Do you know where your partner stands to serve?

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I serve from different spots along the baseline in doubles. There are many reasons why I set up closer to the hash or alley on a particular point. Sometimes, I will even set up in the alley to serve.

But I have noticed something. My partners never even look to see where I am before I serve.

I don’t understand this. Knowing where my partner is setting up gives me useful information. For example, if my partner sets up really wide, we will be vulnerable to a lob return. We will also be vulnerable to hard returns up the middle. Depending on the opponents and how they play, I will decide which is more likely and position to neutralize it.

Do others take note of where the server is standing before she serves?
 

Max G.

Legend
I've never thought to look! I would want to know whether my partner S&Vs, and if we're doing them we discuss signals and planned poaches and stuff. It's important to know what part of the court my partner is going to cover; it's less important to know where they're gonna stand to cover that.

I mean, I have a much better FH than BH, so if I'm staying back and serving I'm likely to stand further to my left - serving from nearer the T on the deuce side, or from pretty far out wide on the ad side. Not sure I'd expect my partner to make any conclusions from that.
 
I serve from different spots along the baseline in doubles. There are many reasons why I set up closer to the hash or alley on a particular point. Sometimes, I will even set up in the alley to serve.
I typically only serve from one spot unless we're playing formations. I might move a bit further in or out if I'm planning a particular serve but I try not to make it obvious.

Do you practice serving from n different positions? I have a much easier time with serve practice since I'm only doing 2 positions.

But I have noticed something. My partners never even look to see where I am before I serve.

I don’t understand this. Knowing where my partner is setting up gives me useful information. For example, if my partner sets up really wide, we will be vulnerable to a lob return. We will also be vulnerable to hard returns up the middle. Depending on the opponents and how they play, I will decide which is more likely and position to neutralize it.

Do others take note of where the server is standing before she serves?
I'll observe. I notice a lot more variation in MXDs 8.0, not as much in MXDs 9.0, and even less in Men's 4.5. When I signal a poach, I'm assuming my partner is not going to line up in the alley to serve just like I assume he's generally not going to slice wide.
 
My partners never even look to see where I am before I serve.
It's the old admonishments: "Don't look back--You'll get hit by the ball!", or, "Look deep into your opponent's eyes to discern where the ball will be going to.", this ocular "tip" requires really good vision to pull off--personally, I don't like looking into people's eyes--it gives me more insight into their thinking then I want to know.

Vic Seixas, oldest living winner of Wimbledon, now 96, when asked why he looked back at his partners, (Trabert, Talbert, Doris Hart, Shirley Fry, etc.)--wasn't he afraid he might get hit? he replied, "If I knew where the ball was going I could get out of the way better".

But, I don't understand the need for the OP to move around and stand at different locations while serving, it would tip off the opponents where the serve's location is headed to--unless she had such a good serve she could re-direct it in the opposite direction that her baseline positioning is tipping off--I thought the advantage to the server was that the opponents didn't know where the intended location of the serve was.
 
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blablavla

Legend
I serve from different spots along the baseline in doubles. There are many reasons why I set up closer to the hash or alley on a particular point. Sometimes, I will even set up in the alley to serve.

But I have noticed something. My partners never even look to see where I am before I serve.

I don’t understand this. Knowing where my partner is setting up gives me useful information. For example, if my partner sets up really wide, we will be vulnerable to a lob return. We will also be vulnerable to hard returns up the middle. Depending on the opponents and how they play, I will decide which is more likely and position to neutralize it.

Do others take note of where the server is standing before she serves?
that's why when I play doubles I discuss who is doing what, incl. who shall run back in case of a lob and how much of the baseline I am able to cover if the opponent net player will intercept the ball.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I typically only serve from one spot unless we're playing formations. I might move a bit further in or out if I'm planning a particular serve but I try not to make it obvious.

Do you practice serving from n different positions? I have a much easier time with serve practice since I'm only doing 2 positions.
I don't practice serving from different positions, but that's because I already can. During warm-up, I hit some from closer to hash and some from closer to the alley.

It's not about serving from different positions to hit my spots. I stand in different places based on what I do and also what my partner is doing.

