Don't apologize too quickly.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by J_R_B, May 12, 2012.

  1. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I had a somewhat surreal moment in a USTA doubles match this afternoon. When I see an opponent preparing to hit an overhead, I don't run from it. Rather I try to read/guess where he's going to hit it and get there to try to get a racquet on it. So my partner throws up a somewhat short lob and one of the guys gets under it for an overhead. As usual, I'm reading where he's going to hit it and jumped over there as he hit it. Apparently, he didn't see that I was actually trying to get in the way of his shot and as soon as he hit it towards me, he started raising his racquet and saying sorry because he was not actually trying to hit at me (again *I* jumped in the way...).

    Well, since I was actually playing the ball, I got a racquet on it and blocked the shot back into the alley behind him as he was apologizing for hitting "at me". His partner, who was pretty fast, was closing the net as he was hitting the overhead but was able to hit the brakes and chase down the ball that I bunted into the opposite alley and hit a shot back to my partner, who had now also closed the net, which he put away. So, you had this scene where this guy was apologizing for a shot as I was in the process of returning in the court while his partner was running all over the court behind him trying to save the point.

    Moral of the story, don't apologize for a shot at a person until you're sure the point is actually over. LOL.
     
    #1
  2. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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  3. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    That's a good way to get hurt, depending on who you're playing.
     
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  4. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    it's okay. once he gets a ball in the eye, groin or general face area then he'll learn.
     
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  5. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I back up on it now. In high school, I used to charge the net and try to volley overheads, but that resulted in a couple points from the other guy getting flustered, but not many from me actually hitting the shot. Now I'm trying to guess where it lands and volley or half volley it around my knees or ankles. That way, if I do get plunked, it's somewhere that won't hurt. I returned 2 overheads (and almost a 3rd) doing that just in yesterday's match, so it gets me points. That could be critical.
     
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  6. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    that only works if it's a given that your opponant has really good control of his overheads. Most guys short of at least 5.0+ don't :)
     
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  7. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    I play 5.0+ and if you stood in there I would hit you. Hitting away from you gives you a chance while hitting directly at you makes for the toughest shot for you. Standing in can get dangerous.
     
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  8. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    Yep, I was watching a USTA local playoffs match, and one of the guys had an easy sitter. His opponent then charged the net, and got hit by the overhead, directly in the groin. I doubt that guy is charging the net anymore.
     
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  9. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    I don't know. Some overheads are so mean and fast, as the blur zipped pass me, I saw my life flash before my eyes.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Obviously it works for him, so why wouldn't he do it?
     
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  11. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    It worked for him once. I put a guy in the ER once by accidentally hitting him w/ an overhead. He'd snuck in and I didn't see it, hit it out of the air, and it hit him in the chest, but he fell backwards and popped his head on the court. It's a play with way too much risk and little potential reward. Now if you're playing someone w/ a powderpuff "overhead", then that's another story.
     
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  12. lvuong

    lvuong Rookie

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    IT IS NOT WORTH IT !!! you are not playing ATP master 1000 final
     
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  13. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Just a warning (even though I will stand in on SOME overheads), in college a friend of mine lost some vision in his eye - uncorrectable - from being hit by a thrown tennis ball. An good overhead would be even faster.
     
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  14. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I don't "sneak in". I said I used to do that in high school, and I got drilled a lot more than I made shots, but I didn't care, I was a stupid kid then. Now I try to read where it's going to land or at least get to a spot where I think the ball will be about ankle height, which is usually somewhere around the service line or a couple feet behind, so I'm actually backing up on it if I am at the net, but I am not backing away from where I think it will be hit, I'm backing towards that spot to get a racquet on it.

    And it's worked more than once. I successfully returned that shot twice in that match and had a third that went in the net (all without getting hit once). I probably average one a match, and they're usually free points because not many people are expecting you to return their overheads.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
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  15. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Even if he was, it is still not worth it. ;)
     
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  16. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    I've been playing tennis for 35 years. If I were going to "learn a lesson", I would have already by now. It's a shot I use regularly and successfully.
     
