Doubles Tennis - Poaching

Published 8/20/2009 3:59:57 AM by Shane Barrow from Dallas, Texas

Poaching serve is an important strategy in doubles tennis play. A good poacher puts tremendous pressure and disrupts the return of serve from your opponents.  Even if you aren't particularly good at poaching, in doubles tennis you must mix in poaching serve.  Poaching keeps your opponents off balance and will take some of their focus off returning serve.  This distraction will lead to more aces as well as unforced errors at the start of points.

If your doubles tennis team is not poaching then your opponents will almost entirely return serve across court allowing them time to get to the net together and attack you.  Poaching will keep them back initially allowing you take more points early.

Do not move too early when poaching in tennis.  If you give away your plans too early your opponent can adjust and play down the line into the space you vacated.  Allow a pattern to become established.  Allow them to return cross court several times and get comfortable.  Then jump and poach taking them by surprise.

Another strategy is to fake the poach.  Act like you are poaching pre-serve.  Take a step or make a body movement as if you will be poaching.  This could bait the return right into you for an easy kill on the return.

Bottom line, poaching is an important part of the tennis doubles game and should be implemented by any successful double team.