Most players have a harder, more effective first serve than second serve. And sometimes, they have a VERY soft second serve that they hit all the time or just as an occasional error. If you are at the net when your partner is serving a puff ball, what should you be doing?
Don’t Get Hurt!
One time (happened to be my last Florida match before heading north for the summer), I was playing with a partner who had a great first serve; but had a real puff ball second serve; and one of our doubles opponents was crushing his return of serve.
One of the balls he crushed came at me and I stuck out my racquet for a backhand volley … except, it was hit so hard it bent my wrist back; and it was tender for most of the summer.
Some Options …
If your partner unintentionally throws in the occasional puff ball second serve, or they do it regularly, what should you be doing at the net (other than ducking a lot!)?
from the net to give yourself more time to react to the hard one at you,
closer to the net so you can just get your racquet on the ball and it will
go over the net,
- Be aggressive and guess that the returner will be trying most of the time to crush a return cross court at the server’s feet and POACH (that will also put some doubt into the returner’s mind next time).
Maybe the best answer is to do all three … vary your response, so the returner can’t pick up a pattern.
What do YOU do in that situation?
This week’s Florida USTA tournament at Palm-Aire in Sarasota was completed (with some upsets), for all the results, click HERE.
Next week’s final tournament of the season will be in St. Petersburg and I will again be teaming with Noble Hendrix for the 75 doubles (vs. a very challenging field). For all the seeds and draws, click HERE.
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