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Homey
04-27-2009, 11:26 AM
I want you guys advice on whether I should hit a certain shot or not.

I sometimes struggle against serve and volleyers, and people who come to net in general. I have a hard time passing them consistently.

However, recently I have been hitting right at them.
I am not talking about overheads, I am talking about groundstrokes that I hit from inside the baseline.

For example: the server serves and comes in to volley. I return the first shot at their feet. They then pop up their second shot somewhere between the service line and the baseline. I then hit my next shot DIRECTLY at them with a great deal of pace. 90% of the time they are unable to hit the next shot, and sometimes it actually hits them in the body.

Does anybody see anything wrong with this? I feel bad about going right at them, but I can always aim better if I have a target like a person up there. I struggle when I try to hit an open SPOT versus an OPPONENT.

I want you guys honest opinion on whether this is unsportsman like, or is perfectly legitimate.

Thanks!

heartman
04-27-2009, 11:34 AM
I'd say what you're doing is fine. Keep your shoulders down and swing through the shot - right done the middle takes away any angle your opponent might have, and makes it tough to get good strings on the ball.

I'd say go for it - and don't apologize if there's contact. 'tis what it is.

slick
04-27-2009, 11:37 AM
Not at all. What you describe is fair game and an acceptable strategy. It is similar to taking a second serve early in doubles and crushing it at the net guy. The pros do it and so should you. Keeps the net guy honest.

Crushing a point blank overhead at a net guy isn't too cool especially if the net guy is already bailing on the shot. I never get upset when this happens though, it's only a tennis ball. Try getting hit with a 100mph lacrosse ball or hockey puck. THAT HURTS!

boilerfan
04-27-2009, 11:40 AM
Definately not unsportsmanlike if they are serving and volleying. Especially if you are aiming at their feet.

If you are dropshoting a baseliner and then trying to drill them knowing they would never venture to the net is a bit more unsportsmanlike, but more annoying than unsportsmanlike in my book.

JavierLW
04-27-2009, 11:46 AM
I want you guys advice on whether I should hit a certain shot or not.

I sometimes struggle against serve and volleyers, and people who come to net in general. I have a hard time passing them consistently.

However, recently I have been hitting right at them.
I am not talking about overheads, I am talking about groundstrokes that I hit from inside the baseline.

For example: the server serves and comes in to volley. I return the first shot at their feet. They then pop up their second shot somewhere between the service line and the baseline. I then hit my next shot DIRECTLY at them with a great deal of pace. 90% of the time they are unable to hit the next shot, and sometimes it actually hits them in the body.

Does anybody see anything wrong with this? I feel bad about going right at them, but I can always aim better if I have a target like a person up there. I struggle when I try to hit an open SPOT versus an OPPONENT.

I want you guys honest opinion on whether this is unsportsman like, or is perfectly legitimate.

Thanks!

It's definately not unsportsmanlike.

But unwise at some levels because the ball will come back easily especially against older guys with quick hands at the net. (Im talking about your putaway shots)

It sounds like you probably just dont have enough experience to identify the open shot so like you say it's easier to just go at a target.

I had that issue a few years ago as well but Ive been taking these really great doubles drills where they put us in doubles situations and Ive been seeing the open spot better thru repetition.

It's just a warning because I go thru this in spurts. I get used to hitting it at people when I get away with it until I meet someone who can easily handle it and then it becomes really difficult. It's just better to find open court, when you watch even good 3.5 players (especially older guys) they just seem to have a knack for putting the ball in places where it's not coming back even if the ball is moving slow.

maverick66
04-27-2009, 11:52 AM
its called winning. is winning unsportsmanlike? as long as your not hitting him in the head its all fair game. if he gets hit its his own faul. his racket should have been up.

slick
04-27-2009, 11:53 AM
^^^^
So true. I sometimes play with an older guy who subs in when we are depserate for someone to play. He can't serve, his groundstrokes are horrid (slices everything) and he can't run 2 steps, but, if you hit it anywhere he can reach it at net it is GONE. His racquet is giagantic weights about 8ozs and despite really slow feet he has very quick and incredibly sure hands. You can crushit at him from the service line and he will put it away most of the time. Amazing.

Steady Eddy
04-27-2009, 12:51 PM
But they're playing serve and volley, so you hit it right to them? This gives them trouble? I don't see why they'd be a S&Ver is they can't even handle a ball right at them. Anyway, if it works, go for it. If it's a female player, (or even a male), and they say, "Hey, no fair!", then don't do it. But after this point whatever you're playing, it isn't tennis.

Steady Eddy
04-27-2009, 12:52 PM
Double post.

AndrewD
04-27-2009, 01:38 PM
I want you guys honest opinion on whether this is unsportsmanlike, or is perfectly legitimate.


It's a very limited tactic. If I come to net and I know you're going to hit the ball at me I'll be very prepared for your shot. Might get tagged a couple of times but, end of the day, you're keeping me in the point by hitting my weak first volley straight back at me.

Also, if you're good enough to hit a dipping return at the feet of the server you must be good enough to lob over them or hit a passing shot.

I'm also guessing that your opponents aren't particularly good. A decent volleyer is not going to miss 90% of shots hit directly at them. Sure, it's a lot tougher when your first volley lands inside the service box but, even then, you're still in with a chance. If you hit that volley between the service line and the baseline those odds go up. If you know where the return is going, those odds increase even more.

nhat8121
04-27-2009, 01:52 PM
I have this tendency to hit right at people too

I think from practicing that's unable to change in real game

coyfish
04-27-2009, 02:02 PM
Its only unsportsmanlike if you have a clear winner but choose to hit it right at the opponent.

Other than that its a legit way to win the point.

zohnay
04-27-2009, 02:03 PM
No way, that's fair all the way.

It's just unsportsmanlike if you volley and slam their face on purpose :P

Other than that its all good. :D

ttbrowne
04-27-2009, 07:48 PM
It's fair.

I used to just tee off on the ball but now I'll try to get it at the right hip. That is a tough place for anyone to get a racket on and it's always a defensive shot if they do.

Sliceboy2
04-28-2009, 03:16 AM
If he is cocky enough setting up to try to return your slam, go for it, its valid. If he is bailing out, turns his back and basically concedes the point, just try to avoid hitting him.

LuckyR
04-28-2009, 06:47 AM
I want you guys advice on whether I should hit a certain shot or not.

I sometimes struggle against serve and volleyers, and people who come to net in general. I have a hard time passing them consistently.

However, recently I have been hitting right at them.
I am not talking about overheads, I am talking about groundstrokes that I hit from inside the baseline.

For example: the server serves and comes in to volley. I return the first shot at their feet. They then pop up their second shot somewhere between the service line and the baseline. I then hit my next shot DIRECTLY at them with a great deal of pace. 90% of the time they are unable to hit the next shot, and sometimes it actually hits them in the body.