Say my partner is alley camping and won't poach (usually because she is bad at volleys). I will serve from out wide, and I will serve wide. This makes it easier to cover the cross-court and I can also reach any ball up the middle because it will be angling toward me. And a S&V will allow my approach volley to go between the opponents.

Like, the other day I was having trouble with my cross-court BH while serving. I dunno, I just was missing. When I served to the ad court, I had a problem because my opponent was returning an angle to my BH. So I stood wider to make it more difficult for her to reach my BH, and I also S&V to cut off the angle.

Or if I am playing lob queens, I am more likely to serve closer to the center hash so I get a head start on a lob and can reach it before the bounce.

So it's about setting me up to cover what I think will happen or what I plan to do.

It's certainly true that you can talk to your partner about all of these things, but my partners and I don't talk before every point. That's why I check her position before she serves so I know what my opponents know and have a better idea what they are likely to do. I guess from the responses that other people don't do that.
 

AtTheNet

New User
Very interesting, Cindysphinx--I have not encountered partners who serve from various spots during doubles, but I see the value in your methodology. I will give this some thought on how it could be useful to me when serving.

Additionally, it is good to evaluate your partner's serve and know what they can do. If you play frequently with the same people, this is not difficult. However, I play often in a social mixer where I get partners whom I have never previously met, and that can get interesting. Last summer I had a lady partner that I did not know, and when it came her turn to serve, I assumed the typical net position. Never heard her hit the ball, but it lofted gently over the net and I nearly got cratered when the receiver crushed his return at me. Turns out that she serves UNDERHANDED all the time, and that was her typical serve. Yikes! I backed away from the net pretty quickly...;)
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
If you're talking to me . . . where I'm standing isn't indicative of where I plan to place the serve. It indicates what I think will happen or what I want to happen after the serve.

Interestingly . . . . I really like to serve from the doubles alley in fun matches. On account of how it is fun. Many people will move way over to the alley, which makes sense. But I can serve up the middle from that position, which can lead to an ace or service winner.

Or it can lead to a weak serve crushed up the middle to my 2HBH that I am too slow to reach. :-D
 

kevrol

Hall of Fame
If you're talking to me . . . where I'm standing isn't indicative of where I plan to place the serve. It indicates what I think will happen or what I want to happen after the serve.
Yes I gathered that after I replied to your initial post and then continued to read more. :oops:

Honestly the only time the partner's position while serving would have a dramatic affect is if they were setting up wide (in the alley even) and planning to serve up the middle.) Like you said if that ball gets ripped up the middle there's a lot of ground to cover. So without knowing where the server intends to place the serve then I don't think you have enough info to impact your position as the server's partner. So really where the serve is going to be hit is much more important to me than where the server is standing.
 
I have always played where the net players calls the shot and indicates where the serve should go and what the net player will do. That way the net player does not need to look back to see what the server is doing as they already know.

If the server wants to call the shots they you should communicate before the point starts rather than hoping the net player will intuitively grasp what you plan on doing by where you decide to stand when serving.
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I serve from different spots along the baseline in doubles. There are many reasons why I set up closer to the hash or alley on a particular point. Sometimes, I will even set up in the alley to serve.
This is a fairly unorthodox tactic, and not one that a partner of mine has ever employed.

Significantly altering court position on a serve-by-serve basis does convey a superficial advantage in terms of varying serve trajectory. However you are making your execution far more difficult by forcing yourself to adapt to constantly changing court geometry. For most rec players (including myself), this is not a good tradeoff - effective serving requires good execution much more than maximum variation. It also doesn't help that by taking yourself too wide, you are telegraphing your serve placement quite badly.

If it works for you, that's great - but given most players will be unfamiliar with what you're doing, I'd say that the onus on you is to communicate more.
 
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Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Hopefully behind me. Had a partner walk up to the net and slam a serve into the box like an Overhead. Opponents asked why? If they can foot-fault and stand inside the line, so can I. Miss the drama
 

roadto50

New User
If you're talking to me . . . where I'm standing isn't indicative of where I plan to place the serve. It indicates what I think will happen or what I want to happen after the serve.
But it gives away what you are trying to do. If I see a person serve wide from the doubles alley, it's a giveaway they want to protect the angle shot (which you made worse for yourself because angle begets angle. There's a reason why serves are hit towards the middle in doubles). And if you do want to hit the occasional serve down the T, you have also given me more time to react because the ball has to cover more ground from the doubles alley.

