What shot would you hit and why?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Say you are playing a 4.0 doubles match, and you are in the deuce court.

    Opponents lob your ad court partner at net. She can't play a smash, so she yells "Switch" and switches to the deuce court.

    You cannot reach the ball to play it out of the air, but you manage to run it down to hit your BH.

    Meanwhile, your opponent who hit the lob runs straight ahead to net. For the sake of this question, let's assume the two opponents take a staggered net position. So as you get ready to hit your BH, you have the deuce court (DTL) player about at the middle of her service box, with the ad court (Xcourt) player shaded toward the middle at about the service line near the T.

    What shot would you attempt in that situation and why?

    A. BH DTL drive.
    B. BH Xcourt drive.
    C. BH drive between the two opponents.
    D. Lob DTL.
    E. Lob Xcourt.
     
    #1
  2. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Depends on who has the Weaker smash at net of 2 opponents that is at net. Lob(Hopefully deep) over opponent with weaker smash and one that tends to Choke more.

    If you have enough time when you get to the ball, you can hit a down the line drive into the alley. I do this and works well. But then I have Awsome down the line 2-handed backhand that looks like david nalbandian's backhand.

    Most of you women who is 3.5-4.0 do not have that shot. so % shot would be lob over weaker opponent. Ohhh, importantly, lob over the weaker person's Backhand side and recover quickly just in case she Shanks a lucky backhand overhead.
     
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  3. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Depends on how fast you are and if you can set up to hit the shot early. My 1st option is a dipping drive between your opponents that will force them to volley up. Then they're at your mercy. If you can't hit the back hand, then the crosscourt lob over the backhand side. Don't lob it down the line as both players could hit overheads or run it down for a FH. If you're really confident about your BH, the BH xcourt drive sharply angled.
     
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  4. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    I would tell my partner, playing "tight to the net", to move back until they couldn't lob her anymore. I would tell her to take the word "yours" out of her vocabulary and to cover her side of the court, that includes all lobs and all drop-shots, and that you'll do the same on your half of the court. Every time they successfully lob her, I would tell her to move back another step until their lobs would have to go long.
     
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  5. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    Depends on how much time I have, but assuming I get to the ball and get me feet set and have the ball in my strike zone, I'll probably play a BH drive down the middle. I like hitting to the middle in spots like this b/c I'll miss less than trying DTL or sharp angle crosscourt, and in my experience it can still be quite effective (not as a clean winner but in eliciting a possible weak shot).

    I'll choose to drive over a lob at least in part because a) I like my 2hbh and can drive it flat (while keeping it low) better than most at my level. and b) my BH lob isn't one of my best/most precise shots (it's certainly something I should work on).

    If I'm not in position to drive it though then a lob becomes about the only option.
     
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  6. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Lob DTL.

    10-awesome-running-BH-drives-by-delusional-4.0-players
     
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  7. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    C. Short drive to the middle, preferably with either hard slice or heavy topspin to cause a little confusion about who should take it and to make it harder to dig out.
     
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  8. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I'd rip a BH DTL into the corner for a winner.

    This is the Internet, right?

    Actually, it depends how tall the net person is. Generally, I would lob deep, probably cross court. Since I am on the move, I'm not sure I could hit this shot with precision, so I would worry about the net person being able to get to my lob and putting it away. If the net person is tall, or moves well, it would make it riskier to try to go over them, so I would go cross court.

    Depending on the skills of the person receiving the lob, I might follow it into the net.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
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  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, that's what I thought.

    It sounds like if you can't set your feet, most everyone would try some sort of lob.

    It sounds like if you can set your feet, most people would still choose not to go DTL but instead go for a 2-shot combination -- either down the middle or Xcourt. Only those most confident in their BH DTL would try it.

    I asked the question because I worked on this scenario with my hitting partner yesterday. Her pro is telling her that the correct shot is BH DTL. Trouble was, she never reached my lob in time to take it off the bounce, so she was stuck trying to hit BH DTL shots with the ball higher than her strike zone from deep in the court.

    The only challenge her shot presented for me was what kind of winner to hit.

    I told her I thought the only decent way to deal with that situation was to take the ball out of the air. If you bounce it, you're probably cooked.
     
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  10. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Lob whichever opponent has the weaker overhead. I really do consider that the "get out of jail free" play and would hope to reset the point where we are in a stronger position.

