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Mens Doubles - Trouble with the 3rd Shot (service return return)

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by vinod81, May 23, 2012.

  1. vinod81

    vinod81 Regular Member

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    I am an intermediate club player. I usually stand about 3/5 length of the court (like most wold class mens doubles players) from the net when my partner serves. My side loses 2 to 3 points each game when my partner's serve is not so good and the opponent drives it to a rear corner. Basically I fail to intercept these drives and I cannot quickly reach the corners to make a quality return.

    Is standing further back recommeded for intermediate club players? In this scenario my return of the midcourt pushes from the opponets will be of inferior quality, however I will at least be able to make a quality return of the drives to the rear corners.

    Ideas from expereinced players are greately appreciated.
     
  2. diverdan

    diverdan Regular Member

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    Work on your foot work so you can reach.
     
  3. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    The problem is not yours but your partner's serve.
     
  4. diverdan

    diverdan Regular Member

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    Yes but you should be able to get your racket on it to play a shot.
     
  5. philb

    philb Regular Member

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    Well, I think you understand the general risk-rewards scenarios of switching up your position. So I would ask you to think about what happens more often in your games:
    Is your partners serve generally consistant and well placed outside of 2-3 attackable low serves per game? Does your normal starting position generally put you in a good spot to attack on a typical 3rd or 5th shot in the rally? i.e. serve->lift->smash, or serve->push->push->lift->smash etc...
    Will the improved quality of your return from the baseline on an attacking drive of your partners weaker serves gain you an advantage or get you back to neutral in the point?

    So I would think about those things, maybe try it out, standing farther back for a couple of games and see how it goes. Let your partner know what your doing. Figure out if you're giving up too much advantage in exchange for getting a few more points in play. Or if you find nothing much changes on a typical point, you find yourself handling deep returns better and still about to get to the midcourt stuff maybe it'll just work for you.
     
  6. Line & Length

    Line & Length Regular Member

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    Are you doing the basics well? Racket already up, split-drop as your opponent hits the return etc. Remember, you only need to take a couple of steps to intercept a flat drive to a rear-corner.

    With regard to positioning, I find it is generally better to be slightly back and coming forward than the other way round.

    Overall, I agree with philb's risk/reward analysis. Will moving further back cost you the attack when your partner serves well? Will you lose more points than you gain?

    One last thing you may try is to stand slightly further back from where you traditionally stand. Then, if your partner serves well, take a small jump forward with your split-drop. Difficult to achieve consistently, but may give you the best of both worlds.
     
  7. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    In addition to ideas already mentioned, you could also -

    1. Ask your partner to help cut off 1 side (maybe his forehand side) of the return, so you can concentrate more on the push to your body, and the rear court drive to the other corner.
    2. In addition to your lower body (footwork), get your upper body (your racket arm/hand) set up at the same time as you move. Get your racket ready to hit, even before your racket foot may land.
     
  8. pcll99

    pcll99 Regular Member

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  9. vinod81

    vinod81 Regular Member

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    Thank you diverdan, visor, philb, Line&Length, raymond and pcll99 for the input. I will spend sometime practising footwork towards the rear corners. Also I will move my position slightly back if the opponents start attacking the rear corners and then assess its effectiveness.
     
  10. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Other things you (and your partner) can do -

    Your Partner
    - Minimize wide serves to the alley, esp. when this opens up your court to a straight push down your backhand side (you'd be slowed down by the mere fact that you need to turn your body to get your racket there).
    - Serve more to the T, to minimize angle of return; then hopefully, you can intercept more of the replies on their way to the corner.
    - Do vary the placement so your opponents cannot anticipate easily
    - Work on the flick in addition to improve the low serve quality. The flick serve works hand-in-hand with the low serve. A good flick serve could help slow down your opponent's advance.

    You
    - Shift your ready stance bias to one side (but not too obvious), so you're closer to the sideline.
    - If you manage to take the shuttle in front (of your body) you can hopefully still use your wrist to block straight, or cross-court.

    Hope that solves your problem.
     
  11. Staiger1

    Staiger1 Regular Member

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    The most important thing for this shot is the preparation , read their return early , and with good footwork , take the shuttle early . This is all about good technique and wrist strength , I recoil the wrist as soon as the returner make contact with shuttle. It will take alot of practice especially if they are driving it to your backhand side and waiting for a weak shot at the net
     
  12. Tadashi

    Tadashi Regular Member

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  13. alexh

    alexh Regular Member

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    If you're only losing two or three quick points each game off your partner's serve then you're doing OK--you probably shouldn't change anything. But you could experiment with standing further back and see how much difference it makes. You'll probably get different results depending who you play against.
     
  14. diverdan

    diverdan Regular Member

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    Further you stand back the less you can help your partner. Work out the type and strengths and weaknesses of your opponents as quickly as possible. It will aid in anticipation of serve returns. And most importantly keep working on footwork and weight distribution on each leg.
     

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