Consistently placing the serve where your partner asks to is much more important than where you stand to serve.
 

badmice2

Semi-Pro
If you're talking to me . . . where I'm standing isn't indicative of where I plan to place the serve. It indicates what I think will happen or what I want to happen after the serve.
Sounds more like you're playing dubs by yourself than you are with your partner.

I was taught to never look back at my partner on his serve AS LONG AS a) you know where they're serving to, and b) both of your have an expectation on how to play the return, and/or c) a discussion on court coverage was made prior to the serve. Based on your description, you're expecting your partner to read your mind (and vice versa).

It's obvious that it aint working.

If you're going to mess around with "in your head strategy" and wants to do this- and that- on the fly, you better play with someone who knows you very well and are able to put up with your silent-spontaneousness.
 

Matthew ATX

Semi-Pro
Not something I look for.

Seems like shifting your net position as your partner shifts their serve position would be telegraphing. If we want to execute a move, where they're putting the ball and which direction I'm going at the net are what would be signaled/discussed, not where we're standing. The only time where we stand gets focus is when we switch to Aussie.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I look at the receiver personally. He should be adjusting his position to the servers position and telling me all I need to know. I'll react to that.

If he doesn't react to a significant change in your positioning then you should call off whatever serve you're planning and take advantage of his malposition.

For instance I often serve from near the hash to deuce to get a better angle down the T. One of my buddies always lines up to receive as if the serve is coming from out wide. I will always hit serves down the T for easy points and he never realizes that he should be adjusting closer to the T. Easy points as he's always running to return and putting up floaters.

I don't try too many tricks in my service game and I don't ask my partners to either. I'd be happy if all my partner's did was hit 80% first serves to the opponents BH side. If they did that then we'd hold serve almost all the time.

Sadly most of my partners are grooved to blast first serves down the middle of the box at 100% power, 10% accuracy. Then lob in 50% speed second serves that get blasted past me. Doesn't matter where they stand when they are doing that.
 
I look at the receiver personally. He should be adjusting his position to the servers position and telling me all I need to know. I'll react to that.

If he doesn't react to a significant change in your positioning then you should call off whatever serve you're planning and take advantage of his malposition.

For instance I often serve from near the hash to deuce to get a better angle down the T. One of my buddies always lines up to receive as if the serve is coming from out wide. I will always hit serves down the T for easy points and he never realizes that he should be adjusting closer to the T. Easy points as he's always running to return and putting up floaters.

I don't try too many tricks in my service game and I don't ask my partners to either. I'd be happy if all my partner's did was hit 80% first serves to the opponents BH side. If they did that then we'd hold serve almost all the time.

Sadly most of my partners are grooved to blast first serves down the middle of the box at 100% power, 10% accuracy. Then lob in 50% speed second serves that get blasted past me. Doesn't matter where they stand when they are doing that.
Unfortunately not many doubles players think like you do...... I mean, I know I can hit a massive serve at full power and get it in 1 out of 10 so why should I not do that?
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I look at the receiver personally. He should be adjusting his position to the servers position and telling me all I need to know. I'll react to that.

If he doesn't react to a significant change in your positioning then you should call off whatever serve you're planning and take advantage of his malposition.

For instance I often serve from near the hash to deuce to get a better angle down the T. One of my buddies always lines up to receive as if the serve is coming from out wide. I will always hit serves down the T for easy points and he never realizes that he should be adjusting closer to the T. Easy points as he's always running to return and putting up floaters.

I don't try too many tricks in my service game and I don't ask my partners to either. I'd be happy if all my partner's did was hit 80% first serves to the opponents BH side. If they did that then we'd hold serve almost all the time.

Sadly most of my partners are grooved to blast first serves down the middle of the box at 100% power, 10% accuracy. Then lob in 50% speed second serves that get blasted past me. Doesn't matter where they stand when they are doing that.
Take a seat on their first serve. Walk to the baseline on their second
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Take a seat on their first serve. Walk to the baseline on their second
I have occasionally done things like that in social matches. Usually when a guy's blasting hard and erratic, I'll alley camp with my racquet held limply at my side. And if he's throwing up softy seconds, I'll stay in the alley, duck and hold my racquet in front of my face.