    I really hate playing with partners who try and pass while stretched in that position.
     
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  11. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    Lob to the weaker players side.
     
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  12. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    F. BH Xcourt very wide with lots of spin.
     
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  13. Alchemy-Z

    Alchemy-Z Professional

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    Lob...because you are running yourself off the court and need time to get back.

    I'd probably go cross court lob just to give more room for error
     
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  14. asimple

    asimple Semi-Pro

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    If you can't set your feet the proper or they closed the net the proper shot is a lob. If you can set your feet and the line is open then I would chip conservatively down the line and approach, or potentially go for an angle if the net player was cheating to cover and the ball was short.

    I just played 8.0 mixed for fun this weekend for the first time though, and based on that experience, I would hit a behind the back shot anywhere and wait for the error :)
     
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  15. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Also you can drive the shot up the middle low towards the backhand volley in the middle. I sometimes hit hard up the middle if I see the netguy shifting to cover the line shot. and this works great too.:)
     
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  16. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    That's what I said. :)
     
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  17. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    guy with atomic forehand has atomic backhand too ???:)
     
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  18. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Interesting that her pro advised her that DTL is the best shot. That is probably the last place I would go because unless you give her something hard and low she's looking at a lot of open court and can dump it off cross court behind your partner for an easy winner. If the ad player is playing deeper I'd look for the sharp angle cross-court and go for the pass, or at least get her to hit up into my partner, but that's a tough shot to pull off unless you hit with a lot of top and I wouldn't expect many people have that shot at ladies 4.0. I'd play it at the seam in coverage, hard and flat line drive.

    If you're still running backwards or sideways lob should really be the only option. If the deuce player is playing shallow and the ad player is at the service line I'd go over the deuce player (unless you know one or the other is just awful at hitting overheads). Either way, throw it up high and deep. Air it out.
     
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  19. emilyhex

    emilyhex Rookie

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    Yep, if you have time to plant your feet, up the middle. Second choice would be a crosscourt to the backhand volley, the lower the better. If you are on the run, lob might be your best choice. Try to give them a shot they can't hit a winner with so you can keep the ball in play and get another look at it.
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I remember doing drills with this particular pro concerning this exact scenario. She advised taking the BH up the line.

    It was a hot mess. The player running down the lob could hit AT BEST a very sad shot into the alley, and the net player could guide it into the huge chasm between the opponents every time. Making matters worse is that the DTL drive goes to the FH of the net player, which is the stronger wing for most players.

    The only way I can see the DTL shot working is if the player's partner gets off the net as soon as the lob goes over her head. Then you at least have two at the baseline and there isn't that huge diagonal alley between them for the net player to volley into.
     
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  21. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Girl with atomic forehand has a wicked, hard slice backhand, and an acceptable topspin 1HBH.
     
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  22. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I had a league doubles match Saturday morning and hit this exact shot. I hit a CC topspin lob off my 2HBH for a winner late in the 3rd set. It felt really good. Earlier, I tried a DTL shot off 2HBH but got blinded by the sun and shanked it terribly. One other occasion, I was able to run around the lob and hit a FH pass DTL.

    In general, I would lob if I were under any stress such as deep in the court or hitting on the run. I would only use a passing shot DTL, DTMid, or CC if the lob allowed me to move into the court and reach it in time to setup.
     
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  23. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    About the only time I'll drive DTL in a situation like this is if the opposing net player basically goes and camps a foot from the middle service line because they are just so sure I won't/can't go DTL.

    But assuming that isn't the case I don't like it from a strategic point of view very much at all given the description of the situation.
     
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  24. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    If you are pulled very wide into the ad court, you could also drive behind them DTL--like around the net post--for a winner. I also like a sky-high lob here--doesn't even have to be CC--aim for the middle of the court, and if the lob is high enough, it will wreak its own havoc.
     
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  25. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    With the Ad court player sitting almost on the "T" I'd try the CC top spin lob. Bonus points if I can get it to go over their backhand side (assuming they are right handed.)

    I think going CC gives you the most room to work with, you just have to get the lob high, deep, and let the topspin bring it in.

    However, other factors such as how fast or how good the ad court's partner's overhead might go into the equation - or how good my backhand is feeling that day or how well the opponent in the deuce court volleys a slice or drive.
     
