Thread: Nagging drive/push question
11-13-2003, 05:00 PM #1
Nagging drive/push question
It is assumed that the scenario is level doubles.
When receiving serve, there are three sensible options for return - hairpin, drive or push. However, sometimes a drive isn't always flat, depending on the quality of the serve.
Front and back/sides?
Is the drive always classed as an attacking shot, hence always meaning that the attacking formation follows for the "driving team"? My problem is, once I have played the drive and gone to the net, my partner is exposed at the back because of the speed of the play, and the confusion between a high drive and a very low ("just attackable") clear.
If we play sides after the drive, however, they may return an attacking clear (most likely to be down the line). This goes over my head and, wanting to attack, I smash or drop off-balance, which leaves me exposed.
I anticipate that most responses would suggest that I go to the net every time, but I deem my net play horrendous, especially when it's a matter of deciding whether to hit a speedy shuttle that may be out of reach.
So, do we always remain in an attacking formation after a drive, or does it depend on the height of the drive?
11-13-2003, 06:05 PM #2
(Assuming we are talking about a reasonable standard game here)
Going to the centre net position after returning serve with a flat shot to the back box is not the only option. If you return to the back box on the server's side try taking up a position to cover the crosscourt drive, your partner should advance to cover the straight drive/block. This formation really allows you to press the forecourt attack. If you return to the same side as you are on you must cover the straight drive.
At the end of the day however if you play a return shot that they take above the net level you will struggle to keep the attack, and a push return will be a better percentage shot.
11-14-2003, 04:50 AM #3
Normally you should move forward, especially if you have executed a good attacking shot. But if your shots have been returned at will, then you should be more patient, but always ready, to see how and where your opponent is returning your shot, instead of just rushing to the net.
Or you could work out the tactics with your partner beforehand as to how he should take the clear or the lob when you rush to the net. This common understanding is important for your side to gain the initiative, to allow you to anticipate your opponents' returns and to put pressure on them.
11-15-2003, 11:01 AM #4
Yes...interesting conflict of opinions there. I see both your points, but I also realise that it depends on both players' strengths. I'm sure there's a cast-iron strategy in the highest level of play - but in that case, most players are so accomplished in all areas that there's no room for this discussion.
It does depend on where exactly the drive is placed, but the raleigh is so fast that sometimes I barely have time to think about it.
I tried going to the front every time after driving last night in a match (not the place for experimentation, I know!) and things seemed to pick up. More impartial advice would be very gratefully taken on board!
Thanks a lot!
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