Which partner would you pick?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm wondering which player is the better partner for me. They stack up like this:

    Groundstrokes: Karen has big groundies that many opponents struggle to return -- pace, depth, topspin. She will miss sometimes. Melissa has groundies that resemble Chris' Everett strokes from back in the day -- floaty, no spin, not much pace, but consistent and accurate placement. Melissa is in trouble if two opponents take the net and gets flustered if the net player is active, whereas Karen can blast a passing shot.

    Serve: Karen has a topspin serve that opponents struggle to return. Trouble is, she DFs a lot. It is easy to poach off of Karen's serve, and Karen has never been broken when we've played together. Melissa has a very steady serve -- each one right up the middle of the box with no pace, spin or variety. It is hard to poach off of her serve, and she is more likely to be broken because opponents can tee off on it if they have the skills.

    Volleys: I'd say they are about equal. Karen hits her volleys harder but misses into the net a lot. Melissa doesn't put much on her volleys and thus may hit sitters or not put away balls she should or get passed down the alley, but her placement is sneaky.

    Movement: Neither is fast, but it is easier to get a lob over Melissa than Karen. Karen has much better footwork overall. Both will transition to net.

    In general, Melissa is very successful against opponents who do not hit with pace but it gets ugly if the pace picks up. Karen doesn't mind pace but makes a lot more UEs; I sometimes do not hold serve when playing with Karen because of UEs. With Melissa, I often hold serve without her hitting a ball.

    Who is the stronger partner?
     
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  2. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    Very hard to tell. Tennis is about matchups. If I have to pick one, I would go with Karen.
     
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  3. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    What is your style of play, Cindy?
     
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  4. damazing

    damazing Rookie

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    You basically described these players as the choice between consistency versus power.

    I think the answer really depends on which way the teams in your league fall - and with the thought that the league style may have changed due to the ratings shake up.

    I'd go with the power player because if your league has more power players the consistent one wouldn't be able to handle the pace and would likely be broken several times each match. If your league has more finesse players the power player would be able to overpower them with her shots and serve, and if she starts to double fault you can advise her to really ratchet down her serve "just get it in" and the opponents aren't likely to tee of on it.
     
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  5. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    I'd pick whichever one is the stronger mental player and doesn't let emotion take her out of her game.....
     
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  6. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Karen in my opinion.
     
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting. My pro says Melissa. He values consistency above all else and thinks tweaking Melissa's strokes to add power won't be that hard.

    My own style is pretty aggressive, for better or worse. I rarely miss a groundstroke into the net. When I miss, I miss long.

    It is a close question. I guess I could say that if I have to lose a tennis match, I would rather lose by my (and my partner's) own hand. If we keep missing we will lose, but at least we controlled our own destiny. The opposite problem (having your partner struggle with pace and lacking the power/spin needed) makes me feel kind of helpless, you know?
     
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  8. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    That's a common 3.5 dilemma.

    Melissa might beat more opponents at 3.5 then Karen consistently, if Karen's "inconsistency" is really to the level where you're not sure if you'll win a match or not.

    But if your opponents are strong enough Melissa may lose every single time and Karen might at least have a chance.

    I dont know about women, but in the men's game I notice this seems to happen near the top of 3.5. A pusher can beat almost every 3.5 player, and male teams with no pace but are consistant can win most of the time if they are smart enough, but as they get to the 4.0ish players (many of which have been moved to 4.0 anyway), they will never win.

    It really has to do with what you do best as well and which one compliments your game and what makes you feel more confident out there.
     
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  9. tennis24

    tennis24 Rookie

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    Karen sounds like the overall better player
     
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  10. Edward DFW

    Edward DFW Rookie

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    Sounds like Karen has more ability and gets better results even though she is more inconsistent. Based on that, I would roll with her.
     
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  11. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    I would prefer Karen, TBH, but then again, I'm a "Karen" style-wise as well. The problem in doubles as you start to face better opponents is that consistency without pace and intent doesn't get you anywhere, and you'll likely end up being off balance for the entire match.

    As a personal example, when my 3.5 team was at sectionals last fall, my dubs partner and I had played an entire season of 4.0. The teams that we played had won most of their matches just by getting the ball back - we played offensively and were able to put them on the defensive, even though I have no doubt that we missed our share of shots. As a result, we swept through losing 1-2 games per set.
     
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  12. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Karen would be more fun to play with.

    You would win more with Melissa.

