Doubles positioning after lobbing the net player?

jacob22

Professional
I seldom play doubles but have noticed several occasions when my partner at the baseline lobs the opposing team's net player, the other team switches, and we end up in a formation where the two baseline players are on the same side of the court, net players on the other side. Is the proper play for the baseline player to follow their lob(assuming I goes over the net player's head) and move to the net or for the lobbing team to switch and have the net person move over to the other side to face the opposing baseline player?
 

Max G.

Legend
Yes, it's reasonable for the lobber to follow the lob in to the net if they see they've gotten it over the net player's head.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
As the lobber's partner, I try to pinch the middle or poach because sometimes the opponent hitting the GS is concentrating more on the lob and not me.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Yup. What @S&V-not_dead_yet and @Off The Wall said.

As lobber's partner .. I tend to move forward and to the center strap on a lob to a corner ... cutting off angles ... typically my lobbing partner is going to come in to at least service line .. but able to recognize and cover a lob coming back.

If I am the lob-ee I am fading back behind service line and ready to pick the next ball up off my shoelaces.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
Yeah.

When I lob, I follow my lob in, but no closer than the service line. The reason to stop at the service line is that the likely response to my lob is another lob, so you don’t want to be so close to the net that you struggle with that overhead.

Where we sometimes get into trouble is when the opponents lob. I prefer to have the player who was lobbed to call the switch if she cannot hit her overhead. She should then assess whether her partner is in trouble and will have to bounce that lob. So the player who was lobbed should get off the net and form a wall wherever her partner is. The partner is likely to throw up something defensive, so I think it is a mistake to stay at the net and if you were going to fall off the net the sensible place to be is building a wall.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Theoretically the lobber should get to mid service box and the lobbers partner retreat to the service line close to the T to cover a lob reply. That protects from the CC lob and the DTL dipper.

Another way to tackle the problem is for the lobbers net partner to poach while the lobber moves diagonally to the opposite service line. The problem with that solution is it becomes susceptible to the DTL lob as the baseline players body movement is away from that point.

What happens in reality too often is you get a DTL moonball war going while two net players think about poaching.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
What happens in reality too often is you get a DTL moonball war going while two net players think about poaching.
Was watching a few moonball wars from the net today. Baseline partner not strong enough to beat the baseliner while avoiding a strong net man. Such is life.
 

Vox Rationis

Semi-Pro
I seldom play doubles but have noticed several occasions when my partner at the baseline lobs the opposing team's net player, the other team switches, and we end up in a formation where the two baseline players are on the same side of the court, net players on the other side. Is the proper play for the baseline player to follow their lob(assuming I goes over the net player's head) and move to the net or for the lobbing team to switch and have the net person move over to the other side to face the opposing baseline player?
It hasn't been said yet but there's nothing actually wrong with ending up in this position. Happens frequently in the pros. It really just all depends on the lob. If it's a good lob, the lobber should try to move in and both players should look to attack the next ball. But if it's not that great of a lob, it's okay for the lobber to stay back while the other team switches. After that it just becomes a game of who will make the first move? The net persons should both be shying towards the middle to either poach or bait the opposing baseline player into changing direction crosscourt.
 

onehandbh

Legend
It depends on the lob and level of play.
Some possible scenarios:

  • Lob goes over net man, but his partner crosses to cover and crushes an overhead.
  • Lob goes over net man, but his partner crosses and hit an aggressive high volley. (net man crosses or ducks down)
  • Lob goes really high over net man and bounces up high enough for either of them to hit an overhead back.
  • Lob goes over net man and his partner can't reach it.
  • If I am the lobber, unless the other team will be hitting an overhead or crushing high volley, I am charging the net.
  • If I am the lobber's partner, I move to the centr my service box and slightly toward the middle, but be ready for a lob.
  • If I am the net man getting lobbed, I do my best to hit an overhead. If I can't then I run it down to hit a sky hook or high volley. If I can't reach hit the ball at all in the air, I try to run it down and hit a shot. If my partner calls me off to take the ball and I did not yell, "I got it", I switch to the other side, remaining at the net. If he can barely get to it and has to hit a lob back, then I quickly retreat back far behind the baseline.
  • If I am the net man's partner and the lob is towards the middle and my partner either can't reach it for an overhead or is struggling to, I'll call him off and hit an overhead or high volley.
 

onehandbh

Legend
If my opponent has hit a topspin lob or aggressive "low" lob over my head that'll I'll barely get too and my partner is not covering, and both of the opponents are coming to the net, I may try and hit a tweener.
 
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