Close to Close / Deep to Deep
This month’s tip is paraphrased from the wonderful doubles manual, Tennis Doubles: Winning Strategies for All Levels by Greg Lappin.
Close to close means that you are “close” when all three major factors: balance, contact point, and court position are in your favor, you should hit your shot at the closer player to force an error. Deep to deep means, when at least one of the three factors mentioned above are not in your favor, you should hit to the deeper opponent. For example, you may have good balance and your contact point is waist-high, however, you are well behind the baseline, so your court position is not optimal. In this example you would hit to the opponent who is farther from the net because it will be tough to force an error or hit it by her without taking undue risk.
This simple rule will enforce percentage tennis. It can be applied in all doubles situations. Even with both players at the net, you would hit to the “deeper” player if you are out of position by lobbing the weaker opponent or at least making the weaker player hit a solid volley.