PDA

View Full Version : Doubles Freeze-Out


kwyjibo
11-16-2009, 11:13 AM
Hello:

I'm looking for some tips or strategies on how to deal with the following doubles scenario. My usual hitting group (8-10) meets twice a week to play single, doubles, and mixed doubles. We range in skill from newbie 2.5's up to strong 5.0's.

This past week only 4 players showed: a 2.5 female, two 4.0's (a male and a female), and a 5.0 male (me). I probably should have petitioned for sinlges with one of the 4.0's but the others seemed intent on mixed-doubles (the two 4.0's versus me and the 2.5) so I agreed. I am the newest member of the group.

We played 3 sets in a little over an hour with my partner and I losing 6-2, 6-2, and 6-2. The only games we won were my service games, which we won easily. In the first and second set I had 4 balls hit to me other than serves. In the third set I got 5 balls other than serves.

Our opponents were both "pushers" who basically froze me out and just dinked short shots to my very immobile partner which she was unable to return. I didn't want to be a "ball hog" as that would not have been any fun for her or helped her to improve. She is a righty with a weak forehand and an even weaker backhand who insisted on being on the "ad" side. Therefore, even if we had a break point, we could never convert it. She would not come to the net, even if only to stand at the service line to negate drop shots. On her serve, she double-faulted the first 3 times I went to the net after which she insisted that I stay at the baseline for the remainder of her service games. On the other hand, I had a great view of the inevitable cross-court drop-shot after each of her serves.

My return game is pretty good and I probaly hit winners on about 60% of my returns that day ( I had to). When I followed them in, and I had a volley, we won most of those points too. Unfortunately, too many times, the return shot was to my partner at the baseline resulting in a lsot point.

In that situation, is there a strategy that I am missing?

Best WIshes,

John

GuyClinch
11-16-2009, 11:18 AM
I had an almost similiar problem last week myself. I think you have to experiment with "disrespectful" lineups to counter this to some extent.

I didn't bother because this match doesn't "count" for anything and its likely to bother the woman.

But when receiving for example you could both lineup back - but with her cheated way over to your right and you covering alot more court. So basically she just is responsible for the doubles alley and maybe a touch more and you have the whole court to cover. As primarily a singles player this is the way to go for me. I find this easier then trying to cover extra court at the net which is tempting as a doubles partner but with me leads to issues with getting beat down the line and gambling too much on the poach.

Anyway in this way you have to basically cover the singles area of the court - and your partner has just the alley and a little more.. If your really a 5.0 compared to the 4.0 pushers you will win with this strategy as your superior groundstrokes (which they will have to hit) will over power the 4.0s. The 4.0 to 5.0 gap is huge and this would lead to an easy win. OTOH your probably not a 5.0 if you don't use this strategy. :P

Pete

raiden031
11-16-2009, 11:22 AM
Your best strategy is to find a better hitting group.

goran_ace
11-16-2009, 11:32 AM
There's not much you can do to compensate for a 2.5 partner against a pair of 4.0 players. What I would suggest is switching partners every set so every one has a chance to play with and against everyone else.

Ripper014
11-16-2009, 11:43 AM
I think this is the thread you are looking for....

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=296798

To be honest there is nothing you can do... the skill level between players is too mismatched.

Tennisman912
11-16-2009, 11:54 AM
Kwyjibo,

Well with all due respect, a 5.0 player would know what to do or what was realistic nor would he be asking anonymous people for advice. I don’t see many 5.0s in a group that would include down to the 2.5 level either. Even 4.0 is a waste of your time if you really want to work (other than maybe just rallying) on you’re game and are not just being nice.

Having said that, you should know going in that this is a fun match and that you shouldn’t be hitting anywhere near full pace and spin. You should also accept the fact you are going to lose against two players who know what they are doing with such a weak partner (knowing this is difficult for competitive people). All you can do is put your ego in your pocket and just enjoy making the game fun for everyone else. But if you are hitting 60% winners on returns, you haven’t learned this lesson yet. Ripping tons of winners against much weaker players does not endear you to the group. Accept you can’t control every outcome on the court and have fun. A forced error after a few rally shots to them would not be as obvious as a clean winner all the time. Granted, you probably won’t get that many shots in a row.

Put the group’s feelings above your own or find better players to hit with. That is the short answer.

TM

kwyjibo
11-16-2009, 12:03 PM
I did "pinch" her over so that she only had the alley and about one-third of the singles court to cover. I just don't like the idea of having to stiff-arm her to play a shot.

As I said earlier, during the match I hit winners most of the time on my returns. When I didn't hit a winner though, the 4.0's were able to dink a return to my partner which she couldn't get to or return most of the time. The 4.0's don't hit with much pace or depth, but do have pretty good placement.

There are usually 3-4 other 4.5's and above who show up but they all had other things going on this week. In the future I will be more proactive about knowing who will be showing up.

Best WIshes,

John

naylor
11-16-2009, 01:07 PM
... To be honest there is nothing you can do... the skill level between players is too mismatched.

When I'm is that situation, I simply practice good technique (good unit turn, watch the ball, etc.), and touch/placement shots I would not play often in a tight match situation, such as:-
1. second serves only - see how many aces / winners I can get from placement / spin, rather than power;
2. topspin lob returns - surprise the incoming volleyer by going aggressively over his partner at the net for an outright winner;
3. topspin dipping returns - but go for the netperson's toes, so he/she has to dig them up for either your partner to cross or you to move in for a simple kill;
4. inside-in returns down the line (backhand from the right, forehand from the left) on serves down the middle - as the netperson moves across to cover more of the middle, beat him by going for the gap opened down the trams;
5. cross-court drop returns to the tramlines.

With such a mismatch, you'll lose. Therefore, you might as well use it to get feedback from the success (or otherwise) of different shots you're attempting, rather than from your partner's inability to play at that level (you already know that).

Cindysphinx
11-16-2009, 06:48 PM
Actually, you wouldn't have to stiff-arm her to play the whole court. She starts at baseline, you start a couple of feet in from the baseline. If ball goes in her general direction, you just say "Switch" and then cross in front of her.

Still . . .

This does sound like a really jacked up experience. I mean, come on. A 5.0, two 4.0s and a 2.5? A *real* 2.5? That really is out of whack.

I have to say, I don't appreciate the way the two 4.0s were playing against the 2.5 in this social setting, though. It brings up a very bad memory of a social match I once had.

I was doing a doubles foursome with me (3.5), two other 3.5s, and a 2.5 who was doing us a favor by subbing in because we needed a fourth. Because the 2.5 was *doing us a favor,* I kind of figured we should be nice. Apparently, I was wrong.

I started off partnered with the 2.5 first, with the plan being to rotate partners after each set. I served first. One of the 3.5s cranks the return at the 2.5 player at the net. Of course the 2.5 can't handle it.

This goes on throughout the set, with one of the 3.5s basically picking on the 2.5 to win easy points. I was seeing no balls, and the 2.5 was seeing no balls she could return. It got to the point where I just stood flat-footed and waited for the eventual error. The 2.5 was embarrassed to be missing so, and I wasn't about to start pushing her out of the way and playing the whole court because that would not be nice. I was secretly annoyed with the 3.5 who was the main culprit. So they beat us, 6-1 or whatever. Yippee.

Then we rotated around, and the Main Culprit was partnered with the 2.5. My 3.5 partner and I played Normal, Traditional doubles. We didn't target the 2.5; we just played normally and everyone seemed to have a better time.

It sounds like your group needs to figure out what these matches are supposed to be. If they are cut-throat, then so be it. You crack your 5.0 strokes and let the chips fall where they may, and they can pick on your partner. Or they can be social matches, in which everyone plays reasonably in light of the abilities and limitations of the others, and you rotate around. Not having a meeting of the minds on that makes for a long day.

ManuGinobili
11-16-2009, 07:45 PM
First I think that, it is OK to lose. You are basically handicapped, and if you dont win they can't laugh at you.
Why did I say that? Because with that mentality you can have "fun". I used the term loosely there, because fun in that situation for me means fooling around with the opponents, punishing them for freezing you out. Revenge is a dish best served... period.
What I normally do is standing at the service box's line when it's my turn to go to the net. That way a lot more court is covered. You could even cheat the sideline a bit. If they don't want to hit to you then that's the last place they'll try. I dont know about you but I'm pretty good with drop shot on semi-volleys, and the service box line is a great position to get those. When you think about it, if the other 2 are pushers, they won't be able to hit great passing shots that make that position vulnerable in the first place. Now I recommend utilizing drop shots because 1, it's fun to watch the other guys run and 2, it's fun to watch the other guys run... more importantly though, chances are whatever ball they can send past you and to your partner won't be as dangerous as their normal groundstroke.
Start off with a few drop shots volleys and half volleys... then as they get worked a bit and starting to expect those, surprise them even more with a deep slice instead on those same shots. When they're both at the net, play a lob and make them run again. If pushers are in a constant scramble state, their accuracy drops noticeably.

