The Art of Doubles Return of Serve Strategy

Coach Fran Davis

Coach Fran Davis

With The National Doubles Championship still in mind, it’s apropos to cover some doubles “Return of Serve Strategy”. Get the Serving Team to the Back of the Court …..Pass, Pass, Pass!

The best return of serve for doubles is a pass, if possible, trying to keep your opponents from getting back into good center-court position. If you cannot attack early, then go to the ceiling, which still gets the serving team into the back court, your number one goal. Once the serve is hit, if the non-serving partner is slow getting back out of the service zone, that is a great opportunity for you to step up and blast the ball back to that side with a hard passing shot.

Wide angle, side arm and overhead passes are Jason’s and Rocky’s favorites, and they are good at them. It is more difficult to kill the ball from 38 feet back, which is where you return the serve from because the odds are stacked against you. Remember, that 30% of all balls can be killed from the dotted line which is 25 feet back, so your odds go down the deeper you are in the court. Also remember, you have two people, your opponents, trying to retrieve the ball you just returned and they are right in front of you leaving the service zone. Your job is to get them back, and that can be accomplished with a pass shot or a ceiling ball.

What I like to do and what we advocate is to wear your opponents down by hitting a ton of passes. Even though the retrieving team is up close in the front of the court, when you hit enough passes you get them back as well as on their heels. Your pass-kill shots then become more effective, and you can even throw in a kill shot.

Remember, when you are developing a return of serve strategy for doubles, think pass first, second, and third, and then think ceiling when you can’t pass. Both of these shots get the opposing team to the back court and lets you and your partner come in to reestablish yourselves in the front court position.

Use the Playing Doubles chapter in my book, “Championship Racquetball” to understand doubles “return of serve strategy” in detail. This will lead to putting more pressure on the doubles team you are playing, Chapter 11 (page 273).

I use “The Art of Doubles Return of Serve Strategy” with my “Championship Team,” Rocky, Paola, Jason, Jordan, Wayne and Mitchell, as at one point or another they all play or have played doubles. I encourage each and every one of them to use solid “doubles return of serve strategy”, to play at their highest levels of doubles play. Here are some of the BEST doubles teams and have won numerous Amateur & Pro National and World Championship Titles using the above information on doubles return of serve strategy:

Jason Mannino/Sudsy Monchik, Jason Mannino/Cliff Swain,

Jason Mannino/Kane Waselenchik

Rocky Carson/Jack Huzcek, Rocky Carson/Jose Rojas, Rocky Carson/Alvaro Beltran

Paola Longoria/Samantha Salas, Paola Longoria/Veronica Sotomayer, Paola Longoria/Alexandrea Herrera

Jordan Cooperrider/Ericka Manilla, Wayne Antone/Kevin Vasquez, Mitchell Turner/Julian Singh

ALL of the players I coach, from the professionals led by Rocky and Paola to the amateurs, know just how important it is to learn “The Art of Doubles Return of Serve Strategy” and it starts with understanding the returns to take in given situations. Their doubles records speak for themselves…Rocky is the 2014 & 2015 National Doubles Champion and Paola is the 2014, 2015 & 2016 National Doubles Champion for their respective countries. They have BOTH competed at numerous World Championships and Pan American Championships. 

Next month, I will continue to build your “Championship Racquetball Game” one level at a time so you too can be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of becoming, by giving you the tools to make it a reality. Rocky ‘s and all my athletes’ “Championship Racquetball Games” stem from their focus on ALL 3 sides of the triangle working together so they can develop into top competitors. Without a shadow of a doubt, they KNOW just how important it is to do the work. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.

For details on more personalized instruction/video lessons and tips, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s and our book, Championship Racquetball) ALL which covers all aspects of the Sports Racquetball Triangle and more, please visit Fran Davis is a 2004 racquetball Hall of Fame inductee; Racquetball Woman of the Year 2009; Coaches #2 IRT Pro Player / 1X US Open Champion / 5X and present World Champion, 2X and present Pan American Champion, Rocky Carson; Coaches #1 Women’s LPRT Pro Player for 7 seasons / 7X and present US Open Champion & 5X and present World Champion, 2X and present Pan American Champion, Paola Longoria; Coaches Jr. World & National Champions, Jordan Cooperrider, Wayne Antone, Mitchell Turner and Ingrid Robledo; Master Professional Instructor/Coach USAR-IP.