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In the I formation, the server's partner crouches over the center line as the serve passes by, and then as the receiver starts to swing, she cuts diagonally forward either to her right or her left, hoping that the return goes in her direction. As in a planned poach, she has signaled the server beforehand so that the server can cover whichever side she won't. The server stands close to the center mark so that she can easily go either way, and she usually comes in behind her serve, although she can also cover half of the baseline if her serve and volley skills aren't strong enough. The I formation keeps the receivers guessing, and if they've gotten into a successful returning groove, it's a great way to knock them out of it. The server must be ready, though, to handle a return straight down the middle that her partner can't reach.
Photo Lessons on Useful Doubles Shots