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tnnisfan 09-29-2012 09:49 AM

Ad player vs Duce player
 
Our two pros were "arguing" this morning. I thought I would bring it to the board and find out your thoughts/experiences...
Here is the situation. We are a 4.5 ladies club team. Our pros are setting up this year's doubles combination. They were "stuck" on what to do with me and my new partner. One pro said I should be on the Ad side as they think I am the overall stronger player and solid at the net. The other pro said I should be on the Duce because I have a stronger forehand than backhand and my partner is more consistent in her returns even though she doesnt hit hard. This pro feels its more important to get the point started, but the other pro is worried my partner's softer returns will be punished and thinks its better to lose points from the Ad side than Duce. It was fun listening to their debate and in the end the pro putting me on the Duce side "won". Does it really make that much difference at this level? Curious to hear of others experiences

Cindysphinx 09-29-2012 10:11 AM

I'm 4.0, not 4.5, so my thoughts might not be all that applicable.

I think in ladies doubles, you have to have a strong crosscourt FH in the deuce court. If not, the opposing net player will use her FH poach to eat you alive.

Also important is having a solid overhead in the ad court, as that player will see 75% of the overheads.

I understand the logic of having the more consistent returner in the ad side, but . . . the serves I have seen from 4.5-ish women are good, but Serena will not be across the net. The serves are plenty returnable. Whoever is on the ad side should be able to get her returns low and away from the BH poach of the opposing net player.

So, without knowing more about your respective games, I would agree with what your pros decided.

floridatennisdude 09-29-2012 10:39 AM

I've never heard that its better to lose ad points than deuce points. Every big point is on the ad side except 5-40 or 40-5. I wouldn't want to be at a disadvantage every time we give them an ad point.

My theory is simple: whoever plays ad side best, plays ad side. If the ad player has on off day, switch sides after the 1st set.

Big_Dangerous 09-29-2012 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tnnisfan (Post 6926256)
Our two pros were "arguing" this morning. I thought I would bring it to the board and find out your thoughts/experiences...
Here is the situation. We are a 4.5 ladies club team. Our pros are setting up this year's doubles combination. They were "stuck" on what to do with me and my new partner. One pro said I should be on the Ad side as they think I am the overall stronger player and solid at the net. The other pro said I should be on the Duce because I have a stronger forehand than backhand and my partner is more consistent in her returns even though she doesnt hit hard. This pro feels its more important to get the point started, but the other pro is worried my partner's softer returns will be punished and thinks its better to lose points from the Ad side than Duce. It was fun listening to their debate and in the end the pro putting me on the Duce side "won". Does it really make that much difference at this level? Curious to hear of others experiences

I really don't see how it makes a difference which side you start from. You have to alternate sides after every point anyway, plus can't you just mess with the formations maybe play a little aussie formation?

JW10S 09-29-2012 01:42 PM

Rather than basing it all on theory why not just play 2 practice sets--1 w/ you in the ad court then 1 w/ you in the dEuce court and see which 1 works best?

gregor.b 09-29-2012 01:50 PM

I don't know too much about 4.5 ladies tennis but in my neck of the woods, the stronger returner always plays the second court unless there is a right/left combination. There are occasional exceptions of course but this is the general rule.

Gemini 09-29-2012 02:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big_Dangerous (Post 6926516)
I really don't see how it makes a difference which side you start from. You have to alternate sides after every point anyway, plus can't you just mess with the formations maybe play a little aussie formation?

I believe the OP is talking about return games. And I'm in favor of putting the more consistent returner in the Ad court. There are more opportunities for games to end in the Ad court and I would want the person most likely to get the return in play on that side. I would probably make that call at any level. It would be more difficult at 4.5 and above because the disparity between individual players should be less obvious.

2ndServe 09-29-2012 02:33 PM

whoever has the better putaway overhead should play the side that they can putaway lobs down the middle. You see an *** load of lobs in league play.

HookEmJeff 09-29-2012 09:59 PM

Totally disagree.

The best player - in rec doubles - should always play the deuce side. In theory, more balls are likely to be hit to that person since not every game finishes with an even number of points.

Plenty of times break points are at 15-40. Being able to consistently get the other guy TO break point is more key than one or two break points a match at 30-40. You're starting off every game, every tiebreaker, every everything just about. Many times that sets the tone for a match.

It's also a lot tougher to hit an inside-out backhand return off hard balls. I don't know a lot of people who can consistently dip the ball inside out that aren't in college or on the tour off of good hard first serves.

I always feel like more people poach off the deuce side anyway because it's a FH volley, so it's even more of a premium to be able to hit that return as a skill.

