Doubles drop shot return responsibility

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by CheChan, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. CheChan

    CheChan New Member

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    Hi All. This is probably a very basic question. Thank you in advance for your help;

    Doubles scenario -
    Both players are playing sides/defence, and a clear is played ( to me ) by the opposing team.
    Are there different rules as to who should cover the return net shot depending on if I play a straight drop shot, or a cross court drop shot?

    My understanding is that if one players has been moved to the rear of the court, the partner should automatically be covering the front.

    I keep getting unhappy looks when I leave my drop shots from the back of the court for others. On asking, I have had had a few different answers, so was hoping to get a bit more feedback from you guys.

    Thank you again, for your time and help.
    Che.
     
  2. SSSSNT

    SSSSNT Regular Member

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    Yes, ideally your partner should cover all net replies when you do drop shots from rear court.
     
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  3. llrr

    llrr Regular Member

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    For basic doubles, when you play a drop shot you're attacking. Of course your partner should cover the net when this happens. For advanced level, it depends on if you're a specialist front court player or not and if you're trying to get back to the net or not.
     
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  4. movingbase

    movingbase Regular Member

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    My two cents - in the end, playing doubles with your partner requires frequent communication with one another.
    I don't think it is very helpful for them to give feedback that manner, hence, kudos to you for taking initiative and ask them what made them do so.

    Back to your question - consensus is, your partner could help you to cover the net shots.
    There is no hard rule for this. Hence, you can also cover the net shot right after a drop shot is played by you, if you are quick enough.

    In your partner's perspective, what he/she expects you to do is perhaps perform a punch clear or smash?
    Most probably concerned about court coverage or giving advantage to opponents, in the sense that they see you playing drop shots frequently, causing them to close down the net area quicker than you and your partner.
     
    #4 movingbase, Aug 19, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  5. SSSSNT

    SSSSNT Regular Member

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    If the unhappy looks are really because you don't cover the net on your own drop shots from the rear (Not because some other issues like you drop shot too often or your drop shots quality are terrible or you're a beginner who can't even clear properly or the drop shots aren't really from the rear but more from the middle, etc), then you can politely challenge these unhappy lookers to watch some international level doubles matches on Youtube.
     
  6. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    Is your partner playing "sides"? If the high lift is to your right side then your partner should be slightly right of the T, for example.

    It is well worth communicating with them to understand your responsibilities, expectations and theirs too.

    If you want your partner to get the net return from your dropshot then you can make it even easier for them by directing your shot in front of their position, rather than too far to the left or right side. The same is generally true for smashes but see below for tactical reason.

    You want your partner to use their more forward position to their advantage but they have little time to react; if you tell them before hand that the plan is to play shots in front of them and it is more advantageous for them to place themselves more left/right to help you direct your shot. Assuming your partner wants the opportunity to easily pick-off the return and win the point ;)
     
  7. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Playing double require teamwork & having in a club with many member require us to play with alot of different player which kinda hard to build connection between player.

    But normally with 2 of my friend whos been playing with me for long time, we use this thinking in mind:
    In neutral situation (defense/offense) we share 50:50 coverage. But when someone take the bird, the hitter get less coverage around 30% & the standby increase to 70%. So the standby one should be ready for counter in bigger area considering some delay/lag that the hitter takes after hitting. On actual games we dont actually calculating the area coverage as it will be much more complicated & not all shot resulting much delay, but at least keeping that in mind help us to manage our teamwork.
     
  8. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Let's imagine: You play a straight dropshot. Partner is camping in his half. Opponent is quick and can return a net shot or is deceptive and can flick it above you when you move forward to get the shown netshot. You will need to take the net shot low if you follow your drop -> high chance you must lift, which means initiated attack is lost. If the player is deceptive with holding and flicking, you will also struggle to get the lift to the rear. You partner will need to move from his half into the backcourt of your half around you. He will also need to take the shuttle and struggle to keep the attack. Imagine this happens on the backhand side and you will have put alot of obstacles caused by this dropshot and your partner. A better solution had been to play a clear on the clear, which nobody wants in doubles.

    I recommend to play the drop shot between both players. Gives a split second of confusion who will take it. The straight drop shot opens your court too much and is easy to get with anticipation. Especially when you play an emergency off balance drop shot. Why didn't you played the smash? It also means that your partner needs to move into the tunnel, because the shortest distance is committed to one side. If opponents can take the drop shot high because of poor quality of the drop shot and play a cross court net drop when you partner moves in, also the chance of good anticipation can result into a push. Both will get you into bad position. I recommend to play through the middle. It leaves you both options to follow, your partner to move in and your partner to help in the rear due rotation. It also cuts down chance of dangerous angles by your opponents and make the court easier to cover instead of a commitment to one side. If the attack is really strong you can play straight, if it is the weaker of both opponents smashing straight can also be benifial. For better opponents or good defenders or people who have some deceptive skills, you will get trouble. Same for smashs. Playing through the middle is much more benificial than straight and get countered. Makes the net area smaller and the distance to both sides is equal for you to move to the corners. Also confusing the opponents who will take it, if you don't play a fixed pair for years, will bring you in much better position to win the rally.
     
