Do you know what shot you're going to hit?

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
An odd situation came up today during a doubles practice match.

My partner and I well into the match. Against one opponent (who had a weak serve), I had hit some service returns deep, and I had hit some short slice. Neither struck gold -- it was not obvious that one or the other kind of return was money.

Before I was to return from this server again, I asked my partner, "What do you think is working better -- drive deep, or short slice?"

She said, "Just do whatever you want. You can't know what you're going to do until the serve comes." Hmmmm.

Another example: Throughout the match, I was warning my partner that I was following my return to net against an opponent who lobbed a lot. At one point, I asked her whether she was following her return in. She said, "I can't know until I see what kind of serve it is."

So now I'm wondering: Do most doubles players decide what they are going to do with the return depending on the incoming serve? Or not?

Let's not talk about situations where the serve is, for whatever reason, putting you under real pressure. I'm thinking of serves that are workmanlike.
 

dblsplayer

Rookie
Always have an idea what kind of return I want to hit but it depends on the pitch (serve). So I have options depending on where and type of serve I receive. Also, not sure what your intent is but it’s not a great idea to try to win the point on return of serve. Better to hit a return to set your partner up.
 

Nacho

Hall of Fame
I pretty much have an idea of what I want to do before the serve, and even try to visualize it. A good server knows how to change up their serve, but most servers at all rec levels are pretty predictable. When I don't have a plan it usually doesn't pan out well.
 

tennisjon

Professional
I always have a plan on every return. If my partner asks or has a suggestion, I will try. We know we can't 100% control everything, but the easier the serve relative to your level, the easier it is to have a plan. Like all aspects of tennis, having a plan is important so that if it doesn't go as planned, you can correct it for next time. If your plan is hit the ball cross court and it goes down the line for a winner, you probably can't replicate that. It may be nice to hit a winner, but it was accidental. I would tell myself in that situation, I probably took the ball late for going cross court and readjust for the next serve.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Having a plan is one thing if you know what is coming to you ... but your partner has a point.

Is it possible that the server was able to vary the serve to the Ad side while really only had a single type of serve to the Deuce side?

At 3.5 I rarely see a server that has only one first serve placement/spin/speed or one 2nd serve placement/spin/speed. At 4.0 I never see a server that limited. In 8.0 .mixed, well, sometimes I never see the same serve twice in a match from some 4.5 guys, and sometimes my return is simply a block and a prayer.

Deep in a match I am going to have a plan for whatever type of serve I may see ... so I know "If X then Y" but I don't know what X is so I am not going to tell a partner that I am going to do Y ...

And depending on exactly what I see I may make an alteration ...
Did they mis-hit their top slice and it just sat up? well I might drive that through the net person
Is their serve to the T a little short? I may chip low down the middle or inside out FH to servers' bh.

What patterns have I been creating? is it time to change that?
Have I returned every one of their wide serves deep topspin CC to their backhand? Have they adapted and are behind the baseline? this time might be short and sliced.

On following my own shot in .... I am absolutely a net rusher ... But I am not going to follow in a shot if it isn't the "right" shot .... so I could never tell someone I was following my shot in before I hit my shot, that would be folly. What if what was supposed to be a deep drive slice was actually a weak but low slice that landed at the serviceline and sat up? Why would I follow in that garbage? Additionally, if I am worrying about what I am doing after the shot, I am removing my focus from making the shot itself increasing the likelihood of a garbage shot.

I don't need or necessarily want my partner to tell me what she is going to do , except for her serve (T, Body, Wide, and don't lie to me!). I can actually figure out the rest. I also know how to position correctly without being told what she is going to do.
 

Max G.

Legend
I mostly have an idea of what kind of return I want to hit, but a good enough serve can make me do something different.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
In singles and doubles I always have an idea of where I would like to hit my return. When you’re facing an opponent who’s serve you can handle, absolutely you should have a plan of attack. A lot of that return has to do with what kind of serve you get though. Against a stronger opponent I could be thinking passing shot down the line, but if it’s a serve down the T, it doesn’t make sense to try to execute that shot.

I think at some of the lower levels players are just happy to get the ball back over the net.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
Good players tend to have several game-plans they're trying to enforce on their opponents. So you should have an idea of what you want to do with the ball before they even serve it. Of course that will be subject to change depending on what happens once the ball is live.

Go to 3:25 for a somewhat relevant comment from the Bryan Bros
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I’m with Jolly. My plan will change based on the ball I see. Serves out wide have a different plan from serves to the body or down the T. Second serves have a more aggressive plan.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Always have an idea what kind of return I want to hit but it depends on the pitch (serve). So I have options depending on where and type of serve I receive. Also, not sure what your intent is but it’s not a great idea to try to win the point on return of serve. Better to hit a return to set your partner up.
Oh, I agree that you're not trying to hit a winner.

Maybe we have to break it down.

Against a middling server before the serve is struck, I know what spin I’m going to use.

I know whether I am going to lob or moonball.

I know whether I’m going to hit a drop shot.

And I know if I’m coming in or staying back.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Having a plan is one thing if you know what is coming to you ... but your partner has a point.

Is it possible that the server was able to vary the serve to the Ad side while really only had a single type of serve to the Deuce side?

At 3.5 I rarely see a server that has only one first serve placement/spin/speed or one 2nd serve placement/spin/speed. At 4.0 I never see a server that limited. In 8.0 .mixed, well, sometimes I never see the same serve twice in a match from some 4.5 guys, and sometimes my return is simply a block and a prayer.

Deep in a match I am going to have a plan for whatever type of serve I may see ... so I know "If X then Y" but I don't know what X is so I am not going to tell a partner that I am going to do Y ...

And depending on exactly what I see I may make an alteration ...
Did they mis-hit their top slice and it just sat up? well I might drive that through the net person
Is their serve to the T a little short? I may chip low down the middle or inside out FH to servers' bh.

What patterns have I been creating? is it time to change that?
Have I returned every one of their wide serves deep topspin CC to their backhand? Have they adapted and are behind the baseline? this time might be short and sliced.

On following my own shot in .... I am absolutely a net rusher ... But I am not going to follow in a shot if it isn't the "right" shot .... so I could never tell someone I was following my shot in before I hit my shot, that would be folly. What if what was supposed to be a deep drive slice was actually a weak but low slice that landed at the serviceline and sat up? Why would I follow in that garbage? Additionally, if I am worrying about what I am doing after the shot, I am removing my focus from making the shot itself increasing the likelihood of a garbage shot.

I don't need or necessarily want my partner to tell me what she is going to do , except for her serve (T, Body, Wide, and don't lie to me!). I can actually figure out the rest. I also know how to position correctly without being told what she is going to do.
I don’t understand.

How do you wait to see if your shot was good before you come in?

If I’m coming to net, I’m coming to net. If I wait and assess my shot, I’m already late.

I find it frustrating if my partner won’t tell me if she’s coming in. It’s easy if she never does, or always does. But to look up and see her there next to me as a lob goes over my head is frustrating. Why do I have to be the last person on the court to know my partner has decided to S&V? Shouldn’t she know before she hits the serve? And if she knows, why keep it a secret?
 
But to look up and see her there next to me as a lob goes over my head is frustrating.
It's not your partner's job to cover lob's on your side of the court. She should be next to you in your peripheral vision, cutting off the available angles to your opponents. When they successfully lob over your head, move back a step, keep moving back--eventually their lobs have to go out.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
It's not your partner's job to cover lob's on your side of the court. She should be next to you in your peripheral vision, cutting off the available angles to your opponents. When they successfully lob over your head, move back a step, keep moving back--eventually their lobs have to go out.
Read the art of doubles.

J
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
It's not your partner's job to cover lob's on your side of the court. She should be next to you in your peripheral vision, cutting off the available angles to your opponents. When they successfully lob over your head, move back a step, keep moving back--eventually their lobs have to go out.
It actually is her partner's job if the lob isn't short enough to smash. And the moving back a step thing might work in 3.0/3.5 ladies leagues for awhile but overall in tennis you don't want to take away your net presence in doubles like that.
 
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OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
I don’t understand.

How do you wait to see if your shot was good before you come in?

If I’m coming to net, I’m coming to net. If I wait and assess my shot, I’m already late.

I find it frustrating if my partner won’t tell me if she’s coming in. It’s easy if she never does, or always does. But to look up and see her there next to me as a lob goes over my head is frustrating. Why do I have to be the last person on the court to know my partner has decided to S&V? Shouldn’t she know before she hits the serve? And if she knows, why keep it a secret?
Well it is not as if I am waiting until my shot lands to decide. If its good it is pretty much known off-the strings ... I am also pretty quick and it isn't that far to go, not like I am running 20 meters. I also assume that a lob over partner's head is still my responsibility so I am not closing so tight that it is a problem.

In terms of knowing if S&V ... well I agree on this one, in theory.
In terms of not sharing her plans ... a lot of players, myself included, make in-play decisions ... that is just how we are wired ..
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
An odd situation came up today during a doubles practice match.

