Lobbers. We get no respect. No respect at all.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I had a funny 7.0 senior mixed match over the weekend. I was playing with my regular 3.5 partner, a great guy. He drapes himself all over the net and terrorizes our opponents, so we do very well together. Opponent was a nice 3.5 lady, a teammate of mine, and her partner was also a sweetheart.

    We were dominating in the first set, and I was serving it out at 5-1, set point. I served, she returned. I meant to hit a groundstroke with lots of topspin to her BH, but I instead hit some ridiculous topspin moonball that fell just behind the service line. She set up to hit a smash. Alas, she misjudged the topspin and it kicked high over her outstretched racket for a winner. She was not happy.

    So. We are playing the second set, and a ball came to rest behind their baseline. We asked her partner at net if the ball was a problem, and he said it was OK.

    She then said, loud enough for me to hear: "You'd better get it. We're playing a lobber." The word "lobber" received special emphasis -- the same tone dripping with disdain one might use for the word "cheater."

    Come on, now. Folks need to start respecting a good topspin lob. It's not like I am lobbing every ball or anything. I lob (1) when my opponents come in on a ball that sits up, (2) when my opponents drape themselves on the net and leave the entire back court undefended, or (3) when my opponents lob first because they can't think of any other way to deal with my huge-wingspan 6'4" partner at the net.

    In those situations, my opponent are practically begging for me to lob, so why are they getting so frustrated when I lob?

    So, all you lob haters. Knock it off. Respect my topspin lob, understand your role in triggering a lob, and figure out a way to make me stop. And stop yer complaining already.
     
  2. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    People always complain about things that are in reality their problem. I was playing a mens doubles match on Saturday with my opponents being 2 very large men both of whom serve probably in the 100-110 MPH range and I hit with fairly powerful heavy topspin strokes. My partner has a very unorthodox game, hits a lot of lobs and has a very weak serve -

    one of the opponents starts complaining audibly about the pathetic lobbing and I forget what phrase he used but something about the wussy, sissy or the equivalent serve of my partner after he dumped another return. I say to the guy who is a hot head, it is your problem if you are 6'3 and can't punish us on lobs and can't smoke these sitter serves on your return. Your post made me think of that.
     
  3. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    Why are lobs and dropshots considered bad? I consider them finesse shots. I've watched tournaments where 50 year olds beat the heck out of guys 20 years younger because they know how to mix it up.

    In my senior league, these older guys will try to blast through you. If they find they can't, they'll dropshot and lob your butt to death. And believe me when I say they can drop it deep in the corner at will.
     
  4. goober

    goober Legend

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    I believe Cindy has taken the first step on the path to becoming the dreaded lob queen. :)
     
  5. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    You must hit the ball hard. Your opponents were just trying to inform you of this rule. :)
     
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, yeah.

    I mean, I *practice* topspin lobs all the time. I taught myself to hit it by drop feeding. When I am going to hit a topspin lob, I will tell my regular ladies' partner before I strike the ball, and she knows to position and wait for the weak reply.

    Folks need to stop acting like an offensive topspin lob is a junk shot hit by folks who can't hit anything else. It takes work to master it.
     
  7. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

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    Translation:
    "You'd better get it. We're playing a lobber." = We are playing a person with more variety in their game than we could ever dream of having.

    Regardless of what modern day tennis professionals think, tennis is still a lot more than just bashing the ball as hard as you can. At the end of the day, the only word that matters is "WIN". People that can't adjust, acccept, and respect the various playing styles of tennis, are usually the ones who don't improve, because ultimately, they think THEIR way is the ONLY way to win. If it works, it works, let the result speak for themselves.
     
  8. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    I envy players with good lobs. Boy it would be handy sometimes but my lobs always seem to be short and get me or my partner killed.

    When we play smart opponents that realize this, they camp at the net and it becomes very, very difficult to pass them. It's becoming more obvious that this is a decent size hole in my doubles game.

    So you get respect from me! I wanna be a lobber.
     
