Quantcast
nodot nodot
Wild Cards
June 2002 Article

Latest Wild Cards Article

Wild Cards Archives:
2004 - 2014
1998 - 2003

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Ana Ivanovic
tennis ball Jelena Jankovic
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Grigor Dimitrov
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Wild Cards
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
Australian Doubles Strategy
by Kathleen Krajco

Most people think the purpose of Australian Doubles is to draw a service-return error. They use the formation like a football team uses a trick play, at crucial moments. Yet, while the element of the unexpected is in it, the element of surprise is not, for the receiving team gets time to adjust. And, while there is some likelihood of drawing a service-return error, it is small. In fact, if you play Australian Doubles unstrategically, it lowers your chances of winning the point. But if you play it strategically, you get the tremendous mathematical advantage of a weapon that works more than one way. That is, it doesn't just add to your odds, it multiplies them.

Australian Doubles is a poaching formation. Think of it as switching before the point. Switching puts your net player opposite the receiving team's net player (instead of kitty-cornered). This situation is a license to poach the next shot. Fortunately for the serving team, the serve can't be poached. But the service return can. And, if the serving team does not poach the service return, they become the team running the risk of having their next shot poached.

So, the goal of Australian Doubles is to win the point in two shots or less--on the serve or a poached service return.

Tactics

Tactics are means of achieving strategic objectives. So, your tactics in Australian Doubles should be aimed at (a) increasing the likelihood of a service-return error and (b) increasing the likelihood of successfully poaching the service return.

Australian Doubles forces the receiver, who is used to returning crosscourt, to return down-the-line instead. Just as familiarity breeds confidence, this change from the familiar draws service-return errors. But the geometry of the situation is even more important, because the net is higher and the court is shorter down the line. In fact, returning a crosscourt shot down the line is the most error-ridden shot in tennis.

So, since you're playing for a service-return error, poopy serving is obviously counterproductive. In fact, though power serving is generally not a big help in doubles, power serving goes hand-in-glove with Australian Doubles. It not only forces errors and weak, poachable returns, it keeps the receiver from lobbing the service return so you can't poach it.

This is why Australian Doubles is most effective on first serves. Though you can use Australian Doubles frequently, you win more points on your team's first shot by using it rarely and on pressure points.

Poachable returns are returns without much angle on them, returns down the center within your poacher's reach. They are the returns of "centered" feeder shots, serves to the "T." If you use Australian Doubles frequently, your server must vary placement enough to keep the receiver guessing. But just enough to keep the receiver guessing, no more. Have your net player watch to make sure the receiver isn't getting a jump on the serve. Then, if necessary, mix in some serves to the body. Though slower, they are often as good as serves to the "T." Load some serves with spin, too, for variety. But serves wide are dangerous, because they allow returns down the alley that your poacher cannot reach.

Serve-and-Volley Style Australian Doubles

In Australian Doubles, your server stands near the center mark to hit forcing serves to the "T." What better time to rush the net? In fact, the greatest risk in serve-and-volley doubles is a return at the net-rushing server's feet, but in this situation, the poacher cuts off that shot.

So, Australian Doubles is not only the ideal poaching formation, it is also the ideal serve-and-volley formation. In fact, you may use Australian Doubles more as a way to attack the net than as a way to score outright. That's because the serve-and-volley threat makes the poaching maneuver more effective, and the poaching threat makes the serve-and-volley maneuver more effective.

To see how, imagine you're the receiver. Your partner blocks a crosscourt shot, so you must return down the line. But you know the server's partner is apt to poach the shot. Plus, you know that the server is apt to rush the net behind serve. And you must return serve differently if s/he rushes than if s/he stays back. So, you've got one eye on the server, one eye on the server's partner, and one eye on the ball. Then, just as you're hitting your return, the server's partner streaks across the court in front of you. The opposition is doing no less than three things at once: serve-and-volleying, switching, and poaching. It's enough to yank your eyeballs out of their sockets.

Worse, you were set to put the ball at the server's feet--where you expected them to be--on the other side of the court.

So, though you needn't serve-and-volley in Australian Doubles, if you can, try it from the Australian Doubles formation (or its variant, the "I" formation). To keep the opposition guessing, vary the play:

  • Plan A: Your server comes straight in while your net player crosses. This plan gives the server the shortest route to net. Also, its crossing poach distracts the receiver.

  • Plan B: Your server crosses while rushing the net, but your net player reaches out over the center line to cut off any poachable service return that would land at the incoming server's feet. Doing this improves the server's chances of advancing into the forecourt safely. It also keeps the receiver guessing whether your net player will cross.

  • Plan C: Your server stays back and crosses while your net player crosses to poach. This keeps the receiver guessing whether your server will rush.

The Defense Against Australian Doubles

To defeat Australian Doubles the receiver's partner must get out of the way so s/he does not block a crosscourt return of serve. To do this, s/he simply steps back and toward the alley till the service return is past. In fact, the closer to net and center the receiver's partner stands, the safer poaching is and the more effective Australian Doubles is.


Kathy Krajco runs the website Operation Doubles: Tennis Doubles Strategy & Tactics.

If you wish to provide a comment to the author of this Wild Cards column, please use this form. Tennis Server will forward the comment to the author.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Wild Cards Archives:
1998 - 2003 | 2004 - 2014


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by the author, all rights reserved.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
US Open Tickets 8/25-9/8
 
Davis Cup USA vs Slovakia Tickets Chicago 9/12-9/14
 
Swiss Indoors Tickets Basel 10/18-10/26
 
Australian Open Tickets Melbourne 1/19-2/1
 
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA 3/11-3/22
 
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami 3/23-4/5
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
August 21, 2014 Between The Lines: Preview U.S. Open 2014 -- Focus Youth Brigade by Ray Bowers.
 
August 2014 Wild Cards: The Tennis Round Table: Interviews With Jim Courier, Todd Martin & Mark Philippoussis in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Little Tennis Girl Who Could by Tom Veneziano.
 
August 2014 Tennis Anyone: Try To See The Big Picture by John Mills.
 
August 2014 Turbo Tennis: My Most Useful 'Quick Fix' Tips!!! by Ron Waite.
 
July 6, 2014 Between The Lines: Glory At Wimbledon 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Great Tennis Divide by Tom Veneziano.
 
July 2014 Tennis Anyone: Prevention by John Mills.
 
July 2014 Turbo Tennis: Perfect Volleys by Ron Waite.
 
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 9 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 10 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 11 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 12 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 16 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 15 Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 14 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 13 Men's Third Round Women's Fourth Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 12 Third Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 9 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 10 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 2nd Round Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 11 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 12 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 3rd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 17 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 18 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles & Doubles Quarterfinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 19 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 20 Tickets Miami Women's Semifinals Men's Singles Quarterfinals Men's Doubles Semifinals Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy