Playing doubles with a weaker partner

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Attila_the_gorilla, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'd like to hear some suggesions on how to play doubles when your partner happens to be quite a bit poorer than you. I seem to keep making the mistake of trying to go for too much and hit winners with every shot. This backfires more often than not.

    What sort of mindset do you usually apply in this situation? Are there some tactics you use to shelter the weaker player or at least make his job as easy as possible?
     
    #1
  2. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,309
    Location:
    Colorado
    If they're really weak have them stand in the doubles alley close to the net with their racquet up in front of their face. It is very important that they remain stationary the entire point.

    On their serve, you stay back and have them run to their alley spot as soon as they plop one in.
     
    #2
  3. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hmmm I don't wanna hurt his feelings by treating him like he's hopeless, and really he's not, but just happens to be quite a bit worse than the 3 others in the team, who are about the same level.

    He actually has decent ground strokes, though a poor backhand and a good number of unforced errors.

    The big problem is that he doesn't like the net. He instinctively tends to start drifting backwards to no man's land for no reason.

    Ideally I don't really wanna tell him what to do, just let him do his thing and maybe he'll improve as we go. I'm more interested in what I could do for us to be as effective as possible.
     
    #3
  4. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,889
    Send him to Cindysphinx boot camp for doubles.
     
    #4
  5. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,739

    Tell him to play his half of the court (deuce or ad side) and you'll play yours, this way it will simply for him what the area is that he is responsible for. If he's tight on top of the net, he's probably correct to be drifting back out of self preservation, but not all the way to the baseline, just to the service line where he can cover the drop-shots and lobs on his side. Tell him to stand parallel to where you are to close off your opponents feasible angles. This will also help to guide him where he should be standing. This strategy worked well at the USO yesterday for Leander Paes and his partner Radek Stepanek to beat the Bryans yesterday preventing them from winning the Grand Slam.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
    #5
  6. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,381
    1. make every team member that hits a ball in no man's land put $1 into the team beer fund unless they are moving into NML to hit a short ball
    2. name the shot from NML after the guy who plays there all the time and yell out he George-ed (assuming his name is George) it every time someone hits a ball in NML - public ridicule works wonders
    3. as you move into net and offending teammate backs out to NML, shout "where are you going?" or "don't abandon me!".

    I really have no idea how to cure someone of backing up in doubles but it sucks as they vacate a spot for opponents to hit into rather than maintaining net pressure.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
    #6
  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    Back off, fellas. I've got this. :)

    You say he has decent groundstrokes but dislikes net?

    I play with and against a player like that. Just lost to her this week, so it is all fresh in my mind.

    She is a singles player and may well get bumped up to 4.5 on the strength of her groundstrokes. She does not volley if there is any other option.

    She plays one of two ways. When her partner is serving or receiving, she will start at net and then backpedal to the baseline immediately. I do not understand the logic of having her start there if she is going to backpedal, but perhaps some partners insist that she start at net?

    Or she just plays the entire point from the baseline, which I actually think is more effective.

    So. Just tell this guy to play two back with you. Either he will do well with his groundstrokes, or he will fail from back there.

    Now, it is challenging to partner with someone who plays that way. Should you come in when you are serving/receiving, and if so, how? Well, you have to figure it out. If his groundstrokes are good enough, he can perhaps get you something weak that you can approach on.

    When I played with the lady I described, I waited until she got a ball. As she was lining up her groundstroke, I would sprint to the net anticipating that she was going to set me up, and she usually did.
     
    #7
  8. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks guys, I think I'll try playing two back with him, at least when I serve/receive, and see how that goes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
    #8
  9. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Worse suggestion I've ever seen. :p

    Seriously, all I see is her complaining on how good she is but everyone she plays with sucks. Something tells me there's a mirror involved there somewhere. lol


    To the OP, if you guys are a team, you'll need to start practicing as one. Also, find out from this player by talking to them why they like backing up? Make sure you're not confrontational when you discuss this, just find out what they're thinking at the time. It's probably very simple that they simply aren't ready to take balls aggressively and they are simply wanting to buy time with a bounce before they can hit. The only way to fix this is to have them work on ground/approach/volley shots during practice. They get fed 3 balls and work on hitting each one as they start to come in. Another simple exercise is to play points during doubles practice. Everyone starts out 2 back and whomever wins a point moves up to first the service line and then inside the service box to the net after they win another point. Feed the starting ball, don't serve it. If you lose a point, you move back one level and the winner moves up, etc. This will get the new guy to no be scared of balls and also get MORE time playing up front.

