Tennis Tips for Doubles – Tennis Doubles Strategy and Tactics

Doubles tennis is played in the same manner in terms of scoring with singles tennis matches. However, both tennis matches differs with the court size where they are played. Doubles tennis is played in a bigger court compared to single tennis matches.

Below are some tennis tips for doubles.

Ready position

The ready position in the tennis two handed backhand is when you stand with your two feet pointing towards the net. Your two feet point towards the net and are spread from each other. The distance between the feet depends on how comfortable you are. Some players spread them wide enough but some players don’t.

Standard tennis doubles positions

Some tennis double tips illustrated

Tennis doubles tips basically starts when the player is serving on the deuce side. The server has to stand near the center. Ideally, the serve should target the weakness of the receiver, which in most cases is the backhand side. If the server is serving on the ad side, it is ideal for the server to stand in a wider position (away from the center). And the reason for this is to force the receiver to return the ball with a stretched backhand or forcing the receiver to execute the slice backhand and landing the ball in the middle of the serving partner’s forehand.

At this stage, the server’s partner is positioned in the center part of the service box just in front of the receiver. With the receiver’s weak return (stretched backhand or slice), the server’s partner can attack through a quick volley or he can also move back quickly to hit an overhead shot. At this position, the server’s partner has the capacity to return a ball down the alley on her side and at the same time he can also hit an aggressive opponent’s return across the middle of the court.

The receiver’s partner on the other hand has to position himself around the service line and be ready to move to the volleying position if his partner is able to return an aggressive ball or else he has to move slightly backwards if his partner’s return is a floater.

Stay alert as server’s partner

The second tennis tip for doubles is to stay alert. Alertness and quickness are the main positive points in playing a tennis doubles match. In singles, it is black and white as when you need to hit the ball. However in doubles, sometimes you have to hit the ball successively but sometimes you have to wait for the right time to make your move.

Another tennis doubles tip is to you need to stay on your toes even if your partner is hitting the ball to avoid yourself becoming flat-footed. One way to maintain your alertness as the server’s partner, is to stand on the service line when your partner is about to serve. Then, as soon as the ball passes where you are, quickly move towards the net and execute a split-step as the receiver of the opposing team start to swing his racket.

This doubles tennis tip keeps you alert all the time but at the same time it can also create confusion to the receiver’s partner. In addition, with this doubles tactic you are also ready to hit a volley in case the receiver’s return is weak.

What to do with a aggressive return

Among tennis tips for doubles is to react properly to an aggressive return. In case the receiver’s return is powerful enough that the serving team needs to attack, the receiver and the partner should position themselves in a volley position while moving forward in the center of the service box making sure that both sides of the net are covered. If the receiver’s return hits down the line, then both the receiver and the partner should cover the down the line side of the net.

At this stage, the server’s partner is vulnerable in his volleying position (near the net as mentioned above) so he has to move a bit backward and wait for the receiver’s team return. The server has to move left to get the ball so the partner has to go in the same direction to cover the gap between them. Too large of a gap between each partner can make the team vulnerable, as the opponent will surely attack down the middle or in between you and your partner.

What to do on a weak return in a doubles tennis game

This tennis doubles tip applies when the receiver’s return is weak. If this is the case, his partner should move backwards as much as she can up to the point when the server’s team is about to make a shot. The server’s partner on one hand, should take every opportunity he finds with a weak returns of the opponent team because he is the one in position to hit a poach volley. In case the server’s partner fails to execute the volley after a weak or short return, the server himself should do the work.

Server and the partner stay back on serve

Another interesting tennis tips for doubles relates to the two back formation. This tactic involves both the server and his partner positioned at the baseline. This is done if the receiver can aggressively return serves. In this case, the server’s partner is in better position because if he stays in the volleying position, the opponent can pass down a line which can possibly force him to make an error.

The two back formation applies if a team’s weakness is their serve. This can be counteracted by both players positioned at the baseline which will allow them to use their ground strokes to win a point.

In order to counteract this serving team tactic, the receiving team should move forward once they hit an aggressive return. This situation puts them in a very good position to attack which can be considered an advantage to their team.

In the serving team’s side, this tactic should be the last resort because surely they will be at a disadvantage if both of their opponents are up at net. One way to get out of this situation is to hit a lob to force your opponent to move back near the baseline and then immediately move towards the net to put your team at a better position to hit a volley.

Receiver and partner stay back to receive

In cases when the receiver’s return serve is not aggressive enough to prevent the serving team from executing volley towards the receiver’s partner, the receiver’s partner should move back to the baseline and start the point there. If he stays near the net, the serving team will likely make a passing shot to his direction.

This doubles tennis tip applies when both of the opponents positioned on the baseline, the server should more forward quickly to join his partner at the net. Ideally the server should follow his serve in coming forward to the net.

If the receiving team get a chance to return an aggressive ball, both of them can move forward towards the net although in most cases going near the net can be very hard.

Opportunistic poach by server’s partner

One important tennis tips for doubles is the poach volley shot. Normally, the tendency of the receiver is to return the serve cross court. In this case, the server’s partner should be very observant in case the receiver decides to hit a weak cross court shot. If the receiving team returns a weak ball, the server’s partner can poach and hit the volley towards the open court. This means that the server’s partner has to cut diagonally towards his partner’s half court to hit the stroke called the “opportunistic poach”.

Before deciding on whether or not to poach, the server’s partner should be very sure to hit a winning shot. His shot should force their opponent to return a weak shot or else they will be at a vulnerable position as this movement will create an open court in his side. Although poaching can be a very good winning shot, it can also be very difficult.

In tennis doubles matches, one of the hardest things is to return the serve. And it will be harder for the receiving team if the server’s partner likes to poach.

Receiver lob: server return

A great tip for doubles in tennis is the receiver lob and server return. One tactic of the receiver is to lob the server’s partner; in this case it is better for the server to return the lob. In return, the server’s partner has to cover the space vacated by the server as fast as he could before the opponent team is ready to hit another return. Once the receiving team is sure that they have hit a good deep lob, they can immediately move forward and be ready to volley. This movement will be difficult for the server (who has to get the lob) to make a passing shot or hit a lob.

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