Doubles Strategy for Weak Serving Partner ( Me)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Renney10, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. Renney10

    Renney10 New User

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    This question is about doubles play. My serve is the weakest part of my game. I slice everything at slow speed and my placement is spotty. I lose my serve a lot against 4.0 players and up because after they get used to the slice they start teeing off on my serve-- big time. I've tried moving it around but it results in a lot of double faults, so I usually just aim for opponents backhands. This I can do ~ 2/3 of the time, but trying to vary the placement and my double fault % shoots up.

    Anyway, here's my plan: I'm trying to get my partner to poach off my serve to at least distract the returners from bashing serves past me. He says my serve is too slow and that it makes no sense for him to be poaching-- even though he volleys well. I say "just go for it" and see what happens; at least it will get our opponents thinking. He doesn't buy this but he doesn't want to move away from the net and play two back either. In the meantime I lose my serve a lot.

    Here's my plan: Assuming we're playing two righties, I should serve down the T on both sides. It is harder for me to place it there on the ad side but I'm told that's the best placement for him to cut off a return. Is this strategy, along with its tactics, correct? Also, any other suggestions on how I might increase the chances of hanging on to my serve?

    BTW, I've tried taking lessons to improve my serve before but let's set that aside that suggestion aside for now.

    Many thanks to all for you help!
     
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  2. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    If I were your partner I would've moved down the baseline long ago. Practice those serves or they'll break you every single time.
     
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  3. Renney10

    Renney10 New User

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    I agree but my partner doesn't want to move to the backcourt. He plays really aggressively once the point's in play but stands there like a statue during my serve. I think he needs to support me through some poaching or just plain deking.

    I agree that the true answer is that I need to be able to vary the location of my serve ( and pace ) but our next match is coming up on Sat and I'm looking at a quick fix in the meantime.

    What would you do?
     
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  4. nereis

    nereis Semi-Pro

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    Even back when my serve was suspect I made sure I could get to returns. Do not lay blame on your partner. If your serve is bad then make up for it by being fast and good on the defense.

    Now that my serve is the strongest part of my game I never have that problem. Work on your serve and look to the long term.
     
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  5. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Well - You should serve down the middle most of the time in doubles, anyway, to cut down the angles.

    I do believe that any good doubles partner needs to poach half of time and to fake the other half of the time to keep the returner honest and confused. It makes no sense for your partner to stand at the net and watch balls fly by for winners cross-court.

    I would not poach if your serve is so bad that the returner does not care about your partner and is just blasting back hypersonic returns that your partner could not handle in any way, regardless of where your partner is positioned at the net.

    Then, you partner needs to stay back and cover his half of the court, you serve up the middle and cover your half of the court. You are starting defensively.
     
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  6. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

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    Long term - work on your serve to get the combination of pace, spin and placement you need to stop opponents teeing off on it.

    Short term - this depends a bit on how good, and quick your partner is at the net. I know one guy who I hate playing against when he has a slow serving partner. He uses the extra time and the fact that it is harder for the returner to put pace on a slow moving ball to his advantage. He reads the return with unerring accuracy and moves hell for leather to where it is going. Of course he sometimes reads it wrong but he gets it right enough times to really get inside the head of the returners and throw them off their game. As for your serves I would agree that down the middle gives your partner the best chance of picking up volleys. However, if you get too predictable the returners are going to dial in. So vary it. I know a guy (leftie admitedly) who has a ***** of a paceless slice out wide from the ad court. So mix in wide serves and body serves. Also maybe start 2 back on second serves from time to time and / or throw in some I formation plays to give your opponents a different look.
     
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  7. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Hard to say exactly what to do without seeing just how big your opponents are munching on your serve. Two thoughts:

    First, embrace your spin. Swing through the ball deliberately to make lots of rpm's on the ball when you serve and that will make it more unpredictable when in bounces. Your highest priority is to get your serve in. Don't get too creative with your placement, but talk to your partner about it so that both of you know where you're at least trying to place the ball.

    Second, if your partner is an aggressive net player, he needs to be more active and go after some returns with a poach. Otherwise he's leaving main street wide open for your opponents to hit a cross-court return with no harassment.
     
