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-   -   Acceptable number of double faults? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=327422)

ajmack 05-11-2010 09:16 PM

Acceptable number of double faults?
 
I'm focusing on reducing my double faults, something I did 10 times in an 8-game set and 14 or 15 times total in the same match last week. Earlier this year, I double faulted five times in one game.
So, what would be roughly the average number of double faults by the typical 4.0 league player?. Maybe one double fault every service game or would it be two service games?

Ripper014 05-11-2010 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ajmack (Post 4643095)
I'm focusing on reducing my double faults, something I did 10 times in an 8-game set and 14 or 15 times total in the same match last week. Earlier this year, I double faulted five times in one game.
So, what would be roughly the average number of double faults by the typical 4.0 league player?. Maybe one double fault every service game or would it be two service games?

It depends more on the player and how aggressive a server you are... but once you reach a level of 4.0 a double fault should not even enter your mind. Doubles usually happen when you go for a little too much on a second serve or because of a lapse of concentration. At this level they really shouldn't happen otherwise.

If you are at this level you are either going for too much on your second serve or you haven't quite reached 4.0 yet.

Dave M 05-12-2010 02:28 AM

Fair comments above, i try not to count my doubls but do try to mke sure i hit more aces/un retunables than doubles, to that end though i do find myself going for a second serve a bit more than i pobably should and end up with either a 2nd seve ace or a double though it does depend on the situation.
If you are giving away too many cheap points on serve take a bit off the first serve and place it more shoul kep the pressure on your opponent more as well.

larry10s 05-12-2010 05:45 AM

by 4.0 you should double at most 1-2 per MATCH. in essence you really shouldnt double fault

Totai 05-12-2010 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry10s (Post 4643765)
by 4.0 you should double at most 1-2 per MATCH. in essence you really shouldnt double fault

Federer gets more than 1-2 DF per match. He is less than 4.0?

spot 05-12-2010 06:02 AM

If you never double fault I don't think you are going for enough on your second serve. I mean seriously- go further out wide or go closer to the lines... At some point just getting the serve in is counterproductive when you have that much control.

SlapShot 05-12-2010 06:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry10s (Post 4643765)
by 4.0 you should double at most 1-2 per MATCH. in essence you really shouldnt double fault

I don't think that there's any way that you can have a blanket statement like the above.

You should not fear double faults - you shouldn't embrace them either, but if you NEVER double fault, you have room to go for more on your second serve. I will hit a few per match, but 75% of the time, it's because I'm trying to hit a forcing serve as a second. I prefer to leave those for when it's 40-0 or 40-15 if I can.

dlk 05-12-2010 06:16 AM

At the lower levels, getting the ball into play should be focus. Now obviously, you don't want your second serves getting murdered, but at least give yourself an opportunity. I'm not an advanced player, with that, if I DF once in four service games, I can live with that. It's when I DF per service game, that I tone it down & try to get it into play.

skiracer55 05-12-2010 06:40 AM

What they all said...
 
...regardless, you obviously have some issues with fundamentals of the serve. Rather than think about reducing the number of double faults, go back to getting your service technique wired, and everything else will fall into place...

raiden031 05-12-2010 06:51 AM

At all levels of play, you want to double fault as little as possible.

The only reason that double faulting is acceptable is when you are playing against a player who is killing you on the returns and you don't have a choice but to take more risk.

blakesq 05-12-2010 07:10 AM

1 double fault every service game is way way too much. 1 double fautl every 2 service games is of course better, but still too much, imho. Unless you have a 150 mile first serve, and a 120 mile second serve, you should try to double fault as little as 2 times a match. I have gone some matches with no double faults (but that is rare). you should get your second serve in at least in the 80 to 90% range, or better.


Quote:

Originally Posted by ajmack (Post 4643095)
I'm focusing on reducing my double faults, something I did 10 times in an 8-game set and 14 or 15 times total in the same match last week. Earlier this year, I double faulted five times in one game.
So, what would be roughly the average number of double faults by the typical 4.0 league player?. Maybe one double fault every service game or would it be two service games?