Too many guys approach doubles service games like it's on them to win their serve. They serve in such a way as to take their net partner totally out of the game. I approach doubles service games like a set up man and my net partner is the closer. I just try to get him a put away shot. High first serve percentage, hit to the weaker wing or get the returner to move, mix up pace and spin. Anything to get a sitter.
 
I have occasionally done things like that in social matches. Usually when a guy's blasting hard and erratic, I'll alley camp with my racquet held limply at my side. And if he's throwing up softy seconds, I'll stay in the alley, duck and hold my racquet in front of my face.

Too many guys approach doubles service games like it's on them to win their serve. They serve in such a way as to take their net partner totally out of the game. I approach doubles service games like a set up man and my net partner is the closer. I just try to get him a put away shot. High first serve percentage, hit to the weaker wing or get the returner to move, mix up pace and spin. Anything to get a sitter.
Yup, this is the right way to go. If I happen to hit a service winner, so much the better but I'm not counting on it. I'm further away so my ability to terminate the point is limited. My net partner is the terminator.

Of course, if one plays doubles as two singles player who happen to be in the same side, this concept is alien.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
I have occasionally done things like that in social matches. Usually when a guy's blasting hard and erratic, I'll alley camp with my racquet held limply at my side. And if he's throwing up softy seconds, I'll stay in the alley, duck and hold my racquet in front of my face.

Too many guys approach doubles service games like it's on them to win their serve. They serve in such a way as to take their net partner totally out of the game. I approach doubles service games like a set up man and my net partner is the closer. I just try to get him a put away shot. High first serve percentage, hit to the weaker wing or get the returner to move, mix up pace and spin. Anything to get a sitter.
Beware of a partner who blast their first serve into your ear. Duck
 

Chalkdust

Rookie
I approach doubles service games like a set up man and my net partner is the closer. I just try to get him a put away shot. High first serve percentage, hit to the weaker wing or get the returner to move, mix up pace and spin. Anything to get a sitter.
That's the right attitude... until you are paired up with a partner who flubs every sitter volley.
Happens sometimes at club social night. Ask me how I know. :cry:
Pretty frustrating to continually make good strategically placed serves that result in an easy put-away for the net person, only to lose the point on an error.
So then it becomes plan B... dish up service winners. :D
 

SeeItHitIt

Professional
When it’s our serve and I’m at net, I usually watch my partner until they go into the pre-serve routine (ball bounce 100x, etc). I then turn and get into a more aggressive/net player ‘ready’ position. So while I DO generally know where my partner is serving from (on the baseline), I’d expect a heads up if he/she intended to pull a crazy Ivan and serve from the dubs alley, etc.
 

NoChance

Rookie
I never looked. It didn't matter; I knew where he was going to serve, since we played doubles often. Plus, he served two tours in Vietnam, and eventually retired as a colonel. For him, tennis was relaxation. Believe me, I deferred to him. It worked pretty well.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I think there are several types of doubles. The social doubles where its just for fun and exercise. There’s league doubles, where it’s competitive, but you could get a different partner every week. Then there’s tournament doubles, I feel this is the doubles setting where you know who your partner is, generally because you both decided to play together. This set of doubles communicates ALL throughout the match and they actually run plays.

I’ve found that in social and in some league tennis matches you don’t know what type of serve your partner has until you start playing. There’s hardly any communication and definitely no plays being run. The exception to this, is obviously if you play consistently with the same person.

I think Cindy raises a good point to at least take a glance at where your partner is serving from before they serve. Doesn’t mean you look at them while the serve, that’s a recipe for disaster.

I do have one question Cindy, how are you hitting a T-serve when you’re serving near the doubles alley?
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I hit slice serves. So I just aim for the middle. It helps if I get some shoulder turn.

It seems to jam people on their BH. I can only do it on the deuce side.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
That's where I was standing
Lol. I don't have too many partners that erratic.