    As for your league matches, you need to remember one thing. Find out what he's good at and change your play style to emphasize that strength. If his backhand sucks, switch sides so most points are towards his forehand, but during practice, make him play the backhand side to improve it. Also, the MOST IMPORTANT thing for you to do is not to second guess your weaker partner. DO NOT think you have to work harder ALL the time because when you do, chances are good you'll make more unforced errors yourself because you're trying to get to shots that your partner should be playing. Remember that until you get to 4.0 level, most people will not have the skills necessary to have aggressive net play. Unless a player is a strong 3.5, they're probably not confident at the net and they'll get killed up there if the opposing team sees a weak player at the net. In some instances, it's necessary to play 2 back or the stronger player be the net person on each play, which you can easily do. .5 ranking points difference shouldn't be too much of an issue, but a whole point may be too much for this player. 3.5 playing 4.5 aggressive doubles won't work. 3.0 playing slack 4.0 doubles may work though.
     
    #9
  10. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    Well shoot I'd like to give a suggestion but I am usually the weaker one on the court!!!
     
    #10
  11. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Well, given that info, what do you think. When you are the weaker player, what do you want to see from your stronger partner? Obviously they cannot play both positions, but what could they do to help you out? When you play, do you have a hard time holding your serve or helping your partner hold serve because you don't end the points quick at the net when a weak service return happens? In defense mode, what happens to you? Do you get hammered at the net or other particular positions on the court where the offense sees you scramble?

    Best point though... what can your partner say to help you or not say to help you. Please share your viewpoint.
     
    #11
  12. Captain Ron

    Captain Ron Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    May 18, 2013
    Messages:
    781
    What helps you?

    What can the stronger player do to help you?

    Seriously, we should all ask ourselves, "when we are the weaker player, what can the stronger player do to help us?" Then just apply the same answer when we are the stronger player.

    For me, it helps when the stronger player sets things up to my strengths. I generally like to play aggressively at net and usually volley well. My groundstrokes are fine but not built for long baseline rallies.

    So, my advice is if you are the stronger player, setup your partner to play to their strengths and help to cover/avoid the weaker parts of their game!
     
    #12
  13. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,706
    That only works if the weaker player agrees (or decides on his/her own to stay back). I did it when I disliked the net and was giving men black eyes from behind the baseline...Now I like the net much more.
     
    #13
  14. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    6,119
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    In my case I usually am weaker because of my net game.

    Best thing my partner can do is not get frustrated with my errors at net and if they are comfortable taking on more responsibility letting me know that I dont need to try and poach so much and just hold down my side of the net.

    Also my serve is the strongest part of my game so it does quite a bit mentally for me knowing that I have a partner who will put shots away at the net and not let a bunch go by relying on me to hit great ground-strokes or follow my serve to the net.

    I tend to get down on myself so its very important for me to play with someone who is positive and can keep my staying positive.
     
    #14
  15. HappyMilk

    HappyMilk Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    LA
    The weaker partner should really be playing the Deuce side. His forehand will be useful and he won't be as pressured as the Ad side player on break points.

    Support him and he will be your support!
     
    #15
  16. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,889
    I don't now about that. I always found it easier to return from the ad side. The duece side returner has to be able to block an inside-out BH on a serve down the T. Not the easiest shot. The ad returner can sit back in the alley and hit inside out FHs all day.
     
    #16
  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    This is an excellent point. When we are the weaker player, what is helpful?

    A couple of things come to mind:

    1. I want my partner to serve first.

    2. I want my preferred side for returning.

    3. I want my partner to take all of the overheads.

    4. I want my partner to tell me what she is planning to do on each point. (Not what I should do, but what she is planning to do).

    5. I want my partner to call any ball where there could be a question about who takes it. That doesn't mean be a ball hog -- saying "You!" is OK. If I'm weaker, I am worried about taking balls away from my stronger partner, so communication during the point is key.

    6. I don't want my stronger partner telling me to do things that I cannot do. If I don't have a slice, I don't have a slice.

    7. Calm information during the point is good. If you are going to come to net, you can say "I'm in" or "Approaching." It's all a little bewildering playing with a stronger partner, so knowing where you are helps me make decisions so I don't have to turn my head or let a lob go thinking you are back when you are on your way up.
     
    #17
  18. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,889
    Basically as the weaker partner, I want to stay in my comfort zone and not be asked to do too much. My goal is to minimize my errors and not hang my partner out to dry.

    Honestly, I have not played this role very often, but that is my best guess.
     
