Covering the net in Doubles - Following through with the racket high

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by LenaicM, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    When playing Doubles. Say my partner sends a drop shot to the front right corner of the court. I cover the net. The opponent answers back at the net. same location. I cross it from right to left at the net.

    Can/should I follow through the shuttle from the right front corner of the court to the left front corner of the court with my racket in a "ready to kill it" position just a little bit above the height of the net? Not over the opponent's court, not as a block. Just in my side of the court as to push my opponent to lift it with an agressive stance.

    If that's ok to do so, is it the right way to follow through from one corner to the other one in doubles at the net or is there another way to do that properly.
     
  2. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Asuming your net play are good close tight to the net, i still think its bad idea when your opponent are already in the front & return it just at the opposite corner.

    If you stand in the middle, to be able to cross it you need to reach abit further to the right & thats pretty obvious to the opponent when you try a long reach.
    If you stand on the front & abit to the right, cross net would be less obvious but be sure its close tight or if your opponent front player had good reflex, you will be in a bad shape.

    As for should you follow the shuttle, (not sure if its the correct one but i did it normally) yes if follow but kinda half way (just abit to the left from the middle T serve line), incase the opponent cross it back then i would be able to reach it back. If its straight net return, i can still dash fast to kill it.
     
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  3. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    So on the first place, when my partner performs a drop shot, I should actually prepare myself to do a kill in case my opponent play the net? I shouldn't play the net back? What kind of stroke should I do if the opponent plays the net? Lift? Tight net but straight? Never cross it?

    I rarely play doubles and right now we only play doubles, so I cross a lot at the but the level of most of my opponents isn't very high. So that's why it works.
     
  4. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    It really depends.
    The best scenario is that you are able to take the shuttle when coming over the net. If you did/could not 'kill' it at the top of the net, a safe reply is to lift to the back, preferably to side that is opposite to yours so you won't get a straight smash back to you.
    Returning a net shot with a cross-court net is a risky shot, but that depends 1. your command of the shot; 2. your opponent skills level. I do not think we see a lot of this type of reply in higher level matches.
     
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  5. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    I need to start watching some Doubles matches. :)

    Thanks guys for your answers.
     
  6. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    On low level smash are a killer move & rarely they had good reflex or fast response, so having this kind of risky shot are less punishing. I think its fine to do it sometimes to train your skill but just dont make it a habbit. With beginner i tend to play slower (kinda hold myself) & use my bad shot instead. Over time my bad shot are getting better, sharper, & tighter as you keep training it. Again, remember to train your skill shot but not to make it a habbit.

    at higher level smash rarely become a killer shot. They at the front that are the actual finisher.
    i imagine a back player as a knight. Frontal atk that keep treatening the opponent. While front player are an assassin, going on standby & at the right moment when he find an opening he kill instantly. Back player who see all need to be strategist with their atk to force an error or to break up opponent formation.

    So for front player you had 4 option
    1. Kill if possible.
    2. Cut off to do surprise shot or deceptive shot.
    3. Keep the preasure by forcing the opponent to keep lifting the shuttle. This by returning with net shot (cross or not) when your opponent not in the position.
    4. If everything else not possible then lift to an empty back corner.
     
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  7. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Thanks :). I'm playing doubles again tonight and Friday and I will keep those advices in mind. I'm slow to react when it comes to positioning in doubles and I'm too late to make a kill I guess. I need to learn to go to the front quickly when my partner smashes or drops so I can cover the net early.
     
  8. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    If your partner smashes then you don't want to be too near, as the opponents might block it fast. If your partner drops then you want to be nearer, because they might do a net shot that you could kill.

    You can start off in the position that supposes your partner will smash, but then if you hear your partner did a drop then you can go nearer.
     
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  9. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Wow thanks. Such a small detail but it seems very valuable and the kind that makes a difference.
     
  10. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    You should 100% prepare to take the net if your opponent lifts to your partner, regardless of if your partner drops or smashes. This is because he cannot cover the net; however if the defence goes past you as a flat block/counter drive, he can still take it (even as a lift if required) if you don't intercept.

    The ideal would be your opponent plays a loose net shot and you can easily kill it.

    The next more common is that you aren't quite fast enough to kill it, but you have enough to time choose between a net shot, a push/drive, or a lift. You appear to understand the net choices - in doubles, the preferred option is normally a push or a drive past the front player - this is particularly useful if the front players starts trying to counter drive your push/drives by leaning back. The most overlooked shot for doubles is normally a push to the midcourt tramline - this is a location where you can put enough speed to get it past the front player, but requires the rear player to move a hard 1-step diagonal to return, normally resulting in a lift. The more common is a hard flat drive to the rearcourt corner, but this is more dangerous as it gives the rearcourt player more angle and time to counter, even though it appears to be further. It does tend to lead to an outright winner or very weak return if the rearcourt player takes it late though.

    The worst case is you are slow and you must take it significantly below net level. Then the choice is either 1) a flat lift, getting ready to counter drive: ideally place this so your opponent must stretch far and you can better predict his angles of return, or play it directly in front of you, because you will only have time to take 1 step back at most, and you hope you have the reflexes to defend a half/stick smash to enter a drive battle. Or 2) high lift - put these to either corner. Middle is worst since the straight smash is deadly (confusion between you and your partner).
     
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  11. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Thanks! I'm a bit lost about the strategies in doubles. I'm watching some matches to understand it better but I got what you said, it's just a lot of information to process and apply on court and some reflexes I just don't have in terms of placement.
     
  12. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    If you had friend to ask for training together, try to do this.

