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A Winning Plan: Give Your Doubles a Solid Foundation

Hitting lobs is crucial in doubles.


By Greg Moran

Know the Three Winners: In high-level doubles, you’ll win most of your points with three shots.

1. At the Feet: When you have a chance to pick off the opposing net player with a volley, don’t go for a clean winner. Instead, aim for his or her feet. It’s a clear target and at worst, you’ll have to hit another, easier volley if your opponent pops the ball up in the air.

2. Over the Head: If a net player is crowding the net, hit over his or her head. This will give you and your partner time to reset and push your opponents out of the offensive position.

3. Down the Middle: This is an ideal shot if you’re at the baseline. A low, hard shot down the middle will often confuse the opposing net team and result in an error or an easy shot for you or your partner to attack.

Step Up Your Serve: A great doubles serve puts accuracy and consistency over power

1. Serve for the Set-Up: In doubles, a great serve will keep your opponents off balance and set up your partner for offensive volleys. By “great,” I don’t mean powerful. In doubles, accuracy and consistency are the most important aspects to the serve.

2. Use a Continental Grip: Every good serve starts with a Continental grip. Find it by holding your racquet perpendicular to the court and placing the knuckle of your index finger on the first bevel to the right of center.

3. Pick Your Spots: The two best serves in doubles are down the T and at the body. The T serve limits the angles at which your opponent can return serve. The body serve will jam your opponent and create opportunities to volley for your partner.

Master These Shots: These three specialty shots will come in handy during every doubles match you play.

1. Lob: There are two kinds of lobs: The aggressive topspin lob, which you can hit from an offensive position, and the traditional slice or block lob, which you can use in both defensive and offensive situations. This lob is easier to control and place deep, which is key in doubles.

2. Half Volley: The half volley is vital when moving to the net or reacting to a volley from an opponent. Use a Continental grip and get low to the ground when hitting it. The swing is short and controlled. Hit the ball out in front.

3. Chip: The chip is easy to control and gives you time to move into the net. It can be hit with a Continental or Eastern forehand grip. Swing high to low to apply underspin and step into the shot. Your weight should be moving forward so you can close the net after your follow-through.




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