How do you stop opponents from ripping returns

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Nostradamus, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    They have ball boys
     
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  2. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    To the OP ....

    I am never working on placement when I am warming up my serve ... I am just warming up. SO when an Opponent starts shanking my serves all over the place ... I simply do not serve it anywhere near them ... well wide on either side.. I am getting what I want, and they are not grooving my serves.
     
    #52
  3. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Agree, I do get bothered by antics of the opponents. what is the best way to ignore them ?
     
    #53
  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Just hit all your serves out so they have no way to get a racket on it.
     
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  5. jhick

    jhick Semi-Pro

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    I guess I'm used to pretty informal warm-ups where we play. Nobody on the court pays attention to time limits (unless they are deliberately long) and it is generally acceptable for players to practice returns if they like. And I've never witnessed a confrontation over the matter in my 15+ years of playing USTA.
     
    #55
  6. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    That's exactly how I understand it as well.
     
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  7. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Server that is warming up does not like opponents ripping or practice returning in any league. Proper manner is they let you do the same and let you return few serves when they are serving too. However this does not happen.
    they will simply say they are ready and they won't let you return on their serve practices.
     
    #57
  8. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    Yep, that about sums it up...
     
    #58
  9. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    practice your underhand serve during warmups.

    but then in the match you bust out your super-secret super-spinny super-serve. and they will be all like WTF??!!!??!! i thought you only hit underhand serves!?

    bam. you got served.
     
    #59
  10. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    only problem is then you didn't get to warmup your serves
     
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  11. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    oh that? part of the suprise shock and awe factor is if you also have a look of surprise on your face that your super secret spinny serve went in. you look surprised. they look surprised when the ball kicks over their head. bam. you both got served.
     
    #61
  12. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Do a search for "warm-up" and you may find the proper procedure, or attend a tournament and watch some real players warm-up, they'll all be doing it the same. 5.0 league players and above reserve a practice court before their matches for a proper warm-up. That 5-10 minute "warm-up" is just to let the spectators settle in to their boxes, look around wave to their "friends" and to see and be seen. It's a last minute calibration and to check out opponents weaknesses that you haven't seen before, and not a real warm-up. Or, it's a mini-warm-up for players who will warm-up as the match progresses, willing to concede the first set.

    The players you encountered were barbarians trying to get into your head by showing off their "very powerful" returns off your setter warm-ups. It's easy to look impressive returning 50 mph warm-up serves into one's wheel-house when there's NO PRESSURE--observe all those great returns off out serves. There's not much you can do in the given amount of time to civilize them on the fundamentals of the game. You could go to your bag and grab about a dozen practice balls, do your thing and let him do theirs.

    It's league tennis, you're going to encounter barbarians like that on a more then regular basis. To avoid such amateurism, play Senor Age Group tournaments to compete with players who know the rules and conventions and understand why they exist to make the sport function and move the match along. Consider any other forms of play as practice and be prepared for these weird encounters from time to time.

    BTW-1: Noticed Mariapova returning a few of her opponent's practice serves at a recent tournament and thought that was a bit weird, wonder what her opponent's think of that?

    BTW-2: Wozniacki just sprained her ankle at Wimby and they used trainer's tape on it and not some splint or blow-up doll to mend her.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    #62
  13. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    Again...there is no rule that states you must warm up against your opponent in doubles. You may warm up against your partner if you wish, which would solve your problem.
     
    #63
  14. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I think you need to find what works for you, everybody is different.

    During play the easy one is to focus on the ball, taking it one point at a time. Don't think about the prior shots, losing the prior game etc.

    When the ball is not in play most people are helped by some ritual to overcome their emotions and negativity. In the old days people spend hours of adjusting their strings on their racket, you still can do that but it is less popular nowadays. Towel rituals, bouncing the ball, adjusting hair, jumping etc, all these things can help you to stay focused on the play rather than thinking about the opponent or the score.

    An example is Nadal, I am aware that his long breaks before a serve are irritating to many people but his extended ritual does seem to help him to focus. This feeling of: "OK, let me do my ritual for a full 100% reset".

    Taking acting lessons can also be a great help in dealing with emotions.

