Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   Etiquette of hitting at the net player in doubles (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=435507)

tennistim 08-09-2012 09:53 AM

Etiquette of hitting at the net player in doubles
 
I have played a league match against another club where the server was hitting very soft, short 2nd serves. The same guy was also poor at judging the ball when at the net. Therefore, I hit a lot of balls straight at the net player. Most were hit from 3/4 court (just in from the baseline) so it wasn't too dangerous. If I was at the net, I aimed for their feet.

Although this play wasn't challenged in any way, I think some opponents would probably protest if it happened too often. This protesting could be used as a tactic.

What is the done thing at high club level?

Moz 08-09-2012 09:58 AM

High club level there's no shot ettiquette. As you're from the Uk however, there is no doubt all sorts of frowning at such tactics - particularly in mixed.

This is probably down to the fact that it's highly unlikely that it's high club level - in fact that rarely exists in British league tennis. You get such a wide range of weirdos in club tennis that you have to make the decision on a case by case basis if it bothers you.

michael_1265 08-09-2012 10:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moz (Post 6793767)
High club level there's no shot ettiquette. As you're from the Uk however, there is no doubt all sorts of frowning at such tactics - particularly in mixed.

This is probably down to the fact that it's highly unlikely that it's high club level - in fact that rarely exists in British league tennis. You get such a wide range of weirdos in club tennis that you have to make the decision on a case by case basis if it bothers you.

All is fair. That being said, my wife, who is a 2.5 and I are starting to play mixed together. Since 6.0 isn't an option, we will play 6.5, which makes it likely we will face a 4.0 man (I'm a 3.5). Although it is certainly permissible, I might take exception to the 4.0 hitting full-swing forehands at her at the net. There are so many other ways to win (she probably has a far larger hole in her backhand volley than anywhere else), and playing like that shows a lack of grace and sportsmanship. I have yet to run into a higher-level male player who would stoop that low.

Moz 08-09-2012 10:19 AM

michael - agreed, but neither would you describe that as high level club tennis.

Making the tactical distinction between "anything goes" and "be reasonable" can often be very tricky in the heat of a match particularly if one is losing.

Govnor 08-09-2012 10:21 AM

Higher level players are not going to blast it at a lower lever player (especially a woman), there is just no need. Though I'm sure there must be some *******s somewhere that have done it.

LuckyR 08-09-2012 10:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennistim (Post 6793751)
I have played a league match against another club where the server was hitting very soft, short 2nd serves. The same guy was also poor at judging the ball when at the net. Therefore, I hit a lot of balls straight at the net player. Most were hit from 3/4 court (just in from the baseline) so it wasn't too dangerous. If I was at the net, I aimed for their feet.

Although this play wasn't challenged in any way, I think some opponents would probably protest if it happened too often. This protesting could be used as a tactic.

What is the done thing at high club level?

Sort of depends on how soft is "soft". It is correct to punish poor second serves to the point where either the netman moves back to the baseline on second serves or the server hits higher percentage (easier) first serves or hits harder (more likely to DF) second serves. If those things aren't happening, you aren't punishing the second serve enough.

Of course "etiquette" is quite varied, that is, never underestimate the chance that some random individual will have the capacity to get their nose out of joint for any ol' reason. You can't regulate that. You can predict it and you can make the choice to have the preknowledge change your behavior, but that is your choice.

From a strictly logical standpoint if you tag the netman he should be angry at either himself for not going to the baseline, or his partner for the powderpuff serves.

SlapShot 08-09-2012 10:52 AM

I think it depends on the circumstances. I've been on the giving and receiving end of what you're describing, and there are times when it's not really an issue, and times when it gets to be an issue.

In mixed, I almost never go at the woman at net, even at 8.0 where it's more acceptable. If you're at a level where you are able to put that much stink on the ball, you should have another shot on that type of serve. If you're hitting the ball that hard and don't know where it's going, then you have no business hitting it in the first place since it'd be too easy to actually cause injury, and even in USTA league, it shouldn't be that serious.

