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View Full Version : What the HECK ? Lost 4 matches in a row in USTA tennis.


Fedace
06-14-2009, 10:50 AM
What to do to get out of Slump. Very ODD. Lost 4 matches in a row in the division that i have been playing for last 10 years. I have been playing with 4 different partners for last 4 matches. but i can't use that for a excuse. Played some tough opponents but nothing out of my league. I haven't won a match since NCAA tournament. What should i do to get out of this slump ?:?

volleyman
06-14-2009, 11:09 AM
I'm enjoying a ridiculous slump at the moment as well. My Best advice, which I'm trying to follow myself, is to think back carefully on what's going on, and see if you can spot any trends, any simple things that you're doing or not doing that might be causing your off results.

In my case, I've been attempting to the Inner Game thing the wrong way, and the result has been to reduce my concentration, which has devastated my footwork, which has led to ineffective groundstrokes, which has killed my confidence in my strokes.

So, I need to get back to basics: still the mind, concentrate on the ball and my footwork. If I can manage to do this, I bet my results will turn around.

sphinx780
06-14-2009, 11:21 AM
After every loss, my wife and I ask ourselves the same questions, be it playing mixed together or our separate leagues.

Were you missing first serves?
Were you missing any returns?
Where were you in the court for the next shot?

In almost every doubles loss we have had, it can invariably be brought down to a combination these three items.

Fedace
06-14-2009, 11:36 AM
At least today, i only had my serve broken once, that is it. but my partner kept on double faulting and he lost his serve 4 times. In the 1st set, we went up a break and was in good position but our opponent cheated on a linecall that was 2 inches inside the line. Then for some reason, my partner lost all confidence on his serve and double faulted 2 times in a row to give the break right back............................SUCKS......... after that, it was all downhill.

Fedace
06-14-2009, 11:40 AM
1st match i lost, i served like Crap so i went out and practiced my serve for about 40 minutes and it seem to have fixed the problem.
But now, my return game seem to SUCK. Played teams with Big serves lately but i used to handle those. but last 4 matches,,,,,,had real difficult time with it.

Cindysphinx
06-14-2009, 12:33 PM
I'm in a slump too. Although, I keep telling myself that there is always a slump when you start playing at a higher level. Still . . .

The problem is footwork, for sure. I'm not getting around on a lot of balls, especially for inside-out FH approach shots.

At least I know the problem . . . .

Fedace
06-14-2009, 12:46 PM
I'm in a slump too. Although, I keep telling myself that there is always a slump when you start playing at a higher level. Still . . .

The problem is footwork, for sure. I'm not getting around on a lot of balls, especially for inside-out FH approach shots.

At least I know the problem . . . .

Agree, footwork can be a problem. I am having major problem with passing shots thats hit right at my body. my opponents are noticing this, so they are teeing off big forehands right at my body at net. I know this sound Amateurish but How should i handle this. ???

Cindysphinx
06-14-2009, 12:48 PM
Agree, footwork can be a problem. I am having major problem with passing shots thats hit right at my body. my opponents are noticing this, so they are teeing off big forehands right at my body at net. I know this sound Amateurish but How should i handle this. ???

Approach to their BH? :)

Fedace
06-14-2009, 12:52 PM
Approach to their BH? :)

No, this is off the return of serve on my partner's 2nd serves. I can tell my partner to put more 1st serves in but that doesn't seem fair. My opponents are ripping big time forehands right at my body off my partner's 2nd serves and i am finding it hard to handle. :(

Cindysphinx
06-14-2009, 12:57 PM
No, this is off the return of serve on my partner's 2nd serves. I can tell my partner to put more 1st serves in but that doesn't seem fair. My opponents are ripping big time forehands right at my body off my partner's 2nd serves and i am finding it hard to handle. :(

Oh, I see.

