How do you line up (deuce vs. ad court) and play the match with a superior doubles partner?  That is what I did this past week and will do next week in two Florida tournaments.

Deuce vs. Ad?

For two Sarasota tournaments, I am teamed with one of the top players, Hank Irvine, who I played with last year for the same two events.  Last year, I played my “regular” position in the ad court and Hank moved over to the deuce side; because he said he wanted me to play “where I was most comfortable.”

But at one of the January tournaments, I watched Hank play the ad court with his regular partner, Evert Jonsson; and Hank’s play was far superior to what mine is.  So I suggested that this year we switch sides; and I move to the deuce court.

Right For Many Reasons

While Hank’s backhand crosscourt return is better than mine (which is also pretty good), that is not what made the biggest difference.  With both of us being right-handed, it was now HIS forehand over the middle during points … HIS forehand volley … HIS forehand hitting overheads … etc.

So my job was to play my consistent game, get the ball in a tough position for our opponents, set up my partner, and have him put the ball away (“YOURS!”).  Which, when you think about it, is really the job of every doubles partner.

And The Results…

At the Payne Park tournament this week (with near record high temperatures), we were seeded #1 and had a first-round bye on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, we played a good team of Glen Gibson (Colorado) and Billy Koziol (Texas); and coasted to a 6-0, 6-1 victory.

Yesterday, we played a crafty team of Roland Klieve and John Rench (former Wisconsin QB) who upset a couple of good teams on their way to the finals.  But I kept shouting “YOURS!” and Hank and I took the championship 6-2, 6-4.

How have you handled playing with a superior partner (or being one)?

Today, Hank is also in the singles finals vs. Bob Royden.  For all the results, just click HERE.

Next Week: We move up the road a bit to play the tournament at The Meadows CC, also in Sarasota, and are #2 seeds vs. a tougher field.  For those details, click HERE

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2 thoughts on ““YOURS!”

  1. I prefer the Ad court as I am happy to let my partner have the freedom to ‘go for it’ & I’ll try to build on that or play carefully if we’re behind in the game. I think this is doubly important on the Deuce/Ad points. I find that at our level it’s usually possible to run round the backhand & chip a cross-court forehand return of serve towards the tramlines, or simply send up a lob return especially if the opponents are facing the sun.
    I wish we had some of that Florida sun George – I’m hibernating until the end of March !

    Howard, as they say, “be careful what you wish for,” it was 85 degrees and humid yesterday. george

  2. I play best on the Deuce side. When playing with a better player, I usually suggest they play the Ad side. When playing with a worse player I used offer to play the Ad side and let them play the Deuce. BUT, I have found that it seems to work best when the worse player plays wherever he is most comfortable, and (on those rare occasions when I’m the better player) I play the other side. I’ve found that ESPECIALLY when each player prefers a different side to just go that way – even if that means the better player is on the Deuce and the worse player is on the Ad.

    Terry. That was Hank’s philosophy, so we shall see more next week! Thanks. George

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