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  17. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

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    I try to position myself to hit the overhead back. That means retreating from the net and setting up a defense. I think rushing the overheader is only good for distracting him into an error. That may work sometimes at the lower levels. But more often, it hinders your ability to return the overhead.
     
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  18. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Exactly what I predicted...
     
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  19. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    If he's pulling it off w/ regularity in every match, he's not seeing very high quality overheads. No offense meant to the OP, in all sincerety. An 80-100 mph overhead, hit from the service line or inside, cannot be read and picked off at ankle height from your own service line by an above average player on a regular basis.
     
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  20. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Safety first, any overheads from opponents, I retreat backwards, beyond the baseline and try return from there. You have no idea if someone's gonna really connect with that overhead well, even if it's a fluke.
     
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  21. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Very true.

    I've returned a few overheads in doubles from being in poor position, but I definitely don't recommend it by any means. It's not a great position to be in.

    -Fuji
     
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  22. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    LOL. No offense, but you're clearly just not very good at it. Sorry.
     
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  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Sort of depends what you (and he) means by regularity. For example: If he avoids injury 100% of the time, gets his racquet on the ball 60% of the time and gets it back in play 15% of the time, I would call that "regularity". Why wouldn't you go for it with stats like that? Your post seems to assume he is saying that he gets the shot back 75% of the time. I never assumed that.
     
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  24. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    That's probably fairly close to the truth. Back in play 15% of the time might be a little high. I probably get het 5% of the time, the ball misses me completely at least 50% of the time, I get a racquet on it the rest of the time and get it in maybe 1-in-10. Obviously, I don't keep actual stats, so that's just a guess. There are also plenty of overheads where I'm not in a position on the court to even attempt to get to it, although I always look to when I can. Again, it's overwhelmingly a point that I win when I do return it, and it's just not in my nature to give up on a point no matter what.
     
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  25. NeverGassed1212

    NeverGassed1212 Rookie

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    I have a tendency to play up at the net with certain people whose tendencies I know very well and know physically can't "smash" an overhead and get a good amount of balls back. I realize the risk and I am always ready to turn and bail out, but when playing anyone new or with a real smash overhead I definitely retreat or cover up. I played a 7.5 match last season and the 3.5 would sit right on the net for every shot and point and was really putting himself in harms way and after the match I told him I could have really nailed him a couple of times accidentally and his partner even tried telling him that he needs to back off the net at times but he wasn't hearing it. That same night someone had taken one to the nose and bled for at least a 1/2 hour. Another night I was playing doubles against one of the top juniors in the area and he was 9 at the time and I hit a smash and caught him in the shoulder even though I was aiming for the alley. I apologized to the kid and his dad who was watching from the sideline and the dad said don't worry about it he shouldn't have been there. So it's really a calculated risk I mostly try to avoid.
     
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  26. Rjtennis

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    OP what level are you playing at? You must have some rockstar reflexes.
     
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  27. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    4.0, and it's anticipation more than reflexes. I've played tennis for almost 35 years. In that time, I've learned to read where a person is going to hit a ball and try to get a racquet to that spot. I'm not trying to read the shot off his racquet and react to it, I'm reading it long before it's hit.
     
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  28. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Smack my b up

    Hey, I applaud your bravado. I usually try to back up to return an overhead, if I can - I would certainly get in line with the ball and make a go in any case. And if that's the strategy, you can't complain about the occasional body blow. But it's not particularly brilliant to sign up for a full-on head-smacking, is it?

    As to the mid-point apology, it borders on hinderance.
     
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  29. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Geez, people, let the guy play his game. He recognizes the inherent potential for getting hit. For crying out loud, you can turn an ankle walking out to get the paper! I don't charge toward a man preparing for an overhead either, but I often will refuse to give ground. I am quick enough to turn my head and groin away if need be, and I, too, have recovered more than a few balls by refusing to grant a net man a gimme on an overhead. If some of you prefer to bail out, that's fine. This guy doesn't. Good for him.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
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