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View Full Version : "Love-Thirty." (Gulp)


Cindysphinx
05-05-2009, 06:17 AM
I was playing singles yesterday. Just a friendly practice match between two ladies who are trying to get better at it.

When we were almost finished, I went to hand my friend the balls so she could serve. She said, "Do you know that you have been down love-30 in every one of your service games, but you won them all? What's up with that?" I thought about it, and I realized she was right. In contrast, when she got behind in her service games, that was usually the beginning of the end.

What things do you do when you immediately fall behind in your service game? Play more aggressively? Play more conservatively? Play the way you usually do?

When I'm serving, the only adjustment I make to being behind is that I hit two second serves at love-40. I wasn't doing anything differently at love-30; I guess I just assume I will win every game so there's no reason to panic. If I got behind due to UEs, I try to make sure I do my best footwork and the rest of it usually falls in place.

Now, doubles is another kettle of fish entirely. When I'm serving down love-30 or love-40, I find it very unnerving. I have my little plan of what I'm going to do, but a mistake or two from my partner and I'll have lost the game even if I executed my part of the plan. Still, going up to my partner and saying what I'm thinking -- "FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, DO NOT TRY TO BE A HERO ON THIS POINT AND MAKE A MISTAKE!!!" -- would be somewhat counterproductive. :)

Cindy -- who gets a special kind of buzz when she holds after being down love-40

mikeler
05-05-2009, 06:37 AM
0-30 I always try and make sure I get my first serve in. 0-40 I will actually play riskier and go for an ace on the first serve. If I miss that, then I'll usually try and hit a kick serve to the forehand instead of the backhand hoping for a cheap ace or service winner. It just seems like it is much easier to win 2 points in a row than 3 points in a row, so I just want to try and go for a big shot and if I lose so be it. If I get it back to 15-40, then I feel like that is a little bit more doable and then I'll focus on making sure I get my first serve in again the next 2 points.

split-step
05-05-2009, 06:56 AM
How I play at 0-30 is very dependent on how I lost the first 2 points.
In general, at 0-30, I must get my first serve in, even if I have to take a little off.

Atown
05-05-2009, 07:41 AM
What things do you do when you immediately fall behind in your service game? Play more aggressively? Play more conservatively? Play the way you usually do?

I generally play more conservatively in order to limit those pesky UEs. I also make sure to get my first serve in at 0-30 (sometimes), 0-40, 15-40, 30-40, and Ad-Out.

My strategy does not vary from singles to doubles although, like you, I also feel more pressure in doubles. My though process is to keep the ball in play and try not to hit the hero shot. Often I go for one and miss and then think that that's exactly what I told myself NOT to do before the point.

serve and Justin
05-05-2009, 09:41 AM
I try to play all points the same...For me playing "big points" and "small points" makes me play horribly.

The only changing I do to my game comes if something really isn't working and I am falling behind, I look at what my opponent is doing to take me off my game and decide how to play to take him off his...

The only major change I have is if I win the first set and get a bit behind in the second set I will sometimes get less active and not really push to win until the 3rd set...Its almost like I can wear someone down for awhile then come on strong because I conserved my energy.

Xisbum
05-05-2009, 09:49 AM
Seems to me 0-30 or 15-40 makes me focus on the fundamentals a bit more - like watch the ball, especially on the service toss; loosen the grip on the racquet; and just hit the ball. Works most of the time - or at least helps me get the first serve in play.

PimpMyGame
05-05-2009, 09:50 AM
I will tend to play more conservatively when at 0-30 and serving, and not go for any winners unless they are sitters. Patience and nerves are key in this situation.

SonRK
05-05-2009, 09:53 AM
During friendly skirmishes with my friends, when I'm done 0-30, I either try to focus really hard into winning the points, and play them carelessly. I've had more success with just attempting to blast the ball than constructing the point :P

The best feeling is when you hit 2-3 huge first serves in that result in an error, or ace. The only other satisfying thing is when they're up 30-0 or 40-0 on their serve and you come back and take the 4-5 points in a row.

