Is it considered "bush" to use non-traditional serves at 4.0 level?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by JackB1, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    One question for you Caesar. I have a good friend and occasional tennis opponent who had shoulder surgery recently and now won't be able to serve with an overhand motion.

    I guess he will have to quit playing tennis?
     
  2. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    Cop out. You claimed that something that is within the rules and doesn't involve hurting your opponent is sporting. I pointed out a case where this is clearly the opposite, with several parallels.

    At the end of the day I don't particularly care whether you think it's a sporting act or not. You're welcome to your opinion. That's the beauty of sportsmanship. It's not clear cut and everyone's entitled to their own perspective.

    Just stop whining like a little girl because a lot of other people disagree with you and think it's scummy behaviour. You want to act in a way that is morally grey then you have to accept the flak that comes with that.

    They forebore to comment on the sportsmanship of the act. That alone speaks volumes.

    That doesn't have anything to do with what we're actually talking about.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  3. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You are doing all the whining missy and if you'll check the tape I think you'll see that the vast majority of posters in this thread agree with me, not you. But don't let the fact that posters to a tennis forum for tennis players don't agree with you change your little made up mind. You keep on believing that because a bunch of non-tennis-playing French people once idiotically booed Hingis that you are on the moral high ground.

    I guess we do agree with the fact that I could not give two turds what you think, which is reinforced every time you rant again.

    Speaking of cop outs...
     
  4. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    So why post in this thread at all? The OP asked a question. The answer is yes, a lot of people consider it bush and the people who do it to be unsporting scum. Topic closed.

    Then, for some bewildering reason, people like you come in with "waaaaah it's not fair, you can't call it bush, it's a legitimate tactic". You claim not to care what others think, yet you post in a thread purely to complain about how wrong it is that they think that way. Quite amusing really.

    Nobody is saying you don't have a right to think it's a legitimate tactic. Good for you, sonny - I honestly mean that. Everyone's entitled to your opinion. But no matter how much you stamp your feet the reality is that plenty of people disagree, it's no less legitimate a view, and that view is their prerogative.

    Now run along, lad. ;)

    No, it just demonstrates you've completely missed the point.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  5. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    The question was asked idiot. I answered it. You attempted to answer it but your prattle never really got up to the level of rational thought, but here's a cookie and thanks for playing.

    When momma's boys who wet their pants when someone hits a shot that they aren't ready for and cry like *****es that 'it's unfair' start determining what is or isn't kosher I'll quit the game. Luckily for me, you are in a tiny minority.
     
  6. ryu1revline

    ryu1revline New User

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    To the OP, it's perfectly legal in tournament match and all that jazz, but some people might think it's bush I suppose. This thread is proof I guess.:)

    In recreation, I don't think it's worth it. There have been a few players who have come and gone at my club with grey tactics. Problem is, the word gets around and then they kind of get ignored by the other players. I've seen this happen and it's sad because they will end up canceling their membership.
     
  7. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    No you didn't. You admitted in your first post you merely came in to squeal about how unfair it is that anyone could consider a legal shot 'bush'.

    That you now pretend that you don't care what other people think is nothing short of hilarious.

    Where did I complain? I totally agree with your right to play like that. By all means, be my guest. As I have said from the outset, it does not bother me in the slightest.

    In fact, if anything, I appreciate it because it's enlightening. As a great man once said, sport is a great revealer of character. Circumstances like these and the decisions people make in response to them are the ones that separate the true sportsmen and gentlemen from shabby little grifters such as yourself. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  8. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    This must not be a sporting serve then:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ng5UolJt5LY

    Roddick clearly had no opportunity, fair or otherwise, to make a play there--so by your interesting definition, it was an unsportsmanlike serve.
     
  9. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    The style of serve gives a fair opportunity. Its success or failure rests on the skill of the execution.

    A drop serve does not have to be executed at all skillfully to beat an opponent who is well behind the baseline. Choosing to employ it at all guarantees an almost certain win. That is why many people regard it as so distasteful and cheap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  10. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    It's apparent that since you are too mentally or physically challenged (likely both) to defend against a perfectly legal shot you feel the need to label it and any who use it as unsportsmanlike. That clearly reveals nothing good about your character. If you can't adjust when you see someone's service motion change then perhaps tennis isn't the game for you. I know I've hit several winning returns against underhanded serves so it really isn't the guaranteed point you seem to think it is. But please continue to whine about the unfairness of it all in your little fantasy world.
     
  11. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Ok, among the veritable barrage of immensely stupid things you have said, I think we have a winner.

    I don't see the problem, I really don't. It is a surprise strat, a 'change up', a player on their toes is more than likely to run it down if it isn't executed perfectly. It's a valid tactic used at any level. Not my thing, I'm not clever enough to use a completely different service action in the middle of a match, it would do my head in. But I have seen it at a lot of levels.

