If you and just one other player want to practice serving, returning, volleying and hitting small targets… Crosscourt Doubles is a good game to play. Some people call it “Ghost Doubles” or “One-on-One Doubles,” but it is a game with just two people playing.
Here are the “rules”:
• You draw a line that extends the center service line to the center T on the baseline (using the line brush, your racquet or just your foot).
• The game is played crosscourt only and the doubles alleys are in play.
• Normal scoring with the server starting in the deuce court and the point is played deuce court to deuce court only
• The server has to come in behind their first and second serve (to get the maximum practice)
Why it’s a good practice game…
• The server gets good practice coming in behind their serve every time and is forced to make that first volley, usually at the top of the service box
• The returner doesn’t have to worry about the opposing net man poaching, so he can concentrate on grooving a nice, low, crosscourt return of serve.
• Both players have very small windows of opportunity where they can hit the ball; so it really helps on accuracy of shots.
• Since lobbing is allowed, there is good work on an effective lob and overhead.
• And since the returner is also allowed to come to the net, there can be good “nose to nose” volleying.
There are a couple of weaknesses to the game:
• A good shot down the middle can end up just on the “wrong side” of the center line and be out, but it was still a good shot.
• And players have to be very disciplined not to hit into the “open court,” which is out of play.
Have you ever played it? Try it, you’ll like it!
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