By Nick Bollettieri
The main difference between doubles and singles is that doubles is a game of court positioning. Singles is more about shot making and the building of points through shot combinations. Doubles has two players on each side of the court, which automatically means less open space. Singles will have more violations due to the fact that more open space requires movement. In doubles, the reduced court space limits creativity and results in specific shots being hit more often.
Three quick Tips:
* On the return of service, go cross court 99% of the time unless the server’s partner poaches often.
* When opponents are at the net or in trouble, you must remember you have a partner so lob, lob, lob! In general, you will use the skill or specialty shots more often in doubles such as the lob, sharp angle, chip shot, and more. You must work on the touch shots to become a good doubles player.
* When in trouble, hit to the center of the court.
When determining which player should serve the first set, you must remember that this is the beginning of teamwork. You have to weigh the options and consider the circumstances, especially if both players have equal serves. For instance, if you don’t like to serve when the toss goes into the sun, make sure you take this into consideration as to whether or not you want to serve first. Sometimes weaker servers want the wind behind them. In general, the strongest server serves first to highlight teams’ strengths. Sometimes, you consider the net player as well and who is best at holding service.
There are three common communication mistakes to remember in doubles.
1. Constantly blaming a partner
2. Partners never saying a word to each other and playing each point as if they were playing singles
3. Asking the partner for forgiveness after making a mistake
Use positive communication about how partners can protect each other can help set up necessary strategies.
One more thing, if you want test your relationship with your spouse or significant other, take it from me, play mixed doubles. You will either break up or stay together forever.