Try this: Remember that less is more. Try to split-step and then see if you can return it with as little racket movement as humanly possible. Extra Added Bonus: When you return that body shot with little racket movement, the opponents will say, "Dang! My best shot didn't even make him flinch." :)

I have good days and bad days with body volleys. Sometimes I make them all, and sometimes I can't make any. When you are having a bad day, it is a very long day indeed. . . . .

Fedace
06-14-2009, 01:02 PM
Oh, I see.

Try this: Remember that less is more. Try to split-step and then see if you can return it with as little racket movement as humanly possible. Extra Added Bonus: When you return that body shot with little racket movement, the opponents will say, "Dang! My best shot didn't even make him flinch." :)

I have good days and bad days with body volleys. Sometimes I make them all, and sometimes I can't make any. When you are having a bad day, it is a very long day indeed. . . . .

Thanks. but i feel like they are head hunting at times. It is always one guy that has the big forehand that is doing this to me. Sometimes it seems like they are aiming at my head and it is coming so fast that it looks like it is going out so i let it go. and it is landing Just on the back of the baseline. I think i should just call these out. If a Guy is Head hunting, they don't deserve these back of the line calls. :?

Bud
06-14-2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks. but i feel like they are head hunting at times. It is always one guy that has the big forehand that is doing this to me. Sometimes it seems like they are aiming at my head and it is coming so fast that it looks like it is going out so i let it go. and it is landing Just on the back of the baseline. I think i should just call these out. If a Guy is Head hunting, they don't deserve these back of the line calls. :?

Lol! That would be cheating :lol:

volleyman
06-14-2009, 02:16 PM
No, this is off the return of serve on my partner's 2nd serves. I can tell my partner to put more 1st serves in but that doesn't seem fair. My opponents are ripping big time forehands right at my body off my partner's 2nd serves and i am finding it hard to handle. :(

Actually, it is fair to ask your partner to try to take a little off their first serve so they get more of them in, or to try to serve that second serve the opponent's backhand, as long as you realize that they might not be able to manage that.

However, assuming that he's still going to feed some second serves to this guy's forehand you also have to adjust. Don't blame your opponent for making a winning play - as you said, when you let the shots go, they are going in so they aren't just head-hunting.

You are going to have adjust your positioning on your partner's second serve against the guys who are punishing it. You need to move back.

How far back you move is up to you. If you move back to the service line or a foot behind it, you get that extra split second to react, and that may be all the time you need to get a good volley. You also change their aiming cues - if they are head-hunting, they are going to start missing long because they have to aim higher. They might start missing into the net if they try to put a dipper at your feet.

You could move back into no man's land, but that's probably a bad idea. A better option would be to start the point on the baseline. Once again you've changed their aiming cues, and you now have the option of crunching back their return with a ground stroke, of hitting a topspin lob.

Both options open up the crosscourt return, but it really doesn't sound like your partner's second serve is forcing weak returns, so there's no great loss.

Another option is to try Australian or I formations. The goal here to is make them think about their returns, instead of just locking in an crushing them. Also, you change their aiming reference.

Finally, you can poach crosscourt on his second serve, hoping your movement will distract them. I'm not talking about a deliberate hinderance here, but moving to cover the cross court while your partner covers the down-the-line shot. If the returner is tracking you, he'll have to make a split second decision to change his stroke to go crosscourt, or stick the down-the-line shot. That indecision could be all that's needed to induce an error.

Options 1 and 2 put the least strain on your partner. Options 3 and 4 require a partner who can credibly move to cover the down-the-line return and do something with it.

I suggest mixing it up to see what works. You're not required to present your opponents with the same scenario every time, and if they can't handle the change ups, it'll be their loss. :-)

Of course, all if these tactics might be for naught if your partner's second serve is just that weak. But trying to change things up seems preferable to being a human target.

Fedace
06-14-2009, 02:34 PM
^^^GREAT ADVICE. I agree i should probably should step back 2-3 steps but if i move back too far like to the service line or behind it, it will be too easy for the guy to hit the return right on my feet. and i think that is even harder to handle.
I could move all the way back to noman's land or to the baseline but that move seem to discourge my serving partner too much. He is like "do you think my serve is so weak that you have to stand on the baseline ???"

