It can be both a technical and tactical move. Posted at the net while your partner serves, you are no longer a simple spectator, but indeed an actor.

This is a tactic that will surely appeal to former tennis players or anyone who likes hard-hitting attacks. When your partner is serving and you are stationed at the net, you become an active participant rather than a passive observer.

On the professional circuit, some players adopt this strategy. Let's take Ale Galan as an example: he is an extremely offensive and aggressive player. During his next match, observe how, when his partner serves diagonally from left to right, he starts a little behind and moves forward in synchrony with him.

But what is the objective?

The idea is to adopt an ultra-aggressive posture immediately after returning. When analyzing most returns of serve, particularly on a first ball, they are mostly played low, with very few lobs. This means that players at the net will have to volley. If the player going up to the net is volleying, he will often opt for an approach or control volley. And if it is the player already at the net who plays, his first volley, despite a good position, will lack bite if it is static. So, by moving forward while your partner serves, if the ball is addressed to you, you can adopt a more offensive attitude.

In addition, advancing simultaneously can destabilize the returner who sees not one, but two players rushing at him.

Juan Lebron backhand volley
Desafio Punta Negra San Juan San Juan Argentina 7 de Mayo de 2023 Foto Mariano Castro Vaccarono UBICE

How to implement this strategy?

The first recommendation is to test it for yourself to determine if it is right for you.

It is important to note that this tactic is most effective when the server is serving from the same side as you (for example, if you are the player on the right and the server is serving from right to left). Moving forward allows you to reduce the angles. Since the free space is not on your side and your partner rides to the right, the probability of a parallel game increases. He must therefore move quickly to counter a possible passing. By moving closer to the net, you will effectively cover the center.

net players padel

This strategy is ideal for a first serve, because the return is more difficult. Using it on a second ball would give your opponents the opportunity to lob you, thus making it less effective.

What to do if the first serve return is a lob? Of course, this can happen, but these lobs are often less precise and rather high, giving you time to play the bandeja or return to the baseline.

However, be careful when the waiter serves from his side. Logically, the return will be diagonal, towards the one going up. If you also move forward, you will certainly cover along the line, but you will leave a large space for your partner, potentially putting your team under pressure.

This tactical technique is accessible to everyone. As soon as you master the game at the net and your opponents do not systematically return high balls, you will be able, by playing Australian style (each player keeps their side), to establish this offensive advance. However, remember to start not from your usual position at the net, but a little further back. The goal is to move forward, not to slow down because you're too close to the net. Go!

Julien Bondia

Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife (Spain). Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his tutorials and tactical/technical articles padel.