Ad player vs Duce player

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tnnisfan, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. tnnisfan

    tnnisfan New User

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    Our two pros were "arguing" this morning. I thought I would bring it to the board and find out your thoughts/experiences...
    Here is the situation. We are a 4.5 ladies club team. Our pros are setting up this year's doubles combination. They were "stuck" on what to do with me and my new partner. One pro said I should be on the Ad side as they think I am the overall stronger player and solid at the net. The other pro said I should be on the Duce because I have a stronger forehand than backhand and my partner is more consistent in her returns even though she doesnt hit hard. This pro feels its more important to get the point started, but the other pro is worried my partner's softer returns will be punished and thinks its better to lose points from the Ad side than Duce. It was fun listening to their debate and in the end the pro putting me on the Duce side "won". Does it really make that much difference at this level? Curious to hear of others experiences
     
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  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 4.0, not 4.5, so my thoughts might not be all that applicable.

    I think in ladies doubles, you have to have a strong crosscourt FH in the deuce court. If not, the opposing net player will use her FH poach to eat you alive.

    Also important is having a solid overhead in the ad court, as that player will see 75% of the overheads.

    I understand the logic of having the more consistent returner in the ad side, but . . . the serves I have seen from 4.5-ish women are good, but Serena will not be across the net. The serves are plenty returnable. Whoever is on the ad side should be able to get her returns low and away from the BH poach of the opposing net player.

    So, without knowing more about your respective games, I would agree with what your pros decided.
     
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  3. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I've never heard that its better to lose ad points than deuce points. Every big point is on the ad side except 5-40 or 40-5. I wouldn't want to be at a disadvantage every time we give them an ad point.

    My theory is simple: whoever plays ad side best, plays ad side. If the ad player has on off day, switch sides after the 1st set.
     
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  4. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    I really don't see how it makes a difference which side you start from. You have to alternate sides after every point anyway, plus can't you just mess with the formations maybe play a little aussie formation?
     
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  5. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Rather than basing it all on theory why not just play 2 practice sets--1 w/ you in the ad court then 1 w/ you in the dEuce court and see which 1 works best?
     
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  6. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    I don't know too much about 4.5 ladies tennis but in my neck of the woods, the stronger returner always plays the second court unless there is a right/left combination. There are occasional exceptions of course but this is the general rule.
     
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  7. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I believe the OP is talking about return games. And I'm in favor of putting the more consistent returner in the Ad court. There are more opportunities for games to end in the Ad court and I would want the person most likely to get the return in play on that side. I would probably make that call at any level. It would be more difficult at 4.5 and above because the disparity between individual players should be less obvious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012
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  8. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

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    whoever has the better putaway overhead should play the side that they can putaway lobs down the middle. You see an ass load of lobs in league play.
     
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  9. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    Totally disagree.

    The best player - in rec doubles - should always play the deuce side. In theory, more balls are likely to be hit to that person since not every game finishes with an even number of points.

    Plenty of times break points are at 15-40. Being able to consistently get the other guy TO break point is more key than one or two break points a match at 30-40. You're starting off every game, every tiebreaker, every everything just about. Many times that sets the tone for a match.

    It's also a lot tougher to hit an inside-out backhand return off hard balls. I don't know a lot of people who can consistently dip the ball inside out that aren't in college or on the tour off of good hard first serves.

    I always feel like more people poach off the deuce side anyway because it's a FH volley, so it's even more of a premium to be able to hit that return as a skill.

    Most right handers also don't have a great inside out serve on the ad side (maybe a good kicker), but I do think a lot more have a good wide slice on the deuce, which is also a beeyotch of a return for the deuce side guy. If you have a lefty opponent, then it's more of an issue for your ad guy.

    But, I would want the best player seeing as many potential balls as possible than worrying about a few key 30-40 break points.

    Everyone just likes to think they are some badass because they play the ad side.

