When playing doubles, the middle of the road, (or court, in this case) is a good spot
I love it when my partner says “yours” right after it goes by and I have no chance to react. Has that ever happened to you? What I should ask is, how many times does that happen to you in a game?
I encourage players to play doubles like they do singles. Get everything you can and really over-cover the middle of the court. Be active and aggressive when you can and help your partner, not just take up space and rely on your partner.
Let’s talk about the middle of the court. It is the safest area for your opponents to hit in because it is over the lowest part of the net and it is the farthest distance from out of bounds. It confuses the enemy on the other side, and it requires one of the players to take the shot in the middle. “Yours!”
I think both players should over-cover the middle. Make the opponents hit the alleys where it’s nearer out of bounds over the higher part of the net. I’ll bet you draw more errors this way. Also, don’t be afraid to cut in front of your partner and hit a winner. It also cuts down on your opponents’ reaction time if you can get the ball back to their side more quickly. Be aggressive and have some fun.
I think both players on a team should “hug” the middle of the court. Give the appearance that the middle is covered and make the opponents go somewhere else. And be mentally leaning toward that “somewhere else” to cover that part of the court as well. It will drive your opponents crazy.
And get out and play singles once a week for practice. It improves your rhythm, it makes you cover every ball, it gets you in better shape, and maybe most importantly, no one at which to yell, “Yours!”
Hope to see you on the courts soon. Come by the pro shop for any of your tennis needs. Or set a lesson with one of our great pros. We will help you to cure all bad habits.
Tracy Townsend is a resort tennis expert, and his company 30A Tennis manages Seaside Tennis on behalf of the Seaside Community Development Corp. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (850) 231-2214. For news, events and court conditions, find Seaside Tennis on Facebook.
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