Doubles Partner

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by RadicalMPfan, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. RadicalMPfan

    RadicalMPfan Rookie

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    I have a partner who called me off on three overheads yesterday by saying "I got it". The shot was an attempted lob that went to the middle of the court on my side. I took a few steps back and smashed them for a winner despite his call for it on every occasion. We never talked about it, although it created some palpable tension on the court between us. I wanted to say "No, I got it", but that would have been too rude in my opinion. What would you have done?
     
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  2. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    If my partner behind me says I got it when I am coming back for an overhead, I take that as an indication that if I cannot get a good shot on the overhead, too hard to get into position, I defer to them and let them take it; at least I know they are there.

    If I am in position, I take the overhead. This is just good communication if you ask me, not a diss on my overhead skills.
     
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  3. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    poach em if you got em

    If I think I can smash a killer overhead I do it, regardless of whether my partner has a play on the ball behind me - because I've got the stronger shot. I'm never mad at my partner for doing the same thing. If you can poach the ball and take time away from opponents, go for it. If hearing the phrase "I got it" behind you throws you off, have your partner say "I'm here!" instead. Then you know you have the option of letting him hit if your overhead isn't a slam-dunk easy one, and his shot is the better opportunity.

    Even if you miss the overhead, your partner shouldn't be p.o.'d because you did the right thing for your team. Just don't miss! Then you'll come off like a three-legged ball-hog.
     
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  4. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    As someone said...

    ...the first three rules of doubles play are: communicate with your partner, communicate with your partner, and communicate with your partner. That's usually best done before you get on the court, where, during a point, all you can really say is "Yours", "Mine"...or nothing.

    Not just true of overheads, you have to have a fireside chat with your partner and figure out who's going to do what in whatever situations arise where it isn't obvious who's going to do what. Whatever you're going to do, figure it out ahead of time so that you don't have any Alphonse and Gaston routines during a match...
     
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  5. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    YOu need to talk to your partner and let him know that you will get those lobs. You need to talk to him, because you don't want to get an accidental racquet to the side of the head that causes you to lose 90% of your hearing!

     
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  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I agree, I think.

    I play that any ball coming over my head is my ball to play. It is my call to make that I will or will not hit a smash. If I cannot get it, I will call a switch right away, giving my partner enough time to cross and take it out of the air.

    Many people play that the deep player decides who will take that lob. I don't like that approach, as it leads to too many balls being bounced and losing control of the net.

    Nevertheless, there are people who play that way, so there are partners who will yell, "I got it!" or "Mine" when I am getting ready to play an overhead I know I can make. I say, "No, I've got it," and hit the smash. I don't think that is rude. It tells my partner that I am going to hit it and she should stop "backing me up" and should instead position next to me.

    To OP, were you in the deuce court, and was your partner coming in? If so, that probably is a situation where it is better for him to hit a smash that is coming up the middle. You would be hitting a BH overhead, or doing a lot of footwork to hit a FH overhead -- leaving the deuce court vacant. Better would be for him to hit the smash all things being equal so you can keep better court coverage.
     
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  7. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I would discuss the use of the comment "Here" meaning that if you can't get it, I will get it. This is where playing together for a while as a team certainly helps and why hitting as many balls down the middle when both are at net is a good idea.

    This person could be confusing "mine" and "here" or just wants every ball and its a race to see who can call for it first. Maybe the person thinks he/she is a lot better than you. Who knows? Talk it over. Communicate.

    My regular partners know that a ball to my backhand overhead is going to be put away but to my forehand overhead if I have to move back more than a few steps, I will struggle, so I call myself off. Players who I have never played with don't get that backhand overheads are one of my best shots and sometimes get in my way. When I assure them I own that shot and then prove it, its never an issue.
     
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  8. RadicalMPfan

    RadicalMPfan Rookie

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    Thanks for the replies, and I think Cindy hit the nail on what to do. Next time I will call "I got it" Or "switch" before he has a chance to call me off. My partner was at the net with me and ran back behind me has the lob was coming over my head. It was a short, mid hanging, slice lob that didn't entail me to hit a difficult back hand smash. A routine put away.
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I agree with some of the above posts and would put it this way: if you are playing back and you call "mine" what that means is: "I can hit this shot with a high quality return if for whatever reason you choose to let it go".

    The netman, of course has the option of hitting it themselves or not. But if they hit it, it should be a high quality return since that is what their partner can hit.

    The first player (closer to the net) always has the right of way.
     
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  10. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I don't see the point of communicating if the other person ignores it. I played with a women who would take shots I would call for (and were legitimately mine), so I just stopped saying anything. We didn't play any better, but it wasn't as frustrating.
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    How is this for terrible, terrible communication?

    I was playing with a partner I hadn't played with in a few years. I was in the ad side, my partner was in deuce. I believe she was a bit closer to net than I was.

    The ball came, and it was a sad little sitter, right on the T. At the same time, we both said, "You!" I saw my partner not move to hit this ball. As the ball hung there in mid-air, begging for someone to hit it, I said, "YOU! YOU! YOU! YOU! YOU!!" I just kept saying "You," until the ball bounced twice, right there at the T.

    Afterward, my partner said she expected me to take that ball because it would be my FH. I said she should take it because she is the player in front. I have seen a lot of crazy things on a tennis court but . . . the ball was closer to her, so I couldn't understand why she just didn't hit it. I also didn't wish to lunge for a ball after yelling "You!" six times, because . . . I expected her to hit it after about the third "You."

    We resolved it by saying that both of us should *want* the ball, and it would be better to have a massive collision than let a sitter go unplayed.

    I hate it when people play "FH takes the middle." I also hate the assumption that everyone has a miserable BH volley, 'cause I am perfectly happy to hit a BH volley. If you are in front, take the ball already.
     
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  12. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Bingo...

    ...you can spend all the time in the world talking about the absolutes of who shoulda woulda coulda taken the ball in a specific instance, but if the partners never talk to each other, it means nothing.

    Doubles partnerships are based on one of three things:

    - Practical business objectives. I have no idea why Nestor and Z broke up (I heard it was at Nestor's insistence), but it had to be because they felt they could do better, win more titles, accrue more money with different partners. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Who is the best doubles team in the world? Answer: John McEnroe and anybody. True 20 years ago, still true. If you want to succeed as a doubles player, for whatever reason, pick your partner carefully, and do whatever he/she wants.

    - NTRP leagues, a. k. a., "The captain says we're playing together, I hope you don't make any stupid mistakes, because I'm a great partner, and if we don't win, it's your fault..." Any questions?

    - Beer buddies who also like playing tennis. This, to me, is the ultimate. I haven't played any serious doubles in 20 years, but if I ever do again, it has to be with somebody that I can have a beer...or two...with after the match...or before the match...or any other time, for that matter. Tennis is stressful enough, and doubles, doubly so. If I can't play a match with somebody I'd trust on a cross-country, high speed run in my sports car, I ain't even gonna play...
     
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  13. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    You need a new partner, this guy doesn't know how to play doubles. In real doubles you cover your side of the court including backing up for OH's. You proved the point by putting the ball away. Lose this guy.
     
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  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    What would I have done?

    If I was your partner, called for the shot, heard nothing from you, yet you stood there and hit the overhead anyway, I'd bark at you to speak the he11 up!!!

    Actually that's the best case scenario, since I play with rather heavy racquets. Worst case would more along the lines of me turning your head into a canoe simply because I did the right thing and verbally warned you off, but you didn't listen... or warn me off in kind.

    Skiracer nailed it... doubles is about communication.

    It was honestly quite rude of you to say nothing and NOT give way to that partner. Embrace your responsibilities and take enough initiative to get on the same page with the person you pair up with, if only for a single match. Otherwise, someone's gonna get "Darwin-ed" out of the gene pool.
     
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  15. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    So, you were hitting backhand overheads. Yes, a partner should be concerned about those. No, a partner should not call you off a shot you're about to hit unless he's right there ready to hit a better one.

    You partner was premature with his calls. And, the first one to "call it" doesn't necessarily get to hit it. The best shot hits it. You had a routine backhand overhead. (An oxymoron to many of us.) He wanted to run it down in the backcourt. I can see his confusion, but after the first instance, he should have practiced a quiet cover to see if you were going to be able to put your racquet on the ball.

    After your first backhand overhead, you could have told him that backhand overheads aren't difficult for you. It would have enabled you two to close in on more common ground.
     
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