Does your play style change for combo teams?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by CrispyFritters, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. CrispyFritters

    CrispyFritters Rookie

    May 20, 2009
    Sunny California
    Combo season is starting up for the USTA. Just wondering if people have different strategies for combo vs playing partner of similar level.

    For thought:
    - Do you defer any shots to the higher rated player?
    - Should you hit to the opponent's weaker player?
    - Do you ignore rating and just play?

    Just wondering what you guys/gals are thinking....
  2. Ajtat411

    Ajtat411 Semi-Pro

    Apr 15, 2009
    If I'm the weaker player:

    On our serve, I won't poach as much since the other teams stronger player will likely hit harder and with more accuracy. On serve against weaker/equal player I will always try to poach gives us a chance for an easy point and puts the weaker player vs their stronger player out of the picture.

    Let the better play rally and hit his money shots and then poach on sitters/floaters.

    If I'm the stronger player:

    Poach as much as possible with my partner serving.

    I always hit to the weaker opponnet when possible and hit to the percieved weaker stroke if possible in USTA league/tornament matches as well as social matches. I want to win whenever I play and by hitting to the weaker side, I give my friends practice on their weaker shot.

    Sometimes you can't tell who's the better player when you start so I just go for high percentage shots and we test each person's shots and go from there. Making adjustments is key when playing doubles.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  3. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

    Aug 30, 2009
    As a captain, I try to partner setters and hitters together or two good net players but never two setters together. As for strategy during play, not much different than normal.

    If you've played combo before, you probably already know it's a license to sandbag bc there are no DQ's or dynamic ratings during combo. Last fall playing 7.5 my partner and I got handled pretty good in a match, mostly by one guy that had a 5.0 forehand. After the match, my partner said, wow that guy isn't a 4.0 he is more like at 4.5. I said yeah, he was actually the 3.5 :) the weaker player was the 4.0.
  4. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW
    Yes and no. I always play to win, so in doubles the goal is always to maximize the effectiveness of the team, whatever it takes. When playing with uneven skill quality (an extremely common occurance) you have a few things going for you: 1) the better player had zero mental/emotional pressure since regardless of how the match turns out, their ego can always blame their partner, 2) against 90% of opponents you know what their strategy will be, namely hit it to the weaker player and once you know what they are going to do, you can overcompensate for that and turn it to your advantage.

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