Deuce vs. Ad?
For two Sarasota tournaments, I am teamed with one of the top players, Hank Irvine, who I played with last year for the same two events. Last year, I played my “regular” position in the ad court and Hank moved over to the deuce side; because he said he wanted me to play “where I was most comfortable.”
But at one of the January tournaments, I watched Hank play the ad court with his regular partner, Evert Jonsson; and Hank’s play was far superior to what mine is. So I suggested that this year we switch sides; and I move to the deuce court.
Right For Many Reasons
While Hank’s backhand crosscourt return is better than mine (which is also pretty good), that is not what made the biggest difference. With both of us being right-handed, it was now HIS forehand over the middle during points … HIS forehand volley … HIS forehand hitting overheads … etc.
So my job was to play my consistent game, get the ball in a tough position for our opponents, set up my partner, and have him put the ball away (“YOURS!”). Which, when you think about it, is really the job of every doubles partner.
And The Results…
At the Payne Park tournament this week (with near record high temperatures), we were seeded #1 and had a first-round bye on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we played a good team of Glen Gibson (Colorado) and Billy Koziol (Texas); and coasted to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
Yesterday, we played a crafty team of Roland Klieve and John Rench (former Wisconsin QB) who upset a couple of good teams on their way to the finals. But I kept shouting “YOURS!” and Hank and I took the championship 6-2, 6-4.
How have you handled playing with a superior partner (or being one)?
Today, Hank is also in the singles finals vs. Bob Royden. For all the results, just click HERE.
Next Week: We move up the road a bit to play the tournament at The Meadows CC, also in Sarasota, and are #2 seeds vs. a tougher field. For those details, click HERE
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