Doubles: Calling an Audible.

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#1
Ok, here's the situation, I'm serving at 30-30, match is close, we are right in the middle of it.

Most of the match I've been doing well going 3/4 first serves up the middle, once in a while I'll belt one, or go wide to keep them honest.

I huddle with my partner and tell him I'm going to kick it up the T and for him to look for a return in the middle to pick off because I expect the opponent to double clutch on the change up.

My partner is good with the plan, I go back to serve, bounce the ball, look up and the opponent is one step towards the middle from his usual start position and has his butt nearly against the back curtain. So I know if I serve short and wide it's an ace.

My first thought was to yell out to my partner, "hey, ixnay that plan," but I didn't want the other team to know something was up (who know what they would think) but I didn't want to serve it wide without telling him because if I missed my spot or the opponent moved or read it my partner was dead in the water because he was looking for a ball in the middle.

I ended up serving the kick to the T like we planned but I know it wasn't the right thing to do.

I asked my partner after the match and he said in that situation I should have just served wide without telling him but I don't agree with that.

What would you have done?

J
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#3
depending on my partner i might have also asked for "let me see your signal again"... and when they flashed the one we talked about, i'd have said no, and they'd have cycled to the next set of signals... until i got the one i wanted... (mainly "stay")

but generally i sometimes do "wide and go" anyway (intentionally leaving the dtl open - which i would cover), so i might just go wide anyway without saying anything...

on the flip side, i've called plans, plenty of times, only to leave a sitter...
 
#5
Ok, here's the situation, I'm serving at 30-30, match is close, we are right in the middle of it.

Most of the match I've been doing well going 3/4 first serves up the middle, once in a while I'll belt one, or go wide to keep them honest.

I huddle with my partner and tell him I'm going to kick it up the T and for him to look for a return in the middle to pick off because I expect the opponent to double clutch on the change up.

My partner is good with the plan, I go back to serve, bounce the ball, look up and the opponent is one step towards the middle from his usual start position and has his butt nearly against the back curtain. So I know if I serve short and wide it's an ace.

My first thought was to yell out to my partner, "hey, ixnay that plan," but I didn't want the other team to know something was up (who know what they would think) but I didn't want to serve it wide without telling him because if I missed my spot or the opponent moved or read it my partner was dead in the water because he was looking for a ball in the middle.

I ended up serving the kick to the T like we planned but I know it wasn't the right thing to do.

I asked my partner after the match and he said in that situation I should have just served wide without telling him but I don't agree with that.

What would you have done?

J
I routinely call a serve location and hit a different one. But its not exactly intentional...

FWIW your partner would understand and certainly be able to adjust to a change of plan. Maybe he even thought something like, "why did j011y hit that? Can't he see where the returner is? Idiot"
 
#6
If I'm your regular partner with your serve (I'm assuming you can hit wide deuce 8-B) ... and receiver is that obviously out of position, I've already stealthily slid left telling you to take the gift. (y)

I never played doubles where the communication was at the level where the partner at the net always knew the serve every point. If I did, then I would have net guy do hand signals before every serve ... even after a huddle. No coughing required. fyi ... set Tourettes utterances would be more versatile than a cough. Anything that included "your mother" could mean wide ... and anything that included "up yours" could be down the middle. Add "mule" in the mix for a kicker ... but combining "mule" with moms and "up yours" could get ugly.
 
#7
If you've been using signals, ask for the signal again and then say no to the T and yes to wide. If you've been playing with him a while and you work well together, I'd go for the wide even if you haven't been using signals; he probably saw the same thing. If you're playing with someone you haven't ever or hardly ever played with before and you haven't been using signals, I'd say play it safe and serve T.
 
#9
This is where signals as a supplement to huddles can help.

When you want to change what was decided in the huddle, you can just yell out to him something like, "Ready?" or really you can say anything. You even saying something after already huddling is code to him that you might want to change it up. When he hears you saying something, then he can show the signal behind his back to you to point in the direction he thinks you might want to change to. Then you can just give a verbal "yes" or "no" to him.

If you don't say anything after the huddle, then it's assumed that nothing has changed.
 
#10
I rarely go wide on deuce cause partners big freekin head is in the way, but if he crouched down in I formation, then I guess no brainer
Hence my subtle slide to the left on Jolly's serve ... good for Jolly's angle and my head... win win. (y) If my partner blocks my wide deuce serve ... I have them move over a step or two because it's my go to serve in deuce court.
 