My partner and I well into the match. Against one opponent (who had a weak serve), I had hit some service returns deep, and I had hit some short slice. Neither struck gold -- it was not obvious that one or the other kind of return was money.

Before I was to return from this server again, I asked my partner, "What do you think is working better -- drive deep, or short slice?"

She said, "Just do whatever you want. You can't know what you're going to do until the serve comes." Hmmmm.

Another example: Throughout the match, I was warning my partner that I was following my return to net against an opponent who lobbed a lot. At one point, I asked her whether she was following her return in. She said, "I can't know until I see what kind of serve it is."

So now I'm wondering: Do most doubles players decide what they are going to do with the return depending on the incoming serve? Or not?

Let's not talk about situations where the serve is, for whatever reason, putting you under real pressure. I'm thinking of serves that are workmanlike.
I just go CC most of the time, but occasionally DTL or lob to keep the net man alert. The second choice is triggered by either the net man leaving the alley wide open, or doing the same as the serve begins (by moving to poach), or just as a random choice.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
So now I'm wondering: Do most doubles players decide what they are going to do with the return depending on the incoming serve? Or not?
The weaker the serve, the more detailed my desired return will be.

If I'm playing someone who has a good placement and pace then it's probably like what you had mentioned, either going deep, cross-court topspin or more of a chip/slice. If the server is showing some weakness though I'll mentally prepare more aggressively... might decide I'm going to take it early and get more angle.

If I'm feeling good about my return game I'll pick points where I'm intending to really go for a solid shot. Of course, you'll have times where they hit something too good to do what you wanted, but that's not a big deal. It is why I scoff at the idea that just rolling second serves in is an acceptable practice for most people. Good returners will be dictating the point when you give them nothing to upset their rhythm.

She said, "I can't know until I see what kind of serve it is."
There isn't enough time from when my opponents make contact to when I need to be hitting the ball for many decisions to be made, and that's probably the single biggest reason I need to have a plan in advance.

Likewise I want to make sure my partner is on the same page. If I'm trying to go deep cross-court then they don't have to worry about the middle as much. However, if I'm facing a server who has been keeping me from getting reliable cross-court returns, I might tell my partner I'm going straight at the net person this time. That way they'll be ready should a reflex volley come back.

In terms of not sharing her plans ... a lot of players, myself included, make in-play decisions ... that is just how we are wired ..
If my partner says they won't know they're doing until the ball is served, I'm going to take that as "I have absolutely no control, I'm going to swing and pray that it goes in". :)
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
It's not your partner's job to cover lob's on your side of the court. She should be next to you in your peripheral vision, cutting off the available angles to your opponents. When they successfully lob over your head, move back a step, keep moving back--eventually their lobs have to go out.

As others have said, a lob over my head is hers if I call a timely switch. Now, recall that this is ladies 55+. This means hardly anyone, myself included, is fast enough to chase down any lob after it bounces, especially if this means running to the BH side.

This means that if my partner is S&V, I am doing her a huge favor if I make sure she never has to cover that lob with her BH. I don't necessarily have to park in no man's land. But I need to be extra alert to the lob, which is way more likely if my opponents see my partner S&Ving.

So. When I tell my partner, "I'm going to S&V" or "I'm going to follow my return in," what I am really saying is, "HEY! WAKE THE HECK UP BECAUSE THEY ARE SOOOOOO GONNA LOB YOU ON THIS NEXT POINT!" If she wants to deal with that by being off the net a bit, fine. If she is confident in her OH and thinks she can handle it from a position closer, fine. I phrase it that way because I assume my partner knows that calling a "switch" if I am just behind the service line next to her is going to result in a possible collision and likely a lost point.

Conversely, when I ask my partner whether she is coming in or staying back, I want to know if she is back to cover switches such that I can take a more aggressive position at net. When my partner says, "I don't know if I'm S&V or hugging the baseline, sorry," then I just do what occurs to me in the moment. But it is super frustrating to look over and see her in the service box next to me, slamming on the brakes and watching a lob go unplayed that I could have anticipated better had she, you know, told me she was following her serve to net.

Same thing with a drop shot or short slice or shot at the net player or down her alley (or really anything other than a deep crosscourt drive). Give me a heads up, please.
 
