Professional doubles is rarely broadcast. That is a shame because doubles is the most popular form of tennis. Go to a college tennis match and see how different it is as a team sport.
First, it is rare when both partners are on and making aggressive shots successfully and taking risk at the same time. Most of the time its a bit of a see saw, one player hot, the other has to be steady. It’s important to note that in mixed doubles its not always the guy who is thermal.
One of my best mixed doubles teams got down 2-5, and the guy was showing outward signs of dejection. He felt responsible for their plight, but doubles is always about the teams shared responsibility. That’s why the pros and college players ALWAYS approach each other, fist bump, or high five no matter the out come of the last point. The feeling of sharing responsibility must be reinforced as often as possible.
His female partner dolled out the proper amount of encouragement on the change over and he dedicated himself to keeping his body language positive plus, choosing safer shots. His partners advice in this case was the key. She had taken on the role that makes a valuable partner for any competitive team, always encouraging her teammate.
Her role became tactically important as he reigned in his aggressiveness, she got bolder. She started taking some chances and it paid off with a 7-2 win in the tiebreaker. There is no “I” in team…unless its Dominique Thiem!
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