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  26. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    What I actually do and what I should do are often two different things.

    What I attempt to do is hit a driving one handed dipping backhand that barely clears the middle of the net and forces them to hit up to my waiting partner.

    This approach usually ends up with me going for to much and driving the ball into the bottom of the net.

    From personal experience I would not advocate this one ...
     
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  27. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    If you are in trouble at or behind the baseline, you should do a down-the-line lob, not a cross-court lob, if the players on the other side are equal. Thanks to geometry, we know that on a cross-court lob, the ball will be at a reachable height for the net player sooner than it would be for a down the line lob. So you have less margin of error for a cross-court lob and a greater chance of an overhead being hit at you on a cross-court lob.

    If you can't hit a good groundstroke, another shot that could work in this situation is a low slice ball that barely floats over the net and stays low. It's tough to do, but you were already in a less than ideal situation. But if hit right, the net person will have to hit up on the ball, and you may get an easy shot out of it.
     
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  28. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Similar to many others... If I don't have time to set my feet I'll probably attempt a weak lob DTL that will probably be smashed by the net player in the deuce court. Actually, I'd attempt a good lob but the results are usually about the same.

    If I have time to set I'll hit a cross-court backhand, intending it to bounce near the feet of the ad-court player standing in no-mans land. The fact that they are near the service line means I don't have to aim near any lines for it to be reasonably effective. Topspin or slice depends on how I'm feeling when I get to the ball.
     
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  29. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If you are under pressure, lob.
    If you are anxiously waiting to hit the ball and are confident in your backhand drive it up the middle unless the net player hasn't covered the alley properly. In that case, drive it down the line for the winner.
     
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  30. Angle Queen

    Angle Queen Professional

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    I play the deuce court a lot and have a short(er) ad-side partner. We frequently got the "lob" attempt over her head, forcing me to cover it. After we realized it was happening over and over, we spent an off-season working on it, among other things.

    Here's how we resolve(d) it:

    She decides early whether she's going to try to back up and take it as an overhead OR call for/do the switch.

    If she does the former, I try to set myself for any defensive shot our opponents might put up. Sometimes, I'll even crowd the net even more (after ducking to give her the whole court to hit into).

    If she does the latter, instead of merely crossing over to the deuce side, she'll cross but on a backward angle, trying to settle in around the service line, shading the alley. If I'm hitting (rather than lobbing), she'll move back in to take a more net/aggressive position.

    As for me, I'll try to take it out of the air and "lob" it back to the center baseline hash, so neither DTL nor CC. If I have time, as others have eluded to, I'll still try to put the ball up the middle. But let's face it: as a 3.5/4.0, I ain't drivin' anything. The lower I can keep it the better but still up the middle. The "middle" is generally my play on just about any ball we're "scrambling" for and this scenario is one of them.

    Sadly, though, I'm still mostly just trying to keep the ball in play, make them hit one more ball (that both of us are "ready" for).

    See this "play" more at the 3.5 level than above it, though. Not too much lobbin' going on as I move on up the chain.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    This scenario happens to me quite often, as I have a pretty decent serve, and am always paired with a slow moving, non backing no overhead player.
    Lucky for me, sometimes, I'm lefty, so I skidaddle over and hit a sidespin overhead, clearing the net person, with soooo much spin it drifts from up the center of the court to the ad court alley, dies around the baseline, but still spinning sideways like a top.
    Reverse the situation to an ad court serve and a lob over my partner to my backhand side, and it's usually a heavy backspin CC deep and high defensive lob.
     
    #31
  32. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I don't really like lobbing, so my solution off the backhand is usually just to smack it hard. CC is the higher percentage, so that's probably what I would do! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  33. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    What I believe should be hit: BH CC drive. Why: you are tring to get back in the point and have time to scramble back without hitting the perfect shot. You also don't need as much time to set your feet becuase you can miss to one net player or the other and hav another look.

    What I would (most likely) hit: slice bh dtl and hope I don't screw up my high risk gunslinger shot. then facepalm my UE.
     