It actually is her partner's job if the lob isn't short enough to smash. And the moving back a step thing might work in 3.0/3.5 ladies leagues for awhile but overall in tennis you don't want to take away your net presence in doubles like that.
It's a lot easier to run forward then backwards.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I agree with your partner if receiving first serves that are tough. But if the server has a weak second serve, you have to know what you are going to do. This is your chance to get on the offensive or take control of the point by hitting a pressure shot.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
It's a lot easier to run forward then backwards.
And it's a lot harder to volley a ball at your feet than at shoulder height. But like I said 40+ 3.5 women's tennis is a different game that requires different strategies. I just didn't want it to seem like that was a general tennis strategy for all levels.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Usually the only decision I make before the serve comes is 'offense, neutral, or defense'. Beyond that it's hard to get real specific.

I love to rip forehand returns.. but if I'm super fixated on that idea and then the ball comes to my backhand I'll get caught off-chard.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
If my partner says they won't know they're doing until the ball is served, I'm going to take that as "I have absolutely no control, I'm going to swing and pray that it goes in". :)
LOL .... as a 3.5F when returning a 4.0/4.5M serve ... sometimes the prayer helps

Perhaps I am being too literal .... I am going CC on the return more than 85% of the time no matter the serve.

However, until I see the serve, I don't know if I am going deep or a shorter angle. Until I see the serve I don't know if its going to be a TS, slice or chip.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
LOL .... as a 3.5F when returning a 4.0/4.5M serve ... sometimes the prayer helps
Do what you got to do!

However, until I see the serve, I don't know if I am going deep or a shorter angle. Until I see the serve I don't know if its going to be a TS, slice or chip.
It'd be nice to call your shots like Babe Ruth, but this isn't much different than my approach.

I'm really setting an expectation of how aggressive I'm willing to be based off the serve quality, and generally thinking about how I'll take that opportunity. For example, if it's a slow kicker to my forehand, I'm going to try and drive it hard, relatively flat up the tee. That's why I love getting slow second serves. Even if they manage to get them in, chances are good I can run around it for a forehand, and be able to go for something "offensive".
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Do what you got to do!


It'd be nice to call your shots like Babe Ruth, but this isn't much different than my approach.

I'm really setting an expectation of how aggressive I'm willing to be based off the serve quality, and generally thinking about how I'll take that opportunity. For example, if it's a slow kicker to my forehand, I'm going to try and drive it hard, relatively flat up the tee. That's why I love getting slow second serves. Even if they manage to get them in, chances are good I can run around it for a forehand, and be able to go for something "offensive".
That makes a great deal of sense .... and jives with what is going on in my mind. Serve that sits up to my FH .... yeah that is almost always a drive slice to the T ... makes me so happy.

This is never an issue in ladies' league but man, in mixed if I could please not have a fast kick serve to my backhand ....please .... that is where the prayer is greatly involved.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I'm playing keep away from the net man. If they are favoring a side, I'm going to the other side. Sometimes that means a lob over them if needed.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
So. When I tell my partner, "I'm going to S&V" or "I'm going to follow my return in," what I am really saying is, "HEY! WAKE THE HECK UP BECAUSE THEY ARE SOOOOOO GONNA LOB YOU ON THIS NEXT POINT!" If she wants to deal with that by being off the net a bit, fine. If she is confident in her OH and thinks she can handle it from a position closer, fine. I phrase it that way because I assume my partner knows that calling a "switch" if I am just behind the service line next to her is going to result in a possible collision and likely a lost point.
If you have a serve such that your opponents can reliably lob their return over your partner, then I don't believe that S&V is a good idea.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
If you have a serve such that your opponents can reliably lob their return over your partner, then I don't believe that S&V is a good idea.
Well, a couple of things. First, this applies whether we're talking about my coming in off of my serve or my return. Opponents most definitely can reliably lob over my partner if she is close to the net.

The lob is the go-to shot at 3.5 ladies. Many, many players do not trust their return/groundstrokes well enough to hit passing shots. And if they do hit a passing shot and I volley it well, they absolutely will not try another passing shot. Not on the next point, and maybe not for the rest of the match. Nope, it's gonna be a lob, so we need to be ready.

Anyway . . . I think this discussion has become confused. I agree that you cannot tell your partner before the serve comes how aggressive you will be with it. I don't go up to my partner and say, "Just so you know, I'm going to rip my return crosscourt." A crosscourt drive or deep slice is the norm, so there's no reason to say it.

I'm talking about doing something, either on the serve or return, that is out of the ordinary, something my partner might not expect. One example is S&V (which is not the norm at all in ladies 3.5). Another is any return that is not a cross-court drive or deep slice. Another is following the return to net (well, I do this often, but most 3.5s do not).

