What do you do with your doubles partners that always serve wide?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by AR15, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Seriously I think that you are just overestimating how solid people are at this. Do me a favor and go out the next time with the goal of making the opponent hit every return as a backhand. I think you will do a ton better once you stop overthinking it.
     
    #51
  2. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    I think we need to define what is "proper positioning."

    If the serve is wide *and the net player is not poaching,* the net player should shift over and cover the DTL shot. This does not mean the net player must run way off the court, but she should shift so the DTL shot is not wide open.

    If the net player covers the line on the wide serve, the crosscourt return is easy for the returner, even on a good wide serve. This is because the non-poaching net player is dragged so far toward the alley that she cannot reach a sharply angled return (and sometimes even a floater).

    If we talk about net players who are active/poaching/faking, then the T serve is far superior in terms of the pressure it puts on the returner. NTRPolice is saying he can receive in the deuce court and rip his BHs DTL into the alley for winners. If so, he is playing low-percentage tennis very well indeed. IME, my opponents do not beat me with that difficult shot unless I have taken off to poach -- and sometimes not even then.
     
    #52
  3. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    I'll try show this via a diagram. Please excuse my poor drawing skills, but hopefully this is good enough for illustration. Net player is giving up a DTL shot, as well as angle cross-court. However, those are both hard shots to pull off, because they require both good directional control and excellent depth control... note how for the DTL shot it requires receiver to change direction of the ball, and also it needs to be deep else will land out. For the CC it needs to be short or will land out. Of course server is responsible for covering CC. If receiver can pull of that DTL off a good serve, then you tip your hat and then dare them to do it consistently.

    [​IMG]
     
    #53
  4. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    another thought for the mix is that if the net person isn't drifting over to cover the line or actively moving/poaching it should alert one that it might not be a bad idea to go low and right at him.
     
    #54
  5. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Orange- I think that where we disagree is what "proper positioning" is. To me that net person needs to take a slide to their left to take away more of the down the line return. That leaves the middle to my partner to handle and we are giving up the wicked crosscourt angle. I mean in your diagram what do you think that the server is covering? Only balls that are returned cross court and halfway between the service line and the net? I mean thats a step or two away from where I set up if I am playing Australian if my opponent is takign the return from there...
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
    #55
  6. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Another issue with the diagram is the issue of depth. I mean, you have the receiver wrapped in the side curtains.

    If the serve is shorter, as it often is at my level, the DTL and wicked angle are both easier to execute. At my level, the main variable in whether I consider a ball poachable is depth.

    If the server is going to serve shorti-ish and wide to the deuce court, sorry, I am not going to try to poach and will make myself useful by guarding against the DTL pass and lob.

    If she is going to wrap the receiver in the side curtain, no need to shift over, as I can reach all but the best DTL from the position in your diagram.
     
    #56
  7. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Spot and Cindy, my diagram was hastily drawn and is not great - but meant to show that with (at least what I think is) proper positioning, the net man does give up a DTL shot, but that this is going to be a very hard shot for the returner to pull off.

    Spot, I disagree that the returner should slide more to their left. Sure, it takes away more of the DTL, but allows the returner more court to avoid the net man down the middle, with a dipping shot for example, that is hard for the server to volley. I think the way I have it drawn up is the higher percentage play - at least for me it is. The fact that the way I have it leaves relatively little for the server to cover is a good thing in my book! The more posible returns the net person can handle the better.

    Cindy, if the serve is short-ish and not as wide, then the problem is not with the server serving wide, the problem is with the server dishing out bad serves! A short serve that does not make the receiver move much is going to be hard for the net person to deal with no matter what.
     
    #57
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Perhaps. I think this is something that is level-dependent.

    In 4.0 ladies, I am not going to be making contact with the ball deeper than the baseline. Nor am I going to be fetching balls near the curtain. This does not mean the server is hitting "bad" serves. It means the server is hitting 3.5/4.0 ladies serves.

    Which means the issues are a bit different. The DTL ball is more of a threat due to the lack of depth on the serve, and returners with decent FHs are quite willing to take the ball DTL if the returner doesn't make an adjustment to mirror the ball and instead stays centered in the service box.
     
