Head Hunters / Purposely Hitting The Opponent

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by OldSchooLTennis, Feb 26, 2005.

?

Ever hit your opponent on purpose with the ball?

  1. Yes. I fight dirty when I need to.

    72 vote(s)
    63.7%
  2. No! How unsportsmanlike!

    41 vote(s)
    36.3%
  1. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    Okay do you want to know the two biggest complaints I have about tennis? People who cheat and call balls out that are in and people who are head hunters in doubles.

    OK listen to this one everyone. Last year during the tennis season our team played a pretty decent school and last year i was playing number 1 doubles. Lets just say our high school compition is not very good! I was only 13 years old. And this foreighn exchanged student right when we started the match was head hunting for me! I was just a little guy too! I mean i could handle all the other pace back then but this kid hit harder then alot of the men in my area and he RAILED me 3 times durning the match and i new he was doing it on purpose because when he was returning serve he would glare at me!

    And it wasnt like i wasnt fast enough to move out of the way it was just because my partner had a weak second serve and he was taking the ball inside the baseline.

    I mean come on people that really isn't tennis.
     
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  2. Perfect

    Perfect Rookie

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    I feel your anger towards those who cheat and make bad calls. I disagree with you about the "head hunters". If the only reason you got hit was because you did not have time to move because of you partner's weak serve, than it's not really your fault. Please don't complain about players like this otherwise, if you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.
     
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  3. JackD

    JackD Rookie

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    Not to be insensitive but when your playing doubles and you get hit its either your own fault or your partners NOT the other team. If your partner doesn't have a second serve then play 2 back ( which in high school is very effective and better then 1 up and 1 back). Doubles players should be aggresive and try to "take" the net.

    Attention high school players- Make the net player prove that they can handle a hard ball hit right at them most players can't. If they cant, take it to them every time and force them off the net.
     
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  4. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    very very good point
     
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  5. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    But tennis isn't about trying to hurt people and this kid i think was trying to hit me. But i agree with you about all of that. I guess i should of stayed out of the kitchen ;)
     
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  6. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    If you're paired up with someone who has such a weak serve that the opposition can drill the ball at you, just move back to the baseline. It'll stop them getting the cheap point by nailing you and it will put you back in the point. There's no sense in throwing away points and games on your partner's weak serve just to play 'traditional' doubles. If you're only getting a beating from one side then play up for the point you feel you can win then back for the one you cant.

    We get this all the time playing 'social' tennis on Sundays. Often I'll be on the court with a 2.0 up against a couple of 3.0-5.5's. If I stay at the net they pretty much take me out of the point ( they're usually nice enough not to drill it at me but i mightn't hit one shot in the whole game) which puts too much burden on my partner. Moving back to the baseline makes me a factor again, especially when my partner serves to the duece court as a return goes to my backhand or if down the middle to my forehand. It means my partner only has to deal with his forehand, which is usually the stronger shot for a lower rated player.


    Also, if your partner doesn't have the best serve, he might find it easier to serve with you away from the net (might give him the impression he's got more court to serve to).
     
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  7. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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    If your partner hits a weak 2nd serve or sends a really weak groundstroke over to your opponents, just get out of the way. If the guy returning hits you while you're attempting to bail, then I'd do something (punch him in the face) because you'd know it was intentional. You can't play the net with a partner who gives the opponents marshmallows to rocket at you.
     
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  8. JackD

    JackD Rookie

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    Going at someone isn't an attempt to hurt anyone. Most coaches will tell you to not aim at the head but lower at the feet or the hip of their dominant hand. My rule is if the player turns their back in an attempt to get out of the way I'll take the pace off because they are more or less giving up instead of drilling them in the back (I don't think thats a classy move). If the net player is in the ready position up at the net looking to pick of my ball and go at my partner then its absolutely okay to go at them to try and puch them back off the net and you don't need to feel bad about doing it.
     
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  9. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    Well he was going right for me to hurt me man. One of the times he hit me in the kindy and another time he hit me in the upper back.
     
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  10. matchpoints

    matchpoints Professional

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    I usually go for the net guys if I feel that they had hooked us on a previous point....just to send them a message. Or we'll hit a drop shot then go for them instead of lobbing. Either way, message gets send very clearly. It's more effective then arguing with them over a line call.
     
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  11. ibemadskillzz

    ibemadskillzz Semi-Pro

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    I played #1 doubles last year. This guy was #5 in usta my section. He was whaling forehands, you just put your racquet on it with solid form = winner.

    If someone cheats or does something that gets you mad. This is what I do. I play some regular points with low speed cross court. Then suddenly, out of rhythm, Just blast a SCREAMING (preferably 80-98 mph groundstroke) shot to the net man- down the line, it gets them everytime- they become injured. Make sure you put height on it, you don't want this to go into the net.
     
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  12. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    Thats evil ;)
     
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  13. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    ibemadskillzz, thats the sort of crap attitude that the poster was complaining about in the first place. If your intention is to hurt someone then you need serious psychiatric help. Hitting at the guy on the net is a tactic to move him across to the sidelines or get him to stand back a bit further if he's crowding the net. OldSchooLTennis, if you want people to lose all respect for you, by all means give that a try. Its a gutless tactic and the kind of thing you do when you haven't got the balls to confront someone directly.
     
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  14. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Have you considered quiting tennis and taking up boxing.
    Boxing would probably be less painful than being beaten up on the tennis court.
     
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  15. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Well, our object should NOT be to hurt anyone. However, a shot into the body can be effective if all players on the court are pretty evenly matched. I wouldn't hit a shot AT women or children, but in USTA matches where everyone has the same rating I'll go at them and I expect them to go at me.

    In a HS match, you'll probably get the same thing. Ask your coach to work with your partner to develop a better second serve, AND ask your coach to work with you to improve your vollying skills. It someone hits a shot right to you and you volly it away for a clean winner, they're not going to do that again very often.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  16. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    In watching the Bryan Bros at Davis Cup last fall, I can tell that when they got the opportunity, they hit every ball as hard as they could at the opponents. They try to crush every shot. Not saying that should be the way it is done in HS or league play, but I do believe it is the coming trend in doubles. Better get good at the net.
     
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  17. dennis1188

    dennis1188 Semi-Pro

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    Yes, in doubles at the club/league levels, if aiming down at the feet is OK. But it is also the fault of your partner, for hitting such a poor/weak serve. Best to head to the backcourt, if you chose to continue to play w/ weak serving partners. Of course at the Pro level and on TV, their reflexes and skills are far superior and matches are closely watched and conducted under a stricter 'code of professional conduct', which is quite different conditions from a casual club or even usta league match.
     
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  18. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    Have any of you guys really had a blood match against another doubles team where your really aiming to hurt them and there doing the same back?
     
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  19. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    I don't think it would be called a blood match. I have never tried to hurt anyone or hit them in the head. But I do try to win the point and I believe my opponents will as well. I try to hit low toward shins, legs, feet or just near by. But there is certain message being sent as well. Like many have said before, weak returns beg to be put away and the net guy should be watching the opponent on the other side of the net to see what his reaction is. If I see my opponent on the other side of the net raise his racket, I get ready to eat one or to try to get a racket on one coming right at me. It is a big part of doubles. Points end quickly and you have to win as many of them as you can.
     
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  20. dennis1188

    dennis1188 Semi-Pro

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    What 'Blood Match' ? There is already WWF meets Tonya Harding.
    All those with bad attitude should stay away from tennis.
     
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  21. scez

    scez Semi-Pro

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    I was playing a girl today who nailed a ball straight at my head which I just blocked. But I know it wasnt on purpose.
     
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  22. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Well, you wouldnt' get hit in the back anyways.....;-)

    Anyways, agree with everyone, nothing is more pathetic than cheating. But the headhunting...well it's part of the game in competitive tennis. You know on some level when you are at the net, you are trying to intimidate the other guy, saying "hey, don't hit here, I'm at the net, and I am cutting off your options with my body/racquet"....so it's completely fair for him to reverse the intimidation if you can't handle his pace. I only get on my students for doing it, if the ball is an easy sitter and the other guy concedes(turns his back).

    If it makes you feel any better, unless you get hit in the eye or groin, the ball won't ever cause serious damage....yeah, it'll sting bad,maybe even bruise and welt later, nobody wants to get hit hard....but you'll be fine, so try not to get too worried about it....

    If he can hit you consistently, you will have to make adjustments....you might even have to give up the net, until you improve your volley and/or partner improves serve...but you can't really stay up there and expect him not to do it in a real match....

    and yes, I have gone at opponents many times to win the point and intimidate...but only 2 x do I remember wanting to hurt...and I'm not proud of it.

    Once in an open double match, we played 2 guys who acted like first class jerks and even encouraged their friends in the stands to make fun of us. My buddy who had not touched a racquet in 3 years, was a bit rusty(but used to be a top junior and was actually better than any of us) so they were picking on him. Finally I'd had enough of them and their beer drinking fans, so on the next short serve, I wound up and fired my forehand flat at the net guy and bounced a ball off his chest about 30 feet into the air. Actually I'm not sorry for that one.

    Another time, I was giving some lessons, when a university student came up and barged in on the court. He knew a few of the students and grabbed a racquet, bragged about his prowess and generally was extremely loud and obnoxious. Despite his bragging, he couldn't really play, yet he was disparaging a lot of my beginners....so when I got a slightly short sitter, I went right at his groin.....and hit him right in the groin....i can still hear the slap of the ball....actually, the shot just flashed through my mind....and I was a bit shocked I executed so precisely as to hit him dead center, as it was sort of a spontaneous last second intent....and I honestly felt immediately really bad, as his knees buckled and he dropped....he didn't want to play after that!
     
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  23. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    Datacipher! You're a killer, man. If I ever get on the court with you, someone please remind me to bring a kelvar vest (complete with the optional "hanging" attachment to cover the family jewels), and a lacrosse helmet!

    But I agree about head hunting-it's part of the game and some players will do it for as long as they know they have the net guy intimidated (and they can win the point). Doing it on a FREQUENT basis, I think, is a bit punk-just my opinion-but it's perfectly legal and a legit strategy. I've made a couple "vengence" shots myself-amazing how accurate you can be when raw emotion/anger mixes with perfect technique and timing on one particular shot in time.
     
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  24. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    Hey i'm not the kind of player to go for another player because thats just how i am but i just wanted feedback on maybe some peoples other experiences.
     
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  25. OldSchooLTennis

    OldSchooLTennis Rookie

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    And i would love to hear anymore stories you guys have about doubles experiences.
     
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  26. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    I play a lot of mixed doubles, and I have never had a problem with the guy aiming at me. Sometimes I can handle the shot, sometimes I've opted to move back. I was absolutely of the opinion that nailing the net "man" is fair game.

    Two weeks ago, I played a mixed where the woman aimed at my head and I've amended my opinion; I think this is unsporting in tennis. Shots below the neck you can adjust to, but shots at the head are dangerous and, since you risk smashing yourself in the face with your racquet if you try to play them, practically impossible to play.

    In all three cases, she was playing a short ball and I was backing off the net so we were both near the service line.
     
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  27. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    I already know from your posts that you're not easily intimidated Phil and that you have iron jewels ;-)

    Oh and Oldschooltennis, bear in mind, I'm not advocating going at the net person with the intent to intimidate or hit, just saying it is legit and sometimes the smart option in certain situations. But again, we're talking competition, for me, that means tournament play and at the open level, it's fair to say that the play is relatively serious. If I'm playing a local club weekend tournament, filling in for somebody, I'll choose not to do things like this as it's more of a recreational tournament.

    Generally, especially in singles, when I go at the net guy hard, he's able to at least protect himself somewhat even if he can't handle it....that makes sense when you think about it, because generally in tournaments, I'm playing people at close to my level or unfortunately sometimes above! ;-) After all, I'm known for my power, but I can let it fly from the baseline all I want, and I'm not going to hit Roger Federer!

    Occasionally I'll come across a weak player trying to play up, or a guy who can't play the net in doubles....usually in these cases, I won't go crazy on him...if he's weak in singles, I can afford to be selective and generous in shot selection...if it's doubles...I might go at him once or twice early to test him...and perhaps plant doubt in his mind....but I'll feel bad if I go at him relentlessly, even if it wins us the points...but that's a personal choice, I can't blame anyone else in tournament matches if they choose to pick on the guy all the time.

    Of course at the open level, everyone is experienced and can take care of themselves and knows what to expect, you're a young guy Oldschool and it's sometimes a bit different for my juniors, because development varies so much in different aspects of the game(volley's vs serve's vs groundies) as well as power and strength and size. So, sometimes it's really hard for a young fellow when some kid comes along who hits a lot harder than what he's used to....the good news is that eventually it tends to even out somewhat, everyone will hit harder, including you, and everyone will be able to handle it better.
     
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  28. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    If the shots there to be taken knock'em out.
     
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  29. AceYouVeryMuch

    AceYouVeryMuch New User

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    I usually aim for the net guy when I play doubles. Loooove when I recieve weak second serves.
     
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  30. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    We all know its against the rules to intentionally hurt your opponent. If someone intentionally injures you, the match is yours by default. However, how do you know if this guy is trying to injure you? It'd be tough to prove. If you thought it was the case, though, and wanted to send a message- Lendl him. (Drop shot, then hit it at his hip.) Otherwise, getting hit at is part of life as a net man. Get used to it. Getting mad only serves your opponents aims.
     
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  31. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    Say what? If someone comes over the net and ko's you, you might claim the match when you wake up. Otherwise, if you are on the court with a racket, it is assumed you know how to protect yourself from the little yellow fellow.
     
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  32. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

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    I sometimes play with a woman who years ago was hit squarely in the eye and suffered permanent damage. This was when folks still wore the hard contact lenses, and her lense shattered in her eye. She still plays tennis, but she wears protective eyewear and cannot see the ball as clearly.

    I don't mind playing against someone who I know has the ability to nail me, but I hate playing a person who hits wildly at the net - those folks will end up seriously injuring someone.
     
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  33. stc9357

    stc9357 Semi-Pro

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    I generally don't aim at people at the net but if somebody makes me mad with a bs line call they better watch out cause I will nail you. I've hit a person three times in a match before because of the tactics him and his partner used and it was on three overheads he had plenty of oppurtunity to get out the way. After the hird one he wasn't much of a tough guy anymore and anytime his partner hit a serve he got out of the way and when I was at net. I regret it kinda but if somebody hits the ball at me I generally give them a response back sometime during the match when they least expect it.
     
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  34. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, you've got a jerk there, but he could argue that it is unintentional and that bodyshots are a part of the game. And how could you prove him wrong?
    Now, by letting him hit you THREE times, you are feeding this jerk aren't you?

    AndrewD had sage advice. My version of it: I would probably get hit once or twice, then take two steps back and expect the bean ball. Use the racquet and your quickest reflexes to render his headhunting useless.
     
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  35. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    That's a real tear jerker story. :rolleyes:

    If the women or men can't handle getting blasted. They should get the hell off the tennis court and go play with there kids in the park down the road.
     
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  36. 9000tennis

    9000tennis Rookie

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    I agree. Aiming for the net man is a part of the game, when you play in a higher league. It's not about injuring the opponent, and if someone hits another guy, it would be fair to apologize, but that doesn't mean that the next point couldn't end the same way. It's just a part of the game, when you're playing more serious tennis.
    In the juniors it actually can be a quite good tactic, especially on the second serve, if you play 2 back. So you can try that.
    But also, don't let this scare you. If someone hits you, even if it's on purpose, don't get too scared, because that will give the opponents an advatage.
    But at all times when you're at the net, make sure that your racquet is held high. Don't let it dangle between your legs ( :cool: ), but keep it above the net and be prepared. In fact sometimes you can put it in front of your head and bend down a little, so that you are well protected, and sometimes even can make a winner volley. So keep the racquet high.
    A few years back my partner and I had a team match against the national champions in doubles (one of them also had won the national championship in single, and the other guy plays Davis Cup). But I quickly realised that they were ready at all times at the net, and that is the key to win a doubles match. even if you hit at them (not to hurt them) they were ready.
    So stay ready up there :D
     
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  37. HyperHorse

    HyperHorse Banned

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    yeah man.... yeah.... *rolls eyes*

    If you think ur gonna get hit, why dont u just stick ur racquet out in front, or just duck/get out of the way???
    i really dont appreciate your opinion on this... Just because you're apparently built or whatever doesnt mean u can start a fight just because u dont like something.... that's called ASSAULT, you know? :mad:
    if u get off the court and he hits the ball out, directly for u... then it's a different matter.... u could always duck and hope he hits the ball out and have the last laugh... :p
     
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  38. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeh, it's not like you're defenseless up there. Thank God for that racquet. Use it well! Especially against a headhunter. Unless of course, he can get you just the job you'd like at twice the salary.
     
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  39. slewisoh

    slewisoh Semi-Pro

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    Not a post intended for the jerks of the world. :rolleyes:
     
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  40. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    YOU WERE THE AGGRESSOR! You were the one at the net. If you go to the net, expect the ball to come to you. The faster the better. Bring it on, baby! I love those kind of matches, mano a mano. Take it from an old fart, you will learn a lot playing up when your partner serves up fluff balls. :) Mostly, you will learn to play back further. Everyone at my club knows I will hit down the line in doubles. So, second serve they almost always move back. I played against the county's best junior on Monday and I was testing him every chance I got. (He also got almost all my heat, too. :) )

    Something else. As a small guy, you actually should have a better chance with the smokers than a big guy. Big guys get hit at in part because they often have trouble handling balls right at them.

    By the way, I just remembered a college match when I played doubles against a guy with a thermonuclear forehand. He hit me a bunch of times during the match! But, I also put away a bunch. I had a few red marks on me when that match was over. Love that stuff....

    -Robert
     
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  41. ohplease

    ohplease Professional

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    Typical macho man posturing. It's doubles for crying out loud.

    That said, if someone's coming hard at you when you're up at net, you need to prove that you can knock that garbage crosscourt in between him and his partner. Until you do that, the ball's gonna be a comin'. In fact, given the usual brain dead hit it as hard as you can mentality out there - it gonna come even after you make the returner pay.

    Let's say you can't do that, or the ball's coming too fast. Start back. It's club tennis. They're not going to be able to consistently hurt you if you're both back and ready for the heat. Returning big also robs the returner of time to get in, so be ready, and send it back to him. Make him prove he can hit a low volley. Make him prove he can hit that shot more than once.

    There's nothing better than conceding that an opponent might do something very well - then taking them down 6-1 or 6-2, anyway. They're exploiting your weakness, you should exploit theirs.
     
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  42. Ant Music

    Ant Music New User

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    Hang on, isn't this a competitive sport? If you are at the net you are a legitimate target, actually step in off the baseline and you'd better keep alert. As for hitting to hurt, if they look like they can handle themselves then fair game, if they look like wimps who've been tied to their mothers apron strings all their 20 years then i'll take it easy on them. There is little chance of causing serious injury, may cause a decent sting for a couple minutes, but nothing worth writing home about unless you bounce a 130mph serve into their plums.:shock:
     
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  43. ACK4wd

    ACK4wd Rookie

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    Agree completely man to man:

    Mixed doubles makes more difficult, especially when your partner wants you to drill the other female. I let ettiquette rule. It's kind of like baseball pitching, if someone is doing it to my partner it's all fair game. I hardly ever retaliate for accidental unless I have to.

    If I'm hit making "the move," I usually laugh it off just to let them know that the best they have isn't "all that"
     
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  44. ironchef21

    ironchef21 Rookie

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    Very few people are trying to hurt you by hitting the ball at you. Intimidate on the other hand, is another question! If you're playing any sort of competitive doubles you'll come across someone who will target you. As many have said hitting the ball at someone in doubles is a viable tactic. It's not going away so you have to deal with it.

    The best way to deal with this is to work on your net game and don't put yourself in that position - as Andrew D suggested play farther back if that helps. When you're at the net you have to assume every ball is coming at you - especially if it's a high or weak shot.
     
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  45. Marat Safinator

    Marat Safinator Banned

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    if you cant handle being hit, go to a nursery and dont step on a tennis court.
     
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  46. federer_nadal

    federer_nadal Professional

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    Players that try and hit other players.

    What are your opinions on players that when returning or when the ball pops up that try and hit the net player. I mean it is ok to try and hit it down the line and get close/blocked by the net player. But i mean people who actually aim for the net player when they get a smash or short ball. Personally if the i hit the ball at the net player while trying to go down the line (even if he blocks it) i will say sorry and tell them that i wasnt trying to hit them. What do you guys think about people who dont apologize?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2006
    #46
  47. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Fairly simple - that kind of play is in poor form. Period! If that's the way a player must go to win then he's a loser - and to not apologize when done in error is poor sportsmanship. IMHO.
     
    #47
  48. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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    Depends on the situation and the importance of the match. If someone is dominating the net and closing out I will go straight at them to keep them honest and put some doubt in their mind.
     
    #48
  49. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    In a friendly sort of match it is always poor form.

    At the lower levels of competitive matches, people do it for a couple resons. 1they are unsure of their own skill and won't risk trying to place the ball for a winner. 2 they have a mean spirit and enjoy the thrill.

    At higher levels of play, players can handle themselves at the net and hitting at them becomes less and less profitable (and sadistic types seldom make it that far).

    Sometimes in match play, hitting into the body is a legitimate play, but it is very rare, and, even then, the motivations of the hitter come into play.

    B
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Isn't it a legitimate shot to try to hit the shoes of the net player?

    I played a league match on Sunday. I hit at least three balls into the legs of the net player. I apologized, of course. So what's the problem?

    Regarding returning, I thought it was fine to "test" the net player with a service return, and I remember a drill class in which we spent time hitting returns at the net player as hard as we could.
     
    #50

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