Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
I agree that the net player needs to adjust, but some people adjust too much. Indeed, I think it is more common for the net player to over-adjust than to under-adjust.
I think you have adjusted enough if you can get a racket on that DTL shot with 1-2step. That means you don't have to be standing in the alley to cover the DTL.
Sometimes, I keep a mental score of how often the returner win the point DTL versus how often they miss. I have never had a returner burn me more times than they miss long, wide, into the net or into my racket. The worst I have ever done is a tie, and this is in situations when the returner seems to love that shot and tries it at every opportunity.
My evidence that people over-adjust is this: I like to hit a FH DTL and play deuce court most of the time. I cannot remember the last time I hit a DTL service return. The reason is that most folks alley camp, and if they are going to concede the crosscourt return to me, I am going to take it every time.
I partially agree with the "overadjust" comment (for wide serves), in the sense that for most of my competition, it is easier to hit a DTL winner (admittedly changing directions, higher net, shorter court etc) than a CC winner, since the server is likely in the forecourt or at least mid court. For that reason I "overadjust" to convince the returner to go CC to my partner's forehand. After awhile some of the more observant returners will start to try to sneak a ball between us just to my FH when I am leaning towards the alley. In that case I will set up in the alley but lean or adjust towards the center of the court, that is, over then under adjust, midpoint.
None of my competition alley camps routinely, if anything they lean towards the center of the court (where weak returns typically go). Yet another reason why DTL returns are common.