offend--such humility!!

rasajadad
12-22-2008, 08:43 AM
There are arguments both ways. The Bryans play with FH's down the middle, McEnroe always played the ad court. For me, the decision is made by playing styles and who's the stronger player.

tennismike33
12-22-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm a lefty and when I play doubles I prefer the deuce (FH to some) side.

Who should make this decision when both players prefer to play the same side? My understanding is that the stronger player is supposed to play the deuce side.

Is there a "rule" or strategic advantage to having a lefty play one side or the other?

I too am a lefty and have played both sides, depending on the comfort level of my partner. I actually prefer the duce side. I agree but disagree that the strongest player should play the add side becasue that is where all the important points are won, if the duce side player can't return at all there are no important points to win.

I think the Bryan's have a good thing going on the way that they play it, as most people tend to serve down the middle, then you should be hitting more FH's. McEnroe's chip BH was sooooo freaking good that playing in the add court was their best weapon, and BTW McEnroe won with a variety of partners.

Play the side you are most confident on and feel you have the best chance to return a higher percentage of balls.

matchmaker
12-22-2008, 09:38 AM
Depends on personal preference. I am more or less ambidextrous, after changing to lefty play due to recurrent TE problems in my right hand elbow. And both as lefty and as righty I prefer to to receive on the ad court. As a righty because I always had a better backhand than my team mates and as a lefty because I have my forehand covering the court wide. There are pros and cons on each position.

raiden031
12-22-2008, 10:22 AM
I was taught to pick sides by who has the strongest return of the team. The strongest returner then picks the side they want. If you get really lucky, you get a partner who has a strong return on the opposite side of your strong return.

I think the weaker returner should pick the side they return best on so that there is hope they get some returns back. I think the deuce side is far more difficult for a righty to return serve (because of the serve down the T requiring an inside-out backhand return), and usually in mixed my partners always prefer the ad side, and I take the deuce side. If they can't return the ball on the deuce side because its harder for them then we will never have a break point anyways.

mikeler
12-22-2008, 10:27 AM
I am a righty and prefer to play the ad side. My inside out forehand and cross court backhand are by far my best returns. When I do play on the deuce side, it seems difficult to get backhands down the middle by my opponents.

heftylefty
12-22-2008, 10:56 AM
I too am a lefty and have played both sides, depending on the comfort level of my partner. I actually prefer the duce side. I agree but disagree that the strongest player should play the add side becasue that is where all the important points are won, if the duce side player can't return at all there are no important points to win...

As a fellow lefty, I generally played the duces court. I have a fairly strong backhand. And I also agree with you about the strong player playing the ad court. If I am the stronger of the two players, I rather set my partern up to win the game in the ad court by returning well by insuring that they see as many ad in points as possible.

aldekeuk
12-22-2008, 11:00 AM
There are arguments both ways. The Bryans play with FH's down the middle,.

The Bryans play the way they do because Mike (plays the ad side) is the steadier of the two while Bob (the lefty who plays the deuce-side) is more of the shot-maker who can be a little streakier. when playing no-ad scoring, Mike is almost always the one they choose to return serve when the game gets to 40-40. Mike isn't necessarily "better" than Bob, just steadier - and on a big point you want to at least get the point started by making the return to make your opponents play.

Julieta
12-22-2008, 11:24 AM
I wonder if that is why I usually see the stronger player on the deuce side--they are picking their side--opposite of where they should be for the big points. Very interesting.

I can't see any of the women I play with at 4.5 saying, "I have the stronger return so I'll take "x" side". Too polite here, and don't want to offend--such humility!!

Yeah, some strong returners will pick the deuce side because that is the tougher return.

LOL about the politeness. That is so true! I was thinking that exact thing when I wrote about poaching in the other thread! In a lot of cases, women won't be that direct with a doubles partner they don't know very well. I guess its better to be nice though. There are enough other problems!

Julieta
12-22-2008, 11:29 AM
I think the weaker returner should pick the side they return best on so that there is hope they get some returns back. I think the deuce side is far more difficult for a righty to return serve (because of the serve down the T requiring an inside-out backhand return), and usually in mixed my partners always prefer the ad side, and I take the deuce side. If they can't return the ball on the deuce side because its harder for them then we will never have a break point anyways.

Yes, that is true and in a lot of cases, the stronger returner will pick that side for that very reason (so they can try to get to game point in the first place!).

Do you have any other problems in mixed though resulting from the lady being on the ad side if the man is on the ad side on the opposing team?

Julieta
12-22-2008, 11:37 AM
I am a righty and prefer to play the ad side. My inside out forehand and cross court backhand are by far my best returns. When I do play on the deuce side, it seems difficult to get backhands down the middle by my opponents.

It's that inside out backhand return that's needed on the deuce side. And only so many hours in the day to practice that's one shot most people leave out. Mark Knowles is so good at that return.

duketennisgal
12-22-2008, 11:55 AM
Yes, that is true and in a lot of cases, the stronger returner will pick that side for that very reason (so they can try to get to game point in the first place!).

