Ten Basic Doubles Principles when in Command of the Net

  1. Crowd the center of the court (ensuring no balls pass you down the middle). Make your opponents try to beat you with lower percentage shots hit out wide (to the alleys).
  2. Balls hit down the middle (including lobs) should be taken by forehand, strongest player or player closest to net.
  3. Balls hit from a cross court direction should be taken by player opposite flight of ball.
  4. Player who last hit shot is in best position to take next shot in rapid exchange.
  5. Never let the ball bounce (only exception is a high arcing lob that lands short of the service line).
  6. When presented with an easy volley or overhead, hit to an opening or directly at the feet of the opponent closest to the net. Do not hit at hips or shoulders, giving your opponent an opportunity to get a racquet on the ball.
  7. In response to more difficult shots, hit deep and down the middle to the feet of the player furthest from the net.
  8. Close in after a good shot. Never hit two volleys from the same spot.
  9. When opponents are both at the baseline, volley with authority deep and down the middle to draw a weak response and open up the court. Play for openings and hit hard for angles. Do not hit short volleys or drop shots to draw opponents up.
  10. Close in to hit your volleys (preferably on a diagonal line) to more effectively finish the point. Move and close in to cut off the ball, prevent the ball from dropping below the net and to afford your opponents less time to respond.

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