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View Full Version : serving strategy for last couple points of a match


vinouspleasure
05-22-2006, 08:49 PM
playing competitive doubles, everyone on the court is a righty, sets are 1-1, we`re up 5-4 and I`m serving for the match. For background, I have a big, flat first serve and a good twist 2nd serve that I sometimes hit a little harder as a first serve, especially wide to the ad court. Through the first two sets they are having a hard time returning my serve and I`m holding easily.

Its hot, I`m a little tired, a little nervous, my serve velocity is down 10-15mph and in my last service game they pushed me to deuce. I dig deep, get my serve velocity back up and we get to 30-15. I hit a big overhead off of a deep lob to run it to 40-15. One of our opponents says `great way to end it`, not realizing its not over.

I go to the service line thinking `An even better way to end it is an ace`. I hit a blast right up the T and miss by an inch. As soon as I miss it I`m thinking to myself, what a stupid, stupid idea to predicate my end of match strategy on a line our opponent tossed out. With that thought in mind I hit my kick serve into the middle of the net for my first double fault of the match.

After the match, I started thinking about the correct serving strategy at 40-15. Anyone have an opinion on the right strategy?

oldguysrule
05-23-2006, 07:53 AM
If I am your opponent, I would rather you try for the flat bomb on the first serve for two reasons. 1.) I can just block it back and 2.) There is a big chance you will miss.

I think a hard kick serve or twist is a better serve for doubles because it is more reliable, often harder to return, and gives you more time to approach the net.

So, on match point....put pressure on the returner by getting your first serve in.

TENNIS_99
05-23-2006, 02:30 PM
40-15 serve at the deuce court I would fire a slicer outwide. your opponent should even be more conservative since it is match point and that gives your partner chance to put it away. it you lose the point you still have you flatter to bomb at the T or kicker out wide the next point. well, exception is if you have really nasty twister use it on all accounts.:p

vinouspleasure
05-23-2006, 06:37 PM
40-15 serve at the deuce court I would fire a slicer outwide. your opponent should even be more conservative since it is match point and that gives your partner chance to put it away. it you lose the point you still have you flatter to bomb at the T or kicker out wide the next point. well, exception is if you have really nasty twister use it on all accounts.:p

I don`t think this is a great strategy. All serves at this point should be down the middle. If I lose the point, there`s no way I`m hitting a bomb or a wide kicker.

I basically agree with oldguy, I think high pctg kick serves to close out the match. I disagree with him that its easy to block a hard, flat serve up the T, to the backhand, at match point in doubles. My partner is going to be at the net strap and I`m going to be looking to hit the first volley at his partners chest.

oldguysrule
05-24-2006, 07:38 AM
I don`t think this is a great strategy. All serves at this point should be down the middle. If I lose the point, there`s no way I`m hitting a bomb or a wide kicker.

I basically agree with oldguy, I think high pctg kick serves to close out the match. I disagree with him that its easy to block a hard, flat serve up the T, to the backhand, at match point in doubles. My partner is going to be at the net strap and I`m going to be looking to hit the first volley at his partners chest.

Well, I didn't say it would be easy...I just prefer returning that serve vs. a kicker up the middle. Also, I am pretty good at pulling that return into the alley so your partner won't be able to automatically be at the netstrap.

On a related but different topic...What are the strategies you guys think about when selecting a side to return from? Traditionally, it seems the better backhand goes to the Ad side. Also, the better player to the ad side because more "big points" are played there. I have changed my thinking on this because: 1) Most better players serve down the middle, so more backhand returns are hit from duece side and it is a more difficult to hit the inside out backhand. 2) The first point can set the tone for the game. 3) In a duece game, you have to win the duece point before you have a break point. 4) Potentially, more points will be played from the duece side. Any thoughts?

BabolatFan
05-24-2006, 07:45 AM
At 40-15, I'd go for the ace. If you miss it, you still have your 2nd serve and still go for it. Gotta close it out as quickly as you can.

dmvprof
05-24-2006, 08:14 AM
Serve and volley. I'm assuming you don't do this much, but you could hit a kicker on the first serve and try to get into the net. Especially if you are at 40-15, so even if you miss it and lose the point, you've gotten in the head of the next guy you're returning to, and he may try too much on his return in fear of your coming in.

vinouspleasure
05-24-2006, 10:53 AM
Serve and volley. I'm assuming you don't do this much, but you could hit a kicker on the first serve and try to get into the net.

I serve and volley on every first and 2nd serve.

>>What are the strategies you guys think about when selecting a side to return >>from?

this is complex and it really depends on the strengths and weaknesses of your partnership.

>>Also, I am pretty good at pulling that return into the alley so your partner >>won't be able to automatically be at the netstrap.

imo, this is low pctg tennis.

oldguysrule
05-24-2006, 02:18 PM
...imo, this is low pctg tennis.

I completely agree. But if you are playing an active netman who likes to poach and crowd the middle, well, you gotta keep'em honest. Most of my returns go crosscourt, but 2-3 per set go in the alley.

vinouspleasure
05-24-2006, 03:23 PM
I completely agree. But if you are playing an active netman who likes to poach and crowd the middle, well, you gotta keep'em honest. Most of my returns go crosscourt, but 2-3 per set go in the alley.

- you do have to keep him honest, with a little more than 2-3 per set.
- i really don't think you want to do this with two match points against you.