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Tennis Anyone
September 1999 Article

Contact John Mills

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When to Stay Back in Doubles

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

In doubles, when is it a good time for both you and your partner to stay back behind the baseline?

  • When your team is having a difficult time returning serve. It is possible that you are returning well, but your partner is not. In this case, you can keep your partner on the service line when you are receiving and stay behind the baseline when your partner is receiving.

  • When you are getting constantly attacked and being overpowered by a team it would be smart to stay behind the baseline together to start the point.

  • When you and your partner are at the net and your opponent throws up a lob completely over your heads, it is smart for both of you to go back to the baseline together. The player who is in the best position to return the lob should call it and his partner should occupy the other half of the court behind the baseline.

  • When you are near the net and your partner, on the baseline throws up a short lob, move back behind the baseline and defend.

Please take note that in these cases it is time to retreat to the baseline. This does not mean you need to play the entire point from the baseline. When your team receives a short ball or you end up lobbing your opponent off the net, move in together and finish the point attacking the net.

Have fun on the court!

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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