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Defensive styles in doubles
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Author:  Ma_Xin [ 16 May 2018, 09:00 ]
Post subject:  Defensive styles in doubles

So I noticed that since I started using LP, I've become more dependent on my doubles partner, whoever it is. Obviously, people are able to return my shots more often now (quality notwithstanding), compared to my old "loop most everything hit or miss."

So if my partner (let's say all-around style) is relatively weaker, it's harder to win now, since neither of us is going to hit many winners, and sometimes they can't take advantage of chances created by LP.

Has anyone seen something similar or a way to help?

If my partner is a strong attacker, I think overall we still don't win as easily because our styles don't match?

Author:  Silver [ 16 May 2018, 13:37 ]
Post subject:  Re: Defensive styles in doubles

For #1 weaker partner:
You will either have to twiddle and attack, use your LP more effectively to win points outright, or obvious setups that your weaker partner can handle/attack confidently.

For #2 stronger partner:
It's not that your styles don't match, it's because either your stronger partner doesn't understand what you are doing/unable to attack your setups, or you aren't using your LP properly to set up. A control/setup combination player paired with an attack player can be extremely effective in doubles.

Author:  dunc [ 16 May 2018, 21:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: Defensive styles in doubles

I feel like I'm never in control of doubles, at all. I feel like I can't really make significant changes to my approach to a game of doubles in order to win.

Despite that, I've got a surprisingly strong record. The key for me is that I pick up whichever role my partner prefers NOT to play.

Until a certain level, doubles simply consists of a) putting the ball back on the table and b) playing positive attacking shots against weaker balls. If my partner isn't keen on b) then I'll take that role - I'll go all-out attack on both sides (unless I'm out of position, in which case see a). However, if my partner is a strong attacking player, I'll just keep putting the ball on and making it difficult for opponents to attack us, and let my partner do the bulk of the work.

The other key is communication. Soooo many of my partners aren't ready for pop-ups off my serves/pimps. If my opponents are giving us those easy balls and my partner isn't ready for it, I'll explain when to be ready - "I'm serving topspin/float here, stay close and get ready to attack" or "when I push off my red, if opponents push back, it'll come high - be ready for it". After time - perhaps not in the same match, perhaps in the next match or the following - they'll start to subconsciously know when to expect pop-ups and when to expect heavy backspin from opponents pushing my chops.

Finally, a pretty basic one - if you can't catch your opponents out with serves, work hard on perfecting a simple backhand (righty players) short backspin serve. Doesn't have to be the best serve in the world, just make sure it can't be lashed past you/your partner. There's nothing more frustrating in doubles than watching your partner serve light, mid-length, mid-height topspin especially when the ball comes flying past you and people look at you as if you should've been able to do something with it... :)

Author:  SuperHappyFunSlider [ 16 May 2018, 22:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: Defensive styles in doubles

agree with above, doubles is 100% about body sense and styles. I consider myself a better doubles than singles player - but I'm left handed so that gives an advantage.

Generally, if you're finding you're a bit out of sync with your team mate, you need to communicate a bit. before sets or matches, ask what they like. If they don't ask back, tell them what you want. Learn to signal your serves, if you can. understand each other's signals so you have some idea of what might be coming next.

As a defensive player, You can have a huge advantage in doubles, if you choose to take it. You have the ability to play behind your teammate. This is something most loop-loop combos cannot do -they get out of each others way side to side, mostly. Very very handy.

Author:  Silver [ 16 May 2018, 22:13 ]
Post subject:  Re: Defensive styles in doubles

Some partners you just click with too, and know how to move around each other.

And what dunc said - probably the most valuable serve in doubles is a short, tight backspin serve with enough spin to stop, or at least get a weak flick. Backhand if you can control better, a righty serving a fh pendulum cross court can potentially be a big advantage in terms of serve direction and also return direction to your partner.

Author:  Ma_Xin [ 18 May 2018, 10:26 ]
Post subject:  Re: Defensive styles in doubles

Thanks. Some good points in these replies. I do find the heavy short backspin serve effective. Also true about the roles...it's more of a mental adjustment for me to get used to being less aggressive, but getting there.

I actually got to play with the strong player today. We didn't drop a game, though against the strong-ish pair it was close (but in control). I've found very convincingly that I tend to be much more stable with this style (not winning or losing by much) which is good.

I have a singles tournament this weekend and it'll be interesting to see if that's true...

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