Marc Lopez and Gronollier--doubles, Can Amateurs Learn from them?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Nostradamus, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Lopez, little guy with weak serve, Gronollier--not exactly your most talented player on tour. and yet these guy beat the best in the world in doubles and proved, you don't need 130mph serves and 90 mph passing shots and returns to win at the highest level.

    To all the experts like Fuzzy yellow ball and Jeff Salzenstein, What can we learn from these guys ? that can translate into USTA 4.5 or even 4.0 level doubles tennis ?
     
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  2. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    Emphasizes the importance of service returns and spinny dipping ground strokes. I think we knew this, it's just a matter of delivering it when it counts. Having the confidence to up your racquet head speed while aiming with margin. The reality is a hard flat ground stroke is the easiest shot to volley.
     
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  3. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Good point...
     
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  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good points above and I'd add the importance of a coordinated effort for good
    positioning. Good position does more than just cover the court; It also strongly
    affects the decisions of the opponents and where they can and will hit!
     
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  5. maleyoyo

    maleyoyo Rookie

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    Excellent post.
    I would also add side spin and aim for the service line. If you hit cross court with side spin and the ball is dipping, you’d force the approaching opponent to bend down and volley up cross court to counter your spin. Any slight mishit the ball will pop up making it an easy put away for your net man.
    Your shots are much tougher to be poached by the net man since they are moving and spinning away from him.
     
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  6. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    at pro level reality is most hard flat gs are not hit right to your volley sweetspot. most often they are away from you and barely grazing the net. try volleying that.

    Ok, the topic is for amateurs. Still, spinny loopy strokes tend to travel slower in the air and usually has much more net clearance. So, if the volleyer is skilled he can close the net one step quicker and meet the ball pretty high up. If the spinny stroke is grazing the net, that's another story.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
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  7. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    First, this is doubles, a sport which tournament directors reluctantly subsidize with singles money. Second, if they beat the best in the world, they are talented.
     
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  8. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    First, this was the WTF, and the stands were packed for every single match, singles or doubles. Second, no "ifs", they did beat the best in the world and you are correct they are talented, but then again, you already knew that.

    To the OP's point, Marc and Marcel illustrate a comon doubles team in that there is a setter and spiker and each can play both roles. When Marc is at the baseline, you know he is going to go crazy CC where poaches will be uncommon and the return has a chance of being weak, also approaches will be coughed up from shoetops, so Marcel can spike an easy volley. When Marcel is at the baseline, he is a threat to go into the netman's alley, so poaches also will be less common than average, Marc, of course is an excellent poacher with great reflexes and hands at the net.

    Marcel, even though not a natural volleyer must be intimidating at the net (since her practically stands on top of it), since Marc's very low pace serve often results in service winners, which I would not have predicted.
     
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  9. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    granollers is ranked 33 in singles (highest was 19). not exactly a top player but a lot higher ranked than most other dubs players who are usually between 100 and 200 in singles.
     
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  10. rainingaces

    rainingaces Legend

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    WTF doubles is a toss up literally anyone could have won. Marray/Nielsen won more points against the spanish pair and lost, lost count of the tie breakers where both teams had mps. I dont think they are one of the best teams, we will see for sure next year.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So they are very good at doubles, with great reflexes, volleys, poaching etc. I am still not sure what the OP's question was. Somehow it seemed to involve NOT having great serves and groundies and what club players can learn from them. If the answer is that club players can learn great doubles skills from them, then that is obvious. If the answer is that they need NOT develop great serves and groundies because they can win doubles without it, then that is not satisfactory. In other words, not having a great serve does not seem to be something to aspire for.
     
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I agree with your wording, but I think it is more about taking the game you have, say, a serve without overpowering pace, and learning to win doubles with it, rather than making the declaration that you shouldn't, or don't have to have a serve with pace.

    In other words there isn't a single shot, part of fitness/training or tactics/strategy, that improving it wouldn't be a desirable thing, but the reality is that some of us have maximized what we will ever do with a stroke, say a serve speed of 85 mph. But by adding to that "liability" with other assets, you can make a winning game.
     
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  13. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Good point, he is the highest ranked singles player at the WTF doubles...
     
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  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I expect the question was more about which of those doubles skills they exhibit
    could be most helpful for club players to learn from them.
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I know. There are some deep undercurrents which are well known in other parts of the forum which trigger some reactions. It is complicated. Never mind.
     
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  16. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    To me, it just tells us that in doubles, even at the highest level of ATP, you don't need a huge serve and insanely good volleys to be top 5 player.
     
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  17. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    I would say they volleyed pretty well if they won the WTF. They might not be a net oriented team the same way the Bryan Bros are, but they hit clutch volleys when they needed to.
     
