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slewisoh
05-18-2006, 07:41 PM
I know it usually goes the other way - a singles player takes up doubles. But are there dbls players here who have tackled singles successfully?

I've only played a few ladder matches and I know initially fitness would be an issue, but it's so FREEING to hit returns in singles compared to doubles. I feel like I have this huge space to work with. I hit good deep approach shots and follow them in, but right now my volleys are sharply angled dbls shots. Obviously there are many things to work on and adjustments to make, but at 3.5 ladies, I would think it's possible...

theartoftennis
05-18-2006, 10:06 PM
Good singles player will easily pass you everytime you chip and charge. :)

nViATi
05-18-2006, 10:26 PM
Watch Agassi play. The key to singles is making your opponent run.:D

goober
05-18-2006, 10:52 PM
I don't see why you can't do it. Yes you need more fitness and more footspeed to run everything down than you do in doubles. Your net game will help you in singles but you have a lot more net to cover so you can't just charge in on all the time or you will get passed. You will run into many pushers on the 3.5 level so if you are not consistent, in shape and patient you will be frustrated.


Go play some practice matches!

Kaptain Karl
05-18-2006, 10:59 PM
Go for it! These days, the mere fact that you are attacking the net would throw over 80% of the 3.5s off their game. Learn the angles. Learn the best approach shots to use (which will vary by opponent). Have fun!

- KK

tennus
05-18-2006, 11:37 PM
I know it usually goes the other way - a singles player takes up doubles. But are there dbls players here who have tackled singles successfully?

I've only played a few ladder matches and I know initially fitness would be an issue, but it's so FREEING to hit returns in singles compared to doubles. I feel like I have this huge space to work with. I hit good deep approach shots and follow them in, but right now my volleys are sharply angled dbls shots. Obviously there are many things to work on and adjustments to make, but at 3.5 ladies, I would think it's possible...

Absolutely, in fact there is a case saying it's easier adapting to singles from doubles rather than the other way round. The way I see it, the biggest difference may be return of serve angles and hitting down the middle a little too much but if your a proficient net player make sure you use some net play in ladies singles, even if it's only now and then. :cool:

shindemac
05-19-2006, 12:22 AM
A lot of people will just lob over you. People learn quickly not to mess with a good net player, and will stop trying to pass you. I also wouldn't discount the quality of lobs. Sure, they may be crummy at first, but I don't think it takes a long time to get a decent lob.

North
05-19-2006, 04:37 AM
I mostly only play singles & I often wind up playing with opponents who mostly play doubles but figure why not play singles once in a while. The areas where the erstwhile doubles player has to adapt most are (most already mentioned): returns need to be deep - those short dipping angled returns at the feet of the server in doubles just get scooped up in singles and often put away for winners. Same thing with ground strokes - I notice some doubles players hit their groundstrokes very short. Sometimes those short little angled shots are effective, depending on you and your opponents court positions, but as you play better opponents they are just (at least for me) invitations to hit approach shots and come to net or to move in from the baseline and hit winners.

Serves need to be varied and moved around more. I notice some doubles players hardly ever serving out wide. Groundstrokes, too, should be more crosscourt in a rally rather than down the middle. If somebody keeps hitting groundstrokes down the middle to me, I just run them back and forth along the baseline until they (invariably) cough up a short ball while they are on the run that I can come in on. Again - keep the ball deep.

If you S&V or chip-and-charge, approach shots and first volleys go down the line most of the time, not cross court (unless you can definitely put away the first volley with a nice wicked cross court angle). Learn to love the half volley. It can be tough, sometimes, to get in far enough after you serve to take the ball in the air. That's OK - just don't wait too long to split step and use the half volley as your approach shot (takes a lot of practice to get good at this).

Although I do some aerobic cross-training, I do sprints (you can either run or do bike sprints on an exercise bike) primarily to adapt to the demands of singles tennis. I do Pilates-type stuff also to keep what I believe has been referred to as an "explosive first-step reaction".

