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Top Five Doubles Tips for the Receiver's Partner

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Doubles Tip for the Receiver's Partner #5: Remember that the service line is just your starting point. If your partner hits a strong return, move forward to volley the next ball; if the return is weak, move back until an opponent is about to strike the ball so that you'll have more time to defend.

Doubles Tip for the Receiver's Partner #4: Stay still while your partner is swinging at the return. Returning serve in doubles is difficult enough without an additional distraction, and many partners will be too polite to tell you you're distracting them.

Doubles Tip for the Receiver's Partner #3: Poach to make the server's first volley more difficult. Any attention the server pays to what you're doing is less attention she pays to her volley, and the result can be many more errors, not to mention the balls you put away on your successful poaches.

Doubles Tip for the Receiver's Partner #2: Don't look back at your partner to see what kind of return she's hitting; watching your opponents first and then the ball as it flies ahead of you will tell you all you need to know.

Doubles Tip for the Receiver's Partner #1: If your partner's returns are letting your opponents pound the ball past you too often, start points at the baseline so you have a better chance to defend. This at least takes away the opponents' favorite target, and by giving them a new look and making their deep, hard shots less effective, you may force them to try shots they can't do as well, such as drop shots or drop volleys. Even if your partner isn't great at returns, she may be great at volleys, and if, for example, you lob well, you may be able, from the baseline, to drive your opponents away from the net so that you and your partner can move into volleying position.

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