Does anybody see anything wrong with this? I feel bad about going right at them, but I can always aim better if I have a target like a person up there. I struggle when I try to hit an open SPOT versus an OPPONENT.

I want you guys honest opinion on whether this is unsportsman like, or is perfectly legitimate.

Thanks!


Well, you try to make the distinction between overheads and the groundstrokes you are using, but hitting sitters from near the service line is basically the same thing. Congrats on the great returns of serve that are winning the points for you. How you dispose of the putaway is up to you. Most would probably agree that you are going to get more lucky returns of your putaway when you hit the ball at folks than away from folks, but it is your choice.

charliefedererer
04-28-2009, 07:09 AM
This is a very acceptable tactic against a net rusher. The single best place to aim the ball is at his right hip (presuming he is right handed) as this is an awkward place to volley from. (Of course if you notice either his forehand or backhand volley is particularly weak, that is the side to go to.)

Cindysphinx
04-28-2009, 11:16 AM
It's fair, but I wish I hadn't developed this habit.

When I have a sitter at net, I tend to volley it at the feet of the net player rather than the open court. I don't know why; I just like a target. Trouble is, now I'm playing better players and I cannot seem to break this habit. And they are more likely to get the ball back, so I lose the point.

jrod
04-28-2009, 11:21 AM
The higher the level, the less reliable this strategy is. It's certainly fair, but I personally wouldn't use it unless all other options available to me were lower percentage.

heninfan99
05-07-2009, 06:01 AM
This was covered in another post but to recap:
It's a wonderful tactic and works especially well against frail older women. ALWAYS hit a person when possible. You will win 90% of your points.
Also, let out a loud grunt or howl as you do this. It adds to the intimidation factor. Then pump your fist in the air immediately after winning the point.

abbeytxs
05-07-2009, 12:39 PM
But they're playing serve and volley, so you hit it right to them? This gives them trouble? I don't see why they'd be a S&Ver is they can't even handle a ball right at them. Anyway, if it works, go for it. If it's a female player, (or even a male), and they say, "Hey, no fair!", then don't do it. But after this point whatever you're playing, it isn't tennis.

Wait... so if I just say "Hey, no fair!" my opponents aren't allowed to hit at me anymore?! Sweet! How did I miss that in the rulebook? ;)

beernutz
05-08-2009, 06:40 AM
This was covered in another post but to recap:
It's a wonderful tactic and works especially well against frail older women. ALWAYS hit a person when possible. You will win 90% of your points.
Also, let out a loud grunt or howl as you do this. It adds to the intimidation factor. Then pump your fist in the air immediately after winning the point.

You either need to include some kind of sarcasm alert in your post or quit being such a jerk.

If you are in fact using sarcasm to voice disapproval with the tactic of hitting directly at an opponent I would really like to hear what your objections are.

Personally I like people to hit directly at me. If they don't how else am I going to get better at hitting those types of shots?

When playing I also generally follow the Wee Willie Keeler suggestion to "hit 'em where they ain't" but I also think hitting directly at an opponent is a perfectly acceptable choice as well, as long as you aren't attempting to head hunt and that they are ready for your shot. I wouldn't for example intentionally hit someone in the back who had turned away from the net.

Edited because I attributed the quote incorrectly.

travelerb
05-08-2009, 07:54 AM
Doesn't sound unsportsmanlike to me.

Unsportsmanlike would be hitting it at an opponent who is standing out of bounds, even if your strategy is to have it hit them before hitting the ground to win the point.

blakesq
05-08-2009, 01:46 PM
I disagree with coyfish. YOu may have an option to hit a "clear winner" away from the net guy, but there are many reasons for not taking that option, it might be a harder shot, their ability to run down any ball may be superior to hitting back a body shot; etc etc.

Its only unsportsmanlike if you have a clear winner but choose to hit it right at the opponent.

Other than that its a legit way to win the point.

Power Player
05-10-2009, 12:56 PM
I always hit right at a net rusher just to see how they handle it. If they can't deal, I keep doing it until they stay back. If they can, I try and hit heavy topspin shots that will drop next to their forehand side.

Steady Eddy
05-10-2009, 03:52 PM
Wait... so if I just say "Hey, no fair!" my opponents aren't allowed to hit at me anymore?! Sweet! How did I miss that in the rulebook? ;)It's not a rule, it's just advice. Especially if they have a violent boyfriend nearby. Oftentimes people suppose you can't (shouldn't) hit at a female player up at the net. If that's wrong, I'll play that way. But then it should be understood that whatever game we're playing, it's not tennis.

abbeytxs
05-10-2009, 04:47 PM
It's not a rule, it's just advice. Especially if they have a violent boyfriend nearby. Oftentimes people suppose you can't (shouldn't) hit at a female player up at the net. If that's wrong, I'll play that way. But then it should be understood that whatever game we're playing, it's not tennis.

I don't know what level you play at, but I would say that 90% of the high 3.5/4.0 on up women are not going to have any issue at all if you hit at them at the net. In fact, in my experience at that level, most of the women are better net players than the men.
I also have yet to see any woman come play a mixed match with a "violent boyfriend nearby". Where exactly are you playing?

Steady Eddy
05-10-2009, 07:50 PM
I don't know what level you play at, but I would say that 90% of the high 3.5/4.0 on up women are not going to have any issue at all if you hit at them at the net. In fact, in my experience at that level, most of the women are better net players than the men.
I also have yet to see any woman come play a mixed match with a "violent boyfriend nearby". Where exactly are you playing?Arizona. (See my profile). Not league matches, just get requests to play from people I'm networking with. One day, a woman tells me that last time we played, I'd hit her in the ankle, and left a bruise. I didn't remember this. She showed me the bruise, to incriminate me, I suppose. My thinking was that if it hit her ankle then I was legitimately aiming at her feet, not trying to hurt her. Still, during the warm up she hit me just to get even. I got the message, when playing with females, you've got to aim away from them even if this costs you the point. This really isn't tennis anymore, but why fight it? I don't aim at people, but I don't feel I should risk losing a point by aiming away from them either. But I can accept that some people just don't agree with me. So I don't play normally when there's women on the court.

Oh, I've been rated at 3.5. That was a while ago, I haven't improved much since then, so I'd say I'm still a 3.5. In my experience I certainly wouldn't say that the women play the net better, curious.

Mick
05-10-2009, 07:56 PM
it's fair game, if you don't mind it when the other guy returns the favor and does the same to you.

120mphBodyServe
05-10-2009, 09:22 PM
Bah. If I'm playing a serve & volleyer and he's kicking my ***, I'm not going to take that!!!
So stand a metre or 2 inside the baseline and just aim to make clean contact with the ball even if it is a block shot, using the pace of the serve. On kick serves you can't really block those, so just swing out and crunch the ball.. If you can...