Above all, if you S&V, be patient. It takes time to get good at it and the timing is much harder than just staying at the baseline (thus the proclivity of most people to just stay at the baseline). You may lose a lot more than you win at first. Just keep plugging away, even if you keep getting passed at first because once you get good at it, the odds are with you.

slewisoh
05-19-2006, 08:09 AM
North, thanks for the information. Based on the feedback I have received here and from opponents I feel good about my returns and groundstrokes. I know they are deep with plenty of topspin and the doubles history makes placement seem easy.

I threw s&v out the window, at least for now. I have a good half volley, but in singles I don't know where to target this shot. When I do attack a short ball and approach the ball is deep but I'm not good at positioning myself for the next volley. Just not sure where to be or where to hit my finishing shot. I tend to hang near the service line and hope for a lob. An overhead I know what to do - finishing volley from that position is not so clear. I am much more discriminating about approaching the net - getting passed left and right has that effect on me.

Most of the people I play don't attack the serve. They seem content to put the ball in play up the middle and wait for another opportunity. With no one at the net to contend with I'm jumping all over serves. I love being able to hit up the lines. Chipping short is great fun too and effective against folks who don't like to come to the net. Yes, I have a lob and I'm not afraid to pull an opponent in and use it.

If I can improve my fitness, vary my serve and figure out where to volley I should be able to at least compete. Fun fun!

I am concerned about keeping track of the score. I've been known to blank out which is a problem when you are alone. I'm also not good at calling serves long, because I'm just not used to making the call from the baseline. Several people have been aggravated because they have stopped playing because they see their serve is long, but I can't tell so I play the ball.

Any differences in etiquette to note? I hand the balls to my opponent as opposed to just leaving them on the service line. Is it rude not to be chatty at the changeovers?

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 08:36 AM
I know it usually goes the other way - a singles player takes up doubles. But are there dbls players here who have tackled singles successfully?

I've only played a few ladder matches and I know initially fitness would be an issue, but it's so FREEING to hit returns in singles compared to doubles. I feel like I have this huge space to work with. I hit good deep approach shots and follow them in, but right now my volleys are sharply angled dbls shots. Obviously there are many things to work on and adjustments to make, but at 3.5 ladies, I would think it's possible...

I have no idea why players think doubles does not require good fitness. Are people just standing around? ;)

kevhen
05-19-2006, 08:49 AM
I have seen old guys with no footspeed and 300 pound guys play great doubles. Fitness is not as essential in doubles. Racquet skills especially volley skills are much more important in doubles.

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 08:50 AM
I have seen old guys with no footspeed and 300 pound guys play great doubles. Fitness is not as essential in doubles. Racquet skills especially volley skills are much more important in doubles.

LOL, fitness is a key ingredient in nearly all sports - even doubles.

kevhen
05-19-2006, 08:52 AM
Fitness is key in cardio sports like soccer, running, etc but doubles tennis is not a cardio sport. You can cover most shots with one or two steps so if you have the racquet skills, you can compete.

simi
05-19-2006, 08:55 AM
I am concerned about keeping track of the score. I've been known to blank out which is a problem when you are alone.

Illustrates why the server should call out the score before each first serve. Even if the score is announced after a long rally or some other inturruption, my own personnal ritual is to get my feet set, do my "fiddle around" routine, check if the receiver is ready to receive serve, then call out the score and serve my first serve.

Now, if you are just forgetful and can't remember the score . . . don't know what to suggest, because honestly, sometimes I forget also.

I'm also not good at calling serves long, because I'm just not used to making the call from the baseline. Several people have been aggravated because they have stopped playing because they see their serve is long, but I can't tell so I play the ball.

Only thing I can suggest here when this happens is to stop play and explain to your opponent that unless you call his or her serve long or wide, they are to assume that the serve is good and play out the point. Then offer to replay that particular point. You will learn soon enough when a serve is long or not.

