What makes a good doubles team? Is it on-court success? Off-court chemistry? Something else entirely?
Whatever it is, Jeremy Court and Zach Katz have it figured out.
Working together, the freshman-sophomore pair has posted an 8-5 overall record on their way to stabilizing the doubles portion of the Penn tennis team’s lineup.
Though the two fell to Brown’s William Spector and Sam Fife in a tiebreaker on Sunday, that has been their only blemish so far during an otherwise unblemished Ivy League campaign.
The team’s secret to success has eluded many, as Court, the highly recruited freshman, clicked with Katz almost immediately.
Though many would expect the so-called ‘magic potion’ to be a closely guarded, ultra-complex secret, the truth is far simpler than that.
“I think we really complement each other’s games well,” Katz said. “We both return well, and [Jeremy] allows me to be more aggressive, which I need to do to be a good doubles player, and we do communicate and move very well together.”
Communication is indeed the key, as without it, a doubles team fails to gain synchronicity and the ability to properly place shots on the court.
A lot of work must be put in, though, for a doubles team to form that necessary bond.
Katz and Court spend a great deal of time during practice together, working on positioning during different shots to avoid confusion during a match.
For the best doubles teams, proper positioning becomes second nature, borne of years playing together.
Though Court and Katz may not have been together for a long period of time, they have adapted to each other’s styles of play rather quickly.
But their on-court dynamic isn’t the duo’s only ingredient. There is an off-court element to the bond between doubles partners as well.
Just like their playing styles, Court and Katz have complementary personalities.
“I think we have similar sense of humors and we get along really well,” Court said. “We go together like peanut butter and jelly.”
Though Court and Katz may seem inseparable, the two do happen to split apart on occasion.
Both have spent time playing with sophomore Ivan Turudic, and Court has recently partnered up with senior Phil Law.
The pair agrees that having to transition between partners mid-season is a difficult task.
“You just kind of have to go with the flow,” Court said. “But definitely, playing with someone over a longer period of time and having some consistency definitely helps make the team better.”
“It’s definitely more difficult,” Katz echoed. “But it helps in practice to play matches, and it’s also just trust out there. You gotta be able to trust your partner.”
The way Katz and Court trust each other and play together, they may not be split up again for a very long time.Comments powered by Disqus
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