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  34. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    is your name Stefanie Graff ? she could hit a slice passing shot easy
     
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  35. sovertennis

    sovertennis Semi-Pro

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    Interesting responses. Trying to hit a heroic shot at the 4.0 level is usual fruitless, esp when in a defensive mode (as you would be if your partner got lobbed and the opponents are hugging the net like barbarians at the gate). In situations like this, I advise my students to remember a key principle: Keep it in play; thus I'd recommend a lob xc (and tell your partner to move back and get set to defend an overhead) or, if you're able to set your feet and get into a strong position, hit a groundie over the center strap. I can't fathom why your pro would suggest a DTL shot.
     
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  36. Rui

    Rui Rookie

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    +1 (it's unfathomable)
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My partner get's lobbed, I go back and across to retrieve, and a DTL shot is one possibility, since the opposing netperson is on the CC side, IF I want a prolonged DTL groundie exchange.
    Me, being somewhat impatient, would rather lob deep CC, move to service line, have my partner move back to service line position, and we both get to hit overheads, or volleys away from the opposing netperson, giving us the attacking position.
    That don't work with passive partner's, of course.
     
    #37
  38. Rui

    Rui Rookie

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    Sovertennis and I are assuming the lobbing team members are both going to be at the net.
     
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Two opposition at net, depends on their positioning and depth from the net.
    A dropping lob is easy to hit heavy dipping topspin, so a topspin shot up the middle is a good call if they don't hug the net.
     
    #39
  40. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    well thats out, doesnt get you anywhere, very unlikely to preasure them and youre adding pace while changing the direction of the ball, there is little benefit. Its not the most effective shot to stay in the point or to turn it around and gives an oportunity for an easy volley into the gap cross court.

    worse things have happened than this shot. The oponent isnt going to change direction with volley DTL so youre partner is covered and they can do to win the point really is a short angle back to you to win it fairly easily and any deapth gives you a crack at the ball from a more stable position than retreiving a lob

    [quote[
    C. BH drive between the two opponents. [/QUOTE]
    This is a possible choice. Chance of communication breakdown for oponents. Easier for partner to intercept especially if you can drill it low at the oponents feet, as there are no easy angles. More allows you to build than anything though as the easiest shot becomes staight back to you deep, again allowing you to hit from a better base to try build in the point.

    Where you put it doesnt really matter, its a shot I'd only play if I knew they were tight as about 95% of overheads are finished in my games so you need to get the ball up and down fast to get it over them, giving you a high chance of making an error. If theyve been missing smashes or look uncomfortable on court its not a terrible play as if you make it, you turn the point around and allow you to get back to the net.



    Personally I'd take C and then look to preasure the weaker vollier in the following shots, I'd take it purely because its gthe most likely choice to keep me in the ralley and give me a chance of nutralising the point creating chances to build or turn around, the others look flashier but are probably more likely to make errors and give chances for oponents to end the point.
    D/E are tricky ones much depends on the oponents and the situation whcih may lead to it being warented over C.
     
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  41. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    What no one answered here is the strategy to take this play away since it is an effective play for the opponents.
    1) Have your net person play Australian formation or even right at the centerline - depending upon the capabilities of the returner. Station yourself at the centerline while serving and serve down the middle. The serve doesn't have to be a big serve, just reasonably well placed. The returner has several choices.
    The standard return will go right to the net player, which is to your advantage. If you net player is in the center, even a backhand which would be a normal down-the-line shot will go right to them. The down-the-line return is covered since you are moving to the left. Also, it is difficult to go down the line to a spot you can't cover they essentially would have to hit a short crosscourt return into a small amount of space. Of course you are ready for the shot you are protecting against, the DTL lob will now be a sitter for you. Move to the left and drive a forehand (or overhead, depending upon the lob) right up the center of the court. You will have plenty of time to set up for the shot. If you desire and you have a good lob, lob it back.
    If they lob cross court, first they have to get it over your partner, and then you have plenty of time to wait for the ball to come to you and hit your preferred shot.
    The only thing you lose is being able to charge into the net full speed to serve and volley.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
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  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    No, not my pro. My pro would consider it slander if I attributed this strategy to him.

    This was another lady's pro, and I was just doing the clinic.
     
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  43. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    You and me, both!
    Last thing I want to do is 1. run over 2. hit a backhand from the baseline against two net players. They've gotten you and your partner to change position and then you have to dig yourself out of a hole with your
    backhand. I'd prefer my partner practice hitting overheads.