Any differences in etiquette to note? I hand the balls to my opponent as opposed to just leaving them on the service line. Is it rude not to be chatty at the changeovers?

a. If I have the balls with me, I'll just hand them to my opponent at the net where our racket bags (and our water bottles) are. If it looks like we will not be in close contact on the changeover, I'll just leave them on the baseline near the center hash.

b. Play it by ear. Let your opponent decide. If he or she is personable and friendly, they will be chatty. If they are quite serious, they won't be willing to say much. Also depends on if it is a friendly match or a tournament/league match.

simi
05-19-2006, 08:58 AM
Fitness is key in cardio sports like soccer, running, etc but doubles tennis is not a cardio sport. You can cover most shots with one or two steps so if you have the racquet skills, you can compete.

Disagree slightly. Doubles can certainly be cardio. Really depends on your partner. There have been points where I'll serve and rush the net, just to get lobbed, so I have to go back, then head back in, then get lobbed again, or worse, from side to side at the baseline while my partner camps out at the net. Doubles can take your breath away, but I agree that most times it is pretty docile.

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 09:20 AM
Fitness is key in cardio sports like soccer, running, etc but doubles tennis is not a cardio sport. You can cover most shots with one or two steps so if you have the racquet skills, you can compete.

Well fitness falls into a lot of areas. Physical fitness can imprve mental stamina, alertness, awareness, acuity, and speed.

Physical fitness, can help a player endure long periods of an athletic stance which is essential in making strong volleys.

Physical fitness can help a player endure long service games and still have gas in the tank to finish a long match be it doubles or singles.

Physical fitness can improve the ability to stay focused during a series of points that you don't touch the ball.

Physical fitness can improve your ability, alertness, and reaction to poach or be alert to cover the lob, back up your partner, etc...

Physical fitness can help keep you alert on a hot humid day.

You yourself just indicated that a player deep in the service box shouldn't or can't make solid deep volleys - good physical fitness can help in this area.

Good physical fitness can help you stay on your toes, and remain light on your toes to field wider volleys on-time and with good technique through a series of blows.

Physical fitness can greatly improve one's footwork for, overheads, serves, service returns (WHICH IS HUGE IN DOUBLES), running plays, and volleys.

Good physical fitness can help you overcome the "LOB TEAM". Serve and hitting overheads can take a toll on your stamina and weaken you as the match progresses. Physical fitness can help a player overcome this in doubles.

Good physical conditioning helps to motivate a player to move and move in quickly. Or not stay flatfooted when they are not hitting the ball.

Good physical fitness improves ones patience, strokes, and enjoyment of a higher level of doubles!

Anyone would be a fool to underestimate the power of physical fitness in the game of doubles. Who you trying to kid? Do you really want to argue this?

North
05-19-2006, 09:46 AM
I have no idea why players think doubles does not require good fitness. Are people just standing around? ;)

Yes - lol! - well, not quite standing around but not moving vey much (though less so as you go up levels of play.) But that is only what I've noticed; so it's just a generalization. I would guess the reference to fitness comes from playing singles with baseline bashers running back and forth along the baseline in longer rallies. Also - a lot of older players, 40s and older (I'm 50) ask me how I can manage to play singles in terms of stamina/fitness; they cite greater physical demands in singles.

Slewisoh - you sound in singles like I am in doubles - I'm usually not sure where to be on the court in doubles. If you go to the net in singles, follow the ball - so you wind up a little more on the same side as the ball, rather than a little crosscourt like for groundstrokes from the baseline. It's the same kind of skills as from the baseline - absolutely focusing on the ball, reading & reacting to where the ball is going (anticipation is key), & moving to best postion. It just happens a lot faster up at the net.

Approach shots & first volleys I usually send up the line (or out in front of me) except occasionally to keep the opponent guessing. You have to cover the line b/c that's where a lot of people will return your approach shot, but you also have to be ready to cut off a crosscourt pass attempt. My 2nd volleys can usually go crosscourt for a put-away. It's very sastisfying to actually construct a point like that and have it work (would that it worked that neatly all the time - lol). It just takes practice to see what works and what doesn't. If you can find a pro to work with to help you learn, not just the volley shot itself but, the S&V game, that would be good.

Etiquette, hm. I've also come across people who got ticked off b/c I return serves they thought might have been long. But, I agree that if I'm ever not sure, the ball is good and I play it as such. If the opponent stops playing, it's your point. Don't let it rankle.

