Playing lobbers/moonballers in doubles

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by coupergear, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. coupergear

    coupergear Semi-Pro

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    Ok I don't want to get into a whiny, I can't play against pushers type post, but I'm in a mixed dubs league 7.0, and struggling with the slower pace and lots of half-lob, bunted balls. Not high enough for overheads, tough to attack and put pace on the volley. I'm used to being aggressive and approaching but then worried about bunt lobs get caught in NML, making all shots difficult. Maybe an all back game?
     
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  2. Wise one

    Wise one Semi-Pro

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    When your partner is serving, stand just behind the service line, NOT up at the net. Don't move forward until the return is made. If the other team tries to lob you, you have an easy shot, and your partner can move in behind his serve without having to worry about lobs going over you.
     
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  3. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    I think coming to the net is still the right strategem [how are you going to win in a 2-back formation if they are lobbing and moonballing?] but, as @Wise one pointed out, maybe hang further back than normal.

    Also, practice those paceless, "too low for an OH" type of incoming shots. Typical reaction is to overhit, especially on the FH. Get better at being able to place them in uncomfortable positions and nudge them into hitting a sitter which you can put away more easily.

    If your opponents are slow and locked to the BL, try the occasional drop volley: it doesn't have to be great or even a winner. Just short enough to make them sprint forward [which slow and BL-hugging people don't like to do].
     
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  4. Wise one

    Wise one Semi-Pro

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    It is almost impossible to lob you if you are just behind the service line.
     
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  5. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    Well, they can still lob you but you'll be able to hit an OH rather than letting it bounce and chasing it towards the back fence.

    Then it becomes a matter of how good your OH is when you're deep [ie halfway between SL & BL or deeper]. Most people aren't confident in their OH from that deep.
     
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  6. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    Agree with everyone else. Stand 3 steps back from your normal position. And attack those sitters. Hit them out front with a push forward. You can get great pace on even a slow ball that way. Our coach told us to imagine you were knocking books off a shelf.
     
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  7. Wise one

    Wise one Semi-Pro

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    Yes, of course. You just need to practice the overhead more often. If the ball is over your head there, it's probably going out. The point is that it's easier to move forward and clobber a sitter than have your partner have to run behind you to try to get the ball.
     
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  8. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    One thing about playing against people who hit it harder, for volleys you only need to block it back.

    When it's paceless, it's difficult to put pace on it. But don't forget to angle it for a winner. You have more time, so figure the angle you want and put it there!
     
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  9. weelie

    weelie Rookie

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    In the spring I played doubles against an experienced player who basically ONLY played lobs. Gladly I got soon enough into the habit of killing them. My partner missed quite many overheads. To me, it does not take many well hit overheads for a lobber to get a bit demoralized. But this guy, he kept on hitting them, and he hit them very well. Some variety regarding spin but not much, but the depth was mostly on, unless he was playing off my overhead.

    If it is not proper lobs, the service partner could focus on moving forward to very close net and hitting an angle out.
     
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  10. Dragy

    Dragy Professional

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    This is wise :rolleyes: The issue is you don't just change strategy to autowin then. Residing at service line works well against lobs and high floaters for those confident in their volleys and OH. However, short balls come inevitably, and one should also be competent in playing low volleys at least neutrally, and adjusting quickly to play short bouncers. All separate skills based on separate practice. All worth practicing for any player.
     
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  11. coupergear

    coupergear Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, that's my feeling. Always should control the net.

    Need to face up to my skill deficiency, everyone has alluded to it, it's about getting more confident in the OH, and practicing those high floater volleys..need crisp placement deep or to their feet.
     
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  12. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    I hate those matches because I come off the court feeling like all I did was an overhead drill session. I mean, thanks for the practice and all, but I'd like to use a few different strokes here and there too. Those people tend to come off my future play list unless I'm desperate or know I need some OH practice.
     
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  13. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    There is nothing more enjoyable than to see the lobbers strategy fall apart with good court positioning and teamwork. Nothing like exposing their partner to a few overheads. The typical lobber does not have a backup strategy.

