Question for 4.0 doubles players

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by 86golf, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    As a returner, which would you least prefer :your opponents serve & volley or your opponents poach a lot and fake poach

    I'm curious because I'm finding more success when serving and staying back until I find an opportunity to come in and as a returner I hate playing guys that poach all the time. I'd rather hit a cross court dipper to an approaching server than have netman flying across the middle to take my partner out.
     
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  2. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    I'd easily prefer facing people who always serve and volley. That just gives me predictable ways of attacking them.
     
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  3. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Agree. Anytime your opponents settle into a pattern, they become vulnerable to a team who knows how to exploit the pattern. Good poaching is all about keeping your opponents guessing. Much more difficult to deal with. Note that S&V and poaching are not mutually exclusive.

    As for your point about staying back and waiting for an opportunity to approach, this can work well against a certain type of opponent. Nevertheless, you have to play aggressively and create an opportunity to come in or draw your partner into the point.
     
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  4. jjs891

    jjs891 Semi-Pro

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    It's always more difficult when the opposing netman is very active and good at poaching/faking. I just decide where I'm going to return and try to stick with the decision and not change my mind. Otherwise my returns are less effective or end up shanking. When the server does not rush the net, I feel like I have a good open lane to hit my return, and thus less pressured whereas if both opponents are at the net, there is not much of a hitting lane.
     
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  5. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    keep em guessing

    I agree that no matter what the net guy does, you have to vary your returns - because it has the same effect as a good net person who keeps you on your toes. You have to adjust your return most of all based on the serves coming your way, and just be aware that the net person might poach. If the server always does the S&V, then it does become a predictable pattern that you can exploit. My advice is, whether serving or returning, don't be predictable! Keep your opponents guessing! Their extra second of hesitation becomes an invaluable weapon for you.
     
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  6. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Agree with everyone above.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    The things that will cause me to come unhinged are, in order:

    1. Returners who follow their returns to net. This forces me to S&V even if I don't want to. Or if I don't S&V, I face 2 at net, which is a full-on nightmare.

    2. Effective net player who fakes and poaches. Makes life difficult, but I can always lob because this person's partner will rarely S&V.

    3. Servers who S&V. I have found that a lob over the net player wins the point 95% of the time because the server doesn't split and cannot reverse directions.
     
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  8. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    You ask this question as if you believe these options to be mutually exclusive. They are not.

    I prefer to play opponents who don't poach versus those who do.

    I prefer to play opponents who stay back rather than s&v.

    Therefore I least like to play opponents who both s&v and poach.
     
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  9. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this guy...

    I serve and volley exclusively in doubles... forcing my opponent to continue to make quality returns. With both my netman and myself at the net there are limited avenues for them to pass and lobbing just means we get a better angle into the court to put the ball away. Unless of course you make a very good lob.

    But then... the OP is talking about 4.0 doubles, so it would depend on how well the server can place and vary his serve... and his ability to follow it up with a solid first and probably second volley. And of course if he has a dependable overhead where he can end a point.

    I see a lot of 4.0 doubles that play one up and one back only because he lack the net skills to attack effectively. Even those that have solid serves lack the ability to back it up with a solid net game. Seems this is the last thing to develope for most players.
     
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  10. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    From my perspective, they are mutually exclusive, bc when we call a poach I stay back 90% of the time to cover the missed volley or the dtl return.

    I asked the question from the returners point of view to validate our teams decsion to do more poaching instead of S&V. At times, we will poach and cross and come in behind with both at net but mostly the server stays back until there is an opportunity to come in on a poach play.
    It could be a combination of average serving or average volleying that is driving this or more likely poor footwork.
     
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  11. amarone

    amarone Semi-Pro

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    Surely that telegraphs the poach. If you have an agreed poach, then the server can still s&v by covering the other half of the court.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, it really is good to come in on a planned poach, in ladies anyway. It is common for returners to lob to avoid the confusion going on at the net. You can get some easy high volleys/overheads, then they really want to pull their hair out.
     
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  13. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    I agree - I think the returner has a lot of options against someone who is nearly always coming in. I can really "bring the heat" and keep it low, I can lob, I can go for the wide angle and sort of hit behind them as they're moving in, I can hit a short slice if I get the right ball... and those are just the shots I might try if I was returning to the server's side. As a returner I kind of kind it fun to try to figure that out. Of course a really good S&V player is going to get up there and hit some great volleys no matter what you do, but I think it's more successful when it's a little unpredictable. I do know some 4.0 men and women who come in every singles time, and I think they're a bit of a liability as a partner. Especially when they're not getting to the service line or further when they're hitting that first volley. Those players will get their partner tagged!

    The person who poaches/fakes a lot is less predictable and a lot more intimidating and distracting to some people (like me). Especially if they're in good communication with their partner and can cross completely here and there. It can be quite nerve-wracking if you have a weakness on a certain side/shot on your return and the server is strong enough to pick on that. Not that I have ever been in that position personally, of course! :wink:

    In my experience this person is usually a very quick guy who has a lot of doubles experience and can hit great touch/angled volleys. Most of us 4.0 women don't try this as much as we should. I end up kind of picking my shot in advance and trying to go for that no matter what the net person does. Sometimes easier said than done, for me, but that seems to be my best option against the I-formation as well.
     