    I bet you rage about pushers, too...
     
  12. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    lol. Federer has never returned an underarm serve in his career, despite facing several - inevitably from vastly inferior players like Llodra. Is he 'mentally and physically challenged'?

    In fact, I would love to see the ace percentage on underarm serves on the ATP Tour - I'm guessing it's at something like 95%. They're incredibly cheap points for a shot that is so easy to execute. Yet they are still so rare. Why? Because they are considered so unsporting that players generally only resort to them when they are completely desperate.

    If you are regularly crushing winners against drop serves then I would say that mostly indicates the poor level of your opposition.
     
  13. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Well, then don't stand way behind the baseline :)

    By standing way behind the baseline, the receiver is attempting to give themselves an advantage of extra time to execute a hard serve return. When I see that, I'll drop a slow serve into the box.

    That cures most people from standing way behind the baseline on serve return ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  14. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    Bear in mind that Chang was cramping, and in desperate condition....nearly in tears. He never ever used that serve again to my knowledge in the entire career of wins and losses that came after....which should tell you something about what he really thought of the tactic.

    To the OP:

    Yes, it's a bush league tactic. Why? Well, ask yourself this, do you want to look in the mirror and say: "I won that match because I hit a few silly little trick serves...and that surprised my opponent!"...or would you rather just work on developing an excellent, sound, powerful, accurate serve? For some, as shown by many of the posts here, winning is everything. But for others, how you win is important. Will you genuinely feel good about your abilities winning points like this....hitting a silly shot that catches your opponent unaware...because you changed your motion radically, and he was uncertain what was happening for a second? For many serious players, and champions, the answer is: no, I don't want to win points that way.

    It is legal, so you can do it. If you feel good about winning points that way, go ahead. There are many other comparable things to do ie. on return, suddenly stop and stand upright, as if you are stopping play, then block the ball back, as if you are about to say something, don't move.....then claim the point, when he is confused and doesn't play the ball! But that one doesn't sound so great does it? Yet, you are really relying on the same thing there.

    Nothing at all wrong with an off-pace serve...but if you want to be sporting, don't change your motion to confuse the guy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
  15. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    Underhand serves only work if they are unexpected & rare (as is the case with drop shots in general). If this weren't the case, I guarantee there would be at least one pro player who would be willing to look "unsporting" in exchange for never losing serve, and making millions on the tour.
     
  16. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    If you choose not to defend half the court I think the server should look for ways of taking advantage of that. Make the person move forward and take away the advantage they get by standing so far back.
     
  17. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    I agree. I occasionally try to use short, wide slice serves for the same reason. And if a guy comes in tight, I'll try to hit deep into his body. The counter-tactic is also popular where you stand in tight to tempt the guy to go for too much. Standard stuff.
     
  18. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Caesar, really, Federer has NEVER returned an "underarm" serve? Now you are just making stuff up. Maybe in 3.0 tennis, the underhand serve is a sure winner, but once you get up to 4.0 level tennis, the underhand serve may work on occasion, but it is in NO WAY a sure winner. A good tennis player can easily tell the different serve motion for an underhand serve and scoot up to get the ball.

    For me, I employ the underhand serve for those players who play well back of the base line, and I have only rarely gotten an ace from it, often the player will put a weak ball back into play, that I can pounce on. but often times also, the returner is able to smash the ball.

    At 4.0 level, the underhand serve works probably 20-40% of the time, but I think its good to mix things up. Just like its good to return a serve right at the net man, to keep him thinking about whether he should poach or not.

     
  19. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    From http://www.tsn.ca/tennis/story/?id=330324 which is a writeup of the Federer Llodra match.

    What better time to throw Federer an absolute curve ball. A rare underhand serve.
    "It's the first time I got an underarm serve," Federer said with a laugh. "The third time somebody asked me for the shirt."


    Also interesting that the match was described as

    "The Federer-Llodra match was a return to old-school tennis, with both players showing creativity and aggressiveness instead of the more common baseline power game used by many at the sport's top level.
    The crowd ate it up and the players enjoyed it too. Llodra even picked up a souvenir after shaking hands with the two-time champion, asking Federer for his pink tennis shirt."


    It is interesting that no hard feelings or bitter condemnation of the underhand serve are mentioned by Federer or the writer. Maybe its all in YOUR head.
     
  20. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    The highlights of the entire actual Federer Llodra match, which is one of the better youtube tennis videos in terms of quality I've seen, is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv36ygf2DGg The arabic announcing is kind of entertaining to listen to.

