ATP: Quick Guide to the Art of Doubles Play

  1. Manage the ‘real estate’ by understanding the 80% Rule.�80% of shots are in a 2-metre circle around the centre serve box!  Given a choice to defend always move to protect the centre of the court.  You might not make the shot even so you’ll have a play most times!
  2. Doubles is a Team Sport because one player gets to stand in a winning position without hitting a ball! The server’s, and the receiver’s job is to get the ball to their partner at the net. So much easier to win points at the net!
  3. Be a  ‘Threat” by your court presence.  Impose yourself when you’re at the net to intimidate the opposition.  For example Howard (big guy dominating the net) or Netto (fast guy moving around on the net) can cause opponents to make more errors!
  4. 80% First Serves.�Take a little off your first serve to start the point and serve 2/3 of your serves preferably to the opponent’s weaker side. Statswise, you’re more likely to win the point, you have more time to reach your volley position AND your partner has a greater chance of hitting a winning volley — a threefer! Besides your opposition is much more apprehensive about returning the first serve.
  5. Deep to Deep, Short to Short.�When you’re deep behind the baseline, simply return the balls higher over the net and deep within your opponent’s court.  A lob is a great shot to accomplish this particularly when your opponents are at the net.  Conversely, when you are drawn forward into the service box, try to keep the ball short, and preferably on the ground, so your opponents have to hit up — and you can volley down to finish the point.

MTC Tennis Whisperer