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Cindysphinx
07-25-2009, 08:43 AM
I did a team practice with my 3.5 team today. I know very few women on the team, so most partners I had were completely new to me. It was interesting to note what each new partner said after introducing herself, by way of communicating about how we should play. There was a lot of variation.

The most interesting was a partner who said, "OK, remember that if you cross the center line to poach, keep going."

Um, OK. That's Doubles 101 so I kinda knew that, but all right!

For my part, I told her that I would likely follow most returns to net, so don't assume I'll always be at baseline. I told her I like partners to talk to me during the point and I tend to be very vocal myself, and she said that was good. That was the end of the discussion.

That got me to wondering what the most important things are to discuss with a new partner at the beginning of a match.

My 4.0 coach has boiled it down to a formula that he calls "The Four Questions." He says when you start any match, you should ask your partner:

1. What should we do if we win the toss?

2. Which of us should serve first?

3. Which side do you prefer to receive on?

4. How will we handle the middle ball?

This seems good as far as it goes, but I don't think it necessarily encompasses the most important things you need to discuss to be in synch from the first shot. I mean, you can easily wait to decide who should serve first until it is time to serve, if you want. Same thing for what you do if you win the toss.

Personally, I like to warn my partners that I will likely come to net a lot, even when not advisable, so I will not be behind them to back them up. I also tell them I like my partners to communicate a lot during points and I will be saying Mine, Yours, Got It, Bounce, I'm In, Short, and Come Back With Me. Before serving, I like to warn that my serve will break to the left, so they will need to be mindful of their alley on the deuce court.

What are the key things to say to your new doubles partner before the first ball is struck?

LuckyR
07-25-2009, 09:57 AM
I did a team practice with my 3.5 team today. I know very few women on the team, so most partners I had were completely new to me. It was interesting to note what each new partner said after introducing herself, by way of communicating about how we should play. There was a lot of variation.

The most interesting was a partner who said, "OK, remember that if you cross the center line to poach, keep going."

Um, OK. That's Doubles 101 so I kinda knew that, but all right!

For my part, I told her that I would likely follow most returns to net, so don't assume I'll always be at baseline. I told her I like partners to talk to me during the point and I tend to be very vocal myself, and she said that was good. That was the end of the discussion.

That got me to wondering what the most important things are to discuss with a new partner at the beginning of a match.

My 4.0 coach has boiled it down to a formula that he calls "The Four Questions." He says when you start any match, you should ask your partner:

1. What should we do if we win the toss?

2. Which of us should serve first?

3. Which side do you prefer to receive on?

4. How will we handle the middle ball?

This seems good as far as it goes, but I don't think it necessarily encompasses the most important things you need to discuss to be in synch from the first shot. I mean, you can easily wait to decide who should serve first until it is time to serve, if you want. Same thing for what you do if you win the toss.

Personally, I like to warn my partners that I will likely come to net a lot, even when not advisable, so I will not be behind them to back them up. I also tell them I like my partners to communicate a lot during points and I will be saying Mine, Yours, Got It, Bounce, I'm In, Short, and Come Back With Me. Before serving, I like to warn that my serve will break to the left, so they will need to be mindful of their alley on the deuce court.

What are the key things to say to your new doubles partner before the first ball is struck?


Interesting. IMO only question 3 is relevent. I would serve first unless there is an unusual situation to choose side instead. Whomever is serving better that day should serve first, duh. There is no such thing as a "middle ball", of course many shots go in between the partners but the person opposite the opponent striking the ball has the responsibility for the shot (that isn't to say that the other partner shouldn't go for it too, they can, but they don't have the responsibility for the ball).

Question 3 is critical. My other essential exchanges of information are: confirming who goes after the lob if we are both at net (the person not being lobbed is my preference), the second piece of info is whether or not the partner is likely to opportunity poach.

blakesq
07-25-2009, 11:08 AM
The ball down the middle question used to be discussed when I was in High School Tennis. I think I am better now, as a 4.0, in my 40's, and our view point has changed. It used to be the forehand gets the middle ball. Now its the first one to the ball gets it. Nowadays we are pushing each other to be agressive, not wait for the other guy to get the ball.

OrangePower
07-25-2009, 11:22 AM
Interesting. IMO only question 3 is relevent. I would serve first unless there is an unusual situation to choose side instead. Whomever is serving better that day should serve first, duh. There is no such thing as a "middle ball", of course many shots go in between the partners but the person opposite the opponent striking the ball has the responsibility for the shot (that isn't to say that the other partner shouldn't go for it too, they can, but they don't have the responsibility for the ball).