Now the equally important part, your other half. If you want to improve her play, inject her with "mental cocaine". That is, no grumpy face when she mishits, instead a "It's OK", "It was close", "U'll do better next time". And lots of compliments whenever she gets something right. That is basic conditioning, people are more likely to repeat good behavior if it is rewarded.

What I'm suggesting here is not necessarily a way to win, but it's definitely a way to have fun ("It's about the journey, not the destination"- some wise guy). Have a relaxed mentality, be unpredictable and always ready to fool around a little bit. You will know who is laughing then.

GuyClinch
11-16-2009, 10:06 PM
I have to disagree with some posters. A 5.0 and 2.5 might beat a pair of 4.0's IF they wanted too.

Your going to have to resort to quite a few unorthdox tricks like cheating radically over (even on the serve game - make her serve from WAY outside).

Also I would think about some planned cross overs such that the opponents would have a harder time hitting balls to the 2.5.

However like I said no one DOES this because its not really that fun to scheme to freeze out your partner as much as possible.

psp2
11-16-2009, 11:01 PM
I have to disagree with some posters. A 5.0 and 2.5 might beat a pair of 4.0's IF they wanted too.

Your going to have to resort to quite a few unorthdox tricks like cheating radically over (even on the serve game - make her serve from WAY outside).

Also I would think about some planned cross overs such that the opponents would have a harder time hitting balls to the 2.5.

However like I said no one DOES this because its not really that fun to scheme to freeze out your partner as much as possible.

I don't care if RF is the partner of a 2.5 female. She's NOT going to hold serve nor be able to hit returns consistent enough to break serve.

Off The Wall
11-17-2009, 12:29 AM
I agree, what's the point of that match-up if only 3 players are involved? Try not to get involved in that again.

papa
11-17-2009, 05:54 AM
Well, I agree with the posters here and have been in this situation many times. I take it for a little while and then gently say something to the effect of "would you like me to sit down while you guys play, because this isn't a heck of a lot of fun for me?". If it continues, I try to excuse myself rather than the reverting to alternatives. As you know its a no win situation.

Playing "keep away" tennis might have its place but not in the situation you mentioned.

kwyjibo
11-17-2009, 06:14 AM
Thanks for all the great advice. I'm playing tennis so I'm having fun no matter what happens. I didn't hit first serves or winners until after they had "picked-on" my partner for half of the first set. I will do my best to avoid that same scenario in the future and if I can't I will try to be a better partner.

raiden031
11-17-2009, 06:40 AM
Can you explain why a 2.5 is even part of this group of 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 players?

kwyjibo
11-17-2009, 08:07 AM
She's the supervisor of some of the stronger players in the group. Apparently, she talked a lot of smack about how good she was until they felt guilty and invited to play with them. They are afraid of possible ramifications at work if they "un-invite" her

LuckyR
11-17-2009, 08:34 AM
She's the supervisor of some of the stronger players in the group. Apparently, she talked a lot of smack about how good she was until they felt guilty and invited to play with them. They are afraid of possible ramifications at work if they "un-invite" her

So they hit all available shots at her and beat her 2 and 2? Hhmmmm...

kwyjibo
11-17-2009, 09:12 AM
None of the people there on that day were her subordinates.

Ripper014
11-17-2009, 11:30 AM
I am sure we have all been put in this situation... and practicing your shots is something worth trying... but against 2 pushers... I don't think there is much to be accomplished. Obviously the 5.0 player is going to be doing to much. I am sure when he said they hit the ball exclusively to his partner it was no more than 2 balls.

When I am in this position... I just try and be supportive to my partner and encourage her to just make shots... and not worry about the results. My mindset is to try and just get through the match with the least amount of damage to my psyche as possible. I also try to live vicariously through my partner so if they make a great shot... I celebrate it with them... but I don't delude myself into thinking we are going to win.

