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Old 09-20-2011, 05:54 AM   #3
Cindysphinx's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 15,064

I read it and enjoyed it. Thank you!!

Rather than give you a cookie, I will tell you about one of my mixed 7.0 matches at sectionals, which sounded very similar to yours.

We were playing a guy with a big topspin FH and serve, and a woman who was steady but mostly camped close to net and waited for the match to be over. (I didn't know their ratings beforehand, but I later learned he is a 4.0 who won a fair amount in the regular season).

We got in trouble fast. It felt like our net player was nothing but a target. Either our deep player tried to come in but failed hit a weak approach volley, or we couldn't handle the guy's serve or groundies. We went down 1-4.

Then I suggested to my partner that we play two back.

At first, the guy donated points by trying slices and drop shots that he didn't have. Then he started missing from the ad court when he tried to change direction and send the ball up the line to me.

All we had to do was rally with him. He tried to hit through us but couldn't. If one of us hit a good shot that made him move or got high on his 1HBH, the other would launch a sneak attack from the baseline and finish.

When he was at net, he tried to be active. What he couldn't manage to be was taller. So his partner would serve her weak serve, and I would hit a topspin moonball. This had the dual benefit of getting it past him while also backing her up so that she would send something weak to my partner's sneak attack. He tried starting farther back to intercept these balls and got into some points that way, but that left open the possibility of a drive return or lob over his BH.

We won the match, 6-4, 6-4.

The reason two back works in that situation is that we were able to come to net on our terms. When we were starting in a 1 up 1 back, the guy could crack the ball at our net player whenever it suited him. I think we also were able to pressure him more because it was two against one because his partner wasn't doing much so it was easy to keep it away from her.

So DCDoorknob. Maybe next time you have a weak partner or are getting killed, think about playing two back. If you are worried that your female partner doesn't have the groundstrokes or mobility to do this, consider having her play at the baseline closer to the alley, with you taking everything else. Your opponent will probably spray a lot of balls trying to reach your partner.

Cindy -- whose male opponent said on a changeover late in the match that he had never had so many balls go over his head in a match before
-- Random Error Generator, Version 4.0
-- Master Moonballer
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