Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by itracbui3, Oct 12, 2009.
does chip and charge in doubles work well or its a bad idea to do?
If chip and charge works for you in singles, I'm sure it will work for you in doubles.
Depends on how well you can pull it off. If you have a good chip return, do it off the second serve. On the first serve, the opponent's might charge the net and it'll be a little tougher to get a clean shot off that serve. But if you do chip the first serve and follow it, make sure your partner knows that all 4 of you will be at net. And your partner should be active at the net when you chip and charge to try and pick off the easy balls early.
Actually a chip and charge in doubles is a much more risky tactic than in singles. In singles, your opponent has to actually get to your chip first to attempt a passing shot. But in doubles, you may well be chipping into the hitting zone of the opposing partner.
It depends on what the server usually does.
If the server plays S&V well, particularly off his first serve, then by chipping him on a first serve you're returning the most difficult ball he's expecting to play - and yet he's coming in. In this case, I think the better option is to chip the return but then hang back - because you get two bites at the cherry, once, your partner can intercept an upwards push off his bootlaces that just floats up the middle, and twice, if he manages to steer it past your partner to your side of the court, then you can use the extra time to really tee off against them. And if the server also plays S&V off his second serve because he's got a good kicker, then again I think the better tactic is to give him the worst ball he can play (something short he has to play upwards) but have extra time to punish them with a hard groundie.
On the other hand, quite often people don't play S&V doubles. People with weak second serves generally don't off a second serve, people not used to playing doubles often don't even off decent good serves. In those cases, what you have to remember is that the most difficult ball the servers have to play is one that bounces at their feet, because they have to hit it upwards. But a chip that bounces on the service line won't worry them, because their feet are still on the baseline... and it will give them extra time for the ball to get to them (low, but will still get to them) so they can figure out what options they have. In that case, by far the better option is to come in on a deep return back to the server on the baseline, because it forces them to either retreat further or to take it early and hit it upwards on the rise (not an easy shot to pull off when there are two people covering the net ready to volley away, and not an easy ball to hoist a good lob off).
In essence, chip and charge in doubles is really a good option only when the server comes in kamikaze-style on not very good serves, when he can only respond to a chipped return with a high floater or a soft dink. Then, you have to come in following the chip, either to put away the high ball on the volley, or to cover the dink before the opponents can set up an effective wall at the net.
It's usually obvious if the server is going to close in after the serve. If he is, a nice junky swiped slice down at his feet will give him something to think about as you close in on top of him. If not, it's an easy ball to tee a big forehand off on. I usually stick with a hard block on the backhand and a big swing at the forehand.
yes it works in doubles. as stated if hes coming in you give him a ball at his feet AND you are pressing him because you are closing the net. if he stays back a deep chip gets to him slowly giving you more time to close the net your slice/chip is low forcing him to hit up and it has little pace to work with.VERY EFFECTIVE. works for me.
As stated, it really depends on where the chip is ending up. If you are able to chip low and keep the ball low on your return, you may be able to cause havoc with a S&V server, as they're going to be digging the volley out from their feet.
If you're primarily defensive and floating it, not the best option, IMO.
I chip and charge a lot in doubles on the second serve if the server is hanging back, and just spinning in a kicker. For me, it works great with a good kicker, because the ball is kicking up to you as you are intercepting. The trick here is to take a step forward as he is striking his serve, check stepping, unit turn, and chip it down low - this does not need much pace.
The server usually lunges forward picking up the low ball, right up into your's or your partners premium volleying height.
It doesn't have to be used exclusively of course - but a good mix works best.
The biggest problem with the chip and charge is footwork and timing. If you do it right, it is a thing of beauty.
Also, let your partner know you are coming in. That way, they can hang back a little and cover any attempts at a lob, and you have no fear of closing to net aggressively.
its like a death sentence.
In my experience chip and charge works better off of the first serve than the second. I will commonly hit out on the second serve and charge. The one exception are the scary spinny kickers that 4.5 and 5.0 guys will use as their second serves.
Barring those type of serves, a first serve C&C will usually catch the S&V server at his shoetops (since he is charging the net) a hard hit return will be a routine volley for him. On the other hand, many servers won't approach off of their second serves so a C&C will be a low ball for them to approach off of. If they have a modern FH it might be a little difficult, but I play a lot of guys with Eastern FHs and this would be a ball they could rip with a lot of topspin and would be difficult to volley.
There is not as much of a need to chip the return in doubles - in doubles you do not need to move as far to get into volley position (since you don't need to get to the middle of the court to avoid the pass down the line).
I chip and charge most of my returns on second serves. I get inside the service line (I'm 60) from the baseline, hit with lots of underspin with some sidespin component, and can first volley from there about one full level higher than my playing level.
