August 16, 2002, Newsletter Issue #35: A Formula for Better Doubles

Tip of the Week

Better doubles play requires these ingredients:

1. Practice for doubles! Hit cross court, net, overhead, approach shots when practicing. Don`t hit groundstrokes, or down the line! You rarely hit those shots in doubles.

2. Signal the direction of the serve. As a net person, YOU tell the server where they will serve it, either verbally or with hand signals. The serve and return are the two most important shots in matchplay tennis.

3. Mix it up when serving. Don`t let them get a rhythm or see you being predictable.

4. Use what the opponents give you. After a few games, you`ll see what their strengths and weaknesses are.

5. Hit down so the opponents hit up. This is critical. By doing this, you take away their potential offense.

6. Lob offensively. Another shot to practice and perfect! It`s usually better disguised, a bit lower, and deeper than a defensive lob...also, it usually comes with some topspin!

7. Take control of the net. Build a wall with your partner! If you do this, you definitely take away their ability to control the offensive zone in doubles!

8. Keep your opponents guessing. Vary your positions, move around the court dynamically, poach, fake poach...you get the idea!

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