#11
Hence my subtle slide to the left on Jolly's serve ... good for Jolly's angle and my head... win win. (y) If my partner blocks my wide deuce serve ... I have them move over a step or two because it's my go to serve in deuce court.
You figure if he told you to poach, though, you better stay low in the foxhole
 
#14
Where are you serving from? Are you one of those guys who stands on the center hash to cover his non existent backhand?

J
I try to remember to move over but I like the center, just outta habit, bh works well, i'm just tired of 6'5" who stand up tall in the middle of the box and can't crouch or bend at all. Plus I hit someone in back of neck last year. I prefer australian, get outta my way
 
#16
You figure if he told you to poach, though, you better stay low in the foxhole
If I'm serving deuce wide ... I don't want you doing any premeditated poaching ... just the reaction to sitter ros poaching. Deuce wide opens alley to fh ros ... stay home ... I got this. :laughing:

OK ... kidding aside ... if I want you poaching my 1st serve deuce wide ... I still can't having you block my angle (otherwise it's deuce not wide enough ... that's usually their fh). As Jolly points out ... I'm serving from wide of the center hash mark in doubles (against it in singles), so I can have my angle and net guy still in decent rec doubles position. I have bent over ... even leaned a little left if my partner's serve is dangerous-adjacent ... but no crouching for me. To me, it's another example where pro tennis (doubles in this case) has very little to do with 4.0-4.5 doubles. Those guys are cracking returns ... so a foot difference in positioning at the net matters ... not so much with 30-50 mph ros.

The other thing that matters more in rec doubles is a servers best serve, particularly 2nd serve. Doubles serve percentages of down the middle vs wide are no doubt valid, but many times the rec players best serve is the most important stat (pros hit good serves everywhere). My thought in doubles is I'm going to serve my most reliable 2nd serve to you all day long unless you hurt me with it.
 
#17
I try to remember to move over but I like the center, just outta habit, bh works well, i'm just tired of 6'5" who stand up tall in the middle of the box and can't crouch or bend at all. Plus I hit someone in back of neck last year. I prefer australian, get outta my way
I almost killed a mixed doubles partner learning my kick serve in my 20s. When word gets out, no partner stands in the middle of the box anymore.

It's your serve ... tell them to move over. If 6' 5" ... ask nicely.
 
#18
I almost killed a mixed doubles partner learning my kick serve in my 20s. When word gets out, no partner stands in the middle of the box anymore.

It's your serve ... tell them to move over. If 6' 5" ... ask nicely.
Guy's a legend here, imagine me telling him where to play, but its rec doubles. As my game gets better I hope to have a regular partner and develop a kickass game using signals and plans each serve point.
 
#19
Ok, here's the situation, I'm serving at 30-30, match is close, we are right in the middle of it.

Most of the match I've been doing well going 3/4 first serves up the middle, once in a while I'll belt one, or go wide to keep them honest.

I huddle with my partner and tell him I'm going to kick it up the T and for him to look for a return in the middle to pick off because I expect the opponent to double clutch on the change up.

My partner is good with the plan, I go back to serve, bounce the ball, look up and the opponent is one step towards the middle from his usual start position and has his butt nearly against the back curtain. So I know if I serve short and wide it's an ace.

My first thought was to yell out to my partner, "hey, ixnay that plan," but I didn't want the other team to know something was up (who know what they would think) but I didn't want to serve it wide without telling him because if I missed my spot or the opponent moved or read it my partner was dead in the water because he was looking for a ball in the middle.

I ended up serving the kick to the T like we planned but I know it wasn't the right thing to do.

I asked my partner after the match and he said in that situation I should have just served wide without telling him but I don't agree with that.

What would you have done?

J
What was your original concern,
Hitting him if he left early?
Not doing what you said?
 

Wise one

Professional
#21
Ok, here's the situation, I'm serving at 30-30, match is close, we are right in the middle of it.

Most of the match I've been doing well going 3/4 first serves up the middle, once in a while I'll belt one, or go wide to keep them honest.

I huddle with my partner and tell him I'm going to kick it up the T and for him to look for a return in the middle to pick off because I expect the opponent to double clutch on the change up.