Some people do think you're rude if you're not chatty at changeovers (I try to never talk with my opponent during the match) but I don't really concern myself with that. In fact, I camp out on the other side of the court. I try to be friendly after the match, though, so they know I'm not personally snubbing them.

Have fun with singles!

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 10:45 AM
I would guess the reference to fitness comes from playing singles with baseline bashers running back and forth along the baseline in longer rallies.

Someone once said that it takes more physical fitness to move forward then side ot side. ;)

Aren't we suppose to Serve and Volley in doubles? Or is everyone standing around? :)

Kaptain Karl
05-19-2006, 10:58 AM
Fitness is not as essential in doubles.Wow! My first thought was, "kevhen isn't a Dubs player."

But my beef is really with the "as essential" phrase. I agree with BB that fitness is certainly essential in Dubs ... but the focus is on a different "kind" of fitness.

I'd agree that *generally* Singles requires more "wind" than Dubs ... but Dubs requires more "quickness" than Singles. They both require fitness.

- KK

simi
05-19-2006, 11:16 AM
I'd agree that *generally* Singles requires more "wind" than Dubs ... but Dubs requires more "quickness" than Singles. They both require fitness.

Best characterization between the differences that I've ever heard. Probably why single players don't like dubs much, and why I don't like singles much. Quickness is certainly a lot different than endurance. If one doesn't have fast hands, quick feet, and intuitiveness, they will struggle in doubles. If one does not have power nor endurance, they will struggle in singles. (I'm not saying that these are exclusive qualities, there is a lot of crossover.)

North
05-19-2006, 11:26 AM
Someone once said that it takes more physical fitness to move forward then side ot side. ;)

Aren't we suppose to Serve and Volley in doubles? Or is everyone standing around? :)

I think it takes different footwork and better balance to move forward than side to side. Ie: not just lunging up to the net. I've always felt that good forward/back movement was more graceful (because it has to be to be really effective) than the side to side running.

But, honestly, up to 3.5 or so, I often see the server indeed come up after the serve but then the players mostly move from side to side (as a team if they are attuned to doubles strategy) with the occasional often clumsy scrambles backward after lobs. They obviously don't really just stand around but they really do not move that much and it's certainly not graceful most of the time - lol - pot bellies akimbo and all (ooh....that's not a fun mental image). Only at around 4.0 (esp. 4.5) do I start to see better forward/back movement in doubles.

Woodstock_Tennis
05-19-2006, 11:35 AM
I've been playing a lot of double to help my net skills, but when I talk to the other teams most say the reason they play doubles is because they know they're not in good enough shape for all the running from singles.

North
05-19-2006, 11:41 AM
Best characterization between the differences that I've ever heard. Probably why single players don't like dubs much, and why I don't like singles much. Quickness is certainly a lot different than endurance. If one doesn't have fast hands, quick feet, and intuitiveness, they will struggle in doubles. If one does not have power nor endurance, they will struggle in singles. (I'm not saying that these are exclusive qualities, there is a lot of crossover.)

Interesting distinction. It is also probably applicable to singles players who prefer baseline vs S&V play. Ie: power/endurance vs quickness/intuition.

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 11:44 AM
Interesting distinction. It is also probably applicable to singles players who prefer baseline vs S&V play. Ie: power/endurance vs quickness/intuition.

I have no idea where you guys are getting your information, but to S&V, that requires a lot of fitness.

North
05-19-2006, 11:54 AM
I have no idea where you guys are getting your information, but to S&V, that requires a lot of fitness.

I agree - I S&V. I'm not any slower up at the net after a couple of hours but I would be slowing down a little after two hours if I just played from the backcourt and had to keep running back and forth. (Don't know how much of that would be mental fatigue, though, at least in me.) Just different aspects of fitness.

kevhen
05-19-2006, 12:05 PM
How much do you weigh Bill since earlier you admitted to being 40 pounds overweight?