  9. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    I guess so - other than the serve the funniest thing is my groundstrokes while having more spin are harder than either of theirs but I always throw in a backhand topspin lob now and then.

    the comments were digs at my partner not me but I thought they were stupid
     
  10. doctor dennis

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    Pushers or people that lob to win matches bring people with over inflated perceptions of their tennis ability down to a peg or five.
    If your opponent can't deal with lobs or no pace they need to hit the practice courts.
    As some have said it's all about the winning, doesn't matter if you don't look great doing it, just win.

    Regards
     
  11. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    Our team just won districts and are headed to sectionals for the second year in a row. One of the additions we made to our dismantled team from last year was a small guy from the far east who plays unlike anyone I have ever seen.

    In doubles I have watched him drop shot and lob doubles teams into submission ... He can hit the ball hard if he wants to but it is so much more fun to watch him taunt the opponent with his unusual shot selection.

    While I generally do not have much trouble with lobbers I would not want to play this guy because it seems his whole goal is to pull you in close enough to the net so that he can hit lob winners.
     
  12. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    If your opponent starts grumbling about your game, you know you've gotten in their head.

    I had a friendly doubles match and at the end of the last set, which we won 7-5, one opponent started grumbling about how many shots they missed. I said, "What about all the shots we made? Didn't that have anything to do with it?"

    And in fact, we had really taken it to them (well, I did, my partner was far weaker). I crushed shots, smashed overheads, and served aces to get us the win. I wasn't going to let them get away with the ol' "we missed shots" whining!
     
  13. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    ^Dizz-

    Funny, in the last couple years I have found that the doubles drop shot/lob mentality translates so well to singles that I can't believe I was still trying to blast through people even on a bad day in 4.5.

    Now I go to the safe game first and bring the firepower when needed. I'm finding that sets are over before I need to bring the firepower with this method.

    I prefer the backspin lob over the topper personally though. I find the opponents that can move back well still have difficulty controlling the racket face consistently to counteract the spin. Plus it gets the opponent chasing those lobs early in the set. By the end of the set they typically submit to letting the lob go by.
     
  14. SeriousSummer

    SeriousSummer New User

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    I personally love lobbers.

    I love hitting overheads.

    I only regret that I can't jump any more, so sometimes I have to retreat to get to lobs these days. But sometimes I can get back far enough to hit an overhead, and that makes me feel better.
     
  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting.

    I prefer the topspin lob because of the element of surprise. The grip and racket face are the same as a regular groundstroke, so folks seem taken by surprise. And because the bounce is high, it often goes into the back curtain before they can get under it. If someone hits a slice lob over me, I will turn to run it down, whereas I pretty much have to concede the topper.

    I'm unsure whether and how I might add a slice lob to my arsenal. I mean, if I can hit a reliable topper, is there any reason to add the slice?
     
  16. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Personally for me topspin lobs are offensive shots and I use slice/backspin lobs primarily as defensive shots
     
  17. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I look at the two lobs in different ways: The topper is going for a winner. Risk vs reward. The slice is the setup shot, more margin for error and won't win the point outright but will put you in control of the point.

    I love the fact that you would go to run down the slice, I'll come in cover the middle and put away the next shot or if you hit a better ball back, I'll drop shot again and keep you moving up and back. I want you running for the slice and using up your energy as the match progresses.

    Granted, this all depends on your touch and ability to place the lob. In doubles, it can be a great lob to counteract the serving team from taking the net. You can go high and deep in the court with a relatively safe shot, meaning the net man won't be hitting an overhead and one of the two will retreat...you and your partner then take net and control of the point.

    It's not a necessary shot to have in your arsenal but it is a nice option. I can drop, lob or drive with backspin from the same set up, that's where the surprise plays in.
     
  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Same here. Topspin will bounce further away from your opponent when it lands so it is preferred but sometimes you are just not in position to hit it.
     
  19. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    Lobs and drop shots all have their place in a well-rounded game.

    I think comments from those who refer to "lobbers" with disdain are directed at those players who use lobs excessively. I have seen a number of players who appear to not possess a decent forehand or backhand drive and will resort to using lobs quite often to avoid being punished by opponents at the net. It appears to the non-lobber that the "lobber" is not trying.

    That said, players who face "lobbers" should relish the opportunity to hit many overheads. These "lobbers" are somewhat successful at lower levels where their opponents have not developed their overheads.
     
