Warm-up With Your Partner?

You go on the doubles court and flip a racquet to make the serving/receiving choice BEFORE you start your warm-up; then you and your partner go to the proper side and warm-up against your opponents.  But SHOULD you?

Warm-up WITH Your Own Partner

Regular reader Winder Bill writes,

I watched online the UVA vs UNC men’s NCAA tennis championships finals and noted that the doubles teams did not warm up with their opponents; but with each other.  After each team warmed up, the 3 doubles matches started without any hitting with the opposing teams.

“How would that translate into our senior doubles tournaments?  First, the typical 5 or 10 minute warm up would happen with your partner across the net and you are next to one of your opponents.  Switching from straight ahead hitting to crosscourt and then when to start serving warmup would need good communication and cooperation.

“What are the rules – can you insist on hitting with your partner or do the opponents have to agree?  Same rules for USTA as ITF?

My Thoughts

With your own partner, you can have a much more “cooperative warm-up”, getting just the shots you each want to work on.  But you would miss the “intelligence gathering” that can come during the first hit with unknown opponents.

Another plus, you could all warm-up your serves on the side that you will be actually serving from during the match.

What do you think?  Anyone know the rules?

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6 thoughts on “Warm-up With Your Partner?

  1. USTA Code of Conduct
    Warm-up is not practice. A player should provide the opponent a warm-up of five to ten
    minutes. If a player declines to warm up the opponent, the player forfeits the right to a warm-
    up, and the opponent may warm up with another person. Some players confuse warm-up and
    practice. Each player should try to hit shots directly to the opponent. (If partners want to warm
    each other up while their opponents are warming up, they may do so.)

    Mark, great! I play vs a guy who CRUSHES the ball during warm-up. no fun. thanks, george

  2. Actually like idea of warming up with partner for a better warm up. Often don’t feel like I get a good warm up if courts all taken and have to go right on court.

    Howie, and what is worse is rushing to get onto the court. see you soon. george

  3. I have seen this occasionally done before. Come to think of it, I think I have seen it at other NCAA matches but also a few times at USTA tournament/ league matches. I know of no rule against it. I think you have captured all of the pros and cons already on your post.

    Marty, a succinct Sunday comment! thanks, george

  4. Intelligence gathering is much more important unless you know your opponents games very well. Of course you have to be very good at gathering the intelligence or it’s meaningless.

    Fred, yes, the question is… how much do you focus on your own warm-up vs watching your new opponent. thanks, george

  5. George,

    Although I am primarly, first and foremost, preferably and quite committedly a singles player I, too, am about the “intelligence gathering” which can be provided during warm up. When I was coaching the local high school girls tennis team I pointed out that warm up the time when some very basic things can be learned: Which is stronger/weaker, forehand or backhand — groundstrokes and/or volleys. I would advise them to hit a half-dozen or so in a row to their opponent’s forehand, then a similar number to his/her backhand and make a determination on which to focus on early in the match. I love it when my opponent asks for some lobs for overhead practice. I hit three or four in a row to his forehand side; then a couple over his backhand side just to confirm that he, like most of us, cannot put the ball away with a backhand smash. I have found it a great advantage to determine that my opponent’s backhand is stronger or more consistent than his forehand (albeit a minority situation) well before the first set is half over and the score in his favor. To me, warm up takes place sometime during the first three games of the first set. So call it warm up, if you please; but I prefer calling it “try to learn something that may help you win time.” Warm up is what walls are for and most clubs have one. So warm up there, then do some intelligence gathering while your opponents are “warming up.” Just me, the eternal iconoclast here.

    Bernie, another intelligence gathering trick i learned… hit the ball down the middle to your opponent and see which side he chooses to hit, which should tell you which he prefers. thanks, george

  6. Warming up prior to a match with teammates and starting right off in the match is the direction D 1 Men’s college tennis has gone. Seems to work well

    Coach, thanks, george

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