When is it unsporting for the guy to hit his biggest serve in mixed?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I really, really want to write a satirical post suggesting men can hit the ball as hard as they want because the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down...

    so you will only get hurt if it isn't a legitimate smash, or something.

    but that is just completely stupid, isn't it?

    just as well I changed my mind about that post, eh?
     
    #51
  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see what you did there. Unfortunately, such pathetic people exist.
     
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  3. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    oh brave new Missouri that has such people in it..
     
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  4. TeflonTom

    TeflonTom Banned

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    kick serves are usually the most effective option against women anyway, coz they is mostly all short-asses

    most effective serve on wta right now? sam stosur's kicker

    most of the time when u beat a woman with pace its because she is a level or two below u. good female players dont mind pace. in fact a lot of them quite like it
     
    #54
  5. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Not bad, for a Dutch level 5.
     
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  6. Timbo's hopeless slice

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    why thank you, and it's Dutch level 3. (I think!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
    #56
  7. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    Unfortunately, like an above poster, its hardwired into our pysche. Ask any man on the court and of course they are gonna take it easier serving to the women. Like net play, even though I may peg the net girl once in awhile it wont be often as opposed to a man up there.
     
    #57
  8. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    From a strictly logical standpoint this is a nonissue, in the sense that tennis is a competitive game and one with a close to zero injury factor from being hit with tennis balls (despite anecdotal and purely fabricated evidence to the contrary in posts like this one). Of course more to the point it is often a social game and there are an infinite number of ways that individuals describe what is socially acceptable, hence this thread.

    For me, I would take the gender thing out of it and answer the question like I would if I was playing regular doubles, that is if I am playing for fun and we happen to be a lot better than another team, I don't bring my hardest stuff.

    As an aside this issue also is a bigger deal at the beginner level where folks can have very different skill levels on the same court. At the higher levels everyone can hold their own and the OP's question becomes insulting.
     
    #58
  9. Setmatch45

    Setmatch45 Rookie

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    A teaching pro friend summed my game up best I am a 4.0 player with a 5.0 serve and a 3.5 rating. I am lefty with big lefty spin. When playing mixed I will spin balls in on the women instead of hitting a flatter serve or body serve or I will kick a serve to the backhand. I would think I will have that 4.0 rating by the time mixed comes around as well. Also if I am playing 9.0 all bets are off and I blast away to the women player. I know it could be a 5.0 and a 4.0 but I need to be sure to get the points on the ladies side. I did hit a lady once in a 9.0 did not go over well but nothing I could do the guy was a 5.5 playing with a 5.0 rating every point counted and we got killed anyway.
     
    #59
  10. Mike Y

    Mike Y Rookie

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    I don't want to single any one person out, but again, everyone here has these huge serves! It's good that all of us don't play league matches against each other, the early '90s Wimbledon serve-fest matches that would result would be very boring to watch! :)
     
    #60
  11. jservoss

    jservoss Rookie

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    It doesn't matter if a person has a huge serve or not. In mixed a lot of times you can be serving to someone who is a whole rating point below you. In comparison to what their opponent is used to, the serve is huge.
     
    #61
  12. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    If we are talking about league mixed doubles I would go as hard or flat or spiny or angled as it is necessary to win. If I see that she can't handle my topspin serve then I would go all the match with that one, if things get tight I would go up a notch, if things get really tight the IT'S ON! I usually aim to the corners though and never intend to peg her but I do not hold back.
     
    #62
  13. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    It's a disservice to not play at 100% in a competitive match.

    I throw everything I have at them.
     
    #63
  14. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    Assuming this person has played mixed before... not really. They know they are going to face bigger serves than they see from their singles/non-mixed-doubles opponents.

    If you're a 4.5 in 8.0 (competitive) mixed, are you really supposed to play like you're a 4.5 when you serve to the 4.5 opponent and pretend you're a 3.5 when you serve to the 3.5 partner?
     
    #64
  15. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    Assuming jservoss is who I think he is, I will vouch that he has one of the most impressive kick serves you'll ever see at the 4.5-5.0 level. Lefty and nasty - jumps sideways on the American twist enough to make many 3.5 ladies whiff.
     
    #65
  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Making someone whiff is one thing. Hitting someone hard enough to hurt them with a kicker? That is the question.
     
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  17. spot

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    Cindy- We have a guy on our team who has a ridiculous twist serve and has hit several women square in the face because they think the ball is going to their forehand and it jumps back into their body. And its a very heavy ball so no doubt he gets enough power on it that he could definitely injure someone if it caught them in the eye.

    But even for this guy the women after the first few serves the women just back up. They get aced a bunch out wide but they can choose to stand where there isn't an injury issue. (People being worried about their safety during his overhead is for a different thread)
     
    #67
  18. AR15

    AR15 Professional

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    My wife (average 3.5) had a guy almost hit her in the face with a twisty kick serve. The 1st serve was a fault, and his second serve came at her with the same velocity. As she turned to both avoid getting hit, and attempt to return the serve, she twisted her knee - destroying her ACL.

    She's now had ACL reconstruction surgery, and is playing ladies tennis again, but (because of the incident) she won't play mixed doubles anymore
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    #68
  19. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    This was Not while serving but one time, about 2 months ago, I was playing mixed doubles with my wife as a partner in a friendly Friday night league against a couple that each of them is a 4.0, having said that the difference on style of play is remarkable, he plays like a good 4.0 almost low 4.5, she doesn't hit the ball but has really good hands and high tennis IQ. Anyway most of the time he ends up running all around the court while she gets lobbed or passed at the net. In one particular point he was at the baseline and tried to lob me but was just a bit short and I was able to step back and hit an overhead, I have to say that I have pretty good control of my overheads and I could had swear that i saw her moving to the add side on the net and he was running to the deuce side at the baseline so I directed my overhead to the deuce side and hit a very clean overhead ... to my surprise she was still at the deuce side at the net and my shot was directly to her face, right in the middle actually, now, she does have good hands and was able to put her racquet to protect herself and the damage was not that bad but any other lady would had left the court with a broken nose for sure. It was pretty scary and I was really ashamed and the lady was furious! this was my first time ever hitting the net person with an overhead, her husband was more trying to calm down the situation but it was pretty awkward. Anyway my point is that you can control things up to a point, if the other side doesn't cooperate to NOT get hit accidents can happen.
     
    #69
  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Why would someone worry (as far as injury is concerned) about a shot that by definition has bounced (and therefore has slowed dramatically) at least 18 feet in front of them? This assumes that they are standing inside the baseline and that the serve hits the service line. If they stand a few feet behind the baseline as most players do and the serve lands a foot or two inside the service line then the shot will likely travel 25 feet of so after bouncing. Ho hum...

    Much ado about nothing.

    If there is a player who would get injured from a serve, I would not let them anywhere near a bathtub (or playing at the net).
     
    #70
  21. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    #71
  22. Spokewench

    Spokewench Semi-Pro

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    Cindy: Maybe my answer will be a real answer to your question?

    as you know, I am female. Don't play mixed much, but occasionally; more lately.

    I've only been hit off a serve once by a guy (who was a high college level baseball player) and could serve pretty well

    He hit a body serve at me that I just did not quite react well enough to so at hte last minute I turned to get out of hte way. It glanced off my leg - no big deal, and we went on to play. I don't worry too much; I can usually get a racquet up to balls that are going to hit me (serves or otherwise) or I can usually dodge or duck out of they way.

    I hate it when guys don't serve to me like i know they can. However, It usually backfires on them
     
    #72
  23. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    So you would be OK just standing a few feet behind the baseline, closing your eyes, and letting some 4.5 players just crack serves at you? There are plenty of guys who have serves where the ball crashes into the backstop. I have no clue how you think someone couldn't get hurt by that.
     
    #73
  24. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

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    Because it's a tennis ball and they don't even leave bruises.

    There are maybe 6 sq inches on a guy, less on a woman where, if hit, you couldn't just brush it off, and even then you would have to be very very very (note the number of "very's") unlucky to have anything serious happen.

    If you are worried about being injured (not hurt) by a tennis ball anywhere on the court, you are just reinforcing the stereotype about tennis players and toughness.
     
    #74
  25. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    It's not about the speed of the serve when you're talking spin serves. It's about a new players inability to respond to the ball mid-flight after it takes an unexpected direction change after the bounce.

    Many players cannot do this and occasionally, someone goes get hit in the face.

    We're not talking a fast flat serve into the body. We're talking a serve that someone is going to try and hit, that spins into the body (face) and couldnt respond. This is a totally different effect than getting hit with a flat serve.

    I was taking community lessons once and I was playing around with my serve. I serve the ball probably 40-50 mph and the lady who was receiving it tried to run in and pound the ball. She was "bigger" and obviously new. She got hit in her eye, dropped her racket and fell to the ground. People thought I somehow beaned her directly across the net or something and the teacher even asked me "Did that serve go in?" lol.

    You're not beating them with pace. You're beating them with the unexpected movement.
     
    #75
  26. OrangePower

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    Not to derail the thread, but tennis balls most certainly can leave bruises - I know because I'm currently sporting a yellow-purple crescent shape on my thigh. :)

    Got caught flush by an overhead at point-blank range a few days ago (men's 4.5 dubs). Not a big deal though - it was not intentional, and I could carry on playing no problem. So I don't consider it an injury although it sure did leave a bruise!
     
    #76
  27. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Yes, a tennis ball can leave a bruise. One cold and nippley night, I got hit square in right pect by an overhead playing 4.5 doubles. I had a dark bruise extending like a perfect halo around my man teat... and it hurt so bad, I wanted to cry... but, of course, I pretended it didn't phase me at all. :eek:

    I've also been hit by a serve when I tried to leap over a jamming delivery that had landed out. Let's just say my vertical wasn't as steller as I had hoped, and I took one on the nuggets. Again, I just pretended it didn't happen... even though I wanted to crawl under a bush and heave. (No bruise on that one.)

    Aside from the mis-step that AR15's wife took, I can't really imagine getting seriously injured by a serve while returning. However, I keep waiting for someone to bring up that linesman that Stefan Edberg murdered with a serve when he was 17:

    http://voices.yahoo.com/linesman-dick-wertheim-killed-tennis-ball-served-10186721.html
     
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  28. NadalDramaQueen

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    I usually just hit kick/twist serves to women in the rare occasions that I actually play mixed doubles, but maybe I should rethink this. I didn't know so many people were taking kick serves to the face.

    Of course a tennis ball can leave bruises, but I just find it difficult to believe that getting hit by a tennis ball is as bad as everyone says. I played college baseball and I know that getting beaned with a fastball hurts, and can potentially kill if it hits you just right, but I'm not buying it with a tennis ball.

    I was always terrified of getting hit with the ball when I was up to bat, but I have never felt that type of fear when playing tennis, even when someone is about to crush an overhead in my direction. Turn your body, protect your face and calm down.
     
    #78
  29. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    League / Tournament - Hit whatever serve will be most effective no matter who your opponent is. If that's flat serves to the body of a female opponent then so be it. If you determine that you will win comfortably then you can back off but out of the gate you give it your all.

    Friendly match - back off a bit if your female opponent seems a bit scared of your serve. You are there to have fun after all and playing points out is more fun than blasting your serve past a woman.
     
    #79
  30. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    That's definitely debatable because he got hit in groin but died of a head injury.

    The ball just made the guy fall over, loose his balance, or w/e you wanna call it. The ball didnt cause the guys brain to hemorrhage.

    It's not the same thing as a hockey puck going over the glass and killing someone, or causing chest trauma after being hit directly in the chest.
     
    #80
  31. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Once again would you be OK with standing a few feet behind the baseline with your eyes closed and letting college level players pelt you with serves for an hour? You can say you would be unlucky to be seriously injured by doing so but its also a definite possibility.
     
    #81
  32. FloridaAG

    FloridaAG Professional

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    Socially - I generally do not hit hard serves at women (not that I am such a hard server) -there is not much point

    League - I would have no problem hitting any serves unless the player was extremely weak (but that would be true regardless of genger)
     
    #82
  33. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    On you maybe. :)

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I do know for a fact that tennis balls do leave bruises. Surely you meant to write something else there?
     
    #83
  34. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Congratulations!!! You win the Most Ridiculous Strawman Argument of the Month Award!!!

    Yes, you're right, that is practically a direct quote of what I said.

    Seriously though, I stand by my point that in the scenario you describe there are essentially no 4.5 women who (admittedly with their eyes open since they are, you know, playing tennis) would be injured by the sort of serves you referenced.
     
    #84
  35. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    What about a 3.5 woman facing a 4.5 man's serve? That's not an uncommon event in 8.0 mixed. Not trying to imply that you're off-base, but a 4.5 male serving to a 3.5 female is about as big of a mismatch as you can find in a USTA match.
     
    #85
  36. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    I'm currently sporting a tennis ball sized bruise on my upper thigh that confirms the above quote.

    It wasn't off the serve, but it hurt and I couldn't put full weight on that leg for about 10 minutes without pain. The bruise is still very noticeable 6 days later.

    As for hard serves: I'm a 3.0 that plays 7.0 Mixed so face some 4.0 guys with decently paced serves. I stand back and do my best to block. I would never expect or want them to alter their serve to me based on my being a woman and wouldn't want my partner to alter his serve either.

    However, as others have noted, I have more trouble with the kick 2nd serve than I do with any booming first serves. It sucks once the guy figures that out and I get nothing but 2nd serves. :(
     
    #86
  37. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    A 3.5 woman playing 8.0 mixed deserves no mercy. She is stepping onto the court with a partner that is likely the best player in the match. She has to know there is a big target on her and her opponents will hit every shot they can in her direction. If she can't handle that, then she shouldn't be playing 8.0.

    Of course, that's one reason why I'd like to see the USTA mixed leagues follow the same rules as the other leagues. For example, "4.0 Mixed" would be limited to players with ratings no higher than 4.0.
     
    #87
  38. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    8.0 mixed should allow male 4.0 + female 4.0 (in this case the male is in absolute terms a half level or so stronger than the female), or male 3.5 + female 4.5 (female stronger by half level or so).

    Male 4.5 + female 3.5 is just too large a gap in abilities.

    Then again I don't play mixed so what do I know :)
     
    #88
  39. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

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    Another important thing to point out that in competitive mixed doubles the strategy is: "hit to the lady" and "broke the lady's serve", men are supposed to hold their serve so you better do your job and crank it to the lady, your serve I mean.
     
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  40. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    This is what would happen in that scenario:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjgwlAouBnE

    Scroll to :35. Yes, serious injury a definite possibility.

    Or, this could happen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu32i5MrGto or...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cjDel-QMQ4&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
    #90
  41. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, if someone thinks they are going to do well in 8.0 mixed with a 4.5 man and a true 3.5 woman (and for your scenario to happen both teams would have to have that makeup), more power to 'em. I agree with you that the 3.5 woman would have a devil of a time returning the opposing man's first serve.

    But I would not put her injury risk any higher returning serves than it would be for playing the net routinely against the same opposition, in fact I would put it much lower. Not to imply that her overall injury risk would be high, or even moderate, it would likely be low, very low overall playing anywhere on the court.
     
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  42. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Someone else also said that its important to let the woman in mixed "know where you're at" too. Sometimes if you take it too easy on them they will get aggressive with their net play or returns. I dont believe in being unsporting, like beaning someone "just because" but I dont believe that the weaker player (usually the woman) should take advantage of it either.

    You know what pisses me off the most in mixed? Women receivers who stand right next to the T. Why women? Because if a guy does it, I just blast it right at them and I dont care if I hit them. I wont do that to a woman. What I usually do is just take a wild swing out wide and once they see that pace they dont stand there anymore. People who think they can stand on the T so their opponents wont chance serving there out of fear of hitting them... PFFFTT lol.

    Sometimes I like it when someone gets beaned because then the real game can start cause people are more relaxed afterwords. In rec games, people play too nice sometimes.

