Top of Mind

I LOVE THIS STRATEGY. The strategy emphasizes the importance of not changing the direction of the ball. Amateur players are obsessed with constantly changing the direction of the ball. It's almost like you get bored of hitting the same shot over and over again, so you try a new one. This is a really bad habit that if you can break will immediately make you a better doubles player. When I was playing on tour I would spend 98% of a doubles practice hitting cross court shots. In matches, I would only attempt to hit down the line when I knew someone was poaching or when the ball was sitting up like a dead duck waiting for me to hit it. I had to feel like I had all the time in the world to line up the shot otherwise it went cross court or thru the middle.

I am also surprised at how often recreational players try to volley at the person at the net when the opponents are one up and one back. Volleyers should keep the ball crosscourt or to the baseliner the majority of the time, continuing to apply pressure to the baseliner until they elicit a high ball that they can hit at the net player. The ball may also be directed at the volleyer if they are backing up and are moving towards no man's land. A fundamental rule of doubles is if you are volleying from below the level of the net hit the ball to the baseliners. If you are

volleying from above the level of the net you have the option of hitting the ball at the net person.

From Gigi Fernandez