    #58
  9. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Bay Area
    I am a big proponent of me and my partners serving from the "T". In fact, I am going through this right now, I am having my partners switch from serving from out wide to serving from the "T", and it just works much better that way. Too many possible angles for the returner when they start out wide, and I have to cover too much at the net, and I can't be too aggressive. Plus, if I am doing a planned poach, the server has too much court to cover if they are covering the down the line shot. And it is harder to vary your serve if you are serving from out wide, when you serve from the "T" you have more angles to choose from and you can make it more difficult for the returner.
     
    #59
  10. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    I dislike it very much when servers serve from the center hash when we are not in Aussie or I formation. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

    The reason is that they often tell me to stand closer to the alley so they do not hit me. I am in their way because they are at the center hash. Yeah, I get it. But this is not singles. You are supposed to be setting me up for a poach, and I cannot poach or pressure the returner if you park me in the alley.

    If the server stands halfway between center hash and doubles sideline, they should be able to serve up the T, IMO. That is my normal serve position in doubles. I change it up (doubles alley) when I have a returner who hates the slice out wide and I want to make them pull their hair out in chunks.
     
    #60
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    For women, serving to the BH on the assumption that the BH is the weaker wing is folly.

    I know so many women who have BHs that are stronger than their FHs. Hint: These women can be found on the ad side, because then they do not have to hit Xcourt FHs that get by the net player's FH.

    Anyway, my BH was stronger than my FH for many years. Thankfully, many servers never seemed to figure this out. They would keep pounding on my BH, completely unaware I would hand them the match if they made me hit FHs.

    FWIW, I do not think this holds for men. I see a lot of wonky BHs from the guys compared to their FHs. Trouble is, there is no way I can reliably serve to a guy's BH if he is determined to run around it.
     
    #61
  12. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    Bay Area
    That's strange, I've never heard of anyone worrying about getting hit at the net when their partner is serving. When my partner is serving at the T, I'll stand inside the service box a few feet away from the doubles alley, then take a couple of steps toward the center of the court (or more) when the serve passes me.
     
    #62
  13. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Orange- in your diagram you are giving the returner a full 1/3 of the baseline to hit to. If you hit to my forehand and I have 1/3 of the baseline to hit to then in my book that is a trivially easy shot. I think on wide balls most net teams set up where you diagram and don't slide over far enough so that is going to be my go to shot every single time.
     
    #63
  14. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Cindy- I agree that women dramatically more often have a stronger backhand than forehand because they have 2 hands on the racquet. Thats why I say that I like my partners to serve to the backhand until they show that they can attack off of that side. If their backhand is a better shot than their forehand then I'll all for serving up the middle as often as possible.
     
    #64
  15. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    515
    Sigh.

    In a generic point where players are normally positioned on the court a serve out wide leaves the smallest potential for an easy winner on the serve return. I cant see how any of you are even arguing this.

    If you serve the T (since when does the middle of the box count as the T? lol) you have 3 potential areas for a winner.

    -Down the middle: yes, its quite easy to rip the ball down the middle for a winner amongst the confusion burning the net guy and beating the server who is standing unusually wide)

    -Down the line: small target, but definitely hittable. If the net person even takes one step and to the net, your target DTL becomes huge.

    -Angle: Small target, but very easy to push the ball wide and set up a put away for your net person.

    vs.

    Hitting a winner DTL from a serve out wide requires you to take the ball EXTREMELY late to make your target "larger" and requires an unnatural change to the path of the swing/ball. Remember, this isnt singles so its hard to get away with bad angles.

    It's impossible to hit a winner down the middle off an out wide serve in any normal circumstance.

    The only immediate winner there is cross court in a sharp angle. That shot is very hard to hit without them getting their racket on the ball.





    You also need to consider that when you have left handed players everything goes out the window. Sometimes when a lefty and a righty play together, you have their forehands DTL. Sometimes they play with forehands down the middle.

    Watch a game of all righties. They serve out wide. I cant believe you tried to pull that crap on me "oh serving down the T LOLS" when you're talking about left handed players.
     
