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Ironwood 02-01-2013 07:23 AM

Ready to receive service
 
I play mostly club doubles, and in our competitive club level play there are a couple of fellows that like to quick serve to gain an edge. When is a player considered ready to receive service.....when he considers himself to be ready or when standing in position to receive? When readying to receive, I typically shuffle my feet to position with my head looking down then lift my head to get ready to receive. With one oponent yesterday, notorious for rushing his serve, I would often look up to see him already in motion. I called out twice in one set I wasn't ready, on his other rushed serves I was able to quickly focus and play the ball. His response was my feet were stationary and I was facing him to receive....but he went into his service motion with my head still looking down at the court. My service ready motion isn't overly slow or deliberate...he just quick serves. How should I deal with this.

North 02-01-2013 07:44 AM

If you are truly not ready to return (and are playing to the reasonable pace of the server - that is, you are not stalling) but you are clearly being quick served, just make no attempt to return and state that you were not ready.

Govnor 02-01-2013 07:49 AM

yep, if you're not ready, you're not ready. Just say so. They will get the idea.

blakesq 02-01-2013 08:00 AM

hmmm...so you are in the right location to receive your serve, but you are looking down and shuffling your feet? sounds like an intentional delay in order to get into the server's head. How long are you looking down and shuffling your feet?

Once I am in the right location, i am ready to receive serve. If i am still walking to get into the right location, i am NOT ready, and will indicate I am not if the server tries to serve.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Ironwood (Post 7184309)
I play mostly club doubles, and in our competitive club level play there are a couple of fellows that like to quick serve to gain an edge. When is a player considered ready to receive service.....when he considers himself to be ready or when standing in position to receive? When readying to receive, I typically shuffle my feet to position with my head looking down then lift my head to get ready to receive. With one oponent yesterday, notorious for rushing his serve, I would often look up to see him already in motion. I called out twice in one set I wasn't ready, on his other rushed serves I was able to quickly focus and play the ball. His response was my feet were stationary and I was facing him to receive....but he went into his service motion with my head still looking down at the court. My service ready motion isn't overly slow or deliberate...he just quick serves. How should I deal with this.


Mongolmike 02-01-2013 08:03 AM

I think raising your non-hitting hand is also an acceptable way to send a message.

Note that any objection you voice is going to cause frustration on his part and probably an exchange of words... but to me, IF he is quick serving, why should I be the one frustrated by this... raise my hand, say I wasn't ready, when he objects I just shrug my shoulders and say "first serve."

Mongolmike 02-01-2013 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blakesq (Post 7184396)
hmmm...so you in the right location to receive your serve, but you are looking down and shuffling your feet? sounds like an intential delay in order to get into the server's head. How long are you looking down and shuffling your feet?

Once I am in the right location, i am ready to receive serve. If i am still walking to get into the right location, i am NOT ready, and will indicate I am not if the server tries to serve.

I get what you are saying, but I've played against quick servers too... as I am walking back to receive, as soon as I turn around to get ready they are in their service motion. Was I in the serve spot? Yes. Was I ready? No. Was I causing an un-reasonable delay? No. Quick serves are a tactic I don't use, but I could see how it would give someone an edge... its another form of gamesmanship.

spot 02-01-2013 09:36 AM

If you are in position and facing me, I am not going to look at your eyes to make eye contact before I serve. I'll take note of where you are and where your partner is but then I'm looking up at the ball. If you want me to wait then put a hand up so that I know it.

I don't think you have much of an argument to have the person serve again if you are in position and don't put your hand up to signal that you aren't ready.

Granted, I am not a quick server so maybe the protocol is different for people who push the line a bit. But I don't think that I have ever waited for eye contact before serving the ball.

mikeler 02-01-2013 10:09 AM

One little trick to stop the quick servers sometimes is if you have a ball in your pocket to hit over. Wait until you are close to being set in your ready position and then hit the ball slowly to them.

OrangePower 02-01-2013 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mongolmike (Post 7184402)
I think raising your non-hitting hand is also an acceptable way to send a message.

This. Obviously no need to raise your hand if you're still walking to the receiving position, but if you are in position but not yet ready for whatever reason (adjusting feet, something in eye, whatever), just raise your hand until you are ready.

Then again I have limited experience with quick servers. I can't remember anyone attempting this against me on a first serve. There is one guy I know who will sometimes hit a second serve alsmost immediately after first serve fault to try catch opponents off guard, but we all laugh at him for it because he rushes it so much that he usually double faults.

jonnythan 02-01-2013 11:00 AM

No one is ready to receive service the instant their feet get to the intended spot.