Question 3 is critical. My other essential exchanges of information are: confirming who goes after the lob if we are both at net (the person not being lobbed is my preference), the second piece of info is whether or not the partner is likely to opportunity poach.

+1.

Of course deciding who plays which side is critical. But assuming you are both relatively experienced doubles players, the other items don't really need to be discussed beforehand IMO.

If we win the toss, generally you'd elect to serve first. If I'm playing with someone new and we win the toss, I'll say something to my partner along the lines of "we'll take serve, right?" If my partner voices a different opinion, I'm happy to go with their preference.

Who serves first depends on who feels more comfortable that day, also taking into account the sun, etc. Usually I'll offer to serve first unless I'm not feeling good that day, in which case I'll ask my partner. Again, if my partner has a different opinion, I'll go with their preference... no big deal.

Everything else (covering the middle, poaching, who goes for the lob) are all things that I'd expect my partner (and me of course) to be in sync with just on the basis of playing sound doubles - no discussion needed at the beginning of a match. But, if we realize that we are out of sync in certain areas as the match goes on, we'll just talk about it during the course of the match.

120mphBodyServe
07-25-2009, 11:47 AM
I serve first. I return on the ad court.
The middle ball is MINE... RRRAARRRGGHH ATTACK!!!!!
Why should u keep going if you cross the net?? that is just dumb..
If you do that then its quite possible for an easy angle to be exposed...
Doubles is all about covering and exploiting angles...
I only poach when i know for certain I can nail a volley or hit a decent one to set up a winning shot on the next ball....
Make sure you cover both of your sides and don't close on the net too much otherwise you'll be too exposed to the lob...
Since you're 3.5 and not over 6ft like me...

Cindysphinx
07-25-2009, 01:20 PM
Why should u keep going if you cross the net?? that is just dumb..


I understood conventional doubles strategy to be:

If you try to poach and are successful, you place the ball in the direction you are moving. You stay on that new side if your poach caused you to cross the center line. You do not cross back.

If your poach didn't cause you to cross the center line, then you just stay on your side.

If you try to poach and can't get there to reach the ball (abandoned poach), you don't continue moving in that direction, even if you have crossed the center line. If you can't get there, you *must* go back to your original side. That is because your partner is over in the corner trying to play the ball you couldn't reach, so if you stay over on that side also, the entire court is open.

Abandoned poaches are bad, bad, bad. If you decide to go, *go!* Chances are good your original instincts were sound and it is in fact a ball you can reach if you don't hesitate.

That's how it all has been explained to me.

Cindysphinx
07-25-2009, 01:41 PM
the second piece of info is whether or not the partner is likely to opportunity poach.

This is interesting. I have had new partners kind of give me permission to opportunity poach. Like, "If you see a ball at the net that you want to play, go for it." Which makes me wonder what other people are saying in these little mini-conferences. Are some people really saying to their new partners, "Hey, whatever you do, don't hit a volley unless it comes right to you?"

I just assume my new partner will opportunity poach. The trouble comes in if she is doing it badly and I need to wave her off, but we can save that discussion for later in the match!! :)

The other thing I have heard is "I won't be poaching on any balls to my BH." I haven't really been able to use that information in any meaningful way. I mean, if a ball goes within an inch of my partner's left ear and she won't volley it, there's not a whole lot I can do.

Here's an unrelated question, but let me just ask it since it relates to partner communication and I was confused by it today.

I was with a new partner, and we were getting killed. At 1-4, we had The Talk. Meaning we decided to talk about what we could do to turn it around. I said, "Well, we're stuck in a 1-up, 1-back a lot of the time, and these guys have better groundstrokes than we do so we are missing first. Maybe we should look for chances to come to net?"

And she said, "I think our problem is that we aren't moving them around enough."

Now, I have no idea who is right, and it doesn't matter. But I don't understand what it means to move your opponents around in doubles. I get it in singles: Hit the ball wherever your opponent isn't, thereby making her run.

What is meant by this in doubles? We are already hitting most of our balls crosscourt to avoid the net person. I am hitting as much angle as I safely can, as is my partner. What was she driving at, do you think? Drop shots? Lobs? Something else?

cak
07-25-2009, 03:04 PM
Personally, I like to warn my partners that I will likely come to net a lot, even when not advisable, so I will not be behind them to back them up.

Now, if a partner shares this information with me I'm thinking she might have occasional weak approach shots, but she happy to put everything away at the net. I'd ask her to play ad, and spend my time trying to set her up for a put away.

