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-   -   Is it bad manners to fire a return of serve at the net player? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=455217)

TimeToPlaySets 02-19-2013 05:17 AM

Is it bad manners to fire a return of serve at the net player?
 
I returned a serve as hard as I could right at the net player. He didn't even get a racket onto the ball, and almost was hit. Is this bad etiquette, or is this fair play? After that he stayed back at the baseline during serve games. When his partner came to the net 2 games later, I did the same thing. Fired a very hard return right at his body, and passed right by him. I won these points, but am not sure if I looked like a jerk.

This was played in an informal 3.0 to 3.5 league. This means people can play, but also have inconsistency and/or some glaring weakness (weak 2nd serve, etc) In other words, not full experts. Yet, can show glimmers of serious skill (rip a forehand, huge first serve when it goes in, etc)

Govnor 02-19-2013 05:27 AM

If you're not comfortable at the net, don't go to the net. Having balls hit right at you is a part of the game. Often it isn't even intentional.

loci 02-19-2013 05:36 AM

it's within the rules and a perfectly acceptable play.

spot 02-19-2013 06:12 AM

I guess it depends on how "informal" the league is. In league play then there is no problem making someone earn that spot at the net and not conceding the space to them just because they would like to stand there. In social tennis then it probably isn't a good choice and you would likely come across as looking like a jerk. Hard to say what the balance is for you as I'm not really sure what an informal league is.

floridatennisdude 02-19-2013 06:24 AM

League? Game on

Social? Have fun

Say Chi Sin Lo 02-19-2013 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Govnor (Post 7224030)
If you're not comfortable at the net, don't go to the net. Having balls hit right at you is a part of the game. Often it isn't even intentional.

Yeah most players (those that can actually play, not the ones that dink balls around on a Sunday morning and call themselves tennis players) have no problems getting blasted at the net. They accept it as part of the game.

But I will say it's not the most graceful way to win a point, and I would only do it if I'm out of options. For example, if both of them are crowding the net and I can't react fast enough to hit a topspin lobs, then one of them is probably going to get a fast one coming to them.

beernutz 02-19-2013 06:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7224119)
Yeah most players (those that can actually play, not the ones that dink balls around on a Sunday morning and call themselves tennis players) have no problems getting blasted at the net. They accept it as part of the game.

But I will say it's not the most graceful way to win a point.

I agree. I have NO problem with someone firing a ball right at me when I am at the net. If my partner is dinking serves then I need to be prepared for that possibility or back up to the baseline. However, I very rarely use this play myself as I prefer to go around or over the net player if I'm hitting in his direction.

I do though keep a mental record of who has fired one intentionally at my body and at some point in the match I will return the favor. I just don't like other players thinking I'm intimidated by anything they do so I like to balance out the karma with a shot towards their right hip, either in this match or even a later one.

There is a 4.0 at our club who is famous (or infamous) for firing body shots at net people. You really have to be on your toes when he's receiving for that first one he is going to try but if you are ready and can volley off a winner then he rarely tries it again. He's got one coming from a match we played several months ago and I even told him to be ready for it the next time we play.

rkelley 02-19-2013 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Say Chi Sin Lo (Post 7224119)
Yeah most players (those that can actually play, not the ones that dink balls around on a Sunday morning and call themselves tennis players) have no problems getting blasted at the net. They accept it as part of the game.

But I will say it's not the most graceful way to win a point, and I would only do it if I'm out of options. For example, if both of them are crowding the net and I can't react fast enough to hit a topspin lobs, then one of them is probably going to get a fast one coming to them.

Assuming we're talking about competitive tennis among players of reasonably similar ability (no ex-pros playing with 3.0s, no 80 year olds, no one with obvious physical limitations), then I completely disagree with this statement. Ripping shots at the net guy is doubles 101. I want that position at net, and I also don't want him to have it. As long as he's there it's harder for me to take it. I have every right to hit at him, around him, and over him to get him out of that spot. If his partner lays up a sitter, then he has to decide whether he wants to defend the position or retreat back to the baseline. That's part of the game.

Mongolmike 02-19-2013 07:11 AM

I'm at the net and get shots fired at me every match. If I can volley successfully, I won't see many more shots at me unless I poach.

If I volley unsuccessfully, I damn sure better get more shots at me, or the opposing player is not very good at picking up possible weaknesses/patterns.

And if the opposing player repeatedly and successfully fires shots at me at the net... I better adjust, including moving back to the baseline if that is the best strategic move for our team. At no time do I get upset about it, or plot revenge... its part of the game IMO.

When I'm at baseline and opposing player is at net during the course of the match I will fire hard at them to see how they react. I also will try to pass them, try to lob them, and try to topspin dip a shot at their feet. Nothing personal, its all part of my probing to see how they react... I'm trying to win. I will try to exploit your weakness. If you do not adjust to protect any weakness, you will lose.

Govnor 02-19-2013 07:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rkelley (Post 7224158)
Assuming we're talking about competitive tennis among players of reasonably similar ability (no ex-pros playing with 3.0s, no 80 year olds, no one with obvious physical limitations), then I completely disagree with this statement. Ripping shots at the net guy is doubles 101. I want that position at net, and I also don't want him to have it. As long as he's there it's harder for me to take it. I have every right to hit at him, around him, and over him to get him out of that spot. If his partner lays up a sitter, then he has to decide whether he wants to defend the position or retreat back to the baseline. That's part of the game.

100% truth right here. I will also add that the original question was about return. If the server has even a decent serve then unless you're an exceptional player, intentionally aiming a screaming return at the Net guys body is extremely difficult to pull off, much more likely that it's just supposed to be a powerful return (that you've given up some control over, for that power) and it happens to hit that exact area.

Douggo 02-19-2013 07:19 AM

At the 3.0-3.5 level, if you hit somebody or come close, tell them you're sorry and didn't mean it (even if it's a lie) and move on. You can't be expected to have pinpoint control - even if you do on certain shots.

cknobman 02-19-2013 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by floridatennisdude (Post 7224101)
League? Game on

Social? Have fun

^ this for me

sureshs 02-19-2013 07:37 AM

Humble brag alert

TimeToPlaySets 02-19-2013 07:40 AM

I think the fairness balances out due to the fact that if you have half decent net game, a low ball fired back at you is very easy to put away. It sort of cancels out. Also, it's not easy to fire back a shot at the net. It's easy to hit it long or into the net. So, I now think it's fair game. Don't like it? Then don't play net.

Interesting to hear talk about "earning" the right to be at net. In doubles, each point starts with one person from each side already at net. I think I need to learn when to back off the net. Often, I find myself just sitting there as they hit to the other guy. But, on a short hit from my partner, I should sprint back to the baseline, right? B/c I'm basically useless at the net when they're about to put it away (or get hit by an overhead!)

OrangePower 02-19-2013 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TimeToPlaySets (Post 7224016)
I returned a serve as hard as I could right at the net player. He didn't even get a racket onto the ball, and almost was hit. Is this bad etiquette, or is this fair play? After that he stayed back at the baseline during serve games. When his partner came to the net 2 games later, I did the same thing. Fired a very hard return right at his body, and passed right by him. I won these points, but am not sure if I looked like a jerk.

This was played in an informal 3.0 to 3.5 league. This means people can play, but also have inconsistency and/or some glaring weakness (weak 2nd serve, etc) In other words, not full experts. Yet, can show glimmers of serious skill (rip a forehand, huge first serve when it goes in, etc)

As usual, it depends:

- How competitive is this informal league? If competitive, then testing the net player with a hard shot is legit. If not competitive, your opponents probably now think you're a jerk.

- What is the skill difference between you and your opponents? If roughly the same, then no problem. If you are significantly better, then you should find other ways to win, unless again the match is very competitive.

- These hard returns of yours, are they somewhat controlled? Meaning, are you typically hitting them in? Or do most of them end up hitting the back fence without a bounce (assuming they don't hit the net player)? If they are uncontrolled, then I would not be firing them at the net player.

IA-SteveB 02-19-2013 09:10 AM

I think it is perfectly fine. In 3-3.5 I think you have to be ready for the ball to be anywhere at any time so net people should just be ready. As a 3.5 player myself, where I want the shot to go and where it ends up can be a bit different. :) Whether you mean to hit it at a net player or not, I think they should always be ready regardless.

LeeD 02-19-2013 10:02 AM

I"m with the above post.
Was playing doubles against a big strong 5.5 last year, and he fired 5 consecutive returns of serve at my body, this against my partner's 65 mph slice serve to his forehand.
I mishit the first 3, dribbling or popping them up. Then got lucky on one, and mishit winners the next two.
Good practice, one that kept me on my toes. And raised the level of my game.

omega4 02-19-2013 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7224549)
I"m with the above post.
Was playing doubles against a big strong 5.5 last year, and he fired 5 consecutive returns of serve at my body, this against my partner's 65 mph slice serve to his forehand.
I mishit the first 3, dribbling or popping them up. Then got lucky on one, and mishit winners the next two.
Good practice, one that kept me on my toes. And raised the level of my game.

You're braver than me.

Were I in your situation, I'd have camped the baseline. I actually like my head and wouldn't want a big strong 5.5 to tee off on my partner's 65 mph serve.

LeeD 02-19-2013 11:07 AM

I am not braver.
I am dumber, and more obstinate, of course.
My partner is a strong 4.0 doubles player, with the weakest serve ever, and he tends to slice wide on duece court. I know this, the opposition knows this.
The 5.5 is 6'5" and 225lbs., and likes to show off.
He knew I used to play at that level, and have seen plenty of shots like that.....25 years prior.

omega4 02-19-2013 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7224692)
I am not braver.
I am dumber, and more obstinate, of course.
My partner is a strong 4.0 doubles player, with the weakest serve ever, and he tends to slice wide on duece court. I know this, the opposition knows this.
The 5.5 is 6'5" and 225lbs., and likes to show off.
He knew I used to play at that level, and have seen plenty of shots like that.....25 years prior.

LOL. No, I think you're definitely braver than me.

I don't want to give any 5.5. with a penchant for showing off the opportunity to use my head as target practice at net!


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