    That's because at the 3.5 level, many, many more points are 'lost' rather than 'won'. Next time you're playing a practice set try to keep track of how points end (or get someone to assist), and see for yourself. Especially if you are more of an aggressive player yourself, you will do better with a consistent partner.

    So, it depends on where your priorities are. Have fun / improve, or win now.
     
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  13. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Pick the player you can shout at the most without her breaking into tears.
     
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  14. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Consistency wins. Pick the partner that offers the most consistency as a team when paired with you. Perhaps Melissa? Not entirely sure from what you've stated...
     
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  15. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Other things to figure into the decision is which player complements your game more and personal chemistry on the court.

    My wife is a strong 4.5 and struggled playing with another strong player on her team. She then had better results with another player with a different style from hers (some perceive as "weaker", but it's really just different). They worked better together and the communication was better.
     
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  16. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    They way you describe both players you speak of Karen in a positive light... and you tend to belittle Melissa's game. I personally would probably choose Melissa... being that I like to play an agressive game but find that more often than not I need to play a more consistent style of tennis to make up for my partners errors.

    The few opportunities I have had a consistant partner on my team I have been able to unleash my game and go for shots... knowing my partner was going to be able to return a lot of balls and keep us in the match. It also defined our roles... knowing that he would hold us in the match... while it was my job to win key points. I find a lot of comfort in that. Plus it gives you more variety in your game as a team... which could prove a problem for opponents.

    When playing with an aggressive player that hits a lot of winners and makes a ton of UE's... you can either win big... or go up in a ball of flame quickly.

    Besides... I have always found that a consistant hitter can step up their games, they just need a little encouragement. They have the skills they just need to use them.
     
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  17. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    My vote, too...


    ...whomever you feel most comfortable with, personality-wise, on the court, is always a big consideration....
     
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  18. Dave Mc

    Dave Mc Rookie

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    There should be at least one really consistent player on your doubles team to be successful... either you or your partner. If you are very consistent, go with a powerful risk-taking partner... if you are the powerful risk-taker, go with a consistent partner. On the other hand, which of these ladies has the best potential to improve throughout the season? Will the powerful risk-taker eventually get more consistent? Will the consistent soft-hitter eventually learn to hit harder?
     
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  19. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    Karen.....

    I need someone that can give me the opportunity to attack. Though Melissa is steady and accurate, it only helps if she can take the offensive when the opportunity presents itself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
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  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is Evert
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Your choice is between Martina (Karen) and Chrissie (Melissa). Both are legends. Pick the one who is nicer to you (I suspect it will be Chrissie).
     
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  22. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Both women are equally delightful as partners. Both work hard on their games. No issues there.

    Ripper, I'm surprised that you think the description of Melissa was more negative. I tried to describe them as neutrally as possible, resisting terms such as "pusher" or "mindless basher." I did feel it was important to point out Melissa's weakness, because saying she is consistent without explaining the downsides of the pace issue would lead to everyone saying "Of course you go with the most consistent of the two."
     
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  23. burosky

    burosky Professional

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    You should go with the one who compliments your game. You mentioned that your style is more similar to Karen than Melissa. With this in mind, I would think Melissa would be a better compliment to your game because her game provides balance to your pair. Just my .02 cents.
     
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  24. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    It is just whenever you speak of Melissa there seems to be a negative statement... with Karen... if you say something negative you follow it up usually with a positive statement.. such as:


    Melissa is in trouble if two opponents take the net and gets flustered if the net player is active, whereas Karen can blast a passing shot.

    Karen has a topspin serve that opponents struggle to return. Trouble is, she DFs a lot. It is easy to poach off of Karen's serve, and Karen has never been broken when we've played together.

    It just felt like you were praising Karen over Melissa... but I could be wrong. I tend to misread things...
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe. But Karen was described as missing a lot -- volleys, groundies and serves. We all understand "missing a lot."

    Is it easier to get a passive player to dial it up or to get an overly aggressive player to dial it down? That is the tricky question in deciding which one will do better over the long haul.
     
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  26. Razda

    Razda Rookie

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    I would go with the one I have a closer relationship with.
     
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  27. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    We all miss... and missing a lot is subjective.

    I am definitely the latter... I am an all court player that can off the ground and go to the net if it is needed. I don`t really have a preference... but if push came to shove... I like to serve and volley.

