Here is another insightful post by Joe Marshall that will improve your tennis doubles game. Look for more of these by typing his name in the search box above to the right. And contact Joe if you want personal lessons in winning doubles.

Anticipation is the key to success in so many areas of sports (or life, for that matter….not that I know much about success in life….). In the videos I posted there are some great examples of this….check Fabrice Santoro’s amazing point against Roger Federer, where he makes several impossible gets from way off court by simply figuring out where Roger will hit the ball before he hits it. In the Larry Bird video, he takes a shot from the top of the key, and while the ball is still up in the air, he tears off to the right base line, realizing that his shot was slightly off. The ball caroms off the rim, over the heads of several defenders ….right to the moving Larry, who Jumps, catches the ball off the ground, and before coming back to earth, arcs a perfect swish into the basket as his body falls out of bounds…..unbelievable! Andy Murray videos are an absolute lesson in anticipation.

How does one anticipate where the opponent will hit the ball?

One way is observation. Before the start of a match, when the opponent is warming up his overheads, where does he hit the first one? Does he put slice on the ball, or hit it flat? Does he employ an inside out, kick overhead? (those are tricky…and effective) During a match, where does he like to put away his volleys?

At the net man’s feet? Angled off with touch? Hard down the middle?

Which ever one he shows he can hit successfully, take that one away from him by moving to the spot just before he hits it. If you throw up a short lob, for instance, and your opponent is ready to slam the thing away, remember where he hit the last put away.

Let’s assume he hit it down the middle of the court. Read the rest of this entry »

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