Level of play vs. expectations of your partner

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by CrispyFritters, May 10, 2010.

  1. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    I was wondering what people expect from a doubles partner at different USTA levels. This assumes you and your partner are the same level.

    For example:
    2.5 - Just have fun. Try to have less than 50% unforced errors.

    3.0 - Expect 3-4 double faults per set. Have some offensive shots. Be able to get the ball back about 75% of the time.

    3.5 - Be able to get the ball back in rallies 90% of the time. Consistent return of serve, but not an offensive return. 3 double faults per set. Play the "get one more ball back" strategy.

    4.0 - Be very consistent with moments of offensive brilliance. Minimal unforced errors. 2 double faults per set. Actively create opportunities for your partner to win the point.

    4.5 - Ability to have extended rallies. 0 unforced errors. Strong serve and offensive return of serve. Medium volleys. Knowledge of court positioning and playing as a unit with your partner. Almost no unforced errors. Most points are "won" vs. "given away"

    5.0 - Extremely consistent. 0 unforced errors. All shots can be offensive with a few really big weapons - like serve or forehand. Opponents must win the point. Partner never "loses the point." Excellent volleys. If they get a short ball, the point is over every time.
     
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  2. Yenster

    Yenster Rookie

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    Your 5.0 sounds like my version of profesional tennis O_O, I guess I play a 3.5-4.0
     
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  3. Austinthecity

    Austinthecity Rookie

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    If you ever expect this of your partner, you're going to be very disappointed..
     
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  4. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Three DFs per set for 3.5s per partner?

    That would qualify as a very bad serving day.

    And I would love to get 90% of rally balls back. I'm not close to 90%, sadly.
     
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  5. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    A few of your expectations are over optimistic. I bolded my changes.

    If you look at ATP and WTA stats you will often find that players have lots of unforced errors. In fact I cant think of a single match ever that has had zero unforced errors. What you will find at the professional level is often the winner will have a very high (or at least positive) winner to unforced error ratio and (more often than not) the loser has a negative winner to unforced error ratio.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
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  6. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Not if you are getting 4 or 5 aces per set to go along with it.

    I probably double fault 2 or 3 times a set. But I also win a lot of points off my serve. It evens out...
     
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  7. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    on a bad day i get 3-4 df's per game.... lmao! good days i only get around 1-2 dfs per set.

    i'm pretty much a 3.0. i expect effort to try to get to shots but bad footwork most of the time. easy sitters will be hit into the net or shanked to the fence 50% of the time. and avg around 1 df per game with probably 30% first serves.
     
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  8. subban

    subban Rookie

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    0 unforced errors? Are these ratings for robots?
     
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not getting 4-5 aces per set. I do believe in going for a good serve, but my goal isn't to ace in doubles. It's to make the returner hit a poor return if possible, but at a minimum to make sure they can't attack my serve too much.

    Then again, no one else at 3.5 women's is hitting aces either, so it's all good.
     
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  10. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    I think I might be playing at too high a level relative to my skills. I play 4.5. I double fault at least twice per set. I also hit about twice as many UE as winners. Obviously I'm overrated based on the OPs criteria. Oddly enough I have a winning record :oops:
     
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  11. goober

    goober Legend

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    Your expectations are way too high especially for the 4.5 and 5.0 levels. :)
     
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  12. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Expectations about UFEs are kind of ridiculous. Your set of rules is probably OK, but only if everyone is playing against a 3.5 level opponent. If everyone is playing against someone at their own level, then UFEs don't even necessarily decrease since the rally shots are much heavier with more pace and spin and placement.

    A 3.5 pusher against another 3.5 opponent might be able to hit 15 shots back in a typical rally, but put him against a 5.0 who hits with pace and spin and depth and, even if the 5.0 doesn't go for a single winner and just hits rally balls, the 3.5 model of consistency pusher will struggle to hit 2 in a row because he just can't deal with shots that heavy.
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The other thing is that having a great rating in singles doesn't make for a good or even decent doubles player. Believe me, 5.0s make all kinds of UEs (as does Federer).