    Jeff
     
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  10. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    People tremendously over think the Ad/Deuce side. You should play in whatever formation makes your return of serve stronger. For you guys that is with you playing Deuce and her playing Ad. The return of serve happens on half the points- who cares about who has the stronger overhead when that matters just a few times per match? When it gets to deuce you need to win both points- if you win the deuce point then the Ad player doesn't have extra pressure. Winning more points is the goal.
     
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  11. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Big points on ad court: 0-40, 30-40, 40-30, ad-in, ad-out

    Big points on deuce court: 5-40

    I don't mind your theory of getting yourself TO game point, but if you face more potential game points for your opponent...why would you want a less capable returner on that?

    As I said before, of the 2 players put the one that plays ad side best on the ad side.
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This is the conventional wisdom. Most games are ultimately decided on the ad side. There may be other considerations as well. For instance, one player might only be slightly better at returning but prefers the deuce side whereas his/her partner prefers the ad side. With this situation, a little bit of experimentation might determine which returning orientation works best for the team overall.

    With lefty/righty combinations, the lefty often player the ad side but this is not always the case. Up until fairly recently, the Bryan bros had played the conventional formation but then decided to switch it to put Bob, the lefty, on the deuce side (for a variety of reasons). Mike, the righty, is probably a little bit better at returning. They both have decent enough BHs and footwork to handle the alleys and they decided that they would rather put their FHs in the middle for poaching purposes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    All things being equal (which they seldom are at the rec level) the more consistent player should play the ad side. In good doubles the scores are 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The flashier, big shot, more dynamic player should play the deuce side and the more consistent player should play the ad side. This way the deuce guy can be aggressive and make things happen and the ad guy can save the team's ass to bring the score back even again and reset the game.

    4.5 should be pretty decent club doubles, but these days you even see pros playing one/up, one/back, so what the heck, these are the go-go days, so anything goes. In the OP's case, either, one of these pros doesn't know his business, or there is some over-riding discrepancy between the two players abiliteis to create such a challenge to the fundamentals of winning doubles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  14. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think there is a gender disconnect going on here. I think the issues are different for men and also for leftie/rightie pair.

    Maybe in men's there are only a few lobs, but that is not true in 4.0 women's. Indeed, the weaker your overheads, the more lobs you will see. If you miss a few overheads early, you can rest assured your opponents will notice.

    I also don't think it is correct to say the more "consistent" returner should be in the ad court. I think better is that the "stronger" returner should be in the deuce court.

    As a deuce court player, I can tell you that taking a serve up the middle with your BH and getting it away from the poach is really hard. I need a lot of shots to deal with this. I have to have the BH back to the server, of course. I should be able to take my BH to the net player's alley, preferably with topspin so it dips. I need to be able to stand in closer to take away the net player's time. And I need a lob over her BH.

    When I play with lower-rated players, I prefer that they play the ad side. When I have had them play the deuce side, we get eaten alive off of poaches once the net player grooves off of their return.
     
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  15. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    This could go in circles for a long time. However, the stonger returner or player should be on the ad side. Are there exceptions to the rule given gender, shot strength or weakness or return side preference? Sure. Given the importance of points on the ad side, more often than not, that's where the stronger returner/player should be.

    In a new partner situation if that team gets blown out first set and rarely had a sniff for break points, change sides in the second set or possibly even the 3rd set. Making adjustments is the key.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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  16. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Agree more with HookEmJeff.

    Forget big point focus. You're only at a BP because the deuce returner is handling the back-across BH return. That's the one that is the hardest to hit and the easiest to poach. It doesn't matter if he's the strongest player, it just matters that he can hit that return.
     
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  17. robby c

    robby c Semi-Pro

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    Play practice sets both ways.
    Let the players decide which is best.
    Robby C
     
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  18. goober

    goober Legend

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    I don't get this idea of setting up doubles combinations and what side you should play before the season starts. Nothing should be set in stone. Try it both ways against a variety of partners in practice. Nothing beats trying things out in real world situations. How do you even know that you and your new partner are even going to mesh? What if you have a huge personality clash or your play styles really don't compliment each other? Everything should be fluid and adjustments should be made through out the season if need be.
     
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  19. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    ^^^as nice as "trying it out both ways" sounds, it is rarely realistic to get a sampling of any significance. People have lives and schedules don't always allow a dozen practice matches in a month before a season starts.

    The most likely trial and error will happen during the matches themselves, when it counts.
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This assumes that the other servers can serve to the BH on the deuce side consistently. This is not always the case (but you would think that 4.5 players should be able to do this). OTOH, righty servers will often have a difficult time serving out wide on the ad side so putting the weaker BH on that side will often make sense, particularly if that player has a decent FH return.

    Now if you are facing a lefty server on the ad side, you want a strong BH on that side since many lefties can hit a serve to the BH that is difficult to run around.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Let's here from the combo players out there.

    If you are playing combo, one player is presumably one USTA level stronger than the other. Which side does the lower player tend to play?

    When I play 7.5 combo, I play deuce side. This is because some ladies are eaten alive on the BH return back to the server. Indeed, I sometimes partner with a lady who struggles with her FH and lacks variety on her returns. We do much better with her on the ad side because that way we don't spend two sets getting poached on the deuce side.

    Here's the weird thing, though. When I captain (3.5 ladies, 7.5 ladies combo, 4.0 ladies), I usually ask the team to tell me which receiving side is their strongest. About 90% of the team replies deuce. I cannot for the life of me figure out why that is.
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    That does seem weird. I would think, at those levels, that more serves on the as side would go to the FH (where more players are comfortable). Perhaps players are not at ease with the ad side because that is where most games are decided (i.e. the last point is played). It is probably perceived as the "pressure" side since so many "game points" happen there.
     
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  23. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    I watched one of the videos when FYB was promoting the Bryan Brothers' doubles playbook, and the Bryan Brothers said that the stronger partner should be on the ad side because most of the important points are started on the ad court.

    They also said that it is easier to take overheads in the middle of the court and recover back in position if you started on the ad side.
     
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  24. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I play 8.5 and 9.5 mens combo. My 8.5 partner is a 4.0 with a 2HBH. He makes aggressive errors, but his 2 hander does better generating pace back across the court than my 1-handed block or slice.

    I am a liability on the ad side because my returns are more likely to float and get poached. The further I'm stretched wide, the more time the net player has to poach.

    On the deuce side I create better angles with my FH and even though my backhand can float, I can do a reasonable job of keeping it away from the poaching opponent (less time for him to react on his partner's T-serve).

    That's probably the reasoning that most feel they are better on the deuce side. Most have stronger FH than BH and a weak BH return on ad side is more of a liability than it is on the deuce side.
     
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  25. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I am a firm believer in that the stronger player has to play the ad side. 30-40/40-30 are by far the most important points in the match, you want your stronger player having a chance in those points. Those 30-40 break points are everything, they decide matches. And, there is less pressure on the weaker player if they are returning serve at deuce than at ad-in/ad-out. Plus, you want the stronger righty player having his/her forehand/overhead in the middle. Also, a lefty should play the deuce side. The ideal combo is a stronger righty player in the ad side, and a lefty on the deuce side. Two forehands in the middle, that's ideal.

    And Cindy, what I have observed is that women usually have a "side", not necessarily the deuce or the ad side, but one or the other, much more than men have a "side". That is frustrating for me when I play Mixed and the woman refuses to play the deuce side.
     
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  26. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ I guess you need to move from the Bay Area over to Cindy's part of the world where 90% of the women would rather play the deuce side. :twisted:

    Two of the best doubles players of all time, J Mac and M Navratolova, were both lefties. I believed that they both played the ad side. I believe that more lefties play the ad side rather than the deuce side in doubles. The Bryan bros played for quite a few years with Bob, the lefty, on the ad side before switching (relatively recently).
    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
    #26
  27. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I play combo as the weaker player, and there is no pattern to the preferences as far as I can tell. I play with three different partners and I've played both sides with all of them. Personally, I think returning on the ad side is much more difficult in dubs. I find more guys can hit the kick serve out wide to my BH because that wide corner of the service box is farther from the server, giving them a larger margin of error (at least I find it much easier to hit the kicker out there).