Most right handers also don't have a great inside out serve on the ad side (maybe a good kicker), but I do think a lot more have a good wide slice on the deuce, which is also a beeyotch of a return for the deuce side guy. If you have a lefty opponent, then it's more of an issue for your ad guy.

But, I would want the best player seeing as many potential balls as possible than worrying about a few key 30-40 break points.

Everyone just likes to think they are some badass because they play the ad side.

Jeff

spot 09-30-2012 12:57 AM

People tremendously over think the Ad/Deuce side. You should play in whatever formation makes your return of serve stronger. For you guys that is with you playing Deuce and her playing Ad. The return of serve happens on half the points- who cares about who has the stronger overhead when that matters just a few times per match? When it gets to deuce you need to win both points- if you win the deuce point then the Ad player doesn't have extra pressure. Winning more points is the goal.

floridatennisdude 09-30-2012 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HookEmJeff (Post 6927157)
Totally disagree.

The best player - in rec doubles - should always play the deuce side. In theory, more balls are likely to be hit to that person since not every game finishes with an even number of points.

Plenty of times break points are at 15-40. Being able to consistently get the other guy TO break point is more key than one or two break points a match at 30-40. You're starting off every game, every tiebreaker, every everything just about. Many times that sets the tone for a match.

It's also a lot tougher to hit an inside-out backhand return off hard balls. I don't know a lot of people who can consistently dip the ball inside out that aren't in college or on the tour off of good hard first serves.

I always feel like more people poach off the deuce side anyway because it's a FH volley, so it's even more of a premium to be able to hit that return as a skill.

Most right handers also don't have a great inside out serve on the ad side (maybe a good kicker), but I do think a lot more have a good wide slice on the deuce, which is also a beeyotch of a return for the deuce side guy. If you have a lefty opponent, then it's more of an issue for your ad guy.

But, I would want the best player seeing as many potential balls as possible than worrying about a few key 30-40 break points.

Everyone just likes to think they are some badass because they play the ad side.

Jeff

Big points on ad court: 0-40, 30-40, 40-30, ad-in, ad-out

Big points on deuce court: 5-40

I don't mind your theory of getting yourself TO game point, but if you face more potential game points for your opponent...why would you want a less capable returner on that?

As I said before, of the 2 players put the one that plays ad side best on the ad side.

SystemicAnomaly 09-30-2012 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 6926334)
I've never heard that its better to lose ad points than deuce points. Every big point is on the ad side except 5-40 or 40-5. I wouldn't want to be at a disadvantage every time we give them an ad point.

My theory is simple: whoever plays ad side best, plays ad side. If the ad player has on off day, switch sides after the 1st set.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregor.b (Post 6926581)
I don't know too much about 4.5 ladies tennis but in my neck of the woods, the stronger returner always plays the second court unless there is a right/left combination. There are occasional exceptions of course but this is the general rule.

This is the conventional wisdom. Most games are ultimately decided on the ad side. There may be other considerations as well. For instance, one player might only be slightly better at returning but prefers the deuce side whereas his/her partner prefers the ad side. With this situation, a little bit of experimentation might determine which returning orientation works best for the team overall.

With lefty/righty combinations, the lefty often player the ad side but this is not always the case. Up until fairly recently, the Bryan bros had played the conventional formation but then decided to switch it to put Bob, the lefty, on the deuce side (for a variety of reasons). Mike, the righty, is probably a little bit better at returning. They both have decent enough BHs and footwork to handle the alleys and they decided that they would rather put their FHs in the middle for poaching purposes.

tennis tom 09-30-2012 06:50 AM

All things being equal (which they seldom are at the rec level) the more consistent player should play the ad side. In good doubles the scores are 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The flashier, big shot, more dynamic player should play the deuce side and the more consistent player should play the ad side. This way the deuce guy can be aggressive and make things happen and the ad guy can save the team's *** to bring the score back even again and reset the game.

4.5 should be pretty decent club doubles, but these days you even see pros playing one/up, one/back, so what the heck, these are the go-go days, so anything goes. In the OP's case, either, one of these pros doesn't know his business, or there is some over-riding discrepancy between the two players abiliteis to create such a challenge to the fundamentals of winning doubles.

Cindysphinx 09-30-2012 07:07 AM

I think there is a gender disconnect going on here. I think the issues are different for men and also for leftie/rightie pair.

Maybe in men's there are only a few lobs, but that is not true in 4.0 women's. Indeed, the weaker your overheads, the more lobs you will see. If you miss a few overheads early, you can rest assured your opponents will notice.

I also don't think it is correct to say the more "consistent" returner should be in the ad court. I think better is that the "stronger" returner should be in the deuce court.

