The Common Denominator

Last Saturday, we had some great doubles! With all the holiday travels going on, I put together four of us who were about equal; but had never played together. And the results were very surprising.

We agreed to pairings for the first set; and if it was “more than a one-break difference” would then rotate partners.

It turns out that my partner and I won that set 6-2. So we rotated partners.

In the second set, my new partner and I won 6-2. So we rotated partners.

In the third set, my last partner and I won 6-1.

What was The Common Denominator?

No, not me. We were, in fact, all about equal. The difference was: communications and poaching!

In every set, my partner and I agreed to talk and/or give signals at the net and aggressively moved to win many easy points. In every case, the opposition just played straight up, with no signals and very little poaching.

This was a great, little test situation that showed the positive impact that good partner communications and aggressive net play can produce in a doubles match.

My last partner was a successful singles tournament player and had never used signals before in doubles; but he became “converted” to the concept.

For those players who just say to you, “No, I don’t do signals… you just go whenever you want” are missing out on a critical success element in the game. If you don’t, experiment.

3 thoughts on “The Common Denominator

  1. Very interesting. I watched a good part of those matches and agree with George that all players were at the same level.

  2. Excellent points George!

    A team that’s poaching will always distract opponents and invariably affect the quality of their returns.


  3. Yes, I believe that signals and communication make a difference. First, it gives a focus during service games to each point, fully engages both partners. And then, it produces ongoing thinking about each game.

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