Percentage doubles is winning doubles. From the pros to recreational players, the teams that win most often are almost always the teams that hit high-percentage shots, rely on sound strategy and avoid unnecessary risks.
However, there may be times during matches where you and your partner will find yourselves in situations that call for unconventional attacks. In addition, you need to keep every opponents honest by varying your strategy from time to time. So when should you break the rules of percentage doubles?
The Forehand Roll
If you’re at the baseline and pulled wide to your forehand side, the high-percentage shot is a low drive between your two opponents, with the next safest shot being a high, deep, crosscourt lob. But if you love your forehand, this might be a good time to take a chance and go for a sharply angled crosscourt return.
Keep in mind that the sharper the angle, the slower you should hit the ball—this shot is about topspin and placement, not power. A properly hit forehand roll can result in a clean winner, or cause your opponent to pop up a shot that your partner can pick off at the net, or give you the chance to move forward and attack.
See the Full-Swing Return of Serve here.
Greg Moran is the Director of Tennis at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, CT, and author of the Tennis Beyond Big Shots books.