Volleying after crouching down during partner's serve

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
My partner hits a hard, fast first serve and asked that I crouch down close to the alley so he doesn't hit me in the back. The serve is pretty effective, but when the opponent does get it back with a decent return how are you supposed to move to poach or hit a volley? When should you spring up and should you still try and do a split step or just spring up and try to move towards the volley? There were a few times the return went DTL and I felt off balance hitting the volley. Also I felt a bit uncomfortable poaching or just in general for the 1st second or so after standing up
 

Richboi

Rookie
My partner hits a hard, fast first serve and asked that I crouch down close to the alley so he doesn't hit me in the back. The serve is pretty effective, but when the opponent does get it back with a decent return how are you supposed to move to poach or hit a volley? When should you spring up and should you still try and do a split step or just spring up and try to move towards the volley? There were a few times the return went DTL and I felt off balance hitting the volley. Also I felt a bit uncomfortable poaching or just in general for the 1st second or so after standing up
Seems like he needs to stand a little more wide. I usually don’t need to crouch when I’m close to the center of the service box. You definitely don’t need to crouch if you are near the alley. I think crouching is only done near the “I” formation.

It will be tough to feel out but I’d say to just come up and be ready when the returner is split stepping


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tonylg

Hall of Fame
Depends how fast your reflexes are. I just jump up when I hear the serve. Don't think I've ever been hit by a ball that was going to clear the net.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I was thinking that your partner is serving too close the to center mark. You can do that in singles, but in doubles you’re just asking for a cross court return winner. You shouldn’t have crouch down, unless you guys are running Australian or I-formation plays.

I stand near the alley when I play doubles, it’s more than enough space for any decent player to serve. He should have better control of his serve or just stick to singles.
 

EddieBrock

Semi-Pro
I was thinking that your partner is serving too close the to center mark. You can do that in singles, but in doubles you’re just asking for a cross court return winner. You shouldn’t have crouch down, unless you guys are running Australian or I-formation plays.

I stand near the alley when I play doubles, it’s more than enough space for any decent player to serve. He should have better control of his serve or just stick to singles.
You're probably right, but his 1st serve is pretty effective and we got a lot of missed returns. When they did get the return in play he did have to do a lot of running and after crouching down so much my legs are exhausted today. Maybe I'll suggest that he adjust his stance for the future, but I wasn't going to tell me where to stand when it was working well. I just wish I could have done a better job at getting ready for the return.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
My partner hits a hard, fast first serve and asked that I crouch down close to the alley so he doesn't hit me in the back. The serve is pretty effective, but when the opponent does get it back with a decent return how are you supposed to move to poach or hit a volley? When should you spring up and should you still try and do a split step or just spring up and try to move towards the volley? There were a few times the return went DTL and I felt off balance hitting the volley. Also I felt a bit uncomfortable poaching or just in general for the 1st second or so after standing up
You see the ball cross the net, you spring up and charge towards the net in the same motion (using your crouched legs as a spring), then you low and wide split step at the net as they're about to hit. When you recognize where the ball is going, you push off your legs hard towards the direction they hit and stick your racket out, similar to how you pushed out of your crouched position towards the net.

Sounds like your partner may be standing too close to center court when he serves.
If you actually communicate with your partner and work with them as much as you're supposed to, closer to the center is better. It shrinks the court for the returner, making the net player much more effective.

Of course, if you don't trust each other and don't talk to each other, serving from wider is probably better since you force the opponent to cover more angles on the first shot (if you have good spin serves). It also opens up more angles for the returner, but you're in a better position to split the job of covering the court with your partner. There are ups and downs to both setups.
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
You see the ball cross the net, you spring up and charge towards the net in the same motion (using your crouched legs as a spring), then you low and wide split step at the net as they're about to hit. When you recognize where the ball is going, you push off your legs hard towards the direction they hit and stick your racket out, similar to how you pushed out of your crouched position towards the net.



If you actually communicate with your partner and work with them as much as you're supposed to, closer to the center is better. It shrinks the court for the returner , making the net player much more effective.

Of course, if you don't trust each other and don't talk to each other, serving from wider is probably better since you force the opponent to cover more angles on the first shot (if you have good spin serves). It also opens up more angles for the returner, but you're in a better position to split the job of covering the court with your partner. There are ups and downs to both setups.
You can still give T serves and body serves from rather wide position, without exposing a full half of the court + an alley to CC returns.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
You can still give T serves and body serves from rather wide position, without exposing a full half of the court + an alley to CC returns.
You can also go into their backhand from the center without giving them an angle to use and slide the serve into the deuce court.

The argument goes both ways. If serving from the center was so incredibly bad, then pros wouldn't use it at all, yet they do it incredibly often.

And you're not exposing a full half of the court. You're giving up the alley, which is done often in doubles anyways.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
You can also go into their backhand from the center without giving them an angle to use and slide the serve into the deuce court.

The argument goes both ways. If serving from the center was so incredibly bad, then pros wouldn't use it at all, yet they do it incredibly often.

And you're not exposing a full half of the court. You're giving up the alley, which is done often in doubles anyways.
If you serve to my BH from the hash or from around the alley, I can return it at least towards the alley corner, it’s not a crazy angle difference.
However, if you serve from deuce court standing at center hash, you have a full half court open for my return, lot of ground to cover if I manage to pull out good I/O backhand.
Pros serve from center in doubles when they switch a lot, particularly in I formation. For second serves you typically see more traditional serving position allowing for better coverage of the court.
 
If you serve to my BH from the hash or from around the alley, I can return it at least towards the alley corner, it’s not a crazy angle difference.
However, if you serve from deuce court standing at center hash, you have a full half court open for my return, lot of ground to cover if I manage to pull out good I/O backhand.
Pros serve from center in doubles when they switch a lot, particularly in I formation. For second serves you typically see more traditional serving position allowing for better coverage of the court.
You're very right. Unless you're doing some kind of special formation play, serving from the center line makes no sense.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
I never serve from as wide at the alley, particularly on the deuce side. If you serve and volley, it's effectively taking the long route.
 
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