nodot nodot
Tennis Anyone
March 1995 Article

Contact John Mills

Latest Tennis Anyone Article

Tennis Anyone Archives:
2003 - Present
1994 - 2002

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

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

Tom Veneziano You will join 13,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano.
Best of all, it is free!

Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
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.
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.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

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:

Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Tennis Anyone


Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

The Role of the Server's Partner in Doubles

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

In doubles - you are at the net with your partner serving - what is your job?

  • #1 Protect your alley. Especially guard your alley when your partner serves wide to the outside of the court. If the serve is returned hard down your alley, try to just block it back in the direction of the receiver. If the ball which is hit down your alley is an easy ball (a floater) return it more agressively down the lane (the center of the court between the deep and short players).

  • #2 Cover all reasonable lobs over your head. Failing to go back and cover the mid-range lobs over your head encourages your opponents to lob more often. Also, you put too much strain on your partner to cover both their half of the court and yours. If you receive a deeper lob, return it defensively, but move back to the net as soon as you hit it.

  • #3 Poach. Poach by definition - moving to a ball which may not technically be on your half of the court with the sole intention of winning the point. If you cross over the center line during the making of the poach, continue over to the opposite side. Your partner must cross-over and cover your original half of the court. By not poaching you put no pressure on the receiver, thus putting more pressure on your partner. In general, hit the poach down the center lane or at the feet of the opposing short player.

  • #4 If the serve return goes cross court by you (you tried to poach but failed) move back to the service line and cut off the middle of the court. Failing to move back to the service line and more toward the center of the court (after you attempt a poach and fail or after failing to contact the cross court service return) leaves too much of the court open for your partner to cover.

  • #5 If the ball goes over your head, move over to the opposite side of the court and try to move back toward the baseline. When the lob goes over your head and you just move over, you still become an easy target for your opponents to aim at with an overhead. By moving back you may have time to reflex a shot back, while being in a safer position.

    Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

    Tennis Anyone Archives:
    1994 - 2002 | 2003 - Present

    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 John Mills, all rights reserved.

    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.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Australian Open Tickets
Dallas Open Tickets
Delray Beach Open Tickets
ATX Open Tickets
Mexican Open Tickets
BNP Paribas Open Tickets
Miami Open Tickets
Credit One Charleston Open Tickets
US Men's Clay Court Championships Tickets
Wimbledon Tickets
Citi Open Tennis Tournament Tickets
Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Tickets
National Bank Open Womens Tennis Canada Tickets
Odlum Brown Van Open r Tickets
Tennis In The Land Tickets
US Open Tennis Championship Tickets
Laver Cup Vancouver Tickets


Popular Tennis books:
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:
October 2022 Tennis Anyone: Patterns in Doubles by John Mills.
September 2022 Tennis Anyone: Short Court by John Mills.




"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.

The Tennis Server receives a commission on all items sold through links to Amazon.com.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy