Everyone who plays doubles has heard the saying, “Down the middle solves the riddle.” That usually is thought about while hitting groundstrokes at two players at the net; but according to one tennis pro, it starts with serve placement.
Where to Serve?
Teaching pro Howie Burnett writes in his book “Net Notes” “The placement of your serve in a doubles match determines the amount of court that you and your partner are required to cover.
“Look carefully at the section of the net the ball must cross to land in the court on a service return in doubles. A ball served to the center service line with a reasonable amount of speed must be returned over the center 50% of the net in order to land safely back in the serving team’s court.
“The restrictions that serving target places on the receiver enables the server’s partner to virtually abandon covering the alley and drift toward the center strap to intercept the return as a crosses that center area of the net.
“Conversely, a ball served wide that isn’t played with devastating power or hideous spin forces the server’s partner to move well toward the alley to cover the shot over the far edge of the net; and also invites the returner to play a sharp angle cross court over the very lowest part of the net and quite possibly out of the reach of the server.
“The very best doubles players play to the middle as an ongoing discipline, beginning with the serve and continuing throughout each point they play, until or unless their opponents err in their positioning and can be exploited with a low risk and high benefit shot selection.”
Where do YOU usually serve in doubles?
St. Pete Tournament
From Jerry Ratledge, “I can now confirm that our tournament has been officially cancelled. We reluctantly concluded that the risks of holding a large, Level 2, National & International tournament during an escalating pandemic are simply too great. We look forward to a fun, safe, and normalized tournament in 2022. Suzanne and I hope to be fully retired by then but wish the new TD and committee a very successful tournament.”
Well, I have been blessed with “the early bird special” … have to be at the hospital tomorrow morning at 5:30 am for a scheduled 7:30 operation start (that is if someone else’s heart emergency doesn’t pre-empt that).
Thanks for your good wishes and good thoughts … I am now planning my aggressive rehab schedule to get back to life and on the court as soon as possible!
P.S. So this site will be quiet until I am back on my computer!
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