    As an aggressive player I find it hard to dial down my game... it makes me feel like I am pushing and I don`t get as good a feel for the ball on my racket. I cannot speak for the passive player but I would think that they could transition up much easier than having someone transition down. Being more aggressive is just a mindset... being consistant and accurate is a skill. The reason Melissa is not that aggressive is she has learned that high precentage tennis wins matches... and she has problems with making unforced errors which is part of the game if you are going to take risks in an attacking game of tennis. Once Melissa accepts that fact that a few more errors are acceptable... I am sure she will easily transition up.

    I have seen many consistant players learn to be hard hitting aggressive players as they level up... I have seldom seen aggressive, attacking, risk taking players get more consistant.

    Here is a question for you... at a crucial time in a match... would you rather be playing with the risk taker... throwing the dice or the conservative player who you know is going to give you the opportunity to win the point or at worst force your opponent to do it.

    It is a bit of the tortoise and hare scenario... the flash of the big game can sometimes make you forget to appreciate the meat and potatoes of a solid hitter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
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  28. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Exactly...

    ...it's well to do the skills comparison, but if you're going to have an effective partnership, your partner has to choose to play with you as well as vice versa. If you're evaluating two competing house cleaning services, that's one thing, but I think forming an effective doubles partnership goes beyond just a skills assessment. My ultimate test for a doubles partner is always "Would I have fun on the court with him/her, and would I feel like having a beer with him/her after the match, win or lose?"
     
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  29. Spinz

    Spinz New User

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    Go with Melissa and do drills where she is the set up player for you. A lot of really great doubles teams have a set up player and a finisher. What your pro is trying to get across is that doubles is about discipline. You have to make the shots.
     
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  30. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    I am with Ripper014, I would personally take the more consistent player every time. The most important part of tennis is being consistent and not beating yourself, especially at the levels where most can’t blow you off the court consistently. Life is always easier with a consistent partner as you have learned and referenced above. You can’t count on a flailer who over hits consistently as it is feast or famine. They make things more difficult than it needs to be. I don’t care how hard someone hits the ball if it only goes in 25% of the time. It always surprises me how many people never seem to learn this important lesson. You can’t win if you can’t keep it in play.

    Let me give an example in my experience. I fill in in a 3.0-3.5 group after one of my groups if they get desperate (they seem to have a lot of no shows for some reason). I always win very easily with the partner who keeps it in play and we roll. No, I am not abusing people to show I am better. I am there to fill in and help them out as blowing them off the court accomplishes nothing IMHO. I play to their speed and only hit as hard as needed and try to demonstrate why I am doing the things I am doing and most seem to understand more of what a more advanced player is thinking and why. The partners who think hitting it hard equates to more success are always more of a struggle (or who may be trying to show they can hang). We still win but the sets are much closer than they should be.

    A funny thing happens though. When they have me as a partner (we rotate every set), they notice how I never over hit the ball or rush a shot and only hit it as hard as needed. I explain all this philosophy if they ask and almost all do ask for pointers. Once I tell them the most important part of the game is keeping it in play and that I never hit 100% all out but 5-10% of the time. Soon they start noticing this in real time and those who see the light so to speak and dial it down invariably learn how much easier life is if you keep it in play and play within yourself, no matter what your skills are. They always comment how much it helps to see how to do it, but more importantly, the WHY of it. Not an apples to apples comparison with your scenario granted, but some parallels can be made.

    But then I am a more aggressive, consistent player myself. If you were more passive, you might be better off with someone who takes more chances so what is the best partner for my game may not be best for you or someone else. Maybe you can switch between the two depending on who your opponents are as you have been playing a while and likely know many players (although this will be tougher this year with the ratings changes).

    Good tennis

    TM
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
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  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I would prefer she went with some one who complements her game.
     
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  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Cindy is a married woman
     
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  33. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Happily..??? :) Could be hope for Razda yet...
     
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  34. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I know this is all pretty much standard gospel among teaching pros, but its something I have a really hard time swallowing. I'll start by saying I'm only going by what I've experienced in a short few years of adult league play.

    It seems to me that the players who don't stagnate are the ones who take risks by pushing their game to the max. That means being highly aggressive, developing power, learning how to dictate play and control the points. You don't learn to do this by playing conservatively and keeping the ball in play. Since I'm talking about adults here, most of us don't have the opportunity to do drills where we are aiming for the corners for hours, so alot of our stroke development happens through our match experience. If we don't go for bigger shots during matches, then we will never learn to execute them nor develop the confidence to prepare us for higher levels of play, where we must hit bigger shots to survive.

    The more consistent players seem to be the ones who stagnate because they don't have the guts to take risks and learn something new because they only care about winning in the present. Alot of them have poor mechanics that only allow for conservative play to begin with. This is one of those issues i have with the statement about adding power to someone's game. If they have consistent (but incorrect) strokes, then trying to add any power will result in failure because either 1) they will have to change their strokes to accomodate it or 2) will become too inconsistent and will stop attempting power because they will start losing.

    I've always been a player who developed power early on, and sure I have my struggles with consistency and have just accepted that playing a power game with big strokes will require a ton more repetitions to master than if I played with a more conservative style. But in the end I have confidence it will pay off as long as I'm willing to continually put in the effort to get the strokes where they need to be. Everytime I get beat by a more conservative player it helps me discover the limits of my game. I can better judge when I should use my power and when I shouldn't. Its not like I sit there and go for a winner on every shot and never learn from it. I have developed tons more consistency than when I was a 3.0, even though I was hitting with probably the same amount of power back then.

    Recently I've taken a few lessons with a good 5.0 teaching pro/men's tournament player in my area, and he basically told me to stay aggressive and to put my power to good use. He didn't tell me that I should only keep the ball in play, even when I have opportunities to attack.

    Thats just my 2 cents, and why I vote for Karen all the way.
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    She has a husband who pays for her expensive tennis habits. What else could she wish for?
     
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  36. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Responding to Raiden, Ripper and Tennisman while being too lazy to quote . . .

    To me, tennis as your level improves isn't just about the MPH you can put on your shots. It is about having gears. I like to play aggressively. But I don't necessarily start the match with the most high-risk strategy/shots/positioning I can do. I start with plain vanilla tennis. If that is good enough, fine. Take the win and go home.

    If not -- and as I play at higher levels I am finding it is not -- then I change gears. Might start S&V. If that doesn't work, then try lobbing. If that doesn't work, try junkballing and taking off pace. If that doesn't work, there's always poaching, Aussie . . . You get the idea.

    Who is more likely to have gears and develop gears over time, Melissa or Karen?

    Don't focus on the personality angle. I get along with both Melissa and Karen equally well. That's not a factor.
     
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  37. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I think for most people this is how they play tennis. I have a pretty strong game with lots of options available to me... (not all of them available everyday at my full command).

    Like you I basically play my game and dare you to beat me... obviously if you are beating me I need to make adjustments to my game. I don't however find that there is as much variety in doubles, it is more about making good returns... controlling the net... and forcing your opponent to give you something you can end the point with. When I play doubles points seldom last more than 3 hits, it usually ends with a good serve... a good first volley and then the point is over on the next.

    As mentioned earlier... I still feel it is easier for a consistant hitter to transition to a hard attacking player than it is for an aggressive attacking player to become consistant. I said it earlier... being an attacking player is a mindset (anyone can hit hard)... being consistant requires a skillset.
     
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  38. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    What level player are you talking about with this observation? Seriously every player I've met who started in the 3.0s or 3.5s within the past 2-4 years and is a 4.0 or 4.5 today has an aggressive (and sometimes inconsistent) game.

    A consistent player is going to be used to a certain level of success. Trying to add power and learn to play more offensively is going to drop that level of success for a while, which alot of people just can't handle.

    If you have a power game from the beginning you are naturally going to learn what works and what doesn't through match experience and tips from others so you will develop consistency over time. So you don't have to go from winning to losing in order to improve. You will go from losing just to winning as your consistency increases.

    I completely disagree that anyone can hit hard, because I've seen many players who can't because they don't have the technique. Any pusher can be consistent without having much skill.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
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  39. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I play about a 5.0 level... and many of those I have played with started off playing a fairly aggressive game... influence probably too much by what we saw on TV. The players that I felt were the best... started out with a good solid foundation... that was built on consistant play. I am not talking about just pushing the ball back but players with good stroke production. They then evolved taking more risks in their games... but there is a balance between being aggressive and taking unneccessary risks.

    The other thing is we are talking about recreational league tennis... I doubt Cindy is going to advance much further than 4.0 max... no disrepect intended... at age 50 if you have not reach it yet... odds are that you won't.
     
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  40. Gemini

    Gemini Hall of Fame

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    I find it easier to get an overly aggressive player to dial it down just from personal experience. Just from my experience, when I try to ask a passive player to do more it generally causes him or her to lose control of his or her game and can result in more errors. On the flip side, if I ask the aggressive player to stay aggressive but use more spin or hit a safer volley it usually helps reduce the errors.
     
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  41. JavierLW

    JavierLW Hall of Fame

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    Well this is a thread about doubles, not singles.

