There are some doubles partners (me) who like to suggest things to do on the court DURING THE MATCH. Is this an OK, and legal, thing to do or not?
Strategy vs. Strokes
I am all in favor of doubles partners talking about “what’s happening on the court?” and what they can/should do to change a losing game. It all goes back to my favorite Hank Irvine-ism: when faced with a losing effort, he says, ask “And, what did you do about it?”
- If the opponent is killing you on hard cross court service returns, play Australian.
- If the opponent has a huge serve, stand way back; or even play two back on their first serve.
- If they are lobbing frequently and successfully, the net man should start a few steps back.
But in a different vein, there are some players who insist on giving their partners on-court lessons on “how to hit the ball.” And they take the time during play to “educate” their partner on how to volley better, hit overheads better, etc.
Is this OK? According to one tournament player friend of mine, he says: Not only is it disruptive to the play of the match that it is actually against the rules!
I asked two different tournament umpires; and they say it is not a problem or violation (they did not discuss the “delay of game” aspect). In my opinion, it is better to save the stroke instruction for off the court and after the match.
What do YOU think?
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