Why does it seem like left-handed players have an advantage...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Zachol82, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Why does it seem like left-handed players have an advantage over right-handed players?

    Yes, their forehand cross-court does go to our righty's backhand, but doesn't our forehand go to their backhand as well? Any strength they have over us solely from being left-handed should be our strength against them too...shouldn't it?
     
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  2. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    I'm not sure if Tennis Warehouse will express their collective corporate opinion on this.....
     
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  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Ha. Even lefties hate to play other lefties.
     
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  4. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    Lefties play against righties all the time. Righties rarely face lefties. So it is somewhat of an advantage for the lefties if they are good off both wings and have a good kicker to boot.
     
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  5. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    Because we do have an advantage. Lefty spin gives us an advantage over righties, and good lefties consistently hit those slice serves out wide to the right hander's backhand on the ad side. Its very effective. :)
     
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  6. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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    I don't see that as an advantage because a right hander can hit a slice wide on the deuce side to a lefty.

    I beat lefties by hitting to their backhand as they try to pummel a righties backhand.:twisted:
     
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  7. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    In addition to whats stated above, left-handed players can use their slice out wide to the backhand on most of the game points (ad-in, 40-30, 40-0) as opposed to right handers doing so on the deuce court. The biggest advantage however is that there arent nearly as many left handers in the world and therefore it is a bit different game with the strategies and tactics normally used by a player now playing into the opposite side (backhand is now forehand), often forcing a player to construct their game to the deuce half rather than the ad to attack weaker backhands. Most players are not used to/ as practiced in doing this
     
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  8. ALten1

    ALten1 Rookie

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    I am a lefty and it takes me time to adjust to the opposite spin that a lefty puts on the ball. Having a right handed player hit/serve to me is routine. I think only advantage is what was stated above about ad/duece side of court otherwise left spin is left spin to both players just as right spin is right spin to both players. I can't put anything different on the ball that a right handed person can't put on it.
     
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  9. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I am a lefty and playing other lefties is always a challenge. The first reason is that we get used to certain strategies and these get mixed up when we face another lefty. For example, righties tend to love to hit backhands cross court to other righties' backhands and really don't practice the BH DTL that much since it would normally go to a righties FH. I hit almost everything to a righty's BH because of this as I can usually expect a cross court shot to my forehand for my next shot. The second reason is that there is often a subtle sidespin that makes a ball jump to the side a tiny bit. We easily compensate for this, but when a lefty hits this jump is in the opposite direction. Of course this strange jump is a key advantage in sidespin and american twist serves and slice shots.

    I don't think there is an advantage based on ad court or deuce court, as a lefty has the same advantage in the ad court that a righty has in the deuce court. The only difference is the opposite direction that a lefty's sidespin and twist serves jump.
     
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  10. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Righties are used to playing righties. Lefties are used to playing righties.

    Righties aren't used to playing lefties. Lefties aren't used to playing lefties.

    Lefty spin is tricky to deal with since we aren't used to it. A lefty with a good slice serve is a dangerous player. Also most righties will attack an opponent's weaker backhand but the ad corner is now a lefties forehand which is usually his stronger side so the righty has to change strategies.

    My doubles partner is a big lefty with huge forehand and nasty slice serve. We seldom lose together since his shots are quite extreme from mine where I have a nasty righty slice serve going the opposite direction. He has huge groundstrokes but I have nasty slice groundstrokes so we are a tough matchup for anyone. He is a 5.0 level doubles player (4.5 singles) and I have a 4.5 rating but now play in Australia. He is from Zimbabwe. It took me 3 months to get used to his nasty slice serve.
     
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  11. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

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    Well, my kick serve really goes off court, and I get free points for hitting the boundary net when serving on the ad side. =)

    Personally, I do find it absolutely difficult to defeat lefty opponents. I can never get a good rally with them. I suppose lefties aren't used to playing opponents who essentially mirror them.

    It's also obvious that there are less lefties in the world of tennis, thus less practice against such opponents.
     
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  12. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    I can't imagine why this should be, I don't have any statistics on it, and it might be just selection bias.... but in a quarter-century of teaching, it has seemed to me that lefties are more likely than righties to have good FH's relative to their overall skill level. Likewise, it has seemed that lefties are more likely than righties to have weak 1HBH's. Has anyone else noticed trends like these? (This is an overall observation; there is no need to post individual exceptions.)

    Similarly, the legendary lefty slice in the ad court has classically been balanced by the higher likelihood of an unfortunate lefty (often eastern-grip) FH volley. To those old enough to have faced lefty S&Vers, were you taught to block that slice back crosscourt to get a few free points from overhit FHV's? (Again, this is an overall trend; no need to remind me how great McEnroe's FHV was.)
     
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  13. jserve

    jserve Rookie

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    As a lefty I have seen it take a lot longer for players to get used to my spin serves compared to a righty with similar serves. Players just aren't as used to the balls spinning in those directions and it takes time to adjust.

    Also, when you play strategically you want to avoid a players strengths, which in most cases seems to be the forehand. Since people play more rightys, many of the players I play against are much more comfortable hitting towards the ad side because of this, which happens to be my forehand!!
     
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  14. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Lefty groundies spin is different side also
     
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  15. MrCLEAN

    MrCLEAN Rookie

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    I like playing lefties, I would rather hit CC forehands than inside out forehands to an opponents BH.
     
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  16. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I really dont find any advatages. Yeah sure I've lost a lot off of the lefty spin. At the same time, I loose those points on right handed kick serves. Also my CC forehand goes to their backhand. And visa versa. So I dont see anything. But that is just me
     
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  17. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Lefties are more used to playing righties than vice versa. There have been so many successful lefties in tennis that Nadal's uncle had him learn to play left-handed. Even though that worked out it seems like a big gamble. But if you're naturally left-handed, I think that gives you a bit of an advantage in tennis.
     
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  18. purple-n-gold

    purple-n-gold Professional

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    You have to make adjustments when playing lefties, stand more to the left when returning serve and I hit more dtl backhands.
     
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  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Interestingly a good number of my regular playing partners are lefties, so I pretty much get equal playing time against lefties and righties. Lefty spin serves still screw me up big time though, plus their forehand against my backhand causes me some problems too. It doesn't go both ways as they are used to playing righties and have reliable 2-handed backhands so they can handle the righty forehands coming to them all day.
     
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  20. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not true for me. As a lefty, a few lefty opponents bother me but most do not. A right-hander's spin serve into my body on my FH side can be trickier to deal with than a lefty spin into my body on the BH side (since I hit with a 1-handed BH most of the time). However, many righties do not exploit the spin serve into the body, jamming me on the FH side, since they often don't have enough experience against lefties.

    I've played against a fair number of lefties and many will you many of the same serves and tactics that I use. Even tho' I don't get to play against as many lefties as righties, I can adjust fairly easily to many of them. Many of the right-handers that I play with a lot, have become somewhat comfortable with my serves and only my biggest serves or my most extreme spins give them much trouble. Some have also learned to play to my weaknesses (like the jam serve on my FH side).
     
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  21. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Hence... the answer that was suggested... the reason that players in general have issues with lefties is that we do not play them very often. Those that have the opportunity to play them on a regular basis do not have these issues... since see the lefty spins all the time.

    But in general like others have said... the reason we struggle with them is that we play them so seldom.
     
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  22. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Righties are not used to playing lefties, while lefties play righties all the time. Lefties have an advantage in serving because most of the critical points (40-0, 40-30, Ad-in) are in the ad court. Lefties are also good at hooking forehands cross court to a righties backhand
     
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  23. TonLars

    TonLars Professional

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    Why does everyone keep simply repeating what previous posters say? Or do people just not read the thread at all? Sorry but its just interesting to see how so many people have said almost verbatim the exact same answers as what others before them said.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
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  24. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I play lefties very often, and the spin on their serve is what gives me the most problems. It just always goes the other way!

    Lefties on the other hand, always play righties so they're used to recieving the righty serve to their BH.
     
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  25. d3vi1b0y6592

    d3vi1b0y6592 New User

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    also, we lefties are used to the serves and shots hitting our backhand sides more often (well, for me anyways). This is just for me, but my backhand is about the same level of consistency as my forehand
     
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  26. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Good point. Why does everyone keep simply repeating what previous posters say? Or do people just not read the thread at all? Sorry but its just interesting to see how so many people have said almost verbatim the exact same answers as what others before them said. :twisted:
     
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  27. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    People like to be heard?
     
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  28. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    The only real advantage we have against righties in my opinion, is that we get to play against more righties than righties get to play against lefties. Yeah we have the "ad court advantage" according to some people, but righties have the "deuce court advantage". Otherwise it's basically playing against a mirror.
     
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  29. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    That's pretty funny. I'm a lefty and my 1HBH is one of my weapons. Many righties who "think" tend to try to initially try to exploit or pick on my backhand, but I have power, touch, and variety with my backhand.
     
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  30. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

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    Guilty! I read the thread in order and answer the question in order, so I give my own opinion instead of having other opinions possibly sway my response. Then I see how it stacks up with other people's opinions.
     
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  31. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    You may have missed my primary point. As a lefty, I appear to have less problems with other lefties than many righties have with lefty players. Even tho' I don't get the chance to play against a lot of other lefties (either), I don't have much of a problem with their lefty spins or their lefty-ness in general (for the reasons I stated previously).
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
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  32. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I'm lefty. What I don't get is when I stand on the ad side to receive, my rightie opponents always serve into my FH. In contrast, I almost always serve to my rightie opponent's backhand (and win points easily) whether from duece or ad court side.
     
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  33. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    What level are you referring to? Perhaps those players are accustomed to serving primarily to the BH side of most opponents (who happen to be right-handed). Some that you play may be oblivious to the fact that they are serving to lefty or they are such creatures of habit, they don't change their patterns against a lefty.

    Many right-handed servers at a 5.0 level or lower will often have difficulty serving out wide on the ad side -- it is a lower % serve since the ball needs to travel over a higher part of the net (compared to the deuce side). I recall seeing one of the top female pros practicing this very serve after one of her matches at Stanford. (It was either Venus Williams or Jelena Jankovic). She was missing the box on a high % of her attempts on this serve location.

    Furthermore, serving to a the FH of a player using the opposite arm is not neccessarily a bad idea. If the ball is spun into the body on that side it can be difficult to handle with a FH shot.
     
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  34. Toxicmilk

    Toxicmilk Professional

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    Having mostly righties to play against, I get set into a pattern that is my usual game. now once a lefty steps onto the court, it takes a second (more than that sometimes) to adjust.
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Why? 'Cause they're men! :)

    Seriously, I have a different take on this as a 3.5 woman. Playing a lefty is no big deal because few women of my level use spin effectively. I can think of three lefties I play with or play against, and not one hits a slice serve. Bam, straight up the middle just like everyone else.

    The differences in playing a lefty that I experience have to do with whether the lefty plays the ad or deuce side. I partner with a lefty sometimes, and having her play deuce means we have FH and overheads in the middle, which is effective. Another challenge in playing a lefty is remembering which side to lob over the BH.
     
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  36. mtommer

    mtommer Hall of Fame

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    As a lefty I've never heard anyone I've played with mention to me that they found it harder to play with me versus a righty. I guess it really depends on the ability of another player as to what gives them trouble or not.
     
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  37. ALten1

    ALten1 Rookie

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    Played against a 4.0 last night in mixed, and I'm a lefty. He played ad side and he could never adjust to my serve. I aced him twice and he was in position and swinging but didn't hit it on BH side because it kept going away from him. He then tried to hit his FH and the ball would make him move off the court and crowd him everytime. My assumption was he didn't play many lefties.
     
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  38. ALten1

    ALten1 Rookie

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    Amendment to above post, opponent was duece court.
     
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  39. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Ah, so here's the thread. I was wondering where it got moved to, thank you.

    Anyhow, on topic, I still don't see any clear advantages that lefties would have over righties, except for maybe righties are not used to playing lefties because there are fewer lefties around.

    As for myself, I have hit with a few lefties and it took me about 2 games to get used to their spins. It's not all that difficult to tell which way the ball will spin to if you look at how a player hits the ball. A backhand slice from a righty would make the ball spin to the opponent's right-hand side whereas a lefty's backhand slice would spin to the opponent's backhand side, vice-versa for a forehand slice.
     
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