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Doubles Anyone?

Post 32 of 40

I’ve always loved the game of doubles!   I love the quickness and all court aspect of the game.  I’ve never been one to camp out on the baseline (in singles or doubles).  I’m an attacking player and my personality thrives of a good game of doubles.

As we get older, we usually tend to play more doubles.  There are a number of reasons for this, but I think two of the major reasons are:  with age we get slower and more social.  With less court to cover slowing down is less of an issue and who doesn’t like to get together with more friends.

Doubles is also a major part of high school tennis.  When two of the five matches are doubles matches, you better be able to play doubles; especially if your singles players aren’t strong players and you want to have a chance at victory. (Hopefully my tennis players see this post!)

In the most recent issue of Tennis Pro the Professional Tennis Registry’s magazine, Ian Schneider shares the following “Doubles Tips for a Winning Team.”  Hopefully you’ll find these tips helpful.

1.  Doubles is a team sport. Doubles is not a spectator sport where one partner plays while the other watches.

2.  Play no-fault tennis. The team loses points, not the individual.  Point loss happens too frequently to place blame. Never criticize, only compliment your partner.

3.  Analyze your opponent’s game. Watch for weaknesses and then, take advantage of them. Do not allow your opponent to be comfortable.

4.  Constant movement and a variety of strokes will confuse and frustrate your opponent. Move, move, move. Fake, fake, fake.  Pressure, pressure, pressure.

5.  Follow the flight of the ball at all times.

6.  Placement, in doubles, is better than power.

7.  The opponent’s side of the court can be divided into four quadrants, of which two are always occupied, and two are always open. Hit to the open quadrants to win points.

8.  Play the odds. Don’t be cute, be boringly effective.

9.  Expect to lose points, but if you win only slightly more, you will likely win the match. In a match, the difference between points won and lost is always amazingly small.

10.  The most important point is the next one.

11.  When you lose a point, always examine the preceeding shot, that is the one that caused the loss, not the shot that won it.

12.  Take your time. Think before you serve or receive.

13.  Serve to your opponent’s weakness 85% of the time. Generally, that means the backhand side.

14.  Attempt to receive the serve on your strong side 100% of the time. Move in as close as possible when receiving serve.  This allows you to return the serve quickly and with a short angle, or lob over the net player’s head into the corner of the court farthest from the server. Do not hit back to the server.

15.  Only poach the moment the ball is on the face of the opponent’s racquet. Fake a poach before that moment to distract the opponent.

16.  Lob to the open court, and follow it to the net immediately, as it is likely the return shot will be short, at which point, you volley a short angle shot or hit an overhead to your opponent’s weak side.

17.  Volleys should be blocked/punched to the open court. Do not take a full backswing for a volley. It raises your error factor dramatically.

18.  90% of all non-lob shots are hit to the middle of the court.  Therefore, when at the net, constantly try to cut off your opponent’s shots down the middle by stepping diagonally toward the center of the net. This movement allows you to intercept your opponent’s shots and the movement interferes with their grooved, comfortable strokes.

19.  During the course of play, work together as a unit. When your partner must move out of position, you must move with your partner to cover any of the court left open by that move.

20.  Advise your partner verbally with commands, such as, yours, switch, bounce it, watch the bounce, they are both back, etc.

And finally, Have Fun Together!

See you on the courts!


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