    And any time your opponent is upset or stalls the game think: "free rest and relax time for me, thank you opponent, keep it going"!
     
    #64
  15. The Isomotion31

    The Isomotion31 Semi-Pro

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    Ditto. Similar to how a baseball pitcher warms up on the mound. Location, location and just go through the motions. Then maybe the last 1 or 2 a full on first serve to get a feel for it.

    I usually get to the courts 30-45 mins before scheduled match time with a friend where we all out rally and bang first serves at each other. So that come the courtesy warm up it is all courtesy and mechanics based movement.
     
    #65
  16. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    This is me as well. I only serve in warmups to get my shoulder loose...don't even use my lower body at all. So if the opponents want to practice returning my warmup serves, fine with me....they will not even come close to what they will see in the match.

    Matter of fact one time I had an opponent make a comment during a changeover that he did not see any of "those" serves during warmups.
     
    #66
  17. antq21

    antq21 New User

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    Ok since all of you think it was ok for them to return the serves. I bet you Nostradamus and partner did not get to practice return of serve since the others players didn't serve. Was Nostradamus suppose to ask the other team to his serves so Nos and teamate could get practice returning serves? Do you think the other team would have?

    I don't see any pro's practicing return of serve during warmup either. Whats up with that?
     
    #67
  18. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I hate to break it to some here, if you have to practice things 5 minutes before a game it is way too late.

    Warmup is for warming up! :idea:
    Duh!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    #68
  19. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    What I would do is hit the practice serves long on propose.
    Ripping practice serves in the warm up is bush league.

    Or after the first ripped return, stop serving.
     
    #69
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    1. Don't matter how they return your serves, you're warming up.
    2. Use their returns as a gauge of the effectiveness of their returns. If they're pummelling your serves, get ready for it when the set starts. Bet they will start to miss immediately.
    3. You're warming up, not hitting your best serves.
    4. So vary them, or just hit them all exactly the same spot, so when you start the set, you vary them.
    5. If they can pummel your serves, you are clearly overmatched. So start spinning them in soft and short, wide and low.
     
    #70
  21. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    Well....sure it's ok. In my example, they will never see the serve that I gave them in warmups....so it just wasted their warmup to return them, if they were trying to gauge how to return my serve that is.
     
    #71
  22. RetroSpin

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    I thought I'd heard it all, but you learn something everyday. I have never heard of any unwritten rule that you are not allowed to return serves during warmups. I think it's poor form to bash them right at the guy who is serving, unless he's the jerk who hit passing shots when you were at the net warming up your volleys. Otherwise, I don't see anythng wrong with hitting a few returns. I see pros do it all the time. Generally, it's a sign that they're finished serving.
     
    #72
  23. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    There is a written rule that it is unacceptable to bash returns during warm-up. You are, however, allowed to hit moderately paced returns back to the server. I agree that when someone starts returning serves in warm-up it is a sign that they don't want to take any more serves. Fine by me.
     
    #73
  24. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Play golf. Only perfect gentlemen play golf.
     
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  25. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Serve it where the opponents can't reach it. You don't have to hit the practice serves in the service box.
     
    #75
  26. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    that's funny hit it really wide so they have to run after it each time. Hahaha
     
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  27. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    great idea for the person that has the balls to do it
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    #77
  28. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    excellent information here
     
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  29. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    I go wide myself. :)
     
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  30. Delano

    Delano Rookie

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    If I have time to prepare properly, I'll warm up with a team mate (or even just the ball machine) prior to my match. I'll hit some serves as well. The official warm up with my opponent is an opportunity to get loose. During the serving section of the warmup, the standard etiquette seems to be to either catch the balls and serve them back, or knock easy returns directly back to the server. Getting dialed in on someone's serve by cracking returns would feel like a breach of etiquette to me.

    But plenty of people disagree, and I don't really see the point in arguing about it. Instead, try the following - the first time your opponent takes a big cut at the return, just say "I'm ready to start, I don't need any more serves, but feel free to take as many as you like." At that point, you're free to take a big cut at the return, since your opponent has established that he or she considers this to be acceptable.

    I've done this a couple of times, and both times, my opponents have said they'd like to start the match right away - ie., they clearly weren't interested in giving me the opportunity to get dialed in on their serve.

    This only works, of course, if you've gotten in a good warmup/practice prior to the match - one more reason to make sure you do this.
     
    #80
  31. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    One of the primary weaknesses of USTA tennis is exposure to the antics of 'characters'. It appears some of them are here, trolling or responding sincerely, hard to tell the two apart from such 'characters'.

    I have played at a bunch of different clubs, from elite country clubs on down, and the warmup has always been some groundstrokes, some volleys, concluded with 3-6 serves by each player, ad and deuce. The occasional guy that starts wailing away at your practice serve is the exception, not the rule. Same for the guy that thinks warmups are some kind of free lesson, these characters will request "ten more overheads" ... and drag things out upwards of 20 minutes....

    If one has a good group of competitive players, it is hard to come up with reasons to be randomly exposed to the shenanigans that take away from the fun of tennis, no matter the level. My USTA captain friends regale me with the goings-on in their seasons, same old, same old.
     
    #81
  32. Chip 'n Charge

    Chip 'n Charge New User

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    Played a somewhat schizoid WTT team last night. Played the men's doubles and one of the mixed doubles lines. All 3 of the guys used my warm-up serves to try and groove their return-of-serve. In the meantime, I heard the woman on the other mixed court admonish at my female teammate for doing the same thing. Go figure . . .
     
    #82
  33. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I think the OP's implication is that the warm up is unbalanced. Perhaps you've never played a match where you needed a game or two to get a look at someone's serve, but in those cases when you don't get an equal opportunity to see their serves you can start the match off at a disadvantage.

    It's not much different than someone cranking forehands every time you feed a groundstroke, instead of sustaining a rally both of you can warm up with.

    THAT SAID, during the warm up all I'm trying to do is get my rhythm and warm my shoulder up a bit. They can crank all the returns they want to.
     
    #83
  34. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    I do think this is the part that sucks -- you're deprived of an "equal" warmup.

    Actually, I've seen Serena do it many more times than once.

    BTW, who won the match ?
     
    #84
  35. badkitty

    badkitty Rookie

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    I see pros in the WTA practicing returns all the time. Not so much in the ATP, but not unheard of.

    As for "...return them at a moderate pace in a manner that does not disrupt...", I completely agree. There's nothing more frustrating than when warming up for a singles match, when the other guy keeps trying to hit winners on ground strokes or volleys. That's why if I can, I warm up before I get to the match.

    You run into all types when playing competitive matches. You can't let yourself get freaked out by the little stuff, especially in a warmup (the match hasn't even started yet...).
     
    #85
  36. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I was always told from people that played when I started that it is rude to return serves in any sort when warming up. For me I'd take the balls and go to another court and practice my serve and make them wait if they refused to stop hitting them. If that is not an option I'd take and maybe hit an hour ball at the net person first chance I got. There are plenty of ways to get even if you just want to do so.


     
    #86
  37. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    Well they told you wrong obviously...and, let's get this straight, if someone returns your serves while you are warming up you feel that it is justified to hit a ball intentionally at someone at that net? Now that is clearly both rude and poor sportsmanship by anybody's definition.
     
    #87
  38. moonbat

    moonbat Semi-Pro

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    OK, guys....strap it to your knees. This is from "The Code":

    "Warm up is not practice."

    "A player who returns serves should return them at a moderate pace that does not disrupt the server."

    I find no problem with the posters who are unhappy with opponents who tee-off during warmup....unofficiated matches are supposed to be played according to the Code. If you think that makes someone a *****, you're the one with the problem.
     
    #88
  39. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    If I have to chase down your errant return ... That is negatively affecting my warmup. If you block it back to me I will Grudgingly accept it.... Although that takes more time than simply catching it and feeding it back. But if you are taking full swing That requires extra attention for me, you are not playing according to the code and it is wrong.
     
    #89
  40. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Some ideas:
    1) turn around and practice your serves against the back fence. If you're
    opponent asks you to serve to him on the court, just tell him you don't people
    blasting returns back and you don't want him to get used to your secret serve.

