Tennis Doubles Strategy for All Players
Tennis doubles strategy is similar—no matter what level you play. Granted, the pro players have more speed and agility (range of movement) than a league player or even the junior players. League players are typically older than the pros, who are in the prime of their athletic lives. And the juniors are growing into that level of athletic prowess.
The serve is important to “hold” whether you’re a pro player or a novice doubles participant. A lot of the responsibility for holding serve lies with your partner at the net. He or she needs to help you hold serve. But in order for this to happen, your goal is to get in a high percentage of first serves.
Your partner at the net needs to focus on cutting off all the middle balls. You want to position close to the center of the service box in order to make an aggressive play. Always look for the alley shot, but you can’t sit back and let your partner take all the middle balls.
The net player can go down the middle or back at the returner. He can also go away from the opposing net player toward the alley or directly at the net players, but this is a less percentage shot. You can vary this to keep the opponent off balance.
Virtual Tennis Academy Magazine
has a great Pronalysis video on these options.
Now let’s look at the other side—the receiving team. The net player should be positioned inside the service line, ready to move forward if the opponent hits a weak shot. The returner wants to get the ball low to generate the weak first volley. This will allow the net player to intercept the volley.
There are several places to hit the volley—down the middle, away from the net players toward the alleys, or right back at the opponent. This needs to vary in order to keep the serving team off balance.
This tennis doubles strategy will work at the pro level as well as the lower levels. The junior players can emulate these tactics and get better and better as they grow taller and stronger. The adult league players can maintain the same aggressive style as long as their partner covers behind them for any unreachable lobs. This teamwork is what makes doubles fun and rewarding for all players.
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