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Thread: Receiving short serve options
12-09-2011, 07:00 PM #1
Receiving short serve options
I've been play alot of doubles lately, and I've noticed that if someone has a really good short serve, I don't seem to have many options on the return. For example: Player A short serves to me, then I do a flick/lift to the back corner on the backhand side to player B. That seems to be one option for me, but if player B is really fast and has a good smash, then they can still smash it, even though it's on the backhand side. (around the head smash is an option too)
Or, the other play I make is: Player A does a tight short serve, then I just drop it back. I've had mixed results with this play. So, I'm kinda at a loss to what to do exactly.
Just looking for some opinions on what others do against good short serves in doubles.
12-09-2011, 08:19 PM #2
A tight net shot return, to either front corner. They normally expect a straight net, but a cross court net can throw them off.
If you go for a kill, by tipping your racket back slightly you can play a quick lift and reduce the amount of time your opponent has to get there.
12-10-2011, 12:07 AM #3
A flat lift works wonders sometimes.
12-10-2011, 03:42 AM #4
if the quality of the short serve is very good you may not be able to kill it right away. the aim is to simply put pressure on the return and seek advantage and to pressure ur opponent into hitting an awkward or weak shot that you can kill later on.
depending on the height/depth/speed of the serve, you can do net returns, push to the side lines between the server and the back court player (so neither could smash), or push to the back corners (not lifts). if you're early enough you can also hold your shot so u can add deception, such as charging with the racquet head pointed to one way but at the last second turn the racquet so the shot goes to the opposite direction, or charge like you're going to hit a drive/push but at the last second softly tap the bird so it's a net shot instead. again, the aim is not to kill if the service is tight but to gain advantage to set up the next shot.
Last edited by Capnx; 12-10-2011 at 03:46 AM.
12-10-2011, 10:54 AM #5
flat drive sometimes do the wonder (especially if your opp tall)
if you are on the left side, try net shot to your left side (farthest distance from the front player which usually the server), vice versa
if they expect it, do it the other way around
IMO lift would be the worst option you can do in double especially MD
12-10-2011, 11:21 AM #6
If you decide to do a netshot make sure you catch it early or else it won't be very effective.
12-10-2011, 01:07 PM #7
When it fails, why is it failing? Is it the serve that's really too good, or you who can't really manage to do a good shot?
Are you standing close enough to the net? Are you playing your shot while moving forwards? Aggressively? Can you keep your racket up and pressure the opponent on his next shot?
As a competitive player, I believe the net shot is almost always the best response to a short serve. It's the hardest shot to attack on the third shot of a rally, and you put yourself in a good spot to win the rally without effort, even when your opponent is superior.
Obviously, at some level it canbe countered, but then you can play a drive straight back at the server, very effective tactic and again without a need of complicated technical skills or having to place your shuttle really accurately (which is required if you want to play in the divorce area, another good reply and most commonly used).
So my advice would be to keep practicing netshots, and to prevent him from playing a counter netshot. Once it's done, he will have but to lift, and you did your job.
12-10-2011, 04:09 PM #8
I agree with Yuzo except that you still need to add variety to your returns, should mix up the net and push/drive shots. if the server knows/anticipates/sees that a net shot is coming, it can be very easy for him to jump on it and either make a kill or do a hard return that puts you on the defensive.
12-10-2011, 04:50 PM #9
Many good suggestions already, esp Capnx. One other suggestion is to watch more MD games on YouTube between the top pairs.
12-10-2011, 09:11 PM #10
Awesome responses! Umm, what I meant by "mixed results" with playing a netshot back after a good short serve is, mainly due to my MD partner. Sometimes they can't get into a proper position to hit the next shot. Like, for example: I play a net shot after the serve, then the opposing player will lift it to my partners backhand, and if the lift is right in the backhand corner, he can't clear it properly and then we get smashed on until the other team wins the point. I know it's not my fault directly, but it seems to happen so often, whoever my MD partner is. Not many peeps can do a full backhand clear if it's really deep.
When I recieve the short serve, I am very close to the service line, not touching it, but pretty close.
12-11-2011, 07:52 AM #11
It's not your fault if your partner cannot play an overhead forehand shot in his backhand corner...
You're doing it right, the only thing you can do now is talk to your partner(s) and tell them they are going to have a lot of backhand shots to play in that situation, so they better get ready.
If possible, try to show them how to move so that they can play an overhead shot (turn your body and move sideways), thus avoiding the backhand problem.
Doubles is played with two players, that's obvious. As long as you manage to force your opponent to lift, you can't blame yourself if your partner cannot take advantage of it. You've done your share, tactically speaking.
12-11-2011, 06:14 PM #12
Thanks, I'll try talking to MD partner tomorrow, and explain to him that I will be playing alot of netshots after recieving a short serve. Also, I will ask him to watchout on his backhand side.
12-11-2011, 09:20 PM #13
I would add something else then what has been suggested above : you can, when your opponent is consistently serving good short serves, step in to receive it. That way you don't have to lift, you can just drive the shuttle to the middle court on either sides. It is easy technically and difficult to deal with for the other team.
The problem of course is that you are then easily caught by a flick serve, and sometimes it is difficult to judge if a short serve is in or out while stepping on it. But if, by using this ploy, you make your opponent flick from time to time, then you have solved you problem, isn't?
12-11-2011, 09:31 PM #14
other things to consider are also the quality and placement of your net shots. you say that regardless who your partner is, if you do a net shot, often your opponent will hit to the back corner and pressure your partner... are you sure your opponent is lifting your net shots and not pushing or driving them to the back corner? if your net shot quality is not there, it is a very attackable shot and usually the opponent will push to the corner and move to the net to wait for the weak reply.
12-12-2011, 06:35 PM #15
With your net returns, your partner needs to be moving across as soon as you hit the shuttle. So if you play a drop shot to the left side of the net, your partner should take a step to the left instead of staying in the centre. That way it's easier for him to get to the backhand corner. (And if the server lifts crosscourt instead, the crosscourt shot has more distance to travel, so more time for your partner to get there.)
12-12-2011, 09:09 PM #16
Great comments. Thanks again. I will try to make my netshots tighter to see if that give my MD partner more time to get in position.
12-13-2011, 02:51 AM #17
if you watch MD or XD, the best responses (other then netkill) would be a flat push to the middle half of the court on either side or directly towards the server's serving hand's hip (or his eyes).
just practise with your partner to serve tightly and jump forward to catch it at its peak.
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