    The serve is at 5:35 and they show it several times. First, nobody boos. Second, Fed clearly has a play on the ball and appears annoyed at himself for overhitting a return attempt. He certainly doesn't say anything to or even glare over at Llodra afterwards. Like I said before, when interviewed afterward, the arguably greatest player to ever play the game had no problem with the serve.
     
  21. OrangePower

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    I think you are wrong in making that assertion. Maybe at very low levels or when playing against movement-challenged opponents a drop shot serve can be effective (i.e. a good percentage play). But otherwise, it's just a bad play, generally speaking. I think you underestimate how hard it is to execute against a decent opponent. Also, you are underestimating the 'opportunity cost' - meaning the effectiveness of the alternative.

    You mentioned pro players, so let's examine that. If an opponent is well behind the baseline, it means the server has an effective first serve. Most pro's can get their first in at about 65%, and win at least 75% of first serve points. That means they have a 50% shot at winning the point on their first serve (without needing a second serve).

    So to be an effective strategy, a drop-shot first serve would need to go in and win the point at least 50% of the time. And I don't think it does that.

    In order to convince me otherwise, you'd have to find some data on how often a drop-shot serve has been attempted (including where it was a fault), versus how often it has gone in and then also won the point for the server.
     
  22. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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  23. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^

    I agree with you.

    I don't think the data would support what I was asking for, let alone the even higher standard you're pointing out.

    Bottom line: if it was generally effective to drop-shot serve, you'd see pros using it. "Bush league" or not, if it leads to wins and money in pocket, people will do it.
     
  24. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Fed's reaction to Llodra's underhanded serve :)

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Data schmata.

    If a pro were serving for the Wimbledon Championships and an angel appeared and told that pro that an underhand serve would win the point, I'll bet the pro still wouldn't do it.

    The victory would be forever marred, the only thing people would remember or talk about would be that one serve, and every question in every press conference for the pro's entire career would be about underhand serves.

    Which proves underhand serves are bush.
     
  26. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    Marred by a legal shot! hopefully no one at wimbledon ever won by using a drop shot. or how about an off speed serve? Or what if wimbledon champion won by hitting a ball to his opponent's weaker hand? so many "bush" players at wimbledon, I am disgusted. I mean, I was watching Federer yesterday on TV, and he actually hit a drop shot, what a bush player.


     
  27. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I can't tell if you are being serious or not given the smilie, however, if you actually watch the video you'll see Roger smiling broadly right after missing the shot on that serve.
     
  28. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I would take that bet. Easy money - thanks Cindy!

    The closest scenario to this (that actually took place) is Chang vs Lendl in the 4th round of the '89 French Open. Chang pulled off an underhand serve on a pivotal point. He went on to win that match, and ultimately the FO.

    There is an excellent article from 1999 in SI archives that revisits this 10 years on. Read the whole thing in context:

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/tennis/1999/french_open/news/1999/05/22/tenyears_changfrench/

    "I was trying to break his concentration," Chang told Sports Illustrated after the 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 drainer. "I would do anything to stay out there."

    There was some controversy after this, but it's clear that Chang has no regrets and would do it again under the same circumstances.

    Summary: Pro did it. Arguably this won him the FO. He has no regrets. I win the bet :)
     
  29. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    With big servers you have to stand well back to make the return.

    The reality is that when standing in a position where you are capable of returning a normal serve from a hard-hitting player, a half-well executed underarm dink is an easy ace.

    Find me an example where he has.

    That's because Federer has class. However, you will notice that he has never resorted to this tactic himself. Since it's so effective, if he has no problem with it, why doesn't he use it occassionally?

    Really? I would beg to differ. I think you would find that the drop shot serve almost always scores an unreturnable. It's very rare to see it returned at the pro level.

    Well no. He wasn't serving for the match and it wasn't a final.

    I think it's far more telling that when he DID get to the final and was playing against one of the most beloved sportsmen the game has produced in Edberg, he used far more orthodox tactics - despite that match also being quite gruelling and close.
     
  30. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I have seen this in 4.0 level. It works to thrown in the Junk serve about once out of 8-10 times or so. 4.0 guys can't adjust to it and either go for too much and it will go straight into the net or into next county. :) but it doesn't work at 4.5 level. Guys at 4.5 level judges the ball speed and spin much better so usually they will crush it. I crush these if i see one. Key is not to get too anxious but just make little adjustment steps and RIP it.:)
     
  31. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You are now just acting the clown. Welcome to my Ignore List. Say hello to the others.
     
  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    You can mail me a check, OrangePower. Martina Hinges undoubtedly regrets her underhand serve, whether she will admit it or not.

    'Cause it was bush league.
     
  33. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    The only time I regret my underhand serve is when it doesn't work.