However, I won't play tight to the net until she makes it past the weak approach portion of the rally, as I know how to lob, and I know if I were the opponent, and someone crashes the net on almost every point, the lob should go up over the person already at net. (Heck, there is a club around here where the pros teach the ladies to run into net years before they teach them a decent approach shot. I absolutely love playing against those teams. I don't need a backup strategy.)


I was with a new partner, and we were getting killed. At 1-4, we had The Talk. Meaning we decided to talk about what we could do to turn it around. I said, "Well, we're stuck in a 1-up, 1-back a lot of the time, and these guys have better groundstrokes than we do so we are missing first. Maybe we should look for chances to come to net?"

And she said, "I think our problem is that we aren't moving them around enough."

Now, I have no idea who is right, and it doesn't matter. But I don't understand what it means to move your opponents around in doubles. I get it in singles: Hit the ball wherever your opponent isn't, thereby making her run.

What is meant by this in doubles? We are already hitting most of our balls crosscourt to avoid the net person. I am hitting as much angle as I safely can, as is my partner. What was she driving at, do you think? Drop shots? Lobs? Something else?

Perhaps she's saying she likes your idea, this is how she'd like to implement it. She'd like to play up more, but a easy cross court reply sets you up for them either hitting a lob or down the line. Neither of those options are easy to come in on. So yes, lobs, drop shots, drop shot followed by a lob, down the line that may not work on the net person, but will make them think before they poach, anything other than the expected cross court return would make it easier for you both to come in.

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 05:29 AM
Perhaps she's saying she likes your idea, this is how she'd like to implement it. She'd like to play up more, but a easy cross court reply sets you up for them either hitting a lob or down the line. Neither of those options are easy to come in on. So yes, lobs, drop shots, drop shot followed by a lob, down the line that may not work on the net person, but will make them think before they poach, anything other than the expected cross court return would make it easier for you both to come in.

You know, I don't think that's it. I've had other partners say this ("Let's move them around") in other matches also. It feels to me like it is based in frustration that our opponents (who are lacking in agility) are able to stand there and whack the ball and we can't do much about it.

Anyway, yeah, variety in shot selection can be a way to turn around a match, either by making opponents move or by surprising them. Trouble is, if someone really is whacking the ball harder than your ability to whack it back, hitting a drop shot or other unconventional shot simply increases the chances that you'll lose the point that much quicker. Take the drop shot. I don't have a drop shot that I think is very reliable. I am willing to try it in singles because my margin for error is much greater. In doubles, I will probably miss (not to mention I am too far back in the court to be attempting a drop shot in the first place). So is a drop shot as a way to make the baseliner move forward the best way to turn a match around?

I kind of think the best way to deal with such opponents is to come to net. Then you can hit angles as well as take away their time. Does the approach have to be "good"? Well, it doesn't have to be as good as most people think. There are lots of opponents who will kill you when they can stand in the corner and hit crosscourt but who have some difficulty when they face two at net (and a whole lot of these baseline bashers don't have a lob at all).

cak
07-26-2009, 06:54 AM
I kind of think the best way to deal with such opponents is to come to net. Then you can hit angles as well as take away their time. Does the approach have to be "good"? Well, it doesn't have to be as good as most people think. There are lots of opponents who will kill you when they can stand in the corner and hit crosscourt but who have some difficulty when they face two at net (and a whole lot of these baseline bashers don't have a lob at all).

You might broach this by saying you want to test if they can lob. Perhaps tell her to cover net and you will get anything over her head, or perhaps tell her you are willing to give them anything over your heads, and try it for a game. If you are right you'll be able to take that game, and keep up that strategy.

Cindysphinx
07-26-2009, 07:44 AM
Yep, that could work. Definitely!

LuckyR
07-26-2009, 08:32 AM
This is interesting. I have had new partners kind of give me permission to opportunity poach. Like, "If you see a ball at the net that you want to play, go for it." Which makes me wonder what other people are saying in these little mini-conferences. Are some people really saying to their new partners, "Hey, whatever you do, don't hit a volley unless it comes right to you?"

I just assume my new partner will opportunity poach. The trouble comes in if she is doing it badly and I need to wave her off, but we can save that discussion for later in the match!! :)

The other thing I have heard is "I won't be poaching on any balls to my BH." I haven't really been able to use that information in any meaningful way. I mean, if a ball goes within an inch of my partner's left ear and she won't volley it, there's not a whole lot I can do.