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  14. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I guess I am not the person to ask... because I don't see things the way most of the people on this post do. When you are serving it is the only time you can dictate what is going on, the person returning serve should not be able to easily decide what they wish to do with the tennis ball. Especially to make offense shots off a return of serve... it is the one time you have full control and you should be able to keep you opponent off balance the majority of the time, either with pace... placement... spin... surprise... or a combination of any of these. The person should not be able to setup and take liberties on your serve.

    Having you stay back makes the return easier since the returner does not need to worry about keeping the ball down... just away from the net man.

    But like I said in my earlier post... I guess it really comes down to the ability of the players. If you do not have a serve that forces weak returns... or are unable to backup your serve with a series of solid volleys and overheads... then you are restricted to what options are available to you.
     
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  15. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    If you don't like serve & volleyers, you need to step inside the baseline to return flat cross court balls. Doing this will put a lot of balls low at the server's feet, which is a hard pick up for most 4.0's.

    Poacher's are usually subdued at this level if you go alley on them early. At least by the second changeover, you should try returning hard down the line to the alley. Even if you miss, they will think about it before they go to poach the rest of the match.

    I don't mind either strategy as both are counterable. If I adjust my return strategy, they have to change their serve strategy & that is usually a harder skill at the 4.0 level.
     
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  16. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

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    This is good advice.

    As a lefty, I try and make sure I'm in control of the returns by taking a backhand from the ad side (serve down the middle) across my body and down the line pretty early in the match. Now and then I'll catch the net man napping and get a couple free/easy points that way.

    That usually opens up the cross-court return for me to do as I please/can. I also find that the angled chip backhand (landing about the service line and singles line corner) is quite effective if you can hit it consistently.

    But hey, if I could hit all my spots consistently, I'd be ranked higher than 4.0, right? ;) ;) ;)
     
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  17. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    I'm with amarone.

    As you improve, you'll want to S&V even if your partner poaches. That, and your poaches should end the point...no waiting for an opportunity. If the returners are getting too many passed the poacher, you may be doing it wrong.
     
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  18. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    seenms to me there are several topics being discussed at once.:shock:
    the original question as a returner i prefer a s/v to a poacher.due to the predictablity and me just having to keep the return low and pass the net player.
    the toughest is the team that s/v and poaches.
    im from the beleif that you should always s/v 1st and 2nd serve in doubles.
    if they lob alot you adjust how you come in.
     
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  19. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    The original question has been validated for me.

    As for the sub-topic, coming in behind a poach, do most of you slide over to no man's land? I've found it difficult to get to the service line or inside from the other side of the court. And, my partner is volleying at the center so the extreme cc angle is open as well if you come in. I've just found that we both wind up covering the middle when you S&V behind a poach and leave a lot of the court uncovered.
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    ^Both of you have to hustle.

    But if the opponent cracks the return up the line, it will probably be a winner if she makes it. Oh, well.
     
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  21. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    the poacher shouldbe able to get to the middle of the service box at least. only the most severe x court would be a winner.could be a winner or very forcing return whether you were coming in or staying back anyway.
    as the server crossing you wont get as deep but the returner has to hit over the higher part of the net so you may not get quite a shoe lace return to volley. if he returns great up the line its probably a winner. but you are supposed to be serving up the middle so the ball is coming from the middle of the court.
     
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  22. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    If your poacher is making it to the middle of the opposite service box, then he must be leaving too early or was hugging the middle when he left. I disagree. If you have some video of this please share.
     
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  23. XFactorer

    XFactorer Hall of Fame

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    A returner, I hate the net guy moving too much. I love the server to come in after his serve because a) I just lob it over the net player or down the middle or b) I take a big crack at the ball at one of the players. Usually the server because he's only halfway to the net.

    However! I also love the overly active net guy, too. Not to brag, but my returns off both sides are usually pretty low and aggressive and the net player can't handle it as well even when he gets a racquet on it. And an overly active, poach-everything-I-can player inevitably confuses his own partner and I win, regardless.

    So... two ways to look at that from an undefeated men's 4.0 league dubs player. (undefeated in dubs)
     
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  24. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    ^^^^ SANDBAG ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^^^^
     
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  25. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM-JTd48l50
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRbF1qVzOvg&feature=related
    if you watch there are some poaches where the poacher gets at least 1/3 into the opposite service box and almost to half way. if the returnere get the ball to the junction of the service line and sideline juction whether the server stays back, s/v otr there is a poach it will be a tought ball
    why are you questioning the point???
     
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  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    At 4.0 you should be able to handle any tactic if it is repetitive, that is predictable. If they S&V all of the time, fine, they will find all of my returns dinked to their shoetops. If they stay back and are constantly poaching/fake poaching, I will alternate between playing into the alley, right at the netman's original position and CC (I am not a good lobber).
     
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