  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, I would say that many of my opponents believe I use lob "excessively." But what does that mean? I'm hitting it as much or as little as I need to win. Besides, it probably seems like a lot of lobbing to someone who hasn't seen it, but it doesn't feel that way to me.

    My pro want me to knock it off with the lobbing because it won't work at higher levels and then what? Good point.

    So I start off matches promising myself I won't lob. And the match is tight, I start lobbing, I start winning, and that's that.
     
  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The temptation to lob is very high and it is very effective, so it is easy to get carried away and not learn to hit other shots.
     
  22. ChipNCharge

    ChipNCharge Professional

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    Well, it doesn't sound like you meant to hit a topspin lob. Sounds like you just shanked it and it happened to work out for you.
     
  23. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    You should lob more.
     
  24. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

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    If you have a repertoire of good shots and can drive the ball as well as lob, then there's no reason to feel bad about lobbing when it works for you. Good lobbing can back a player off the net enough to make your passing shots more effective. Good lobbing can win or 'reset' a point for you. It's not a great focal point of your strategy for winning a 5.5 singles tournament, but anyone who bashes the tactical lob in doubles either has too high of an opinion of themselves, or they are afraid of it and they are trying to do with psychology what they can't do with their racket - which is keep from losing points to your lob.

    When I was in high school, I won a tournament by hitting high, loopy groundstrokes until I had an opening to get into the net off a strong approach shot. I had just read an article on Harold Solomon a couple days before and when my typically inconsistent groundstrokes started failing me at the end of the day in the final, it occurred to me that there was another option. When I was called a moon-baller on a change-over I simply pointed out that I had won far more points with clean-winner volleys than with his errors.

    If you are not a one-dimensional player who is out for a game of patty-cake, then I think any shot is fair game. The ability to evolve your strategy during a match and assess what is working and what is not is the hallmark of a good tennis player. Of course, if anyone gives you too hard a time you can always whip out the old, "You know, I'm really sorry. I feel totally unprepared to play you, because no one ever taught me how to incorporate style-points into tennis scoring..."
     
  25. egn

    egn Hall of Fame

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    I've been lobbed to death before, I was pissed, but more or less pissed that I couldn't deal with something as simple as an army of lobs. The overhead is a harder shot than most people think and a lot of times people I feel rush it as they go oh this is the easy win, not thinking about the spin that a lob can have on it and where they are. A lobber once killed me 2-6, 2-6. I was pissed but he didn't cheat. I congratulated and told him I'd get him next time. Haven't played him since, but I've worked on being able to defend against that strategy. What the lobber showed me was there is a weakness in my game. I realized if I was really getting into a position to be lobbed so much my approach shots were probably not nearly as good as I thought and I was giving my opponent way too much room to work with. I still struggle against the lobbers as my natural way of playing a point is to work in to the net and finish but I have played one or two others sicne then and won close scorelines. Lobbers just don't match up well for me. However it again goes to show tennis is a game of match ups.
     
  26. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    The topspin lob is the shot you use when your opponents are both hugging the net and have hit a softball shot to you. If they have hit an aggressive shot at you, then a topspin lob is much harder to pull off.

    If someone is getting TS lobbed to death, it's because they aren't hitting very good shots IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  27. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I think this is part of why topspin lobs are so devastating at 3.5/4.0 ladies.

    At that level, a lot of women have developed an effective doubles game. Come to net, bunt the volley, close some, bunt the next volley, close. Do that three times and your opponent will miss.

    The trouble with those bunted volleys is that they sit up for a lobber. So that allows me to lob off of the approach. Or the first bunted volley. Or the next bunted volley.

    I have a practice partner, and we sometimes play out points crosscourt. She comes to net and bunts the volley, and I lob. I don't miss, and she doesn't win many of the overheads. She thinks the problem is her anticipation and ability to read my racket. I think the problem is those bunted volleys and closing the net too much for the quality of the shot she produces. Put some slice on those volleys and I cannot get under it for a topspin lob.
     
  28. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    LOL...that's a great line.
     
  29. iyudhi

    iyudhi New User

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    So I guess it's not only me then. My friends thought I play 'like an old men' because I use drop shots and volley.

    If we're doing drills I agree that might not be very productive, but if we're playing a game, whatever it takes to win right?
     
  30. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Just smash the lob?

    I don't understand people who complain about lobbers, honestly. If you can hit them clean at the baseline, it's no different to me then a serve!

    If you find a shot hard to handle, then just practice against it more! It's pretty simple. I never complain about shots my opposition makes because I learn to adapt and handle them. I think a lot of people could improve with that mentality, especially ones that I know!

    -Fuji
     
  31. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    It's embarrassing to lose to lobbers. Lobs are such benign shots. It's virtually all UE territory.

    At higher levels they are no big deal because the lobs have to be high level.
     
  32. NoQuarter

    NoQuarter Rookie

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    Absolutely! Slam the lob and you won't see one again for the match. I usually only see one a match because when I get one I slam it as hard as I possibly can. Then they are too scared to try another one and I am free to crowd the net. Last night as a matter of fact I was playing against an old partner of mine and his new partner that has never played against me. First point the guy returned with a weak cross court lob and I crossed and put that thing down hard. I heard my old partner tell the guy...what ever you do, don't lob him.
     
  33. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    Me, too. And since I slice my backhand about 90 percent of the time, the opponents never know when the bh underspin lob is coming. The backspin also deadens the bounce somewhat, which makes it difficult for someone running back from the net to get a decent swing at the ball.

    You are a terribly wise person.
     
  34. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    As a net player I would 100% of the time prefer to chase down a slice lob than a topspin lob.
     
  35. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I think the lobbing per se is driven into most lessons and clinics from the start, at least in my area.

    Plus a lot of 6.0/7.0 players would rather their opponent hit a "winner" off a lob then miss on a groundstroke themselves. As long as they get the ball in, it's all that matters.

    Probably in the minority here, but I'd rather my partner hit some solid groundstrokes, lob on occasion but typically it has a reason (deep over backhand or just backed into a corner) and not make it the go to shot.
     
  36. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Oh Lawd..Cindy Be Sphinxin'

    [​IMG]

    But people hate lobbing like they hate pushing. It's lame...but it works.

    I personally appreciate a good lob. It worked for Agassi.
     
  37. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    In my mind, a good lob is the response to a tactical mistake. If I am back, and both opponents hang their noses over the net, a topspin lob is the best choice by far. It's also pretty demoralizing. I'm 6'4", and I have the ability to hit with power, although I'm a bit less consistent than I would like. If the opponents are not covering the middle well, a low shot there is my first choice. Playing against a great net team, though, a lob is a huge advantage to have in the arsenal. Best of all, facing a short opponent and fielding a short volley just past the service line, how could you not lob? That's just too easy.

    A couple of weeks ago, we were playing in a social match against two very aggressive players. They kept overcommitting, and the topspin lobs kept coming, most for outright winners. One of the guys mumbled, within my earshot "It feels like we're playing mixed". Well, whatever gets you through the day, but being at the wrong end of 6-1 should tell you something.
     
  38. prgault

    prgault Rookie

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    imntbhoa well struck topsin lob over the head(s) of an opponent(s) at the net is one of the most beautiful and demoralizing shots in the game...
     
  39. 6-2/6-4/6-0

    6-2/6-4/6-0 Semi-Pro

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    Two things:

    1. Talk of smashing a lob is somewhat moot, no? Isn't the point of the lob to get it over the players so that they can't smash it? In my book it's a bad lob if the guy at the net can just get under it and crush it. Taking it off the bounce from the baseline is a lower percentage play, and often gives you time to get in position to get a racket on it...

    2. The number of people that have won Major doubles titles that have used the lob in competition - all of them. Don't think I've ever seen a great doubles team that doesn't tactically use the lob.

    Would the Bryan brothers whine about being lobbed?

    "Oh, Bob, we could have won Wimbledon if Rob and Horia hadn't lobbed us..."

    "What are you talking about Mike, we kicked their butts in straight sets. Quit whining about lobs and bust out one of those chest-bumps with me..."
     
  40. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    True, true.

    A good topspin lob should usually be a clean winner - unless your opponent can hit a tweener like Fed :)

    If your opponent can back up in time to hit an overhead, or can catch up with the ball at the baseline, then you haven't hit an offensive lob.
     