Here's an unrelated question, but let me just ask it since it relates to partner communication and I was confused by it today.

I was with a new partner, and we were getting killed. At 1-4, we had The Talk. Meaning we decided to talk about what we could do to turn it around. I said, "Well, we're stuck in a 1-up, 1-back a lot of the time, and these guys have better groundstrokes than we do so we are missing first. Maybe we should look for chances to come to net?"

And she said, "I think our problem is that we aren't moving them around enough."

Now, I have no idea who is right, and it doesn't matter. But I don't understand what it means to move your opponents around in doubles. I get it in singles: Hit the ball wherever your opponent isn't, thereby making her run.

What is meant by this in doubles? We are already hitting most of our balls crosscourt to avoid the net person. I am hitting as much angle as I safely can, as is my partner. What was she driving at, do you think? Drop shots? Lobs? Something else?


I apologize for being lazy. What I mean is: if I opportunity poach a lot (which I do) then I am going to start after shots that end up being a poor choice to poach off of, so it is a heads up to my partner that I will not follow through every time I start after the ball, so to stay focused so they can still hit their groundstroke if I elect to let the ball through and not poach.

As to your partner's comment, I agree, it has no meaning.

onehandbh
07-26-2009, 10:44 AM
1. What should we do if we win the toss?


celebrate.

larry10s
07-27-2009, 05:07 AM
I understood conventional doubles strategy to be:

If you try to poach and are successful, you place the ball in the direction you are moving. You stay on that new side if your poach caused you to cross the center line. You do not cross back.

If your poach didn't cause you to cross the center line, then you just stay on your side.

If you try to poach and can't get there to reach the ball (abandoned poach), you don't continue moving in that direction, even if you have crossed the center line. If you can't get there, you *must* go back to your original side. That is because your partner is over in the corner trying to play the ball you couldn't reach, so if you stay over on that side also, the entire court is open.

Abandoned poaches are bad, bad, bad. If you decide to go, *go!* Chances are good your original instincts were sound and it is in fact a ball you can reach if you don't hesitate.

That's how it all has been explained to me.

you are corrct. ths back player is supposed to cross when you pass the center line to poach. if they do what they are supposed to( ie cross to cover the area you vacated ) and you go back to your half both of you are now on the same side of the court:cry:

larry10s
07-27-2009, 05:40 AM
regarding the partner that wanted to "move the opponents around". she obviosly doesnt want to go to net and you are stuck playing with a one up one back style partner. thats why you are moving into 4.0 land :) moving them around is dink them to draw them in then lob over their head. or lob the net player to make them switch. you do not always have to hit a drop shot to draw them in . a soft shot that will die by the time it gets to the baseline will force them to scramble and have to hit up. not a bad thing. a short slice does the same thing. the old slice and dice them strategy.

Nellie
07-27-2009, 07:52 AM
To me - questions 1 and 2 may vary according to the day and opponent, so that is not that important. I would only discuss this if you are outdoors and need to play for the weather/sun

1. What should we do if we win the toss?
2. Which of us should serve first?

Questions regarding partnership duties/preferences are important -
3. Which side do you prefer to receive on?
4. How will we handle the middle ball? (preferably both try)

Also ask -
do you like to volley or play the baseline
where will the net person stand?
where/how do you serve
how do we handle the deep lob (net person switches or drops back - if there is a switch, where does net person go (deep of up?))
how do you like to return serves - lobs/ down the line/ short and cross court - this helps the net person plan
who is going to get the short ball to the person starting deep (switch or is the deep persons moving forward all of the time and can get to that ball)

Often, these are things that you will pick up in a match, but will lose 1 or 2 points each time while you say - ah, that's what she/he is going to do.

Also, I find that it is useful for me to discuss my general strategy with the partner. For example, I tend to poach a lot, so that I am often standing near the middle of the court. That means I will get a lot of vollies and will get passed a lot. If the partner knows this, they will tend to not get irritated, but if they are are counting the number of passes while I am going aggressive, there could be tension between us. also, this allows the partners to discuss what they know about the competition to adjust strategy accordingly.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 08:47 AM
regarding the partner that wanted to "move the opponents around". she obviosly doesnt want to go to net and you are stuck playing with a one up one back style partner. thats why you are moving into 4.0 land :) moving them around is dink them to draw them in then lob over their head. or lob the net player to make them switch. you do not always have to hit a drop shot to draw them in . a soft shot that will die by the time it gets to the baseline will force them to scramble and have to hit up. not a bad thing. a short slice does the same thing. the old slice and dice them strategy.