Steady Eddy
05-10-2009, 09:38 PM
it's fair game, if you don't mind it when the other guy returns the favor and does the same to you.It's like this; if you turn your back to your opponent when he's about to hit an overhead from close range, he shouldn't hit you. Since your position concedes the point, he should just block it over for an easy point. But if I'm standing there, saying "Bring it on!" by my body language, then to expect him to aim away from me, while I, at the same time, do all I can to still win the point...that's asking too much. One time, this guy was so near, I felt I had no chance at the return, so I ducked and covered up. I still got nailed with his 100 mph shot! Since I was already conceeding the point, I thought he could've just blocked it over. But if a person believes the game is better played with a rule that isn't in the rulebook, that's ok, as long as you share this belief before the match starts. Don't assume something is widely accepted when, (as this thread proves), it is not.

Mick
05-10-2009, 11:38 PM
It's like this; if you turn your back to your opponent when he's about to hit an overhead from close range, he shouldn't hit you. Since your position concedes the point, he should just block it over for an easy point. But if I'm standing there, saying "Bring it on!" by my body language, then to expect him to aim away from me, while I, at the same time, do all I can to still win the point...that's asking too much. One time, this guy was so near, I felt I had no chance at the return, so I ducked and covered up. I still got nailed with his 100 mph shot! Since I was already conceeding the point, I thought he could've just blocked it over. But if a person believes the game is better played with a rule that isn't in the rulebook, that's ok, as long as you share this belief before the match starts. Don't assume something is widely accepted when, (as this thread proves), it is not.

This is what the OP wrote:
"For example: the server serves and comes in to volley. I return the first shot at their feet. They then pop up their second shot somewhere between the service line and the baseline. I then hit my next shot DIRECTLY at them with a great deal of pace. 90% of the time they are unable to hit the next shot, and sometimes it actually hits them in the body."

I was thinking, it would not be difficult for an accomplished player to hit a short ball to bring someone up to the net and then hit the next shot directly at him with a great deal of pace. So, this person should not chase short balls if he can't handle fast balls hitting at directly at him. He should just concede the points.

Steady Eddy
05-10-2009, 11:59 PM
This is what the OP wrote:
"For example: the server serves and comes in to volley. I return the first shot at their feet. They then pop up their second shot somewhere between the service line and the baseline. I then hit my next shot DIRECTLY at them with a great deal of pace. 90% of the time they are unable to hit the next shot, and sometimes it actually hits them in the body."

I was thinking, it would not be difficult for an accomplished player to hit a short ball to bring someone up to the net and then hit the next shot directly at him with a great deal of pace. So, this person should not chase short balls if he can't handle fast balls hitting at directly at him. He should just concede the points.Back in the day the popular book on tennis was Vic Braden's "Tennis for the Future". He discusses how to beat a pusher, (he used the term "dinker"). He said to bring him to the net, and then blast a shot right at him. So he didn't think it was unsportsmanlike. And many people hesitate when it comes right at them, they have to think, "forehand or backhand?". That hesitation, combined with plenty of pace makes for a winner against a poseur net player. If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

stapletonj
05-11-2009, 05:25 AM
WAR STORY TIME:

I was playing a club type tournament back in the late 80s, doubles.
3.5 or 4.0 division if I recall.

I'm about 6'6" 220 lbs at the time and get a short soft overhead at the net.

The opponent on the duece side runs towards me (still on his side of the net) and I mean RIGHT TOWARDS ME, waving his arms and racquet and yelling at the top of his lungs, stopping about 20 inches away still yelling and waving his raquet and arms right in front of me. (I told you it was a very short soft slow overhead, he actually had time to do all this)

The temptation to just bean him was incredible, he was being such a jerk.

I just caught the ball with my hand and claimed the point. He went berserk while his partner just stood there. He eventually calmed down and conceded the point. (after a little encouragment form the tournament referee).

Very next pont (it was my serve) FOOT FAULT ! It took about 1/10 of a second for me to call for a line judge. The Director came out and asked if he really wanted to play like this. He shut up at that point and we went on from there.

I guess the point is, 30 years later I remember the guy being a jerk. Play hard, don't whine when the ball is aimed at you if you are still trying to play the point, and relax, it's just a game. None of us on this board are ever goign to make a living at this stuff.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 06:00 AM
Heh, heh. I have a similar story, Stapelton.

I was doing drills with teammates. My partner and I were at net, and the opponents in the drill were one-up, one-back. The deep player has having trouble hitting clean passes, so she was lobbing. Many of her lobs were falling at the perfect place for me to hit my overhead, and for once I was actually hitting decent ones.

I noticed that the net player wasn't reacting at all to my overheads, so I just hit them back to the deep player. Hey, it's just practice and I wouldn't want to bean a teammate.

During the break, I mentioned to the net player that she needed to be careful because I would have slammed some of those balls in her direction in a real match, and she needed to be alert to the net player's overhead preparation so she could fall back and contest the overhead.

She said she doesn't think you should back up when someone is hitting an overhead. Instead, she thinks it is a good idea to move forward and close the net. She says getting really close to the net will distract the smasher and make her miss. She says she has used this tactic successfully in 7.0 and 8.0 mixed.

I was, um. . . . speechless, you could say.

So any of you guys who are hitting away from the women in mixed are totally being played for suckers!

raiden031
05-11-2009, 06:36 AM
I don't know what level you play at, but I would say that 90% of the high 3.5/4.0 on up women are not going to have any issue at all if you hit at them at the net.


Agreed, I've never seen a woman complain about shots coming at them at the net. There's not much they say can say if they do have a problem. Thats why they have 5.0 mixed for people that can't take the heat.


In fact, in my experience at that level, most of the women are better net players than the men.


Couldn't disagree more. What I've seen is that most of the women spend too much time at the baseline or are too passive at the net.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 06:41 AM
I got the message, when playing with females, you've got to aim away from them even if this costs you the point. This really isn't tennis anymore, but why fight it?

How about not playing with whiners?

It's like this; if you turn your back to your opponent when he's about to hit an overhead from close range, he shouldn't hit you. Since your position concedes the point, he should just block it over for an easy point. But if I'm standing there, saying "Bring it on!" by my body language, then to expect him to aim away from me, while I, at the same time, do all I can to still win the point...that's asking too much.

No he should hit it as hard as he wants. By conceding the point, you are getting out of the way and letting him have his winner. He shouldn't block a weak shot because you decide you aren't going to go for it.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 09:42 AM
Couldn't disagree more. What I've seen is that most of the women spend too much time at the baseline or are too passive at the net.

Hmmm. Well, on my 7.0 mixed team, you could compare the 3.5 men and 3.5 women. (The best net players are the 4.0 men, but then you're comparing apples and oranges). I'd say on balance that more of the 3.5 men will try to play the net than the 3.5 women, although only one will ever S&V..

