In doubles this issue comes up more so when
both players are at the net. Usually if your partner is on
the baseline and you are at the net a ball that gets by you
(down the middle) can easily be recovered by your partner
at the baseline. However, if you are both at the net there
is no recovery time and there are no second chances. So the
question still stands, who's ball is it anyways? Who should
have hit the ball? Here is my answer: Who ever is closer should
hit the ball.
But is the answer really that simple? Sometimes.
Maybe the ball is hit down the center of the court the same
distance from both of you, then who's ball is it? Whoever
is closer to the net at that point should go for the shot.
The closer you are to the net the better/more offensive volley
you will be able to hit. The ball will be higher and you will
be able to hit down and hit better angles. I have played with
people who do not like to be close to the net to hit their
volleys. I like to be fairly close to the net. I will cut
off a ball going to them because I am closer to the net and
I have the better shot selection and the better percentage
due to my position. Whoever is further behind the net will
have a volley that is lower, slower, tougher to hit and forces
that person to hit more of a defensive volley rather than
the player closer to the net. These points I have suggested
here are more for a doubles team of equal strengths.
If you are a doubles team where one player
is better than the other the stronger player may naturally
take over and hit the ball if it is hit down the middle. He/she
may react quicker and have more confidence to hit the volley.
The only problem is that the stronger player must be aware
of what their partner is thinking. The weaker player may tend
to let some balls go thinking the better player would get
them. In that case the stronger player will always have to
be ready to move even if the ball is hit a little closer to
the weaker player. This also forces the better player to cover
more court while at the net which is a downfall but something
the weaker player should be aware of if they plan on letting
the better player hit more volleys.
Communication is a key element in doubles
and the better you know your partner's game the better doubles
team you will make. A lot depends on how well you know your
partner and how many times you have played together as a team.
Knowing when you need to hit the ball and knowing when to
let your partner to hit the ball will make your team more
Good Luck on the