You know, I think you've hit on something.

My partner thought the adjustment was to hit a different type of ball (setting aside for the moment that neither of us knows how to slice!) and thereby force our opponents to do things differently.

I thought the adjustment was to position differently and be less predictable about where we would be during points.

Cindysphinx
07-27-2009, 08:50 AM
Also ask -
do you like to volley or play the baseline
where will the net person stand?
where/how do you serve
how do we handle the deep lob (net person switches or drops back - if there is a switch, where does net person go (deep of up?))
how do you like to return serves - lobs/ down the line/ short and cross court - this helps the net person plan
who is going to get the short ball to the person starting deep (switch or is the deep persons moving forward all of the time and can get to that ball)

Often, these are things that you will pick up in a match, but will lose 1 or 2 points each time while you say - ah, that's what she/he is going to do.

Yeah, those are good issues to discuss, but it can be kind of hard to do them all right out of the gate before play starts, you know?

I used to discuss general strategy ("I like to play the net"), but I've stopped doing it. It almost seemed to jinx me; after all, whether I will be successful that day at the net depends a lot on the other three people on the court.

I think it is helpful to ask how your partner serves, but I have noticed something of a disconnect between how the partner serves compared to how they say they will serve. :) Maybe it is the jinx at work?

Christieland
07-27-2009, 02:58 PM
I'm pretty mellow about what I say to new doubles partners, especially in practice.

If it's a match situation, I might just assure them that I'm not the type to get all bent out of shape and unhappy if my partner makes errors. I also like to use hand signals when my partner serves, so that I can fully commit to the poach and know my partner will cross to the other side, and so that we can communicate strategy quietly and efficiently before her ball is served, so I'll explain that really quickly and so far everyone's gone along with it.

At the 4.0/4.5 cusp there aren't a lot of ladies that I've noticed use hand signals though, but maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

investorofmercy
07-27-2009, 06:23 PM
To me, basic doubles is:

get to the net faster than the other guys and then climb all over the net until they prove they can lob......a good doubles pair can consitently beat two better "tennis" players

when they prove it, keep one guy at the service line.....preferable the quicker one

when your partner is serving, belly up to the ball......keep the ball in front of you, especially on the wide serve

when you are serving, try to go down the middle to decrease angles, unless a killer forehand awaits, then mix it up.....this is probably the number #1 tip for new doubles players...and the least bit of advice followed. Most people don't get it. They stand near the centerline to serve in singles and get wide for doubles...almost eliminating the most important down the middle serve

hit the ball in the green...ok, well THIS is the most important!


I would rather play with a new doubles player that is willing to learn than an experienced doubles player that hasn't learned. But as for new partners...I play it by ear to see if they know this stuff already...If they don't, I will try to infuse tidbits of info if they don't agree, then it makes for a long match.

OrangePower
07-27-2009, 06:35 PM
To me, basic doubles is:

get to the net faster than the other guys and then climb all over the net until they prove they can lob......a good doubles pair can consitently beat two better "tennis" players

when they prove it, keep one guy at the service line.....preferable the quicker one

when your partner is serving, belly up to the ball......keep the ball in front of you, especially on the wide serve

when you are serving, try to go down the middle to decrease angles, unless a killer forehand awaits, then mix it up.....this is probably the number #1 tip for new doubles players...and the least bit of advice followed. Most people don't get it. They stand near the centerline to serve in singles and get wide for doubles...almost eliminating the most important down the middle serve

hit the ball in the green...ok, well THIS is the most important!


I would rather play with a new doubles player that is willing to learn than an experienced doubles player that hasn't learned. But as for new partners...I play it by ear to see if they know this stuff already...If they don't, I will try to infuse tidbits of info if they don't agree, then it makes for a long match.

Not always a good idea... especially with the US Open coming up!

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2008/0906/ten_g_federer02_412.jpg

Wakenslam
07-28-2009, 06:43 AM
He says when you start any match, you should ask your partner:

1. What should we do if we win the toss?

2. Which of us should serve first?

3. Which side do you prefer to receive on?

4. How will we handle the middle ball?

What are the key things to say to your new doubles partner before the first ball is struck?

Here's my 2 cents, for what it's worth.

1. Always serve first, unless you both have really weak serves and great returns.

2. Whoever has the stronger serve, or the weaker volleys should serve first.

3. Usually the stronger player should be on the ad side, because he/she will get more backhand returns to hit, and more crucial points are played on that side.