    #18
  19. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,073
    Location:
    In the future
    Play the percentages and play your game. Typical mistake is trying to do too much and making bunch of errors. Lots of encouragement and positive re-inforcements during the match to your partner and maximize his potential. and play Controlled Aggression tennis. Play Aggressive poaching tennis but while maintaining control of your game.

    and lastly, after that one time, tell the captain, you can't play with this guy again cause he is about 1 level below you and he should play in different league.
     
    #19
  20. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    Netherlands
    For some reason, most of the guys (bit lower in ranking) i play double with act like damn hyperactive chihuahua's at the net, jumping at every ball and putting most of them in the net or the fence. I do my best to coach them a bit but they keep nipping at every ball and forget to cover the angles.

    I usually run out of facepalms by the end of the match. The worst thing is when you're having a beer afterwards and they keep reminiscing about those few balls they did manage to put away. When they ask me to be their doubles partner for next tourney i usually politely decline.
     
    #20
  21. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,655
    When she is at the net, she is reducing the size of the court for the returner. Then she get's the heck out of Dodge.

    I used to play with a guy who would do this. I would bust my butt to get to the net, only to see him backpedaling out of the corner of my eye as I was fighting to get to the net LOL.

    A lot of good suggestions in this thread.
     
    #21
  22. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    Most importantly; honest communication. Play sometimes (when lucky) with a couple partners who are significantly better. They are quite different in what they expect from me. One wants me very active at net while he forces serves and returns. Other is entirely opposite; wants to play everything he can reach and is forever encouraging me to hit hard and set him up. Both are valid, but unless clearly spoken, can be a mess.
     
    #22
  23. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW

    Well, since you asked: What works well for your team when you are "quite a bit poorer than" your partner?
     
    #23
  24. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I sometimes play social doubles at my club with random people, and my partner is often above my level. That dynamic doesn't work for me, I keep fighting myself all match, thinking to myself that I'm letting the other bloke down. It's a very uncomfortable pairing for me. It would probably help if I were in a regular team with such a partner, and had time to get used to the situation and learn to play to our potential together. The main thing is for the stronger guy to be supportive and helpful in communication.
     
    #24
  25. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Bingo! The things you CAN do as the stronger partner are:

    1) Serve well - I look at it as my job to serve well enough to hold every time.
    2) Poach - If your partner can't hit 3 groundies in a row you need to be aggressive at net (if you have the skills to do so), take some smart gambles, don't let the opps just comfortably hit to your partner over and over.
    3) Figure out what makes your partner play their best and do that - no one plays well when their partner is down on them but different people thrive in different conditions. Some people like to laugh off errors. Some people like to get fired up. Notice when they play their best and try to maintain that atmosphere. But be supportive no matter what.
    4) IF you can do it in a positive way, it is possible to suggest something tactical (not performance based) but ONLY if it's something the person can ACTUALLY easily do. One thing that has been helpful in certain matches has been to ask my partner to stand closer to the net if the other team is hitting at their feet. I might say, "Can you try standing closer to the net, it will make it harder for them to hit at your feet and it might make your putaways easier. Don't worry, I'll cover any lobs." Simple tactics are ok to discuss, but you can't ask some to get their returns in play, for example. They'll just feel more pressure and play worse.

    Things you CAN'T do as the stronger partner (if you want them to play well):

    1) Expect your partner to be better than they are - it will make you both play worse
    2) Show disappointment with their play.
    3) Constantly run in front of them to play a ball.
     
    #25
  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Aahhh, I get it. You aren't looking for tactical advice, you are looking for behavioral advice to improve the psyche of the weaker player. I get it.

    My rule is: "act the way you want your partner to feel."
     
    #26
  27. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    I ran into this yesterday during a match. Got put with a self-rated guy who plays like a 3.5 pusher. Had a good serve when he was confident, but there was a sitting overhead right at the net coming down at him that he should have put away but he let it roll off the net tape and we ended up losing the game. That was my first service game mind you and we were up 40-0. After that ****, for some reason, my mind just went to crap. We ended up losing the match because I couldn't hold due to his lackluster net game and mistakes I was making as well. When you can't hold your service games, you won't win, no matter what. We had some good brakes against the other guys, but I just don't think we were playing to our potential. I saw my partner hit some nice winners and even good passing shots when he was confident and in the moment, but it seemed when he got worried about a point, he pushed back. Every overhead or volley he got was just powder puffed back into play, which of course allowed the other team to be aggressive with the next ball return. I think in the end it was more of a mental collapse than anything else. The guy can play OK, but he should have been more aggressive with his net game and allow me to hold without feeling like I was playing Canadian at times but not knowing whether he was going to frame a volley or not. I ended up taking more risks than necessary and in the end that cost us more errors on my side. I tried to take my own advise and not be too aggressive on my side to make up for his, but then we'd have one bad point and I'd forget that for some reason. Well, it was the first match with a new team, so neither one of us knew much about how the other played, so I'll just chock it up to nerves and mental state. We both made mistakes, no doubt about it, I just hope we can play better next time... I guess practice time will show just how good he can be when he's not worried about the score.
     