    #65
  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    I like to set up in the exact middle of the service box when my partner is serving. Once I discern where the serve is going, I take one step forward and on the diagonal to mirror the ball and split.

    If my partner wants me a few feet away from the doubles alley, then I cannot get in front of a T serve in one step, which makes it more difficult for me to get into the correct position while in good balance. Better would be for them to slide over from the hash so they can hit all spots without hitting me.
     
    #66
  17. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    NTRPpolice,

    Let's keep it simple. Let's also remembers that doubles strategy is not about hitting winners off of the return from the baseline. It is about getting the opponents to hit a weak shot that can be exploited.

    Let's assume four right-handed players, with the serve coming in the deuce court.

    Server hits an average (for level) first serve out wide. What happens?

    Server's partner mirrors the ball, so she slides somewhat to the alley on her left. This leaves the server covering a large amount of court -- the middle, the gentle or wicked crosscourt, and the lob over the partner. Returner is happy and relaxed and not under much pressure from the net player. Not great.

    Now let's say instead that the server hits down the T. The server's partner mirrors the ball, so she slides toward the center. This leaves the returner to hit the wicked crosscourt or the change-of-direction BH to the net player's alley. These are both much more difficult shots. If the returner isn't right on target, the ball is poachable.

    That, as I understand it, is the reasoning behind serving up the T. Do you still disagree?
     
    #67
  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    By ladies 4.0, most people are solid off of both wings, meaning they do not have a glaring deficiency that can be exploited.

    For that reason, I prefer to focus on my own game. I hit my favorite serves and favorite shots and favorite strategies. If I notice a weakness, I will go there, but I am not seeing many women who are so lopsided that it makes much difference in the match.
     
    #68
  19. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    You are just delusional. When you serve out wide then the opposing team has a TON more court to hit to because you are opening up a ton of angle for them.

    It was the first video I came across where they had a lot of points with the downtime taken out. Here's the first video I came across of 4 righties playing. (most of the top doubles teams have a lefty playing Deuce side to neutralize the serve down the T so it took a while to find 4 righties) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZHbRBtjvqM&feature=related

    They didn't put a serve out wide in the first 4 minutes of the highlights. Why don't you find a video that shows the example of doubles teams serving out wide constantly since you think thats how all professionals do it?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #69
  20. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    Interesting article on doubles serving: http://www.tennisserver.com/wildcards/wildcards_08_01.html[​IMG]

    "The first part is easy: to insure a return down the center, serve up the center. Geometry rules, as the diagram shows. A wide serve has almost twice as big an angle of return as a centered serve. Centering the serve constrains the return to within an area you can reach."
     
    #70
  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Tennis OCD,

    That is great, thank you.

    I notice that the server who is serving down the middle has been moved to the center hash. That is something I don't agree with.

    If the server serves from that position, the net player is in the way of a wide serve. This tells the returner that the serve will be up the middle, thereby forfeiting the element of surprise. Indeed, the returner can line up to run around the BH if she wishes, secure in the knowledge the serve isn't going wide.

    If the server instead serves up the middle from a wider position (halfway between center hash and doubles sideline), then the receiver has to respect the possibility of a wide serve.
     
    #71
  22. 2ndServe

    2ndServe Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    981
    At around the men's 5.0 level it's my opinion that you should generally serve to the backhand especially on the 2nd serve. Not because the backhands are weak but because the more modern players are so much stronger on that side.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #72
  23. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Cindy- just to have an image to illustrate your point. Here is where the net person gets in the way of the Wide serve when serving from the T.
    [​IMG]

    Here is where taking just a couple steps over makes the receiver cover a ton more ground.
    [​IMG]

    And moving over into the alley gives more angle still but its not a huge difference.
    [​IMG]
     
    #73
  24. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    The center position gives the server the low net point for t serves and keeps the ball in the center of the court. Player D can start a bit to the alley and step in behind the serve or just crouch low.
     
    #74
  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    If the server stands wider and serves to the center, then the serve is still going over the lowest part of the net, no? I mean, Spot's diagram shows that we are talking about a serve going directly over the center strap versus going a few inches farther along the top of the net. How much height difference can there be between the net strap and six inches farther over? Quarter of an inch?