I had an incident last year in a 4.5 men's match where a guy got very upset at me for pulling a serve up the line at him, and later remarked to a team mate that I was a "headhunter." The truth is that, while I had other options, his partner was easily the stronger of the two, so my best play was to make him hit a shot. I missed my spot (was aiming for the alley, not for his bellybutton) and had no intent in pegging him, and we made nice after the match, but he was clear that he wasn't happy at the time. I think that if I had done it repeatedly, it would have made a tense situation even worse.

I still will pull returns up the line, but more often than not, I'm not going at the netman but rather trying to put it in the alley and make them play the point off balance.

blakesq 08-09-2012 10:56 AM

if the players are generally of equal ability, then there is no problem blasting it at the "net player". In fact, there is nothing in the rules that says the server's partner must be at the net anyways.

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennistim (Post 6793751)
I have played a league match against another club where the server was hitting very soft, short 2nd serves. The same guy was also poor at judging the ball when at the net. Therefore, I hit a lot of balls straight at the net player. Most were hit from 3/4 court (just in from the baseline) so it wasn't too dangerous. If I was at the net, I aimed for their feet.

Although this play wasn't challenged in any way, I think some opponents would probably protest if it happened too often. This protesting could be used as a tactic.

What is the done thing at high club level?


Dreamcastin 08-09-2012 10:58 AM

Plain and simple, if you dont want shots hit at you why are you at the net. Im not letting half of the court be taken away because you cant volley and your at the net.

samarai 08-09-2012 11:19 AM

I guess I have to disagree with most of the opinions here. When playing at the park recreationally, I would never aim at the net player. However in a league match, if the opponent is hoarding the net effectively taking half of the court away from me, I will spray a couple towards the net player to keep him/her honest. I would expect nothing less if I or my partner was at the net.

Mike Y 08-09-2012 11:36 AM

If you don't want to get hit at that net, then play near the baseline.

Cindysphinx 08-09-2012 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michael_1265 (Post 6793798)
All is fair. That being said, my wife, who is a 2.5 and I are starting to play mixed together. Since 6.0 isn't an option, we will play 6.5, which makes it likely we will face a 4.0 man (I'm a 3.5). Although it is certainly permissible, I might take exception to the 4.0 hitting full-swing forehands at her at the net. There are so many other ways to win (she probably has a far larger hole in her backhand volley than anywhere else), and playing like that shows a lack of grace and sportsmanship. I have yet to run into a higher-level male player who would stoop that low.

I can't get on board, Michael.

If your wife isn't ready to stand close to the net with her racket up to deflect balls struck at her, I say she should probably not play mixed until she can. And she definitely shouldn't play up.

I know I am in the minority, but I think if you can't take the heat, get off the net. Even if you are a woman.

OrangePower 08-09-2012 12:28 PM

I don't think there is a definitive answer, but here are my personal guidelines:

1. I would never aim at the head of the net person, i.e. deliberately go for a shot that would be long if he/she ducks and that is meant purely to intimidate.

2. Aiming at the body / midsection (with a shot that is intended to go in) is completely fair in competitive play (e.g. adult league, combo league). If the net person can't handle it, they should move back.

3. In casual play with lower-rated players, I would not do it - but would not mind if someone did it to me.

4. Mixed is a strange beast - one more reason I don't play mixed! I don't know what I would do. I think I would be ok aiming at a 4.5 woman at the net in 9.0 mixed (I'm a male 4.5). But I don't think I'd be comfortable hitting hard at a 3.5 woman at the net were I ever to play 8.0 mixed.

Dreamcastin 08-09-2012 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 6794125)
I can't get on board, Michael.

If your wife isn't ready to stand close to the net with her racket up to deflect balls struck at her, I say she should probably not play mixed until she can. And she definitely shouldn't play up.

I know I am in the minority, but I think if you can't take the heat, get off the net. Even if you are a woman.

exactly, no one is forcing you to play at the net. Am I forced to hit cross court or lob because your in my way and cant volley. I once had someone make a snide comment at me(who was a great volleyer) about me hitting a shot at him. I was pulled very wide on the serve, late to the return, and my only play was down the line. anything less and it would have been easy pickings for him. I dont see how you can expect me to give you the point. I expect people to "test" me at the net from time to time. I got tagged in the stomach yesterday, nobody died. I actually told the oponent good shot.

