Server hitting partner

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cindysphinx, May 6, 2007.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    I played a match yesterday in which my partner hit me in the back once and hit my racquet once when she was serving. There was also a near miss when she was serving from the ad court and her serve out wide (an ace!) whizzed so close to my right ear that it sounded like a mosquito.

    I played a set a few months back when I hit my partner in the back three times when I served. And I once had a mixed partner knock my racquet completely out of my hand.

    Here's the question: If the server hits his partner, whose fault is it and what is the correct "adjustment"?

    When I hit my partner, I kind of assume it is my fault because my serve obviously didn't go where I intended it to go. She gives me a look, I apologize, and on we go.

    When my partner hit me yesterday, I got the impression she was annoyed that I was in her way. I considered changing my position, but I was reluctant to move back because the opponents were cranking the ball at me with their returns and I needed to be close to put away the volley. I did try to crouch down as much as my geriatric knees would allow.

    I have another teammate who has a big flat first serve, and she insists that her partner stand in the doubles alley for her first serve so she doesn't hit them.

    So, what's the deal?
  2. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Feb 2, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    You should never ever hit your partner, when I serve I have my partner stand exactly in the center of the service box, and I have never ever once hit him (Yea bad thing to say now we all know what is gonna happen next time we play) I hit, flat kick and slice, T Body and Wide, and have never hit a partner. I can't imagine that any serve that hits a partner had any chance of going in the box.

    Is the net person like ON TOP of the net? Is the server standing too close to the center hash like singles? I mean, stand where you are ready to serve and draw a line in your mind from you to any of the three standard serve locations, your partner should not be in that line.

  3. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

    Mar 27, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    I have never had a problem with this ever and rarely seen it happn with team mates. I can only see it as being the serve being to close to the center hash or the partner not standing wide enough.

    Another option you could try is having the partner stand a step or two further back from the net and as the serve goes across the net you take a step forward. It will also help keep them on their toes.
  4. cak

    cak Professional

    Feb 23, 2004
    If my partner is serving from the hash I move to a side, either the center and hunker down ready to pounce to a side or stand close to the alley. That said, she should not be hitting you. If you are in her way she needs to tell you. I did have a partner that serves from the normal doubles area, and did not feel comfortable serving on the ad side unless I was almost in the alley. Her serve was good enough that worked for me. She eventually got over that.
  5. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    I used to suggest that your group pool their money and hire a good doubles instructor to work on technical problems and drills.

    I am begining to think that money would be better spent on a good group therapist. Doubles is, if nothing else, a game of communication/cooperation/strategy. Your group is, so far, just a bunch of individuals, Like a school band with no leader (ugh).

    Having said that, There has to be a moment when such potential confusions are resolved.

    At the beginning when you say, "is there a side that you prefer?" You can go further. "What is your serving strategy? How can we work together? Can we work out some plays for setting up points?"

    Last Saturday, My doubles partner (still learniing) and I were playing a clearly inferior team (for fun)-- His daughter, a college player, and a good, but older gentelman.

    For us this was a good time to work on strategy as a team. Rather than disguise our plans, I would just say, "I'm going to drop this return in front of you. They will pop it up. Volley down the middle (said before, not during, the point). Or, "If I return the ball wide, cover the alley, I'll come in and take the middle. Or, I'm serving down the "T". The ball will jump into his body. Stay close to the middle, volley between them, crosscourt".

    There is no reason you can't do something similar. It doesn't really matter if they hear you. These are normal strategies, anyway, not deep, deep secrets.

    Good luck,

  6. LarougeNY

    LarougeNY Professional

    Nov 5, 2006
    Tell your partner to duck. I've never hit anyone, but its probably because my partners always been down below the net.
  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Jun 2, 2006
    The Great NW

    Funny opening paragraph.

    I never get hit as a netman. Of course i have an unconventional approach to positioning but ne that works very well for me. I line up on the service line midway between the centerline and the singles sideline. The moment I hear the serve is struck I move forward and either cut to the center strap if I am going to poach or maybe to the alley if the serve is going wide.