    #27
  28. keithfival

    keithfival Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2010
    Messages:
    849
    Nicely summarized. Excellent.
     
    #28
  29. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    That's criminal!

    Worse is when you're used to serving and volleying -- you serve and now realize you're partner was standing at the baseline while you served. Now you're moving up only to see the ball softly floating by where your partner should have been standing. Now the rest of the set you're not bothering to hit great serves because of that ridiculously gaping hole your partner left open for the returners.
     
    #29
  30. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,739
    Yep, it's called the "SERVE and RETREAT" strategy. Not too many battles or matches were won utilizing it, maybe he flunked Geometry I.
     
    #30
  31. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I am actually looking for tactical advice first and foremost.

    I haven't had much experience playing with a stronger partner, I'm a relative beginner and play in lower grades, except for random social hits. On those occasions I tend to be a bit paranoid about my partner ansd assume that he's a psychopath. I suppose this assumpion is based on some negative experience.

    Myself I'm a supportive and patient stronger partner, I play in good spirit and humour. But that positive vibe is not enough to get results, so I'm looking to do something different tactically when I'm paired with this guy.
     
    #31
  32. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Well, you say you are a relative beginner, your weaker partner must be an extreme beginner, I guess. It is a bit more difficult to help since the "rules" of doubles only apply if the players can carry out the strokes. Or to put it another way, if you trick your opponents to make tactical errors, they can still win the point if your team can't get the ball over the net.
     
    #32
  33. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I play much better than a beginner and improving every day, quite sporty and athletic, have done well in other ball sports, my partner has been playing for a long time but he's not very talented. But like I said, he's not terrible or hopeless, we've won all our matches so far this season, at the low grade we are in. He just happens to be the weak link.
     
    #33
  34. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,130
    In that case, it doesn't sound like your partner is all that much worse than you. One partner is almost always weaker than the other. You guys are winning so there isn't much of a problem.
    Sounds like you two should go out on the practice court and work on your weaknesses outside of the matches.
    Just remain the supportive and patient partner.
     
    #34
  35. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    We're a team of 4 players, and everyone gets paired with everyone else during a match, it's a doubles only comp. The only sets we lose always involve this person, so there's a glaringly obvious weakness there. That's why I'm trying to come up with something, especially if we win our league and get up a level, it'll be tougher to work around this weakness without some specific tactics. It's a challenge, but it's fun looking for solutions.
     
    #35
  36. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,130
    So it's not just you as a partner and you are looking at moving up a level.
    For playing at a higher level it is important for him to practice at the net. You can only cover up so much.
    For right now, I'd say make it clear what balls he has responsibility for. It is much easier to volley if you are not unsure if you should hit the ball. I'll tend to stay a step or two deeper than my partner and let him/her decide which balls they should hit if it is borderline.
    Set plays where they can expect the ball to come in a certain place can help. I'll serve down the middle in the deuce court and the partner can stand near the center stripe and expect a forehand. If the returner can hit a short angle down the line shot to his backhand, tell him not to worry about it. You can do similar tactics on the ad court and when you are returning. Set things up and make him responsible for the most likely shot coming back. That may entail him being back or at the net. You may have to cover all the lobs ( or just make him responsible for lobs only). You got his back for everything else.
     
    #36
  37. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Sounds good, will try to incorporate your advice, thanks.
     
    #37
  38. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Stop moving this person around and pairing them with different people. It's obviously not working. Find the one partner that he tends to play better with and messes well. Then have them stick together and work on stuff as a team. Alternatively, have this player play singles against each one of the other 3 guys and see how badly he loses. If it's shutouts, maybe they're not a good fit for your team. But I've seen solid players appear to suck when it was more of a mental game issue with them rather than a physical one. Something to think about.
     
    #38
  39. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    That's how these competitions work. Every player needs to be paired with each of his teammates for a set, so that's 6 sets in total per match for a team of 4. The opposition does the same. It's doubles only.
     
