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-   -   What do you do with your doubles partners that always serve wide? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=437482)

AR15 08-26-2012 07:15 PM

What do you do with your doubles partners that always serve wide?
 
On my men's 3.5 team, and especially on the mixed teams I play on, I have several partners that serve from the allies, and serve wide on almost every serve. As the net guy, I feel like I'm floundering around attempting to make something happen (poach) under difficult circumstances. Most serve returns are going back extreme cross court, and if I try to get a head start on them, the returner goes up the line.

What do you do when this happens?

esgee48 08-26-2012 07:41 PM

Just stay in position. You can't do anything, so don't get too aggressive.

You could ask your partner to go into the T and you will try poaching if the serve goes in, but otherwise there's not much you can do.

If your partner can really go out wide with pace, like half way between the service line and the net, then I would chance a poach. BTW, you should not be standing within 2 racquet lengths of the net. Stand about 2 feet inside the service line and get ready to cut the ball off diagonally.

t135 08-26-2012 07:52 PM

Ask them to move over and serve down the T more to take away the angles and mix it up. If they don't listen or can't control their serve placement you can't worry about it. Just deal with it.

Attempt to poach, fake lots of poaches, stay back at the baseline with the server occasionally then move in after the return and the point gets going, use the Australian formation, or use the I formation. Lots of options to mix things up.

Cindysphinx 08-26-2012 08:15 PM

Easy.

Use signals. If you signal go and the serve is wide, take off earlier. If the returner rips it DTL, perhaps this will encourage your partner to serve middle.

Also, signaling gives you an opportunity to request a T serve.

I serve wide a lot on the ad side. It is an easier serve for me, it goes to the receiver's BH, and most partners wont dare poach with their BHs anyway.

AR15 08-27-2012 07:58 AM

I rarely get to play with the same partner, and most of the "wide servers" i'm talking about, don't want to use hand signals, formations etc.

jaybear1909 08-27-2012 08:07 AM

I play with a partner that does this, but it's usually in our favor. He has a big kick serve (not tons of pace but it kicks a good amount to the right). By the time the opponent gets to it he's already about 3-4 feet outside the alleys.

At 4.0, people have a difficult time returning this. If they don't time it right it will come right at me/down the middle (easy poach). It's also a difficult shot to redirect down the line since it's a deep serve.

If he does it too much though, our opponents get in a groove. They either learn to run around it (his toss is very obvious) or start to hit their backhands well. When this happens I try to get him to mix it up (he's got a hard flat serve that he can put wherever he wants, just not as consistently as his wide serve).

Juking also works wonders. Tons of times I've faked to poach and stayed where I was. 7/10 times they try to beat me down the line. Easy volley at that point (I still manage to screw it up sometimes though). Try to poach as they make contact. If you poach too soon they'll easily redirect the ball. You can usually tell the direction someone is hitting by: Watching their eyes, watching their body turn and being aware of their point of contact.

I wouldn't ask your partner to move depending on where he wants to serve. It's way too obvious. Does he stand so far over because he's afraid he might hit you? Possibly get him to stand about 2-3 feet left of the dash on the baseline. This way he can hit either a wide serve or DTL. You can stand a little bit more toward the alley while he's serving as well, if that's the case.

IA-SteveB 08-27-2012 08:16 AM

Interesting thread. This is my first year playing doubles and I didn't know about hand signals or any of that stuff. I tend to move around for variation, but I never serve from the alley.

corbind 08-27-2012 08:49 AM

I don't envy your position in that I greatly dislike it when any of my partners serve from the alley. The net man should cover the alley and your partner serving wide makes you move further over toward the alley to protect it. I've found it much more difficult to poach on serves hit from the alley wide because of the extreme angle.

I greatly prefer my partner serving from near the center of the court and serving down the "T" most of the time on both ad and deuce side. It makes the angle returning down the alley almost impossible and sets me up for much easier poaches.

Yet I don't control where my partner stands or where he serves so I just do the best I can with what I'm given. You should do the same. If you're bold enough explain fully as you have here why you're having difficulty with his/her serving from the alley (s)he may just try something different and maybe better for you as a team.

spot 08-27-2012 10:14 AM

I'm a pretty dedicated "pound the backhand with kickers" player so on the Ad side I'll serve easily 90% out wide. If I am serving out wide on the ad side then I want my partner to cover the line and I am covering the middle. In my experience until you get to the 4.5 level there are so few players who can attack that serve with the sharp angled return so it simply isn't something that needs to be worried about. Thats the return I am more than happy to let my opponents attempt.

But if your partner is really serving balls out wide and the opposing team is hitting clean winners cross court off of it then the first thing to do is to go Australian which makes your partner move to the middle of the court to serve. It takes away the wicked cross court return and makes the opposing player go back down the line.

If the opposing team is still hitting clean return winners then you should be able to easily tell your server to keep the ball down the middle to eliminate angle. At that point the server should be up for trying anything different that you suggest.

rabidranger 08-27-2012 10:25 AM

You're just going to have to hold your ground. Most 3.5s I play with can only dictate serve direction if they take a ton off, so you're probably better off taking your chances with a hard, wide serve. At the very least your partner should have plenty of time and space to do something with the return.