HitItHarder 05-12-2010 07:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 4644030)
At all levels of play, you want to double fault as little as possible.

The only reason that double faulting is acceptable is when you are playing against a player who is killing you on the returns and you don't have a choice but to take more risk.


I have to agree with Raiden here if we are talking about competitive match play. If your opponent is killing you on the service return and using it to take you out of points early, then you may need to go for more on serve and take more risks. As you are apparently not holding your serve, this may help turn the momentum.

If you are holding serve fine, I don't know that I see a need to "go for the big serve" if it is leading to double faults.

If your second serve is consistent, then you have more flexibility and can hit that big first serve without worrying about a DF if you miss. If your second serve is not consistent, then you need to take less risk with the first serve.

Your service game should minimize double faults while still consistently hold serve. I don't know that you can put a number on that because it may change depending on the opponent and what that opponent brings to the table for service returns.

iankogan 05-12-2010 08:07 AM

I agree with skiracer's point. Of course you want to hit as few DFs as possible, but the real question is not 'how many' but 'why'. In my case for example, I generally make one double-fault per service game on average; not great statistically but this translates into an easy service hold 90% of the time when playing at-level (3.5). However in nearly every competitive match there is one 'outlier' service game where I make at least two double-faults, and often more than that. I don't have much variety in my serve, it's basically always a hard flat(tish) first serve and a substantially slower but high-bouncing topspin kick second serve. The second serve technique is new to me (I was previously trying to hit a slower variation of the first serve as my second, which didn't work all that well), and I feel that my 'new' second serve is not completely 'embedded' in muscle memory. At times I loose timing on my second serve and begin 'guiding' it, and that is where I get into multiple DFs per service game.

As skiracer said, take care of the underlying technical (or mental game?) issue(s) and the stats will fall in place.

LeeD 05-12-2010 08:31 AM

First of all, you SHOULD be able to serve entire matches without double faults.
Whether you CHOOSE TO, or not, is up to you. Balance of forcing second serves that end up with you winning the point vs double fault, which you normally LOSE that point.
The ratio is up to you. I do know one thing. If you double fault, it works on your mind, it helps your opponent's mind, HE cannot make a mistake, you must be pressing, so he can relax more! :shock::shock:

Ripper014 05-12-2010 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 4644503)
First of all, you SHOULD be able to serve entire matches without double faults.
Whether you CHOOSE TO, or not, is up to you. Balance of forcing second serves that end up with you winning the point vs double fault, which you normally LOSE that point.
The ratio is up to you. I do know one thing. If you double fault, it works on your mind, it helps your opponent's mind, HE cannot make a mistake, you must be pressing, so he can relax more! :shock::shock:

I understand the mindset of hitting big second serves... but unless you are going to win points outright is it worth the gamble. I can tell you for sure if you miss you are going lose the point outright.

If you opponent it teeing off on your second serve there is an easy solution, take a little off a few of your first serves and get a higher percentage in. Still use your big first serve as a deterent but manage your service percentage so you do not need to depend so much on your second serve to win you points.

skiracer55 05-12-2010 09:57 AM

All true...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ripper014 (Post 4644564)
I understand the mindset of hitting big second serves... but unless you are going to win points outright is it worth the gamble. I can tell you for sure if you miss you are going lose the point outright.

If you opponent it teeing off on your second serve there is an easy solution, take a little off a few of your first serves and get a higher percentage in. Still use your big first serve as a deterent but manage your service percentage so you do not need to depend so much on your second serve to win you points.