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  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    At 3.5-4.0 you can get away with serving to the backhand 2/3 of the time. Holding serve in doubles has as much if not more to do with the net man as it does the server. This is why in mixed doubles it can be harder to break the woman's serve rathre than the man's serve. Yours is a textbook example where the net man should get more active. He should be poaching (a called poach, not just trying to pick off a ball down the middle) at least once per serving game, and he should be faking often. You want to take time and targets away from the returner. Once they start reacting to your partner's movement/position or trying to think or guess what he'll do they will not be able to just tee off on your serve all day.
     
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  9. anchorage

    anchorage Rookie

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    I agree with goran; sounds as if your net man is not helping you out a whole lot. Yes, it's no fun if your parter's serve is getting hammered back & you're at the net, especially if the serve is very short.

    Even so, on any well placed, deepish serve, your partner should at least recognise the chance to poach. He should also be tempting the opposition - just before they hit the ball, act like he's going to move across.

    The one thing your net man cannot do is just stand still like a dummy. That's exactly what your opponents would want as they instantly take him out of the game. In my view, the guy at the net should be moving pretty much all the time once the ball's in play.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    er....
    I suck, I hit weak setup balls to the opposition. I want my partner to win every point so I can continue to suck and be a lousy tennis player. I refuse to change any of my horrid play, rather, I place all blame on my partner. I refuse to practice also, of course.
     
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  11. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    ...Lee needs a hug...
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you can get KimBasinger to apply the hug, go for it.
    But really, OP doesn't want to work on his game whatsover, is lazy, and wants his partner to do all the work to win a point.
    If you suck, don't blame your neighbor, try P R A C T I C E.....
     
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  13. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, but he's right...

    ...there aren't a lot of immutables in tennis, but you still can't violate some basic rules. Sorry, but 2 plus 2 does not equal 5. The OP has a weak serve and his partner insists on playing net. Answer is to improve the serve, almost regardless of what the partner wants to do. I coached two different groups of adults this summer, one 3.0/3.5 and the other 4.0/4.5. Invariably, most of them wanted to work on coming up with better groundstrokes...a few saw the need for better volleys.

    And these are groups that almost exclusively play doubles, mind you. What I told them was "That's all nice and good, but you need to understand that the two most important strokes in the game are the serve and the return, in that order. I don't care how big your forehand is, if you have a helium ball for a serve, you'll never get to whale on your forehand. And if you can't return, somebody with a helium ball serve is probably going to do just fine against you."

    There's a corollary to this, which is that everybody thinks, and it is somewhat born out by the descriptions of the NTRP levels, that at any particular level, all of your strokes ought to be about equal. Maybe, maybe not. I ran into, not surprisingly, a bunch of people who were anxious to move up from 3.0 to 3.5 or from 3.5 to 4.0...and they thought the best way to do it was by focusing on more topspin on their forehands or something similar. What I said was "Okay...you're a 3.0, but you've suddenly developed a 4.0 level serve. How fast do you think that's going to move you up in class?" IMHO, the fastest way to distance yourself from other players at your level is to improve your serve and return...
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
    #13
  14. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    in my humble opinion
    ALWAYS LISTEN TO SKIRACER55:)
     
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  15. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I feel OP's pain, but consider it from the perspective of the net player whose partner has a weak serve.

    I mean, I'm standing there and here comes the cream puff serve. I'm thinking, "Poach off of *that* serve?" I mean, half of the time I would need to be poaching with my BH and directing the poach inside-out, so am I supposed to be doing that off of a weak serve? The other half of the time I could poach with my FH, but the serve is so weak that the returner can easily lob or go DTL -- how does that help us?

    Yes, I can fake, but my fake isn't very credible because everybody on the court knows how weak the serves are.

    What works best is for the server to serve that soft, high cheese of a serve and get ready to deal with the return. I will fake and try to look like a threat to the extent I can. And I will try very hard to get involved in the point thereafter and poach the next shot.

    So, OP, you're either going to have to improve your serve or you're going to have to improve your defense when your serve is thumped. Like you, I slice my serve a lot. If someone is attacking it, I find the best adjustment is to slice it even more rather than attempt more pace/depth. Get that serve dancing all over the place and see if they can still attack it.
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, one more thing, OP.

    If your match is on Saturday, then play Australian (not I formation!) if they start punishing your serve. You would be surprised how many returners will struggle to change direction if you play Aussie and will either miss or will return more defensively.
     
