McEnroe and Navritalova doubles question

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by heycal, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Is it true both these lefthanded players generally played the ad court when they competed in doubles in their prime, even if they had righthanded partners?

    If so, do we know for sure why they played ad court? (i.e., any quotes or explanations from them on this issue?)
     
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  2. Sagittar

    Sagittar Hall of Fame

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    i dont know but would appreciate it if anyone enlightens me ..
     
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  3. mistapooh

    mistapooh Semi-Pro

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    Wait, isn't a leftie in the ad court better? Cross court backhand from a rightie would land to their fh. Maybe I'm interpreting the question wrong....
     
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  4. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    What side a lefty should play on and why is a seperate issue, and there have been several threads about that already if you're interested in that question.

    For now, just interested in confirming if McEnroe and Navritalova both played ad court with righthanded partners, and if there are any quotes from them on this subject.
     
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  5. hlkimfung

    hlkimfung Semi-Pro

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    Bob Bryan play at the Deuce court
     
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  6. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    ^
    I'm giving this guy credit for at least trying... Come on, folks. We need answers!
     
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  7. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    The general rule of thumb for high level players, whether or not you are lefthanded, is that you want your stronger wing on the outside (not down the middle). Your outside wing needs to be able to hit a topspin drive low over the net, or else your return is easy for an opposing netperson to pick off.
     
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  8. North

    North Professional

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    I've seen photos of Navratilova playing with Pam Shriver and Navratilova was in the ad court in all of them. I don't know about JMac.
     
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  9. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. Now we're making some progress here!
     
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  10. GS

    GS Professional

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    Mac played in the ad when he won all those titles with Peter Fleming years ago. He probably played the ad when he won the San Jose title here last year with Bjorkman---why change a good thing?
    I'm a lefty and I play better in the ad.
     
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  11. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

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    I'm a lefty myself, and relatively new to doubles, both mixed and regular, and am still trying to figure out where I am best suited. As someone mentioned above, the lefty Bryan brother plays the deuce court.

    Still love to see any quotes from McEnroe or Navritalova themselves on this subject if they exist, or links about them and this subject.
     
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  12. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    John McEnroe played the ad court whenever he played doubles. If y'all remember, toward the end of his career, he teamed with a then new-to-the-tour Mark Woodforde who was also a leftie. Woodforde had beaten McEnroe in two consecutive tourmaments in singles and McEnroe asked him to play doubles in the next.

    Woodforde relates that he played the ad court usually (as is custom for doubles) and he asked McEnroe if he had a preference. McEnroe said the ad court. Woodforde knew the old adage "McEnroe and anybody is the best doubles team in the world" and deferred. He played the deuce court while teamed with McEnroe.

    It should be noted that Woodforde moved back to the ad side when teamed with Woodbridge. Those two were wildly successful as well.

    McEnroe when teamed with Bjorkmann this year played the ad court again.

    Bob Bryan does play the deuce court. However, he started off playing the ad court as is the norm for a leftie. He and Mike made the change a couple/three years ago. They did so over the objections of their coach at the time and their father Wayne.

    The only other all-leftie doubles team that I can think of off-hand was Henri Leconte and Guy Forget in Davis Cup. They beat the US in an inspired final in France on Supreme Court.

    I'm a leftie as well. IMO, a left-hander does better in the ad court because the forehand is cross court on returns. It also puts your forehands if your partner is right-handed (and more reach) to the outside of the court. High percentages in doubles are found down the middle of the court. Some folks reason that forehands should be down the middle, but I find that most players have better backhand volleys than forehand.

    I've been playing the ad court so long that I hit a really nice inside out backhand return as well. It's all what you get used to, but by and large if you're new to the game, i would recommend that you start off in the ad court playing doubles.
     
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  13. Huppe

    Huppe New User

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    Another Lefty in the Ad Court, like McEnroe

    As a lefty, I grew up watching McEnroe. Definately played the ad court, but don't have quotes as to why, sorry.

    I find it much easier to play the ad, as it's much easier for me to hit a cross-court forehand return than a backhand one, and can hit an effective backhand return if the server goes up the line.
     
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  14. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Yup. Mac plays the Ad side.

    I am a Righty and I prefer the Ad side. (I subscribe to two general rules of thumb: "FHs in the middle" ... and ... "Most reliable Returner on the Ad side."

    If I am "off", or my partner strongly prefers the Ad side ... I can play Deuce nearly as well. (But I am more susceptible to being jammed on my BH when on the Deuce side....)

    - KK
     
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  15. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    You know, KK, I've always heard the opposite regarding return of serve. I've always heard the more reliable return of serve should be in the deuce court. The reasonsing behind this is you want that return putting balls in play. The more forcing (and less consistent) returner should play the ad side because it forces the point on ad outs.

    With regard to forehands, I've never really seen any advantage to having them down the middle. It's been my experience that most folks have better backhand volleys anyway. IMO, it's certainly the more natural shot and the one you cover yourself with in times of quick exchanges.
     
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  16. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Reasonable minds can differ....

    Thanks for including the rationale. I've also heard this strategic POV from colleagues I respect. I still disagree, because I think the "percentages"work best "my way" ... but, of course, it isn't "my" way.

    More critical points are served to the Ad court. That's when it is more important to get the Return back in play. I'd rather have the better returner on the Ad court.

    I'm way more flexible about this one. FHs to the Middle because "classic" dubs tries to win the point with a shot to the middle. I'd rather have both players going for that shot with their FHs ... defensively speaking. At Net I don't really think it matters....

    (The only thing I really question about your strategy is your claim the BH is "the more natural shot." I'm not sure that's true....)

    - KK
     
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  17. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Let me expand. When you're in a very defensive position at net, how do you cover yourself? Is the racket ready for a forehand volley or do you have the backhand volley ready? You've probably got your racket in front of your body ready to cover left and right with a backhand volley. The backhand volley is more flexible for those times when you must react. When at net, I pretty much try and keep the racket out in front of me, but when reflex volleys are needed. it's the backhand which covers and protects.
     
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  18. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    chances of breaking serve is higher with the stronger player returning from the ad court. at least it seems to be true at the rec and competitive level.
     
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  19. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    (Being candid) my first thought, reading that was, "What? When I'm at Net, I'm on offense; not defense." My second thought was, "If I'm 'in a very defensive position at net' it's because my Partner popped-up an easy ball; I'm jumping behind *him* and letting him take the smash in the chest!"

    Then I relaxed....

    Umm, nope. I stay in the Ready Position facing the Bad Guy of the moment. (And -- I'm weird, but -- I hit all volleys with an EBH grip.)

    Good explanation, Rabbit. I understand your point now.

    I am known for my "quick hands" in Dubs. I am 6'2" and 200 pounds those factors combine to justify my Sig ... which I believe *you* originally coined for me.

    Honestly, whichever strategy you use is fine with me. I'm more bugged by teams who have never even thought about why they play the positions they do. Any strategic objective is better than "just because."

    - KK
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
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  20. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I understand, but it's amazing how quickly the pendulum can swing from offense to Holy Crap Defense.

    Oh, no problem here. Truth be told, I play the ad court because I've been pushed there by most of my partners. I do play the deuce court on occassion, mostly in mixed doubles. I think the reason is that most of the guys the girls play with are right-handed and want to play the deuce court.
     
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  21. Ulam

    Ulam Rookie

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    Continental grip is not design for power which means his best shot is low and angled which he does so well.
     
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