Those are the sorts of things that ought to be communicated when you have control. And you have control over what you do when returning a weak serve or when hitting your own serve.
 

kylebarendrick

Professional
Fair enough. To answer your original question I generally have a plan which I'll adjust if I receive a serve that I can't execute it against. If my norm is going cross-court and deep, I may warn my partner if I'm going to try to lob or up the line. At 3.5 my partners don't generally know what to do with that information anyway...
 

Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
I try to always start with a plan on where I want to hit this return. This helps me ignore the net player's movement late into my swing.

If the net player telegraphs his movement though, I will change and try to pass them.

This can change depending on the serve I get, but as you mentioned, it would have to be a serve that really puts pressure on me, i.e. hard to the body that I have to block back, or way out of my reach that I have to slap/stab back.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
An odd situation came up today during a doubles practice match.

My partner and I well into the match. Against one opponent (who had a weak serve), I had hit some service returns deep, and I had hit some short slice. Neither struck gold -- it was not obvious that one or the other kind of return was money.

Before I was to return from this server again, I asked my partner, "What do you think is working better -- drive deep, or short slice?"

She said, "Just do whatever you want. You can't know what you're going to do until the serve comes." Hmmmm.

Another example: Throughout the match, I was warning my partner that I was following my return to net against an opponent who lobbed a lot. At one point, I asked her whether she was following her return in. She said, "I can't know until I see what kind of serve it is."

So now I'm wondering: Do most doubles players decide what they are going to do with the return depending on the incoming serve? Or not?

Let's not talk about situations where the serve is, for whatever reason, putting you under real pressure. I'm thinking of serves that are workmanlike.

I agree with her to a degree. What she probably means is depending on where it's served determines what she is going to do. For example if the ball is served to her backhand up the T(assuming she's on deuce) she may lob over net player that may be standing on top of the net. If they server her out wide on deuce and she has a pretty good forehand and say the net player is closer to the T, she may just go down the alley, but I do think you should have some general idea of what you want to do and if you have been playing the match a while you should have a general idea of what's coming.
 

thehustler

Semi-Pro
You should always have a plan on the return. I like to keep things simple at times. If I'm on deuce side and it's going to my FH I hit CC. If it's to my BH I go DTL. On the ad side I might just go CC on both. If the opponent has a weak serve I might take more of a chance and hit a FH DTL on the ad side just to keep them guessing. Sometimes I'll block the serve back, but I'll even vary that. Sometimes a short block, sometimes deeper to keep them pinned on the baseline. It shouldn't matter what kind of serve your opponent hits, if you have a plan in your head prior to the return you'll likely hit that return, even if it's not a great clean return which is a lot better than just guessing and trying to make up your mind on the fly where you wind up dumping the ball in the middle of the net because you got paralysis by analysis. Same goes for a serve. You know where you want to hit it, and if the opponent typically plays a certain return then have your next shot planned as well. That gives you an extra advantage as well.
 

penpal

Semi-Pro
So. When I tell my partner, "I'm going to S&V" or "I'm going to follow my return in," what I am really saying is, "HEY! WAKE THE HECK UP BECAUSE THEY ARE SOOOOOO GONNA LOB YOU ON THIS NEXT POINT!" If she wants to deal with that by being off the net a bit, fine. If she is confident in her OH and thinks she can handle it from a position closer, fine. I phrase it that way because I assume my partner knows that calling a "switch" if I am just behind the service line next to her is going to result in a possible collision and likely a lost point.

Conversely, when I ask my partner whether she is coming in or staying back, I want to know if she is back to cover switches such that I can take a more aggressive position at net.
This is probably the kind of conversation you need to have with your partner (not saying you haven't, but if you have you might need to have it again 'cuz she ain't picking up the clue). It sounds as if she doesn't understand why you're asking her questions about her plans, and that she is approaching doubles more like singles - i.e., she's going to do her thing and expects you to do your thing.
 