I could lose another 10 pounds to be in peak shape but am fit at 203, 6'4. I move well in singles and can serve and volley in doubles. I can play doubles all day and then again the next day and next day. I can only play singles for about 3-4 hours and then like a day off after that. Big difference between singles and doubles and the level of fitness needed to be competitive. I will be playing USTA 4.5 doubles next winter, and have been playing evenly with the 4.5 doubles guys at the club the last two weeks now.

slewisoh
05-19-2006, 12:16 PM
Personally, I'm talking about improving endurance for singles vs doubles. In doubles I play s&v almost exclusively and am very active closing the net, moving back to cover lobs, scrambling to cover open court. I find the forward/backward movement to be relatively easy and rarely have to make a significant lateral movement.

Being run side to side is what worries me. So far I have avoided it by returning aggressively, thereby ending points quickly and by varying my groundstrokes enough to not allow my opponent to groove their groundstrokes. I'm sure my strategy will not hold up for all opponents.

I'm quick, but I would never survive a prolonged counterpuncher match. No endurance, no patience.

kevhen
05-19-2006, 12:20 PM
Are you talking about the Boise Swim and Racquet Club? If so, I was playing there pretty much all of last week, me and my extra 40 pounds I picked up "somewhere" . It wasn't pretty, but it is still fun getting out there and hitting some balls.

Someone 40 pounds overweight preaching about fitness is pretty funny.

North
05-19-2006, 12:36 PM
Personally, I'm talking about improving endurance for singles vs doubles. In doubles I play s&v almost exclusively and am very active closing the net, moving back to cover lobs, scrambling to cover open court. I find the forward/backward movement to be relatively easy and rarely have to make a significant lateral movement.

Being run side to side is what worries me. So far I have avoided it by returning aggressively, thereby ending points quickly and by varying my groundstrokes enough to not allow my opponent to groove their groundstrokes. I'm sure my strategy will not hold up for all opponents.

I'm quick, but I would never survive a prolonged counterpuncher match. No endurance, no patience.

Sounds like a pretty good strategy, although as you move up and people have better serves, your returns will also have to really improve. Add a good net game and the ability to counterpunch at intervals and you will have the all the options you need. As you play more, your A,B and C plans will all improve. I was pushed to be a counterpuncher when I first started playing b/c I'm short, I'm very fast, and I had solid bread and butter groundstrokes. Absolutely no way I can do that psychologically - lol! - even with the endurance. So I understand your concern. You just need to have the ability to do it (play from the baseline) as part of your arsenal, when needed.

oldguysrule
05-19-2006, 12:53 PM
Someone 40 pounds overweight preaching about fitness is pretty funny.

Kevhen, you don't usually take cheap shots...

It seems that some of the responders missed the comparison part of your post. Doubles does demand a certain level of physical fitness. But, singles demands a higher level. Anybody that would argue that point would be arguing with 99.9% of the tennis playing population as well as any study ever done on the health benefits of playing tennis. Just look at the studies that show the amount of calories burned playing singles vs. doubles. Better yet, do your own study. Play 3 competitive sets of singles one day and 3 competitive sets of doubles another day. Which day is more physically challenging?

North
05-19-2006, 12:56 PM
Kevhen, you don't usually take cheap shots...

It seems that some of the responders missed the comparison part of your post. Doubles does demand a certain level of physical fitness. But, singles demands a higher level. Anybody that would argue that point would be arguing with 99.9% of the tennis playing population as well as any study ever done on the health benefits of playing tennis. Just look at the studies that show the amount of calories burned playing singles vs. doubles. Better yet, do your own study. Play 3 competitive sets of singles one day and 3 competitive sets of doubles another day. Which day is more physically challenging?

Ooh, ooh, I know. Singles?

Fatmike
05-19-2006, 12:59 PM
I think it's easier to go from double to single.

In double, you already masters net play. In single, you can stick to baseline and never come to net. (like I do). So I have a hard time in double (and I play double 3 hours/week, vs single 5 to 7 hours/week)

oldguysrule
05-19-2006, 01:01 PM
Ooh, ooh, I know. Singles?

Congratulations! You win a free "appropriate gear consultation" from a specially selected committee of TW posters. You tell us how you play and what you play with and we will tell you what to change.

