Do not Change a Winning Tactic: Once you find something that works, stay with it. Here for example we see one of Nadal’s favorite serves to open the court. The distance between the bounce and the opponent’s contact point is 9.8 m. From this position the opponent has to run 10.24 m to reach the next shot.
One of the most important goals in doubles is to make the opponents play. Therefore, making a large percentage of returns is essential. Whenever you find yourself missing too many returns or hitting too many high returns that can be attacked, ask your partner to move to the baseline . This will take some of the pressure from your return since it will make it much harder for the serving team to attack your partner off a weak shot.
Here we can see Maria Sharapova against Lucie Safarova opening the court with a wide kick serve. The serve creates many options for the next shot even though it is aimed at the opponent’s forehand. She could play down the line or hit behind Lucie.
In this video analysis of the match between the NextGen rising star (in 2016) Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka at the Mutua Madrid Open, one can identify several factors that make tennis such an attractive sport and at the same time make it so difficult and challenging: plenty of shots in different directions, explosive sprints and direction changes, court coverage and tactical patterns.
Tommy Haas show us a great example of a winner in which most risk factors were neutralized, a winner played with minimal risk and with a high probability for success.
Here we see a drop-shot situation in a match between Jeremy Chardy and Janko Tipsarevic. Chardy hits a drop-shot and moves well into the court (5.2 m/17.0 feet) in order to cover a possible counter drop shot. Tipsarevic has to split step and sprint (12.4/41.0 feet) towards the net to reach the ball. He reaches a maximum running speed of 27.5 km/h or 16.5 m/h.
Based on official statistics, the second serves to the ad court have the highest success quota. Samantha Stosur has definitely one of the best wide kick serves.
When the opponent hits the tape, it is easy to start bickering about one’s bad luck. However, with a little foresight a ball that hits the tape does not always lead to a lost point. It can sometimes be to your advantage.
Here in the video we see a great example of a serve and volley situation from Youzhny, who serves to the “T” from the ad court. He split-steps before he reaches the service line as the opponent makes contact with the ball and hits his volley about at the service line.
For each shot, a player has to choose the best alternative from a whole bag of possible alternatives and then be able to execute the chosen option successfully . This is the constant dance between tactic an technique.