    Both of you stand in the front serve line. Just use half court for this one. Then both of you do drive flat exchange. Start slow then when you are used to it, add some difficulty like:
    1. Add some constant speed.
    2. Add direction. return it to opponent forehand side & next return to opponent backhand side constantly.
    3. Mixed speed, fast & slow. To get used to sudden change on pace.
    4. Mixed random direction. So you had to guest left or right.

    I come early with my friend & do that around 30 minute every week & for a years. It really help my respons on front play tho im actually back player.

    Little tips especially when you use heavy hammer racket & dragged to the front. Hold your racket grip closer to the cone. It will lessen the swing force & makes it move faster & manouverable.
     
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  13. Simeon

    Simeon Regular Member

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    Cross court net play is one of the most entertaining to watch. It can take several shots before one lifts too high over the net. I encourage to try that with friends. But that rarely happens if you don't play real doubles. Trust your partner, who takes the shuttle high, and you step to the front area.
     
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  14. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Why should your partner do this?

    Where do you stand? Partner should drop infront of you. Not away from you.

    At which height does your shuttle cross? Killable for the opponent? IMO this pattern is common for singles but should be avoid in doubles.

    Really depends on situation. If your cross netshot is killable, you want to hinder your opponent to kill and force instead to lift, there is a thin line to make a fault in terms of prevents opponent from making a legal stroke. If opponent don't care and could be inhibit to kill and crashs in your racket you have the evidence for that.

    13.4.4 obstructs an opponent, i.e. prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net;

    Best way to play would be that your partner don't create situations for the opponent to let you cover the whole entire net. Just 2/3 of it, but more effective and deadly. You both open the court. He with his drop to the corner, you with playing your cross court netting. If the cross court netting is not super tight the risk of a hard push to the deep backhand corner of your partner is a high chance for opponents winner. So your partners corner drop shot provoke you to be late and not in reach, let your netplay not be as accurate and tight, risk that opponent starts to play the cross net.

    Dropshots to the middle are more beneficial. There is no option to make the frontcourt player moving the whole width, no crosscourt net play possible because risk of shuttle will go out and the front player is always awake and there.
     
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  15. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Thanks, that's another full explanation I will need to analyse and put in application little by little.

    It's a social club where the level is really low to be honnest. 90% of the players can't clear from back to back court, perform forehand serves in doubles, we play with plastic shuttle, etc. I myself don't have much tactical knowledge in doubles play as I I exclusively played singles pre covid. Learning about doubles strategies and tactics these days. :)
     
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  16. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    That's great. From my experience the enviroment to learn and develop tactics and strategies has a huge impact. Luckily I was supported and surrounded by better players when I started and I still give this back to others.

    Social club with low level is nothing to worry as long as you find partners which are open minded and want to communicate.
     
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  17. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    He's not really a beginner though.. If anything they'd probably be hoping he'd give them advice.

    And often in a social club, people think that the best players are the ones that can move around the court, get to everything, hit good clears almost every time, and smashes, especially as they can often play even with the worst players 'cos good singles players often cover for players with poor movement. He's looking specifically for doubles tactics.


    What he could do is speak to the person that runs the social club, and ask where training is available.

    He may then he able to find info on any clubs with an in-house coach.

    When I was beginning that was what naturally happened because the guy running the social club saw I hadn't played before and pointed me in the direction for training(that was, a club with an in-house coach, who watched everybody, often played with them, and ripped the head off people doing the wrong shot or not standing in the right place)..

    As well as me getting advice from good players at the club, that covered basic beginners type issues.

    Also, at a social club, proper doubles tactics are out the window anyway.

    Even in many fairly competitive clubs that are intermediate and above and say "no beginners".. often the players don't understand proper doubles tactics.

    If i'm returning serve and my partner is in a sides position.... then a lot of the doubles tactics are going to be out the window.

    And with some of these players that when at the front suddenly run back, it's the wild west.

    And often even the best players in social clubs often don't know what they're doing re doubles tactics.

    Often when players give advice to beginners, the beginners are doing everything wrong so it's easy. People in the club that can help you grow on trees. But when you get to the kind of questions that Lenaic is asking.. it's not really beginner level, it's different. But if he asks the guy that runs the social club what's available for training.. They often know 'cos they send beginners there, and doubles is common and there's a coach. I think that's a good way to go. You won't learn doubles tactics on the level that he is looking for, in a social club.. no way!!

    In an intermediate club with no in-house coach, there may be some players that can give advice but it's not that common.. unless maybe there are quite a few county level players and with good communication and willing to give advice.. But often they are at that club because they just want to play non stop.. You still need some luck even at an intermediate upwards club, to get advice re doubles tactics. And such clubs are hard to get into too.

    A club with an in-house coach, that accepts beginners, will often have spots available and people that run social clubs (particuarly a good social club), often know about them as they often refer people to them when they are really rubbish. So there are beginner players there but there are also good players.
     
  18. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    I am one of the person in charge of this club and it's not the topic of this thread but in short what you said above is valid, players just want to have fun. We are active and the club is popular given the small size of the village. We do small group coaching sessions for beginners once a week, tournaments, charity events, seasonal tournaments, etc. At the end of the day most players just want to play for fun and since the club almost closed 5 years ago trying to be more competitive, the focus is now on keeping the club alive and from this aspect, it is a success.

    I play there and help the club because it is where I started and the gymnasium of this club is literally 2 kilometers from my house so I want to give back to the club but my main and second club is competitive and the president/coach is the father of a top player in France, I also participate in tournaments, individual coaching sessions, training camps, etc so I have access to advices but... I have solely focused on single play for now thus my lack of knowledge when it comes to doubles tactics. I mean I understand it and I can play a bit but there are plenty of more detailed aspects ot the doubles games that I am totally unaware of. But I'm learning it now :).
     
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  19. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    plant a side note in a thread and 24 hours later you get an offtopic wall oft text. happens only on bc. ;)
     

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