Doubles Partner - Doesn't go for anything

#1
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
 
#4
You have no hope if he won't put away sitters. I'm not sure why your partner is playing doubles if he won't attack the easy balls. Literally that's the only necessary part of being the net person.

My suggestion is if he's terrible at net, play two back and you can get into the net and be the net person and he can retrieve lobs.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#5
Do you play practice sets with your teammates? If you do, work on poaching, cutting off the middle. Played against teams where the better player was a singles player who never played doubles. He became a chair.
 
#6
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
he was probably afraid of missing easy volleys and letting you down since he was the weak player. If you want him to go for the weak floater in the middle, tell him to do it and it is Perfectly fine if he misses some easy balls.............LOL, he may still not do it.

Other option is to serve and volley, I find it easy if my opponent lobs as I am coming in... You need to split step and as the ball goes up, keep moving your feet, this is the key. and get under the ball and good weight transfer into the overhead. You don't have to hit it 110 %, you just have to hit it 80-90 % of your power, Because you are close to the net, it will be easier to put the ball away. Think of it as hitting a serve, but you have the entire court to hit into.... How easy would it be if you were hitting a serve and you had the entire court to hit into.... That is the Overhead.... It's all in your mind.

Key is also telling your partner ,, "If you think you can hit it,,, Go for it,,,,No worries about missing it, just hit it into the middle with solid contact"
 
#7
Next time have your partner step closer to the middle even if he gets passed down-the-line. He can change, everybody can change.
Uh no. I specifically had this very situation in the past. My partner just stayed put near his alley and watched me exchange ground strokes. The bad thing the other net guy was very proactive. Moving, attempting, distracting. Very soon I calculated that my exchange became very low percentage.

I requested that my partner get more proactive. He still stalled. I simplified the goal to... specifically on my 2nd or 3rd shot, get right into the path. I'd be happy even if you screwed up. LOL. We didn't have much success. He was like a deer facing a car. Nobody can change their habits within minutes or hours.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#8
Uh no. I specifically had this very situation in the past. My partner just stayed put near his alley and watched me exchange ground strokes. The bad thing the other net guy was very proactive. Moving, attempting, distracting. Very soon I calculated that my exchange became very low percentage.

I requested that my partner get more proactive. He still stalled. I simplified the goal to... specifically on my 2nd or 3rd shot, get right into the path. I'd be happy even if you screwed up. LOL. We didn't have much success. He was like a deer facing a car. Nobody can change their habits within minutes or hours.
We played, practiced, and took lessons 3X/week for 5 yrs. Interchanged partners weekly during the season. Wanna have fun. Play Aussie
 
#9
Very frustrating situation. i play with a group socially so losing a match is no big deal. League match is a different story.
i don't know what to do about this either. It is so frustrating when the partner leaves a lob that lands in no man's land for me to run down from the other side.
For some older guys that don't move well, i totally understand. Too bad, there are young guys that do this too.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#10
Very frustrating situation. i play with a group socially so losing a match is no big deal. League match is a different story.
i don't know what to do about this either. It is so frustrating when the partner leaves a lob that lands in no man's land for me to run down from the other side.
For some older guys that don't move well, i totally understand. Too bad, there are young guys that do this too.
Ever play with this guy before?
 
#11
Very frustrating situation. i play with a group socially so losing a match is no big deal. League match is a different story.
i don't know what to do about this either. It is so frustrating when the partner leaves a lob that lands in no man's land for me to run down from the other side.
For some older guys that don't move well, i totally understand. Too bad, there are young guys that do this too.
You bet. However, with some experience I have learned to accept that average people don't /can't change. Only exceptional people do and can. I let go.

I play weekly with a bunch of guys who have played for over 10 years and still can't do overhead and volley. Out of impulse I frequently remind them that they can run in 8 directions! Not just left or right or forward or back. :)
 
#12
You bet. However, with some experience I have learned to accept that average people don't /can't change. Only exceptional people do and can. I let go.