Ken Honecker
11-18-2009, 01:55 AM
I'd play one up one back. That way when you are up you simply keep the ball from getting to her and when you are in the back you cover behind her on everything. Think of it as singles with a blocker out in front. If you play sides with a much, much weaker partner they simply don't hit it to you. Make them beat you.

naylor
11-18-2009, 03:25 AM
I'd play one up one back. That way when you are up you simply keep the ball from getting to her and when you are in the back you cover behind her on everything. Think of it as singles with a blocker out in front. If you play sides with a much, much weaker partner they simply don't hit it to you. Make them beat you.

The problem about that is that you're not playing good doubles - or practising your own game of doubles, for that matter. If you're paired with a weaker partner and your partner wants to make the grade, then the sooner he/she realises what they have to do to be able to carry their share of the team, the better. And if they don't, then the best way to convey the message (to get the h*ll out of this level of doubles) is to put them on the spot and watch them scr*w up. I don't mind mismatches when everyone takes it as a friendly knock-about and plays accordingly, but if the game is for real then the scope for carrying passengers is limited.

I played a set of doubles this evening with this guy - yes, a man! When he can tee up from the baseline on a rally he's OK, but on the move he simply floats the ball straight ahead (to the volleyer across the net) or hits the backfence. I'm the best server and returner in our foursome, but what does this bird do?

When I'm returning, he plays back, relying on picking up any short balls the incoming server plays in his direction - but forgetting that when I play a good return he can pick a cheap point off the incoming server. So he forces me to play dropshot returns, to force the incoming server to really rush the net and either make an outright mistake or play something my partner has a chance to reach (running in from the baseline). Anything else (other than a service return winner), the server can simply block / push down to my partner, carry on coming to the net, and then the wall is set.

When I'm serving, he stands in the tramlines, watches my serve and as I serve leaps back across to the middle of the service box. Basically, anything going his way he misses, because the ball is coming straight at him but his motion is across and he's watching somewhere else. So, that takes out all my wide serves on both sides, because if I go there he'll still open the tramlines to give away a winning pass; now, every serve has to be down the T so I can cover most of the court by playing singles S&V. And when he gets bored / picked off by the odd ball that still goes to him (and he misses), then he retreats to the baseline - still on my serve - so now I definitely have to play singles S&V, go down the T, etc.

In short, excruciatingly painful. So, on my service games I just treated it as singles S&V training 1-on-2 and let him watch. And when returning, I practised either inside-out deep returns, or cross-court drops. And all the time, I pray for 8pm to arrive (end of session, time for beers!).

Ken Honecker
11-18-2009, 04:42 AM
The problem about that is that you're not playing good doubles - or practising your own game of doubles, for that matter.

Well I can't say I don't mind getting beat because I'm competative as all get out but if something isn't working and there are ways to change it then I'm willing to try something different. I've seen others talk about the I formation which sure sounds like one up one back and others have trouted the Australian. I'm sure this will date me and make folks wonder about my level of play but personally I like playing one up one back as it really gives a person a chance to move about. That's what I played 30 odd years ago and Larry and I beat over 90% of the people we meet on the public courts. Heck the only people playing sides were those from the school teams and we schooled them just fine.

That said I was quite surprised this year when my daughters joined the High School team. I saw well over half their matches and not only didn't their coach teach sides I didn't see anyone from any of the other schools playing it as well even though I had always labored under the impression that it was the proper way to play.

And yes Cindy I remember you berating the guys you saw playing up and back but it's fun and until someone beats me on a regular basis I don't want to change.

papa
11-18-2009, 05:32 AM
Well, the "I" formation is certainly not about one up and one back. Its simply the servers partner taking a position in the middle having a pre-determined side he will cover/move to. The server still comes in, in most cases, because thats just sound doubles.

Playing one up, one back probably isn't going to get you far in any serious doubles although I know of one guy who, although frustrating to play with, will stay back for a couple of shots after his serve. Problem with this formation is that when the opponents man get ball its all over - you can drive a cement truck thru the hole. Good net players aren't going to pass up many opportunities here either.

GuyClinch
11-18-2009, 06:32 AM
One up and one back would never work - they would just hit to her when she is up - and you couldn't cover everything when you are up.

If your both back then you can use superior speed and groundstrokes to cover everything - as the OP is supposedly a 5.0.

People are so locked into the 1 up and 1 back formation - it's not that good. If you watch the pros they approach with that formation they just don't stay back there. But in amateur doubles the back guy just hangs out back there and you get in these moonball rallies..