    As for crouching . . . yes, it is theoretically true that I could get low enough that the server wouldn't hit me with a serve that would otherwise clear the net. She would hit me with serves that do not clear the net. I do not consider being hit a big deal, but servers tell me it bothers them.
     
    #75
  26. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Messages:
    194
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes, yes, and yes. Even in 7.0 mixed when I'm arguably the weakest player on the court, I'll take the ad court more than 50% of the time. Reason is two-fold: 1) my backhand return is way better than my forehand return, but from the ad-court I've "perfected" (as much as a 3.0 can perfect anything) the inside out forehand return. I've also gotten good at returning the up the T serve straight up the middle instead of inside out to mix it up. 2) For whatever reason, I find it harder to get burned on the out wide serve when returning ad than in deuce. Which means more points that at least get started.
     
    #76
  27. AR15

    AR15 Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    Messages:
    1,125
    Location:
    Gulf Coast, USA

    So, as the ad court receiver, you are returning cross court, which should be the easiest return because you are not having to change direction on the ball. Your opposing net player is shifting to the ally, further leaving your cross court return open. And, if your opposing net guy is right handled, his weak side is covering your cross court return.

    On the duece side return, if your opposing net player is right handed, he is going to be more inclined to poach up the middle or cross court returns.
     
    #77
  28. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,042
    Location:
    Northern California
    Although I generally agree with your position in this thread, I have to disagree about that backhand. In a lot of ways, it really isn't a change of direction, it is a normal cross-court backhand (yes, the incoming angle is a little weird) and for me at least is an easier shot to hit reliably than the inside out backhand that would be required to get the back cross-court to the server.

    I get several backhand winners each match going up the line on a serve up the T, precisely because the server's partner is at least leaning towards the middle.
     
    #78
  29. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    I have a friend who agrees with you. That is what her pro told her.

    When she tries this, she misses pretty much every time. This shot requires very good footwork and probably some topspin to keep the ball from flying wide. It is that weird incoming angle that messes people up. They get jammed.

    If I am in the deuce court with an active poacher at net and my opponents are serving up the T and hurting me, there are several things I will try before I try to take my BH behind the poacher to the alley.

    Step One -- receive serve much closer to the net to take away their time. This one adjustment is often sufficient.

    Step Two -- just hit a lob return over net player's BH.

    Step Three -- sad, desperate attempt to take my BH into the alley. When I miss, I tell my partner I was "sending a message." :)
     
    #79
  30. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Fair enough, I don't have much experience playing with 3.5/4.0 ladies.

    In that case I think your forehand is much better than mine (and that of the people I play with)! I find it very hard to consistently make that DTL shot against a decent server on a serve swinging wide. If I were playing you, I would test you a few times on that shot - it you prove you can make it often enough, then I stop doing it, but not until then.
     
    #80
  31. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I just don't see how this is possible. Its going down the line so I can be late on the ball. I have a 12 foot window to hit into. If you even give me the alley on that side then I am going to take it. If you give me 1/3 of the court then I just don't see where its going to go wrong. I mean if I was telling you that I could easily get there in time to rip it sharply crosscourt I would understand your skepticism but in this situation its leaving one side completely vacated.
     
    #81
  32. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Well I don't think it's 12 feet... my original diagram was not very good so I'm stealing yours...:) Maybe this is more realistic:

    [​IMG]

    Maybe a 6 ft target right at the baseline, and more narrow assuming you don't hit the baseline, e.g. 3 ft at the service line. The wedge of target you have available to you is I think hard to hit, assuming a decent serve.

    Not saying you personally can't do it, just saying that in my group, this is a difficult low-percentage shot.
     
    #82
  33. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    Spot's diagrams show a shot going directly over the strap but not to the t (shows a serve to the body - which might in itself be a good idea to cheat to the alley if a body serve's your goal.) If you stand wide and hit the T you've got perhaps an additional 2" of net to clear.
     
    #83
  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Partner can serve ANYWHERE, as long as your team is winning the points.
    Partner, or YOU, have to start to think, if you're losing the points.
     
