When returning serve in doubles, sometimes touch trumps power.
In doubles, if the opposing server doesn’t rush the net, try attacking off your return of serve with a chip.
On the forehand (shown here), hold your racquet with a Continental grip and guide an underspin forehand at a sharp angle crosscourt (use the same grip on a one-handed backhand crosscourt chip from the other side of the court). You want to aim the ball at the doubles alley and charge the net.
This return won’t win you many points outright, but it will force your opponents to scramble. The server will have to lunge and lift the ball up to get it over the net, giving your team an easy volley. His partner will likely shift with him and move toward the center of the court, which will leave the right side of the court open for a putaway.
Paula Scheb, a USPTA Master Professional, is the director of tennis and fitness at Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla.