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-   -   Forehand Takes The Middle: RIP (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=400436)

Cindysphinx 10-13-2011 07:44 AM

Forehand Takes The Middle: RIP
 
We have got to take Forehand Takes The Middle out back and shoot it in the head. I don't know where this idea came from, but it is making me crazy.

I play deuce court. I am perfectly happy to hit my BH volley. It is usually stronger than my FH volley.

Yet I play with partners who practice FTTM and scold me after any missed BH volley. This is causing me all manner of headache.

A ball comes up the middle and I take it, but I get scolded that it wasn't my ball because her FH was in the middle. So even though my partner was deeper in the court, I'm supposed to not poach.

It's just a hot mess.

FTTM leaves the middle too exposed because I am not taking balls I could reach with my BH.

FTTM leaves the deep player covering the entire court except the alley I can cover with my FH. So my partner has responsibility for 80% of the court and I have 20%.

FTTM sounds good when the net player is in the ad court (her FH is to the middle), but if she is trying to cover diagonal balls she is leaving her alley wide open, and a lot of players can take a FH DTL for a winner.

FTTM is hard for the net player with a decent BH volley to implement. I don't know where my partner is, so I cannot judge when to let balls go through. Better, I think, is for me to take what I think I can take without regard to whose FH is in the middle.

Don't get me started on the issues playing with lefties. It's enough to give you vertigo.

Cindy -- who is more likely to feel like scolding partners who let balls go through that they should take

larry10s 10-13-2011 08:35 AM

the one closer to the net has more angle and gets first dibs
end of story

when its a righty/ lefty combo i like forehands in the middle

bcart1991 10-13-2011 08:37 AM

I never understood that strategy, either.

The way I learned doubles (and it usually works) is that the "down the line" person covers the alley, and the "cross court" person covers the middle. If they can hit sharp angled winners all day, good for them, but that's the lowest percentage play, so give that one up.

If my partner can react and move quickly enough to pick off a volley in the middle, more power to them.

esgee48 10-13-2011 08:39 AM

Agree with your sentiment. I also play the deuce side and my backhand side is my strength. The only issue I would have with your comment is that I would let low (net skimming) shots down the middle for my partner to handle. I would have difficulty putting such a volley away and it would be easy to my partner to handle. Anything above the waist going down the middle that I can reach is mine! :twisted:

bcart1991 10-13-2011 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry10s (Post 6060799)
when its a righty/ lefty combo i like forehands in the middle

I'm a lefty and I hate forehands in the middle. Much more difficult for me to hit a backhand return and keep it away from the net man in the deuce court vs. either stroke in the ad court.

larry10s 10-13-2011 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6060691)



FTTM sounds good when the net player is in the ad court (her FH is to the middle), but if she is trying to cover diagonal balls she is leaving her alley wide open, and a lot of players can take a FH DTL for a winner.


Cindy -- who is more likely to feel like scolding partners who let balls go through that they should take

the cross court ball ( diagonal in your terms??)
is usually the crosscourt(diagonal) persons resposibility
unless the straight ahead person can get to it and do something offensive

the alley left open by the crosscourt person is the sharp angle shot that is the lower percentage shot for the opponent to take and you want them to go for it by sqeezing the middle
jmho


i was posting when others made this point

larry10s 10-13-2011 08:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcart1991 (Post 6060807)
I'm a lefty and I hate forehands in the middle. Much more difficult for me to hit a backhand return and keep it away from the net man in the deuce court vs. either stroke in the ad court.

most serves in doubles should be down the middle so you get a forehand
a wide serve would give you a crosscourt backhand(lefty in the deuce court)
should be easier than the inside out backhand(lefty in the ad court)


if your inide out bh is better that your crosscourt bh thats unusual

Cindysphinx 10-13-2011 09:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry10s (Post 6060832)
most serves in doubles should be down the middle so you get a forehand
a wide serve would give you a crosscourt backhand(lefty in the deuce court)
should be easier than the inside out backhand(lefty in the ad court)


if your inide out bh is better that your crosscourt bh thats unusual

When I am serving to a lefty in the deuce court, I prefer to go out wide. I am reaching their BH. They have to take that BH up the line (tough shot), or they have to take it crosscourt into my partner's FH poach.

Cindysphinx 10-13-2011 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by larry10s (Post 6060821)
the cross court ball ( diagonal in your terms??)
is usually the crosscourt(diagonal) persons resposibility
unless the straight ahead person can get to it and do something offensive

the alley left open by the crosscourt person is the sharp angle shot that is the lower percentage shot for the opponent to take and you want them to go for it by sqeezing the middle
jmho


i was posting when others made this point

I think we are saying the same thing.

Say I am serving in the deuce court, and my partner is right-handed. Serve goes out wide to returner's FH. My partner has to cover the alley (her BH), and I have to cover the middle.

FTTM says my partner would take that ball with her FH, which is in the middle. I say that is wrong. It exposes the easy DTL winner. That crosscourt ball is my responsibility unless it is a floater or other easy ball my partner can put away.

FTTM stinks.

Cindysphinx 10-13-2011 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esgee48 (Post 6060805)
Agree with your sentiment. I also play the deuce side and my backhand side is my strength. The only issue I would have with your comment is that I would let low (net skimming) shots down the middle for my partner to handle. I would have difficulty putting such a volley away and it would be easy to my partner to handle. Anything above the waist going down the middle that I can reach is mine! :twisted:

As for the low, skimming shot . . . Yes and no.