Pete

Ken Honecker
11-19-2009, 12:34 AM
Well I reckon a 5.0 should be able to cover the whole net against a pair of 4.0's. Heck he should be able to bagel them being 2 levels higher. As far as the gal getting the ball at the net, just slide her up a little extra so if she hits it it's likely to clear the net rather than fly into it. She doesn't even have to punch at the balls, just move her racquet in front and let their pace work for her.

As for 1 up 1 back I think is is fine for most recreational levels. Sure some stuff gets through but it seems that a huge percentage of points in under 5.0 play are from unforced errors so it really doesn't matter where the defender stands. In fact it might even be benificial to leave open holes for them to aim for and miss. Then you factor in the confusion of playing against an unusual formation.

naylor
11-19-2009, 02:15 AM
Well I reckon a 5.0 should be able to cover the whole net against a pair of 4.0's. Heck he should be able to bagel them being 2 levels higher. As far as the gal getting the ball at the net, just slide her up a little extra so if she hits it it's likely to clear the net rather than fly into it. She doesn't even have to punch at the balls, just move her racquet in front and let their pace work for her.
As for 1 up 1 back I think is is fine for most recreational levels. Sure some stuff gets through but it seems that a huge percentage of points in under 5.0 play are from unforced errors so it really doesn't matter where the defender stands. In fact it might even be benificial to leave open holes for them to aim for and miss. Then you factor in the confusion of playing against an unusual formation.

You make the point about what a 5.0 can do to a 4.0. But this is doubles, so what can a 5.0 do to TWO 4.0s? Essentially, this is like a 2-on-1 on-court training situation, and in all those plays the 2 always win.

Or you can use your own logic and think it through the other way round - what can TWO 4.0s do to ONE 2.5, both being 3 levels higher than her?

I play a lot of competitive mixed doubles for my club, and we often end up with a 4-4.5 man paired with a 3-3.5 woman. In that set-up, I reckon I can receive serve from the man (on either forehand or backhand) and actually drill the ball past the woman at the net on either side of her, or dip it to her feet and past, or topspin over her, on better than 75% of returns, without her getting racket to ball and ball over net.

Now, put that in the OP's situation, and that's the 5.0's serve broken straight away unless he's an ace machine. For sure, that's the 2.5's serve broken without a shadow of a doubt.

And when it comes to returning serve, I just don't think the 4.0s will drop many (any?) service points against the 2.5. So, to compensate, the 5.0 has to play winners from all his returns - so, not just an ace machine, but a returning machine.

Tennis doubles is truly a game where you're as strong as your weaker link - so, the pairing with the lowest-ranked player (all other things being equal) is most likely to end up on the losing side.

naylor
11-19-2009, 02:23 AM
delete post - duplicated

Ken Honecker
11-19-2009, 05:04 AM
You make the point about what a 5.0 can do to a 4.0. But this is doubles, so what can a 5.0 do to TWO 4.0s? Essentially, this is like a 2-on-1 on-court training situation, and in all those plays the 2 always win.

Well they don't in my neck of the woods, not unless the 2 are good doubles players and the 1 isn't a singles player.

I agree with you that the team is only as strong as the weakest link. I play coed softball and volleyball and know it's hard to hide your weak players. A lot would depend on the players in question. Now the 2.5 gal could have passable good shots but absolutely no range. My wife is like that. Her range is all of about 1 step but if the ball is hit to her she whacks it back over. Maybe the 4.0's are not big servers but more defense players.

GuyClinch
11-19-2009, 05:13 AM
Well I reckon a 5.0 should be able to cover the whole net against a pair of 4.0's. Heck he should be able to bagel them being 2 levels higher. As far as the gal getting the ball at the net, just slide her up a little extra so if she hits it it's likely to clear the net rather than fly into it. She doesn't even have to punch at the balls, just move her racquet in front and let their pace work for her.

I can tell you haven't really been in a similar situation. I don't really agree with anything you have posted.

Bringing the girl to the net AT ALL is bad idea. It gives a very nice target for the opposition. The oppenents are trying to keep the ball away from YOU. So why let them hit balls to her that you can't cover? They will simply fire all manner of shots right at her (dippers, hard hit balls, wimpy overheads) and she will shank them. You would lose very quickly. This is a flat out terrible idea.

Instead just play her back and in the corner. So thus the 5.0 can run down any balls hit on the court unless the opponents manage to hit to her section with heavy pace. And since she will have a tiny section (whatever the 5.0 can't reach) that won't be hardly any balls.

