@goran_ace and everyone, I had a 4.5 level doubles on Tuesday in my Summer league. I play 2nd team at my club, and my partner for the day is someone I used to play with in the 3rd team couple years ago. It was a painful experience
My Spanish friend and regular hitting partner played with our strongest player, I set the pairs up because my Spanish friend has not played any doubles this season so I thought he might need carrying. They won both their matches, one in 3 sets and one in straight sets. My partner may not have much practise, but he hits good shots and is forceful.
The guy I played with, has a reputation for being very good at the net, but that is a misrepresentation:
- he is only 40, very fit, runs marathons, is reasonably strong.......but he chips everything. He has never, in all the time I have known him these 3 years, dared to drive a backhand in a match.
- his forehand and backhand return are chipped, 75% of forehands were chipped!
- His serve is atrocious, he recognises this.
- His volleys are good, but ONLY his defensive ones. He NEVER punches a volley away, he just taps it back. After 2 or 3 goes, the opposition hit through us. He has very
good reflexes, but I suspect this is because he is ALWAYS in defence mode.
- He has an awesome smash, best in our club probably... ....but only gets given 5 or 6 chances to use it all night at this level. We had a strong 4.5 15 year old against us in the second pair, and he hit soo many excellent backhand topspin lobs OVER my partner. At this level, a tapped volley with no pace on it, just gets dealt with.
Essentially, we got absolutely bullied. If I hit a forceful return to the toes of the oppo, and they pop it up, my partner taps it back and the point starts over. Even EASY EASY EASY put away volleys, he taps it back.
He is the most ultra conservative player and person, and it seems he will walk off court happy if he can say *I didn't miss many*....but the point is he gets the first volley ball back and at the same time sets the oppo up to have yet another crack. They wont miss these things whereas at the third team level he can just about get by against half of those teams.
it's almost as if he passes ALL responsibility onto his partner to finish points. It was soo frustrating.
I think I lost my serve twice all night out of 9. He won his serve twice out of 9.
I understand his serving problems, but to be soo ultra conservative on the volley, which is apparently his best weapon, is baffling.
We did not have a chance.
I don't have to play with him much, so it's not a problem, but I just cannot get my head around someone who CAN be soo much more forceful, and chooses not to.