    #39
  40. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    Then it's quite possible the level you're playing at is higher than what he can play at and win reliably. Are the losses when he's teamed up by a large margin? What happens when this guy plays you guys in singles or when you practice as a team and swap players around? Does the glaring losses happen when he's teamed up. It should be pretty obvious if someone's going to be able to play at your level or not.
     
    #40
  41. Kasmatsu

    Kasmatsu Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2013
    Messages:
    107
    I'd say to show confidence and trust by leaving the shots that should be theirs for them to attempt. Be sure not to show any negative reactions to their misses. Just concentrate on your role and making your shots. If you trust them, it will help them trust themself.

    As far as their tendancy to drop back, try to keep your shots deep so the other team can't get two up.
     
    #41
  42. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    I have no information to disagree with you. Though you used the term "relative beginner" to describe yourself.

    Anyway, the trick to use with a weaker player, is to put them very close to the net. This can be a subtle change in position, so subtle that the other team may not notice it. If they are like many Rec teams they will try to direct as many shots as possible to your "weaker" partner. If he is standing on the net, this is a tactical error since from there even mi55hits will likely land in, often for weird winners and unreturnable balls.
     
    #42
  43. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah, that's why I started to look for answers, when we play among ourselves and swap players around, his pairing always loses quite heavily.

    BUT good news, last night we played a match again and I suggested that he stay behind the baseline, even when I'm serving/returning. This worked wonders, we won our set 6-0! Though he did lose when paired with my other teammates. I found that even though my partner wasn't at the net, the opponents still kept hitting the ball back to me crosscourt, so I was able to take control of points without feeling the need to rush things.

    LuckyR, I never held a tennis racket until about 18 months ago. That makes me a relative beginner. I just play much better than I should at this stage. Feel like I'm probably the best player on our team, when a year ago I was clearly the worst.
     
    #43
  44. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Got it. I stand by my advice.
     
    #44
  45. SwankPeRFection

    SwankPeRFection Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,509
    How many points was he responsible for getting? Or was your side of the net exclusively driven by your shots to win points and when he served you put everything away from the net to allow him to hold easily? What were the dynamics of the set in this regard? If he had good shots from behind the baseline and he held serve with even some unreturnables or aces, then it's very possible the guy just can't play fast paced shots and likes to have more time to set up. He will improve on this the more he plays, but for now, maybe you guys should play two back and see how it goes. Remember, doubles is about playing to your strengths, not to what's appropriate for doubles. What works with one partner doesn't work with another partner.
     
    #45
  46. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    He was solid from the baseline, not many errors. He's got an ok serve, especially at our level people don't tend to just blast winners off it. His main issue at the back is that he likes to stand about a foot inside the baseline, so anything deep he'll have some trouble with. That'll be the next thing for us to work on, no camping in no man's land.

    But yeah definitely it feels like he's a lot more comfortable when he has more time to see the ball. We did have a little volley practice in between sets, just standing in the service box and practicing, I think he has poential at the net too. Main issue is footwork, he likes to reach for balls without adjusting his position.
     
    #46
  47. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,182


    This is exactly the underlining strategy that I have used and advocated in here before. Basically, if your partner doesn't have a big ego, tell him/her to play well within their comfort and you'd need to step up. I told my partner to cover 30% of the court on her side and groundstroke xcourt, nothing cute or new. I'd cover the rest, do all the running, etc. We won easily since everything it was very predictable and decisive for me, a big plus in getting to move fast and knowing what needs to be done.
     
    #47
  48. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,070
    You're welcome! :)

    Seriously, two back is *seriously* underrated as a strategy. I think people tend to shy away from it because it looks weak. It's not weak; it is a stronger formation than one up, one back.

    Two back works great when either player cannot volley well.

    It works when opponents have poor overheads.

    It works when opponents have poor control on their volleys and hit balls that bounce and sit up in the mid-court.

    It works when opponents have poor control on their volleys and cannot hit angles and drop volleys.

    It works when opponents are active at net because the volleyer cannot win points by hitting easy diagonal volleys and must find a new effective target.

    It works because it tempts opponents to try shots they do not own; some will start trying to hit droppers or slice, and others will overhit to the back fence.
     
    #48
  49. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,305
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah I agree, it's not a bad setup, especially as a defensive/waiting for opportunities formation. And a belated thanks for your contribution to our win. Where should we send the cheque?
     
    #49
  50. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    For doubles -- that's CrImInAl! They should stick to singles where they can hide it better... ;)
     
    #50

Share This Page