Bradford Athletics

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Bradford Tennis Tips - Doubles


How to Poach in Tennis

The poach is an interception of the return of serve by the offensive doubles net player. This is a surprise tactic that requires excellent timing, like the steal in baseball. It is a move that is relegated to the more advanced player.

  • STEP 1: Split step once your partner has served and as your opponent makes contact with the ball.
  • STEP 2: Attempt to move to the center of the court.
  • STEP 3: Keep up on your toes at the net to perform this shot.
  • STEP 4: Take the shot aggressively.
  • STEP 5: Cut off the return of service with a volley.
  • STEP 6: Put the ball away.


  • Practice split stepping when the returner is making contact with the ball.
  • Practice this move with your partner when he/she is serving.
  • Jump rope to help develop this move.
  • Communicate with your partner what you intend to do at the net (by hand or racquet signals). Some of the best worldclass doubles partners use this technique.