Choosing A Doubles Partner

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I was wondering what do you all look at when looking for doubles partners to play with. Some of my friends are impressed easily with a person's serve or forehand or backhand in some cases. I generally watch people when they are taking an @$$ whipping to see how they react. Of course I watch other things but the truth is this. We all are going to take some beatings( I took a good one this past weekend from a couple of 5.0's in Alta down in Atlanta :) ). Everyone looks good when they are winning, but the key thing for me is how do you react to being down. Can you claw your way back from a 4-1 deficit in the second after having dropped the first? What do you all look for in your partners?
 
First off I don't want to have to baby anyone. If they are going to embarass me on the court I don't need them. Secondly I want someone that tries to the best of their ability and doesn't give up on balls.

Really I just want someone that doesn't cheat, break racquets in a fit of rage, or suddenly start ranting and raving if things don't go his way. Ability to hit the little yellow ball over the net is a bonus.
 

PimpMyGame

Hall of Fame
1. Consistency. In a good way, obviously.
2. Someone who understands his weaknesses, as well as his strengths.
3. Someone who's prepared to have a beer with me after the match, even if I play like a doofus.
4. Someone who will communicate.
5. Someone who will not beat themselves up if they're playing badly, and who will encourage me to play better if I'm having an off day.
6. Someone who doesn't cheat.

If I get all of the above I will promise to reciprocate every single aspect. If I don't, I'll find a new partner.
 

dlk

Hall of Fame
I was wondering what do you all look at when looking for doubles partners to play with. Some of my friends are impressed easily with a person's serve or forehand or backhand in some cases. I generally watch people when they are taking an @$$ whipping to see how they react. Of course I watch other things but the truth is this. We all are going to take some beatings( I took a good one this past weekend from a couple of 5.0's in Alta down in Atlanta :) ). Everyone looks good when they are winning, but the key thing for me is how do you react to being down. Can you claw your way back from a 4-1 deficit in the second after having dropped the first? What do you all look for in your partners?
This is a good idea. You're right, knowing how they react under less than desirable conditions shows who they really are.
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
1. Consistency. In a good way, obviously.
2. Someone who understands his weaknesses, as well as his strengths.
3. Someone who's prepared to have a beer with me after the match, even if I play like a doofus.
4. Someone who will communicate.
5. Someone who will not beat themselves up if they're playing badly, and who will encourage me to play better if I'm having an off day.
6. Someone who doesn't cheat.

If I get all of the above I will promise to reciprocate every single aspect. If I don't, I'll find a new partner.
All excellent suggestions.

I might add:

- Knows basics of court positioning and general court awareness in playing doubles.
- Good judgment to use balance of finesse and power and when to use one over the other.
- Doesn't take the game too seriously.
- Upbeat positive no giving up attitude.
- A good sport, win or lose.

r,
eagle
 

athiker

Hall of Fame
I obviously prefer partners that make me feel comfortable, and if they can do that and are better than me all the better. People that make me comfortable usually do/don't do the following:

*Doesn't yell in disgust after every shot they miss as if this is the first time they have ever missed a shot; this really gets annoying.

*Loves the game and likes learning strategy and technique. I find these people are better communicators and help me get better. They are also open to trying various things in a match to find something that works.

*Is supportive and doesn't bash my play, though I have to say I've never had a problem with this from any partner.

*Is competitive but would never cheat and put me in an uncomfortable situation.

*Is competitive and gives great effort on every point but realizes we are not playing to keep a roof over out heads and is gracious in defeat.

*Is competitive enough that they put in at least some time trying to improve their game so they aren't "shaking the rust off" at every match.

*Is a bonus if they enjoy hanging out at the post-match watering hole building team camaraderie. :cool:

BTW, former #1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs said on Tennis Academy that the most important criteria for choosing a doubles partner is to make sure they are better than you are. I have to say, it is nice to have a really good partner. They make play so much easier as they constantly set you up to make you look good.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Someone who is mentally stable and a great volleyer. Consistent serve. Good court sense. Positive attitude.

If swatting at the ball is their idea of volleying RUN THE OTHER WAY.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I obviously prefer partners that make me feel comfortable, and if they can do that and are better than me all the better. People that make me comfortable usually do/don't do the following:

*Doesn't yell in disgust after every shot they miss as if this is the first time they have ever missed a shot; this really gets annoying.

*Loves the game and likes learning strategy and technique. I find these people are better communicators and help me get better. They are also open to trying various things in a match to find something that works.

*Is supportive and doesn't bash my play, though I have to say I've never had a problem with this from any partner.

*Is competitive but would never cheat and put me in an uncomfortable situation.

*Is competitive and gives great effort on every point but realizes we are not playing to keep a roof over out heads and is gracious in defeat.

*Is competitive enough that they put in at least some time trying to improve their game so they aren't "shaking the rust off" at every match.