But that doesn't tell you much. One reason the 3.5 women don't play the net is because the 3.5 guy doesn't want them to. The unspoken (and sometimes spoken) message from the men is "I got this, Li'l lady. You just let those balls come back through to me and I'll crush 'em for winners." I have certainly had male partners tell me this. I've also had male partners make it quite clear that they didn't want me attempting to come to net.

Now, there are exceptions, and there is one delightful 3.5 guy who is always encouraging me to come to net when we partner. But he is definitely the exception. Most of the guys are desperate to hold their serve, and they don't believe they need the woman's help and don't think she can provide any. As for the opposing 3.5 or 3.0 women in mixed, they don't do anything other than stand at net and volley whatever balls they cannot avoid volleying.

So let's be careful not to send messages to our female partners that they should stay back and be passive at net and then complain when they do exactly that.

120mphBodyServe
05-11-2009, 10:19 AM
WAR STORY TIME:

I was playing a club type tournament back in the late 80s, doubles.
3.5 or 4.0 division if I recall.

I'm about 6'6" 220 lbs at the time and get a short soft overhead at the net.

The opponent on the duece side runs towards me (still on his side of the net) and I mean RIGHT TOWARDS ME, waving his arms and racquet and yelling at the top of his lungs, stopping about 20 inches away still yelling and waving his raquet and arms right in front of me. (I told you it was a very short soft slow overhead, he actually had time to do all this)

The temptation to just bean him was incredible, he was being such a jerk.

I just caught the ball with my hand and claimed the point. He went berserk while his partner just stood there. He eventually calmed down and conceded the point. (after a little encouragment form the tournament referee).

Very next pont (it was my serve) FOOT FAULT ! It took about 1/10 of a second for me to call for a line judge. The Director came out and asked if he really wanted to play like this. He shut up at that point and we went on from there.

I guess the point is, 30 years later I remember the guy being a jerk. Play hard, don't whine when the ball is aimed at you if you are still trying to play the point, and relax, it's just a game. None of us on this board are ever goign to make a living at this stuff.

Old coach of mine did something similiar to me back when i was playing social doubles. I had an easy smash and i was really close to the net and he basically got in my face... I could have broken his teeth/nose/face if I had clobbered it like I should have...
Never respected him after that.... He turned out to be an *****hole...
Got him back during a club tourney we were having, and I broke a string, so he restrung my racquet.. This was on a Sunday... Never paid him.

SiggeZ
05-11-2009, 10:21 AM
I want you guys honest opinion on whether this is unsportsman like, or is perfectly legitimate.

Thanks!

"Ivan Lendl used to go for the guy" and so should you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xAPwx3z950&feature=related
Enjoy!

raiden031
05-11-2009, 10:22 AM
Hmmm. Well, on my 7.0 mixed team, you could compare the 3.5 men and 3.5 women. (The best net players are the 4.0 men, but then you're comparing apples and oranges). I'd say on balance that more of the 3.5 men will try to play the net than the 3.5 women, although only one will ever S&V..

But that doesn't tell you much. One reason the 3.5 women don't play the net is because the 3.5 guy doesn't want them to. The unspoken (and sometimes spoken) message from the men is "I got this, Li'l lady. You just let those balls come back through to me and I'll crush 'em for winners." I have certainly had male partners tell me this. I've also had male partners make it quite clear that they didn't want me attempting to come to net.

Now, there are exceptions, and there is one delightful 3.5 guy who is always encouraging me to come to net when we partner. But he is definitely the exception. Most of the guys are desperate to hold their serve, and they don't believe they need the woman's help and don't think she can provide any. As for the opposing 3.5 or 3.0 women in mixed, they don't do anything other than stand at net and volley whatever balls they cannot avoid volleying.

So let's be careful not to send messages to our female partners that they should stay back and be passive at net and then complain when they do exactly that.

I know I don't. My philosophy is to let my mixed partner play within their own comfort zone (ie. always let them choose the side), and play the net or baseline however they like, utilizing their strengths as best we can. I know I can't teach them to do something new during a match because it will do little more than paralyze their game because its uncomfortable at first. I usually only make small tactical recommendations at most that will not take someone out of their comfort zone.

But I dont see how anyone can actually observe that 3.5 women play the net better than 3.5 men. There is no comparison. I rarely would ever get poached by the women in any mixed match from 6.0 to 8.0 unless I hit the shot right to them. If a woman thinks 3.5 women are equivalent to 3.5 men, then play two 3.5 woman vs. two 3.5 men and they will see how wrong they are.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 10:59 AM
But I dont see how anyone can actually observe that 3.5 women play the net better than 3.5 men. There is no comparison. I rarely would ever get poached by the women in any mixed match from 6.0 to 8.0 unless I hit the shot right to them. If a woman thinks 3.5 women are equivalent to 3.5 men, then play two 3.5 woman vs. two 3.5 men and they will see how wrong they are.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I play the net better than certain male 3.5s I kknow. None.

Granted, I don't poach off of service returns much in mixed. But neither do my male partners.

Regarding the challenge you issue . . . If a particular female 3.5 doubles partner of mine and I were to have a volley war (meaning a game played where both teams start from the service line and see who can win the volley exchanges) against my two male doubles partners, the smart money would be on us.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 11:05 AM
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I play the net better than certain male 3.5s I kknow. None.

Granted, I don't poach off of service returns much in mixed. But neither do my male partners.

Regarding the challenge you issue . . . If a particular female 3.5 doubles partner of mine and I were to have a volley war (meaning a game played where both teams start from the service line and see who can win the volley exchanges) against my two male doubles partners, the smart money would be on us.

That would be more the exception than the rule. Are you talking about 2 strong 3.5 females against 2 weak 3.5 men, or are you talking about players equivalent within the spectrum of the level for their gender (ie. strong vs. strong, weak vs. weak)?

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 11:52 AM
Well, I'm not sure I can mince the onion quite that fine, Raiden.

What I am suggesting is that if you take away the advantage the 3.5 guy has with his serve, his groundies and his overhead and leave him just with his volleys, many will struggle.

I mean, it sounds like you think that female mixed doubles partners bring *nothing* to the table. I don't think this is true, and I think it is quite likely that 3.5 women have developed a different type of game -- one that requires the precision needed for volleys. In my clinics, we work on this stuff constantly.

sureshs
05-11-2009, 11:54 AM
I think that might be true. I see women seriously playing this volley tennis no-bounce game during clinics or league practice. Men don't do wimpy things like that. They just start bashing balls from the baseline right away.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 12:00 PM
Well, I'm not sure I can mince the onion quite that fine, Raiden.

What I am suggesting is that if you take away the advantage the 3.5 guy has with his serve, his groundies and his overhead and leave him just with his volleys, many will struggle.

