Nepali Times
Game Point
Double the fun


Doubles is about percentages
Many players think that their job is to cover their side and the partner should cover his/her side (50/50 percentage). Each player's court coverage should be 75 percent.

The serve
By getting your first serve in, you are putting your opponents on the defensive. When you get your first serve in, your partner has a chance to poach about 70 percent of the time. When you serve a second serve you put your team on the defensive and the chance for your partner to poach drops to 30 percent. Add kick or slice when you intend to serve and volley.

Hitting through the middle
Three reasons: 1) the net is lower, 2) court is longer diagonally allowing you to hit deep ground strokes, 3) you will confuse the attacking players if both come to the net.

If opponents are tall
If you are playing tall players and they are attacking, keep the balls low. Dip the ball with topspin making them bend low. A slice or a chip is also a nice option. If you choose the slice then prepare early and take it on the rise. On a rally situation, mix top spin and slice to destroy the rhythm of the rally. Remember, tall players are usually hard hitters.

If opponents are small in size
If your opponents are small and are at the net, your best option is to lob over them. Hitting through the middle will also work. On rallies hit deep and high waiting for a weak shot, then attack.

When you are at the net and your opponents are on the base line
Both partners must attempt to take the ball that comes thru the middle. It is better to be greedy than to let the ball go thru the middle. When both of you are at the net, aim your volleys deep in between your opponents until you see an opening for an angled shot.

When both of your opponents are close at the net
Your first choice should be to lob over them (over their backhand shoulder). When successful with lobbing move together towards the hot seat (service line). Your second choice should be hitting through the middle. Rarely would you hit hard directly at your opponents.

When both your opponents are at the hot seat
When your opponents are at the hot seat the choices you have are: 1) hit a dipper with top spin through the middle, 2) a dipper shot aimed at your opponents feet (dip it with top spin). Lobbing in this situation is not suggested.

When you opponents are hard hitters
Against hard hitters you must always mix your shots. Prepare early on the ground strokes and use top spin and slices to upset the rhythm. Hit hard only occasionally.

If your opponents are playing 'one up and one back'
Both players should start at the base line and stay together, then advance to the net together only when you hurt your rival with a punishing shot or the rally return is weak. Both players should stick together close to the base line in case the net person tries to use a drop volley or drop shot. Patience and consistency are the key components here. The second choice is to lob over the net player.

Communicate and take time in between points
Communicate with your partner often and feed each other with positive thoughts. Never give up as long as you are on the court. Make each other feel comfortable before, after and during the match. And most of all, don't forget to have fun!

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)