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Ask Tennishead: The first volley in doubles


Originally published on: 26/02/10 16:34

The patient

Jack, Edinburgh

The symptoms

“Im trying to improve my doubles net play. Just wondered if theres somewhere specific I should be aiming my first volley?

The Doctor says…

Polishing your net play, eh Jack. Good on you, son. Tiger Tim Henman would be proud of you particularly with Wimbledon around the corner. If you nail your volleying, your doubles AND singles play should improve.

Right then. Generally speaking, in doubles, go cross court with your first volley. If you angle your volley wide enough your opponent will have no chance.

However (theres always a however with tennis, isnt there?), different situations demand different shot selection.

If your opponent has got the ball down on your shoelaces then crosscourt is indeed the best option youll need to make sure your volley is as low as possible so it makes it as difficult as possible for the opposing net player to intercept.

Once your net skills are fine tuned, you could even start to look for the opposing net player starting to move to intercept your volley if he goes too early, change the angle of your racket face at the very last minute and push it down the line for a winner.

A volley that youll make contact with at


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.