    A 3.5 girl playing 8.0 has to be ready to step up to the plate and shouldnt be dragged into it. A solid 4.5 player is competitive at the college level, especially in doubles.
     
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  43. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    Man, you guys are sensitive.

    I've gotten hit in the groins several times (plus face, plus neck, and everywhere else). Yes, it hurts, but it leaves no permanent mark or pain (and no visible blood). The injuries I got from playing soccer/baseball/softball/basketball are FAR FAR worse (some with frightening amount of gushing blood).

    I will stand in front of tennis ball for an hour compared to ANY of those other sports.

    I mean, C'MON, it is a soft rubber ball covered in felt. Suck it up, man. If you are afraid of getting hurt by that, you really shouldn't be playing sports.
     
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  44. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Did you see the idiot kid in the video I posted? He was acting out the tough guy routine you are talking about.

    I'm not scared to take on a big server, but if Roddick was coming at me with 140...I'd be a little nervous.
     
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  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Guess where i stand when the male opponent is serving to my partner?

    At the T. You know why? Because that is the best place to stand.

    Many times an errant serve heads toward me. I just duck or side-step it.

    The serves at 8.0 mixed and below just are not a huge threat. They may be hard to return, but there isn't much danger in getting anything more than a bruise, if that.

    And yes, if i can take a big cut at the guy's serve, i will.
     
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  46. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    Please educate me on doubles tactics. Standing at the T when you're receiving? That's stupid because you're playing "chicken" with the server gambling on the fact that either:

    1) You can get out of the way in time.
    2) You hope they wont serve there just so they dont hit you. (lame tactic)

    If they hit you anytime other than after a let, its their point and your injury.

    Standing a little wider on your side of the box and then moving in to the center of the court is much more sensible. If you wanna play chicken with the serve by standing at the T just to feel brave thats up to you. That's hardly the "best place to stand" lol.

    A flat serve at your feet full speed (because you're inches away from the T) is not at all like an accidental framed serve that goes at the wrong (net) person.
     
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  47. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Ah, sorry. I thought you meant standing at the T when my partner is receiving.

    I will stand in if the guy is serving spin. If he body serves me . . . I will try to block it back. If i msjudge it, i may have to duck. I have never been hit.

    If you serve me soft cheese, i will try to smack it though. Why wouldn't I?
     
    #97
  48. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    It is what I mean. Neither you nor your partner should be standing that close to the T when you are receiving serve regardless of who is actually returning the ball. It doesnt do anything except look silly, risk loss of point, and risk injury. If you want to cut off a potential bad return by your partner you dont have to stand on the T. You can stand well on your side of the court and take a step in after the server hits the ball. Most people do that.

    The only difference is that (in mixed especially) some people try to "shield" the T with their body hoping that the server wont risk beaning them so their partner can have an easier time returning the serve. This is such a lame tactic because it works most of the time, especially when a man is serving to a man and both women are at net. The guy definitely doesnt want to bean his (girl) partner in the back nor does he want to bean the opposing teams girl with a serve.
     
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  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm a little confused, probably because I introduced the idea of the receiver's partner into the mix. So let's separate them.

    If I am returning in mixed . . .

    I stand in a normal position (say, a foot outside the baseline) when the guy serves. From there, I adjust. See, you have to remember that a 3.5-4.0 guy does not own all serves to all lcations yet. I just have to figure out what this particular guy has and then return it.

    This will usually encouage the guy to do something else. Overhit. Try less reliable locations. Bust out with a kicker he doesn't own.

    Often, the guy will use spin. The answer to that is to stand in closer. But if I do that, the guy will body serve me. So what I do is start in my usual position and the move forward during the toss. I mix it up and stay back sometimes, so he has to guess some.

    None of this works against guys who can hit all the spots with different spins, but I have only met a couple of guys who could do this. They were bumped up, thank goodness.

    If my partner is returning, I stand at the T, and I maintain that this is the best place to stand. If the serve comes up the middle, I move. If my partner's return is not poached, I move up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
    #99
  50. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Cindy and NTRPolice would make a great doubles team - said no one ever
     

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