For me, it depends on the partner. Some people serve from a very wide position. In those cases, I will try to get the low, skimming ball because my partner will never reach it otherwise. Generally, I agree that anything below net level (which is my waist level) isn't a good candidate for a poach, but there are exceptions.

LeeD 10-13-2011 09:24 AM

FUTM is just for basic 3.0 strategy.
Any higher level, it's who can return the serves low and angled, away from the netperson, over and over again.
You gotta start with a basic strategy, then modify as the need arises.

polski 10-13-2011 09:50 AM

Crosscourt covers the middle is the higher percentage play.

If there is a disparity in ability, then maybe the stronger player should try to cover more & thus take the middle.

I don't think forehand or backhand should make the rule.

lostinamerica 10-13-2011 10:00 AM

I find it has to do with the poach off the first volley. The net man after the return has greater reach on their forehand. The person closer to the net needs to take as many of those as possible. If the return is below the level of the net, the net person should squeeze the middle because the down the line volley off a below the net return is a low percentage play. The forehand in the middle gives the net person better reach.

Unless one has a glaringly bad return from one side or the other, I am all for forehands up the middle.

jdubbs 10-13-2011 10:09 AM

Reason #1501 I hate doubles.

Off The Wall 10-13-2011 10:27 AM

Simply inform your ignorant partners that at a hush-hush meeting of the USTA, USPTA, PTR and the NRA in Gary, Indiana, these honorable associations (among other things) established a new list of rules for tennis doubles. These rules are currently being distributed to media outlets around the world. (Hence, your advance knowledge.)

Meeting info:
The meeting was held, in part, to assess the virtues of a) lowering the net three inches to increase hacker tennis satisfaction. b) moving all subsequent meetings to Honolulu. And c) "forehand takes the middle" is now listed under the "Flagrant Stupidity" Section, Subsection 2: Doubles, These groups are now (or will be) threatening fines or expulsion from the aforementioned sanctioning bodies should any member advocate it. Should a former member not cease and desist from FTTM, the venerable NRA will be authorized to send a "black ops" squad to, from long distance, settle the matter once and for all.

I'm sure your partner will want to up to date with the latest doubles rules.

skiracer55 10-13-2011 10:27 AM

In general, you're right...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6060691)
We have got to take Forehand Takes The Middle out back and shoot it in the head. I don't know where this idea came from, but it is making me crazy.

I play deuce court. I am perfectly happy to hit my BH volley. It is usually stronger than my FH volley.

Yet I play with partners who practice FTTM and scold me after any missed BH volley. This is causing me all manner of headache.

A ball comes up the middle and I take it, but I get scolded that it wasn't my ball because her FH was in the middle. So even though my partner was deeper in the court, I'm supposed to not poach.

It's just a hot mess.

FTTM leaves the middle too exposed because I am not taking balls I could reach with my BH.

FTTM leaves the deep player covering the entire court except the alley I can cover with my FH. So my partner has responsibility for 80% of the court and I have 20%.

FTTM sounds good when the net player is in the ad court (her FH is to the middle), but if she is trying to cover diagonal balls she is leaving her alley wide open, and a lot of players can take a FH DTL for a winner.

FTTM is hard for the net player with a decent BH volley to implement. I don't know where my partner is, so I cannot judge when to let balls go through. Better, I think, is for me to take what I think I can take without regard to whose FH is in the middle.

Don't get me started on the issues playing with lefties. It's enough to give you vertigo.

Cindy -- who is more likely to feel like scolding partners who let balls go through that they should take

...there isn't anything holy about FTTM. I guess we should first ask ourselves if there's any good reason for coming up with a rule for "middle" balls. Personally, I think not. If you start coming up with rules and you get a hot ball down the middle, if you have to think for even a nanosecond "Now what the Sam Hill is the 'middle ball' rule?", you've probably already lost the point. "Whoever volunteers first" is my answer to who takes the middle ball.

My take, if you have a partner who insists on FTTM and you don't like this arrangement...go find another partner. You're not gonna change her, and she's not gonna change you. You'll both be a lot happier with somebody else on the same side of the net...

LeeD 10-13-2011 11:03 AM

One problem I see over forehand takes the middle is that it squeezes the forward person towards the center, so the NEXT opposition volley, the alley is wide open AND to the netperson's backhand, a sure winner.

GlennK 10-13-2011 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6060691)
We have got to take Forehand Takes The Middle out back and shoot it in the head. I don't know where this idea came from, but it is making me crazy.

I play deuce court. I am perfectly happy to hit my BH volley. It is usually stronger than my FH volley.

Yet I play with partners who practice FTTM and scold me after any missed BH volley. This is causing me all manner of headache.

I have only used the FTTM rule when both partners are at the net. If my partner is in the back, and I can reach the middle ball with my backhand, I take it. If we are both up and can both reach the ball, then I will defer to their forehand. But it sounds like my backhand is weaker than yours as generally both my forehand and my parntner's forehands at the net are stronger than my bh.

Glenn

LeeD 10-13-2011 12:19 PM

If you're not going to force the issue with any shot, better to defer to your partner who's in position to hit the ball.
Nothing worse that a backhand poacher who only can pop up a weak, short, high sitter.
Conversely, if you can't hit DOWN on any volleys, you should just practice more before playing.

onehandbh 10-13-2011 01:42 PM

Excerpt from the book, Nobody Wants to Play Doubles with Me.

...Just yell, "I got it!", and charge the net. Make sure you get closer to the
net than your doubles partner. If your partner doesn't back off, use your left
arm to *stiff arm your partner out of the way. It is important that you hit the
shot because, in your mind, you have better volleys.

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP7l7...tailpage#t=15s


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