    None of these partners expresses a preference--instead asking me which side I like.

    Personally, I ask my partner from which side they return best, and go from there.

    In mixed I always try to play ad side because that's where so many of the key points originate.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    3 points to consider.
    Who is better under pressure? That's the ad court player.
    Who can return the ball without giving it to the netperson?
    Play the side you can return serve.
    Who can cover the middle in volley exchanges? You can cheat both players to the center if need be.
     
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  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think by the time you get to 4.0, most women can play either side. But that is not the question I ask.

    If I ask the players which side they prefer, most reply, "Oh, I can play either."

    If I ask the players on which side they are stronger, most reply deuce.

    Interestingly, the one player who is most firmly an ad court player is just terrible on the deuce side. She struggles with her FH. She can get away with hitting slice BHs and FHs on the ad side, but she feels she cannot hit a FH well enough to avoid a poach (or lob or go DTL).

    As for me, I used to play ad side all the time. I had no FH crosscourt, but I was happy to hit the FH inside out. Even in mixed, I played ad because it was better to have me get a return in the court than to donate endless points trying to take my FH crosscourt.

    Thankfully, I have fixed my FH.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hence, post 28.
     
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  31. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I am a 4.5 player, college tennis coach, and 8.0 mixed doubles player. With all being equal, you put the better player on the ad side of the court. Sometimes due to lefty/righty or a particular weapon or weakness you change, but in general its best to have the better baseliner on the ad side. Most game points are played on the ad side of the court. The better player's forehand is in the middle of the court as well.
     
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  32. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    All things being equal tennis is a game of percentages and you win by making the fewest errors. It's easy to be "strong" and hit the ball out of the park, anyone can do that, but the percentages are higher in being consistent and giving opponents the opportunity to mess-up, which usually occurs within five or six shots. My definition of "stronger" is the one who hits the ball, harder forcing errors or hitting un-returnables, but this is also lower percentage and they will also make more errors. The "consistent" player is the one who plays more conservatively, more touch, more angles, keeping the ball in play by making a lot of returns. Unless the two "arguing" pros, in the OP are seeing some glaring weakness at the 4.5 level, one is wrong.

    The OP is talking 4.5, Cindy as a freshly minted 4.0, is swinging the discussion to a different level where all things are not equal and you can pretty much do whatever you want having so many variables. This is not a decision for a team captain, unless they are very astute as you can see even two "pros" have differing views. When the discussion comes up I just tell my dubs partner that my surgeon advised I play the ad side unless there's a lefty serving.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
    #32
  33. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Good explanation of the challenges of a 1HBH on the ad side.
     
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Comes down to which player is more effective from which side. Put them on the wrong side, they play poorly as a team.
     
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  35. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    #35
  36. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    This is true assuming all players are right handed; a weaker BH should play the ad court. Most rec players poach better with FH and don’t have strong high BH volley putaway, so my partner’s weaker BH cross courts will less likely to be attacked. It’s much easier for my FH from the deuce side to hit dtl against aggressive poachers comparing to my partner’s BH.
     
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  37. goober

    goober Legend

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    If it takes you a dozen matches to find out what works, the season will be over. The way I see it any information is better than none. Even 1-2 practice session together should allow 4.5 level players to get a basic understanding of what is going to work better. This team has a head pro/coach. This type of team is not just a random bunch of gals thrown together. I am sure the head pro is running clinics or practice sessions or why would he be running this team?
     
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  38. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I get the logic, but a weak BH at 4.5 traveling all the way cross court gives the poaching net player so much time. Maybe this is better info for lower level doubles that don't come across a lot of aggressive net players.
     
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  39. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I should've also stated that my 1HBH is more likely to be late, thus an inside out backhand isn't impossible.
     
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  40. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the article SA, I'm gonna' study that one.
     
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  41. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    F.T.D., sounds like it's time to work on improving your BH; maybe you can get together with NTRPolice for some drilling.
     
