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Tennis Tip: Serving in Doubles

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Tennis Director of Nike Tennis Camps UK, James Auckland, is a former British no.1 Davis Cup player and doubles partner of Andy Murray, with recorded wins over 14 Grand Slam champions, including Rafael Nadal, John McEnroe and the Bryan Brothers.  James is also a highly respected coach, with a wealth of experience in training players of all abilities, from beginners through to professional players. James recently coached 2 Wimbledon doubles champions and the LTA men’s touring team.

With such an extensive professional background in tennis doubles, we decided to ask James to give us his top tips on serving in doubles. 

“Having been a top 100 doubles player on the ATP for many years, I often get asked questions about serving in doubles. Particularly, players often worry about letting their partner down or worry that no-one else will want to play with them if they keep losing their serve. That’s why these are my two top tennis tips for serving in doubles:

1. Stay in the process! It’s all too easy to start focusing on the outcome of the serve, such as where it lands, what its speed will be, and whether your opponents will miss it. All of these thoughts takes onus away from what you actually need to do to hit a great serve. Try focusing on the controllable elements such as having a high, straight ball toss and attacking the contact up rather than forcing the serve forwards.

2. You have a partner! Doubles is about playing as a team. Quite often the server loses their serve not because of their lack of ability, but because the team haven’t worked together to cover the court efficiently. If your partner isn’t playing many volleys off the return or hasn’t forced the returner to go for it down the line, then the serving team hasn’t done their job. It’s important to keep communicating as team in between points and change the formation at least twice every game to unnerve the returning team. You will find that your opponents miss more returns and you’ll get more free points without even hitting another ball!"

For more great tips, check out the Nike Tennis Camp at the National Tennis Centre in London, England and take your game to the next level this summer! 

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