I think the best option is if i step back 2 or 3 steps back and move with the serve. if the 2nd serve goes wide, i move up diagonally in that direction and if it goes up the middle, same thing to the middle.

But at least today, my new partner told me that he hasn't played in 3 month and had absoultely NO control on his serve. so that is why ALL the Double Faults. he has to clean that up. Double faults not only gives the break we had right back but also it KILLS the momentum. and Tennis is so much about who has the momentum....

Joeyg
06-14-2009, 03:25 PM
Deleted post at author's request to avoid a potential banning.

OrangePower
06-14-2009, 07:46 PM
At least today, i only had my serve broken once, that is it. but my partner kept on double faulting and he lost his serve 4 times. In the 1st set, we went up a break and was in good position but our opponent cheated on a linecall that was 2 inches inside the line. Then for some reason, my partner lost all confidence on his serve and double faulted 2 times in a row to give the break right back............................SUCKS......... after that, it was all downhill.

Keep your chin up, doesn't sound like the losses are your fault at all... after all, your partner sucks and your opponents are cheats, so what can you do? :rolleyes:

Fedace
06-14-2009, 07:49 PM
Keep your chin up, doesn't sound like the losses are your fault at all... after all, your partner sucks and your opponents are cheats, so what can you do? :rolleyes:

I am just talking about today. that is all.:???:

tikkimonkey
06-14-2009, 10:01 PM
I think that people should just stop thinking about the perfect form and obsessive customizations on their gear. Having fun and not really thinking about winning while playing tennis (corny as this sounds), makes me play better.

Ajtat411
06-15-2009, 10:37 AM
So these are really high head shots? When you said body shot I was thinking more from the area of the hips to the chest.

I would just move back a few steps and if they still come at your head they will sail long like some said before.

beernutz
06-15-2009, 11:29 AM
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6126/fedcindy.jpg

hotseat
06-15-2009, 11:41 AM
http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/6126/fedcindy.jpg

lol......that's probably what most threads look like for you in these forums.

Cindysphinx
06-15-2009, 12:01 PM
Holy cow! I made someone's *ignore list!!*

: happy dance:

Eat your hearts out, fellow TT members. You *wish* you made an ignore list.

I've arrived, baby!! :) :)

Cindy -- wondering whether the server would crash if she put herself on her own ignore list

Racer41c
06-15-2009, 12:45 PM
So on the head shots, a guy I play with now and again does the same to me. Former college player hits with more pace and spin than anyone else I've ever (or will ever) play with. The only way I can handle his stuff is at the baseline. And/or, why is you partner serving to his forehand?

On the losing streak thing, I'm actually enjoying the other end. An actual winning streak. I feel like I'm playing any better with one exception, which is I'm playing very aggressively, not any better but more aggressive and forcing some bad shots.

Fedace
06-15-2009, 05:10 PM
Have you guys tried the Australian or "i" formation? This sometimes confuses your opponents, at least on the serve return - which may give you that fraction of time you need to get into position and hit a solid volley.

Also might help to signal-and-poach, in other words plan the poach with your partner so the returner never knows whether you're going to "go" or "stay". You'll present a moving target, so your opponent will have plenty of trouble aiming at your chest.

Well, that was the first time we played together and he didn't have any control over his serves. so he kept on putting his 2nd serve into this guy's forehand which was his main weapon. If we tried the I formation, i will bet he would have crushed it everytime up the line.

and he was double faulting alot so it was very difficult to consolidate a break. and strangely enough, it was even more difficult to break cause we were returning so bad.

Fedace
06-15-2009, 05:12 PM
So on the head shots, a guy I play with now and again does the same to me. Former college player hits with more pace and spin than anyone else I've ever (or will ever) play with. The only way I can handle his stuff is at the baseline. And/or, why is you partner serving to his forehand?

