Are you curious about the intricacies of doubles tennis? As a tennis enthusiast, ATP Doubles #62 and Geau Sport Athlete, Reese Stalder, found himself fascinated by the complexity of doubles matches.
In this article, we will explore Reese's journey and delve into a set of techniques that can enhance your performance in doubles tennis.
What was it about tennis that initially intrigued you, and why did you focus on the dynamics of doubles play?
When I was a kid, I used to love watching the University of California Irvine’s tennis matches with my parents. Both of my parents played at a high level, and attending these matches was one of the first ways they helped immerse me in the sport. I observed these matches in awe of how hard these players were hitting the ball, how fast they moved around the court and how accurate they were with their shots.
While I enjoyed watching singles, doubles matches always piqued my interest. What do the hand signals mean? How did players know when to poach? There were so many questions I had about the ins and outs of doubles.”
From your perspective, what are the most valuable tips for enhancing one's doubles tennis game?
There were so many questions I had about the ins and outs of doubles. As I grew up and learned more and more, I understood that having a solid grasp of these concepts was vital to improving my game. The hand signals, poaching strategies, court positioning, and decision-making all contributed to a dynamic game that required precision and coordination.
In what ways do hand signals enhance the performance of doubles tennis players?
Hand signals play a crucial role in ensuring effective communication between partners during a doubles match. When your team is serving, the net player uses the first signal to indicate where the server should place the serve, either out wide, into the body, or down the tee.
The second signal informs the server if the net player intends to poach or not. Open palm signals readiness to poach, while a closed palm means staying put. These signals should be exchanged before every first and second serve to eliminate confusion and ensure a coordinated approach.
How does poaching affect the dynamics of a doubles tennis match, and when is the best moment to implement it?
Poaching in doubles has both short-term and long-term objectives. In the short term, it aims to steal a point by intercepting the opponent's shot. In the long term, it instills uncertainty in your opponents, making them unsure if you'll cross the net or stay on your side.
The key to successful poaching is timing – it should occur just before your opponent makes contact with the ball. This requires an explosive first step towards the net, and moving diagonally to cut off angles. Remember, well-timed poaching can disrupt your opponents' rhythm and pay off in the long run.
How do players make decisions about which sides to play from in doubles tennis, and what factors influence these choices?
Choosing sides in doubles depends on several factors. First and foremost, consider each player's groundstroke preferences and their comfort levels at the net.
If both players favor the same groundstroke, the more active net player should take the side that allows for a forehand volley in the middle of the court. This decision should also factor in considerations such as handedness and individual strengths. If it doesn't work out as expected, you can adjust your strategy after the set.
Why are deuce points in doubles tennis significant, and how do they affect the overall flow of the game?
Because doubles are so fast paced and points are generally short, games can be completed incredibly quickly. On good days that can play in your favor, but on bad days it is something to be very wary of.
Deuce points in doubles are crucial and require tactical decisions from both the serving and returning teams. The returning team has the luxury of choosing the receiving side, often based on the player with the "hot hand." On the serving side, consider whether to target the weaker side of your opponent or go with your preferred serving spot. Understanding the dynamics of deuce points is vital, especially with no-ad scoring, where games can be quickly won or lost.
What final words of encouragement or advice can you give to those who want to elevate their doubles tennis game?
Understanding the nuances of doubles can drastically improve your game. It is important to remember that not every match you play should be treated the same. You will have to make adjustments to your tactics depending on different variables like court conditions, the style of play of your opponents and your own partner’s tendencies (assuming you don’t always play with the same partner).
Next time you step on the court try incorporating these tidbits to dominate the competition!