    2) Just practice your toss without hitting it. Then take shadow swings with
    your racquet.

    3) warmup your serves by standing at your service line.

    4) hit warmup serves to your doubles partner instead.

    5) yell out "Stop blasting returns at me!!! It's intimidating me and makes
    me feel like my serve is weak."


    For the record, I sometimes hit returns if my serve warmup is faster than my opponents.
    Doesn't bother me if the opponent hits returns.
     
    #90
  41. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    No, you've got it wrong...it should be common sense that you don't take the time to warm your return up while I'm trying to take warm up serves. So when you do something you have no business doing, you shouldn't be surpise when you get a rocket sent your way. It's part of the game...especially when you are asked not to do it. It is what it is and you get what you get.

     
    #91
  42. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    I agree with what you are saying. It makes sense to me to if I'm not going to serve to just catch them and hit them back to you. It's just common sense to me.


     
    #92
  43. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    or how about 6...This where I in doubles take your first serve that is a fault and practice my serve and rifle it at the net man's head. :) I mean..as you said...I don't mind you doing it to us...and me and my partner come into the match looking for anything so it's really all good to us.lol


     
    #93
  44. ClintimusPrime

    ClintimusPrime Rookie

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    If you're really that bothered by some person trying to show off or be a dick while you're warming up, you have far worse problems than them smashing returns. I would hope a person that plays in leagues would have developed some mental strength. Learn how to ignore them. If they get to you that easily, I'd hate to see how easily you break down during match play.
     
    #94
  45. Orange

    Orange Rookie

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    Clint--this is an online forum in which tennis players can seek advice from others about tennis.

    Here is what just happened:

    OP: how can I stop my opponents from violating the code and preventing me from adequately warming up my serves?
    Others: lots of good advice
    You: you are a mental weakling! How can you even play leagues? You are the one who needs to change your behavior!

    I cannot imagine why someone thinks it is a good idea to insult a poster who is sincerely seeking answers to tennis questions on a forum designed precisely for that purpose. I am not seeking an answer or an argument; I am asking you to make positive contributions.

    I recently played in a state league championship in which I had two opponents in doubles who could not or would not give a decent warmup. After the first incident, I read the code section about warm ups, and switched to warming up with my partner instead of my opponent once it was clear that I would not otherwise get a good warmup.
     
    #95
  46. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    With your attitude at some point you'll end up with someone's racquet making a dent in your skull or be serving time for assault yourself.
     
    #96
  47. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    Next try...your type of belligerence doesn't hold up when you play people who will make you eat a ball you hit at them. What level do you play?
     
    #97
  48. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    Chatt_town, you starting to sound like you're from
    Crazy_town...

    So just merely returning your warmup serves gets you this
    bent? I'm not talking about blasting them back.

    What if you're playing mixed doubles or against some
    little kids and they hit returns off your warmup serves?

    Any other behaviors or shots on a court that would
    make you start headhunting?

    I'll wear a motorcycle helmet on the court
    if we ever play
     
    #98
  49. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    As I said...I come prepared for anything...meaning we can just play tennis as it should be or if I need to square you up, I'll do that. Since I've been playing I've noticed this. Most @holes will only do what you allow them to get away with meaning if you ask them not return your serves and they do it anyway and you just take it off the chin...next they will say just start doing silly stuff during the match. If you handle it the right way, most will stop pretty quickly. :) I can count on one hand though how many of them I've had to deal with since 2002 or 2003. :)


     
    #99
  50. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    From one fellow 1hbh to another....bro...You got it wrong. It's not returning serves....it's returning serves after you've been asked not to is what I was responding to. As far playing with kids, I wouldn't be caught on the court with some kids that couldn't be told something that simple. I generally don't play with kids anyway other than my son and he's knows better than to do that and be rude on the court with anyone. I believe in respect first and foremost.
    As far the head hunting, that generally doesn't start from me unless initiated by the other team...now once you start it...I always finish it. :) So the only thing you need to know when you and I are on the court is don't start anything that you can't afford to have thrown back at you and I see nothing wrong with that.


     

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