That's the right attitude... until you are paired up with a partner who flubs every sitter volley.
Happens sometimes at club social night. Ask me how I know. :cry:
Pretty frustrating to continually make good strategically placed serves that result in an easy put-away for the net person, only to lose the point on an error.
So then it becomes plan B... dish up service winners. :D
That is usually my problem. I rarely lose my serve if I have a competent net partner. If he's weak at the net we are in trouble. Even worse if he thinks he's good at the net but is terrible. At least with the weak net partner that is self aware, I can plant them in the alley and play the points like singles (my mixed strategy), or have them hang back at the baseline and I'll serve and volley. With the net partner that is terrible but thinks he's good then you need a plan B of Aces and Serve winners, which I unfortunately don't have in my bag.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
Played a league match recently where one of the opponents hit serves from near the hash mark, always served to the T ... no variation ... partner alley camped. Server then scooted to the alley immediately after the serve. (assuming I was going to return wide)
It became very easy to return through the middle effectively behind the server as she just ran to the alley. As soon as she adapted to that and stopped scooting wide .... then I hit wide.
If I was their coach, I would advise a different set up.
 

Chalkdust

Rookie
That is usually my problem. I rarely lose my serve if I have a competent net partner. If he's weak at the net we are in trouble. Even worse if he thinks he's good at the net but is terrible. At least with the weak net partner that is self aware, I can plant them in the alley and play the points like singles (my mixed strategy), or have them hang back at the baseline and I'll serve and volley. With the net partner that is terrible but thinks he's good then you need a plan B of Aces and Serve winners, which I unfortunately don't have in my bag.
Yeah I'd much rather have a partner that is weak but knows his/her limitations than a weak but overambitious partner. And I'd rather have someone consistent but otherwise limited than someone who can make some shots but is erratic.

For example in social dubs I have no problem partnering with some of the older guys at the club (70+) who have limited mobility and no power, but if the ball is in their reach will get it back over the net usually with decent placement. I can cover for their lack of mobility and as long as they can extend the point it gives me opportunities to make some plays.

Whereas playing with someone who wants to go for every ball but makes errors on half of them is just very frustrating. Especially where we are repeatedly in positions to win points only to give them away with bad errors. There nothing I can really do, other than try end the point on every shot I can get, which then causes my own error rate to go up.
 

Ronaldo

Bionic Poster
Lol. I don't have too many partners that erratic.



That is usually my problem. I rarely lose my serve if I have a competent net partner. If he's weak at the net we are in trouble. Even worse if he thinks he's good at the net but is terrible. At least with the weak net partner that is self aware, I can plant them in the alley and play the points like singles (my mixed strategy), or have them hang back at the baseline and I'll serve and volley. With the net partner that is terrible but thinks he's good then you need a plan B of Aces and Serve winners, which I unfortunately don't have in my bag.
Hey I've buried every partner.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Played a league match recently where one of the opponents hit serves from near the hash mark, always served to the T ... no variation ... partner alley camped. Server then scooted to the alley immediately after the serve. (assuming I was going to return wide)
It became very easy to return through the middle effectively behind the server as she just ran to the alley. As soon as she adapted to that and stopped scooting wide .... then I hit wide.
If I was their coach, I would advise a different set up.
If the person served up the T then the net partner needs to get closer to the T.
Doubles 101: you crowd the middle on balls up the middle and and you widen your positioning on wide balls.
Covering angles is what doubles positioning is all about.
At the very least the net person should move with a mirror the returner.

That being said I played doubles against someone that did this as well and while the net man was in position to take the middle ball, the server didn't rush out wide. So I just did angled droppers out wide. Got him about 3 times in a row.
 

HelenCH

New User
I don't look and I never played with anyone who did. I am not sure there is any value in knowing where the server is standing at the time of the serve, because they are not glued there. As long as the net player can see where the ball lands all is good.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I don't look and I never played with anyone who did. I am not sure there is any value in knowing where the server is standing at the time of the serve, because they are not glued there. As long as the net player can see where the ball lands all is good.
The only instance is if you are actually standing right in the server's serve direction. I was playing on Saturday and my partner was standing right in the middle of the service box when I was planning to serve out wide to ad. I judged his head to be about 1-2 feet away from where I was aiming. I thought to tell him to move over but then my stupid brain said "Don't worry, you won't hit him." Sure enough i pegged him right in the back of the head.

