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user92626
01-05-2012, 09:21 AM
By that I mean your skills go up or down disproportionately depending on your doubles partner's skill?

I notice that it only takes my partners making rudimentary errors in 2, 3 games, my tennis would become like I just learned it last week! It's just very sad, bordering on quitting the sport altogether!

On other hands, if my partners do not randomly hit into the net or long, my tennis level (and in effect our games) would seem like ...invincible!!!!!!!! It's just a matter of time for me to outhit and outrun my opponents which is my style. It seems like the consistency reaches the level of OCD which I notice very few players have the heart and patience to stay on. I play pumped up and fast pace much better than a calm, take your time game.

Any doubles players here like that?

MarinaHighTennis
01-05-2012, 09:56 AM
When I play doubles tourneys with Kevin Young it seems that everything is dependent on his groundstrokes. He keeps nailing flat bombs past the net guy or overpowers the baseline guy to give me easy volleys. However, his volleys aren't the best and hes not aggressive at the net. As long as hes on the baseline, we got it :)

user92626
01-05-2012, 10:13 AM
Marina,

You're smart to let your partner play his strength or anyway he prefers. I have a friend who doesn't understand this concept and kept asking me to station at the net, even at a specific spot he wants. He couldn't play the baseline if I was back there. It was a disaster cuz I'm not aggressive at the net and I didn't feel like arguing with him.

Most people I play with do not realize that true, skillful doubles games require "true" doubles partners who have practiced together extensively and understood each other tendencies and have trust. Such scenerio does not exist when you play recreationally on weekends and with any player you run into. Early on I got it that our games are mostly just 4 players playing singles, and the games go to the ones with superior groundstrokes and running skills. LOL true singles game characteristics. :)

sphinx780
01-05-2012, 10:52 AM
My game goes up and down depending on the skills of my partner, and is something I'm working on correcting in regards to focus and energy level.

If I play with a partner who's weaker, I tend to step my game up and play more consistently aggressive. The reverse occurs when I play with a partner who is equal or better than I am, I tend to not be as aggressive with the confidence that my partner can hold his own, this leads to more tentative play.

So, last night the partner that I usually play with and is easily my equal if not superior player both decided to focus on being aggressive and taking over the match with each shot. 3 and 1 to a team we normally lose a tight match too. Hopefully this epiphany will continue as we were starting to stagnate in play due to our confidence in the other to take over a match.

Pumped up and fast pace, as you said, easily describes how I play my best.

skiracer55
01-05-2012, 11:09 AM
Marina,

You're smart to let your partner play his strength or anyway he prefers. I have a friend who doesn't understand this concept and kept asking me to station at the net, even at a specific spot he wants. He couldn't play the baseline if I was back there. It was a disaster cuz I'm not aggressive at the net and I didn't feel like arguing with him.

Most people I play with do not realize that true, skillful doubles games require "true" doubles partners who have practiced together extensively and understood each other tendencies and have trust. Such scenerio does not exist when you play recreationally on weekends and with any player you run into. Early on I got it that our games are mostly just 4 players playing singles, and the games go to the ones with superior groundstrokes and running skills. LOL true singles game characteristics. :)

...I have a similar thread "About 3.5 Doubles" (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=407833) in another forum. As I understand it, the way NTRP leagues work, you may or may not have the same partner from match to match. My big thing when you are playing the Random Partners game is to sit down and talk with your partner before the match. Try to figure out what you and your partner do well, and not so well, so you can come up a strategy that you both agree on.

Too often, at least from what I can see in the "Adult League & Tournament Talk" forum, everybody just shows up, warms up, and pulls the pin and starts play without any of the above discussion. Which leads to a ton of "I did this and I expected Jane to do that, but she didn't...what's wrong?" Short answer: she's not a mind-reader, and neither are you, so you either have to talk about strategy before the match...or not. In which case, you are essentially two singles players who temporarily happen to occupy the same side of the net in a match.

There's a corollary to this, which is "I told Jane that if I was at the net, and she got a short ball, I expected her to hit an approach, and, you know, move into the net with me. But she won't do it! Now what?" Now, you're stuck. You can either let her do her thing, and try to make the best of it, or let her do her thing and you do your thing...and maybe enough random events will happen in your favor that you'll win the match. But probably not.

I think doubles is a difficult game, at best, and even more difficult in the above scenario. Which is why I exclusively play singles...

WildVolley
01-05-2012, 11:11 AM
I mostly play for fun with random partners who are mostly not as good as I am. Problems develop when they can't volley well. If I'm bombing in the serve and they're not putting away the weak returns it really ups the pressure on me to finish the point. I can get carried away and try to overhit.

When my partner is better than I am, then I become the target and I know I have to step up my volley because I'm the one who's going to be tested. I find that fun.

r2473
01-05-2012, 11:21 AM
When my partner is better than I am, then I become the target and I know I have to step up my volley because I'm the one who's going to be tested. I find that fun.