NLBwell

Legend
I have a plan of what I'm going to do on the serve return but, as General Mattis says, "The enemy gets a vote."
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
In singles, sometimes, the objective is to just keep the ball in play until the opponent makes an error. This is not practical in doubles where every shot should be an attempt to hit a winner or to set up a weak return. Additionally, in any given situation/formation there are only so many choices that make sense. For example if the opponents hits a drive down the center and rush to the net, then I will almost always hit an unreturnable topspin lob just 2 feet beyond the baseline. If I sense an area of open court, I will drive a fast, flat ball into the net tape so it falls safely back into my court. It is always wise to keep a poacher guessing, so at the first opportunity, I will hit a floater down the line and fill him with false confidence when he puts it away for an easy winner. Do I have an idea what I intend to do before the ball is served, or does it come to me just before I make contact? I am going to say, "no".
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
In singles, sometimes, the objective is to just keep the ball in play until the opponent makes an error. This is not practical in doubles where every shot should be an attempt to hit a winner or to set up a weak return. Additionally, in any given situation/formation there are only so many choices that make sense. For example if the opponents hits a drive down the center and rush to the net, then I will almost always hit an unreturnable topspin lob just 2 feet beyond the baseline. If I sense an area of open court, I will drive a fast, flat ball into the net tape so it falls safely back into my court. It is always wise to keep a poacher guessing, so at the first opportunity, I will hit a floater down the line and fill him with false confidence when he puts it away for an easy winner. Do I have an idea what I intend to do before the ball is served, or does it come to me just before I make contact? I am going to say, "no".
Post of the day!

Thanks for the giggle. I have done all those things ... sometimes on repeat.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
In singles, sometimes, the objective is to just keep the ball in play until the opponent makes an error. This is not practical in doubles where every shot should be an attempt to hit a winner or to set up a weak return. Additionally, in any given situation/formation there are only so many choices that make sense. For example if the opponents hits a drive down the center and rush to the net, then I will almost always hit an unreturnable topspin lob just 2 feet beyond the baseline. If I sense an area of open court, I will drive a fast, flat ball into the net tape so it falls safely back into my court. It is always wise to keep a poacher guessing, so at the first opportunity, I will hit a floater down the line and fill him with false confidence when he puts it away for an easy winner. Do I have an idea what I intend to do before the ball is served, or does it come to me just before I make contact? I am going to say, "no".
Right. In any given situation, there are only so many choices that make sense.

Which is why this thread is about only one situation: You know you are going to see a weak serve.
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
Whoa, I never thought I would get any kind of serious reply to what I hoped was a humorous interjection. So, then, possibly neither of you is correct in your description or analysis of the reality of the decision making aspect of returning a serve, weak or otherwise.

Psychological studies of brain wave activity show that "the brain" has already signaled an action-- like the movement of a hand-- before the individual becomes aware of the fact, and then accepts this motion retroactively as if it were a conscious decision, and not the other way around.

And what factors are involved in arriving at this point? No thing is created out of nothing. Each person is born with their unique genetic background, brain structure and history of experiences from which their "choices" are determined-- as well as how they view or rationalize this process. In a way the service returning issue is determined by ones physical and mental structures and the whole history of existence.

And, so, when I frame a "dropshot" winner that rolls of the tape, I see that as quite inevetable. Of course you, with a different background ov experience might not agree.

Ignoring determinism for the moment, let's agree that things may change on a tennis court-- players reposition themselves-- the net person poaches-- the server decides to serve and volley, a down the line shot opens up, and so on. You might see one possibility but your partner may make a choice based on a totality of factors that have evolved apart from your experience.

Which way of thinking is correct?
 

J B

Semi-Pro
You seriously never see the same serve twice at 4.0? Because even the pros hit the same spot with the same spin, they are doing it to kick you off the court. My 6.0 coach is all about consistency with serve, So that is interesting to me that 4.0s hit it different every time. I hit it about %50 the same but I am developing my flat kick and slice. Im really trying to get more technically sound and that has hurt my placement. Im trying to serve you off the court with enough speed and spin that you block a return that I can attack. If you try to to defend it Ill hit near the T, not good enough to paint it with power, or i'll body serve you. Im trying to hit the fence on one bounce with the flat or slice and if I cant hit the fence on the kick making sure the second bounce is close to the fence.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You seriously never see the same serve twice at 4.0? Because even the pros hit the same spot with the same spin, they are doing it to kick you off the court. My 6.0 coach is all about consistency with serve, So that is interesting to me that 4.0s hit it different every time. I hit it about %50 the same but I am developing my flat kick and slice. Im really trying to get more technically sound and that has hurt my placement. Im trying to serve you off the court with enough speed and spin that you block a return that I can attack. If you try to to defend it Ill hit near the T, not good enough to paint it with power, or i'll body serve you. Im trying to hit the fence on one bounce with the flat or slice and if I cant hit the fence on the kick making sure the second bounce is close to the fence.
Nadal served every single serve to Federer's backhand one year in the RG final.

Probably would work in 4.0 too.

J
 
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