Net Positioning + Longboat

Me and Chuck Kinyon
Me and Chuck Kinyon
I was taught that once the point is underway and both players are at the net, each player should cover his own lobs. If you’re so close to the net that you can’t cover a lob, you’re too close,” says Marty Judge. But is that correct?

The Tandem Debate

One of our Silver-ball-winning friends agrees strongly with that philosophy: he says not only should you cover your own lobs, but you should be aggressive at the net.

I am on the other side of that debate… I believe that, when you and your partner are at the net and the opponent hitting the ball is on the baseline, the man ON THE SIDE OF THE COURT WHERE THE BALL IS going deep is the aggressor and should be tighter to the net.

His partner should be two or three steps deeper than he is and ready to cover the lob on either side of the court. When I asked Luke Jensen this question at camp he said, “Sure, if you are 25 years old and mobile, you cover all your own lobs; but if you are a senior player, with less mobility, you play slightly tandem.”

What do you think?

Longboat Key CAT II

That first tournament of the winter season starts this week. I am playing and unseeded in singles – although I bested two of the seeded players last season; but they both have played a LOT of tournaments and garnered many points… and at least two better players than me are also not seeded: Hank Irvine and Doug McCrea – who I have to play in the first round (he beat me easily at World Tennis last January).

In doubles, Chuck Kinyon and I are seeded #3; but will have several tough matches to advance into the final rounds. For the full draws in all age groups, just click HERE.

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com

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9 thoughts on “Net Positioning + Longboat

  1. Ah what the hell does Luke Jensen know about the game anyway? LOL

    Marty – Beyond the bluster, i think both Jensens know a lot! thanks, george

  2. I like the side you are on with this. When the ball hits deep into our opponents court, I tend to cheat a little, anticipating a lob, cause some of these guys have radar guided accuracy on their lobs.

  3. We were also told when both at the net it was always the responsibility of the net person that is being lobbed.
    However George at our age it is tough to close real close and at the senior level there is more chances for your partner to help out,except for Marty , he is too short
    Best
    Fred

    Fred – thanks. 🙂 george

  4. With this “aggression” at the net by yer partner, are you expecting to take the lobs on his side out of the air? kb

    Kevin – In the air, if you can cut across fast enough; if not, circle around and take on the bounce. george

  5. Hi George, that question is what makes tennis so much fun and can also be very frustrating . Just when you have it all figured out you run across a doubles team that’s winning and you shake your head saying what is going on . I guess its whatever the team comes up with to win . And most of all have fun!!!

    OhioJack, Amen! George

  6. George,

    If we can equate the lob in tennis to the pop up over third baseman in baseball, the shortstop has the better angle and ability to catch that ball. I would think the same could be said about the opposite guy at the net, especially if he is a couple steps back in tandem. Larry

    Larry, great analogy! Thanks. George

  7. I think both players should go after a lob, and as they chase it down, the player having the best position/chance to retrieve the lob should call for it. If the lob does get over the net person, both players should move back anyway, and then move forward again at the next opportunity. Too often, a player that gets lobbed only retreats to the service line area, and then has his opponents next shot, usually an overhead, is hit right at his feet which he is unable to make a play on. If he would have retreated all the way to the baseline, he would have had a much better chance to return that overhead.

    Doug – i agree with BOTH men going back. thanks. george

  8. I think Luke has it exactly right – now that my serve and volley does not get me very close to the net, it is relatively easy to cover lobs over my partner’s head – I want him to play tight, aggressive net. My service prowess is now more predicated on my partner’s aggressive net play.
    Neutral net position does not beat the better teams. As we age, one player tighter to the net and one looser and more defensive seems the right mix for senior tennis.

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