What makes someone a "doubles specialist"?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by quencheu96, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. quencheu96

    quencheu96 New User

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    Hello, I was wondering what exactly makes someone a "doubles specialist", a term I often hear with players like Daniel Nestor.
     
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  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It's a nice way of saying that you couldn't quite cut it on the regular singles tour. And you're old.
     
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  3. quencheu96

    quencheu96 New User

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    If so, how would u explain Radek-Stephanek? He's a former top ten player in both singles and doubles...

    Also, I was hoping for actual differences in serves/volleys/groundstrokes/etc that would make someone more of a doubles specialist...and not a derogatory statement like that....
     
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  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Aside from the "negative" connotation associated with the title "Doubles specialist", it also means the following:

    - You can volley and put balls away all day long. You're not scared just because people can beam balls right at you. If you can't block it with your racquet in hand, then it's your own damn fault.
    - You've got good placement and reliable 1st and 2nd serves. Not necessarily out right heat, but your serve helps you get to the net.
    - You know your court positioning and pretty much know all the angles of the court.
    - You rely on precise shot making versus outright power and/or "push-till-they-cave".
    - You also put on your big boys'/girls' pants/dresses because getting hit at the net is part of the game. No reason to cry about it.

    I play singles and generally hate doubles, but my god, I admire the skills and tricks of these "doubles specialist".
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
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  5. quencheu96

    quencheu96 New User

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    To "Say Chi Sin Lo":

    First of all, really interesting name, I wonder if more people on this forums understand the meaning of it.

    Second of all, you say that "they rely on precise shot making versus outright power and/or "push-till-they-cave"."

    So in your honest opinion, say someone had outright power in their ground strokes but they couldnt work the angles in Singles. However in doubles, they could manage to use this outright power to actually get the required angles and precise shots. Would you say this person is more suited for doubles? Like he'd have enough power to plow through in singles, but his angles were alot better in doubles, would you say he'd be more suited for doubles?
     
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  6. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Generally good serve, good returns, and good volleys. OTOH, being able to hit ten crazy good ground strokes over consistently, especially when stretched out in a defensive position, is not an important skill for the most part.

    Even at the rec level the same holds true I think. Good serves and returns, especially if you can place your returns a bit, some volleys, and an overhead will go a long way in doubles. If you can take a return on the rise and follow it in, the return doesn't have to be smokin' good to be effective. You still get into net, and you only have to cover half of it. If you're not super consistent from the back court it's not going to hurt you as much.

    If there are any high school coaches reading, if you only have your team play singles matches to determine seeding, where consistency is king but weak serves and no volleys are forgivable flaws, you're probably missing out on some good doubles players.
     
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  7. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    If you're Cantonese, then you would get the meaning. :)

    Interesting discussion regarding power vs. angles. I hope I'm understanding you correctly, so you are asking if a power-based game would thrive in doubles? I don't think so. All the net person has to do is block it off at the net. Also, when you're up at the net, you have EVERY angle.

    But when you start hitting short angles and make the net people lunge and pickup half-volleys, now you're in doubles business.

    And you know what? Playing doubles have helped my singles game tremendously. And I'm a scrub when it comes to doubles. But all the volleys, tactics, court positioning practices I get from doubles really help my singles game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
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  8. quencheu96

    quencheu96 New User

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    Hehe I do happen to be Cantonese ;)

    And I was asking because it's somewhat my case. My ground strokes are power-based, however I also have no trouble volleying or rushing the net. So I guess I'm also asking what category I'd fit in better xD
     
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  9. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    You become a doubles specialist when you win more matches playing doubles than singles. That's it. The distinction doesn't necessarily refer to a certain style of play.
     
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  10. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    There's nothing wrong with a power game in doubles. Please, ANY game is good on a tennis court. So if you got to make due with your power game, then play with your power game. Nothing wrong with that.

    All I'm saying is, (short) angles are more effective than trying to tag people and his 100mph line clippers.
     
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  11. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    And I'm hardly qualified to talk about doubles, I'm terrible at it. But those are some of the things I've observed watching these "doubles specialists."

    They all (more or less) exhibit those qualities.
     
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  12. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    To be a good doubles player/doubles specialist you have to have:
    1. A reliable cross court return
    2. Good overhead
    3. Quick reflex volleys
    4. Good spin serve whether it be slice or kick. Flat heaters don't work too well in my experience
    5. Good touch/feel

    Those would be the most important things in my book
     
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  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    most doubles specialists at the top have been top100 playes in singles at some point but usually did not quite make it to the top.
     
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  14. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    Everyone is describing attributes of doubles specialists.. but the meaning is that the player spends the majority of his time playing doubles tournaments and makes most of his money that way.
     
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  15. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    The skills required to be a good singles player or a good doubles player are often quite different. Each game has specialization.
     
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  16. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    The most important serve attribute is to be able to serve in the area consistently where the returner struggles to keep it away from your net man.

    On return you need the vice versa - to be able to return serves which land anywhere to the part of the court where the net man can't reach.

    Volleys - no brainer. Reliable overheads a must.
     
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  17. They are better at doubles than singles. end thread/
     
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  18. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    Took the words right outta my mouth!
     
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  19. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    In college it meant you had a big serve, decent volleys so you can complement anybone in doubles but still can't beat out anyone in singles on your own (usually because you get beat up on the baseline). Meanwhile, you may have 1 or 2 guys in the lineup who are great singles players because they are strong from the backcourt and can grind all day but don't have the tools to complement another player in doubles.
     
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  20. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I guess also it's when you decide early in your career like the Bryan Bros that you'd be content to settle for earning just over $10 million (and counting) as opposed to the $50-75 million that Fed/Rafa/Nole have each made. So that by the time you retire to your Florida seaside community on that measly dozen million or so, you'd look back and think gee I wished I could cut it in singles to afford that other place in Malibu.
     
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  21. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    It means you're better at doubles than singles. It usually means you have excellent serve returns and great hands at net, but lack some skill to be as good at singles.

    Some of the best doubles players in history aren't doubles specialists. John McEnroe is the prime example.
     
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  22. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

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    ^This.
    It means your understanding of doubles dynamics probably exceeds your actual skill level. (I've seen low level players dominate a low level doubles match because they had the better understanding of court positioning and shot placement.)
     
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  23. Graf1stClass

    Graf1stClass Semi-Pro

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    Though, Ms. Saionji, this understanding has sadly changed over the years...

    ...does anyone do forward-back anymore? Lol, I don't even follow doubles.
     
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  24. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Spot on WV
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  25. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Well Mac's game was S&V so, if he had his choice, he'd prefer to play all points at the net (like a doubles player). When he got stuck at the baseline for extended periods, well, it's just a place where he was not as effective. I agree he was (is) an absolutely wonderful doubles player.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
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  26. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    Around here it means you're overweight and good at the net.
     
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