Usually you play doubles by hitting cross court away from the net player. Deuce court players return cross court to the opponent’s deuce court. You goal here is to keep the ball away from the opposing net player. You hope your cross court return will put your partner at the net in a possible poaching position.
However, there are times you want to go down the line. This knowledge can put you on the offense quickly.
Let’s take a look at when it is appropriate to do a COD or Change Of Direction shot from the deuce court.
1. The 1st point of the match on a serve out wide to your forehand. This is a great time to send a message to the opposing net player. You will not poach on my return early in the match, in fact you have to hesitate about poaching the whole match because I might go down your line again.
*Down the line is best if the serve is wide and you can move forward into the return and take away the opposing net player’s time to react to your shot.
*Communicate to your partner that if you get a wide serve, your intention is to make the net player pay on a first serve or 2nd serve.
2. When the serve comes into your body and you can run around the ball to play your forehand.
*This is a good shot because the net player will usually be moving toward the center to poach on your return. Their movement to the center can open up a down the line return for you in this situation.
3. When you receive a ball that is above net high and you are moving forward. Moving forward reduces the opponent’s time to reach your shot with each step forward you take. This also increases the speed of your shot.
*This position can put the net person on their heels and force them to wait to see what you plan to do with your aggressive opportunity.
4. A ball to your backhand can entice the net player to move toward the center to cut off the angle of your shot. This will leave the alley more exposed for a heavy dipping topspin shot by you into their alley and their backhand volley.
5. Balls hit to your backhand in the deuce court is an invitation to poach with a forehand volley for the net player. For you, it is an invitation to lob down the line. Lob over their backhand with a safe high target. Done early in the match or against a net player who has demonstrated a tendency to poach, this shot can be a game changer. Not only does it neutralize the net player but it makes the net players partner have to move to cover the lob. This makes the net player have to switch sides and move back toward the service line. Perfect time for you and your partner to become the aggressive team by moving up to your service line. From here you will be able to intercept any shot by the opponents deuce court player who ran to cover your lob return. Now you have become the offensive team in the point.