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  17. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ So what you are saying is that you could not handle the return if it was hit right at you? Then why stay at the net? If you could handle the return, why could you not handle a poached return?

    My thought is that OP was already at a disadvantage and your job (as the net-person) is to try to balance things as much as possible with a lot of motion.

    Let's think of it a different way and say that the return are clean winners - would you just stand there and watch and then complain about the weak serves? If you are moving, trying to hit things (hitting one out of ten into play) you are already improving your teams odds.

    Let's put it another way - what do you have to lose?
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I find moving to cut off a hot return is harder than simply blocking back a ball struck right at me. Besides, staying at the net even if you never poach cuts off 50% of the returner's options.

    Sure. I don't disagree. I think the net person should look like a threat. I find I am most successful with that strategy when I actually *am* a threat. If the opposing net player has not once flung herself across the net to poach the service return the entire match, her faking late in the second set isn't going to bother me.


    I think it is better to do other things (play two back, play Aussie) rather than just lose the points more quickly with my unsuccessful attempts to poach.
     
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  19. gjr

    gjr New User

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    doubles strategy for weak serving partner

    well renny you need to get that first serve in toss ball higher and out in front of you, if you have still have trouble getting it in and placing it see a pro
    for private serving lessons it will be worth it in the end , your net man not
    poaching enough so they are hammering your serve past him he`s poaching too much and win points, WELL WE LOB THE NET MAN , him or you chase it, than opponent rushes the net your in trouble again, your in trouble if you stay back at the baseline than they hit angled drop shots ok you are playing defensive tennis ,,doubles is a serve and volley game usually who control's the NET wins the match that`s offensive tennis or make it very close to winning splits sets, tie breakers ,remember renny
    you will be the net man , when your partner is serving and you will be hitting
    volleys also and your partner should be serving and volleying and comming to net, this also where the hand and eye coordination come into play and it becomes more fun playing tennis this way just as you see the pros play it
    so fix that serve, volley and UNDERSPIN lobs (more stay in closerto baseline)

    hope i help you renny

    jeez i`m gjr
     
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  20. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Right on...

    ...Larry Tennis. Send me an email and let me know how your year is going, with or without all of my (ahem) Amazing Coaching Insights...
     
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  21. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Clearly having your partner play back is the optimal answer (next to have you magically get a better serve).

    The second best is likely Cindy's advice for playing Australian, without poaching. This would be followed by playing standard formation.

    Poaching off of screaming CC returns is likely the worst possible answer.

    Naturally you should be lining up wide enough for you to not get passed in your alley.
     
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  22. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Since your partner is so aggressive instead of asking him to poach all the time, change formations every time. Go regular, australian, I formation, and just keep mixing it up. Also try to mix up the speed/spin/placement of the serve to the best of your ability (without too many double faults). Giving them the exact same ball again and again will make it easy to get used to for your opponents.
     
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  23. gjr

    gjr New User

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    doubles strategy for weak serving partner

    hi renny , yes that a good answer the Australian and I formation well lets play it out mentally even if you have your first serve slow go in to fh or bh your net man chose a formation reg , aust. and i formation better 4.0and 4.5 teams
    will lob the net man even on your first slow serve in to fh or bh no matter what formation you are playing than your opponents will wait and rush iin at net you will choose a shot and will get picked off for a winner let me see cc no netman there your partner chose wrong side in a formation how about
    what is called a blind poach you don`t see me , now you do , have weak lobs on fh and bh jeeez well the best shot i like to win, is when you go dtl on the same side your net man is on and you hit him in the back of the head or ass , than apologize to him ,and get him a new tennis shirt at TARGET. isnt that funny

    FOR AS MUCH TIME YOU PUT INTO TENNIS, THE REWARDS ARE VERY LITTLE
    (what a LITTLE 12yr old beat a college tennis player ) naaa can never happen fix your serve volleys returns and lobs
    hope i helped you gjr
     
    #23
  24. Renney10

    Renney10 New User

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    Thanks from some well-considered responses. I just want to emphasize that, yes, the ultimate answer is to improve my serve but as I noted in my follow-up post, and as the more, ahem, careful readers noted, the match is this Sat, so this is no time to be changing something as fundamental as a serve.

