How to play
with and against left-handed players seems to be often up for debate.
This article will describe the most common situations and what to
do when playing with and against a team that has a lefty. The most
important factor of a righty-lefty combination is to make sure that
while at the net your overheads are in the middle. (right-handed
player on the left). We would like to eliminate situations that
might force us to hit a backhand overhead! This is why the Australian
serving position may be so beneficial, however not absolutely necessary.
When a lefty serves his partner will play Australian for the ad
serve. When the righty serves his partner will play Australian for
the deuce serves. This position eliminates the need for switching
at the net, which is often difficult for less experienced teams.
All other strategic information ever learned is only helpful if
a team understands the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses
while being aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. For example:
My lefty partner may keep hitting to the deuce side screen if the
deuce player can’t hurt us. This may be considered poor strategy
by many but if it is winning points, why change. I have always found
it important to test my opponents to see what they are capable of
even if it is to their forehand side. We do not want to be too predictable
or our opponents may become more confident.
is a common question: Which side of the court should the
lefty play while at the baseline? Answer: Every team is different
and each team should discuss what strategically works best. Some
players have two-handed backhands. Some players that are left-handed
can only play well from the add side. Some right-handed players
can only play well from the deuce side. The team should decide keeping
in mind that we do want offense in the middle of the court since
this is the safest place to hit overheads. Most advanced teams have
the lefty in the deuce side and the righty in the ad court.
Here Are Some Common Questions When Playing Against A Lefty:
should we hit our overheads? Play the ball soft and deep
down the middle to confuse the team. Attack overheads to the ad
side screens mostly so the player at the net on the left side
can get to hit most of the overheads.
we drive? The answer will always be down the middle 90% unless
one player has clearly a weaker volley.
should we lob? Lob down the line to get activity off
your side and to your partner. Lob crosscourt to bring the activity
back to you. Lob down the middle to confuse your opponents. Lobs
should have a purpose and you and your partner should understand
your lobbing strategy. Lobbing down the line from the add court
may possibly set up the deuce player’s forehand.
should we volley? Volleys should be mostly hit down the
middle soft and deep to the weaker player or at a player to make
him move. Only attack a player when the ball is above the net
a bit and moving slowly.
Here Are Some
Common Questions When Playing With A Lefty
takes the middle balls? The player that gets to the ball
sooner should be given the green light since they are attacking
sooner as long as the are not taking so many balls on their partners
side that their partner loses rhythm from the “guest appearances”
hits the overheads? The player who is crosscourt from
the baseline hitter should be farther from the net then their
partner. He is now looking to hit balls going over his head and
across his outside shoulder. Other balls may be his partners.
We would like the left side net player to hit as many overheads
as possible since they have better angle to attack the ad side
screen if the angle is available. Offense will less likely come
out from this side.
side of the court should we play? The team should figure
that out based on what will make them most formidable against
is our volley position? The player down the line from
the drive should cover the outside third of the net. The player
crosscourt from the driver should cover the middle third and be
a few inches behind their partner so they don’t hit paddles
giving up most of the crosscourt third of the net.
The most important
information to know about paddle is that so many different strategies
can win a match and that team unity is always where it begins. I
served and stayed back on every ad court point in the semis of the
mixed nationals 2003. My opponent was hitting the greatest forehands
I had ever seen and I knew I could not volley them. I attacked the
return off the screens. The screens can help in so many ways as
they did in this instance. When you and your partner are committed
to understanding position and shot selection for each individual
match your chances of feeling confident and secure increase greatly.
There is no specific way to play!