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  9. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Most people have said if you're in a strong position and you could smash, but choose to play a drop, then your partner should be in the front.

    However, you have to be fair to your partner - if you see him standing still in sides position (maybe he fell over or something), then don't play a straight drop shot, expecting him to run the diagonal for it.

    If your partner is in front of you (near to the tramline) expecting you to play a straight smash, don't play a cross court drop, expecting him to cover the return net easily. Even a strong player would be forced to lift in that case, if they got to it at all.

    As mentioned before, the best drop shot to play is the drop shot to the centre of the court as it the further distance for the defenders to retrieve, shortest distance for your partner to retrieve, and also can cause confusion for you opponents. The straight (sideline) and crosscourt drop should be used sparingly - ESPECIALLY the crosscourt (because it creates a LOT of confusion for your partner, and is easy for your opponents to retrieve as it takes so long to travel). If your partner can't retrieve from the middle net shot position, he is definitely in the wrong place.

    Otherwise, it's great that you're opening up the discussion!
     
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  10. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    To make it better to understand the role of the front court player and how to set up him/her I made some graphics with my tactics board.

    Requirements: The dropshot it played with good pace and quality, the opposing side need to take it below the tape. The red side (player 2) plays the dropshot, blue side are the defenders who move slightly to the side of the clear. I took the BH corner as example. Player 1 (red) is placed like somebody who don't know that the attack will be initiated and chills in his side. It demonstrates that playing side by side is a no-go for the option which can be played by the opposing side and shows that player 1 is sometimes easier to get involved and something impossible if he stays.

    1st option: The straight attack
    straight.jpg

    • player 2 (red) plays the dropshot (pink line)
    • player 1 (blue) clearly knows that he need to take it
    • options of player 1 (blue) are: lift to same corner, opposite corner, play at net straight to the net, cross to the net (blue lines)
    Everything which is flat or short is played above the net section which is yellow. Player 1 (red) needs to move in or player 2 (red) needs to follow and rotate with player 1 (red). If player 2 communicates he prefer to attack most of the time straight and the attack is strong, player 1 can move into tunnel but not to far to reach the cross court net shot. If the attack is weak and opponents (blue) can push it past the front court player crosscourt, player 2 (red) should be capable to reach for that shuttle. This means, that after the stroke player 2 needs to work towards the middle of the rearcourt.

    2nd option: attack between players

    between.jpg


    • player 2 (red) plays the dropshot (pink line) between opposing side
    • player 1 and 2 (blue) can be confused who takes it which can result into taking it a bit late
    • options of player 1 or 2 (blue) are: lift to corners, play at the net straight to the net, played it to the corner is not impossible, but very difficult with high risk to fly out. push to the sides are possible but travel into the reach of the front court player.
    Everything which is flat or pushed at the net section fly above the middle (yellow). Player 1 (red) needs to take the middle. Also possible for player 1 (red) not to move to close to the net and cut out a flat crosscourt lift by jumping back and taking it high. This can result in a rotation. Player 2 (red) needs to move into front/mid and rotate with player 1 (red) which can be the new backcourt player. Players can also communicate that player 1 is better in the front and player 2 stays in the back by moving towards the middle. Both lifts to the corners have equal distance. With some footwork both corner are easier to reach compared to option 1. Depends on the abilities of both players and require a good ability to move fast front and back if the rotation is possible. The rotation is not a must, but can work very well. Also dangerous angles for counterattack of the blue players are cut down.

    3rd option: Cross court attack

    cross.jpg

    • player 2 (red) plays the dropshot crosscourt(pink line)
    • player 2 (blue) clearly knows that he need to take it, maybe he stands more towards the middle but has some time to react if the drop shot is not at high pace
    • options of player 2 (blue) are: lift to the corner, play a net straight to the net, cross to the net (blue lines)
    Everything which is flat or short is played above the net section which is yellow. Player 1 (red) is quite okay in position to get involved (yellow area), but also need to stay not to close to the net to get a possible flat straight lift and maintaining the attack. Player 2 needs to work towards middle after he played the cross court but also need to know that he need to reach the cross court replies which will hurt the most. The opposing side have due the longer distance much time to take the shot above the net or slightly below and push it. It's also possible to add a rotation if the opponents play a straight and flat lift, but this will mean, that both players need to be very fast on court. If it was not a drop shot, the smash would loose some angle and speed. This can lead into countering by the blue players or a drive battle. Due lacking angle, more time for the opponents to react and that some lower level opponents don't move during the defence towards the sides of the lift there is a high risk to get countered easily. I just attack cross court, when I can play the winner, opponents are out of position, my attack can be played with high quality, fast, steep due jumping and deceptive and I can read the pattern of the opponents that they will lift into the other corner without fearing the counter attack so the 3rd shot will result in the winner due anticipation. If you don't have any of this, attacking cross court is not a good choice. Too easy to defend or counter if you are not a beast and can hit thunderbolts like a champ down which limits the possible returns.
     
    #10 ucantseeme, Aug 21, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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