I play weekly with a bunch of guys who have played for over 10 years and still can't do overhead and volley. Out of impulse I frequently remind them that they can run in 8 directions! Not just left or right or forward or back. :)
You know the funny thing is, when i suggested them reading a book double strategy, they said they prefer to rely on their experience :laughing:.
I think everybody can change, its whether you want or not.
 
#13
Yea I share a lot of the same sentiment as you guys offer. The whole point of doubles is to create a weak reply to capitalize on. If you're not going for those chances... you're just giving the other two opportunities right back.
 

Wise one

Professional
#14
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.

Play serve and volley. End of discussion.
 
#15
I approach doubles as my partner is my extra racket to help us win, which can require active coaching. I also change my personality based on my partner's, if they are super nervous or negative, I stay calm and robot like, if they are down on themselves, the type that keeps apologizing for mistakes, I pretend I don't care about the result and try and say it's ok if you miss a shot, I want you to "keep swinging away on the forehand" or "if you can touch it, try and volley" etc. etc. A couple weeks ago I entered a 3rd set tie break with a partner we had no business of being in (we were the weaker players together versus our opponent's ability) and I told him pre-break that don't worry, we will win this easily. We won, afterward I told him I lied, I didn't think we would win and he got a chuckle out of it, he is a negative guy though so I had to fight those thoughts I knew would creep into his mind.
You have to be careful because either he is afraid to mess up like others have said or he thinks he is doing what is correct and won't like to be told otherwise. Feel him out, if the situation happens again, start with a "hey, in this next set, we need to attack more, if you or I can hit a ball at the net, I think we should try and hit it and live with the results, let's see how that works". I would start with that. Might freak him out to play aussie style or both back, but those are also considerations. Both back though would take away the lob, if the lob was a tactic causing you to lose the majority of the points.
You will need to put work into this and play 3 matches or so together to get a better feel for his mentality and whether you have the ability to mold him into a better doubles player. Usually, you can't just flat out tell people they are wrong point blank, you have to gently guide them to better play. Might not be worth it to you, but that is what it will take to improve and at least give yourself a decent chance at winning with this partner.
 
#16
Are you looking for tips to help your partner (and yourself by extension) or just looking to vent? Unless you are a high level player with very few flaws, chances are that someone better than you will probably be frustrated at you too during these random pairings. So put yourself in the other person's shoes and try to help as much as you can.
 
#17
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
Good doubles is about communication, problem-solving as a team, etc. From your description, you did neither.

If it were me, I would have:
- Asked him what his game style was; I would have told him mine. Then we would have tried to figure out a way to best combine our strengths and hide our weaknesses.
- Told him that I'm completely fine with him getting passed DTL because the game is won in the middle
- When it became obvious that he was passive, I would have asked him to take a step or two towards the middle and that I'd try to serve down the T or into the body and to go after any return he can touch; don't worry about the line: let me worry about that.
- Maybe have him play Aussie formation when I'm serving to break up the other team's return rhythm
- If I still couldn't get him to be more in the middle, I would have experimented with I formation where he doesn't move left or right: he just stays in the center and tries to swat anything within reach. You'd be surprised how many returners get freaked out by this move.

Maybe he didn't feel comfortable being aggressive because he was the weaker player? I've been the weakest of the foursome before and it's very uncomfortable to try and break out of my comfort zone as the ball is whizzing by. Maybe he'd be a different player if he were the strongest?

So that's the past: what are you going to do the next time you are paired? Or, more generally, what is anyone going to do? How can the team help him with his game?
 
#18
Uh no. I specifically had this very situation in the past. My partner just stayed put near his alley and watched me exchange ground strokes. The bad thing the other net guy was very proactive. Moving, attempting, distracting. Very soon I calculated that my exchange became very low percentage.

I requested that my partner get more proactive. He still stalled. I simplified the goal to... specifically on my 2nd or 3rd shot, get right into the path. I'd be happy even if you screwed up. LOL. We didn't have much success. He was like a deer facing a car. Nobody can change their habits within minutes or hours.
Yeah, it's tough to get people to move out of their comfort zone [literally and figuratively].

