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  1. #1
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    Default Problem dealing with high serve in doubles

    I have been playing badminton for almost 14 years, mainly singles. But last 2 years, I play doubles most.

    I consider myself very attacking. Never like to miss out on an opportunity to smash in doubles. And for me, I always see my opponents serve as an opportunity for an immediate kill-And believe me, I am very good at it. I am 6.1 tall and well built which gives me very good reach either on low serve or flick serves.

    But recently my opponent exposed a weakness in my game. He is also very good player, has won may tournaments in doubles. After I attacked a few serves, he changed the game plan and used very high serves to my back courts (Doubles). I was immediately thrilled as I could play smash. But soon it worked against me. They were able to return almost anything I threw at them from that position and gain the attack and my timing has gone really bad. I hit net many times and my joints started paining because of the miss timed shots. I thought, I was not mentally prepared. But next day also story remained same (they both have very good defense).

    Please advice me on,

    1. What is the best shot and angle against a high serve in defense?
    2. if my first option does not work (smash), what is the next choice?
    3. What is the best formation for us when we see a high serve? (Front back or side attacking?)

    Thank you in advance,
    Prince

  2. #2
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    1. The best shot is to smash
    2. second best option is to fast drop
    3. front back for sure

    One question i must ask, are your shuttles old/flying too slow? If not, your opponents defense might be just too good. Or is it your partner not having the confidence to cut flat shuttles from passing him? Are your smashes too flat? too predictable? i'm just guessing though...quite hard to tell without actually watching you play :P

  3. #3
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    I'd say a good split step back and a quick high jump would help in utilizing a smash, as long as your standing in good receiving position. Then fake em out with a drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by singnflip4life View Post
    I'd say a good split step back and a quick high jump would help in utilizing a smash, as long as your standing in good receiving position. Then fake em out with a drop.
    good positioning helps... true

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DivingBirdie View Post
    1. The best shot is to smash
    2. second best option is to fast drop
    3. front back for sure

    One question i must ask, are your shuttles old/flying too slow? If not, your opponents defense might be just too good. Or is it your partner not having the confidence to cut flat shuttles from passing him? Are your smashes too flat? too predictable? i'm just guessing though...quite hard to tell without actually watching you play :P
    We play with SOTX which are decent or sometimes plastic (Mavis 350 green)-So shuttle may not be an issue.

    I have a very good smash which I am really proud of. Normally, my oponent do not use high sereve to me even in singles tournaments. But one good point you mentioned-Front back. My partner was not doing that. He was either late to come front or was easly deceived with a push or drive.

    And about their defence, I should say, very good. Normally rally would not end with one very good smash-but gives us a better position. But in this case, they were easly gaining the attack.

  6. #6
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    You have to be a bit careful when smashing a high serve, as the timing is difficult and you may also hit the feathers (which causes you to lose control of the shot).

    A smash is definitely the shot to play, but it may take some practice to get the timing right. It's wise to slow down your smash a little at first, which helps ensure that you contact the shuttle clearly.

    And of course, a drop shot is fine too.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nprince View Post
    After I attacked a few serves, he changed the game plan and used very high serves to my back courts (Doubles). I was immediately thrilled as I could play smash. But soon it worked against me. They were able to return almost anything I threw at them from that position and gain the attack...
    How exactly were they gaining the attack? What shots were they playing in response to your smash? The fact that they return the shuttle isn't a problem. If they return it high, you can smash again (or drop). If they return it low, your partner should be able to deal with it. So what is happening?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    How exactly were they gaining the attack? What shots were they playing in response to your smash? The fact that they return the shuttle isn't a problem. If they return it high, you can smash again (or drop). If they return it low, your partner should be able to deal with it. So what is happening?
    Well, it is not that they straight away gain the attack.

    If somebody does a high serve to me and they do not loose the rally within next 3 or 4 shorts, I consider it as my failure.

    This case, my smash was weak and they were smart enough to capitalize on that. They moved their base one step close to net and were ready to intercept any week reply. It would be suicidal for me to try a drop when they can pounce on it.

    I consulted a coach today who visited our club and these were his observations.

    1. My footwork tempo was wayward. I was rushing to the position and waiting long for the shuttle to come down. (It does not happen with singles high serve because, I have one extra step to move)
    2. I was stretching too much & hence was not making full contact to the sweet spot.