    Actually, one of my favorite shots from the deuce court is the lob over
    the net man. Some of them just wont back up! So I keep lobbing. This is very effective at 4.0 and to date I have only run into difficulty with two replies: 1. the player who hits a strong angled BH drive and 2. the player who gets into position and hits a strong overhead from the baseline (that girl was good!)
     
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  44. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yes, thank you! This thread is based on a premise that should not exist. Playing "tight to the net", except on a weak return against a player running full out, who's arm is fully extended and can't get any power on his shot is a strategy with no future.

    The goal of good doubles is to close off the angles for your opponents--it's just geometry. With one up and one back, you're giving your opponents the Grand Canyon of angles to hit into. Setting up "tight to the net" takes ones vision/reaction time away. If they can even get their stick on the lob for an attempt at an overhead, they are in a defensive posture. The lobbed ball (preferably to their BH side) is behind them. They have to hit up, with no power or control and can't put the short lob away for a winner.

    The problem is the modern club player 3.0-4.0 can't hit a volley because they haven't been taught to--so they serve and retreat, resulting in the current one up/one back strategy. Once they get to the finals and come up against two old farts who play in unison, parallel to each other, in each other's peripheral vision, their opponents side of the court resembles a Chinese fire drill of chickens with their heads cut off, desprately yelling "YOURS, YOURS, YOURS".

    I'm loathe to tell my rec partners anything because, either they can't change it in the moment or they get offended. But, one thing that works--until they forget it--is if I tell them to move back a step or two off the net. They can now hit DOWN on their overheads, with power for winners, instead of being off balance, forced to weakly hit up. Also from a step or two back, they have time to focus their eyes and hit a volley, even if they've never been taught properly how.
     
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  45. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    My mixed partner hits a DTL lob from the ad court which screams, "no you will
    not be serving and volleying on me today, nor will you camp out in the ad
    side corner!" We played a match years ago where the lady hugged the net and would crossover on anything over her head, while her husband hit only forehands. Needless to say, we lobbed her on both sides and ran him to death. We'd lost the first set because his forehand was like that, but come the second set he was done. Miraculously, and I kid you not, just as we were
    about to finish him off in the third it began to POUR. It was the funniest thing! All we could do is laugh! They knew they had been saved and we 4 have been friends ever since.
     
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  46. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    While I appreciate that S&V is best and people should have awesome overheads and the like, that is not reality. Not at 4.0, anyway.

    The reality of league tennis up to the 4.0 level is that people can and do lob the BH of the net player. I do it *all the time.*

    Also, remember that this scenario can happen mid-point, when a team is scrambling. I can assure you that there are many players who make a living hitting a short shot to the ad court player to draw her into net and then lob over her.
     
    #46
  47. Chelsie1

    Chelsie1 Rookie

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    When you're drawn in under you usually end up setting up at the net. When you set up at the net don't get too close. Move in for each volley, but then
    back up to your ideal volleying position--back far enough to cover most lobs on your side. For me that's a foot or so in front of the service line. From there I can move in and volley aggressively, but I have to back up afterwards. Or else my partner needs track shoes. BTW, I am very appreciative of my "un-awesome" , but highly effective 4.0 serve, volley, and overhead. : )
     
    #47
  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Yes you see that strategy in singles, but in doubles the team that takes over the net wins due to being able to angle shots away for winners.

    If the ad court player was doing their job, coming in at least to the service line, then the "draw in" shot would not work. The short shot only works if the player is serving and retreating, hanging out at the baseline defending against lobs.

    I can assure you, when I'm hanging out at the service line no one is hitting me any short shots. They're just to my rec partner who's serving and RETREATING or returning that short shot, then scurrying back to the "security" of the baseline. They're giving back the advantage of the offensive position, moving towards the net, where the advantageous angles are.
     
    #48
  49. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Surely you jest. This is TW after all. Where all 4.0s have a 3ft vertical and can easily put away any overhead. Well, other than when another TW member hits an awesome offensive topspin lob that would be a winner even against Isner.
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I watched ladies doubles at IW. Petrova and Srebotnik v. a Chinese player and her Spanish partner.

    Lots of offensive lobs and moon balls, with more botched overheads than you'd expect.

    Then again, those players aren't TT 4.0s. . . .
     
    #50

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