When I play doubles, I usually wind up serving first (or second, if our opponents serve first). This is for various reasons. Two partners showed up rusty and wanted me to serve first. Another has a weak serve. Another feels she needs time to "warm up" before serving. In the past, this has not been a problem. Lately, though, I have had all kinds of problems holding serve in doubles early in the match. I think two things are happening. I think I am serving with a bit less pace and more spin than in the past. There is nothing to be done for this right now, although I have been working on it. When I meet women who are flummoxed by spin, I usually do well, so it's not the end of the world. The real source of the problem is that I simply don't know my opponents well enough at the beginning of the match to know what will work best against them. So I stand back there preparing to serve, and I have no plan. Should I S&V? Should I stay back? Should I come in on my second shot instead of S&V? Should I aim to the BH, or should I just go down the middle? Should I ask partners who are weak volleyers to be conservative and not try to take difficult balls, or should we plan a poach? On my second ball, what should I do if the returner has come to net -- lob or drive? So a typical service game might be . . . I serve up the middle and come in. Returner cracks a return at my shoes, which I miss. Love-15. Next serve is up the middle, and I stay back, still stung by my missed volley. Returner hits a floater. My partner dumps it into the net. Next serve is up the middle. I stay back and rally with deuce court player for a few shots. I miss first. Next serve is out wide. I come in. Returner lobs my partner, and I can't run down the lob. Game over. As the match goes on, I tend to figure these things out and get a sense for my opponents' weaknesses and strengths, but early on is difficult. What kind of plan do you have when you serve early in a match?