    You might guess I would be vulnerable to lobbing because I am always moving forward with the serve, but I almost never get lobbed (even by very talented touch players). My guess is that since I start so far off the net when the returner glances my way, that they don't think about lobbing.
  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Oct 1, 2005
    The server should stand a little wide of the center line, towards the side line. The usual singles serve position from near the center line can lead to hitting the partner, and I have seen it happen many times. There are a couple of guys I play with who serve from the center and very fast. I stand more towards the side line at the net, giving enough room for wayward serves. I also semi-seriously tell him (aloud so all 4 of us can hear) not to hit me in the back. This puts some social pressure on the server, because with some guys, all they care about is trying to pull off a humongous first serve, with a %tage of 5, while the rest of their game sucks.
  9. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    No kidding.

    Seriously, our team isn't very cohesive. People practice at different times. Or not at all. Or with different coaches. Or with no coach. Some have money to pay a coach; some clearly lack money for decent shoes. One lady has not strung her racquet for *six years* because she doesn't want to waste perfectly good strings.

    The team started completely from scratch in September as a 5.5 team. The nine 3.0s started playing together in January; I had doubles partners meeting each other for the first time at the last match of the season. Then we had 8 new people join us in April. Quite a number of players still have not met each other.

    It's just the way things are. Hopefully over time things will improve.

    Maybe I should take up a collection?
  10. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Jun 3, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    If my serving partner always serves wild balls, I'd start at the alley, and then hop back into position as soon as the ball crosses the net.
    I think being in the alley is better than being at the middle. If I am to leave an angle open for my opponent, I'd rather leave open the middle (where my serving partner has a chance to return) than leave open down the line shot.
  11. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

    Oct 17, 2006
    I've hit my partner once, and it was just in practice. She was/is a pretty big girl, and I hit her right in the crack of her butt... you know, we never did see that ball again...
  12. ps60

    ps60 Professional

    Feb 27, 2007
    Where did the ball go ? :grin: :grin: :grin:

    i've once saw my opponent hit his partner, and laughed almost upside down. Lately i've played with the man being hit, and i was very upset that he stood just in my way to half of the service area i can hit. He wants to stand as close to the net as possible to hit a easy volley. Is it stupid or what ? I didn't bother to ask him relocate himself 'cos he's not serious in tennis anyway. I just step 2 steps wider and aims at the T. The other day he was on the other side of the net (which i prefer if i have no others to play with), and his partner (not a power server, just reliable serve) could only hit to my forehand (ad court) and i cranked a dozens forehand winner returns that day. It's not sth to be proud of, i just want to say that u need to position yrself to let your partner have all options he deserves. There is a book (at least one) solely about Double's strategy, it's kind of boring ('cos it means biz, not for fun). if u are serious, look for one.
  13. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

    Jun 10, 2006
    I hit my partner right smack in the ear one time with a very hard first serve. I'm sure it hurt like hell! It was all I could do not to bust out laughing, though, because he was a jerk and a cheat AND a racist to boot (obviously I didn't know this guy before agreeing to play this tournament with him), and I was constantly having to overrule his bad calls. I think it was the finals, but I was so sick of this guy I didn't care.
  14. ps60

    ps60 Professional

    Feb 27, 2007
    U are Bad :D
  15. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    If you partner doesn't have good control on their serve placement, move over to the doubles alley and then after the serve goes by move back toward the center of the court.

    I was hit in the ear once and could only hear low pitch noises, but eventually hearing returned and I could hear the birdies tweeting in the trees behind the court!

    You may be crowding the center a bit and making it hard for your partner to serve around or over you.
  16. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

    Apr 21, 2005
    Mar del Plata, Argentina
    Well, at least, you nailed a guy you didn't like!
    I nailed my dad right on the upper back last weekend, playing against my uncle and my cousin.
    Serving to the ad court, tried to hit a flat serve outwide, and I must have miss-timed it. Right into his back!

    We had to stop playing for 5 minutes because of the serious laughter :lol:

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