I mean, it sounds like you think that female mixed doubles partners bring *nothing* to the table. I don't think this is true, and I think it is quite likely that 3.5 women have developed a different type of game -- one that requires the precision needed for volleys. In my clinics, we work on this stuff constantly.

I didn't say what is highlighted in bold. A woman on this board claimed that 3.5 women are generally better than 3.5 men at volleying. I was disputing that statement because it is wrong.

Its ok for someone to say women are better than men (even when they are blatantly wrong), but is it is wrong to dispute it even though USTA themselves would back up the dispute (because 3.5 men are considered at a higher level than 3.5 women in their FAQ)?

You have even said on numerous occasions that your teammates and partners of yours are not doing their part at the net and staying at the baseline too much. Now you are saying that 3.5 women are great volleyers and that it is their male partners' faults that they aren't playing at the net.

abbeytxs
05-11-2009, 12:22 PM
I didn't say what is highlighted in bold. A woman on this board claimed that 3.5 women are generally better than 3.5 men at volleying. I was disputing that statement because it is wrong.

Its ok for someone to say women are better than men (even when they are blatantly wrong), but is it is wrong to dispute it even though USTA themselves would back up the dispute (because 3.5 men are considered at a higher level than 3.5 women in their FAQ)?

You have even said on numerous occasions that your teammates and partners of yours are not doing their part at the net and staying at the baseline too much. Now you are saying that 3.5 women are great volleyers and that it is their male partners' faults that they aren't playing at the net.

As the woman in question I have to say "Wow, did I touch a nerve"?

I never said that a 3.5 woman is better than a 3.5 man at everything. I said that in my experience, a high 3.5/4.0 woman is usually better at the net than most 3.5/4.0 men are. How you can call me blatantly wrong I have no idea. As I don't know you, I can't figure out how you could know what my experiences are.

I'm not sure why you are feeling so offended by this. No offense was intended.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 12:31 PM
As the woman in question I have to say "Wow, did I touch a nerve"?

I never said that a 3.5 woman is better than a 3.5 man at everything. I said that in my experience, a high 3.5/4.0 woman is usually better at the net than most 3.5/4.0 men are. How you can call me blatantly wrong I have no idea. As I don't know you, I can't figure out how you could know what my experiences are.

I'm not sure why you are feeling so offended by this. No offense was intended.

I am not offended by what you wrote. I made a simple dispute that Cindy was offended by as she made the statement that I said females bring nothing to the table. I'm offended that I am accused of putting women down for pointing out that 3.5 men are generally better players than 3.5 women to dispute a statement I disagree with, especially when thats how the USTA rating system was designed.

As I said, I strongly disagree that 3.5/4.0 women are better at the net than 3.5/4.0 men in most cases. You can point out a few cases where they are better but thats an exception, not the rule. But what you are saying is the same thing as saying that 3.0/3.5 men are better at the net than 3.5/4.0 men.

abbeytxs
05-11-2009, 12:43 PM
I am not offended by what you wrote. I made a simple dispute that Cindy was offended by as she made the statement that I said females bring nothing to the table. I'm offended that I am accused of putting women down for pointing out that 3.5 men are generally better players than 3.5 women to dispute a statement I disagree with, especially when thats how the USTA rating system was designed.

As I said, I strongly disagree that 3.5/4.0 women are better at the net than 3.5/4.0 men in most cases. You can point out a few cases where they are better but thats an exception, not the rule. But what you are saying is the same thing as saying that 3.0/3.5 men are better at the net than 3.5/4.0 men.

I have absolutely no idea if a 3.0/3.5 man is better at the net than a 3.5/4.0 man. I have very little experience with mens tennis. I do have a lot of experience playing mixed at the 7.0 and 8.0 levels and I stand by my observations.

I do not understand what you are saying about USTA's rating system and how it pertains to women net players versus men net players. I don't see what the rating system has to do with it.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 12:44 PM
I didn't say what is highlighted in bold.

True. You didn't say that, and I apologize for implying that you did.

I just wanted to communicate that I was getting that impression from this discussion and others that we have had. I mean, you have been quite forthcoming about your frustrations playing 7.0 mixed as a 4.0 guy. I can't argue with you on that; I would probably be frustrated as well.

The thing I wanted to take issue with is the idea that women don't do anything better in tennis than men. When I have come across good volleyers at the 3.5 level, they have tended to be women. I have lost badly to these women, let me tell ya. Because they have great technique and touch with their volleys. The reason they are only 3.5 is that the strength elements of their game (serve, groundies, overhead) are less impressive, often due to age. Volley skills in doubles, as best I can tell, are timeless.

The other thing I have noticed is that women 3.5-ish adult players seem much more likely to seek out instruction than guys of similar level. Guys seem to think that if they can hit a big FH and big serve, they know all they need to know. As Abbey said, it is the women who can be found in drill classes working on volley skills. In my own case, I figure I had darn well better get my volleys as good as they can possibly be, because I will never hit a serve as fast as many guys can. So I work on what I actually can improve.

A woman on this board claimed that 3.5 women are generally better than 3.5 men at volleying. I was disputing that statement because it is wrong.

What makes this difficult is that you see more 3.5 guys than I do, but I see more 3.5 women than you do. My universe of 3.5 guys is my two mixed partners and a couple of 3.5 guys I partnered with in past years.

Its ok for someone to say women are better than men (even when they are blatantly wrong), but is it is wrong to dispute it even though USTA themselves would back up the dispute (because 3.5 men are considered at a higher level than 3.5 women in their FAQ)?

Overall, a 3.5 guy may be physically stronger and physically faster. I don't see how that rules out the possibility that 3.5 women may be better at something that does not rely on strength or (in doubles) speed.

You have even said on numerous occasions that your teammates and partners of yours are not doing their part at the net and staying at the baseline too much. Now you are saying that 3.5 women are great volleyers and that it is their male partners' faults that they aren't playing at the net.

Well, I'm not saying that my female teammates are "great volleyers." I am not even willing to call myself a "great volleyer."

What I can say is that my 3.5 male partners aren't very good at net and do not take advantage of opportunities to come in. They hug the baseline. They try to win points from that position, frequently overhitting and missing. They won't follow returns to net to pressure the opposing female. They do not S&V. One 3.5 partner in particular started points on my serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He moved to 4.0. It was not on the strength of his net play, I can assure you! :)

I have yet to see any male 3.5 player who could volley the way these two older 3.5 ladies did against me a year ago when they handed out a bagel and breadstick, that's for sure. These women simply didn't miss at the net.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 12:49 PM
I have absolutely no idea if a 3.0/3.5 man is better at the net than a 3.5/4.0 man. I have very little experience with mens tennis. I do have a lot of experience playing mixed at the 7.0 and 8.0 levels and I stand by my observations.

I do not understand what you are saying about USTA's rating system and how it pertains to women net players versus men net players. I don't see what the rating system has to do with it.

The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men. Especially considering the fact that it requires more a advanced skillset to compete against men of the same level because they have more weapons to counter against.

I can point out my anecdotal experience as well. I haven't seen much S&V from the women in 7.0 or 8.0. I haven't seen much as far as poaches either. If they were great at the net as a whole, then why would opponents so often hit right to the female net player as a strategy? Doesn't add up to me.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 12:57 PM
True. You didn't say that, and I apologize for implying that you did.

I just wanted to communicate that I was getting that impression from this discussion and others that we have had. I mean, you have been quite forthcoming about your frustrations playing 7.0 mixed as a 4.0 guy. I can't argue with you on that; I would probably be frustrated as well.



My frustration doesn't have to do with the fact that its a woman. But with partnering with someone who's game is far below mine. I would be just as frustrated partnering with a 2.5 man.


The thing I wanted to take issue with is the idea that women don't do anything better in tennis than men. When I have come across good volleyers at the 3.5 level, they have tended to be women. I have lost badly to these women, let me tell ya. Because they have great technique and touch with their volleys. The reason they are only 3.5 is that the strength elements of their game (serve, groundies, overhead) are less impressive, often due to age. Volley skills in doubles, as best I can tell, are timeless.

The other thing I have noticed is that women 3.5-ish adult players seem much more likely to seek out instruction than guys of similar level. Guys seem to think that if they can hit a big FH and big serve, they know all they need to know. As Abbey said, it is the women who can be found in drill classes working on volley skills. In my own case, I figure I had darn well better get my volleys as good as they can possibly be, because I will never hit a serve as fast as many guys can. So I work on what I actually can improve.

What makes this difficult is that you see more 3.5 guys than I do, but I see more 3.5 women than you do. My universe of 3.5 guys is my two mixed partners and a couple of 3.5 guys I partnered with in past years.


I guess we all perceive things differently. What I notice is that my game gives virtually every 3.5 woman a hard time because of the spin and pace. There are plenty of 3.5 guys who my game will not phase much, so I have to win because of athleticism and consistency. There's a big difference between how someone plays against neutral shots and how they play against offensive shots. Thats the biggest difference between 3.5 men and women IMO. In other words, it is far easier to force an error against a 3.5 woman.


What I can say is that my 3.5 male partners aren't very good at net and do not take advantage of opportunities to come in. They hug the baseline. They try to win points from that position, frequently overhitting and missing. They won't follow returns to net to pressure the opposing female. They do not S&V. One 3.5 partner in particular started points on my serve with one foot in the doubles alley. He moved to 4.0. It was not on the strength of his net play, I can assure you! :)

I have yet to see any male 3.5 player who could volley the way these two older 3.5 ladies did against me a year ago when they handed out a bagel and breadstick, that's for sure. These women simply didn't miss at the net.

I think 3.5 men are more likely to overhit than 3.5 women, but they are also less likely to get poached at the same time. I think S&Ving is more common among the 3.5 men than women, even though you may point out many guys you play with don't S&V.

abbeytxs
05-11-2009, 01:00 PM
The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men. Especially considering the fact that it requires more a advanced skillset to compete against men of the same level because they have more weapons to counter against.

I can point out my anecdotal experience as well. I haven't seen much S&V from the women in 7.0 or 8.0. I haven't seen much as far as poaches either. If they were great at the net as a whole, then why would opponents so often hit right to the female net player as a strategy? Doesn't add up to me.

So every 4.0 guy volleys as strong as every other 4.0 guy? Every 4.0 guy hits the same serve as every other 4.0 guy? It is possible for two people to have the same NTRP rating and not have identical skill sets. It is quite possible for a 4.0 woman to have better hands at the net than a 4.0 guy even though he has better groundies and serve.
I agree that there isn't a lot of S&V in mixed, but I am not judging a net player just on their ability to S&V.

If you ever make it to Austin I will happily take you to some good mixed matches. I think you might be surprised. :)

raiden031
05-11-2009, 01:04 PM
So every 4.0 guy volleys as strong as every other 4.0 guy? Every 4.0 guy hits the same serve as every other 4.0 guy? It is possible for two people to have the same NTRP rating and not have identical skill sets. It is quite possible for a 4.0 woman to have better hands at the net than a 4.0 guy even though he has better groundies and serve.
I agree that there isn't a lot of S&V in mixed, but I am not judging a net player just on their ability to S&V.

If you ever make it to Austin I will happily take you to some good mixed matches. I think you might be surprised. :)

Why are you twisting my argument to mean 'all or nothing'? Thats why I use words like 'most' or 'generally', to show that there are always exceptions. I am simply countering your claim that most women are better at net. I guess we have different ideas about what is good net play.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 01:07 PM
The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men.

Oh, hey. Whoa.

There is a guy on my mixed team. He is 6.5 feet tall. I have partnered with him and practiced with him. I have played no-bounce doubles with him. He is a 4.0.

I am a better volleyer than he is. I think he would agree with me on this.

If we both stood at the service line and tried to sustain a cooperative medium-pace volley rally, he would consistently miss before I would.

Yet he is one USTA level higher than I am. How can this be?

Because he doesn't win men's matches with volleys. He wins them by putting a crater in the court when he hits his overhead. He wins by hitting big groundstrokes and a big serve.


Especially considering the fact that it requires more a advanced skillset to compete against men of the same level because they have more weapons to counter against.

I don't agree with this either. If I understand you, that is.

"More weapons?" A lot of guys I know have exactly one serve, as do many of the women. So how would a guy have more weapons? Same story with groundstrokes. Most people at 3.5 hit topspin and flat groundstrokes, period. So how do the men have "more weapons?"

See, having a higher USTA rating does not mean all elements of a player's game will be better than all elements of the game of a lower-rated player.

I can point out my anecdotal experience as well. I haven't seen much S&V from the women in 7.0 or 8.0. I haven't seen much as far as poaches either. If they were great at the net as a whole, then why would opponents so often hit right to the female net player as a strategy? Doesn't add up to me.

I have no experience at 8.0 mixed, so I can only talk about 7.0 mixed.

There is hardly any S&V going on, from either gender. I have already explained why some women might feel that their attempts to poach are unwelcome. As far as hitting at the female net player goes . . . I think you have mentioned how difficult it is for you at net when your female player is serving. Opponents just whack the ball at you and there is little you can do, if I recall your remarks correctly.

Does that mean you are a poor net player? Not necessarily.

Anyway, I don't know how often it happens that opponents target the woman at net. It happens to me. But given how many guys here say they won't hit at the woman at net, coupled with the fact that 3.5 women at net are quite good at standing close to the net and blocking these balls for winners, I'd say it probably isn't a winning or common strategy. The strategy that I think is more common is pinning the woman into the corner and making her hit passing shots.

abbeytxs
05-11-2009, 01:10 PM
Why are you twisting my argument to mean 'all or nothing'? Thats why I use words like 'most' or 'generally', to show that there are always exceptions. I am simply countering your claim that most women are better at net. I guess we have different ideas about what is good net play.

