Rules Question - Racquet Spin

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by J_R_B, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    If you win the racquet spin, are you allowed to choose the side you play on instead of choosing to serve or return? Or are you only allowed to choose whether to serve or return? I could not find an answer to this in the FAC.
     
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  2. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    Serve/Receive, Side, or Defer are your choices
     
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  3. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Savvy players treat this situation like a poker game. Not only having a reason for doing something like deferring, but also to make the opponent wonder why they would choose to.
     
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  4. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. That's what I thought. Is there a link for that by any chance?
     
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  5. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    Get yourself a copy of the rules.
     
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  6. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    I like to let the opponent serve first. Usually get a somewhat weaker first service game to look at breaking, puts more pressure on that server.
     
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  7. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    read bottom of page 8/top of page 9
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Outdoors, I always defer if I win the toss.

    This means I must convince my partner that we should defer. This is often not easy. A lot of folks do not understand that by deferring, you can make sure you and your partner get the side of court that works best for your preferred serving order.

    Indoors, I let my partner decide what to do, as I really don't care.
     
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  9. CaldwellYSR

    CaldwellYSR Rookie

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    This is a very sound strategy
     
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  10. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Exactly correct.

    Here's the link: http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/15/2011FAC-Kaufman.pdf
    It's at the bottom of page 8/top of page 9 of the Rules of Tennis section as someone already pointed out.

    Quote of rule:
    9. CHOICE OF ENDS & SERVICE
    The choice of ends and the choice to be server or receiver in the first game shall be decided by toss before the warm-up starts. The player/team who wins the toss may choose:
    a. To be server or receiver in the first game of the match, in which case the
    opponent(s) shall choose the end of the court for the first game of the match; or
    b. The end of the court for the first game of the match, in which case the
    opponent(s) shall choose to be server or receiver for the first game of the
    match; or
    c. To require the opponent(s) to make one of the above choices.

    Very helpful - thanks for contributing.
     
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  11. jonnythan

    jonnythan Professional

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    You are welcome.
     
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  12. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I always choose to serve first when I get the choice, I feel it exudes confidence in my serve. Also, if I serve 1st and get down a break, the deficit doesn't seem as large as it does if I am down a break and serve 2nd. But I have had people tell me that choosing to receive is better, that Brad Gilbert says that or something.
     
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  13. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    Brad Gilbert does say "choose to receive" in his book, Winning Ugly. I don't agree because if play is on serve, then the first receiver is serving at 4-5 to stay in the set. It just seems like a bad place to be.

    I agree with Ms. Sphinx. The one time you really should defer is on a sunny day when you and your opponent are opposite handed. If you win the toss and defer, you can make him pick side or serve. Either way, you can stick him facing the sun for his first serve and you get to serve your first game without the sun in your face. In doubles, if the big servers are opposite handed (usually the men in mixed), same deal. In doubles the big server gets stuck facing the sun for the whole set. Always watch the players ahead of time so you know if they are right or left handed.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Brad Gilbert does say that but I also prefer to serve first. I'd rather not be the one having to serve from behind at 4-5 or 5-6 in a set. Make the other guy hold or lose the set.
     
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  15. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    In mixed I'll defer so that we can make the opposing guy serve into the sun- I have a spin serve so I can adjust to the sun more than my opponents can in most situations.

    Overall I strongly prefer to receive first. I think its a huge blow to a guys ego to get broken in the first game. And I think that the first game of the match is the most random result. A 10 minute warmup is not really sufficient to get your strokes locked in so I think that that very first game is a great break opportunity. And if you return first and it takes you a game to get your feet under you then you are still just on serve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012
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  16. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. You're right, that's the only way to ensure both desired serve order and desired serve sides. Of course regardless of toss choice, you can always end up with desired serve sides if order is not as important to you.

    So my partner and I always choose to serve, since we don't have a strong preference for serve order. On any given day, there's no way to tell ahead of time who is going to have an easier time holding serve - there is enough variability in form and in opponent matchups such that we're only going to find out who's getting easier holds during the course of the first set. And then we can adapt accordingly in the second.

    Do you find that you (or your parter as the case may be) consistently has an easier time holding serve, such that you would want that person to be serving first?
     
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  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Actually . . .

    Most people here do not comply with the rule that you warm up after you spin. For some reason, folks just start warming up, then spin. If someone wants to spin first and do the thing correctly, that is fine with me, of course.

    So usually my partner and I warm up, and then we discuss who is feeling better about her serve that day.

    I can serve into the sun, but I don't like to. In a recent match, I was facing the sun and I simply could not find a way to hit a topspin serve because my toss kept finding the sun. I had to hit slice the whole match, and it was not a great serving day.

    In my last match, my partner was a lefty. We won the toss, and we deferred. Our main goal was to make sure neither of us served into the sun.
     
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  18. DANMAN

    DANMAN Professional

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    I prefer to serve first in doubles and to receive in singles. My serve is a weapon but I feel like my return is equally good. I agree with another posting in that the first game typically has the most random result, and is therefore the easiest game to get a break in. I also like hitting some groundies with no pressure in that first game as I'm not expected to win it. If I'm without a doubt the stronger player (rare at the open level), I'll serve first in singles.
     
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  19. TENNIS4FUN2

    TENNIS4FUN2 New User

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    I prefer to receive first so that I can use the first game as additional warm up time. 10 minutes is never enough and if I am lucky enough to get extra warm up time, I still need to get into "match mode" before I/we serve.
     
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  20. BHiC

    BHiC Rookie

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    This is exactly what I do too. When I am playing singles, I prefer to start off with a game that I don't have to win. In doubles, I prefer to start off serving, so we can start with the momentum.
     
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  21. dizzlmcwizzl

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    I never even let my partner into the conversation .. Spin occurs, I just belt out "DEFER" after the toss. He gives me a quizzical look and then I let him serve second on the good side so he is happy.
     
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  22. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I think Brad is wrong. Its nice to bag that first game and have a game lead deep in the set. You can get usually get by with 75% first serves as your opponent is still trying to get his or her rythm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
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  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    You have to remember too that Gilbert was not exactly known for his serve. He was a return minded player. People who rely more on their serves are going to have a different viewpoint.
     
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  24. zcarzach

    zcarzach Professional

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    Not always true. My return game is somewhat weak and my serve is much stronger. I feel like my best chance to break is that first service game, so I will often let the opponent serve first, so I can have that look. Once I get going, I'm not worried about holding serve myself, so I'd like to have that early break to take a little pressure of my cruddy return game.
     
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  25. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    FWIW, a couple of Dutch researchers did a study of four years (1992-1995) and about 90,000 points at Wimbledon to investigate a number of common tennis beliefs, among them whether there is really any advantage to serving first.

    Their statistical analysis showed that the server of the first game was more likely (55% men, 56% women) to win the first set and that there were (statistically significantly) fewer breaks in the first game of the match than any other game. They conclude it is normally wiser to choose to serve first in a singles match. They do not discuss whether or not these findings are likely to apply to recreational players.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
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  26. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

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    I did not know this, but I used to make the opponent serve first if I won the toss and then after looking at the results over the past few years, figured that I am losing more first sets this way. Disregarding the blowouts, I noticed that I lost a lot of sets on one break that usually happens at the end of the set.
    After making this discovery, I have always elected to serve and I have noticed that I have only been broken once in the first service game in 17 singles matches when I served first this year.
     
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