As I said this isn't done because it's mean. But it would work much better for the OP assuming he was 5.0.

As for 1 up 1 back I think is is fine for most recreational levels. Sure some stuff gets through but it seems that a huge percentage of points in under 5.0 play are from unforced errors so it really doesn't matter where the defender stands. In fact it might even be benificial to leave open holes for them to aim for and miss. Then you factor in the confusion of playing against an unusual formation.

Not sure what your getting at here.. If your facing a pair of 4.5's who approach and cover the net with good volley's instead of just staying back out of the 1 up and 1 back formation your going to lose.

Likewise in a battle of 3.0's the female team that stays both back (which is "unconvential") can often win because the court coverage problems are mitigated. People are very locked into the 1up and 1back formation which again is predicated on the "back" guy approaching. People forget that and its a bad formation. You actually want to be in the same plane as your doubles partner either 2 up or 2 back as much as possible. You also want to keep a distance from your partner to cover more court.. So if they move one way to cover something you need to move with them. You want to imagine there is a string connecting you.

As far as the old "unforced" errors bit.. I find alot more winners are hit in rec doubles because the net player will get a ton of slam dunks if you dink it back to them. Doubles can be very punishing on dinkers.

Not only that I find the term 'unforced errors' to be a bit of a misnomer. Many unforced errors both on the pro and recreational level are created by good forcing shots. Yes the player can COVER that ball speed wise. But the action or placement on the ball whether its a high topspin shot to the backhand or a dipping ball to the net player create a ton of errors.

Anyway most people learn this quickly playing doubles. That dink slow paced but deep forehand that works fine in singles gets smacked back so hard the net person has to turn and duck for cover..

Pete

Ken Honecker
11-19-2009, 05:46 AM
Well in the original post it was stated that the other team dinked them to death because the 2.5 wanted to stand in no mans land and had 0 range. Then the poster said that when his partner was serving he played back and they simply never hit it to him. Obviously that wasn't working for them. Me I'd have started farther back from the net when my partner was serving, poached like a bandit and got up to the net as quick as could be to make them try and get it by me.

Playing the gal at the net if only he could have got her there couldn't have hurt their game any since you would hope that the 5.0 could return it well enough that the 4.0's were simply happy to get it back over.

GuyClinch
11-19-2009, 07:43 AM
Well in the original post it was stated that the other team dinked them to death because the 2.5 wanted to stand in no mans land and had 0 range. Then the poster said that when his partner was serving he played back and they simply never hit it to him. Obviously that wasn't working for them. Me I'd have started farther back from the net when my partner was serving, poached like a bandit and got up to the net as quick as could be to make them try and get it by me.

Well let's be honest here. I don't think most of us believe the OP. As a 5.0 wouldn't have to ask us for help - and 4.0s in doubles don't dink. People play fast and loose with the self rating system.

Anyway back to your point - obviously if the girl stands in no man's land the idea would not work. If she is in no man's land and he is back further it of course would be easy to keep him away from the ball. Moving her up would just make the problem worse not better.

Again you want to keep all the balls AWAY from her.. <g> Imagine if you teamed up with Andre Agassi - in some crazy must win for a life and death bet scenario.. What would you do?

I know I would let Andre hit every single ball he could get too. I'd basically stay out of the way. The only time I would take a stab at it is if he couldn't get to it. This is how a superior player could WIN with a far inferior one. Is that a fun way to play tennis? No.

If you were just playing casually for fun at like some charity even with Andre he is going to let you hit alot of balls.. That's what the OP did and they lost.

As the other posters say there isn't much that you can do about unless you want to be an *ss AND convince your partner to play along..

Truthfully the gap between a legit 5.0 and a 2.5 is so big the 2.5 might as well go sit down on points she isn't serving or receiving. :P

Pete

papa
11-19-2009, 10:35 AM
I can tell you haven't really been in a similar situation. I don't really agree with anything you have posted.

Bringing the girl to the net AT ALL is bad idea. It gives a very nice target for the opposition. The oppenents are trying to keep the ball away from YOU. So why let them hit balls to her that you can't cover? They will simply fire all manner of shots right at her (dippers, hard hit balls, wimpy overheads) and she will shank them. You would lose very quickly. This is a flat out terrible idea..

Pete

This is what you call hitting the nail right on the head.