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  42. tnnisfan

    tnnisfan New User

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    Well, great discussion and many fantastic comments. We played our first match today with me on the Duce and my partner on the Ad. We did win.. However, many of our games were "me" starting the point with a deep crosscourt forehand at caused a loopier return for my partner to put away. This worked great till they tried poaching my return then I had to go down the line a few times, which kept the net gal in her spot, but I did get a few winners. Any serve out wide to my partner created a put away poach (I got hit twice today). But, on second serves or down the middle serves my partner was able to return deep crosscourt and we were able to pull it out 7-5 and 6-4. I like my partner she is a nice calm lady, but I would like for her to work on her returns. I'm worried better serves will be able to pull her wide more consistently. The one pro (a lady) who created this combo was "gloating" to the other pro (a guy), but he still insists that our scores were too close and that we should switch next time. Thoughts on our scores being too close??
     
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  43. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I've been working at it for 20+ years. It's about as good as its ever been. Still my weaker side, probably never going to change that. Tried 2HBH for a spell, but it worked less than my switch hitting in little league. I have a racquetball background so 1H is more natural, but not Gasquet-ish by any stretch. However, I've seen Mr Police's 1H'er and I don't think he's got anything on mine.
     
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  44. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I'm still working on mine and it's been about 50 years but it's coming around finally. Here are a few tips that helped me:

    * Place your thumb firmly behind your grip on the big flat. This will support the shot firmly as the palm of the hand does for the FH.

    * You will notice yourself cheating on this when the thumb starts slipping to its side rather than firmly flat against the racket--but you will know what the problem is then. You must have the courage and thoughtfulness to execute this--easier said then done! If you don't firmly place the thumb, it will slice and take the power out of the stroke.

    * Holding the grip as far down into the palm will facilitate the grip change.

    * Putting the palm of the off hand under the butt of the racket will help to de-weight the racket also.

    * Now hit a million practice balls.

    G'luck
     
    #44
  45. HookEmJeff

    HookEmJeff Semi-Pro

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    I guess I always take the side that my partner doesn't want, which typically seems to be the deuce side. I'll play whichever, I have no preference.

    Usually, I pretty much assume I'm playing the ad in mixed if the guy has a ridiculous kicker to the BH, because most girls I've played with can't handle that big hop or out wide lunge return.

    I think whenever they protest, I let them see and then it's funny to see if they want to try to switch it up in a second set or not. Sometimes you just have to let people take their medicine. I also prefer to not have every ball come to me at 15-0 or 30-15 or 40-30 as a returner in mixed at least (LOL).

    I think everyone likes to think they are the stronger player because they are playing the AD side. There IS no stronger side, there are just stronger players.

    I just think you play simple math: Statistically, you are just MORE likely to be playing MORE balls by playing on the deuce side because everything starts out on that side. If every game had the same number of even points, then I'd say it's a wash. But, it's not. And...I come to play, so I certainly want to play more shots!

    The funny thing I've noticed is that at lower rec level doubles (8.0 COMBO and below) many people still can get a LOT of forehand returns off the deuce side, either off a runaround, a slow serve, or just because for most players serving at that level it's easier to serve center or wide on deuce side. So, you can get that FH. Much harder for players that level to get the ball up the T.

    At levels above that (maybe 8.5 combo and above), you start seeing that BH down the middle a LOT LOT more. I think it's just much more part of the game and that deuce returner is really under the gun because that's usually his/her BH that has to go all the way over. It's a small window to hit into with what is usually most people's weaker wing.

    Most players (at least all the ones I've seen in my years of playing) are way more versatile with their FH, they can bang it, lob it, slice it, roll it, inside out it. Because of that, I think many players feel the FH is their better shot that they actually have more court space to "safely" hit into on the ad side. I know a lot of players - even at good levels - do NOT feel that way about that BH return inside out. They know they can't get that ball over there and have to lob.

    At the pro level, I think they pretty much squeeze the middle with most stuff and leave the alleys completely alone - even in rallies - daring you to try to redirect off of 120 mph serves or huge groundies and volleys. If you can do that, you are Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer or Leander Paes. You are NOT the guy at the park.

    Granted, many break and key points are on the AD side, and it's always the final point of a deuce game. I just think that the AD side better player discussion is overplayed.