Problem is, most good players topspin lob over my weak and slow moving partners, forcing me to cover them as well as my own long CC court.
Or they just go DTL at my partner, mostly avoiding hitting to me.
If you want to win, hit to the weaker link, as always.
LeeD - like I said, you have to let them know you are going to CC, so they can hang back a tad behind the service line to prevent the lob, or they can cover CC lob too.
ChipNCharge is does present more problems for immobile players, as does the two up formation. It's still fun.
The thing is...especially at 4.0 and down, which is a lot of players...the ChipNCharge can give you the net without a lot of risk for an immediate two up or slightly staggered formation (California Doubles). If they guy shows he isn't coming in, well take the keys to the kingdom and place that first volley at his partners feet.
Big problem is my netman is the weakest of the foursome, so he's usually bellybuttoned to the netcord, to avoid weak shots. Of course, he's got the slowest reactions, and can't cover his own overheads.....
But when I stay back, I'm basically playing singles fetch with my netman glued in position, so I hate to trade groundies when it's a level and a half below my volleys.
time for new partner? or teach him to volley?
Nah, Leed just like to boast about his ego so he puts down his partner so he can say how great he is. Remember LeeD is homless and 60 yet still kicks everyone's but at Tennis (at 60) because it's important he reminds he beats everyone he plays (at 60). Yaaa yall see?
Edit: Funny he rates himself now at a 3.5 but says he used to play at levels none of us would ever obtain. How does that work? Do pros drop from 7.0 to 3.5 over the years etc?
What they said...
...meaning, not a bad idea, if you can do it, on the second serve, but it depends on a lot of stuff. If the server stays back, I'll do it a lot. Even if the server comes in, I still like doing it. I usually like to return from the left side, and my backhand slice return crosscourt is one of my best shots. I try to hit that, or just hit it at the netrusher's feet, and beat him to the net. It may not always be the best idea, tactically, but it sure is fun...kind of like a knife fight in a phone booth...and at 61, I need all the excitement I can get...
NEVER ever said I was 7.0, 6.0, or even California top 15 A player. I said I went to semis in Q's for one pro tournament, and finals in Q's for another...which would make me WHATEVER. Out of over 6 A tournaments played, went at least 3 rounds in 4 of them.
Remember one big factor. I played when S/V was the ONLY way to play. And being a lefty with a big serve, it suited my style.
YOU add 30 years, throw in 2 major legbreak surgeries, 3 left collarbone breaks, a handful of shoulder separations (talking hitting side, left), don't play any tennis for 15 years, a couple of medial and lateral knee tears (at different times), and see how your tennis drops.
And it doesn't help to teach my partners. I show up alone at the courts, and match up with whatever other 3 guys are there. I always get the weakest, and never ever ever the best of the group. More fun to play against the best of our group.
Remember, chip and charge is not only for returns. I use it often in matches where I may get caught in a crossct rally, especially if I fear he may take it down my partners ally in the next shot or so. I take the first ball I can move in while chipping and put low and slow straight at him where he must come forward to play. now he has to deal with low and slow, that is not off to one side easy to hit, as I approach.
Lie much? Beating multiple Div1 Top players doesn't not make you a 6.0? Better yet, you just said you play at 6.0 hmmm.
Singles is far more risky. No matter what, unless you get near perfect placement, they can get to and make a great play on the ball.
In doubles, you have a partner covering the other half of the net as well. The opponent has less openings to hit into. His only two options are into the alleys or a lob. You look for the lobs and high volleys and eat them up. Cover the middle and give up the alleys. If they can get a good one into the alleys past you, too good.
In singles, they have half of the court open at all times (forcing you to guess) as well as the lob. In doubles, you've just cut down their options in half even if they're already there to hit the ball.
Then again, at the 3.0-4.0 level (majority of tennis players), you can get away with not hitting the perfect chip in singles, and chances are the passing shot will come very close to the middle anyways, so your chances of winning the point if you're a competent volleyer are VERY high.
Though the same applies in doubles. But at the same time, in doubles they still have less options. Overall, it's a much more solid play in doubles than in singles because of how well the net is covered by 2 competent volleyers.
However, this should be done mainly on the second serve. If you do it on the first serve, you greatly increase your risks unless your ability to return serve is THAT good.
Lucky makes some great points. I've seen/used a lot of chip and charge at high levels of tennis because with the kinds of serves you see in college or in 4.5 and up leagues, you don't get many opportunities to tee off on a return. So a chip return can be more effective because it can somewhat neutralize the effect of a bigger serve (or use its pace to your advantage) and then give the incoming server a more difficult ball to volley.
very good point.