Ken Honecker
11-20-2009, 02:50 AM
I still contend it would depend on what was wrong with her game that made her a 2.5. It was stated that she had almost 0 range which would mean even with a set of skills that would normally make her a 5.0 she wouldn't be one because she couldn't beat one. If she played right at the net and had fast enough reflexes she might be able to handle balls hit right at her. Remember her "5.0" partner shouldn't be hanging her out to dry very often.

What really hits strikes me as odd is how the other team took what seems to have been a "fun match" and turned it into a chance to beat the stuffings out of their boss. When I'm playing with a bunch of friends I don't seek out the weaker player with every shot. I hit my shots and the idea of avoiding someone because I didn't think I ,or my teammate, could handle his stuff is beyond me. They must really, really, have wanted to embrass her which isn't always a good idea with one's supervisor.

GuyClinch
11-20-2009, 07:35 AM
I still contend it would depend on what was wrong with her game that made her a 2.5. It was stated that she had almost 0 range which would mean even with a set of skills that would normally make her a 5.0 she wouldn't be one because she couldn't beat one. If she played right at the net and had fast enough reflexes she might be able to handle balls hit right at her. Remember her "5.0" partner shouldn't be hanging her out to dry very often.

Yeah..not really seeing this. I don't know any 2.5 women that want to hang around in no-man's land but are secretly 4.0 or better at the net. :P

And even if said player could volley like a gifted yet immobile 4.0 player (this is already sounding ridiculous) the opponents could hit her various manners of short lobs and such that she would go for and then muff..

This issue hits kinda close to home for me because I pretty much drove my buddy out of my little tennis group playing a woman like this.. The only difference was she would stand right at the net and muff volleys. He was plenty ****ed after that match..

Pete

naylor
11-21-2009, 04:45 PM
Yesterday, I played a competitive mixed match in this kind of set-up.

My partner can hit the ball - when the ball gets to her. Which means she hits the majority of returns when the ball is already quite low, so she hits it upwards - and unless she's very accurate with her placement, it's an opportunity for an intercept by the opponent at the net. And on wide serves, either she doesn't get them at all, or when she does if the opponents play the ball back to her to the normal receiving position, se doesn't get back for that. At the net, if she's moving in the right direction she can get racket to ball, but she lacks all the minute footwork and position adjustments to actually punch the ball with accurate placement between the opposition or wide, for clean putaways - the ball goes where the swing goes.

By comparison, our opponents were a lot more balanced in their capabilities. And every time they felt under pressure (returning serve, or on deep balls), up came the lob over my partner, without fail. So, I spent a wee while covering behind her, trying to miss her with a smash or a groundie (she wouldn't switch). At one point she told me if I wanted her to do so I should tell her, but I thought that unless she moved across as soon as she saw she'd be passed and called "yours" - i.e., she herself called the switch early and moved across to cover my side, rather than waste time sticking her racket up in hope - by the time I called and she started moving she'd only be in no man's land in the middle, with a worse result. Anyhow, after a little while of running and fetching, and making mistakes trying to force the play, I decided to save my own game for the men's doubles afterwards. So, we went down 2 and 1. Which is 2 games more than a fellow team member, playing with a similarly immobile partner. In the subsequent women's doubles matches both our pairs lost badly, picking less than two games per set on average.

It's very clear to me that, in doubles, if you have one weaker player in one pairing, and if the other pairing are competent enough to place their shots well enough to avoid the stronger player and target the weaker player, then the pairing with the weaker player will lose.

Also, I find that in doubles the killer weakness is lack of mobility by one player. Yes, you only have to cover half the court, but quite often you have to move early to cover the other half of the court - otherwise, you end up 1 up 1 back but on the same side. And you also have to have mobility to ensure you hit the ball in the correct contact point - and I have yet to see a player with weak mobility actually display the fleetness of footwork (on the spot, so to speak) to position him/herself properly to play a good swing. The problem then becomes that there are two people on the other side waiting to capitalise from the resulting weak shot and continue to add pressure - back onto the weaker player, or for a simple putaway to end the point.

By comparison, it's a lot easier to cover a weak stroke in doubles, provided that the player has good mobility. I often play doubles with people with suspect backhands, but if they're reasonably mobile I suggest they play on the backhand side, position themselves wide and run around as many backhands as they can! Then, if the server goes down the T they have to move in fast, but they do so towards their strength. And when they have to cover behind me, again they do it with their strength.