My partner is good with the plan, I go back to serve, bounce the ball, look up and the opponent is one step towards the middle from his usual start position and has his butt nearly against the back curtain. So I know if I serve short and wide it's an ace.

My first thought was to yell out to my partner, "hey, ixnay that plan," but I didn't want the other team to know something was up (who know what they would think) but I didn't want to serve it wide without telling him because if I missed my spot or the opponent moved or read it my partner was dead in the water because he was looking for a ball in the middle.

I ended up serving the kick to the T like we planned but I know it wasn't the right thing to do.

I asked my partner after the match and he said in that situation I should have just served wide without telling him but I don't agree with that.

What would you have done?

J
Just work out some signal (like 'red' or '23') and use that.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#23
What does he do when you don't hit your spot, or does that not happen?
It's very rare for me to not hit the correct third of the box. I mean sure I shank the occasional ball into left field.

Missing my spot is usually going for the short wide serve and hitting the corner in their wheelhouse not going for the T and actually hitting wide.

J
 
#24
Ok, here's the situation, I'm serving at 30-30, match is close, we are right in the middle of it.

Most of the match I've been doing well going 3/4 first serves up the middle, once in a while I'll belt one, or go wide to keep them honest.

I huddle with my partner and tell him I'm going to kick it up the T and for him to look for a return in the middle to pick off because I expect the opponent to double clutch on the change up.

My partner is good with the plan, I go back to serve, bounce the ball, look up and the opponent is one step towards the middle from his usual start position and has his butt nearly against the back curtain. So I know if I serve short and wide it's an ace.

My first thought was to yell out to my partner, "hey, ixnay that plan," but I didn't want the other team to know something was up (who know what they would think) but I didn't want to serve it wide without telling him because if I missed my spot or the opponent moved or read it my partner was dead in the water because he was looking for a ball in the middle.

I ended up serving the kick to the T like we planned but I know it wasn't the right thing to do.

I asked my partner after the match and he said in that situation I should have just served wide without telling him but I don't agree with that.

What would you have done?

J
I've had this situation more than once, since I always tell my partner once we're at deuce every first serve is going to the BH. So a few times I've had guys on deuce court, sick of seeing my down the T serve, sneak to towards the middle opening up the out wide serve.

My response is to take my shot and head out wide and hope my partner will adjust on the fly. I've probably gotten most of my aces on that move. Anytime someone tries to protect their BH I feel the need to teach them a lesson. I can't recall a time where we got blown up because of it.

So my answer is "Call the Audible." if someone offers up a high percentage ace, take it your shot.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
#25
After you do your chit chat maybe he can confirm the plan with hand signals once your opponents set up. He shows you a signal for what was the plan "T" and you say nope. Shows you wide, you say yep.

Maybe that's too much back and forth for every point, but it's something.
 
#26
I'd probably have hit it wide anyway. Although when I was playing dubs a lot the net man always called the signals and the server would give a yep or nope. So we could run through options if needed.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
#27
Speaking of calling an audible based on what setup you see. Have you had opponents set up a little wide or a little closer to the T and then when you are about to toss, you catch them in a different location? Basically set up a little wide, then walk two steps toward the middle while you are in your serve motion?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
#28
Speaking of calling an audible based on what setup you see. Have you had opponents set up a little wide or a little closer to the T and then when you are about to toss, you catch them in a different location? Basically set up a little wide, then walk two steps toward the middle while you are in your serve motion?
Yes and it's your partner's responsibility to let you know they are doing that so you can burn them next time.

J
 
#29
I've had this situation more than once, since I always tell my partner once we're at deuce every first serve is going to the BH. So a few times I've had guys on deuce court, sick of seeing my down the T serve, sneak to towards the middle opening up the out wide serve.

My response is to take my shot and head out wide and hope my partner will adjust on the fly. I've probably gotten most of my aces on that move. Anytime someone tries to protect their BH I feel the need to teach them a lesson. I can't recall a time where we got blown up because of it.

So my answer is "Call the Audible." if someone offers up a high percentage ace, take it your shot.
If your partner's paying attention, he should notice the returner shifting just as you noticed. You might not notice until after the serve if the returner moved after your toss.
 
#30
I’d have gone for it - if your opponent is hanging out near the middle of the court and you push a serve out wide your partner should have more than enough time to realise what’s happening and react accordingly.
 
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