Mike Y 08-09-2012 12:39 PM

I play Mixed and it is generally accepted that the woman will get hit at (hard), regardless of her level. Even in Mixed 8.0 practices my 3.5 female partner will get hit at. My 2nd serve is one of my worst shots and is bad for a 4.5, and I sometimes have to pull back my partner to the baseline to keep her from getting crushed if I am struggling with my serve. If you want to win in Mixed you have to hit it at the girl. If you are facing a 3.5 girl/4.5 guy partnership pretty much all of your shots have to go to the girl even if she is at the net and the 4.5 guy is at the baseline. I'll hit it hard toward a 3.5 girl at practice, but I will try not to hit her, though it does happen and I always apologize. In a match, I will constantly hit at her, she can move back if she doesn't like it.

floridatennisdude 08-09-2012 12:40 PM

Competitively - ill hit wherever I am most likely to win the point. It's on the opponent to defend it, not my problem. They need to adjust, not me.

Friendly practice - ill give my buddies a heads up. "dude, I'll probably crush Jim's second serve if it's on my forehand. Be ready."

Socially - ill hit wherever the most conservative option is. If the players are decent enough, I may go alley once or twice. Probably just going to slice back most returns cross court.

tennis_ocd 08-09-2012 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samarai (Post 6793970)
I guess I have to disagree with most of the opinions here. When playing at the park recreationally, I would never aim at the net player. However in a league match, if the opponent is hoarding the net effectively taking half of the court away from me, I will spray a couple towards the net player to keep him/her honest. I would expect nothing less if I or my partner was at the net.

ha. Just the opposite here. Rec park playing and there is much glee at getting one into the net person; it's an almost guaranteed attempt until the net person can prove it's a losing shot (as it should be among players of equal skill level.) All involved know it's coming.

The issue really blossoms when playing with unequal partners or unfamiliar players, but after the first successful poach all reservations seem to quickly fade.

goober 08-09-2012 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by michael_1265 (Post 6793798)
All is fair. That being said, my wife, who is a 2.5 and I are starting to play mixed together. Since 6.0 isn't an option, we will play 6.5, which makes it likely we will face a 4.0 man (I'm a 3.5). Although it is certainly permissible, I might take exception to the 4.0 hitting full-swing forehands at her at the net. There are so many other ways to win (she probably has a far larger hole in her backhand volley than anywhere else), and playing like that shows a lack of grace and sportsmanship. I have yet to run into a higher-level male player who would stoop that low.

Wait till you move up to higher levels than 6.5. I would say the majority of males in competitive matches always go after the female with full swings regardless of her position on the court since most of the time except in the occasional cases where the female is the higher rated player.

norcal 08-09-2012 03:49 PM

If you are a good player you have enough control to hit at someone without hurting them. If I had 1$ for every volley hit between my legs by a poacher I'd have a lot of money.

As Lendl famously said after hitting Mac, "Hey I didn't invite him to the net."

Mixed is another ball of wax. I always go easy on the woman. I have friends who will crush the female, anything for a win.

The dangerous players are the lower skilled but powerful guys. They will hit you in the head. Got hit in the forehead by an overhead smash that any skilled player could have easily angled off. Ultimately it was my partner's fault for giving the guy a duck but I wasn't too thrilled with johnny testosterone.

dizzlmcwizzl 08-09-2012 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goober (Post 6794635)
Wait till you move up to higher levels than 6.5. I would say the majority of males in competitive matches always go after the female with full swings regardless of her position on the court since most of the time except in the occasional cases where the female is the higher rated player.

I have played a lot of 7.0 - 9.0 ... generally I do not find this to be true. Certainly it happens on occasion but there are only two consistent exceptions I have found

One is at 9.0 (and better 8.0 teams) ... the men will rip it at the net woman when it is the right shot, not just for the purpose of targeting her.

The other happens when the man has a very strong drive to win but lacks skill. These are the folks I worry about because they try to compensate for their lack of ability by trying to target the woman. Often just hitting it hard and without thought.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:18 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse