Winning Doubles Patterns

Here are a series of doubles pattern you need to practice and execute during competitive play to get that winning edge over your opponents. Each pattern is punctuated by a winner and (for this narrative) an onomatopoeia for illustrative purposes.

  1. Serve and follow your serve into the net, hit your first volley cross-court (maintaining the direction of the return) for depth isolating the receiver of the serve at the baseline and then close and hit a hard angled cross-court volley for a winner. Zing!
  2. Serve and follow your serve into the net, hit your first volley cross-court for depth isolating the receiver of the serve at the baseline and then close and redirect the second volley down-the-line at the feet of your unsuspecting opponent positioned at the net for a winner. Bam!
  3. Hit the serve to the middle T. Your partner recognizing the value of your well-placed serve drifts to the middle of the court with your serve and then crosses on an angle towards the net to intercept the cross-court return with a down-the-line volley hit at the feet of your opponent positioned at the net. Thump!
  4. Now that you have honed your serve and can hit to any location upon demand, hit a serve to the outside corner of the service box. Your partner shifts towards the alley and back anticipating a defensive lob return. The serve returner responds with a defensive lob as anticipated and then your partner rears back with a drop step and hits a devastating overhead to the middle gap. Wham!
  5. Rather than serve and volley, hit your serve and stay back. The receiver hits the return cross court but doesn’t recognize that you are staying back and makes the fatal flaw of staying back as well. On the third shot of the point sequence, respond with a cross-court angled shot hit to the outside T (as defined by the service line and the singles sideline) effectively drawing the receiver in and to the outside of the court. On the fourth shot of the exchange, the receiver replies with a cross-court groundstroke which leads to your next shot – a lob hit over the partner of the serve returner. Close to the service line to create an impenetrable wall with your partner. The opposing team (both of whom are now in a difficult position to run down the lob) manage only a weak defensive lob reply. You or your partner (you can spin a racquet to determine who goes first) deals the final blow with an overhead to end the point. Pow!
  6. Respond to the serve with a lob return hit over the partner of the server (preferably with just enough arc and trajectory to clear the reach of your opponent but not with too much arc to allow for an easy rundown). As you close in after hitting the lob, your partner drifts to the middle of the court and closes slightly to pick off the responding lob reply with a devastating overhead. Kaboom!
  7. With your opponents both positioned at the net and you and your partner staggered (your partner up at the net and you back at the baseline), hit a low ball with topspin over the middle and low part of the net. Your partner positioned at the net closes to the middle of court and picks off the opponents reply with a searing and lethal volley. Zap!
  8. In a volley exchange with all four players positioned at the net, take a ball hit to you below your waist level and respond with a lob volley which is unfortunately not hit high enough or with disguise and is subsequently crushed with an overhead hit by your opponents. Let’s try this again in number 9 below. Yikes!
  9. In a volley exchange with all four players positioned at the net, take a ball hit to you below your waist level and respond with a lob volley hit over the head of your unsuspecting opponents. Maintain your net position but drop back with your partner slightly in anticipation of a weak lob reply. As expected your opponents manage only a weak lob response and you or your partner crush it with an overhead. Bang!
  10. On a “hunch” that the partner of the server is planning to cross to intercept your cross-court return, redirect the return of serve down-the-line with low net clearance (recognizing that the net is higher on the outside of the court) for a clear winner. One shot and it is over (what could be easier than that). Whack!

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