Younger tennis players don’t really worry about “who covers the lob.” But the rest of us are just not as mobile; so when you and your partner are at the net, you need to understand the proper roles and proper “staggering.”
Gigi Fernandez Says…
The former world #1 doubles player writes in Tennis magazine, “When I played, I was able to cover my half of the court as well as my partner’s side. For us, staggering was not only unnecessary, but also ineffective. But that’s just not the case with recreational doubles.”
She points out – what I have been trying to do for several years now – that the player on the side where the ball is (player A in the diagram) should be tighter to the net and is the aggressor. While his partner on the other side (player B) should be staggered slightly back further – and ready to cover the lob.
And if both opponents are on the baseline, as the ball moves from their deuce court to their ad court, you and your partner should change roles and positioning; so that the player on the side of the ball is always tighter to the net than the other.
“Proper staggering,” she writes “takes away the crosscourt lob and angle from your opponent. It also helps resolve any confusion over whose ball it is; the front player always gets a chance at the incoming ball first.”
Is this how YOU play doubles?
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