4. Both partners should go for a ball hit down the middle. Whoever is in front gets it!

Christieland
07-28-2009, 10:50 AM
1. Always serve first, unless you both have really weak serves and great returns.

For women's doubles I'd disagree...seems to be the norm that serves are broken. Everyone and their mom opts to serve first if they win the toss, so maybe throw your opponents off a little and elect to receive. They'll feel falsely at an advantage and may serve a weak game. And, you're not really expected to break serve, so if you don't, no harm no foul, but if you do break 'em, it can set a winning tone for the first set. :)

2. Whoever has the stronger serve, or the weaker volleys should serve first.

3. Usually the stronger player should be on the ad side, because he/she will get more backhand returns to hit, and more crucial points are played on that side.

4. Both partners should go for a ball hit down the middle. Whoever is in front gets it!

Agree, agree, agree! Never thought about having the stronger player on the ad side...or, perhaps, the more mentally strong player. Maybe one player has better strokes and usually is a better player but is more of a head case when there's pressure...

cak
07-28-2009, 11:26 AM
For women's doubles I'd disagree...seems to be the norm that serves are broken. Everyone and their mom opts to serve first if they win the toss, so maybe throw your opponents off a little and elect to receive. They'll feel falsely at an advantage and may serve a weak game. And, you're not really expected to break serve, so if you don't, no harm no foul, but if you do break 'em, it can set a winning tone for the first set. :)

Last night, Maria Sharapova won the toss and elected to receive. I guess I was thinking HUH?



Agree, agree, agree! Never thought about having the stronger player on the ad side...or, perhaps, the more mentally strong player. Maybe one player has better strokes and usually is a better player but is more of a head case when there's pressure...

But watching the Ai Sugiyami/Sharapova match, yes they are both headcases. I've never seen a match where both players were up 4-1 in a set and then went on to lose that set.

What this match really brought home was

1)anyone can miss when the entire court is open

and

2)double faulting on your match point is not just for noobs. (I did that in my first USTA match at 2.5, and despite going on to win the match, it still haunts me, until I saw Sharapova do it last night. Now I don't feel so bad.)

Wakenslam
07-29-2009, 11:22 AM
For women's doubles I'd disagree...seems to be the norm that serves are broken. Everyone and their mom opts to serve first if they win the toss, so maybe throw your opponents off a little and elect to receive. They'll feel falsely at an advantage and may serve a weak game. And, you're not really expected to break serve, so if you don't, no harm no foul, but if you do break 'em, it can set a winning tone for the first set. :)

Oh yeah - women's dubs. You're right Christie. I guess if breaks are the norm, then absolutely opt to return first! Just know you are still giving up choice of starting side. I'll be sure to share this concept with my 2.0 wife who just signed up for her first team today!

In Men's dubs 4.0 or higher I would never opt to return first. To me it shows weakness.

Cindysphinx
07-29-2009, 01:36 PM
Oh yeah - women's dubs. You're right Christie. I guess if breaks are the norm, then absolutely opt to return first! Just know you are still giving up choice of starting side. I'll be sure to share this concept with my 2.0 wife who just signed up for her first team today!

In Men's dubs 4.0 or higher I would never opt to return first. To me it shows weakness.

I like us to serve first because it avoids having the pressure of serving down 4-5 or 5-6. Something else for your wife to consider . . .

larry10s
07-29-2009, 05:01 PM
i want to receive first. unless im really warmed up and ready to go i beleive in brad gilberts advice of receive first; you have the best chance of breaking and if he holds you are still on serve

Dark_Angel85
07-30-2009, 06:09 AM
just my 2 cents..


on any given day, if my opponents and I are both more or less similar in terms of strength,

Things that are taken into consideration pre-match:

1. The steadier player (most of the time, the one who's better and is more likely to get the point) goes to the left wing.

2. Whatever the strategy is, covering up via coming up to the net is UTMOST priority. Whichever side gets to cover the net first is most probably going to get it.

3. Lobs - the non-serving partner looks out for it cause most probably, the server is rushing up to the net. Any lobs will be taken by the person not being lobbed unless in cases such as the server is still rushing to the net.

4. Regarding the situation given earlier (as in both sides are about similar in strength), always try to serve first. Being ahead somehow is psychologically important in such a close match. About who should serve first, the partner with the booming-ace-flooding serve should definitely serve first.

That's my doubles 101 in my casual club playing. In tournaments... getting to know the opponents brings up too many variables... though most of the things mentioned will remain helpful