I am sure each person has his/her own reasons for deferring when winning a coin toss. I know a person (a lefty) who AFAIK would always defer. My guess is because by deferring, he may be able to get the best of both (sides and serves). If the opponent picks the side that's not good for a lefty, he'll just ask his partner to serve. If the opponent picks serves, he picks the side that's advantageous for the next game for him/his partner.
You might ask, why would he not take the serve. Only he can answer that, but my guess is because most 4.5 and lower players do not have killer serves so he can potentially get an early break. Plus most club players take time to warm up on serves, so they're probably not serving at their peak when they start a match. Maybe he has other reasons ... don't know.
What do you guys think?
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I would defer for the same reasons, if I knew the opponent was not a good server. Puts immediate pressure on them. Sometimes, it's also because I have just rallied well and my returns are bound to be more tuned and on top of it.
"Puts immediate pressure on them" - that's quite true. You can see most opponents usually quite surprised by the deferral choice since I think most people don't defer. The phrase "I defer" probably gets in their head early on as subliminal pressure or as a mini-shock that make them think "what is he up to deferring". :-)
It is kind of a "Let's see you can get your serve in well enough" gesture. lol
I agree to that.
Can you "defer" or deflect a "defer"? Never mind.
Deflect a serve after deferring. HAHA!
I almost always defer in hopes of obtaining an early break because 1) my return is a strength, and 2) (as you both outlined) assume my opponent will not be serving their right out of the gate. Have to say it was not a common choice, just felt I could ease my way into a match doing so. Although a few years ago I recall Lindsay Davenport saying she always deferred; made me smile -
But if you defer, your opponent can choose to receive. I like to choose the side sometimes but haven't deferred yet - maybe I will give it a try. If my opponent chooses to serve, I almost always choose to switch sides - this way I get to serve on the same side that I warmed my serve up on which is just a superstition I guess.
But if you defer, your opponent can choose to receive. Has that ever happened to you?
If this was the case the focus was on more spin and location, than pace which I felt like I didn't have at that stage in the match. Hitting a kick a 3/4 paced 1st serve deep at the body, not allowing an opponent to extend their arms and get a good shot at the return, mixed with my wide serves (slice in deuce, kick in ad) got me eased into the match without overexerting myself under pressure or tossing in doubles.
I like your suggestion to serve on the same side you warmed up on. This might also provide some rhythm and familiarity with the conditions. Or maybe that's just me, I'm into that for some reason :)
If you defer and your opponent chooses to receive, then I assume I can say "I'll take this (or that) side" and also automatically end up serving first (because opponent elected to receive) - to some people this is the best of both worlds (get to choose the side, and get to serve first).
That's a good suggestion below on easing up into the match, MikeF.
In a doubles match with a left/righty combination of partners it is important to defer the toss. Assuming every doubles team knows which partner has a better chance of holding. The only way to ensure that he serves first, on the side he wants to, is to defer.
The doubles team of John Spoerl (lefty) and Jeff Shin (righty) are tougher to break when Jeff Shin is serving. If we win the toss we defer. If they elect serve we take the side opposite of the side jeff wants so he can serve after the first change over. If they elect return, we take the side jeff wants to serve on immediately... If we elect serve, they could screw us by taking the side jeff wanted to serve on. If we elect side, they could do the same thing to us by changing which team serves the first game.
Furthermore, the immediate pressure on your opponent is very true. Most people say something like "ooohhh, getting into it right away." I love the defer move