OrangePower 08-27-2012 10:36 AM

I have no problem with a partner serving wide, as long as it's a decent serve. In this scenario I prefer to stand closer to the net rather than further. This gives me more opportunity to cut off a crosscourt return. I give the receiver more of a target down the line, but that's ok... it's a low percentage shot assuming the serve is decent.

tennis_ocd 08-27-2012 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esgee48 (Post 6836326)
BTW, you should not be standing within 2 racquet lengths of the net. Stand about 2 feet inside the service line and get ready to cut the ball off diagonally.

I'd think it would depend on the returner. Until he lobs, I'd positioning myself to follow the wide serve right up on the net. Give the returner the lob or extreme cross court angle and punish anything else. Staying back at the service line gives the returner the entire court if he can keep the ball fast, low and sinking.

If the returner shows a soft return with a tendancy to lob I'd play back a bit nearer the service line. I just hate getting caught with the screaming return at my ankles...

dcdoorknob 08-27-2012 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 6837773)
I have no problem with a partner serving wide, as long as it's a decent serve. In this scenario I prefer to stand closer to the net rather than further. This gives me more opportunity to cut off a crosscourt return. I give the receiver more of a target down the line, but that's ok... it's a low percentage shot assuming the serve is decent.

Agree with this. I also notice it too if I'm returning. If the server has a quality wide serve it's often hard to get the return angled enough to keep away from an active netman who's leaning towards the middle and close to the net, and like you said the down the line is just a low-percentage shot (not that I won't try in an attempt to back the net-guy off the poach a little for future returns). Quality wide serves are great for the netman to just hedge towards the middle (close to the net) and pick off anything reachable, imo.

If it's a weak-ish serve that can be easily directed down the alley, then I'm not sure how much you can do, I'd likely just stay my ground at first to see how the points seem to be playing out w/o poaching, since it's just a tough spot to try to poach. If we're getting the worst of it that way, and they insist on continuing to serve out wide from the alleys, I'll try and mix it up (either becoming more active at net, or trying 2 back, or something) to see if anything sticks, but at that point things are probably not looking great.

goober 08-27-2012 11:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 6837773)
I have no problem with a partner serving wide, as long as it's a decent serve. In this scenario I prefer to stand closer to the net rather than further. This gives me more opportunity to cut off a crosscourt return. I give the receiver more of a target down the line, but that's ok... it's a low percentage shot assuming the serve is decent.

Since OP was playing 3.5 mixed, I will say mostly likely his female partner did not have a great out wide serve. At the 3.5 level there are very few women that are going to have good serves so going out wide usually will set up opponent for an easy FH on the deuce court. If you have a weaker serve it usually better to go up the T or at least a body shot so the passing angles on the return are not as a great. On the ad court it usually going to the BH, so generally not as much of an issue.

LeeD 08-27-2012 12:05 PM

Always serving wide is a 3.5 idea that insures the server will get a chance to hit another ball, keeping the netperson out of the way.
Oftentimes, 3.5's like to play points, NOT win points, on their service games.
I talk to a few of my partners about this, and they always say that's their best serve. But in reality, they want to hit the ball, and take me out of the game. How do I know this? Because when I DO poach and win the point, they serve even slower the next point.
Winning tennis is serving mostly up the T, then out wide when the returner cheats that way. That involves both players into the point.

Spokewench 08-27-2012 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AR15 (Post 6836277)
On my men's 3.5 team, and especially on the mixed teams I play on, I have several partners that serve from the allies, and serve wide on almost every serve. As the net guy, I feel like I'm floundering around attempting to make something happen (poach) under difficult circumstances. Most serve returns are going back extreme cross court, and if I try to get a head start on them, the returner goes up the line.

What do you do when this happens?

Nothing you can do about this. Cover the alley - where you can take one step and get the down the line and leave it up to your partner to start the rally cross court, if it continues wide and short, cover the alley; if he brings it back to a deeper type cross court ball then move accordingly. It is your partner's issue if he starts wide - and he or she needs to cover the short angled returns. That is a server's job if he goes wide

sureshs 08-27-2012 02:35 PM

The wide serve from the doubles alley is quite a good strategy as it troubles players who have weak backhands or cannot move up quick enough.

Maui19 08-27-2012 02:45 PM

I have had a ton of success serving decent kick serves to receivers' backhands. Obviously this means a lot of wide serves to the ad court when facing righties. My partners don't mind because they get a lot of putaways at the net.

LeeD 08-27-2012 02:51 PM

That's HALF your points. What about duece court, serving wide to the FOREhand side?
Did you fail to read the "ALWAYS" in the title of this thread?

NTRPolice 08-27-2012 03:25 PM

Serving wide is generally better I thought?

If you serve the T, the net person has more court to cover.

If you serve wide on either side the angles are actually smaller. Most of the time someone blasts a winner DTL on me is when my partner serves the middle. I rarely get someone burning me DTL on a good serve out side.

Both sides.

I feel like I hit more winners DTL myself. I burn a lot of people with my BH DTL if they serve a duck on the forehand side because they try to poach.


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