Doubles question with Poor net play and position

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Nostradamus, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I am very confused. I played with guys that has poor volleys and is not active at net with relatively poor position as well. in my last 3 doubles matches. I hate to say POOR because these guys and we are all fairly advanced players in advanced leagues. and these guys have very good groundies and decent returns.

    I lost all 3 matches, but all VERY close. I also found it harder to hold serves with these guys at net. One of the guys even thought of staying back when I serve which really bugs me. because I often force weak returns.

    Not sure how to overcome this problem. How do I overcome my partner's poor netplay and Hold serve and WIN too ? Please help
     
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  2. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Haven't you posted this before?
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Serously, sounds like NONE of you guys play at the 4.0 doubles level, and likely, some of you guys play lower levels.
    Even the most net shy 4.0 knows the advantages of net position when their partner is serving, IF he's a 4.0 server, of course.
    At 3.5, all bet's are off, because some serves are weaker than slow groundstrokes.
     
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  4. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    This doesn't seem like a problem you can fix.. Tell your partner to go out there and poach and serve good serves up the middle.

    If he stays back even on good serves there isn't much you can do about it..Its going to be harder to hold..
     
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  5. FitzRoy

    FitzRoy Professional

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    Have you tried talking to them about positioning? In my experience, much of doubles success follows from positioning, regardless of how good or bad a guy volleys overall. If you can just get your partner to get up pretty close to the net and cheat toward the middle, and your serve is effective like you say, then just having him in that aggressive position should cause some errors with the opponent either trying to hit down the line or trying to hit very sharp crosscourt.

    Make sure your partner understands that when the ball is being played toward the middle on the opponent's side, it's mostly going to tend to come back middle - so that's where he wants to be in that situation.

    When returning, if the guys are just much less effective at net and you care more about winning than helping them develop net play, then you should probably just try to get them to play back when returning.
     
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  6. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    We didn't have problem breaking serve. When I did tell him to get close to the net, he was getting lobbed over easily. which was another problem.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Perhaps your serve is not quite the serve you portrayed it to be.
    A good serve is hard to lob over the netperson.
    And, you can run over to cover, hit your topspin groundie low up the middle, and move to net position yourself.
     
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  8. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    In my opinion, it is much better to play both back than one up, one back because you can better control openings on the court. If you are playing both back, I would think of hitting aggressively (e.g., hitting lower percentage shots) to end the point as soon as possible and to keep the opponent off the net.

    Playing with your partner back may make serving easier for you because you don't need to worry about the serve return down the line (so the wide serve is more available to you)
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Smart tactic vs two back serving team is to hit your return dead up the middle, forcing both player's to edge towards the middle, not only opening up the alleys, but also cause confusion as to who takes the ball and susceptible to dropshots.
    Even guys who hate to volley are better off at net if the server is good, always getting a weak slow return. Can I assume, a weak slow return to the net person is an easy volley, even for someone who doesn't like to volley?
     
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  10. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    OP, you are not going to serve with your partner playing back on your serve. It is better to have a poor volleyer at the net on your serve than have him on the baseline.

    Just the mere presence of someone at the net makes the opponent think twice about their own shot and can induce an error or a bad shot.

    Tell him to get his butt up to the net and stay there. When he is at net and the middle is on his forehand side, it is his job to cover it.

    Tell him to be aggressive, elegance of form be damned, and go after that damned ball.

    I'd rather have a poor partner up at net framing balls aggressively than have him sheepishly standing on the baseline getting zero experience or confidence.

    If you're going to lose, go down with a fight, and go down with some good practice.
     
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  11. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    ^^that is a good advice. it is better to have mediocre volleyer at the net.
    Thanks for all the good advices.

    My main problem is this. with poor volleyer at net, I have problem attacking the net myself. I like to play up at the net, serve and volley most of the time and come in whenever I can. but with this type of partner, I find it very difficult to come in.
    I have a good serve but at my level which is 4.5, these guys have great hands and lobbing over the net guy or picking on the netguy seem to be good at by most of my opponents
     
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  12. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    You are the stronger player and your partner cannot cover the lob, so you can only come in on fantastic approach shots.

    In your situation, I would say that if your partner is at net, then you should only come to the net if you hit a great approach shot right down the middle. Or if both of your opponents are at net and you hit a great lob.

    In those cases, you can approach to the service line. But no further. You need to stay a little back just in case they do get a good lob up in the air.

    With a weak partner, just enjoy yourself and do your best. Congratulate each other on every good shot attempt (whether it goes in or out). Doubles is more about attitude and keeping your mind in a good state.

    I'm speaking as someone who has been both the strong partner and weak partner. :)
     
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  13. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    In my mixed matches I have started running signals when my female partner is serving.

    - Your partner knows if you plan to poach and covers the down the line
    - Your opponents now have to watch to see what you are doing, so they concentrate less on their return of serve and often mishit into the net or long
    - half the time when they do get it back , the net person gets an easy put away.

    Make sure that even when you don't poach you fake it by taking one quick step and then moving back.
     
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  14. willeric

    willeric Rookie

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    What level is you partner? If you are 4.5 and your partner is 3.0/3.5, it's going to be frustrating since every ball is going to your partner.

    If your partner is getting lobbed, they are standing too close to the net.
     
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  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Though there are parts of this post that sound odd, the overall situation: doubles partner who is a singles baseliner with poor volley skills is pretty common.

    The solution is also well known, either park the guy at the baseline where he can play his game, or park him so close to the net that he can't miss. True if you do the latter he can be lobbed, and if you do the former, your team will miss out on him killing sitters that you forced, but so be it.
     
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  16. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    This is probably the BEST tennis doubles advice ever given in history of tennis talk forum. This is EXACTLY what every guy should do with partner like I mentioned in the beginning.
     
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  17. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    He is 4.0-4.4 Baseline singles player.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Have you ever thought about this stategy.....HIT TO THE WEAKER PLAYER!
    Your partner is weaker than you, so lots of shots going to him, no matter where he's standing.
    No matter how well you serve, on important points, it's going to HIM not you.
    Pick a better partner! Then YOU get to hit all the balls.
     
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  19. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    One other question I had was, probably more important one.

    How do I hold serve ? I am getting broken at times especially at important games because my partner stands way too close to the alley and sometimes misses easy volleys when I serve. What should I do so I can hold serve ?
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can serve weaker serves so the opponent's hit good returns to you.
    You can keep your partner standing one foot in the doubles alley, just inside the service line, and YOU cover the rest of the court.
    You can place your partner in the alley near his baseline, so you cover the rest of the court.
    But basically, any even TWOsome will beat one strong player and one weak player, by going at the weak player on important points.
     
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  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't agree at all. If they are better at the baseline and your serve is good or better, then by all means keep them back.

    This is not so uncommon as people here make it sound. Often the server just takes the blame or the net man figures it was the odd off game. I face this quite often as a pretty avg server who often ends up with the weakest player of the foursome as my partner to balance the teams. My serve is not a strength or weakness, and like you, it gets quite a few looks for the net man. If he stinks it up there is little you can do but get broken unless you back him up.

    By backing him up to use his strengths, it also makes it waaaay more likely you can get the rtn AND get to net....which can be a way better tactic for a partner who is better at the BL than net. Playing with weaker partners you have to look for every way to get into the point and not feel forced to do too much with every ball you get.
     
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  22. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    I simply can't cover that much court, maybe 20 years ago, I could. I can cover that hard middle one on my partner's side. BUT then what happens is they see me crossed the middle and they will hit the angle to my side then that is the tough one to do anything with if I get there at all.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well for sure, nobody would pick a weaker partner who also doesn't want to play net position doubles.
    You have to compensate, meaning bite the big one, hit out of your mind, or they will pick on that partner of yours, dropshotting him if he's back, hitting at him if he's forward.
    That's the nature of competitive play. Analyse a weak point, and pick on it until either they lose or they change something.
     
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  24. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    If I keep him(my partner) back and I don't serve and volley then my Opponents will both ATTACK the net and they had pretty good volleys and overheads, and I would get broken.

    It is pretty frustrating because my partner has pretty good groundstroke but just weak volleys and bad positioning at net.
     
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  25. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    yes, but no reason you can't s&v with him back to handle lobs and you said you get some lame rtns off your serve to jump on. Even if they do take the net, it should be tough for the returner off your good serve and could really bite him on the way in if the rtn isn't up to par. Sure beats a netman dumping volleys and quickly breaking you....unless you just want to leave the blame on him and be largely out of the issue. I always like to find a way to get in on the action to have a fighting chance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
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  26. mawashi

    mawashi Hall of Fame

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    A 4.0 - 4.4??? There is no such thing as a 4.4. I also have yet to see a 4.5 that sucks at the net. U are aware he's a baseliner so why is he at e net? Why don't u be the one to move up n leave him to handle the baseline balls?
     
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