The Server's partner
In advanced doubles (I always teach this to ALL my players) the
partner to the player serving should stand about 1 foot (30 cm) inside
the service line. Upon hearing the ball being hit by the server, the partner should start to move slowly towards the net. They should do
a split-spring when the opponent takes their racquet back to hit the ball.
This strategy has a couple of benefits.
1/. At club level, it means the partner does not need to worry
so much about the possibility of the server hitting them with the ball.
Many club players – because they are too near the net, then move towards the side line to be out of the way of the ball; they then
become stuck there not knowing what to do next.
2/. It is easier to react quickly from the split-spring as the
momentum is already established. Lots of players don’t react quick
because they are static with their feet glued to the court.
As the opponent hits the ball back, presuming they are going cross
court, the player should first recover back and at the same time turn
and face the opposing net player; this player will tell you much about the next shot from your partner. If they make an early move, you
can be sure the ball is going to their racquet; if they don’t react then the ball in all probability is going back cross court.
The Receiver's partner
The receiver’s partner should stand on the Hot Spot, this is on the service line approximately half way between the centre and side line.
This is the best place to cut off the available angles from the opposing net player, although if the ball goes to the opponent for an easy
hit, they will probably hit the ball past you.
As your receiving partner returns the ball, you should move towards the net to possibly cut out the return.
Therefore it is obvious that both net players should be moving in unison, whilst one moves forward the other moves back.
This is the major challenge for players up to club level – they
generally seem to want to position themselves and then stay there. Get
them to move and you have increased their potential considerably.
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