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High-Level 4.5-5.5 Doubles Court - A new player joining in - what do you look for that makes this player belong on your court?

Calling out the Doubles Guru's out here.  Been in a situation where you are paired up with a new doubles partner that claims to be at the "right USTA level" - in evaluating this new player's skill-sets - what are the minimums that you are looking for what's your ideal?    

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Interesting, for 4.5-5.5 level I would like to see solid volleys, strong serve, comes to net quickly, can return from either side. Also, knows were to move instinctively, and loves to use angles.....for starters

good stuff, thanks coach. i hear on you when you ended in "for starters"... but can you be kind enough to elaborate on "knowing where to move instinctively" besides the obvious double-team the opponent that's hitting the ball (opp at net or groundies) while maintaining the correct distance from your partner thang.  i know there's ton but one or two things for me to digest. 


percentage tennis?  error tolerance before you start taking over the whole court?   

well I always feel that good doubles players or teams know where there partner is at all times and know where to cover. I've played with good singles players that seem to always be in the wrong spots. Luv it when opponent or partner say how did you know he was going to hit it there, doubles instinct I call it.
Just clogging the middle too. When they have a shot to rip, make em go over the high part of the net. Never give up the middle, just cover your nuts and get in there!
Uumm... if he doesn't serve and volley he doesn't belong



serve and volley a definite requirement, yes. 

having an attitude "yes, i'm am trying to get hit" while at the net is a must too, i agree. Good stuff John.  Although, i find that ramming it down the middle doesn't always work..?. establishing the down the line return (beginning of the match) pretty effective specially on 2nd serves - step in and take the ball on the rise with ball going over with low net clearance.  doesn't have to be with lots of pace but more placement. (partner is aware of this of course)  Opens up the middle, no?  How many times do you allow yourself to get passed down the line until you cover line?



i noticed that the 4.0 level and up players are keen on changing directions with their shots for when you move early at net.  super early step as if covering line then huge move to cover middle.   

I have seen down the line return winners, yes

And good returns that got volleyed back down the line past the crossing net man, ye

But never enough to win an entire match.

If your hitting down the line returns and thinking about lobbing me, I am already in your head
In my opinion, if i'm winning the important points to win games, then it's usually enough to win the entire set and then match, no?  from my experience, the better players would go agressive rather than passive on the important points, correct me if i'm wrong... 
This is what I need to work on more.  I earned my 4.5 rating thru singles mostly, and I need to work on forcing myself to the net on my serve.  I also need to close faster.  Often the return is landing at my feet.  Any suggestions on this?  I imagine I just need to keep practicing this, like anything in tennis.
That's being on a tough spot, mark, specially if ur in a 4.5 doubles court. Having to half volley a low ball means the returner's net person is already on top of the net waiting for the ball off ur racquet.
Maybe using a slower serve kick or slice that allows u to get to the net faster? Just my opinion... 


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