7 Ways to Get to the Net Effectively

By Mary Pat Faley

In doubles tennis, “the party is at the net!” Ain’t it the truth. Now, how do you get there at the right time when it’s not exactly your bread and butter? You wait for an invitation, either one your opponent gives you or one you create yourself. The latter, creating the invitation yourself, is like “crashing the party.” This method forces the issue and takes time away from your opponent.

Here are 7 great ways to get to the net:

  1. By hitting an approach shot. This is when your opponent hits a short ball to you landing inside the service line. This is the most common way to get to the net. For how to properly hit an approach shot, see my video on the Women’s Tennis Network.
  2. By serve and volleying. This is when you decide in advance that you are going to serve and follow the ball to the net. You shoulr practice doing this so you have the ability to do it if you need it.
  3. By chipping and charging. That is done after your opponent hits a serve (usually a second serve or slow first serve) and you slice the ball to keep it low while you charge the net. Same as above: practice it often and put this tool in your toolkit.
  4. By hitting a short-angled roll shot. You must hit the outside of the ball to make the ball go short and wide, preferably inside the service box. It pulls your opponent well outside the singles sideline, bringing her out of position, allowing you time to get in.
  5. By hitting a deep moon ball. You must hit the ball three racquet lengths over the net with topspin to create a good bounce towards the back fence. You then can sneak into the net and take her pop-up as a winner.
  6. By hitting a very deep groundstroke. Hitting the ball deep puts your opponent in a defensive position and allows you to take one or two steps inside the court.
  7. By hitting a drop shot. You hit a drop shot so that your opponent has to run all the way in from the baseline. You run in at the same time and split step at the service line to handle the defensive shot she sends back.

If you are not comfortable at the net, it’s time to get over it and learn how to be effective up there. To progress to the next level of your game, you need to dominate the net and either be the life of the “party” or crash it. Good luck!

To learn more of these great tips, check out MP’s book, Winning in Tennis & Life: How To Execute Your Strategy On & Off the Court.