As a deuce court player, I can tell you that taking a serve up the middle with your BH and getting it away from the poach is really hard. I need a lot of shots to deal with this. I have to have the BH back to the server, of course. I should be able to take my BH to the net player's alley, preferably with topspin so it dips. I need to be able to stand in closer to take away the net player's time. And I need a lob over her BH.

When I play with lower-rated players, I prefer that they play the ad side. When I have had them play the deuce side, we get eaten alive off of poaches once the net player grooves off of their return.

andfor 09-30-2012 08:01 AM

This could go in circles for a long time. However, the stonger returner or player should be on the ad side. Are there exceptions to the rule given gender, shot strength or weakness or return side preference? Sure. Given the importance of points on the ad side, more often than not, that's where the stronger returner/player should be.

In a new partner situation if that team gets blown out first set and rarely had a sniff for break points, change sides in the second set or possibly even the 3rd set. Making adjustments is the key.

Off The Wall 09-30-2012 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HookEmJeff (Post 6927157)
Totally disagree.

The best player - in rec doubles - should always play the deuce side. In theory, more balls are likely to be hit to that person since not every game finishes with an even number of points.

Plenty of times break points are at 15-40. Being able to consistently get the other guy TO break point is more key than one or two break points a match at 30-40. You're starting off every game, every tiebreaker, every everything just about. Many times that sets the tone for a match.

It's also a lot tougher to hit an inside-out backhand return off hard balls. I don't know a lot of people who can consistently dip the ball inside out that aren't in college or on the tour off of good hard first serves.

I always feel like more people poach off the deuce side anyway because it's a FH volley, so it's even more of a premium to be able to hit that return as a skill.

Most right handers also don't have a great inside out serve on the ad side (maybe a good kicker), but I do think a lot more have a good wide slice on the deuce, which is also a beeyotch of a return for the deuce side guy. If you have a lefty opponent, then it's more of an issue for your ad guy.

But, I would want the best player seeing as many potential balls as possible than worrying about a few key 30-40 break points.

Everyone just likes to think they are some badass because they play the ad side.

Jeff

Agree more with HookEmJeff.

Forget big point focus. You're only at a BP because the deuce returner is handling the back-across BH return. That's the one that is the hardest to hit and the easiest to poach. It doesn't matter if he's the strongest player, it just matters that he can hit that return.

robby c 09-30-2012 08:52 AM

Play practice sets both ways.
Let the players decide which is best.
Robby C

goober 09-30-2012 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tnnisfan (Post 6926256)
Our two pros were "arguing" this morning. I thought I would bring it to the board and find out your thoughts/experiences...
Here is the situation. We are a 4.5 ladies club team. Our pros are setting up this year's doubles combination. They were "stuck" on what to do with me and my new partner. One pro said I should be on the Ad side as they think I am the overall stronger player and solid at the net. The other pro said I should be on the Duce because I have a stronger forehand than backhand and my partner is more consistent in her returns even though she doesnt hit hard. This pro feels its more important to get the point started, but the other pro is worried my partner's softer returns will be punished and thinks its better to lose points from the Ad side than Duce. It was fun listening to their debate and in the end the pro putting me on the Duce side "won". Does it really make that much difference at this level? Curious to hear of others experiences

I don't get this idea of setting up doubles combinations and what side you should play before the season starts. Nothing should be set in stone. Try it both ways against a variety of partners in practice. Nothing beats trying things out in real world situations. How do you even know that you and your new partner are even going to mesh? What if you have a huge personality clash or your play styles really don't compliment each other? Everything should be fluid and adjustments should be made through out the season if need be.

floridatennisdude 09-30-2012 09:37 AM

^^^as nice as "trying it out both ways" sounds, it is rarely realistic to get a sampling of any significance. People have lives and schedules don't always allow a dozen practice matches in a month before a season starts.

The most likely trial and error will happen during the matches themselves, when it counts.

SystemicAnomaly 09-30-2012 09:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Off The Wall (Post 6927632)
Agree more with HookEmJeff.

Forget big point focus. You're only at a BP because the deuce returner is handling the back-across BH return. That's the one that is the hardest to hit and the easiest to poach. It doesn't matter if he's the strongest player, it just matters that he can hit that return.

This assumes that the other servers can serve to the BH on the deuce side consistently. This is not always the case (but you would think that 4.5 players should be able to do this). OTOH, righty servers will often have a difficult time serving out wide on the ad side so putting the weaker BH on that side will often make sense, particularly if that player has a decent FH return.

Now if you are facing a lefty server on the ad side, you want a strong BH on that side since many lefties can hit a serve to the BH that is difficult to run around.


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