So there is some value to checking where the server is hitting from if you are being aggressive in your positioning as a net person. Or you can just expect to take one on the noggin.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
You know, I tried last night not checking to see my partner's serve position. I really tried it for a while (she was standing in a pretty conventional position).

But there were a couple of times I just had to check. See, the deuce opponent had a really sharp angle on her return, especially if the serve went up the T to her 1HBH. These were very challenging returns. When I was serving, I served from a wider position than normal to give myself a better chance.

So I simply *had* to check if my partner was going to serve from wider also. If she did, I wanted to be prepared for the middle to be more open than usual. And I didn't want to go ask her after she just got burned by a wide return she couldn't reach, which happened a few times -- she might wonder why I was asking or even take it as criticism or a suggestion.

So I went back to taking note of her serve position before she served. It just seemed like the easiest way to get the information.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I serve from different spots along the baseline in doubles. There are many reasons why I set up closer to the hash or alley on a particular point. Sometimes, I will even set up in the alley to serve.

But I have noticed something. My partners never even look to see where I am before I serve.

I don’t understand this. Knowing where my partner is setting up gives me useful information. For example, if my partner sets up really wide, we will be vulnerable to a lob return. We will also be vulnerable to hard returns up the middle. Depending on the opponents and how they play, I will decide which is more likely and position to neutralize it.

Do others take note of where the server is standing before she serves?
This is a great observation. I tend to serve from the exact same spot as I don't want to tip my hand on what serve I am going to do. However, I have noticed there are some players that move around a bit; especially 1st vs 2nd serves. I think I need to get into the habit of waiting until I see my server setup before I get into my ready position...
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
You know, I tried last night not checking to see my partner's serve position. I really tried it for a while (she was standing in a pretty conventional position).

But there were a couple of times I just had to check. See, the deuce opponent had a really sharp angle on her return, especially if the serve went up the T to her 1HBH. These were very challenging returns. When I was serving, I served from a wider position than normal to give myself a better chance.

So I simply *had* to check if my partner was going to serve from wider also. If she did, I wanted to be prepared for the middle to be more open than usual. And I didn't want to go ask her after she just got burned by a wide return she couldn't reach, which happened a few times -- she might wonder why I was asking or even take it as criticism or a suggestion.

So I went back to taking note of her serve position before she served. It just seemed like the easiest way to get the information.
You mean you couldn't tell where she had served from just by the trajectory of the ball?

Or from the positioning of the opponent?

When I'm the returner, if my opponent start his serve from out wide I'm standing in the doubles alley and if he serves from the middle I'm standing equidistant between the hash and the doubles alley. The server's partner should know where his server is standing because of that. And if that wasn't enough the ball coming into the court from a wide angle is a pretty good sign they served from out wide.

Anyway I'm still a believer that the primary job of the net person is to force the returners to make difficult angles and to prey on the weak return. You do that best by mirroring the returner so he can't hit straight ahead. It is irrelevant as to where your serving partner is. You react to the returner's movement and positioning.

Just like the returner's partner doesn't look back to see what his partner is doing, but looks at the server's partner and reacts to his movements.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I guess there are two ways to know where the server is standing before she serves.

One way is to take note of the trajectory of the ball after it passes from behind you toward the receiver, accounting for spin, of course, and determine the likely position of the server when she struck the serve based on your calculations.

Another way is to look at where she is standing before she serves.
 
I guess there are two ways to know where the server is standing before she serves.

One way is to take note of the trajectory of the ball after it passes from behind you toward the receiver, accounting for spin, of course, and determine the likely position of the server when she struck the serve based on your calculations.

Another way is to look at where she is standing before she serves.
The 3rd way is to infer it based on where the receiver stands.

The two indirect ways are imperfect. However, knowing where my serving partner is standing doesn't determine where the serve is going. My partner might lack the control and he also might try for a low % spot.

I don't look back because my partners don't change their service position that much.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
I know where they are.

And (other than me), I've never heard or seen anyone serve from the alley. Good on ya!

At my level, many opponents simply don't know where to stand when I set up to serve from the alley, and it's easy to get a few cheap points going out wide from that position. Sure, they eventually neutralize it somewhat with better positioning, but even when they return it, they are so far out of position after their return, there is a lot of open court for our next shot. People don't play doubles because they can get out that wide and then get back on the court quickly.
 
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