    #84
  35. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Orange- I'm going to go overkill on this just because I think its an interesting question. Here are 2 diagrams where I am asusming the server stays back. I've got the net person with a range of 10 feet and the back person with a range of 30 feet since they get to let the ball bounce. Here is with the Net person pretty much in the middle of the box where you had them in that original diagram.

    [​IMG]

    I think that is a VERY easy return with that much baseline available. Again- thats a full 1/3 of the baseline...

    Here is the court coverage for where I think the net person should be set up on the return of serve when the ball is wide.
    [​IMG]

    On a wide serve I think the net person should probably have one foot in the alley.

    You can pick different numbers for how much range you think that a net person or the baseline person has. 10 feet and 30 feet I thought was pretty reasonable.

    To see how my assumptions look when serving up the middle here you go.

    [​IMG]

    That looks about right to me when the net player is set up in an aggressive position.
     
    #85
  36. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    505
    OP, sounds more like a 3.0 game you have going. Prolly the servers can't place their serves and just hit to the one place in the box where they feel they can get it in.
     
    #86
  37. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Spot, I guess we have different assumptions on what the net player can cover while in "normal" position. I've never thought to actually measure this in practice, but for example if it's 14ft instead of 10ft, it might end up that hte net person in normal position can actually cover almost as much as you have in your 2nd diagram (showing net person moving wide).

    I'm just going off my playing experience here - so it's interesting to see how it ends up when drawn with all the angles and measurements etc :)
     
    #87
  38. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    OK- here are the diagrams with 14 feet instead of 10 feet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd still greatly prefer my net player take away the down the line return when I serve wide. (though my wide serving is almost always to the Ad side) Particularly if someone is getting to the ball late that is just ceding too much ground to them in my opinion. I think consistenly people underestimate how far over they should be sliding when the ball is out side. And when a team is two up I also think that the crosscourt player often doesn't slide nearly enough towards the middle but thats a different discussion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #88
  39. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    OK, I will give you 2". If I serve from the doubles alley to the T, the net is 2" higher than if I served from the center hash.

    In exchange for that 2", I get some things in return. I get the ability to go T, body or wide, coupled with the fact that I am not telegraphing my serve intention so openly. I also get a net person who is a foot or so closer to being able to poach because she doesn't have to shade toward the alley.

    Again, these things are often level-dependent. I play with 4.0/3.5 women, and I get tired of women who alley camp. If my partner starts the point shaded toward the alley, chances are high she won't poach.

    One thing I have noticed in mixed, however, is that the serve and return come very quickly. I don't have time for crouching (at my advanced age) and I don't have time to slide toward the middle after the serve is struck. I really feel I only have time to recognize where my partner hit the serve and take that one step/split.

    That's asking a lot of me in exchange for 2" of net height. :)
     
    #89
  40. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    Yes I think these diagrams are pretty accurate. In the first one though, the server can slide a bit more to his right to cover even more of the sharp CC return. And notice how much court coverage the net player has in diagram 1 - he is in position to end many points there and then. It absolutely presents significantly more of a DTL target than diagram 2. But diagram 2 leaves the net person unable to take advantage of as many shots directed towards the middle of the courts, which are going to be more common (against good serves). Diagram 1 represents the percentage play that IMO will win you more points, until and unless the returner proves that he can take advantage of the DTL opportunity. Maybe it comes down to the individual skillsets of the people involved, and your experiences are different to mine.
     
    #90
  41. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,438
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I tried to put the server in the spot where I think that they normally do cover. I've not known a server to serve and then go stand outside of the doubles alley though I agree by the diagram that they could do so to take away more "winner" returns. I just don't see servers actually setting up any wider than what I put on the diagram. To me if the net player doesn't slide over to cover the alley then the seving team is basically just playing the I formation and its a complete and total waste. Actually... let me put together a diagram of where I think that the net player shoudl be set up if the team is in the switched formation (australian) to make it more obvious how out of position I think the net player is where you want them.

    [​IMG]

    I think that I likely step over even further than that... You have your net player just a couple steps away from where I would put them in Australian formation. I am just a huge believer in sliding aggressively to adjust for the angles.