    As to what they can accomplish, remember they are likely to be playing against different competition. If they were playing against similar competition, their prowess would increase with their improved play, but against identical competition to their level they are going to get aced and have service winners against them etc.
     
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  14. iankogan

    iankogan Rookie

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    You almost got it right... if you shift your levels up one full NTRP point. I.e. what you said for 3.5 is kinda reasonable for 4.5, etc. Though 4.5 and 5.0 criteria (0 unforced errors?!) are completely unrealistic even for top ten ATP.
     
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  15. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    What about moments of "defensive" brilliance. :) I fall somewhere between 3.5 and 4.0. 90% is tough! Hey, thanks CrispyFritters!
     
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  16. Totai

    Totai Professional

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    i guess he would be disappointed with federer as a partner :)
     
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  17. anantak2k

    anantak2k Semi-Pro

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    0 UEs?
    If I was that good I would be better than Roger Federer himself.
     
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  18. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

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    Ok Ok! I get it. 0 unforced errors is not realistic - and I see that now. Thanks to EVERYONE that pointed that out. : )

    I like the 3:2 winner to error ratio suggested by cknobman. Maybe that's a better proxy.

    In any case...my intent for 4.5 and 5.0 was that points have to be constructed and won and you can't just hope the other team makes a mistake.
     
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  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    The OPs expectatations that as the level increases, the number of UEs and Double Faults goes down is just wrong.

    At every level there are players who are conservative, and those who are risk-takers. The risk-takers have more shotmaking skills, but will donate more free points as well. The conservative players will rely almost solely on opponents' UEs. Put two conservative players against one another, and most points will end in a UE, regardless of skill level.

    Same goes with serves, some 3.0s hit dink serves that are really weak, but never double fault. Then you have 4.5s that have really hard serves, but on an off-day they will double fault alot.

    One final thought is that 4.5-5.0 players might hit few UEs against a significantly weaker player/pair, however against players of their own level or higher, they are forced to hit better shots, and will hit more UEs as a result.
     
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  20. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I would agree that expectation have little to do with errors and more with aggressiveness or movement - I would not expect, for example, a 4.5 to allow a slow ball to float down the middle or to stand at the net when a lob goes over her head (but instead to move diagonally back to cover the side of the court vacated by the partner to minimize angles for the opponents).
     
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  21. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    4.0 level doubles

    The things I care about in a partner:
    -interested in having fun and a competitive match
    -communicates with me before and during the match
    -plays fair, but also will challenge an opponent on a questionable line call
    -creates opportunities for me at net when serving (note that I didn't say that he serves 120mph@55%)
    -gets more than half of second serve returns in play
    -makes most all volleys and overheads when I'm serving
    -knows when to defend instead of going for broke on low percentage shots


    Things I don't care about:
    -how much lead you have on your racquet
    -how much you pronate on your serve
    -whether you use a double bend, straight arm or two handed forehand
    -Your grip
    -your stance
    -your strings
    -leather grip
    -12 pts headlight racquet
    -that your frame was made in Austria
     
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  22. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    And this, my friend, is why you will never make it to 4.5. Don't you know that adding lead immediately increases your NTRP by .3? And a frame made in Austria is an automatic +.15
     
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  23. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    My expectations are simple... I would assume you are going give it 100%, some days you will play better than others as will I. The only other expectations I have are that you will work with me in finding a solution to defeating our opponents, make fair line calls, and enjoy the experience on the tennis court whether we win or lose.

    Oh and play with a smile on your face. No need to apologize, because if I know you are trying, it is evident to me that you did not mean to miss that last shot, and you will make the next one. Stay positive, because win or lose this was better than sitting at home on the couch watching baseball.

    The bottom-line is that I would rather play with someone I like than win with, though it would be nice if I could find both in a partner.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2010
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  24. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    Well, I forgot to mention that I require my partners to have CAP grommets installed and silicon injected in their handles, so I guess we are borderline 4.5 now.
     
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  25. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Guest

    0 unforced errors? come on.

    I guess the Bryans must not be at a 5.0 level yet.
     
    #25

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