Is your username accurate :)

user92626
01-05-2012, 12:36 PM
Ski,

What you describes is what I considered as "serious" doubles game. I doubt if I will ever get to that level, that game, talking and strategizing points. In my "world" everyone's doubles skill is earned from experience over time, and you bring what you have. This is good enough if you have great hitters with semi decent court coverage and running. Each point would last a while and has a ton of variety. I think if you get too good at doubles, then it's all about poaching and sharp volleying which can get monotonous. :)

bhupaes
01-05-2012, 01:01 PM
I play with a mix of good and not so good partners in pick up doubles games. Since my serve game tactic is to set up the net guy, yeah, the partner has a huge influence on how I play. I play best if my partner is good, preferably better than me, and I can hold serves. If my partner can't serve well, or volley well, or set me up at net for executing some nice volleys/smashes, or worse, actually makes me a target at net - I tend to get into a mode where I tend to finish the point as fast as I can without involving my partner. Needless to say, this tactic often results in lots of errors and a lopsided loss, unless the other team also sucks. After such a game, I wonder why I agreed to play with these guys when there was a perfectly nice wall to practice with!

What can I say - doubles is not very enjoyable, IMO, unless one has a partner who's well matched in skills and temperament.

gregor.b
01-05-2012, 01:05 PM
By that I mean your skills go up or down disproportionately depending on your doubles partner's skill?

I notice that it only takes my partners making rudimentary errors in 2, 3 games, my tennis would become like I just learned it last week! It's just very sad, bordering on quitting the sport altogether!

On other hands, if my partners do not randomly hit into the net or long, my tennis level (and in effect our games) would seem like ...invincible!!!!!!!! It's just a matter of time for me to outhit and outrun my opponents which is my style. It seems like the consistency reaches the level of OCD which I notice very few players have the heart and patience to stay on. I play pumped up and fast pace much better than a calm, take your time game.

Any doubles players here like that?

It is called confidence. If you believe in your partner,you can play your own game. If not,you will lose concentration. Every team makes mistakes,it is how we deal with them that differentiates us from less successful combinations.

user92626
01-05-2012, 01:18 PM
I play with a mix of good and not so good partners in pick up doubles games. Since my serve game tactic is to set up the net guy, yeah, the partner has a huge influence on how I play. I play best if my partner is good, preferably better than me, and I can hold serves. If my partner can't serve well, or volley well, or set me up at net for executing some nice volleys/smashes, or worse, actually makes me a target at net - I tend to get into a mode where I tend to finish the point as fast as I can without involving my partner. Needless to say, this tactic often results in lots of errors and a lopsided loss, unless the other team also sucks. After such a game, I wonder why I agreed to play with these guys when there was a perfectly nice wall to practice with!

What can I say - doubles is not very enjoyable, IMO, unless one has a partner who's well matched in skills and temperament.


I have thought of that tactic to use for myself but there's a dilemma to it, even counterproductive to your tennis progress. To me there are rules and tendencies to follow in a point that you can't really "finish the point" fast, artificially without doing something detrimental to your game. For example, if you fire a winner off of a low percentage ball and keep doing that, over time don't you develop that bad habbit or lose the ability to determine percentage shots?

bhupaes
01-05-2012, 01:30 PM
I have thought of that tactic to use for myself but there's a dilemma to it, even counterproductive to your tennis progress. To me there are rules and tendencies to follow in a point that you can't really "finish the point" fast, artificially without doing something detrimental to your game. For example, if you fire a winner off of a low percentage ball and keep doing that, over time don't you develop that bad habbit or lose the ability to determine percentage shots?

For sure, it's not a good way to play! It's the last resort of a desperate man. :)

skiracer55
01-05-2012, 01:53 PM
Ski,

What you describes is what I considered as "serious" doubles game. I doubt if I will ever get to that level, that game, talking and strategizing points. In my "world" everyone's doubles skill is earned from experience over time, and you bring what you have. This is good enough if you have great hitters with semi decent court coverage and running. Each point would last a while and has a ton of variety. I think if you get too good at doubles, then it's all about poaching and sharp volleying which can get monotonous. :)

...and if you're good with that kind of game...and I'm not putting you down, it sounds like you enjoy what you do...then what you're doing is just fine!

user92626
01-05-2012, 02:02 PM
My big thing when you are playing the Random Partners game is to sit down and talk with your partner before the match. Try to figure out what you and your partner do well, and not so well, so you can come up a strategy that you both agree on.


Do you really do when you team up with random partners? :shock: :)

I have never done that or seen anyone doing that. Everyone sort of tacitly knows that if a person sucks, he sucks, and gonna make the game boring. I know and have seen many players outrightly refuse to play or suddenly walked off in the middle of a set!

gregor.b
01-05-2012, 02:14 PM
My big thing when you are playing the Random Partners game is to sit down and talk with your partner before the match. Try to figure out what you and your partner do well, and not so well, so you can come up a strategy that you both agree on.