    Sent from my LM-G710 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    Sure they do: they back up until they're at the back fence. ;)
     
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  15. Keendog

    Keendog Rookie

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    Hit the return of serve straight at the net person hard, get your partner back from the net in case they make the volley
     
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  16. samarai

    samarai Semi-Pro

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    against lobbers in doubles i stand at or a little behind service line. But then u have to have decent overheads for this strategy. dont crowd the net. u also have to have good volleys from differnt positions in the court. what i find is great lobbers tend to not have amazing groundstrokes.
     
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  17. samarai

    samarai Semi-Pro

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    The goal of the match is to try to win. I dont care what strategy my opponents bring the goal is to try to counteract that. I love playing against lobbers just as much as against a team that will pound on the ball. Thats how u improve. only thing i hate when playing doubles is having a partner who cant adjust to the conditions.
     
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  18. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    A common complaint. A good friend of mine (a doubles guru), would simply tell his students, “stop hitting lob-able balls.”
     
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  19. time_fly

    time_fly Professional

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    I play a lot of 7.0. It's different than men's tennis or even 8.0 because you do end up playing mid-court more (especially if you're barely 5'8" like me). Lots of ladies at that level focus on lobs and moon-balls because they can't generate the pace and spin they need to pressure a player who is up near the net. When I'm playing one of these frequent moon-ballers and the opposing woman is back I usually play a couple steps back from my normal position then work forward if she doesn't get it over my head. The only disadvantage to this strategy is you do give up the quick poach on return of serve, but most 3.0 and 3.5 women aren't going to have a great serve to set me up for an easy one any way.
     
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  20. LOBALOT

    LOBALOT Rookie

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    You aren't going to get any strategy from me!!!!!
     
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  21. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    I think it's a combination of what kind of shot you give your opponent, your position on the court, and how mobile you are. Telling someone to "stop doing A" might be completely ineffective if they don't know how to stop doing A. Learning that skill might not be a quick fix. But changing one's positioning might be easier.
     
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  22. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

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    Here's something to try: split the court up into the net half and the deep half rather than the traditional left/right. Your partner will take the net and you'll patrol deep. When the lobbing starts, you get to hit every OH, whether it's on the left or right side. Assuming they're not hitting aggressive TS lobs but high ones that give you enough time, this strategy might totally discombobulate them because their stock reply of a lobbing the net woman is now being attacked.

    Before you say it can't work, I've pulled this off against a low 4.5 team when they decided their passing shots weren't working [they weren't]. If they had lobbed deep [past halfway between SL & BL], it might have worked. But most of their lobs fell short and I was putting them away.
     
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  23. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    1. learn to hit an overhead
    2. feed them short low balls... not a dropper, but make them make contact near NML...
    it's hard to hit a lob from inside the court, i mean you can, but now i have hit it higher, giving you more time to run it down and choose to do an OH, or drive it.
     
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  24. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Legend

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    What balls aren't lob-able? I've watched good lobbers hit lobs from their ankles, from over their shoulders, from volleys. All you need to lob is an open racket face on any ball.

    In my experience, the only thing that reliably stops lobbers in their tracks is angled overheads, end stop.
     
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  25. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, good players can hit effective lobs from more difficult positions than less skilled players. Good players can hit overheads reliably as well. It is the lower level players that habitually feed backcourt players waist high strokes. Then their overheads break down after one high lob. Their position on the court doesn’t help their overheads.

    I’m saying for moderately skilled players, make them run instead of just feeding their lobs with deep strokes. Their lobs will become floaters.
     
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  26. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Swing volley.

    J
     
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  27. coupergear

    coupergear Semi-Pro

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    agree another skill that I need to develop. Especially these balls they're not really true lobs they're just kind of high weak groundstrokes bunted so they are just barely getting over the outstretched tip of my racket. I think I need to just position myself a little further back and try to hit swinging volleys from there. Or overheads if they are truly lobbing.
     
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