    And in doubles consistency is important. Whether that means your shots are threatening or not is a different story.

    If you are constantly missing serves or returns you are screwing up your partner and you can keeping them from being able to get into any rhythm themselves. Which is really important in a game where you only hit the ball half of the time.

    Usually at 3.0 or 3.5 though it's not really a matter of "oh they are going for it!", it's more of a matter of whether they are making smart shot selection decisions out there.

    A lot of times players are trying to win the whole entire point on the first shot and they miss, when an aggressive shot right at the other deep player would of done nicely. (since you have someone helping you out)

    Or they do not exhibit good technique. Maybe it looks like they are going for it because they are hitting the ball HARD, but they possess rapid jerky strokes that are unreliable and do not give their partners enough time to help out.

    Keeping the ball in play is part of playing doubles at least when you are just trying to get in the point or gain the upper hand. Good teams win mostly every point on the 2nd or 3rd shot, but you have to have a good solid game plan to get you there.
     
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  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, I guess that is my experience as well.

    When I was a 3.0 and a new 3.5, I had a wonderful partner I liked a lot. We did very well together. She hit the ball crazy-hard. That was her thing. She won a lot.

    We were playing a match and winning, as usual, with a big lead. She said, "You know what? We're winning. Go ahead and hit the ball as hard as you can at these guys." What happened? My shots went out. Way out. 'Cause I didn't have the technique to hit harder.

    I think a lot of players who bash and make UEs could dial it back upon request. We all have a range of pace we can generate. The question is whether they decide to do it, and they may not.
     
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  43. D. Net Tricks

    D. Net Tricks New User

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    I wish we knew more about what your doubles playing style is like these days. From your posts that I've read recently, I'm assuming that you're a now a seasoned 3.5 on the cusp of moving into 4.0 land. I'm also going to assume based on some of those other posts that you've got a fairly reliable hard first serve (any spin on that?) and that you do like to get into the net and also that you're happiest when you have a partner that is equally competent and comfortable engaging at the net.

    In reading the groundstroke descriptions- I see no mention of slice or chip approach shots. If either can hit an effective low crosscourt slice service return (particularly if you are going to be playing the ad side) and if you are the net player that I suspect you are, then that might trump in that persons favor.
    The fact that Melissa is uncomfortable with two opponents aggressively controlling the net would be a definite negative- unless she gets very comfortable quickly with either a topspin lob or some other method of pulling them off the net and converting a defensive position into an offensive opportunity (ie pulling them off and then getting in together). Karen's big groundstrokes will be ok at 3.5, but as you run into stronger 3.5 teams- I think most people will have learned how to turn big groundstrokes into opportunities for touch or put-away volleys. Still- I got to give a slight edge to Karen in this category based on the assumptions we've made about your own game. (Hopefully her big shots are going to create more set-up opportunities for you and you're dominating at net).

    So Karen's double faults make things a bit tricky, but she's typically holding when she plays with you? Is she just beginning to work on this top-spin serve? And is she able to place it down the tee and occasionally serve out wide with any degree of success? Again, given your net skills- I'd have to give her a slight edge if she's any kind of an athlete and if she's continuing to work on her game in general and that serve in particular.

    Volleys sound like a break even proposition- but what kind of doubles are you most interested in playing? If you like the net as much as I suspect you do- I see you playing shoot n move doubles and you'll need a partner that wants to get in and engage as a team. Who's more likely to work to catch up to you here?

    Movement sounds pretty break even as well. But if Karen's got good basic footwork, then she's probably gonna catch on to tandem movement at the net more quickly and working together is gonna hinge on that. Who's more likely to work with you in terms of moving in and staggering with you through the course of a point?

    I guess it all boils down to, who's going to set you up more to play the kind of tennis you want to play and who's going to be able to capitalize more on the set-ups you can create? Based on your descriptions, if Karen has any kind of a work ethic and she's willing to practice with you- that's probably where I'd focus if I were in your shoes. The one thing that might tilt the scales in Melissa's favor were if she seemed to be a significantly better athlete. Who's been playing longer and who seems to be capable of greater game development over the season? Those are the lingering questions that I have after reading the descriptions.

    Let us know what you decide. Good luck- hope you have a great season and find a great partner.
     
    #43
  44. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Cindy will you match to match be the strongest person on the court? If so pick melissa cause she will set you up without making errors. If your not going to be the strongest person on the court then go for karen- if she gets a little inconsistant tell her to cool it down a little.. If your playing people of equal level I would give the slightest edge to melissa.
     