Do you have any other problems in mixed though resulting from the lady being on the ad side if the man is on the ad side on the opposing team?

I play the ad side b/c I feel my inside out forehand is my strongest shot, also I like the pressure points.

But I also have a very good reason for playing the ad side in mixed doubles and having my male partner take the duece side. If the man we are playing with has an awesome serve and I'm popping the ball up in the middle of the court then I'm not giving the woman an easy put away at the net, unless she's a lefty she's trying to put that ball away with a backhand, which for many of the women I've played against is the weaker side.

Now when the woman is serving I know that it's going to be much easier for me to hit a return past the male net player when I'm on the ad side, if he's a lefty I have plenty of time to pull the ball up the line, if he's a righty I can get it past him up the middle of the court. If I'm on the duece side it's a bit harder for me to hit that ball up the line and it's also much easier for a right handed guy to pick off a ball up the middle.

rabidturtle
12-22-2008, 12:22 PM
I think the stronger player should play the deuce side. They get the first opportunity to set the tone of the game (similar to the advantage of serving first in a set). If you're playing the ad side and your deuce side partner isn't giving you any opportunities to make big plays then you're screwed.

Julieta
12-23-2008, 06:37 AM
I play the ad side b/c I feel my inside out forehand is my strongest shot, also I like the pressure points.

But I also have a very good reason for playing the ad side in mixed doubles and having my male partner take the duece side. If the man we are playing with has an awesome serve and I'm popping the ball up in the middle of the court then I'm not giving the woman an easy put away at the net, unless she's a lefty she's trying to put that ball away with a backhand, which for many of the women I've played against is the weaker side.

Now when the woman is serving I know that it's going to be much easier for me to hit a return past the male net player when I'm on the ad side, if he's a lefty I have plenty of time to pull the ball up the line, if he's a righty I can get it past him up the middle of the court. If I'm on the duece side it's a bit harder for me to hit that ball up the line and it's also much easier for a right handed guy to pick off a ball up the middle.

Great points. I like to play deuce side in mixed but it is frustrating sometimes because as you say, that up the line shot isn't really an option (unless he looks like he's sleeping, which almost never happens). But I can hit the inside out backhand return so I can often at least get the return in play. I loved mixed. Like you I like the pressure points and I like playing with guys.

spot
12-23-2008, 10:16 AM
I think people constantly mess this part up. Simply thing about return of serve and use configuration that works the best there. It doesn't matter who gets the bigger points if your team is getting more good returns of serve. And I think at lower levels (4.0 and down) most serves should be sent to the backhands so I would put the forehands on the outside. I think its suicide if you let the opponents serve out wide to the backhands on both sides. Unless you have a backhand you can consistently hit winners off of I think this is a big mistake to give the opponents that huge target.

At 4.5 backhands start to become weapons and then I think when serving you are better off putting most serves down the middle and not focusing on the backhand so much. At this point I think you are better off putting forehands in the middle.

jrod
12-23-2008, 11:16 AM
Great points. I like to play deuce side in mixed but it is frustrating sometimes because as you say, that up the line shot isn't really an option (unless he looks like he's sleeping, which almost never happens). But I can hit the inside out backhand return so I can often at least get the return in play. I loved mixed. Like you I like the pressure points and I like playing with guys.

Julieta- I understand the context, but I can think of a 1000 different ways to say what you said...which begs the question: What exactly did you mean here?

LuckyR
12-23-2008, 12:54 PM
There are many, many opinions on this issue (as this thread is an excellent example). However, using phrases like: "stronger player" is too vague. I have had good luck putting the stronger volleyer on the ad side and the stronger baseliner on the deuce side.

jbetti
12-24-2008, 09:08 AM
It depends on personal preference. When I was in high school, I was taught you want lefties in the ad court. The reasoning there was during a crosscourt rally, both players get to hit mostly forehand grounstrokes.

However, on my college club team, we usually put our lefties on the deuce court. This way, both players had their forehand volleys towards the middle of the court, and it gives them both a chance to hit more inside-out forehands.

So, whatever works for you.

amarone
12-24-2008, 04:11 PM
I think at lower levels (4.0 and down) most serves should be sent to the backhands so I would put the forehands on the outside. I second this. I played with a lefty and initially I played ad, but that just made it very easy for players to serve to our backhands, which were our weaker sides, as is usually the case at the lower levels.

Another minor factor is that the deuce player receives (slightly) more often, so that would argue for the stronger returner being on the deuce side so s/he gets to play more shots.

btw, wherever people have put "stronger player", I think they should be saying "stronger returner". Mike Bryan is not a stronger player than Bob, but he is a stronger returner.

dtrain
12-24-2008, 04:51 PM
I was taught the stronger returner on the Ad side. You want the better returner on the big points. Being down 30-40 you want someone who has a better chance of getting you back to deuce. Playing a deuce point is different than an add in or add out point.