A few weeks ago, we busted a few myths about the rules for doubles tennis in my article “Myth Busting.” In that post, I concluded that the bottom-line tennis doubles strategy is this: know what your doubles team’s strongest formation is, and find a way to get there as often as possible.
Today, we’re going to look at the second staggered formation, one-up at the net ad side, one-back at the baseline deuce side. If this is your team’s best formation (and you are both right-handed), one of you has a stronger forehand ground stroke than backhand, and the other is confident and aggressive at the net (a predator!); and in general, you want one player to play the baseline deuce-side and the other to rule the net. So how do you get into this formation on every point? Here are some ideas – but get creative and have fun with it!
1. On the baseliner’s serve from ad: Use the ‘I’ formation so that the predator starts squatting center court and moves left after the serve, and the server moves right into the deuce court at the baseline.
2. On the predator’s serve from ad: Serve and volley; the baseliner starts and stays back.
3. On the predator’s serve from deuce: Use the ‘Aussie’ formation with both players starting on the baseline in the deuce court; the server serves from the ‘T’, serves and volleys.
4. On the predator’s return from ad: Both start back and the returner returns deep cross court, down the line, or lobs over the net person in order to have time to then get to the net.
Play with these ideas and create your own, and you’ll find yourselves in your strongest formation more often than you think. With this tennis doubles strategy, the higher your percent of winning points.