This is a guest post from Sam Page. He’s one of the best 4.5 singles players in Texas. In this lesson, he reveals 4 ways playing doubles can help your singles game, from his first-hand experience playing tournaments and leagues all over the state.
I hope you enjoy 🙂
Singles specialists often miss out on improving aspects of their game by playing doubles. Personally, I’ve seen big jumps in my singles results from playing more doubles. If you’re looking to get better, start playing more doubles!
If all you play is singles, you’re more likely to get burned out. I’ve found doubles is perfect for adding variety. Break up the routine or mundane by playing more doubles. It is also perfect if you’re going through a slump in singles.
In singles, there is very little pressure to be accurate with your returns. You can block a ball back deep and start from neutral. Try blocking a ball back in doubles and you’re going to get killed. Doubles forces you to pick a spot and hit to it.
You have to keep an eye on the net man and make sure to keep the ball away from them. If you do hit to the net guy, you want to keep it low. Good net players will put shoulder height balls away or set up for a put away. Since playing more doubles, my returns are significantly better than before. Returning, I can get on offense in singles and I break serves a lot more.
Singles players often overlook the importance of good volleys because they win the majority of points from the baseline. Volleys are a crucial part of winning in singles, especially if you play speedy all-court players. Want to beat a pusher? Learn to build a point and put away volleys at net.
Hitting your spots with your serve is hugely important in doubles. You don’t want to set your partner up to get drilled at net. Setting up a point from the serve is more important in doubles because it’s more difficult to get back into points playing defense. Play more doubles and you’ll develop better serve placement.
When it comes to developing a better singles game, invest in playing more doubles. You’ll soon see more confidence in shots that a lot of singles specialists aren’t confident in. If you’re not careful, you might find you enjoy playing doubles more.
Sam is an NTRP 4.5 player in Texas. His goal is to improve to 5.0 and he is documenting his journey at Get Better At Tennis.com.
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Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played tennis for over two decades, including in college. Will has worked with ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He currently lives in Austin TX where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments, writes about tennis, and teaches doubles workshops.