    I think the real issue (on who should play which side) is can you return serve consistently well enough to get it away from the poacher, whatever side you're on?

    Knowing tendencies, knowing all of that, that's how you should make your decision in my opinion.

    I like both sides and have never tried to be "phobic" about either one. People that are like that are not people I want to play with!

    Jeff
     
    #45
  46. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    I have no grip issues. I have however mastered the art if sloppy footwork and late shoulder turn.
     
    #46
  47. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Jeff's logic is very similar to mine. The deuce returner does see more points. There are pluses and minuses either way (return consistency, whether the server can exploit whatever weaknesses you have, what side do you volley better on, who has the better overhead, etc.). In the end, you have to simply figure out which way you and your partner play better.

    For those who stick with "the key points are on the ad side"... Would you rather have your better returner receiving serve at 40-30 or have your weaker returner receiving serve at 30-40?
     
    #47
  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Turn sideways and don't open up after the hit. Big shoulder turn, shoulder touches chin. Racket head is up high, above your head, like Gasquet.
     
    #48
  49. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    First off, listen to this guy. He knows what he's talking about and obviously has played a lot of doubles. So have I. I agree with virtually everything he says.

    I would also add that there is a slight issue with the ad court that you don't necessarily have to deal with in the deuce court. That is, if your deuce court partner is weak, you are very often returning serve DOWN a point. That is, the serving team has the advantage and can be more aggressive, because they can more easily afford to lose a point. This typically means that the server will be more aggressive with his serve, and the netman will be more likely to poach. So, a weaker deuce court player puts much more pressure on his ad court partner. This is not good.

    A VERY basic rule of thumb is: the stronger BH returner should play the deuce court. This is done for obvious reasons, as most of the serves in the 4.0-4.5 level matches are directed to the backhand. If you're always starting out the game DOWN a point, it's tough to recover in the long run over a full match.

    My personal rule of thumb in round-robin leagues is: count how many break points or breaks of serve you get in the first set, THEN you decide whether or not to switch return sides based on that number. That is, if you get ZERO break points, then you switch return sides. If you get only a few BPs but no actual breaks, then you still switch. If you get more than 1 break of serve, then you stay. Anything in between, you decide based on how well you're both returning.

    I would also add that the more CONSISTENT returner should probably play the ad court, as it's more likely that they'll keep you in a game in the event that you get down in the score. The deuce court returner has the advantage of being able to "go for it" on the return of serve, provided his partner is reliable.

    Anyway, those are just my thoughts. I play the deuce court whenever I can, and I have tons of options for returning serve. Slice crosscourt, dipping topspin BH, crushing the ball DTL with my forehand, lob over the netman to the server's BH, etc. It's a fun side to play. I feel more restricted with the ad court, although a powerful inside-out forehand is a potent weapon, but I feel there are fewer options because it's less likely to be able to crush a ball DTL from the ad court, so the opposing netman can more easily poach.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
    #49
  50. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Oh, I forgot to add: there is also the factor of what side you're better at POACHING. On the deuce court (assuming right-handers), you have to be able to have a strong BH poach. While most people feel comfortable poaching with their forehands, there are also a ton of people (particularly 2-handers) who cannot comfortably poach on the backhand side. These people should NOT play the deuce court unless they have a ridiculously good return of serve to make up for it.

    As long as you can get the serve back in play, then your netman should spring into action on the second shot, particularly if your return of serve is halfway decent. In playing the deuce court, I would guess that almost 50% of the points I try to get into the action on the second ball. That's because my BH overhead and volley are very good. I have a good "feel" for moving to my left and picking off balls with my backhand volley. But when I play with 2-handers that want to play the deuce court, they NEVER poach and it puts more pressure on me in the ad court because no matter how good my return is, I usually still have to play another ball.

    Just something else to keep in mind. Sometimes it's not just the service return that matters, it's the ability of your partner to cut off a weak ball on his side. For right-handers, it's easy to poach from the ad court, but it takes a player with a good one-handed volley to be able to support his partner from the deuce court.
     
    #50

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