Your resident twins have been attempting to put their mark on Division 1 this season

By Katie Garner

Looking to show the Ladies Division who's boss... Jess and Katie

This year, Jess and I were thrown in Division 1 for the Ladies Pairs, so we were facing pairs such as Corinthians A, Corinthians B, Emerson Eagles A and Hunters A in our third season as a Ladies Pairs team.  Although we may not have stacked up the wins over this season (I swear the pairs have got tougher!), I feel that we’ve learnt loads and definitely developed our tactics and partnership as the season has progressed.

Sorting out our tactics this season has been, to be perfectly honest, rather trying at times. I think the area we have been strongest has definitely been our net play – our low serves, our net shots, and being aggressive and assertive when smashing at the front of the court. This has revealed that our back court play is perhaps weaker than we first anticipated; however, this has been getting loads better as the season has progressed. We’ve both become stronger players at the back of the court, which has been a definite plus this season.  We’ve had a chance to showcase our smashes and drops, which has also been good practice.

We’re no strangers to the fast drives and smashes that seem a significant part of Division 1 play this season, and often we have out driven even the speediest players (which usually result in a small fist pump and a racket slap on the butt – our usual congratulatory gesture). I think I would describe us as general all-rounders when it comes to the shots that we use. Due to the vast amount of Mixed Doubles that we play, our net shots and short serves lead to numerous lifts which just invite a good smashing, and our smashes and drop shots often have good placement, either in the centre of the court or on the lines. Jess has a particularly good cross court drive that seems to land on the furthest line between the front and back player which works really well.  We have also developed better rotation between the two of us, tackling either the front or the back.

On the whole, I feel that we smash with the best of them, and our net play has really helped us in our Ladies as this is an area that some of the other women aren’t as strong at. It has been great playing with Jess, although, as sisters, there is probably slightly more backchat than is strictly necessary! Our doubles play has just started taking a real improvement, so we have high hopes that next season will be a more profitable one for us win wise.

Jess’s best shot: I’m going to say her drives. Low and fast, and also that nifty cross court shot I mentioned earlier.

Katie’s best shot: My short serve. We can usually win a string of points from my short serve as all they can do is lift…and we all know how that ends!