    #44
  45. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I am stronger than Melissa. Karen is stronger than me when she is hot; I am stronger when she is not.
     
    #45
  46. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    Raiden,

    You make some valid points but I believe you are confusing being consistent with just getting it back in play with no pace and bad strokes. First, most who have bad strokes will never change them. The majority stay at one level a long time. I am not advocating that, but that player can have much more success being consistent than over hitting everything. I strongly believe good mechanics are important and would advise learning correct technique. It makes life much easier. But good technique is not enough. What consistency means to me is level dependent. What I mean is that the consistent shots keep getting better and better against stronger and stronger play from your opponents but the basic principles are the same, the quality of the shots just change as you move up. Make no mistake, consistent players as a whole are much more successful than bangers at all levels.

    I believe you can be consistent and aggressive at the same time. This is what I advocate. I am not saying you are pushing to be consistent. But a big part of that is shot selection, something most at the 3-3.5 to even many 4.0s are pretty bad at in general. Being consistent means hitting the right shot at the right time, not over hitting consistently (as so many do) or just as common, over hitting when out of position (as also many people do). It means not trying the hero shots when you can’t consistently put away volleys above the net or sitters (something most vastly overestimate their success rate at lower levels). It means not overhitting when pressed or playing above your level. It does not mean just keeping it in play at all costs.

    I completely agree with being aggressive when the opportunity presents itself. I would expect someone to be more aggressive with a short ball they can step into. But I don’t expect them to swing as hard as they can to put it away with authority when they can do it consistently by not hitting it as hard. There are no bonus points for hitting the shot harder than needed. It is inconsistent and not needed. I do expect them to close in on the high ball and put it away or if not able to do that, place it deep to put away the next shot. And so on. I expect them to take that volley below the net and place it back deep and not try the hero shot they can only hit 1 in 10 times. I expect them to hit a solid return without pushing it. I don’t advocating swinging for the fences on the return as that is exactly where it will go. And then they wonder why they have such a hard time breaking serve. As they improve their skills, what they can do consistently keeps getting better and better.

    I believe you might be taking being consistent to the conservative extreme. I agree with your pro’s advice to be aggressive. But you can be aggressive and consistent at the same time. How? At its core, by not over hitting every shot as you said happens frequently and which causes your rash of errors. You can hit a ball plenty hard at a 60-75% effort that you rarely need more than that IMHO.

    I hope this makes sense. Do you understand what I a saying? But the Karen’s of the world mistake hitting the ball hard with impunity with winning tennis. They only remember the great shot and not the other five they put in the curtain when a solid, consistent shot to the open court is all that is needed. Never use more than needed.

    Good tennis to all

    TM
     
    #46
  47. JHBKLYN

    JHBKLYN Rookie

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    Is this a trick question? If Karen has never been broken when you've played together, what's there to think about? :)
     
    #47
  48. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    The problem lies in Cindy winning her serve... Karen will make enough errors on her service game to cause her to lose it. Plus you still need to be able to break your opponent from time to time.
     
    #48
  49. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I totally agree with Tennisman912...

    When I speak of a consistant player getting more aggressive I am not advacating hitting the ball as hard as you can... it can mean hitting with more pace... hitting the ball deeper or with more angle. For someone that does not hit the ball hard it is a matter for them to do it in steps... you hit it 10% harder... then a little more until you get to where you want... the path to getting there is not one that is done overnight, and they will hit a few more errors... but in the long run I would choose this player over one that is trying to dial down their game. And this is coming from an agressive hitter.

    Playing good tennis is about manipulating a good opportunity, being able to recognize them and taking advantage of them. Like I always like to say... make it easy for yourself, there is no need to overhit a shot... just take the winner. Take a que from the pro's if they have a winner they will usually just bunt it into the open court.
     
    #49
  50. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    It is bizarre, no? How can Karen hold if she DFs a lot? Because when she gets her serve in, returners either miss or they hit conservative returns that I can pick off. If I don't pick off the return, Karen's next groundie will be good, so there's another chance to help her hold. There might be 1-2 DFs per service game, but she can hold if I do what I'm supposed to be doing.

    And as Ripper said, we won't win if I don't hold also. This is especially so since I serve first with Karen because we never know when her serve will go to the Bahamas. The problem is that Karen doesn't have a second serve. She hits the same serve for first and second. I know she is working on this. I would love for her to learn to slice, as she is a lefty(!).
     
    #50

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