    REally it just comes down to whether you think that the net player will be able to put away enough balls to compensage for the number of times they are taken down the line into the open court for a winner. Personally I think its suicide to leave that much court open but that very well could be because I have a loopy topspin forehand and thats a ball I always will look to drop down the line if the net person doesn't slide over enough.

    I just can't understand why people would choose to give away the down the line return when thats the easiest return for people who get to the ball late.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #91
  42. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    4,045
    Location:
    NorCal Bay Area
    That's exactly it.
     
    #92
  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,067
    Spot,

    I agree that the net player needs to adjust, but some people adjust too much. Indeed, I think it is more common for the net player to over-adjust than to under-adjust.

    I think you have adjusted enough if you can get a racket on that DTL shot with 1-2step. That means you don't have to be standing in the alley to cover the DTL.

    Sometimes, I keep a mental score of how often the returner win the point DTL versus how often they miss. I have never had a returner burn me more times than they miss long, wide, into the net or into my racket. The worst I have ever done is a tie, and this is in situations when the returner seems to love that shot and tries it at every opportunity.

    My evidence that people over-adjust is this: I like to hit a FH DTL and play deuce court most of the time. I cannot remember the last time I hit a DTL service return. The reason is that most folks alley camp, and if they are going to concede the crosscourt return to me, I am going to take it every time.
     
    #93
  44. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2010
    Messages:
    3,560
    Another key in this discussion, imo, is that we're talking about a "good" wide serve. To me this almost by definition means the returner is going to have trouble just taking it down the alley at will. If someone at your level is feeding you serves that you can accurately take down the alley consistently, either it's not that good of a serve or you are just some awesome alley-returner for your level (I haven't come across many of those, tho I have come across those that try way to often and are successful less than half the time.)

    So if the alley return is low percentage, as the server's partner I'm not at all opposed to letting or even encouraging my opponents to try it.

    On the other hand, if it's a good serve and they take the return crosscourt, it's a pretty easy shot to pull off if the net man is alley-hugging and giving up the whole middle of the court. It becomes much harder if the net-man is actively looking to cut off anything that ends up hanging over the middle of the court (which will be pretty common if it is, again, a good serve imo, it's easy to catch a good wide serve a bit later than you intended). Those floaty middle-court balls will be pretty easy to put away for the netman assuming he's looking for them and isn't letting them float on by, imo.

    As a returner in those situations I personally greatly prefer the opposing net man to over the down the line like a hawk than for them to cut off my not perfectly struck/directed crosscourt return attempts (again, which will be common if the serve is good) for winners.

    If we're instead talking about a weak, floaty sitter serve that just hangs there for the returner to hit wherever they want, then sure, the netman should stand his ground covering the line.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
    #94
  45. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,989
    I'd try to reason with them especially if they don't move well. Make them understand that the whole court is exposed when you do that. If they can't understand that and you are losing a lot, I'd find another partner. Most good doubles teams I've seen keep most of the balls in the middle of the court and when they do hit it wide both are in the service box and alley of the side the ball is in.


     
    #95
  46. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,002
    Watched the Bryans play several games at the US open and I have to admit, they served many more out wide than I'd have thought. Women tended to keep them more up the middle.
     
    #96
  47. corbind

    corbind Professional

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,308
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I agree they served more wide than I've seen in a long time. Yet by and large serving wide in doubles is not the norm in the higher ranks.
     
    #97
  48. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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

    I partially agree with the "overadjust" comment (for wide serves), in the sense that for most of my competition, it is easier to hit a DTL winner (admittedly changing directions, higher net, shorter court etc) than a CC winner, since the server is likely in the forecourt or at least mid court. For that reason I "overadjust" to convince the returner to go CC to my partner's forehand. After awhile some of the more observant returners will start to try to sneak a ball between us just to my FH when I am leaning towards the alley. In that case I will set up in the alley but lean or adjust towards the center of the court, that is, over then under adjust, midpoint.

    None of my competition alley camps routinely, if anything they lean towards the center of the court (where weak returns typically go). Yet another reason why DTL returns are common.
     
    #98
  49. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Messages:
    271
    Can he serve all areas of the box? If so use signals to direct the serve where you want.
     
    #99

Share This Page