    Last night we played a much better team than we will face on Sat. We played them for fun and practice, but told them to kick our butts. Anyway, we ended up beating them! This came as a big surprise and they were pi**ed! ( We now have a rematch scheduled for next week ).

    The key-- from talking with them afterwards-- is that we took Blake0's and Cindysphinx's advice and varied formations ( standard and Aussie ) before finally settling on a consistent Aussie formation. I held serve each time. They said they were bothered by the different formations more than anything else. I served to their backhands mostly because I really felt uncomfortable hitting down the middle to the ad side. Our opponents did lob towards the end but when they did it wasn't really a problem. When they just hit out straight down the middle they started bleeding points ( more long than into the net).

    My partner finally realized that he was the source of the problem and is now determined to add some support to our team when i serve. I expect that come Sat we will do much better than we initially expected.

    We are now quite an interesting team. My partner's serve is extremely strong; it's rare that more than one ball is returned in play when he serves. I don't need to poach, and he prefers that I don't anyway. But when I serve the look is very different and opponents seem to be caught off guard. I serve last so they get even less looks at my strange service game format :)

    I don't kid myself we aren't a 5.0 doubles team, but that's not who we will face on Sat-- big hitters, yes, but very impatient. With my partner being more active and a new Aussie formation we should hold serve throughout the match. Many thanks to all responses but especially to Blake0's and Cindysphinx's for their insight and wisdom. Please keep comments coming.
     
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  25. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm tellin' ya, I have seen returners come completely unhinged when faced with Aussie. Even if you serve to their FH, there are *a lot* of people who cannot change direction on that ball while still dealing with the court geometry.

    One of my favorite matches was one where my partner and I varied our formation *and* used signals *and* S&V whenever the signal was to stay. I thought our opponents would keel over from vertigo by the time it was over -- they had no idea where to hit the returns.
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Such a simple change of strategy only works at the lowest levels of compeititve tennis.
    Just like inside out serves, leftie players, drop shot serves, players who stand bellybutton right on the net, lobbers, or whatever, any level beyond the most basic has seen all the variations....and know the counters.
    There is no substitute for good playing level.
     
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  27. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    That's all cool, but...

    ...just remember that you're looking at a short term fix. If you want to play better tennis, it's not a series of quick fixes, it's a long path with a few steps forward and a few steps back...and then a few more steps forward. Or, as somebody once said, "Everybody wants to go to heaven...but nobody wants to die..."
     
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  28. Renney10

    Renney10 New User

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    So true. I think the fact that it's used by the pros so much is testament to just how effective it is. It's truly a thinking person's strategy.

    I've seen the Aussie formation being used quite a lot at Wimbledon and US Open. Many top teams have used it to great success. For some reason, I just thought that this would never work at the club level. If it doesn't outright flummox virtually any opponent it certainly takes even pros out of their comfort zone. I think it's used to best effect when it's varied w/ the traditional set-up of the servers partner lining up more towards the side. When the best players at my club resort to lobbing off my 70mph ( and that may be on the high side ) serve or just blasting it anywhere but into the court I know I've found an immediate fix to covering my weak serve.

    Again, thanks so much for the best advice I've ever received here, Cindysphinx.
     
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  29. Renney10

    Renney10 New User

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    I couldn't agree more. The sharper folks here, like you, picked up on the fact that I just needed a quick fix. But even after I have my serve humming :) I will be using the Aussie formation, thrown in frequently as a wrinkle-- as well as insisting that my partner both poach and feint more when he's at the net, no matter what formation we're in. It works!

    BTW, I've already scheduled lessons next week for my improving my lousy serve. Believe it or not I pitched D1 college baseball but have never learned the proper tennis serve delivery. I can literally throw the ball in faster than I can serve it at a pace that will go it the majority of the time ( my normal service pace )!
    Anyway, I'm hoping that with the right instruction and a lot of practice my serve will become a weapon.
     
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  30. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Okay, since you used to be a pitcher...

    ...here's a serving drill care of my former coach Dave Hodge (ex #2 at Baylor, ex-ATP tour player, former Men's Assistant at CU and Baylor, currently a national team coach for Tennis Australia):

    - Go back to the service line, no racket, no ball. Just start doing a throwing motion, just as if you were throwing a baseball.