I can see that chipping the return on a good first serve by someone playing S&V doubles makes sense - you're simply blocking it (no time for big carve) to the most difficult placement for the incoming volleyer.
What I'm not so sure about is whether you should automatically follow that return with a "charge" forward. In singles it does make sense, as it increases your court coverage, but in singles you have to cover the whole court alone. But it's not quite the same in doubles.
The way I see it, the incoming server has some difficult options to play, with the ball at his shoelaces. If he simply pops it up towards the middle of the court, then it should be an easy putaway for your partner at the net. So, his only effective options are:-
1. low volley / half volley deep back to the returner - and if he does that (because he's a good volleyer), and if by then the returner is charging forward, then the returner has to check his forward move and play a lowish volley from behind the service line into an opposition by now camped at the net and covering well. Here, charging puts the pressure back on the returner, as he in turn is caught charging the net.
2. low volley / dink, short, across to the returner' side - here, the fact that the returner was charging forward is of help, as he's already on his way to the net.
3. low volley / half volley lob over and behind the net person - this is by far the toughest shot to play, yet it can be done if the returner's partner at the net commits himself too early for an interception and has already started to come across (if he's gone too far, it doesn't need to be a lob, either 1. or 2. above but played down the gap on his right will do the job, because his racket is now positioned to take a ball going to his left, so on the "wrong" side.
I'm not saying that charging is wrong. What I'm saying is that perhaps it shouldn't be the automatic move following a chipped return in doubles - first, wait and see what the incoming volleyer can (and does) do with a couple of chipped returns. If he's good at 1. (which means he's a good volleyer!) and can volley off his shoelaces accurately back to you on the baseline, then your better option is to wait on the baseline and then play a groundie. If so, you can also bet your bottom dollar that if your partner tries to be cute and comes across too early, the volleyer will simply redirect some past him by fractionally changing the racketface angle (and to stay in the point and save your partner you'll have to scramble to the other side of the baseline). And occasionally, the volleyer with throw a short dink - this time, to keep you honest. My take here is, if you're facing that level of volleyer then you have to be just as good as him - if not better - to want to charge the net after a chipped return which gets you in a volleying duel.
On the other hand, if under pressure the incoming server can only scramble short dinks off your chips, then by all means follow your chips in.
I don't disagree with your initial analysis. I agree with your 3 options. Myself, I do #2. However, a couple of things: if you are running into #1 a lot, then you are in for a long day, regardless. But even if you do, I have not necessarily had that bad of luck approaching. If you stay back you will be hitting a groundstroke which is good for you, but you be hitting it into a two up formation where both players are likely in second volley position (unlike your return), not that great from a one up one back position. Also, when you approach off of the C&C, you are expecting the return as it would be a tactical error to hit up the middle or to your netman (unless it is a great lob, #3). So it should be a routine volley and the closer to the net you get, the higher above the net the ball will likely be, relatively speaking.
The #2 is also common and if you approach quickly you can hit a low (but not shoetop) volley yourself, if you stay back and his shot is poor you can secondarily approach and tee off with a topspinny dipper, but more likely you will catch your groundstroke rather low and without a lot of pace.
I hardly ever see #3 as it is difficult to pull off and IMo the netman should be looking to back up in anticipation of the returner hitting a good shot off of the server's shot (which may end up in a defensive lob).
I like hit and charge more in doubles, although it's more high risk on the return, it's way more effective than chip and charge IMO in doubles.
I can see that you've played some good doubles.
I agree with you, option 3. (going for the netman) is toughest for the incoming server, I only do it if I see the netman has sold himself by setting across for the intercept too early and if the return is a wide cross-court - basically, he's trying to close the door of my going back to the returner with an angled cross-court off my shoelaces, but in doing so he's opened a much bigger door. Now I only have to prod the volley straight in the gap (the position the netman has just left) to win the point, which is a much easier shot.
As for options 1. or 2., I play 1. if I can take it on the low volley and then move into second-volley position, and 2. if I have to play a half-volley (trying to roll my racket up and over the ball, like when you do mid-court warm-ups), so I put some overspin to clear the net but then it dips short and towards the tramlines - as you say, the idea is to force the returner (even if he's moving in after his chip) to have to play a ball which carries no pace and pick it low, so can't do a topspin shot and has to get his racket under and hit it up.
Hence why its call "Chip" and charge, opposed to "slice" can charge. The chip should denote more of a blocking underspin much like a volley.
Yes, this is the primary reason for chip and charge. It's also easier said than done.
That is quite a repertoire of shotmaking. I am impressed. I agree with attempting those shots in those circumstances but I would be exagerating to say that I could pull them all off routinely off of good shots.
Separate names with a comma.