Fedace
05-05-2009, 09:53 AM
Cindy, you have some nice friends. Can they come on the forum as well and share their thoughts too ???

lovin'it
05-05-2009, 04:56 PM
maybe i've had more experience at this type thing than i care to admit, but i say to myself "KEEP IT CLEAN" as patience is, other than my shots (!), my number ONE problem.

"FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, DO NOT TRY TO BE A HERO ON THIS POINT AND MAKE A MISTAKE!!!" -- would be somewhat counterproductive.

EXACTLY! NOT the time to be a hero, and how MANY think that is the time to go for a super poach (i know you are talking singles though!).

sometimes it is not until i am down that my focus turns on.

congrats to you, though, it is nice she noticed and applauded you!

Cindysphinx
05-05-2009, 05:17 PM
Cindy, you have some nice friends. Can they come on the forum as well and share their thoughts too ???

I like this lady as a practice partner. It's very symbiotic.

She's a computer-rated 3.0, but she really is a 3.5. She is on a 3.0 team just so her captain has one ace in the hole so they can advance to playoffs. She has played since high school, so she has all the shots. I mean all of them. Good topspin serve. She can S&V, slice her BH, hit drop shots, hit topspin lobs and moonballs. So why is she still computer-rated 3.0? Goes for too much and misses, and her 2HBH is a real liability. (I haven't told her what is wrong with her 2HBH, because she hasn't asked. If she asks, I will give her the secret: She fails to get the ball in her strike zone because she is reluctant to take a step or two back, so she winds up trying to hit the ball when it is too high.)

When we play, she gets experience playing someone who doesn't fall for her usual tricks. She is learning to assume the ball will come back, as she can reel off a game against 3.0s just with four good serves. Also, I hit slice serves to her, and she says she doesn't see that often and needs to get used to it.

For me, I get experience with someone who won't do the same thing 500 times in a row; she really is an all-court player. Last time we played, she started hitting big serves and then coming in. This gave me all sorts of problems, as I had just been lofting her serve back to the hash mark. I always have to hit a good passing shot because she volleys well. I could win every game by pounding her BH, but I don't because I want to work on the shots I can't hit well (crosscourt FH). So I like to get into FH exchanges with her because her FH is good and mine is erratic.

This shows that you don't necessarily have to play someone who is rated at a higher level than you are to get a very good practice session.

SlapShot
05-06-2009, 02:38 PM
At L-30, depending on how I'm serving that day, I'll either shoot for an ace or hit a kick serve up the middle. My goal is to force a return error.

Steady Eddy
05-06-2009, 10:31 PM
This is one way in which singles is different than doubles. In singles you can think, "This is what I'm going to do, and I don't care who thinks it's dumb." But in doubles you really do have your partner to worry about. Partners can easily give up in a set. If you double fault at love-30 in a doubles match, your partner might check out mentally. Or if you fall behind in the set, they might think, "Oh, they're better, let's not try." So you always have to weigh that as well as tactics. I've been behind 5-1 and figured out how to win in singles, and was confident I'd win the set, despite the score. That can't happen in doubles, if you're down that far in doubles your partner might quit giving an effort or, worse even, they decide that since "this isn't working" that they should go for winners on every shot, and then you really go down the tubes fast. Partners are fragile.

Atown
05-07-2009, 05:45 AM
That can't happen in doubles

It can happen in doubles, and it happens more often than one might think. Yes, many times one partner gives up, however many times both partners buckle down and come back to take the set.

AndrewD
05-07-2009, 07:42 PM
What things do you do when you immediately fall behind in your service game? Play more aggressively? Play more

I don't really do anything different at all. I am going to be aggressive on my first and second serve every time, regardless of the score. The most I'll do is vary the position of my serve or where I serve from (mostly in doubles). Other than that, I'm always confident that I can either put my serve past anyone or hit it in a way that they'll dish up a weak return.