Is it wrong to hit directly at the Net person? (Etiquette Question)

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Jennifer, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

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    Sorry if this has been asked before.

    I've been playing mixed doubles.

    My partner has a weaker second serve, and unfortunately as a result, the returner will ocassionally send a forehand screaming directly at me. I can block some of them, but others are simply to fast. Luckily, I have Cat Woman reflexes at the net and haven't been hit yet.

    I know the returner(s) is not aiming malaciously and just taking advantage of the opportunity (so I think).

    My question: Is it wrong to hit directly at the net person?

    -Jennifer
     
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  2. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    IMO, no it isn't, that is just part of the game. If your partner is a weak server you probably need to back up or else get a new partner.
     
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  3. NadalFan1990

    NadalFan1990 Guest

    No, it is simply part of the game...
    My coaches have always taught me to try and aim for the net person because they have less time to react and it is a smart play, especially if you get a weak shot you feel you can do something with...
     
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  4. Raphael

    Raphael Semi-Pro

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    Its a smart play to blast a shot at the net player. Its tougher to get away from the ball than it is to run down a ball thats out of reach!
     
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  5. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Same here, my coach taught me to hit the ball at net players. Don't aim for their head or anything, but hit the ball at their body. It's an easy point and it'll shake them up mentally. They'll get intimidated and won't focus as well on the next volleys. Net players are instinctive in that they they receive the fight or flight thought process, they fight. If you make them lean more towards flight, you will have it easy at the net all day.
     
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  6. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    The net person is there to be hit ;), seriously, where you making this thread if your oponents shot were not coming so fast?
     
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  7. NadalFan1990

    NadalFan1990 Guest

    its true
    I was playing an NJCAA match, in singles and my opponent gave me an easy shot that sat up nicely right in my wheelhouse and I lasered it in his direction, nearly hitting him in the body...
    I didn't mean to hit him with my shot (granted, I got irritated with his pusher playing style that I released all the anger I had up to that moment in that shot), but it was the shot I knew was the right shot to play tactically.
     
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  8. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    This week I played a mixed doubles match where my female opponent played very closely to the net (within a foot). I didn't want to hurt her, and would not deliberately try to hit her body. After I hit several hard forehands past her that were within inches of hitting her, I thought she would at least move back a reasonable distance from the net, but she didn't. I later did hit her hands that were holding her racquet, and I felt badly for doing so - buttt, shouldn't she have played a little smarter to avoid putting herself in harm's way?
     
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  9. goober

    goober Legend

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    In social doubles I will not hit a screamer at the person at the net, especially if that person is a weak player.

    League or tournament play- it is fine.
     
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  10. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    I have no problems with hitting the net person on a easy serve, when playing against men. Mixed doubles, however, is a different story.

    What level are you? If you are lower rated than me I would never do it. If the women was higher or significantly better than me, I would have no qualms.
     
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  11. mixertefera

    mixertefera Rookie

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    it is complety fine to hit at the net person and if they dont have the hands to defend themsleves (actully if you have decent hands you can uselly get the ball back) then they desever to get hit for trying to play a game that is not theirs. That might be phrased a bit harshly.
     
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  12. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Tournaments OK. Social tennis - No. League - depends on the competitiveness of the league. Lower level mixed league 7.5 or below - No, you don't want to hurt someone. Higher level - woman good 4.0 or better, she should be able to take care of herself.
     
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  13. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    In general, I think the net shot is fine. You do have the choice to move back to avoid those situations. On the other hand, in mixed there can be mismatches where it can become cruel to rip it at the net person (I have advised an opponent that they can stand back being my best shot being dtl off the serve I was getting).

    In tournament play, I think it's always cool. In league and social tennis, it's more of a scenario by scenario situation imo.

    If there's another way to win the point, that's the route I'm going to take in those situations most of the time. The very first mixed dubs match I played (8.0), the opposing guy gunned it at my partner at all times (we're a 4.5/3.5 combo). They were winning handily and to me that is just being *****ish...so I capped him (overhead to chest), he stopped and we moved on. I guess what I'm saying is that there is a difference between using the shot as good strategy and bullying the opponent just because you can.
     
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  14. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    In mixed doubles, there is NO WAY I am going to hit a screamer at a girl playing net. I expect the same from the guy on the opposing team.
     
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  15. TenS_Ace

    TenS_Ace Rookie

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    If it is so obvious that your partner's second serve is so weak, you might as well just back up and stand at the baseline with the server to recieve the return. It really does affect the returners when you do this.
     
