Sometimes during a doubles match, a team will occasional switch to the “Australian formation,” with the serving team’s net man (SP) standing on the same half of the court as the server to take away the crosscourt return of serve. But why not do it ALL the time?
Playing To Your Strengths
Assuming a right-handed server serving in the ad court, when the doubles opponent returns crosscourt, the ball will be one of the toughest shots in tennis… low at the server’s feet on his backhand side.
But if you set-up Aussie, your net man takes away that crosscourt shot and forces the ad court returner to go out of his groove/comfort zone and hit down the line … to the server’s and righty net man’s forehand!
And if the ad court returner happens to be a lefty, that ads to the rationale; because now you have a better chance of serving down the middle and stopping him from running around his backhand return.
Works For Lefties Too
When I pair up with lefty Bob Wilkie, we will frequently use this same tactic for him while he is serving in the deuce court. This formation then takes away the deuce court returner’s favorite crosscourt return and makes him go down the line to Bob’s lefty forehand.
Variety, The Spice of Life
But like most strategies, I think you should vary and not use the same formation on every play. You don’t want to let your opponents get into a new groove; so mixing it up helps.
What do you think?
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