I wasn't twisting your argument, I was responding directly to; "The rating system pertains to the fact that a 3.5/4.0 man is at a higher level than a 3.5/4.0 woman. Logically that would carry over into the several components that of a player's game. It doesn't make sense that 3.5/4.0 women would be better at volleying than men, yet in general be 0.5 below those men"

I whole heartedly agree that there always exceptions to any rule. However, where you think there is only the occasional good female net player, I think there are far more good female net players than just the occasional.

smoothtennis
05-11-2009, 01:13 PM
Homey - Hmmm...see what you started? :-)

raiden031
05-11-2009, 01:15 PM
Oh, hey. Whoa.

There is a guy on my mixed team. He is 6.5 feet tall. I have partnered with him and practiced with him. I have played no-bounce doubles with him. He is a 4.0.

I am a better volleyer than he is. I think he would agree with me on this.

If we both stood at the service line and tried to sustain a cooperative medium-pace volley rally, he would consistently miss before I would.

Yet he is one USTA level higher than I am. How can this be?



Generally speaking.


I don't agree with this either. If I understand you, that is.

"More weapons?" A lot of guys I know have exactly one serve, as do many of the women. So how would a guy have more weapons? Same story with groundstrokes. Most people at 3.5 hit topspin and flat groundstrokes, period. So how do the men have "more weapons?"


I usually don't feel any pressure against 3.5 women in mixed. Some of the men can pressure me. That being good placement, big serve, big forehand, etc.



I have no experience at 8.0 mixed, so I can only talk about 7.0 mixed.

There is hardly any S&V going on, from either gender. I have already explained why some women might feel that their attempts to poach are unwelcome. As far as hitting at the female net player goes . . . I think you have mentioned how difficult it is for you at net when your female player is serving. Opponents just whack the ball at you and there is little you can do, if I recall your remarks correctly.


Actually nobody hits the ball to me. The problem was that they were hitting it away from me and I was unable to poach reliably.


Does that mean you are a poor net player? Not necessarily.


As I said in another thread, playing strong at the net is often dependent on what your partner does.


Anyway, I don't know how often it happens that opponents target the woman at net. It happens to me. But given how many guys here say they won't hit at the woman at net, coupled with the fact that 3.5 women at net are quite good at standing close to the net and blocking these balls for winners, I'd say it probably isn't a winning or common strategy. The strategy that I think is more common is pinning the woman into the corner and making her hit passing shots.

It is very common for opponents to return DTL to my net partner, probably because I am good at taking those baseline shots, as well as that I S&V so much they see two net people and choose the easier target.

abbeytxs
05-11-2009, 01:18 PM
Homey - Hmmm...see what you started? :-)

Nah, its my fault. I've read this message board long enough to know that around here, boys are always better than girls.

Mea Culpa ;)

raiden031
05-11-2009, 01:18 PM
I whole heartedly agree that there always exceptions to any rule. However, where you think there is only the occasional good female net player, I think there are far more good female net players than just the occasional.

Ok have it your way. I have not noticed what I would consider good net play until I started playing 8.0 mixed. Even then, they are not nearly aggressive enough, but they can hit effective shots.

sureshs
05-11-2009, 01:19 PM
I seriously doubt that women at the same NTRP level as men can hit better volleys, speaking in an overall sense. The men are typically much taller, stand closer to the net, poach better, and in general are more aggressive. Playing these no-bounce games or bouncing a ball off the frame don't prove much. Otherwise Bahrami would have been the ATP #1. What counts is what happens in a match. Likewise, I am skeptical about target practice competitions, like getting the ball thru a small ring. It may be an indication of basketball shooting skills, but I don't think that kind of accuracy is needed to win a real tennis match. The court is quite big enough.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 01:28 PM
I guess we all perceive things differently. What I notice is that my game gives virtually every 3.5 woman a hard time because of the spin and pace. There are plenty of 3.5 guys who my game will not phase much, so I have to win because of athleticism and consistency. There's a big difference between how someone plays against neutral shots and how they play against offensive shots. Thats the biggest difference between 3.5 men and women IMO. In other words, it is far easier to force an error against a 3.5 woman.


So you're saying that (in doubles), you can hit the same passing shot at the 3.5 man at net and a 3.5 woman at net and the woman will be more likely to make a hash of the volley? Really?

I have to say, one of my biggest problems in mixed is that the only time I get to play mixed is during a match. I get a 10-minute warm-up, and then Wham. The match starts, and I have to adjust to different pace and different spin.

Even then, I do get the hang of it, usually around the middle of the second set. :( If I practiced with 3.5 guys as often as I practice with 3.5 women, I think I wouldn't have this unfortunate adjustment period in my mixed matches.

The problem I have with spin/pace tend to be with groundies and returns. I don't think the spin and pace are as big of a problem when I'm at net. After all, it is much easier to volley a ball that comes with pace than one where you have to create your own pace. Right?

That said, I do have a question of sorts for Raiden: What do 3.5/4.0 women partners bring to the table in mixed?

raiden031
05-11-2009, 01:41 PM
So you're saying that (in doubles), you can hit the same passing shot at the 3.5 man at net and a 3.5 woman at net and the woman will be more likely to make a hash of the volley? Really?

I have to say, one of my biggest problems in mixed is that the only time I get to play mixed is during a match. I get a 10-minute warm-up, and then Wham. The match starts, and I have to adjust to different pace and different spin.

Even then, I do get the hang of it, usually around the middle of the second set. :( If I practiced with 3.5 guys as often as I practice with 3.5 women, I think I wouldn't have this unfortunate adjustment period in my mixed matches.

The problem I have with spin/pace tend to be with groundies and returns. I don't think the spin and pace are as big of a problem when I'm at net. After all, it is much easier to volley a ball that comes with pace than one where you have to create your own pace. Right?

That said, I do have a question of sorts for Raiden: What do 3.5/4.0 women partners bring to the table in mixed?

I think that a typical 3.5 male will handle balls I hit at them while they're at the net better than a 3.5 female would usually. Not only that, but the 3.5 male can reach more shots because they are more agile, taller, faster, and has developed more anticipation because they are used to dealing with tougher shots.


That said, I do have a question of sorts for Raiden: What do 3.5/4.0 women partners bring to the table in mixed?

What does a 3.0 woman partnered with you add to the table?

By partnering with a 3.5/4.0 woman, its never going to be as intense for me as playing a men's match, thats for sure. Its a more relaxing environment. I get to work on my defensive game more and work on poaching more difficult shots. The better the partner, the more fun the match, male or female. Its not about gender. Its about finding the best partner to play with. I wish I could partner with a female who was better than me. I wish I could face one in singles.

smoothtennis
05-11-2009, 01:45 PM
After all, it is much easier to volley a ball that comes with pace than one where you have to create your own pace. Right?


