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. 5:

Perfect the fake

The fake poach is a great move. It keeps your opponents guessing and helps you disguise your real poaches. The key to a good fake is to sell your first step. Take an early, strong step toward the center and, when you land, immediately push back toward the direction you came from. In this sequence, the fake is to the center and results in an easy backhand volley when the opponent hits the ball down the line to what looked like a clear opening.


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