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  1. #1
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    Jan 2007
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    Default The 3rd shot : questions and discussion (MD)

    Hi guys,
    Id like to ask the experienced members to discuss the 3rd shot in doubles, mens and mixed, as im now playing in a high level team on the strength of my singles and need to work on doubles alot more. Ive lotsa questions

    1- when serving (md)
    should i attempt to swing at replies?
    i rarely see professionals do it, regardless of reply, be it jab to cut off the opponents attacking my serve with their flat pushes or to take a blind swing at any lifts, yet have seen a few attempts - wise or stupid?

    2- when partner serving
    i have no problem with forehand reply and have enough power to clear when late in the back corner ( which doesnt happen much- i generally cut off with a drive )

    the backhand however is causing trouble

    A) the flat push, drive- what are my options here?

    I can drive it back straight but if my partner served from the right, its right into the receiver whos waiting for that shot.

    cross court drive is tricky because the server is sometimes in the way/also not hard for the aggressive receiver to intercept and apply pressure

    gentle drive to middle sometimes useful

    a lift over the receiver is not always good as my distance is inconsistant and gives away too much

    not enough power to cross lift

    - what do pros try to do?
    - What should us mortals attempt?
    - how do we vary it ?
    - is it my shot or shot selection thats causing problems?

    B) the fast lift

    Bit of a no-brainer, great attacking oppertunity, but what i want to know is,
    Whats the ideal foot work? A jump out with my lleft foot behind? Full body rotation? Full step back pivot and sissors? Other?

    Should i really try get behind it and put it away , thus push myself out of position for a cross court whip, or use it as a building shot?

    wheres the best place to target? Middle, down line or receivers hip?

    too add variety( so important ) - drop ? straight or middle ( cross a bit risky) and when dropping, should it be a backhand drop so i recover straight away or a round the head, and what footwork?

    is a cross court clear a sensible mixed option to mix it up from smashing all the time( if the man had just received and played the lift )

    ... PHEW.... Thats alot of questions, but this third shot is so important in gaining control that id like as much input as possible, and im sure everyone could learn a few things .

    Thanks in advance ladies and gents.
    Last edited by mojopin; 09-29-2008 at 06:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2004
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    1 - you probably don't see professionals going for many replies because they are so good at it and their opponents respect that. Remember that you don't really swing at the net anyways - they're mostly just quick tapping/brushing motions. If you can position yourself to cut down the angle of replies on the serve return, your opponent can either attempt an extremely risky shot right through your coverage or instead hit something outside of your range for your partner to get. Doing this, you can somewhat control what type of shots your opponent will use for serve returns, depending on your levels of skill.

    2A - it all depends on your opponent's position and your relative levels of skill. Of course, the lowest risk option would be to clear, but then you give up the attack. At this point in the rally the opponent has a slight positional advantage (driving more downwards), and if you clear he ends up "winning" that specific tactical situation and moves up into an even better advantage (the ability to hit full smashes).

    So, to be able to "win" this situation you need to be a bit more clever than your opponent with your shot. Is he in good position to receive a straight drive? Then try a drop across court. Is he standing close to the net? Then drive it hard at him to see if he can handle the pressure. You need to be able to make these decisions quickly.

    2B - I usually go with the midcourt intercept jump if it is an aggressive lift. Take one step laterally with the left foot then jump off that foot in the same direction. Hit the stroke with a stick smash rather than a full stroke.

    The risk with hitting a flicked lift is that it can be intercepted. If you don't intercept it, then the shot has succeeded for your opponent and your left hitting from a poorer position (low at the back). If you manage to intercept it regularly, then the flick becomes an unreasonable risk for your opponent, and he adjusts by lifting it higher and safer.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    fast and flat drives in doubles tend to be neutral situations, trying to hit spaces with speed or cramp your opponents angle of return, look for opportunities to block to the net or hit spaces behind hopefully forcing a lift or weak return.

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