In very general terms - faster shots are easier to volley IF YOU PRACTICE THIS or are used to seeing fast shots at net. For those who are not used to the pace at net, then I think it's harder at first. Do enough fast paced net balls, and one adjusts to make smaller motions and much less racket head movement.

So it depends. Slow balls at net do reveal bad technique - no question about that.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 02:27 PM
I seriously doubt that women at the same NTRP level as men can hit better volleys, speaking in an overall sense. The men are typically much taller, stand closer to the net, poach better, and in general are more aggressive. Playing these no-bounce games or bouncing a ball off the frame don't prove much. Otherwise Bahrami would have been the ATP #1. What counts is what happens in a match. Likewise, I am skeptical about target practice competitions, like getting the ball thru a small ring. It may be an indication of basketball shooting skills, but I don't think that kind of accuracy is needed to win a real tennis match. The court is quite big enough.

First, standing close to the net, IMHO, is a sign of someone who is *not* comfortable playing the net. The very weakest volleyers can be found there. They will not take a deeper position in the court; it is harder to volley there.

Second, you are kind of assuming the ground you're standing on. The 3.5 guys I have seen the most *do not* poach and are not aggressive at net.

Third, you are correct that what matters is what happens in a match. In my matches, my male partners seem to want me to be conservative in my net play. So that is what I do. If my partner thinks he can hold without my help, I am fine with that. How do we leap to the fact that he is a better net player than I am?

Why have both of my regular partners complimented my net player, with one saying he'd love to trade his BH volley for mine? I refuse to believe that I am some freak of nature because I can play the net and like to do so.

maverick66
05-11-2009, 02:30 PM
In my matches, my male partners seem to want me to be conservative in my net play.

tell them no. doubles is about being active and agressive at the net. i dont care what sex you are if your being conservative its not good for our team.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 02:35 PM
What does a 3.0 woman partnered with you add to the table?


Plenty.

It depends on the 3.0 woman, as they are individuals. Some bring consistent groundies. Some bring excellent court coverage. Some bring precise placement and overall craftiness. Some bring a weapon, like a big serve or a FH.

My decision to dump 6.5 combo play isn't because my partners are weaker than I am, necessarily. Nor is it that they don't bring anything to the table.

It is because (1) I've done it for five seasons and have learned all I think there is to learn from the experience; (2) it was leading me to develop some bad habits; and (3) I only have so much time for tennis, so if I am going to play at a higher level, something has to give.

Raiden, have you ever played 7.5 mens combo as a 4.0 guy? Don't you think your 3.5 partners bring something to the table, even though they are rated lower than you? Don't they have some elements of their game that are stronger than yours? If they do, is it impossible that a woman playing mixed with you also brings something to the table?

My point is that your female partners probably do bring something to the table. I think it is just a matter of looking for it and appreciating it for its differences.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 02:37 PM
tell them no. doubles is about being active and agressive at the net. i dont care what sex you are if your being conservative its not good for our team.

Nope, I will tell them yes. The reason is that doubles isn't only about being active and aggressive at net. It is about winning points. If my partner really believes he can serve four big serves and step in and crush the return for a winner, there is no reason for me to poach or do anything but make sure if a floater comes my way that I don't botch it.

sureshs
05-11-2009, 02:37 PM
First, standing close to the net, IMHO, is a sign of someone who is *not* comfortable playing the net. The very weakest volleyers can be found there. They will not take a deeper position in the court; it is harder to volley there.


If they are tall enough and cannot be lobbed easily, they stand close to the net and put away the volleys. The Bryans may not stand that close, but they are playing against the top players. The easiest club doubles wins I see are those where the returner has a decent return, but not good enough for the guy standing close to the net not to put it away easily.

It may be harder to volley from a deeper position, but why make it harder in the first place?

raiden031
05-11-2009, 02:43 PM
First, standing close to the net, IMHO, is a sign of someone who is *not* comfortable playing the net. The very weakest volleyers can be found there. They will not take a deeper position in the court; it is harder to volley there.

Second, you are kind of assuming the ground you're standing on. The 3.5 guys I have seen the most *do not* poach and are not aggressive at net.

Third, you are correct that what matters is what happens in a match. In my matches, my male partners seem to want me to be conservative in my net play. So that is what I do. If my partner thinks he can hold without my help, I am fine with that. How do we leap to the fact that he is a better net player than I am?

Why have both of my regular partners complimented my net player, with one saying he'd love to trade his BH volley for mine? I refuse to believe that I am some freak of nature because I can play the net and like to do so.

Im surprised you say they dont poach much especially given the strength of your area.

Sucks that you feel restricted in your play because you are told what to do. I hate when partners tell me how to play. Maybe its time to find a new team for next year where you will find a partner to let you play your game.

Cindysphinx
05-11-2009, 02:50 PM
Im surprised you say they dont poach much especially given the strength of your area.

Sucks that you feel restricted in your play because you are told what to do. I hate when partners tell me how to play. Maybe its time to find a new team for next year where you will find a partner to let you play your game.

Nah, I doubt the grass is greener elsewhere. After all, even on this board it seems that most guys think women stink at the net. Why would future partners on some other team be any different?

As for whether it sucks to be told not to poach, it doesn't. Hey, if you want to try to hold all by yourself, Mr. Man, go for it. Me, I can stand near the doubles alley and wait for my turn to receive serve.

raiden031
05-11-2009, 02:55 PM
Raiden, have you ever played 7.5 mens combo as a 4.0 guy? Don't you think your 3.5 partners bring something to the table, even though they are rated lower than you? Don't they have some elements of their game that are stronger than yours? If they do, is it impossible that a woman playing mixed with you also brings something to the table?

My point is that your female partners probably do bring something to the table. I think it is just a matter of looking for it and appreciating it for its differences.

I never played 7.5 league, but I played in a couple doubles blocks all winter with 3.5s. I have alot more experience with 3.5s than any other level.

Sure there are some 3.5 players that have elements of their game that are better than me. But when it comes down to it, the better the players, the more satisfied I am with the game. Its always going to be more fun with a 4.0 partner than a 3.5 partner, but its not like the 3.5 doesn't bring anything to the table. What they bring to the table will still be offset by some weakness as well. I enjoyed 8.0 mixed, but not really 7.0 or 6.0. So its not like mixed is no fun, its just not fun when the level of play you enjoy isn't there and then other teams can exploit the mismatch.

The reason I played 6.0 and 7.0 even though it wasn't all that fun was 1) to get more match play, 2) to experience a different flavor of the game, and 3) its more social.

bulldawg
05-26-2009, 03:13 PM
Keep doing what you're doing. By doing so, you're taking control of the point. If they don't like it, they can stay on the baseline...either way, you're dictating the play.