    He suggested these corrections

    • Have a very relaxed footwork to the back court just to be there on time to greet the bird.
    • Once there, get in to smash ready position, pause a second, allow the shuttle to be a couple of inches closer to me than earlier-then go for smash.
    • Third was in line with what Gollum suggested, tap the shuttle down a few times & ensure timing, look for the sound and feel, increase smash speed gradually.

    I am yet to play with the same opponents and try these out. But I trust him.

  9. #9
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    very true...since you've been palying singles for so many years, i think it won't take long before you get used to timing a powerful jumpsmash off those high serves.

    it's just like a high serve in singles. The only difference now is that you can take the shuttle even earlier. When you jump and hit it steep, drop or smash, it is quite impossible for your opponents to counterattack. They can only keep defending till you hit a less steep shot.

    So like alexh have mentioned, you need to analyse how exactly are they counterattacking you. Is it a shot past your partner, but ahead of you that's posing problems for you to continue attacking? Or is it your partner not taking early/quick enough at the net? Or is it cross court returns that you find difficult to reach?

    Also after you can time your smashes better, you can vary your smash/drop positions by observing how your opponent tend to move/stand.

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    I don't have the experience of some of you guys, but here's my thoughts anyway, for what they're worth.
    Your opponents clearly know something about your game, and are aware of your powerful smash. They seem confident that their defence is good enough to deal with it, and from what you're saying they appear to be correct.
    I think analysing what happens after they deal with the smash is good, but I'm not sure it will get you to the root of the problem.
    It it were me, I'd like to know more about their game, and how they react to certain shots.
    For instance, where do they stand as they defend the smash? You have a powerful and I assume relatively steep smash, which leads me to believe that they will be defending probably at the front edge of mid-court, probably using a wide square stance. Problem with that is they can't move backwards quickly at all, particularly if they're not expecting that they will have to. We all know, lift a shuttle high to a man with a great smash, and he's gonna use it!
    I'd be tempted to use the attacking (flat) clear to gain control, and make them think and work, rather than let them simply feed off yor power. With good disguise the attacking clear can be a great shot to play.
    Couple that with a disguised slice-drop, particularly to the centre forecourt, and you should be back in control.
    This of course is allowing that my assumptions are corect - I would need to know more about your opponents to be able to make a better comment.
    So, do they defend deep or close ? Do they show a particular defence (FH or BH)? How do they handle shots to the centre of the court? How agile and quick are they?

    As a last resort, you could always let the air out of their tyres in the car park :-)

  11. #11
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    if theyre stepping into the net ready to push, and your on the right court , just punch a really flat fast clear down their backhand tram. That should stop them coming forward. Also, i find if you relax for your first smash to get the feeling and angle before you open up for a hard one for the 2nd or 3rd.

  12. #12
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    where do you put your smash? i mean the angle of your smash? do you smash the shuttle to the same area most of the time?

    you have to change the angle of your smash, and, just like others said, make a sudden drop or clear so that your opponents couldn't read your shot.

    i have a friend too who's good in flick serve, what i do is i do not stand near the short service line so i can hit the shuttle on time when he makes a high serve. and i thank him because i learned the round-the-head shots, make a cross-court drop, smash the shuttle to the mid-court or to the sides, sometimes steep and sometimes flat reaching the baseline.

    how are they counterattacking you? you and your partner should be aware how they return your smash, by push, by a counter-drop or by lifting the shuttle towards you or a cross-court lift.

  13. #13
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    As your coach says, slow down a bit when getting to the bird so that you don't lose momentum of your body when you smash. And are you aiming down the middle to create confusion for the defenders? Another good place to aim for is the hip or chest on the racket side... this will mean a change in angle of you smash. Thirdly, change the speed of your smash to keep them guessing.

    I guess what I'm saying is try working on the accuracy and placement of your smashes before you lay on the power. Get your partner to practice this with you by serving high.

  14. #14
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    There's an easy solution to this, considering your opponent is expecting you to smash and is covering the net from his serve. Simply drive it into his partner's backhand which, given his partner is right-handed, will be straight down the line. It's a simple shot and automatically gives you the advantage in that your opponent's are the ones under pressure. If you have to smash then definitely go down the line, after a high serve your opponent will have time to prepare and a cross-court smash will simply take too long.

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