Surely many times you have found yourself in the situation of having to defend a left-handed player (if not, it will be). It is very common that we feel a bit lost when we realize that the good hand of the other partner’s forehand is the left one. Especially if we are not used to facing that kind of opponent.
The defense in these matches is somewhat different from what you have to do against two right-handed players. There are certain aspects to take into account and some tips that will undoubtedly be of great help. Do you want to know what they are?
Tips to defend a left-handed player
Watch out for the center!
Generally speaking, the center is usually an area of the court that we use a lot, both to launch a lob when defending and to direct our bandeja when we want to hold the net.
In couples where there is a right-handed player and a left-handed player, it is very likely that both players will opt for a more offensive game.
This is mainly because the “forehand” (or good hand) of the two is in the centre and, thus, they cover much more in this area of the court than two right-handers. So to speak, it could be like playing against two left side players.
With that in mind, a good option would be to avoid lobs to the center, we may be facing two hitters and both will be waiting for that kind of balls to execute the shot. Although there may be a weak point here… a provocative lob between the position of a left-hander and a right-hander could lead to confusion.
In addition, the danger of the bajadas has a wider range in this type of match. Any lob that is not very close to the side glass can come back to us with a lot of power or with an angle impossible to cover.
Focus your game on the glass
We know, then, that the backhand of the two players in front of you is glued to the glass. Playing to the sides is always a very effective way to hinder the opponent’s defense, especially because the corner can make the ball come out in a way they do not expect. In these cases, it is even more so.
When defending a shot that comes directly from a left-handed player’s paddle, it is very likely that you will notice certain differences with respect to that of a right-handed player. If your playing position is the left side, be careful with the side wall, since there is a possibility that the ball will adjust more to it.
On the contrary, if instead of having it parallel, you play on the forehand, and you are crossed with the left-hander, pay special attention to the balls in the corner, it may be that their exit is different from what you are used to.
Be prepared to run
As in any other match, the warm-up is a good time to look at your opponent’s game. Here you can get an idea, albeit somewhat superficial, of what their strengths are and not be caught by surprise.
We already know that it is possible that we are facing a match against two hitters. Do not panic, it is enough to have a good physique and quick legs, or to have the necessary anticipation to reach their shots. In the event that you have these three characteristics, then now focus on not losing sight of the ball.
If the circumstances of the game force you to throw a short lob to the centre, and you see any of them armed, get ready to run and pray that they don’t bring it to you or take it out for four.
Now that you know some tips, all you have to do is internalize them, pick up the phone, call your left-handed friend and tell him to find a partner. Once on the court… Let yourself go and enjoy!
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