Do you really do when you team up with random partners? :shock: :)

I have never done that or seen anyone doing that. Everyone sort of tacitly knows that if a person sucks, he sucks, and gonna make the game boring. I know and have seen many players outrightly refuse to play or suddenly walked off in the middle of a set!

I use those sets to practice things like staying awake. There are some hot chicks who can't play and they like guys who are pretty good(sometimes).

Rui
01-05-2012, 02:47 PM
I don't try to cover for my partner. If the shot is up for grabs, I'll take it. Otherwise, I'll continue to play my style. However, I'll try to influence the point by aggressive positioning.

skiracer55
01-05-2012, 03:19 PM
My big thing when you are playing the Random Partners game is to sit down and talk with your partner before the match. Try to figure out what you and your partner do well, and not so well, so you can come up a strategy that you both agree on.


Do you really do when you team up with random partners? :shock: :)

I have never done that or seen anyone doing that. Everyone sort of tacitly knows that if a person sucks, he sucks, and gonna make the game boring. I know and have seen many players outrightly refuse to play or suddenly walked off in the middle of a set!

- First, I'm not a big fan of NTRP, or NTRP leagues. The Random Doubles Partners is a big reason why, there are others. But, again, if it works for you...including but not limited to Never Talking to the Random Partner You've Been handed...then fine.

- I'm not really a doubles player, any more, although I fully understand how to play doubles...with a partner I talk to, a partner I get handed who Has No Visible Means of Communication...whatever. I'm not against doubles, I just prefer singles. Per point 1, above...if you play USTA NTRP leagues...you are going to have to play doubles, and you are going to get handed a doubles partner. All I can say to that is that NTRP is not the only game in town. If you don't like the way that game works, you can still play tennis...

Timbo's hopeless slice
01-05-2012, 03:25 PM
I really hate playing doubles...

However, the league I play in has a 3 player format where everyone plays a singles and 2 doubles (you can see how that works)

Good thing is I play with two really good doubles players and I can just play my game and trust them to do all the right things.

Nothing could induce me to play doubles with someone I don't know, that's why I never tick the 'partner required' box when I enter a tournament. If I can't find someone I know at the event, I will just play the singles!

user92626
01-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Good to know there are you guys out there hating doubles with passion!!! :)

I always felt bad when I showed a little disappoinment or started playing crappy as if I did not care. Doubles is a tough business. I don't blame anyone for intentionally avoiding it.

At my regular site, there are this couple women, probably in their early 40s or something, who I always see teaming up together, practicing and playing sets. They don't hit or run anything spectacularly. But it's deceptive because they're really good together. A bunch of us guys randomly paired up and challenged them from time to time, but we always lost (so far)! LOL. :)

WildVolley
01-05-2012, 03:52 PM
Is your username accurate :)

Yes, but my whole game is wild. A little more consistent and I'd be a lot better.:)

user92626
01-05-2012, 04:04 PM
Yes, but my whole game is wild. A little more consistent and I'd be a lot better.:)

How is it that your whole game is wild?

Are you one of those who randomly strike the ball hard as if they can't keep the same power level for a few consecutive shots or always wanna try something cute? I know many like that. :)

spaceman_spiff
01-06-2012, 12:49 AM
Perhaps the inability to adapt to new partners is a sign of the deficiencies in one's game. And, rather than complaining about how your partner doesn't let you do the one thing you like, it would be better to improve on the things you don't do well. For example, if you're not good at the net, why not work on improving your net game rather than complaining that your partner doesn't let you hang back at the baseline?

If you want to see random doubles partners, move to England and play the club leagues here. You can get partners ranging from 13 or 14 up to 40 or 50. Some are weak, and some are quite strong. Sometimes, your partner is nowhere near the level of your opponents (I've played against a teaching pro and former junior county champion with a 13-yo partner on my side; you could say he was out of his depth). Eventually, you just learn to adapt.

In fact, I think playing with random partners can make you a better doubles player if you are willing to make an effort to adapt. Eventually, you get the chance to work on pretty much every aspect of your game as you are forced to adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of your various partners.

Bagumbawalla
01-06-2012, 06:08 PM
Not really sure, exactly, what your question or problem is, but, tennis is a complex and difficult sport- and doubles is even more so.

Obviously, one's partner has an effect on the "gestalt" of the team play- and this, naturally, works both ways. There are most likely some out there that dread having you as their partner, as well- it all evens out in the end.

So, my advice is, in a friendly"pick-up" game, do you best to play the best game you can play, try to help your partner do his or her best- and try not to fret, much, over things beyond your control. If you feel you have much more doubles experience than the partner- yes, have some strategy sessions- with the understanding that 20 seconds of discussion will have limited results, at best.

If this were a more "serious" tournament match, where partners team up by choice, my advice would be somewhat different.

damazing
01-06-2012, 07:05 PM
I was watching the doubles final online today that I think was in Qatar and the team that lost got broken once each set. The younger player who got broken wasn't helped by his more senior/accomplished partners mishits and tentative plays at net.