North
05-19-2006, 01:43 PM
Congratulations! You win a free "appropriate gear consultation" from a specially selected committee of TW posters. You tell us how you play and what you play with and we will tell you what to change.

lmao!...

papa
05-19-2006, 01:45 PM
One of those questions of "where do you play and who do you play with" type things. Doubles can and should be almost as physically difficult as singles if the game is played well. Sure, some doubles teams do not seem to move very much but looks can be deceiving. For whatever reason, there are some that think this game should be played with frantic wild running from side to side - front to back. Good doubles teams seem to float/skate from position to position giving off the allusion that there is little effort involved - such is not the case.

Yes, I have seen, all too often, those that "camp" in one spot and wait for the ball to come to them - they generally don't get far and those that appear to succeed get easily beaten by opponents that can control the ball. This is for the most part even below club tennis - generally what is played at the park level. In most instances, its not because they can't play the game at a higher level, its just that they don't know how.

Having never had weight problems I cannot imagine the challenge those folks face on and off the courts - it can't be easy. I have played with and against some excellent players who were overweight and have always wondered just how much better they would be twenty, thirty, forty or fifty pounds lighter.

Life today seems, at times very trying and complicated - its not quite as simple today as it was when I grew up. You guys have (all of you) wonderfull opportunities ahead of you but you always face very difficult and extremely complex choices.

Bungalo Bill
05-19-2006, 05:33 PM
I think it takes different footwork and better balance to move forward than side to side. Ie: not just lunging up to the net. I've always felt that good forward/back movement was more graceful (because it has to be to be really effective) than the side to side running.

But, honestly, up to 3.5 or so, I often see the server indeed come up after the serve but then the players mostly move from side to side (as a team if they are attuned to doubles strategy) with the occasional often clumsy scrambles backward after lobs. They obviously don't really just stand around but they really do not move that much and it's certainly not graceful most of the time - lol - pot bellies akimbo and all (ooh....that's not a fun mental image). Only at around 4.0 (esp. 4.5) do I start to see better forward/back movement in doubles.

Think so? It does take balance to move side to side. It takes balance to stop and start going forward as well. Plus, as you move forward you have to sprint while keeping your head still.

You have to serve and most likely right away volley. You have to serve and most likely field a ball at your feet. You dont think that takes balance? :)

Folks, you can go on as much as you want. But the bottom-line is, doubles IS about movement and movement is about fitness. The better fit you are, the better movement you have, the better movement you have, the more things you can do and that is the bottom-line.

slewisoh
05-19-2006, 07:18 PM
Congratulations! You win a free "appropriate gear consultation" from a specially selected committee of TW posters. You tell us how you play and what you play with and we will tell you what to change.
You guys have already changed everything I play with, the exception being recommendations for a good sports bra...have to draw the line somewhere.;)

slewisoh
05-19-2006, 07:41 PM
I'm certainly not winning doubles matches because of my fitness level. Shoot, I've been on a treadmill perhaps 5 times in the ten years I've been home with kids. I do enough band work to keep my shoulder in working order but otherwise do very little weightlifting. Tennis basically is my workout.

I play against people who are much more fit than me yet I can usually figure out ways to win. I find that knowing what shot to hit at the right time and understanding court coverage to be far more important factors - at least at my level.

I have very good balance and quick feet and hands. Without these attributes I couldn't hit a solid first volley or dig out half volleys or get a racquet on the often odd paced, strangely placed shots that are unique to doubles. Sometimes I think I will land in traction, with the contortions that quick net exchanges sometimes demand.

That being said though, this same set of attributes won't get me through a singles match. I can get through a match against lesser players, but against players with comparable skills I'm toast. I simply cannot keep up with the Energizer Bunnies of the world.

Specifically, I need to work on cardiovascular endurance with either running or cycling (wish I swam well) and I need to strengthen my torso and various hip/lower back muscles that will provide stability for lateral movement. I think that's the minimum amount of work I need to do!;)

Bungalo Bill
05-20-2006, 12:35 AM
You guys have already changed everything I play with, the exception being recommendations for a good sports bra...have to draw the line somewhere.;)

Just keep learning.