You can try 2 things that don't require him to move:
- Have him line up in Aussie formation when you're serving: many returners are so hard-wired to hit CC that when you take that away from them, they screw up.
- Have him line up in I formation: after the serve goes by, have him pop up and just stay in the center. Again, you're forcing the returner to change his shot and he will absolutely miss some of them. Your partner will also probably put away a few volleys which will be a huge confidence booster.

Yes, they will pass him and you'll have to guess which way to cover; you'll probably lose the majority of these points.

But at least you've broken the log jam and given your team a chance rather than just playing 1 on 2.
 
#19
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
They are not used to being at the net and are not sure what to do. Many pros do not like the net and try to avoid it, especially on the WTA.

Sometimes people dont intercept because they feel like theyre interfering in their partners shot. If youre not used to being at the net its harder to judge.

When its your own game in singles youre less afraid to go for everything but when youre with a partner the mentality sometimes is that you dont want to mess up a ball your partner could have got to so end up letting it go so as not to seem selfish.
 
#20
I played with a pusher friend last night. On one point I hit a deep CC return and the opponent popped up a very weak sitter. My partner, instead of attacking it and putting it away, took one step back, waited for it to bounce, and then proceeded to push a bunted pop up back into the opponents court. Fortunately I dug out the opponents putaway attempt and got us back in the point which we eventually won. But darnitall, attack those balls!!!

I have ingrained this into my wife. If the opponent puts up any sort of vertical ball, your mind set has to be "make them pay." It has to be penalizing to hit weak high balls. My wife walks around now on the doubles court always admonishing herself to "make them pay". That attitude and some extra OH practice has transformed her net play.
 
#21
Yeah, it's tough to get people to move out of their comfort zone [literally and figuratively].

You can try 2 things that don't require him to move:
- Have him line up in Aussie formation when you're serving: many returners are so hard-wired to hit CC that when you take that away from them, they screw up.
- Have him line up in I formation: after the serve goes by, have him pop up and just stay in the center. Again, you're forcing the returner to change his shot and he will absolutely miss some of them. Your partner will also probably put away a few volleys which will be a huge confidence booster.

Yes, they will pass him and you'll have to guess which way to cover; you'll probably lose the majority of these points.

But at least you've broken the log jam and given your team a chance rather than just playing 1 on 2.
Good suggestion, assuming my partner listens to me. Believe I usually establish myself as the alpha in the team, a sort of leader :) but I do not like to tell people what to do or to have to tell them all the time. Have you run into situation where people blame their lose on "you talk too much, I got confused, distracted" despite you think you only make a few sensible suggestions? Well, I do not like to repeat mistakes.

Still, the problem is, like you correctly pointed out, "move out of their comfort zone", and positioning at a new spot, facing the court differently, is not "move out of their comfort zone"?
 
#22
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
I’ve been there...

First match of the season a few years ago, I got paired with a ‘new’ guy.

After the warm up and deciding Deuce or Ad side...I’m about to serve, he walks up to me and says “my serve is pretty weak, my second serve is worse, and I really have no idea how to play doubles.”

Great. He also got into a heated argument with one of our opponents (who was also a hothead).

Hi serve was a duck and his second serve...well it was returned with even more extreme prejudice. His returns were all shallow floating lobs (if they were going in at all) and his volleys were all bricks. Always A fun match to win only your own service games. I feel your frustration.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#23
I’ve been there...

First match of the season a few years ago, I got paired with a ‘new’ guy.

After the warm up and deciding Deuce or Ad side...I’m about to serve, he walks up to me and says “my serve is pretty weak, my second serve is worse, and I really have no idea how to play doubles.”

Great. He also got into a heated argument with one of our opponents (who was also a hothead).

Hi serve was a duck and his second serve...well it was returned with even more extreme prejudice. His returns were all shallow floating lobs (if they were going in at all) and his volleys were all bricks. Always A fun match to win only your own service games. I feel your frustration.
I’ve been there...

First match of the season a few years ago, I got paired with a ‘new’ guy.

After the warm up and deciding Deuce or Ad side...I’m about to serve, he walks up to me and says “my serve is pretty weak, my second serve is worse, and I really have no idea how to play doubles.”

Great. He also got into a heated argument with one of our opponents (who was also a hothead).

Hi serve was a duck and his second serve...well it was returned with even more extreme prejudice. His returns were all shallow floating lobs (if they were going in at all) and his volleys were all bricks. Always A fun match to win only your own service games. I feel your frustration.
You don't pre-plan your USTA season the year before with lessons? Play doubles every other day? Practice? Have a five year plan?
 
#24
Yeah, this is a very disappointing situation. Been there too many times. I would rather my net partner at least move around at net, get in the opposing players view by following the path off the ball, than just stand there.

Recently, my doubles partner (right handed) stands as close to the alley as possible when I'm serving on deuce side (overprotecting the alley). But when I serve on Ad side, stands close to the net, poaching bullets with her backhand coming back cross court (unsuccessfully), as I serve and think I going to hit a forehand. The popped up poaches get blasted into the open court. :eek::mad:

Whats even more frustrating is we practice together weekly and this never happens - ONLY in league matches!
 
#25
Yeah, it's tough to get people to move out of their comfort zone [literally and figuratively].

You can try 2 things that don't require him to move:
- Have him line up in Aussie formation when you're serving: many returners are so hard-wired to hit CC that when you take that away from them, they screw up.
- Have him line up in I formation: after the serve goes by, have him pop up and just stay in the center. Again, you're forcing the returner to change his shot and he will absolutely miss some of them. Your partner will also probably put away a few volleys which will be a huge confidence booster.

Yes, they will pass him and you'll have to guess which way to cover; you'll probably lose the majority of these points.

But at least you've broken the log jam and given your team a chance rather than just playing 1 on 2.
Last time i did this, they told me " don't tell me where to stand".:laughing:
 
#26
They are not used to being at the net and are not sure what to do. Many pros do not like the net and try to avoid it, especially on the WTA.

Sometimes people dont intercept because they feel like theyre interfering in their partners shot. If youre not used to being at the net its harder to judge.

When its your own game in singles youre less afraid to go for everything but when youre with a partner the mentality sometimes is that you dont want to mess up a ball your partner could have got to so end up letting it go so as not to seem selfish.
This is spot on. I suck at doubles and am kind of like the bad partner in OP's post. I don't let floaters or easy put-aways go by me, but a decently struck, service line depth shot splitting the middle of the server's service box is hard for me to get myself to go for because I know if I was the server I would much rather have a chance at a groundstroke pass on those than have my partner have to hit a reach-volley from down low. I inevitably let some go that I shouldn't and then over-correct and go for some I shouldn't. So it goes.

The best work-around for me is to play two back with the server working his way in as soon as makes sense (and with me, the better groundstroker/passer usually, taking responsibility for any balls down the middle while we're both still back).
 
#28
You can try 2 things that don't require him to move:
- Have him line up in Aussie formation when you're serving: many returners are so hard-wired to hit CC that when you take that away from them, they screw up.
- Have him line up in I formation: after the serve goes by, have him pop up and just stay in the center. Again, you're forcing the returner to change his shot and he will absolutely miss some of them. Your partner will also probably put away a few volleys which will be a huge confidence booster.

Yes, they will pass him and you'll have to guess which way to cover; you'll probably lose the majority of these points.

But at least you've broken the log jam and given your team a chance rather than just playing 1 on 2.
Last time i did this, they told me " don't tell me where to stand".:laughing:
ptuan,

It's kind of "amazing" to me to read people like S&V-not_dead. It makes me question whether we occupied the same reality.
The behaviors and the interactions that they experience (and come here to share) are so out of touch with reality and just plain weird. LOL.

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...ly-beast-at-every-court.642288/#post-13304170
 
#29
You don't pre-plan your USTA season the year before with lessons? Play doubles every other day? Practice? Have a five year plan?
Played for a new club and the director set the line ups...I quickly got the impression that since neither of us were full long term members that we’d get scraps...not to be ‘that guy,’ but I’ve never played #3 Doubles...

Incidentally that was the first and last season I played there.
 
#30
Have you run into situation where people blame their lose on "you talk too much, I got confused, distracted" despite you think you only make a few sensible suggestions? Well, I do not like to repeat mistakes.
If my partner says that, I will shut up. He's not going to want to listen to what I have to say and will blame me for the loss no matter what I do or don't do. I'll try to avoid that partner in the future.

Still, the problem is, like you correctly pointed out, "move out of their comfort zone", and positioning at a new spot, facing the court differently, is not "move out of their comfort zone"?
It is but it's easier to re-position before the serve [Aussie or I] and to just stand there vs having to move after the serve [ie pinch the middle or poach].
 
#31
This is spot on. I suck at doubles and am kind of like the bad partner in OP's post. I don't let floaters or easy put-aways go by me, but a decently struck, service line depth shot splitting the middle of the server's service box is hard for me to get myself to go for because I know if I was the server I would much rather have a chance at a groundstroke pass on those than have my partner have to hit a reach-volley from down low. I inevitably let some go that I shouldn't and then over-correct and go for some I shouldn't. So it goes.

The best work-around for me is to play two back with the server working his way in as soon as makes sense (and with me, the better groundstroker/passer usually, taking responsibility for any balls down the middle while we're both still back).
The best long-term improvement strategy is to practice your volleys and reaction/anticipation so you get better at deciding what to cut off and what to let go. The whole advantage of the serve is, beyond aces and service winners, being able to generate a weak reply that the net man can put away. It's much easier to put a ball away at the net than from the BL. Your strategy abandons much of the advantage of the serve.
 
#32
When I have weak partner I start out by thinking I will not fuss and cuss... you know it, after about 30mins when we're losing I cannot keep my mouth shut. So is it better to bottle it up (there's no way your changing the person during the game) or talk pre-match or changeovers (never works, no time, nothing goes in) or don't even think about your partner?

Seriously thinking doubles is a waste of time, and this is the older I get, not the younger!
 
#33
The best long-term improvement strategy is to practice your volleys and reaction/anticipation so you get better at deciding what to cut off and what to let go. The whole advantage of the serve is, beyond aces and service winners, being able to generate a weak reply that the net man can put away. It's much easier to put a ball away at the net than from the BL. Your strategy abandons much of the advantage of the serve.
Agreed. Since I play doubles maybe four or five times a year, I haven't put in the work yet (and my net game in singles is fine at 4.5, just something about starting up there and not transitioning my own way in that has always thrown me off). As I get older, I will definitely need to work more on my doubles net play.
 
#34
Be prepared for anything when you are assigned a random partner.

Basic doubles isn't very complicated, but some people refuse to use common sense when they get on a tennis court. It's frustrating when your good serve is setting up a lot of easy put-a-ways. It's like being a good pitcher with a bad infield. Likely this guy will give you no support on your serve and then after the set say, "Well, I held my serve more than you."

Just think of it as practice and some exercise.
 
#35
just something about starting up there and not transitioning my own way in that has always thrown me off).
Try this: instead of standing at your usual distance from the net, stand several feet further back. As the serve is travelling towards the receiver, step forward and split rather than remaining stationary. Many high-level doubles players do this. It might give you a partial sense of transition [although not under your control].

Instead of looking at it as being at the net without transitioning your way, look at it as a chance to hit putaway volleys.
 
#36
When I have weak partner I start out by thinking I will not fuss and cuss... you know it, after about 30mins when we're losing I cannot keep my mouth shut. So is it better to bottle it up (there's no way your changing the person during the game) or talk pre-match or changeovers (never works, no time, nothing goes in) or don't even think about your partner?
Be as encouraging as you can and accept the fact that certain things are beyond your control.

Seriously thinking doubles is a waste of time, and this is the older I get, not the younger!
Play with better doubles players.

