Strategy For Choosing Side After Spin

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jalapeno, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. jalapeno

    jalapeno New User

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    What are some strategies to consider when choosing which side of the court you want to start on at the beginning of a match with regards to wind and sun conditions?
     
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  2. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    This is assuming your opponent has already chosen to serve or receive...

    If you are bothered by sun when serving, choose side so that you are on the 'good' side for your first service game.

    If you are not bothered by sun when serving, choose side so that your opponent is on the 'bad' side for his/her first service game.
     
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  3. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I hate serving into the sun because I have a fairly high toss so I elect to have the "good" side for my first service game. If I was better at serving into the sun I would without a doubt make it harder for my opponent and give them the "bad" side!

    -Fuji
     
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  4. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    As stated, pick the side that will give you the greatest advantage on your first serve game. If you're good either way, pick the side that would be worst for your opponents first serve game.
     
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  5. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    Here is what I do in tournaments: Warm up on the sunny side, then defer if I win the toss. Let the other team serve first, but choose to receive on the side that isn't facing the sun. That way, they have to serve in the sun after warming up on the shady side. They always have their better server serve first, so you're making him 1)serve on a side he hasn't seen and 2) serve when he's not totally warm. The result is usually an early break of their strong server. Next you hold, then break the weak server, and you've got the first set in the bag. This works great most of the time. Once, I got away with it all tournament long until the finals. We played some very savvy players--#1 in the southeast in 4.5 doubles. They insisted on spinning for serve and choosing sides BEFORE we warmed up. I guess they weren't going to fall for our trick!
     
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  6. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    Hmmm, rules say you need to spin the racket and choose sides BEFORE the warmup. Some tournaments I guess you could do your thing, but most of the ones I play has an official out there giving you the lowdown and timing the warmups :roll:
     
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  7. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    That makes sense--especially after the top-ranked doubles team did it that way. But nobody else I've ever played has spun before the warmup. Maybe going forward, if the other team walks over to the sunny side before I can, I need to demand a spin before we warm up. If I get to the sunny side first, I use the warmup to get used to the sun, and then I stick them serving first on the sunny side, which they haven't seen yet.
     
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  8. Limibeans

    Limibeans Rookie

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    The sun, IMO, is the least reason to choose a side.

    If you have traveled and played tournaments you'd know that the courts you play on are not always in prime condition. Some times things happens and you have to change venues for whatever reason and the venue change isnt always an upgrade or equivalent.

    I played a wildcard qual before on a court that had insane wind with no wind screens and the courts felt like it was slanted towards one side. The original venue was "closed" that day. It was basically your average public court (cracks in some places, and no wind screens) but with singles sticks and new center straps for the net.
     
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  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    If talking doubles, you always want your strongest server serving first. So, consider that when you choose. Try and get the strongest server serving out of the sun, unless he/she is a lefty. You can't afford to have your strong server broken due to sun.
     
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  10. jdfulmer

    jdfulmer New User

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    If you choose to start on the "bad" court - let's say it has glaring sun - and everybody wins on the "good" side, then you will win 8-6 in the tie-breaker.
     
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  11. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    I only have a strategy if playing a lefty. For me, the sun is the only reason to pick a particular side of the court. If you and your opponent are opposite handed, (or if the males in a mixed doubles match are opposite handed), here's the strategy:

    If the opponent wins the toss and elects to serve, pick the side that sticks him serving into the sun first, which means your first service game will be facing away from the sun.

    If the opponent wins the toss and picks a side, then you choose who serves first based on the same criterion.

    If you win the toss, defer the decision to him. That way you can still do the two things above.

    This works particularly well in mixed doubles if the males are opposite handed (and assuming the males are the stronger servers). You can insure that the male on your team is serving away from the sun, and the other guy is serving into the sun the whole first set.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'd disagree that you want your strongest server to serve first.

    I think you want your strongest serving formation to serve first.

    I don't know how many times in combo or in mixed when the opponents choose to have the "strongest server" serve first, only to have that server broken. Sometimes, one player is so awesome at net that the team is actually stronger if the partner serves first.

    When I play with one of my regular partners, we have her serve first because she is not good at net, even though my serve is clearly stronger. It is kind of fun, in a way. She holds because of my net play and her terrific groundies, and then I step up to serve. My opponents probably figure I am the weaker server, and they are expecting to break. Think again. This partner and I have never lost.

    I usually prefer to make sure we have the side that allows us to maintain our preferred serving order, considering wind etc. One of my partners is completely oblivious to sun and wind when she serves, whereas sun/wind can sometimes affect my serve. So we make sure she has the "bad" side, because she serves first. I don't buy into the theories that you want to force your opponents to deal with the sun/wind on their first service game. I'm more interested in making sure we get what we want.
     
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  13. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Just shorten the toss if it is windy. Or toss the ball to the side of the sun if you are serving into the sun. It should make no difference to the server (me.) I normally let the weaker server serve with the wind behind them unless they have problems with the sun.

    I normally try to let the other side serve first after the spin. I don't think most people are really loose serving the first game of a set.
     
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  14. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    if memory serves me right brad gilbert says
    wind in your face

    so you can hit out and the ball will stay in
    good warm up first game
    you dont baby your strokes


    sun at your back

    they face(serve) into the sun
    a few lobs to get them seeing spots doesnt hurt
     
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  15. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, Brad Gilbert (in his book "Winning Ugly") says you should let the other player serve first. I have tried that strategy and now disagree with it. Too many times my team was serving at 4-5 to stay in the set and got broken. Now, I prefer to serve first and let the other team be the ones serving under the 4-5 pressure. (Other than my strategy for lefties and the sun, discussed supra.)
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I agree that the pressure serving 4-5 and 5-6 is enough to tip the scales in favor of choosing to serve first.

    Also, I think it is tough to break that first game. You have seen the opponents' warm-up serves, but you haven't returned them. And their warm-up serves might not represent their real serves anyway. Both sides are equally cold/nervous. By the 9th or 11th game, the pressure on the server is really intense.
     
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  17. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Another reason Gilbert cited for doing this was to allow you to serve first after the rest period of each changeover. I typically choose to serve first though because most of my sets come down to 3 breaks of serve or less so there is usually a good chance my opponent is serving from behind later in the set.
     
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  18. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    you are only serving at 4-5 if you didnt get the first break like you were supposed to
    and you didnt hold serve like you were supposed to if you lost the set 4-6
     
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  19. Taxvictim

    Taxvictim Semi-Pro

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    You're exactly right. I shouldn't say I disagree with the strategy, only that it didn't work for me.
     
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  20. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    I let my opponents serve first unless they have killer serves, in which case I go for the early break.
     
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  21. Limibeans

    Limibeans Rookie

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    The joys of the 7th, 9th and 11th game!

    I think a lot of the things that have been discussed in the last few posts really come down to personal preference and partner chemistry/strategy. Some people went over Gilbert-ism which I only buy as Gilbert-ism, which is like religion. If you believe in it, and it helps you, more power to you. It certainly isnt an end all, be all, ultimate key to the cosmos though.

    I actually dont like serving after the change. I cant tell you how many times it felt like water was going to come up in the service motion follow through.
     
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