  41. InspectorRacquet

    InspectorRacquet Semi-Pro

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    I feel that in that situation, lobbing is perfectly fine and requires the "good shot" phrase and personal respect, rather than the "we're facing a lobber" phrase.

    It's the ones who abuse the lob that don't garner the respect.

    There are more players who constantly lob if they are even the tiniest bit out of position than the tactical lobbers that earn the respect as good lobbers. Due to the former, lobbers are immediately and unjustly judged immediately.

    (Side note: I have a little story to share while the subject is up. I saw one of the weaker doubles players of a doubles team once where the guy's forehand was fixated at a 45 degree angle facing the sky. He was the essence of the fabled lob-abuser, while his buddy lobbed tactfully when necessary. As long as the OP isn't one of those constant lobbers, then I feel the OP has the right to want respect as a tactful lobber.)
     
  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It isn't about lobs vs non lobs. It's about W's vs L's, anything else is just noise.
     
  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Hold on now.

    I'm not willing to agree that it is lob abuse to hit a lot of lobs. The only thing that constitutes "lob abuse" in my book is hitting bad lobs. A good topspin lob/moonball can be terrific set up shot.

    Like tonight. We were playing a couple of pushers tonight. We fell behind 0-2. For reasons not pertinent here, I decided to play 2-back. I hit quite a number of lobs. The reason was a simple one -- to get the ball kicking up on our opponents out of their "push zone" (it would be a misnomer to call it a strike zone).

    We ran off six games to take the set. Why on earth would I stop hitting balls when my opponents were unable to handle them?
     
  44. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    If all you care to do is the bare minimum to win at the expense of improving your game to be able to compete against better players, then stick with your lobbing.

    Sounds like you were in a social or friendly match. Why not try something new? Do you need to win most of the points as a result of your opponents errors? So what if you lose trying a bit more aggressive play?
     
  45. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    This often quoted idea is an error (use high quality but ultimately ineffective strokes during matchplay and don't care if you win or not because you are "improving your game", presumably for future wins).

    The time and place to improve your strokes is on the practice court. Matchplay is an opportunity to practice winning tennis matches by any means necessary.
     
  46. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    LuckyR, if you re-read my post you will see that my comments were in context of a "social or friendly match".

    Agreed that trying new things is not a good idea in a match that counts.

    Regardless, the OP is employing a tactic that is largely successful at lower levels. The OP needs to attempt tactics (in drills or friendly matchplay) that are needed to win at higher levels. Otherwise, the OP will advance to higher levels and be in a for a rude awakening.
     
  47. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I guess if you have a whole lot of non friendly/social matchplay opportunities (you play tournaments and leagues all the time) where you feel that you can use the odd friendly/social match that way, I do not disagree with your point.

    That is not my situation. Most of my matchplay is not associated with official league play and I don't have the time for tournaments at all.
     
  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, it was a league match. I try to hit drives and passing shots in practice matches.
     
  49. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

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    Location:
    Court No. 1 (or No. 5, when not available)
    speaking of lobbers......................... I lost a 2nd round match last night, against someone who only chipped the ball back, very rarely hit groundstrokes, and his returns were only floating balls to the center of the court. He ran every ball and chipped it back, and when I attacked the net he hit a chipped lob to my backhand side..... Had a terrible night at net so that was the story....

    When we shook hands I told him: "good match moonball boy..."

    Respect for lobbers? why not... its the guy who cant handle the lob's fault (in this case my fault). If it works for you and you win that way and youre okay with it, congrats.

    Wether we (non lobbers) like it or not, if we cant handle it, its our problem, not yours (lobbers).

    carry on!
     
  50. netman

    netman Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,616
    Lobbers suck the joy out of a match for folks that love a crisp, hard-hitting match-up. They take a fast, hard hitting sport and turn it into the equivalent of standing in line at the grocery store.

    I'll concede the lobbers are having fun frustrating their opponents, but if your idea of tennis is crisp shots, nasty angles and athleticism, then lobbers are soul sucking vampires ruining the beauty of tennis.

    A well placed lob is a thing of beauty. Using lobs as the core of your match strategy just turns tennis into the equivalent of golf.

    -k-
     

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