On the losing streak thing, I'm actually enjoying the other end. An actual winning streak. I feel like I'm playing any better with one exception, which is I'm playing very aggressively, not any better but more aggressive and forcing some bad shots.

I think that is a good advice. I have been playing very conservative, almost Timid at times. I am trying to just put the Returns in play instead of being aggressive with it. Perhaps the Key is playing more aggressive tennis. but i am kind of afraid my unforced error count may go up. :???:

waves2ya
06-15-2009, 05:21 PM
I find...

If I just split well every time - the rest follows. There's so much to think about if I get that done right all the rest of what to do often flows.

In a match Sunday against an opponent where I was tired from playing Saturday and a match I couldn't (club tourney) lose, I just focused on split stepping. First set went 7-5 (lucky to win) then second set 6-2 (could have been 6-0).

Just because I fixed on one of the most important things (instead of everything at once) - focused - then instincts took over.

volleyman
06-15-2009, 08:35 PM
I think that is a good advice. I have been playing very conservative, almost Timid at times. I am trying to just put the Returns in play instead of being aggressive with it. Perhaps the Key is playing more aggressive tennis. but i am kind of afraid my unforced error count may go up. :???:

Doubles rewards aggression a lot more than singles does. "Safe" and "conservative" shots tend to be volleyed away for winners by aggressive opponents.

Also, doubles points tend to be shorter, so if you can't hit that aggressive shot 5 times in a row, it's OK. In doubles, you probably only have to hit twice in a row at most.

Joeyg
06-16-2009, 11:24 AM
Beernutz is my new hero. He/she gets my vote for G.O.A.T!

precision2b
06-17-2009, 07:12 PM
Holy cow! I made someone's *ignore list!!*

: happy dance:

Eat your hearts out, fellow TT members. You *wish* you made an ignore list.

I've arrived, baby!! :) :)

Cindy -- wondering whether the server would crash if she put herself on her own ignore list

you go girl!!!

Tennisman912
06-22-2009, 06:25 PM
Fedace,

I agree with volleyman in some respects and disagree with others. First, I agree that it fair to ask your partner to take something off the first serve. Getting the fist serve in is very important. A good kick to their weaker stroke will serve you well (probably BH). I get almost 90% of first serves in. A good kick is usually more effective, especially at the higher levels, because everyone has great hands and will quickly dial in the flat one. If they can’t direct the second serve to the weaker stroke or where desired, they have something to work on (this is most everyone at the lower levels including 3.5 or 4.0 which I believe you play).

Where I don’t agree is backing up to the service line for the return or back farther as that is no man’s land in my book. Even at the service line, unless you aggressively move forward after the serve is struck, this is too far back IMHO. This is especially true with a weak second serve from your partner. Reason being a good player will repeatedly rip returns hard at your feet and you will not do well on balance. Because if you can handle pace at you closer to the net, you won’t be able to handle pace and spin at your feet a bit farther back. Once they realize you are missing volleys, you invite them to keep cracking it at you. Why change what is working? You are probably panicking as you have more time than you think, even on well-struck returns. Just split step as they strike and be ready (by not watching your partner serve).

As Cindy suggests if it is hard at you, you usually don’t have to do much but keep a firm wrist and hit it in front to be effective. Practice this until it is second nature. Remember, in most cases you want to hit a reflex volley right at you with your BH volley as you have more range of motion to protect yourself on that side. It is much faster to go from the ready position and turn your racquet on edge to the BH side, than duck or put your off hand up to protect yourself. Until it is, you are a liability in a more offensive position at net (even though your partner is contributing to your trouble with weak second serves to your opponents stronger strokes). Until you are confident there, you are probably better off at the baseline even though you are giving up position to keep yourself in the point.

No one said it was easy. Just get others to crack shots at you at the net until you are comfortable handling pace in that position. The good news is you can improve this quickly with practice.

Best of luck

TM