*Is a bonus if they enjoy hanging out at the post-match watering hole building team camaraderie. :cool:

BTW, former #1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs said on Tennis Academy that the most important criteria for choosing a doubles partner is to make sure they are better than you are. I have to say, it is nice to have a really good partner. They make play so much easier as they constantly set you up to make you look good.
I don't agree with that at all with what Rennae says even if she's the number 1 player in the world. Speaking of which, what did she do when she was number 1? Anyway, I think you just need to find people that compliment your game. I generally like people that like to set up points and move with the ball. I don't too much care for all the switching. You cover your side and I'll cover mine unless we are put in a position to where we just need to switch. I like "moving" up and back together. There is nothing worse than playing one up and one back to me. You are just asking to be killed doing that.
 

JavierLW

Hall of Fame
I was wondering what do you all look at when looking for doubles partners to play with. Some of my friends are impressed easily with a person's serve or forehand or backhand in some cases. I generally watch people when they are taking an @$$ whipping to see how they react. Of course I watch other things but the truth is this. We all are going to take some beatings( I took a good one this past weekend from a couple of 5.0's in Alta down in Atlanta :) ). Everyone looks good when they are winning, but the key thing for me is how do you react to being down. Can you claw your way back from a 4-1 deficit in the second after having dropped the first? What do you all look for in your partners?
I do the same thing, if someone falls apart mentally and cant perform when they hit a bump in the road then it doesnt matter to me how good their skills are.

It's very easy to feel good about your partner or your team when things are going well, but it's not easy to look at objectively when things are not going so well.

I had a mixed doubles partner once that was good at this. We were down 1-6, 2-4 at one point and rather then worry about why we were losing or IF we were going to lose, we just were able to keep our cool and as each game came our focus was on playing tennis and being able to objectively find ways to win that game. (we ended up winning 1-6, 7-5, 7-5)

There was a good audio blog on essentialtennis.com where they interview some college coach on how they figure out who to pair up for doubles. Almost the whole entire segment was on personalitys and the mental game versus actual skillsets.
 

LuckyR

Legend
My group of potential partners has no cheaters nor whiny crybabies, so I look to actual tennis playing style as my reason for choosing partners. In my experience teams are best when the partners are dissimilar, ie a spiker and a setter. All other things being equal I am a setter so I look for spikers (great overhead, good volleys and serve). Of course I can play the spiker role when matched up with someone with great groundstrokes, retrieval skills and footspeed.
 

Blask

Semi-Pro
One of the first thing I look at is how competitive are they. Losing is okay if you use it as a learning tool to get better. I also really look at how often they are willing to practice to get better. How serious to they take practice sessions and are they willing to grind out tough matches regardless of playing style.

Things like no cheating, no whining and no bad mouthing eachother is a given to me.

I also like a partner that has an opposite style to mine on the court. You can't have both players being super aggressive. I think it works better if you have one person who finishes off a ton of points at net, takes some chances when appropriate and goes for some big 2nd serves when needed. The complimentary player makes less unforced errors, sort of plays the textbook doubles match and is solid in all aspects of the game.
 

Cruzer

Professional
In looking for a doubles partner it really helps if the person knows how to play doubles.

- Do they recognize when the best time is to poach?

- Do they know the basic doubles signals and are they willing to use them?

- Do they know the different formations that are used in doubles and are they willing to use them?

- Do they know where to be on the court during a rally?

Teamwork is about a third of the game in doubles.
 
Someone who plays their side of the court and let's me play mine.

Someone who trusts my judgement on whether a ball I returned close to the baseline was in and doesn't start complaining that it was going long when I KNOW it was good.

Someone who knows when to poach and put the ball away for a winner when they do.

Someone with good court sense who watches where and how well I hit my return and covers for me if I'm pulled out wide.

Someone who knows to stand on the service line when I'm returning serve and stand two steps in from the service line when I'm serving.

Someone who doesn't smack the net with their racket and stand tight to the net because they learned that in some dumb-azz clinic and then yell YOURS, YOURS, YOURS, as our opponents lob corner to corner.

Someone who understands the better server should serve first and that the more consistent player should play the backhand side.

Someone who during a competitive match, sits down on the change-overs and discusses what's going on with the match. Or has something intelligent to talk about during the change-overs if it's a social match.

Someone who doesn't run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, leaving gaping holes between us, the size of the Grand Canyon, for our opponents to hit easy winners through.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Someone who plays their side of the court and let's me play mine.

Someone who trusts my judgement on whether a ball I returned close to the baseline was in and doesn't start complaining that it was going long when I KNOW it was good.

Someone who knows when to poach and put the ball away for a winner when they do.

Someone with good court sense who watches where and how well I hit my return and covers for me if I'm pulled out wide.

Someone who knows to stand on the service line when I'm returning serve and stand two steps in from the service line when I'm serving.

Someone who doesn't smack the net with their racket and stand tight to the net because they learned that in some dumb-azz clinic and then yell YOURS, YOURS, YOURS, as our opponents lob corner to corner.

Someone who understands the better server should serve first and that the more consistent player should play the backhand side.

Someone who during a competitive match, sits down on the change-overs and discusses what's going on with the match. Or has something intelligent to talk about during the change-overs if it's a social match.

Someone who doesn't run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, leaving gaping holes between us, the size of the Grand Canyon, for our opponents to hit easy winners through.

This is the funniest thing I've read on this board. I'll be laughing all night about the "slapping the net with the raquet". I love people that do that. I run the other person to death when someone hugs the net like that. That is so damn funny though. You had me going with that. :)
 

ALten1

Rookie
Someone who plays their side of the court and let's me play mine.

Someone who trusts my judgement on whether a ball I returned close to the baseline was in and doesn't start complaining that it was going long when I KNOW it was good.

Someone who knows when to poach and put the ball away for a winner when they do.

Someone with good court sense who watches where and how well I hit my return and covers for me if I'm pulled out wide.

Someone who knows to stand on the service line when I'm returning serve and stand two steps in from the service line when I'm serving.

Someone who doesn't smack the net with their racket and stand tight to the net because they learned that in some dumb-azz clinic and then yell YOURS, YOURS, YOURS, as our opponents lob corner to corner.

Someone who understands the better server should serve first and that the more consistent player should play the backhand side.

Someone who during a competitive match, sits down on the change-overs and discusses what's going on with the match. Or has something intelligent to talk about during the change-overs if it's a social match.

Someone who doesn't run around like a chicken with it's head cut off, leaving gaping holes between us, the size of the Grand Canyon, for our opponents to hit easy winners through.
As a player that hugs the net, I look for a partner that can run like the wind.
 

crystal_clear

Professional
I was wondering what do you all look at when looking for doubles partners to play with. Some of my friends are impressed easily with a person's serve or forehand or backhand in some cases. I generally watch people when they are taking an @$$ whipping to see how they react. Of course I watch other things but the truth is this. We all are going to take some beatings( I took a good one this past weekend from a couple of 5.0's in Alta down in Atlanta :) ). Everyone looks good when they are winning, but the key thing for me is how do you react to being down. Can you claw your way back from a 4-1 deficit in the second after having dropped the first? What do you all look for in your partners?
This is a good idea. You're right, knowing how they react under less than desirable conditions shows who they really are.
Very true. People show their true colors when are behind.

Though I don't choose my partner because my captain always shuffles around players. I'd like to play with someone who is calm, relaxed and moves fast on the court.
 
As a player that hugs the net, I look for a partner that can run like the wind.
I used to be able to play that kind of game but not since I got arthritis in my left butt. I just got a couple of cortisone injections and we'll see what that does.
 

JavierP.R

New User
I obviously prefer partners that make me feel comfortable, and if they can do that and are better than me all the better. People that make me comfortable usually do/don't do the following:

*Doesn't yell in disgust after every shot they miss as if this is the first time they have ever missed a shot; this really gets annoying.

*Loves the game and likes learning strategy and technique. I find these people are better communicators and help me get better. They are also open to trying various things in a match to find something that works.

*Is supportive and doesn't bash my play, though I have to say I've never had a problem with this from any partner.

*Is competitive but would never cheat and put me in an uncomfortable situation.

*Is competitive and gives great effort on every point but realizes we are not playing to keep a roof over out heads and is gracious in defeat.
*Is competitive enough that they put in at least some time trying to improve their game so they aren't "shaking the rust off" at every match.

*Is a bonus if they enjoy hanging out at the post-match watering hole building team camaraderie. :cool:

BTW, former #1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs said on Tennis Academy that the most important criteria for choosing a doubles partner is to make sure they are better than you are. I have to say, it is nice to have a really good partner. They make play so much easier as they constantly set you up to make you look good.
For me number 1, 3, and 5 on this list are the most important things on this list regardless of skill. I've lost so many easy matches in tournaments due to this behavior, I really can't play when someone is cuestioning every single shot that I make or try...
 

gameboy

Hall of Fame
Boy, you guys are a picky lot.

There is only criteria for me; do I have fun playing tennis with that person?

Bonus if that person is better than me.
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Boy, you guys are a picky lot.

There is only criteria for me; do I have fun playing tennis with that person?

Bonus if that person is better than me.
I think folks consider "fun playing with that person" only if those partners don't do the things they've listed.

But guess what, those same rules they have apply to themselves also. :)

r,
eagle
 
J

joshburger

Guest
do i enjoy playing with the person?
do i like the persons personality?
do their strengths and weaknesses compliment my strengths and weaknesses?
do they cheat?
do they get mad easily?
do they negativley affect my play?
what is their level of play?
 
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