     
  34. OrangePower

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    True. But it is the closest example I can find. He was not serving for the match, but he was down at the time and it was a pivotal turning point. Chang himself says so. And it was not the final, but without getting through this match Chang would not have made it to the final and onto winning his only slam.

    So this is the closest thing that matches Cindy's hypothetical scenario.

    If you can find a better-suited example, I'm all ears...
     
  35. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Well, she didn't win that match, so it's hardly a good example. Had she won the match due to the underhand serve, you really think she would regret it?

    And even having lost the match, she's never regretted using that tactic, that I know of. Of course you can prove me wrong by citing a source stating the contrary...
     
  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Martina will never admit it. No, no, no.

    Henin will tell you how hard it is to admit you were wrong. Look at all the time it took her to apologize for the hand thing against Serena -- when she was on camera doing it.

    Even when an opponent is injured or cramping, pros won't use an underhand serve to make their opponent run. Drop shot, yes. Underhand serve, no.

    'Cause it would be bush. And they would get boo'd. Martina can tell you how much fun that is.
     
  37. Avles

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    Well, Michael Chang won his match against Lendl, and he regrets using the underhand serve.

    Of course he's never gone on record and admitted it. But you can clearly see his remorse at 1:20 of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHcWEoE4Fbw#t=01m17s

    A shame really-- a great career tarnished by that bush league moment.
     
  38. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I wasn't being serious :)

    Federer gave that weird hurt look to Llodra, then smiled ;)

    The look was so typical Federer, however, I had to post it

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  39. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    Your capitulation is noted.
     
  40. Datacipher

    Datacipher Banned

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    No. He may well not regret it, in that romanticized light. However, as I posted earlier, he was cramping to the point of tears, and the severe underdog. However, in the rest of Chang's career, win or lose, in a thousand+ matches, you didn't see him doing that ever again. That tells you something.
     
  41. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Yeah, it tells you that it generally isn't an effective serve against top players. You make sneak one in, but you'll pay for the next one.
     
  42. Avles

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  44. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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  45. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    This argument is flawed. I regularly, at the advice of two coaches I use, change the speed on my serves to push the returner back and forth along the baseline. If the returner is so far back that he cant return a change up, I see NO REASON WHAT_SO_EVER to not hit a change up. (I'm talking competitive play here, not social).

    Part of the return game is knowing where to stand. If everyone knows it's going to be a first serve flat ball over and over it would be a hell of a lot easier to return serves. The fact that I make sure people can't get too far back on my first serve give me the opportunity to try and jam them.

    One of the pros I play with was an excellent college player. He's short. He doesn't have a big serve. On the other hand returning his serves are a complete pain because he varies them so much and EXPLOITS where you are standing. Too far back he'll kick it or slice it out of the box slow. Too far forward he'll try and jam you.

    To repeat work on taking your serves early. If you can, a drop serve should pose zero problems for you, and in fact is an easy winner straight up.
     
  46. wmilas

    wmilas Rookie

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    Again, this is simply not true. If you ALLOW a hard hitting player to push you that far back, he's already won. Hes able after the return to force angles on you because you are trapped behind the baseline. I am in no way an expert but pros constantly yell at me (literally!) to step into that monster serve and either volley it back deep or drive it if you guess the side correctly. Either way the most important points are to not yield the baseline and to get the return back deep to stop the server from pinning you and generating angles.
     
  47. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

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    Not to me. You win anyway legally that you can. When I played baseball...no pitcher ever came in and asked me what kind of pitch I wanted to see or I would have gotten a c*ck high fastball over the middle of the plate every pitch.lol So I say if they can't return it keep serving it up that way. :)

     
  48. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Meh.

    I don't think it's bush. Fair game imo. The Karlovic serve to Haas for example, it just made sense, since Haas was pretty much in the stands for the return. I mean really his positioning was bordering on ridiculous. If you have an opponent with that court positioning at ANY other time, a dropshot is perfectly reasonable, so what's the difference on the serve?

    At the same time I think the drop-serve's effectiveness as a play is limited. You don't see it that often in the pros not because people are scared to be "bush," but because it's not that common for the circumstances to be just right that it's actually a better option for the server than just putting in a good serve.

    So I guess I pretty much agree with orangepower on this one.
     
  49. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    thanks dcdoorknob! I agree completely. Another big reason why underhand serves are rarely used amongst pros, is not that it is bush, is that pros are almost always in incredible physical condition, and can often run down an underhand serve, and kill it.

    rec players are often a bit slow off the take off, and may often miss getting to the underhand serve.

     
  50. rainman007

    rainman007 Rookie

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    you can play however you want to play and so can they period
    its bad judgement after a match or if your killing someone and your showing off in between points thats one thing but as far as the type of shot you want to hit hit any shot you want anytime
     

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