Few things feel better on the doubles court than anticipating an opponent’s return, moving across the net, and drilling a volley right between the legs of a helpless partner.

Poaching is the slam dunk strategy of doubles and when you incorporate it into your game, your team immediately becomes stronger in two ways. First, you gain the ability to end points in a quick and intimidating manner. Second, when you’re active at the net, you’ll forever keep your opponents off balance.

Baseline will show you six guidelines to help make you a menace at the net.

Here's No. 2:

Attack at an angle

You’ve identified the situation and committed to poaching. Timing is now crucial because if you make your move too soon, your opponent will have time to adapt. If you move too late, you won’t be able to catch up to the ball.

As your opponent moves toward the ball, begin closing in on the net. Keep your eyes glued to his or her racquet head. When the forward swing begins, you know your opponent has committed to the shot. This is the time to make your move. Push off your outside leg and—exploding diagonally toward the net—sprint across the court. By moving at a forward angle, you’ll get closer to the net and cut off your opponent’s shot quickly, which will give him or her less time to react.


Greg is the Director of Tennis at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, CT, and author of the Tennis Beyond Big Shots books.