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  16. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    this is ridiculous, in a match its all fair game, if your opponent is too weak or slow or poor to deal with what you dish out, then they need to find out a way to deal with it or keep on losing points.

    Why treat a woman (in a match) any different than a guy? its not a date, its a match.

    Social dubs is different of course.
     
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  17. harleywilson

    harleywilson Rookie

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    I don't think it's wrong but I totally disagree with people who say it's a smart play. Try to hit screamers at me on a service return (even a weak one) when I have a net position and you will lose. Every once in a while ok. That being said I don't like to hit at women during mixed.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with this. I think if someone is totally inept at the net this will work. I think that 50% or more of the time the baseliner will lose the point, either by hitting into the net or by a reflex volley winner.

    If I do go at the net player, I won't do it off of the serve (when they are draped on the net and on guard) but will instead do it during the rally. I can sometimes catch them napping or better yet drifting so deep in the court that I can get the ball below net level or at their feet.

    In general, I think the best play against a weak serve is to hit a solid return deep and follow it to net. After all, you know the owner of a weak serve won't S&V. I'd prefer to wear them down by pinning them back there and making them try to hit passing shots against two players at net.
     
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  19. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    In response to the the OP's question "Is it wrong to hit directly at the net person" the answer is of course it is not wrong. It may not be considered a nice thing to do particularly in social tennis but otherwise it is a perfectly acceptable play. Strategically it may not be the smartest play but it depends on the players. It may be effective once or twice in a match but it is definitely not the percentage shot to play winning doubles.
    In mixed doubles the guy who gets his rocks off teeing off at the woman at the net is probably some guy who was athletically challenged as a kid, was always the last one picked for any team sports, and in general could not hang with his male peers in any sporting endeavor. Now he is on a tennis court with a person (woman) on the other side of the net and for the first time he feels he is physically superior and he is going to demonstrate his superiority by trying to hit a tennis through her.
     
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  20. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    I would be totally disappointed if you did not hit at me at net. This would tell me that I am going to win this match! I love the net; I don't care if you hit me; and I'm all over it! So, if you don't hit at me when you poach and you should, I'm going to take advantage of you to the best of my ability.

    So, guys, you may think you are being nice, but to me, you are showing you don't know how to play dubs

    spoke
     
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  21. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    In a casual/meaningless match, I would never hit at the net person's head on a sitter. Particularly if the net person is a girl. If I did hit at them, it would be a dipping heavy topspin shot because I don't want to clobber someone.

    If your partner's second serve is a joke, play back on second serves for your own safety. It isn't worth getting a detached retina for a meaningless match.

    However, in a competitive 4.5+ match, all guys, all bets are off and it is kill or be killed. :)
     
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  22. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

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    Thanks everyone for the input.

    We're playing social-recreational tennis at the 3.5-4.0 level when I get targeted. I don't take it personal or anything, but more so as a compliment to my ability at the net.

    I've seen others get passive-aggressive angry when someone "targeted" them. They will try to hit or embarrass them on the next shots throughout the set. While others (like me) don't seem to care if they get a ball screamed at them.

    I guess it's an etiquette thing, and will depend on the personality of the players in both situations (social and competitive).
     
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  23. genius24

    genius24 Semi-Pro

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    def part of the game. By playing tennis, one is indirectly consenting to the normal risks associated with playing the sport....one of which is getting nailed by a ball during play.
     
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  24. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Speak for yourself. I win FAR more than 50% on a shot like this. If you hit an easy serve, I am going to win a lot of points hitting the net person. Only about 10% to 20% of the opponents that I have faced can return them.
     
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  25. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    If it is a social-recreational tennis, I would never do that against a female player. It is just poor form. You can always dip it with a top spin instead of blasting it.

    There is one female player I would hit at her, but only because I know her really well and she is a very very good net player so I know she can handle it.
     
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  26. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    No, but don't make it your goal to hit the person.
     
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  27. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    It may mean you just had great net positioning. Sometimes they think "okay, cross court isn't going to work" or "down the line won't work" so they have nowhere else to go.

    Also, getting hit is a free point, so if he did hit you, he would have gotten the point so it would be easier than doing a passing shot that could get deflected back when he was in a bad court position.
     
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  28. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Social match no
    Serious match anything goes
     
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  29. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Actually it is a tactics thing. If Pros change formation from first serve to second, then you have to ask yourself "why am I playing at the net on my partner's second serve?"
     