    - Once that feels good, start throwing a tennis ball. Make sure to throw it up and out. This is the "throwing your racket up to the sky, then snapping the wrist" concept.

    - Once you have that wired, throw one ball up with your non-racket hand, make sure it gets well up above your head and in front, and fire away at it with your throwing hand.

    - Once that feels good, start with your racket in the back scratching position, toss, and snap! the ball down into the court. Try to bounce it as high as you can.

    - That's the motion, now go practice overheads. Start in the ready position, when you see the lob, turn sideways, non-racket hand up and pointing toward the ball, racket held loosely but straight up in the other hand. Ball comes down, time it so you drop the racket into the back-scratching position, and pop it just as in the snapping drill, above.

    Having said all that good stuff...here's some stuff my last coach (Sam Winterbotham, currently Head Men's Coach of the Tennessee Vols) told me that really helped straighten out my serve:

    - Re your toss, as many other people have noted, it's not a toss, it's a lift. You're trying to place an egg on a mantlepiece. If you throw or toss it, it'll break.

    - Beginners are taught to start the toss and backswing at the same time. The best servers get a lot of the backswing done before the toss. If you toss early, you have to adjust your swing to where the toss happened to end up. If you get a lot of the backswing done, you have a better chance of placing the ball where you want it for whatever you're trying to do with the serve.

    - The power servers are using a Continental grip. If you get into what is really a semi-Western backhand grip, you may get more spin, but you'll definitely cut down on the power, and you may not be able to direct the ball very well. Use Continental and adjust the swing path to get whatever spin or direction you want.

    - The best servers are using a relatively simple, abbreviated backswing. Like a lot of other things in life, simpler is usually better. My backswing starts at waist level, goes out and up. I don't drop the racket to make a big loop. The fewer curlicues you have on your service stroke, the easier it is to come up with a toss that's as high as you need and no higher. If you have a lot of fruit salad on your backswing, you have to toss up into the stratosphere...and then hope you time it right.

    - Serving, like all of tennis, is a leg sport, not an arm sport. Actually, it's a whole body sport. If you want more spin, power, safety, direction on your serve, get the legs, hips, shoulder turn, all of the parts working together.

    - As Stan Smith noted, the wrist is the trigger. I'm talking about getting snap on the serve, which is the final link in the kinesthetic chain that gets power, spin, and all the other goodies on the serve. There are drills you can do to get more snap...like getting yourself into the back-scratching position, or whatever it's called these days, tossing, and trying to belt the serve down into the court as hard as possible...hard enough to bounce it over the fence is usually a good goal.

    - Rhythm and sense of all the parts of the serve working together is definitely key. Dave Hodge gave me a great way to look at serving: The serve is the only stroke you hit that is not a response to the other player's stroke. Therefore, have an objective every time, even if it's "Okay, second serve, lots of kick and safety, straight down the middle." If your thought is "Hail Mary, full of grace, I hope this serve isn't a fault", guess what? You'll whap it right into the net. What he said was, make up a little video in your head of what you're going to do with the service motion and where that's going to take the ball into your opponent's service box. Take a deep breath, relax, and replay the video in real time. Works like a charm...
     
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  31. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well . . .

    I have seen pro doubles players use the I formation and signaled poaches, so they must think there is some value in changing their strategy/formation.

    I think it is rather unhelpful to say "there is no substitute for good playing level." If we all had magic wands, we would simply grant ourselves the skills to do anything and everything on a tennis court. That's not reality, so people ask questions and other people try to be helpful.

    And frankly, if OP is saying he has a weak serve, he is probably at 3.5/4.0. Which makes the idea of changing strategies/formations spot on.
     
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  32. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    As an additional (short-term) suggestion, you may want to fiddle around with varying the spin/pace on your serve with different tosses/grips/positions on the court from which you serve, etc. I have a lot of trouble against people who, although not the fastest/hardest of servers, give me a lot of different variations so I never get to groove returns.
     
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  33. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Have your partner fake poach with head fake alot, just to distract the opponent. and try the I formation but at your level, maybe this is too difficult. but you will be surprised I formation isn't as difficult as you think it might be. but it is something you have to practice to make it work in the match.
    Holding serve isn't as difficult in doubles as it seems. If you dont' serve and volley, make sure you come in as soon as you see the short ball. Dont' worry if your opponent is expecting or not. 2 guys at net is very imposing and puts tremendous pressure on your opponents.
     