And don't do this:

 
#37
I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.
Mate, teams that love to lob are exactly the kind of players you should be S&Ving against. It's incredibly hard to consistently lob a player who uses S&V intelligently - i.e. one who approaches on the right shots, split steps properly and doesn't get too close to the net. All you have to do is make sure your overhead is warmed up.

The player whose immediate response to S&V is to drill you with dipper, he's the one you have to watch out for.
 

TagUrIt

Professional
#38
They are not used to being at the net and are not sure what to do. Many pros do not like the net and try to avoid it, especially on the WTA.

I agree with the first part of your statement, most people who are uncomfortable at the net will not poach or take hard volleys. The dig at the WTA? Are you serious? Have you ever watched a WTA doubles match? All they do is try to poach and try to put balls down. Anyone who knows how to play doubles whether it’s the recreational level or pro level, knows the game is won at the net.
 
#39
Had a very frustrating match this weekend. My partner (we're starting a new USTA leagues season and this is the first guy I got matched up with) played extremely passive when I was on serve and we lost a close match. I had the stronger serve and was earning us a good amount of short balls that he would opt to just let pass his shoulder floating gently to the middle of the court. It felt like when I was on serve it was 1 v 2. I guess one way to change things around would be to serve and volley, but these guys like to lob a LOT and that probably couldn't have been too effective long term.

Essentially, I ended up playing like it was up to me to win every point and couldn't rely on my partner to clean anything up. This caused me to make more errors than normal because I was always taking a greater risk. What are some other ways to overcome this? I literally had to track down a short lob that landed just inside the T while I was serving from deuce court. He could have taken one step to the right for an easy overhead.... needless to say that was frustrating.
Apart from getting a new partner I would tell him it is ok to miss. Tell him if a ball comes close to him to be aggressive and if he misses a few of them that is ok. If he is so passive he is probably afraid to mess up and that you will be pissed if he does.

Don't tell him you need to help me more but tell him it is ok to have some fun with balls hit at him and if he misses this is not the end of the world. Encourage him even if he nets an easy volley.
 
#40
I agree with the first part of your statement, most people who are uncomfortable at the net will not poach or take hard volleys. The dig at the WTA? Are you serious? Have you ever watched a WTA doubles match? All they do is try to poach and try to put balls down. Anyone who knows how to play doubles whether it’s the recreational level or pro level, knows the game is won at the net.
Obviously if theyre a professional doubles player theyre comfortable playing at the net.
 

Wise one

Professional
#43
Try to serve to get 'pop-ups', not to hit service winners. In the deuce court, the server's partner (assuming he's right-handed) should position himself approximately in the center of the service box, and cover floaters to the middle of the court using his forehand (balls that would otherwise come to the server's backhand) . In the ad court, the server's partner should position himself more to the right of center, to cover down-the line returns with his forehand, and leave floaters in the middle untouched, as they come to the server's forehand. Got it? It's different on the two sides.
 
#44
Try to serve to get 'pop-ups', not to hit service winners. In the deuce court, the server's partner (assuming he's right-handed) should position himself approximately in the center of the service box, and cover floaters to the middle of the court using his forehand (balls that would otherwise come to the server's backhand) . In the ad court, the server's partner should position himself more to the right of center, to cover down-the line returns with his forehand, and leave floaters in the middle untouched, as they come to the server's forehand. Got it? It's different on the two sides.
My positioning is the same on either side: my goal is to shrink the court and make the returner's job as difficult as possible. I'm not doing that as well if I position myself closer to the alley. Yes, my FH has more reach but I'm assuming they won't be hitting DTL much; the match will be won in the middle.

And if I'm at net, I'm going to be attacking middle floaters: as the person closer to the net, I have a better chance at ending the point. Assuming my partner is Sing&Ving, yes he will get a FH volley but he will be much further back [him around the SL and me maybe 5' from the net].

What I try to avoid doing is going for low volleys, especially if I have to lunge. On those, yes, my partner will be in a better position to deal with them.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
#45
Always fun to go DTL at the start of a match and freeze that netman, keep him honest and at home. Especially in mixed.
 
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