Presented by Jeff Wallace, Camp Director
Nike Tennis Camp at University of Georgia (Girls)
Doubles Tennis Strategy – The Role of the Server's Partner
Doubles Tip: The Role of the Server’s Partner
The role of the server’s partner is of immense importance. They should take the responsibility for the server’s holding serve personally. Two of the biggest issues with being an effective server’s partner are (1) positioning and (2) eye discipline.
The server’s partner needs to find the “sweet spot” in the box. If you are too close to the net, the returner can easily lob you and create confusion between you and your partner. Likewise, if you are too close to the singles line/doubles alley, then 3/4 of the court is left up to your partner to cover. On the flip side however, if you’re too far back from the net, the returner can put balls at your feet, which lead to easy volleys for the returner’s partner. But if you’re too close to the middle, a return up-the-line can lead to a quick point for your opponents. You want to be close enough to the net to put some pressure on the returner and close enough to the middle to take away the easy return.
(2) Eye Discipline
The server’s partner must maintain strong eye discipline. When the ball goes past the server’s partner, the biggest mistake that players make is to turn around and look at their partner hitting the ball. This allows the opposing team to move more freely towards a poaching shot, and puts the server’s partner in danger of getting poached on and possibly hit by a ball. Always keep your eyes looking forward! If the ball is behind you, focus on the opposing net player because they have the first play on your partner’s shot (they’re closest to the ball). If the ball gets past the opposing net player, move closer to the net and keep your eyes on the baseline player. Always look forward!
For more great doubles strategy and instruction from Coach Wallace and his amazing staff, get in on the action this summer at University of Georgia!