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  34. 813wilson

    813wilson Rookie

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    If your serve can't be improved in short order and your partner doesn't want to poach, you need to do what you can to prevent you opponents from getting into their "T'ing off groove". You can do two things:
    1 - Serve and volley. If your serve is weak, at least this should give you time to get in tight to the net.
    2 - Play "I" or Aussie. Do this when the returner is forced to hit to your forehand.

    If you're able to serve to your opponent's back hand near 66% of the time, you should be able to hold serve more than you say you do. Serve and volley everytime you get to the backhand and most of the time anyway.....
     
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  35. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks!!

    Funny thing about Australian (defined as both players lining up on the same side of the net during service games): I find a lot of partners detest it. I mean, we'll be getting absolutely killed, I'll suggest Australian and they will refuse. Even if I'm the server and therefore am the player who has to make a lot of adjustments to play Aussie.

    The other cool thing about Aussie is that some receiving teams will automatically shift to 2-back, both because it feels unfamiliar and because they no longer trust their partner's returns. Or they will start lobbing every return, so you can take them as high volleys or overheads of you're coming in. What fun!!!
     
    #35
  36. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    :confused: arent both players (server/ servers partner) usually on the same side of the net????
    i know you meant to say same half/side of the court:)
     
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  37. Sreeram

    Sreeram Professional

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    Exactly, i did that. Once i happened to play with a guy whoes second serve was very basic, just push it in. I got enough time to read where my oponent was returning him and then place myself there. Infact we never lost his serve, largly becasue of his slowness. I hate to encourage him to serve slow, but i loved it when he was on a second serve. Infract my oponent was an ex Davis cup doubles player and i was able to read where he was trying to return. If you have enough courage to face a fast swinging return then it is easy to volley partnering a slow server.
     
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  38. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Actually I am shocked that you are having any success with a weak serve in 4.0 and better doubles. With the people I play with it would not matter what formation you are using they would punish your serve. Personally I would hold your serve on my racket til the last minute and then hit my return. Your net person would have no chance of getting to it.

    I play on a regular basis with players between 3.5 and 4.5 and they would have no issues returning weak serves away from the net person. If you are going to win consistently you are going to have to be better than your opponents once your serve is put into play.

    Are you sure you should be playing at 4.0?
     
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  39. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    I have personal experience playing doubles against a superior team with a weak serve. I had hurt my shoulder and had recovered it before i had to play 2 state level guys in doubles. We used a lot of different formations to keep them offgaurd on my serve, and another thing that really helped me was serving like Nadal (the way he used too). 90% to their backhand side with some spin to keep first serve % high. I also varied the spin quite a bit, some had more slice that jammed into their body, some had more topspin which kicked up more, some were kick serves, just totally random. My placement was really well because of the spin and my serve being slower, which was a major benefit too. I might have pulled out the flat serve like 3 times (not much faster). I'm sure none of my serves went over like 70-75mph. There were a lot of UE's by them or set up for my partner. We ended up losing in a close match though..we choked on the key points.

    That variety of spin, plus the variety of formations can really be quite a great combination to use. Another key point was high first serve %. Also serving second like you said really helps keep them guessing, especially in doubles.
     
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  40. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    Your well-placed, spinny, varied, high-percentage serve doesn't sound very much like a "weak" serve.
     
    #40
  41. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Lol well it truthfully was, i may have buttered it up too much :). It wasn't amazingly placed, but i could aim it to the forehand,body,backhand consistently. It had a lot of spin to keep it consistent, nothing amazing. The varied spin had mainly slice,with some topspin-slice serves,and topspin serves mixed around with it. High percentage was because it was spinny and had a high margin of error. When my opponents were serving around 90mph or higher (just a guess compared to my serve at that time), my serve wasn't too "big".
     
    #41
  42. olliess

    olliess Semi-Pro

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    Well, just saying, it sounded like your serve wasn't "big" but it was consistent and drawing errors/setting up your partner for putaways so it doesn't seem all that "weak" if you think about it. :p
     
    #42
  43. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Basically turning a weak serve to a not so weak serve by tweaking a couple things and mindseet :).
     
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