|Jack & Alex||6||7||6|
|Joao & Tiago||7||5||3|
When you find out that your partner's best friend has a husband who's as crazy for tennis as you are, there really is only one thing to do... Get playing doubles!
Jack Watton and Alex Smyth's venture into our Battersea Park Doubles League, one of our many doubles leagues across the country, has been developed into quite the friendship as we found out;
'We've known each other for about 4 or 5 years.' says Jack, 'Alex has a really strong game, a beast of a serve which leads to lots of free points and easy volleys. Stronger on the forehand as most people are but all in all no weaknesses!'
Alex adds; 'Jack is good at the net and his volleying is great in terms of being able to finish off points, he's calm under pressure and patient when he needs to be in terms of the longer rallies.'
The pair have become quite a force in the league, something Joao and Tiago, their recent talented doubles opponents found out. But it was tight as Jack explains;
'It was a really memorable game against two really nice guys who you can tell have played together for a long time. Alex and I always lose tie breaks, so it wasn’t a shock to lose the first set. I also think we were very aggressive from the 2nd set on, especially against Joao's serve which is very good. Each set was really tight and came down to a few big points which we capitalised on in the 2nd and 3rd set.'
Alex humbley admits that despite their epic 3 setter, the pair still have some learning to do!
'I would say that we are very much quite a new doubles team, I hadn’t played much doubles until recently and I don’t think Jack had either, let alone the two of us together. So we still have a lot to learn in terms of tactics and positioning.
I think it’s a bit too early in my doubles career to offer tips, but in terms of what I have learnt so far, I would say talk to your team mate before the match so you are on the same page. Watching professional doubles can be quite helpful in terms of looking at positioning and tactics. I’d say practise your volleying - as someone who doesn’t volley much in my singles games I’m still getting used to it. Fortunately Jack is good at covering that!'
After their enthralling comeback against Joao and Tiago, Alex and Jack have now won 82% of their matches so far, a pretty good record to say the least!
'This is our third doubles league and it’s going well, although we have an annoying habit of losing one game per league which has continued again in the current league. There has been a vast improvement in our doubles play since the first league, our movement used to be fairly slapstick but now we at least look like we know what we are doing!'
Both players also enjoy playing LTL Singles leagues and Jack believes the differing aspects of doubles and singles means that they've been able to enjoy the best of both worlds;
'In the doubles we’ve had some great games which were very memorable. Through the singles league I’ve met some really nice people and built a group of people to play against all year-round.'
'Definitely' agrees Alex - 'Everyone we have met has been very friendly and we have had some really enjoyable matches.'
Best of luck for the coming rounds both of you! Thanks for taking the time to chat. We're looking forward to seeing more 3 set epics!