In honor of the Australian Open, we started to explore the Australian doubles formation in our last tennis tip. (See Aussie Doubles) The Australian formation is executed by the serving team and involves positioning the server’s partner across the net from the receiver’s partner.(Instead of across the net from the receiver). The server positions themselves very close to the center mark, because they will be covering the other side of the court.
How to execute the Australian formation
1. The server’s partner – the server’s partner positions themselves directly across the net from the receiver’s partner, in the center of the box, about 4 feet from the net. When the serve is struck, the receiver will have to hit the return down the line or slightly cross-court in an effort to go behind the server’s partner and between them. To cover the cross-court shot the server’s partner should close(move toward the net) toward the receiver as they execute their return. This offers the best opportunity to cut off and put away the return if it is hit cross-court. The is the key advantage of using the Australian formation.
2. The server – the server positions themselves very close the center hash mark when they serve. After they serve, they need to immediately slide to cover the possible down-the-line return. From this position they have a better angle to hit cross-court between their opponents or rally back down the line to the receiver.
You need to practice this formation to learn all the variables. For instance, the receiver may opt to return high cross-court OVER the server’s partner. In this case the server’s partner should start positioning themselves back near the service line to be better able to hit an overhead off of this type of return.
Try the Australian formation to give your opponents a different look and put your team in scoring position. Good luck on the courts.
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