Rally strategy on serve game vs return game.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by dlam, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    I discovered there are some shot tendencies I like on rally points depending if a serving or return game.
    I find that during points that involve me staring the point by serving I like to run around my backhand every chance I can get and I like to play baseline game. Serve and rally.
    Howerver whenever it's a return game for me, after my returns my strategy is to try to get to the net when I have the opportunity. I dont like to run back and around my backhand. I usually have to stay back and rally if someone has a really good serve. but if I can I like to Slice/Chip/Drive/Dice and Charge the net.

    Any else differ their rally strategy depending on serve/return games?

    for whatever reason I dont like the serve and volley combo.
     
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  2. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I can understand the decision to shorten points on return games (by charging the net) if you are behind in those rallys because of trouble returning serves and being behind in the game itself because of service winners. This would be especially true if your groundies are a touch dicey. It certainly is not a ticet to a break, but you only need one break perset and perhaps he'll dump a passing shot in the net and another wide, and BINGO.
     
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  3. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    Unfortunately, I probably don't develop as strong a strategy in my tennis game as I should. "Winning Ugly" was a great read and I felt helped improve my tactics. In hindsight, I got a fair amount of coaching growing up, but it was nearly all about strokes, and almost totally lacking in strategy or game play.

    That said, my general attitude and approach does vary, perhaps even significantly between serve and return. I have a strong serve that can get me out of a jam quite often. If I'm serving at 0-30, I don't typically feel a lot of pressure. Sure, I buckle down and focus more on hitting a tough serve, but I tend to play pretty freely on serve and don't lose many service games.

    On return, I'm all about trying to create tension. I feel like if I can win the first point, I can start to pressure the server. If I can get up 30-0 on the server, I have a really strong chance at going up 40-0. I'll grind a bit more at 30-0 or 30-15 trying to force a UE, or just as well, a nice short ball that they cough up. Most servers I face play very tentatively down 30-0 or 30-15. I try to put a few more balls in play to give them a chance to think about the prospects of having to defend a break point.

    Once up 40-0 or 40-15, I go brain dead. Can't tell you how many times I've failed to convert a break opportunity at that point. That's probably one of my biggest obstacles I need to work on.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Big servers tend to force the action and play first strike tennis on their own service games. On the return games, most just rally the ball back, hoping for a mistake from the server, from which they can now play first strike tennis. If the server doesn't make a mistake, he will gladly surrender his return game.
     
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  5. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    It just I feel volleying stroke is defensive motion unlike what most people think plus the motion is similiar to the ROS
    While serving and running around a backhand to smash a forehand tends to keep my mind more offensive
    To me if I can control the spin and pace that is what I consider offensive
    To use the opponents pace and take spin off is more defensive in my mind
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The spin you use has little to do with "offensive" or defensive games.
    Some famous topspinners, HaroldSolomon and AlbertoBarasetchi, used topspin to prolong rallies, not hit winners or forcing shots.
    You can slice to a corner, come to net, and it's OFFENSIVE tennis.
    You can topspin up the middle, stay back, and fall asleep.
     
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  7. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

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    I think your view of volleys versus baseline shots as offensive or defensive isn't incorrect - it's just a matter of perspective.

    If you come to the net on a well-placed approach shot, you have to mentally be prepared to deal with some passing shots. But in the grand scheme of the match, if you're winning 7 out of 10 points you play at the net, you have a winning strategy. But mentally, some guys will get deterred by the 3 points they lost. Maybe it's because they got lobbed, or had a screamer whiz by them. In either scenario, they've been demoralized and give up on a solid play. If you watch some of the old serve and volleyers, you see those guys getting passed left and right. But if they win more than they lost, they kept pushing forward.

    Meanwhile, many of the same rec players that give up on net play after losing 30% of their net points would be thrilled to hit 7 out of 10 attempted winners from the baseline successfully. My theory is that a lot of people feel more comfortable believing that "the match is on their racquet" and are more comfortable dealing with their own unforced errors rather than their opponents winners.

    I don't know if that's you or not - just food for thought.
     
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  8. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Yes my definition of offensive vs defensive is very different than the norm
    A well placed slice volley is defensive to me
    A topsin forehand sent back to opponents wheel barrel strength is offensive to me
    Winning is another topic
    There have been points won either way
     
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  9. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    My entire singles strategy revolves around forcing my opponent to hit a short ball. I want to hit a driving approach that puts them out of position to hit a passing shot. Either my approach shot is an outright winner or it forces an attempt of a passing shot that I can anticipate a volley or overhead which I'll put away in the open court.

    This is what I consider offense- I control the angles. When I am forced to play defense (behind the baseline), I am playing high topspin shots cross court or down the middle to try to keep the opponent from using my own strategy against me.
     
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  10. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    I definitely differ strategies on my serve and return games.

    I believe a player is only as good as their weakest service game. It doesn't matter if you win most service games at love if you occasionally have a miserable one. Therefore I play more conservatively on my service games so that there is less variance between my weakest and strongest service games.

    Along those same lines, many times you only need one break to win a set, so I go much bigger on my return games. It doesn't matter if I lose most return games because of errors, if I have at least one game each set where it all comes together.
     
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  11. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Interesting, I play differing ways depending on score. I'll return a little more aggressive at 0-30 or 0-40 since I have little to lose and lots to gain. Reverse those scores and ill probably just block a serve back and force them to try to do too much.

    Similar on serve. I'll go bigger when up two or three points, especially when up a break. My classic move is a kicker out wide at 40-30 where I'll serve and volley.

    I like your theory in general.
     
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