...but now we're kind of into the realm of serve technique and tactics. Pancho Gonzalez used to say that you needed to get your shoulder into every serve, to put some sting into each and every serve you hit. Two summers ago, my coach had me working on a heavy, heavy kick serve. Not necessarily just for a second serve, but that's the first reason he wanted me to go there. What I found out was that in some ways, you actually hit a kick second serve harder than you do a flat or slice first serve. You have to really go after your serve at contact point, and this is especially true of kick second serves. Watch Samantha Stosur's second serve. If you don't go after a kick serve, it's going to fizzle and sit up...or maybe not even make it over the net or back down in the court.

My kick second serve, hit that way, has lots of clearance over the net and kicks up above most player's ideal hitting zones. I also use a kick serve on the first serve. What's the difference? On a kick first serve to the ad court, for example, I'm probably going to go for a very wide angle. If I can tag one there and move in, I've likely got an easy first volley to open up the court. On a second serve, same situation, I'll do a body serve, more or less straight down the middle of the box. Same kick, same clearance over the net, but a better probability of going in because I'm going down the center of the box. So you need good technique, and you need to go after your second serve...but unless you're trying for a second serve winner...and there are times you do this, as in down 4-5, 0-40 on your serve...you temporize the whole thing by not going for too much of an angle.

spot 05-12-2010 09:59 AM

Ripper- we just look at things differently. I think that I could get all my second serves in if thats all I care about. I think I can hit second service winners by moving the ball around and trying to go nearer the lines. Yes I will DF some- but just as surely I'll lose some points as well by just trying to make sure that I get the ball in the box.

I am not talking about hitting big serves- But I'll EASILY take an aggressive second serve where I DF a couple times a match vs just trying to make sure that I NEVER DF. I don't see why this would be different on groundstrokes. Sure you could push the ball and never hit an unforced error- but I think its smarter to hit rally pace balls where you can consistently attack even if it means sometimes you will hit unforced errors.

gameboy 05-12-2010 10:05 AM

As long as I have more aces/forced errors than double faults, I will take it.

r2473 05-12-2010 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ripper014 (Post 4644564)
I understand the mindset of hitting big second serves... but unless you are going to win points outright is it worth the gamble. I can tell you for sure if you miss you are going lose the point outright.

If you opponent it teeing off on your second serve there is an easy solution, take a little off a few of your first serves and get a higher percentage in. Still use your big first serve as a deterent but manage your service percentage so you do not need to depend so much on your second serve to win you points.

I agree with this as being most sensible for the majority of players.

All of this will of course depend on other things as well such as

a) the game score (more acceptable to df at 40-0 than 30-30 and obviously not at all acceptable to df at 30-40)

b) the set / match score

c) your opponent. If he allows you to just push in a second serve, then why wouldn't you just do that as opposed to taking a bigger risk?

I think the saying "you are only as good as your second serve" contains a lot of truth. I have developed very reliable slice and kick serves that I believe I can get in over 90% of the time.

I hit a pretty fast first serve, so sometimes I will just push in my second serve. The dramatic change in pace will often draw an error or a weak return.

My main goal with my second serve is to make my opponent move. Most players have such terrible footwork that they have a lot of trouble getting into position to hit effective returns if you make them move. Obviously, I will usually go at my opponents backhand until he demonstrates that he can hurt me with it on the return. Most people can't. Those that try will often make as many (usually more) errors than winners or good shots.

Hitting second serves is all about being smart and trying to keep the percentages in your favor if you can.

Ripper014 05-12-2010 11:37 AM

The only serve I struggle with is an american twist serve, everything else I can hit it is just a matter of how high a percentage of them I get in, and that will change from day to day.

I normally rely on a well placed heavy kick serve for my second, that I use to initiate the point. I use it not to win the point outright but to setup the point, to at least give me some advantage at the start of the point. My biggest issue is that my second serve doesn't puts me at a disadvantage. I have the rest of my tennis game to win me the point... I don't try and win it on my second serve alone.

And yes I do hit my second serve as hard as my first... but we are talking about double faults and not about how hard we hit the serve. When down break points I have even been known to hit my kicker as my first serve so the receiver does not have the mindset to attack a second serve.

All in all r2473 I agree with everything you have written


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