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  18. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    Things that jumped out or confirmed to me:
    - Solid, high percentage/location first serve is key. Many think they need the big 130 mph single serve but it's counter productive.
    - Other successful ways to play than the traditional two up, serve and volley; even at this level.
    - Teamwork. Obvious but Lopez and Gronollier really mix it up.
    - Pay attention to opponents; recognize and go after guy tightening up. (Stepanek crumbled in quarters tie-break.)
     
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  19. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    there are a lot of ways to play doubles.

    Massu and gonzalez won the olympic games ripping 100 mph FHs without a lot of net game.
     
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  20. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    As I am watching the davis cup. How does 5'9" Lopez hold serve so consistently with 100 mph or 90 mph 1st serve ? this is at the very highest level of ATP, we are talking about now.
     
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  21. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Hey!

    So I've spoken a little bit with Bob & Mike Bryan about these two. Basically what the Bros said is that singles players tend to get right on the net to mask their weaker volleys. Often they'll guess where they think the ball is going to be, and if they guess right it's an easy put away volley.

    There is A LOT of I-Formation going on. Not only does that make it tougher for the returner to pick a target for a normal return, but also the lob can lose effectiveness. If you lob to the side that the server is closing on, he could have an easy overhead or high volley.

    Interestingly, the Bros almost never use I-Formation. They're bigger guys (6'4") and they said that makes them a little slower out of the crouched position you start the I in.

    He gets a lot of help from the net man, and the broader lesson here is that holding serve in doubles is a TEAM effort. The Bros show a lot of movement at net, whether they are poaching or not, to throw off the returner. Don't let him take a big rip, giving the server a very tough first volley.

    Hope that helps!

    - Will @ FYB
     
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  22. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^Helps great deal. I did notice Lopez gets a lot of help from Gronollier moving and picking off volleys. although Gronollier cost the team that 2nd set by missing 3 easy volleys. he seem to volley better while moving and not standing still, which is kind of weird.

    Which team is better ? Lopez and Nadal or Lopez and Gronollier ?
     
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  23. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^Also will, can Amateurs learn anything from Lopez and how he plays ? He stays back on his serve which is something I am not used to doing at 4.5 level. I was taught to serve and volley most of the time.
    Also I formation is something that Amateurs rarely use if ever. even at 4.0 and 4.5 level doubles, you almost never see it. cause guys just don't believe they can pull it off effectively
     
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    A lot of very good comments in your post!
    One I wanted to comment more on I quoted above. My will realize this means the
    net man needs to help out his server, but how many realize how the server
    helps himself by helping the net man?
    That doesn't mean just big serving, but hitting spots and finding weakness on the
    returner. Avoiding the strength of the returner is key for sure.
    Kicks to the body along with wide on the Bh can create for the net man, even
    without big mph. Lower skidding serves are tough on dubs returners as well.
     
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  25. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    yes. it sucks to be at the net with a weak serving partner:D. duck and cover time:)
     
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  26. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Spain´s always ahd top teams, with a dent on the Doubles Masters.

    Orantes/Gisbert in the 70´s, Casal/Sanchez in the late 80´s/early 90´s and now, Granollers/Lopez ( who are, by far, the most unknown of the lot)
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I am also watching it now
     
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  28. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Lopez and Gronollier the winner of YEC lost. what does this mean ?
     
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  29. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That sometimes players win, sometimes they lose?
     
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  30. Doubles

    Doubles Hall of Fame

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    That you shouldn't try and develop your game after theirs as they lost, and you don't want to play like a loser.
     
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  31. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Did you mean "had" instead of "ahd"?

    Did you mean "had" instead of "ahd"?
     
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  32. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Did you get any coaching about the I formation?

    Did you get any coaching about the I formation?
     
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  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    What is hard to pull off in I formation?
     
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  34. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Moving forward through your volley typically makes them easier. By going to get the ball it will be higher in your strike zone and your forward momentum will add pace, which means you don't have to swing as hard and can emphasize control. Also, the closer you are to the net the more angle you have to work with.

    Staying back is something you can do if your serve (particularly second serve) is getting punished. Some guys hit an approach shot off of the return. So in effect the server is replacing a potentially tough first volley around the service line with an easier approach shot.

    I think what's really important to highlight is that pros might stay back but that doesn't mean they become passive. The baseline guy is still aggressive, whether that means he's looking for opportunities to close or he's hitting shots that set up his net man to pick off the subsequent reply.

    Mindset is really important - and often overlooked. Don't be Passive Pete. Stay aggressive.
     
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  35. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    you´re welcome:)
     
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  36. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    YEC was on a slower indoor surface. It helped them a lot. They would not have done as well if YEC was on a fast indoor surface like in the DC final.
     
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  37. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    In addition, the home court advantage (regardless of surface) in Davis Cup is not to be underestimated.
     
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