View Full Version : Doubles Question
09-10-2004, 11:47 AM
I know it is common to serve from about halfway between the hash mark and alley. Does anyone like to serve from the doubles alley? Do you serve and volley from that wide or stay back. Is your favorite serve wide or into the body from that position? Do you find success, in general, serving from that wide of position?
09-10-2004, 01:59 PM
I tried that against lower rated but experienced doubles players. They started lobbing and moonballing over my partner, which was a long run for me. Plus, my serve didn't have as much on it over the longer distance and it gave them extra time to set up for lob returns. I also double faulted a lot more, which I could probably reduce if I do it more. It seemed pointless to me, because I wasn't really gaining any advantage from it. I'm rambling here, but this experience has been one of the things that has shown me how lower ranked (in singles) doubles players can beat higher ranked singles players in doubles.
09-10-2004, 02:32 PM
Serving from the alley gives you a great angle on the serve (low part of the net and long part of the court). It's to bad that your opponent basically knows where the ball is going when you set up out there. Maybe try this in the first few games and see how they react. It all depends on who you are playing.
09-10-2004, 04:09 PM
Serving from the alley, the middle area and from the T are all options you can consider, as long are you're capable of placing your serve from those different positions. Each one will create a different angle coming at the opponent, thus creating more variety, giving him/her more things to think about.
In doubles the wide serve is great against players who aren't too quick on their feet. Just making your opponent move a few steps to return the serve is enough to force a weak return and give you or your partner an easy put away at net.
Just make sure you let your partner know that you're going for the wide serve so he can cover the alley. If your partner is covering the alley, when you come into the net you'll want to cover the court more towards the middle rather than the side, because of the place where your opponent is returning. Even if he gets the best angle cross-court return, the ball is still going to cross the net near the middle. You and your partner should also be on the look out for the lob when using this serve.
I think its a good idea to practice serving from anywhere on the service line - mix it up when playing because it will keep the returner on his toes. The serve looks different to the receiver depending on where its coming from on the line. Keep in mind that your feet have to remain within an extension of the doubles line during the serve in a similiar way that you have to stay to the left/right of the hash mark.
It hard to serve down the middle if your standing in the alley but it can be done with practice. The other thing to rememer is that if you serve wide you most likely will give the returner some good angles for his return so be ready.
09-10-2004, 05:16 PM
From my experience, serving from the doubles alley on the ad side and then going wide with the serve is very sucessful, and I do it as my main server in doubles, at least. With good placement, it pulls the returner on the ad-side very wide, and sets up the point well. On the deuce side, I tend to stand between the center hash mark and the alley line, and then try serving to the backhand. Again, this sets the point up pretty well, because the returner cannot really be very offensive off this type of server (from my experience) as they have less angles to work with.
09-10-2004, 07:01 PM
thanks for your input so far....good takes....the reason that I ask for your opinions has to do with a vulnerability that I have with certain players while serving to the deuce side.....I range from a 4.5 to 5.0 depending on how much I'm playing.....I typically have problems with deuce court players who have big forehands who like to run around their backhands.....I don't have a particularly strong 2nd serve....if I don't hit my serve close to the center line, this type of player can hurt me with their big western forehand returns.....if I can half volley it back, I'm looking at another big forehand....this puts alot of pressure on me to take something off my 1st serve but I still have to hit close to the center line or go out wide risking a fault.......so, if I serve out from wide and establish my heavy, wide slice serve at the beginning of the match so that the receiver has to set up in the alley, then that will open up the slice into the backhand or flat to the backhand. Plus, most of these big forehand players NEVER lob off of the forehand so I can move my netman close into net to cutoff his angle of return.....if he gets it by my netman, then he will be way off court and his backhand (up the middle) will be wide open. In theory, this should work....next time I play, I will experiment with this.
09-12-2004, 09:05 AM
On the deuce side my favorite serve especially in doubles is a hard slice up the middle that spins into the body of a right-hander on his backhand. I go for a feel of about 30% spin 70% power if that makes any sense. I find that I can get it in about 90% of the time and it produces a fairly weak return up the middle almost every time. Advanced players with good backhand returns can handle it ok but you'll hardly ever see them ripping it at you.
Personally, I find this a lot easier (and less risky) than to go for the wide serve. If you don't hit the wide serve just right you get beamed by a line drive return or a topspin lob is an easy choice for a returner with a good forehand as well. I only use the serve out wide on the deuce side as suprise when they're already expecting the backhand, but you may have better success.
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