Tennis Doubles Serving Position Explained
In this particular lesson, I want to discuss the starting position of the server, his job responsibilities and what he must be concentrated on and watching for as the point starts and progresses.
The server in doubles should serve from the wider position versus singles. I prefer to have you stand a touch wider than half way between the center mark and the doubles line.
As soon as you serve, your responsibility would be to handle your portion of the court and by beginning here it should put you in position for doing that with minimal recovery motion. Bear in mind, it will always be safer to hit the ball back to where it originated from than alter the direction of the ball. Therefore, the more you serve wide the more you will need to consider covering the wide angle return. You’ll need two things planned before you serve; where you are about to target your serve and where you are intending to go after you hit your serve. When deciding your serve target, I break the service box down into three areas; A, B and C. A will stand for the section nearest to the Alley, B will represent the center section for a serve to the Body, and C will be the part nearest the Center.
When serving to the “deuce side” or the right side, your main target needs to be the “C” part of the court. You’ll be serving to your opponents backhand (for a right handed opponent) and reducing the angles of return that may allow your partner to move out into the court and take more balls. Your second best serve will be to the “B” section, looking to jam the returner. Again it cuts down the angles and doesn’t enable the returner to get their arms spread out to make the shot. The final choice ought to be the “A” section. When serving here you are serving into a right handed players forehand (commonly a strength), opening up your partners line for a passing shot and as we spoke of earlier, it can be better to return the ball back to where it came from consequently it opens up the cross court return too. It’s critical however to utilize all the different serves to help keep your opponent off balance, but tend toward the greater percentage ones.
Things change a bit on the “ad” court or the left side. Your first target should be the “B” section or the serve to the body. This keeps your opponent from stretching out his/her arms while lowering the return angles. The second ideal target is the “C” section. While it’s to your right handed opponent’s forehand, it helps to keep the angles on the returns down by keeping the ball toward the center of the court and in addition puts your partner in a better position to poach and take more balls. Again the last option is usually wide to the “A” section which opens up your partner’s alley and in addition opens up the angled return cross court.
We will discuss the X Factors during a different lesson which takes into account the other players good and bad points when these targets may change. When you are walking into a match not knowing your competitors, it is always good to begin with percentage tennis as discussed above and adjust your game when you take in further information.
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