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  30. SirSweetSpot

    SirSweetSpot Banned

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    ......................
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
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  31. blakesq

    blakesq Professional

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    A hard shot at the net person is a very good shot, and should be practiced all the time, including during social matches, so that when the match is important, you will have had practice to drill the net person, and won't 2nd guess yourself.
     
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  32. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    Not the face, please

    It's good to test the net guy every now and then, if you don't directly aim at the face or other sensitive areas. But if you don't have good ball control, please don't try it. Go for a down the line shot instead....

    If you're getting nailed too much, keep the feet moving and learn how to hit a reflex volley - or back off the net a bit.
     
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  33. karophiteblu

    karophiteblu Semi-Pro

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    I nailed someone in the weak spot once. He was out for like 10 minutes haha. It wasn't a formal match so I let him take a break haha.
     
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  34. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    Call me sexist but I wouldn't try to blast a shot at a female player at the club level. I don't go head hunting with overheads with any player but hitting at a guy's legs/feet is fine, I think.
     
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  35. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    As others say it's fin and ethical but i wouldn't do it in a social/informal/club session, no need to as i have nothing to prove.If in a match an opponent standing at the net i basically saying to us, i'm going to try to cut off your shots and give you les time to play which by standing there they are,a return aimed at them is as legitimate as a lob or passing shot down the line.If they get it back i won't do it again and agin as i wouldn't keep going dtl but you have to mix it up. If however it foce them to think "i dont want to b here " and had to the baseline then happy days, job done, and match to me.
     
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  36. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    Jennifer,

    Maybe I missed this, but I'm curious just how close you stand to the net when your partner is serving? And I am curious if you take a step back or two steps back when your partner is hitting a second serve?

    I see so many players standing a foot from the net, which makes them easy targets to either drill or lob. You take chances with this strategy. Chances that you need not take in my opinion.

    Drilling someone at the net is part of the game. It happens. It will continue to happen. It's legal, it gets in the head of the head of the person at the net, and more importantly it is a winning strategy if the net opponent is weak on volleys. I'm not condoning it in social play, or mixed doubles, but the fact is it drilling the net player is not going to stop. You have to adjust your game to deal with it.

    Venus Williams' doubles partner doesn't have a weak serve, so Venus can stand closer to the net when Serena is serving. Venus is also 6'1". Mike Byran's doubles partner has a pretty good serve as well. Your partner is neither Serena Williams or Bob Bryan, and doesn't have a good serve. :(

    So what can you do?


    1) If you play an opponent who does drill you at the net when your partner is serving weakly, don't stand 1,2,3 or 4 feet from the net. Back up!

    Move back to a point you are comfortable hitting a hard hit volley, cutting off a volley diagonally, and standing in a position which makes lobbing you more difficult. There is no requirement to stand 3' off the net in doubles. Why not back up 10-12' from the net? The service box is 21' deep. I hit with 4.5 players who volley with great results from 12' feet away from the net weekly. If the return comes at you, you have more time to react or cut it off diagonally.

    2) Tell your partner to grab a bucket of balls and practice their second serve 15 minutes per day to improve it. This helps everyone.
    Finally thoughts.

    Too many players think a volley must be a winner. This is so far from the truth. Volleys can be winners and often are, but they can also be great set up shots, by placing the ball deep and putting your opponents on the defensive, or hitting a drop volley (again putting your opponent on the defensive) and forcing your opponents to "pop" the ball up. If you can't hit a winner off of a volley, don't worry about it. You can still hit an effective volley and put your opponents on the defensive. But don't "pop up" a volley which gives them the offensive for their winner.
     
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  37. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    But it just feels better when you hit a winner :)
     
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  38. g4driver

    g4driver Hall of Fame

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    So true. ;)
     
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  39. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yes it's bad etiquette to hit directly at the net person, IF, you have other choices for a winner. It's also dumb, because even the biggest hack will unintentionally get it back in an act of shear self-preservation returning it for a winner off the butt end of his racket.

    Whenever I've tried to clock an opponent with a direct hit, it almost never works and I wind up miss-hitting and losing the point. I've seen very good pros who normally never miss, get pissed-off, go head-hunting after opponents, and miss terribly more than once in a match.

    The problem is the blood gets into the eyes, clouding the vision!

    It's not bad etiquette to hit at an opponent--when you aren't deliberately hitting at an opponent--and its just a result of a natural reflex volley that was well hit. You didn't have time to make a choice to hit to an open space, it just happened. Then you wave sorry, in a sign of good tennis etiquette and good players will understand, and say "Nice volley".
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
    #39

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