Just keep your head down and look up when you're ready. If he starts his serve before then, just say "not ready."

I've been in this situation before. They generally get pretty obnoxious by asking "OK? Are you ready now?" every serve, but that only usually lasts a couple of points. Just calmly say "yup" and they get bored of it pretty quickly.

beernutz 02-01-2013 12:20 PM

I would think it would be hard for a quick serve to work more than once and even the first time you could just say, "first serve, I wasn't ready." After that, just walk to the receiving serve position holding your racquet in your off hand or holding one hand up and don't put it down until you are ready to receive.

Luckily like some of you who have already responded I've never faced a quick server, in fact, my peeve is with the opposite type who take forever to complete their service delivery. The worst offender at our club in this regard also foot faults on every single serve making him doubly fun to play against.

IA-SteveB 02-01-2013 12:33 PM

I can see this scenario coming to blows. :)

Cindysphinx 02-01-2013 01:01 PM

I play doubles, and I hold my racket up until my partner is in position and I am also ready. You'd be surprised how many try to serve while my partner is clearing a ball, putting it in her, walking to her position . . . .

I also have to guard against quick-serving partners. They miss a first serve, I clear it, and the next thing I know the serve is on its way while I still have a ball in my right hand. Now, I turn and face them until I have secured the ball and walked (sometimes backward toward the net!) into position.

There are some quick-serving players out there!

Spokewench 02-01-2013 01:20 PM

I have played several quick serving players and when I find out i am playing one, I hold my hand up on every serve until I have come into postion and am ready.

It seems to be the only thing that will keep them from doing this action. Especially between first and second serve when your partner is clearing a ball or I am backing up getting back into serve position (since I usually move into the court to contact my return).

Govnor 02-01-2013 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7185049)
I play doubles, and I hold my racket up until my partner is in position and I am also ready. You'd be surprised how many try to serve while my partner is clearing a ball, putting it in her, walking to her position . . . .

I also have to guard against quick-serving partners. They miss a first serve, I clear it, and the next thing I know the serve is on its way while I still have a ball in my right hand. Now, I turn and face them until I have secured the ball and walked (sometimes backward toward the net!) into position.

There are some quick-serving players out there!

ummmmmmm, what now?

Cindysphinx 02-01-2013 02:06 PM

In her skirt, her skirt! I swear, her skirt!

goran_ace 02-01-2013 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ironwood (Post 7184309)
When readying to receive, I typically shuffle my feet to position with my head looking down then lift my head to get ready to receive.

I think you really should change your ritual. At least raise your hand or racket until you are truly ready, like the others have said. If you want some extra time to gather yourself then pace around, turn your back to the server or fiddle with your strings. If your body is facing the server, you are shuffling your feet or rocking back and forth, and you have both hands on the racket whether or not you are looking up down or to he side to most people you look ready to receive.

Take a look at it from the other guy's perspective. Maybe the guy wasn't trying to quick serve you. So he sees your body looking like you're ready, he hits good first serve and then you claim you weren't ready. What? OK, not a big deal. Then it happens again. Now maybe he thinks you are the one who is trying to pull a fast one out there.

NLBwell 02-01-2013 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goran_ace (Post 7185189)
If you want some extra time to gather yourself then pace around, turn your back to the server or fiddle with your strings.

This could be illegally delaying the server. I would hope the OP is generally playing at the server's pace. If so, he should just raise his hand and say he's not ready.

SwankPeRFection 02-01-2013 07:33 PM

You are considered "Ready to receive" when you've stepped up to the line you normally step up to to receive serve. If you've got other quirks you like to do, you better do them on your own time. I don't like taking forever to serve either, but I always check to make sure the player is ready to receive. If they're standing in the same place they normally stand when they're ready to receive serve, then they're ready.

You kind of have to feel it out with new people you play against, but generally speaking, if you're not ready, don't step up to bat. (i.e. don't look ready) There is no rule that says I have to figure out what your normal routine is for being ready to serve, wait for that to happen, and then serve. Normally, if I'm ready and you're still ******g around, I'll hold the ball up to indicate I'm ready to serve. If you continue down the path of this primping and pampering, I'll usually follow it up with one of the following.

1) "I didn't know we were going to be playing mixed today."
2) "Are you ready sweetie?... the car's all warmed up."

Of course all of this is based on how well we know each other, but even if we've never met before, I'll still give you some kind of smartass remark that gets the point across.

Bottom line, being ready to serve and being ready to receive is a mutual respect and responsibility thing. Don't waste my time repeatedly and I won't waste yours. At the same time, as long as it's within reason, I won't rush you if you don't rush me.


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