Doubles tennis can be a challenging and rewarding game, requiring skill, strategy, and teamwork. Whether you're a seasoned doubles player or just starting, understanding the key elements of doubles tennis is essential to success on the court.

From mastering advanced formations to developing effective service strategies, every aspect of the game can make a significant impact on your performance.

In this article, we will explore some of the most critical elements of doubles tennis, including tennis doubles positioning, doubles strategy, and advanced doubles formations. So, let's dive in and take your doubles game to the next level!

Mastering Effective Doubles Tennis Strategies - Tips and Tactics

1. Work on Your Positioning

Effective doubles tennis strategies involve more than just hitting the ball back and forth. One of the most important aspects of playing doubles is proper positioning. Your position on the court can have a significant impact on the outcome of a match. By positioning yourself correctly, you can minimize the gaps in the court and put pressure on your opponents.

Here are some tips on how to work on your positioning in doubles tennis:

  • Communication is key: Talk to your partner and make sure you both understand each other's strengths and weaknesses. This will help you position yourselves effectively and better anticipate the move of your opposing net player.
  • Cover the middle: The middle of the court is a vulnerable spot, so make sure you and your partner cover it as much as possible.
  • Stay aggressive: Don't be afraid to take risks and move forward to put pressure on your opponents. Just make sure you have a backup from your partner.
  • Anticipate shots: Try to anticipate where your opponents are going to hit the ball and position yourself accordingly. This will give you a better chance of making a successful shot.

By working on your positioning in doubles tennis, you can gain a significant advantage over your opponents. Remember to communicate with your partner, cover the middle, stay aggressive, and anticipate shots.

With practice, you can master this important aspect of doubles tennis and take your game to the next level.

two female tennis players

2. Master the Service Line

To master the service line, it's important to have a variety of services in your arsenal. A good service will not only be accurate but also have a strong pace and a lot of spins to make it difficult for your opponents to return.

Practice your serves with your partner and try different strategies, such as serving down the middle or aiming for the corners, to keep your opponents guessing.

Another essential part of controlling the service line is having a solid return game. Make sure to practice your returns so that you can return your opponent's serve with accuracy and pace. Being able to consistently return serves puts you and your partner in a better position to win the point.

Don't forget to communicate with your partner and establish a clear plan for covering the court during the service. Your partner should have a designated area to cover while you focus on returning the serve.

Having a well-coordinated tennis strategy can help you dominate the service line and take control of the match.

Using these effective tennis doubles strategies, you can improve your game and win more matches. Remember to focus on positioning, mastering the service line, and communicating with your partner to maximize your chances of success.

tennis athlete serving

3. Play Smarter Doubles

To excel in doubles tennis, effective communication with your partner is crucial. Consistent communication throughout the match can prevent misunderstandings and ensure that both players are on the same page. You can use hand signals or verbal cues to coordinate your movements, which can help you anticipate each other's actions.

In addition to communication, it is essential to pay attention to your opponent's movements. By observing their body language and foot positioning, you can anticipate their shots and react quickly, gaining an advantage in making the return.

Remember, playing smarter doubles entails leveraging your skills, effective communication, and strategic thinking to outmaneuver your opponents and gain control of the point.

two female tennis players

4. Understand Advanced Formations

When you use advanced formations, you can force your opponents to change their playing style.

The following are some examples of doubles tennis formations.

  • I-formation: It involves one player at the net and the other near the baseline. This formation can confuse the returner and make it difficult for them to hit an effective return.
  • Australian formation: On the other hand, involves both players positioning themselves in the half of the court near the center, with one player in front of the other. This formation can be especially effective against opponents who tend to hit the ball cross-court.

To use these formations effectively, you and your partner need to communicate and be on the same page. You should also practice these formations in advance to ensure that you can execute them smoothly during a match.

Once you master these formations, you can take your doubles game to the next level and keep your opponents guessing.

guy playing tennis focusing

5. Keep an Eye on Your Opponent’s Feet

In doubles tennis, every little advantage can make a difference between winning and losing. Keeping an eye on your opponent's feet is a simple but effective way to gain valuable information during a match. By watching your opponent's footwork, you can anticipate their shots and react more quickly, giving you an edge on the court.

To observe your opponent's feet, focus on their footwork during their preparation for a shot. Are they positioning their feet for a forehand or backhand shot? Is their weight shifting to one side or the other? These subtle cues can provide insight into where the ball is likely to go and allow you to position yourself accordingly.

So, keep your eyes on your opponent's fancy footwork, and you'll always be one step ahead of the game! With the right strategies, like mastering the service line and proper positioning, you'll be sure to ace your way to success on the doubles tennis court.

doubles on tennis

6. Hit Early and Aggressively

To execute this doubles tennis strategy, you need to have good anticipation and quick reaction time. As soon as you see the ball coming towards you, move your body towards it, and try to hit the ball before it bounces too high.

Hitting the ball early also means that you will have less time to think, so make sure you have a clear plan in mind before you hit the shot.

Aggressiveness is also key to this strategy. Hitting the ball with pace and power can put pressure on your opponents and force them to make errors. However, make sure that you don't sacrifice accuracy for power. Aim for the corners of the court and try to hit the ball to areas where your opponents are not standing.

In doubles, hitting early and aggressively can be especially effective when your opponents are at the net. By hitting the ball hard and low, you can make it difficult for them to react and put them on the defensive. This can create opportunities for you to hit winners or force errors.

doubles on tennis

7. Developing a Serve Strategy for Doubles

Developing a solid service strategy is crucial in doubles tennis. By finding your opponent's weakness on their return, you can create opportunities to take control of the point. One effective strategy is to serve up the T on the deuce side and wide on the ad side, making it more difficult for your opponents to return the ball.

It's important to stay aware of how your opponents are handling each serve as the match progresses. If they struggle with a certain type of service, continue to target that area. However, if they begin to adjust and anticipate your serves, it may be time to mix things up and try a different approach.

Another key factor in developing a successful service strategy is communication with your partner. Discussing where you plan to serve and which areas of the court you will cover can help you and your partner stay coordinated and avoid leaving gaps in your defense.

doubles on tennis game

8. Practice the Three Net Strategies for Doubles

Playing doubles tennis requires a unique set of skills and strategies to effectively work with your partner to outsmart and outplay your opponents. One of the most important aspects of doubles is net play, which involves quick reflexes, sharp instincts, and well-executed strategies.

Three effective net strategies for doubles tennis that you can incorporate into your game:

  • Poaching: It is a net strategy where you, as the net player, cross over to intercept the opponent's shot intended for your partner. This is a highly effective strategy that can catch your opponents off-guard and disrupt their rhythm. Poaching early in the match can also put pressure on your opponents and make them think twice about their shots. To effectively execute poaching, communication with your partner is essential, as you need to make sure they are aware of your movements and are ready to cover the court.
  • Faking: A net strategy where you make a move as if you are going to poach, but instead, you stay at the net, forcing the opponent to change their shot or hit it directly at you. Faking can create confusion and force errors from your opponents, as they may hesitate or rush their shots. Faking can be especially effective when you notice that your opponents are anticipating your poaching movements.
  • Pinching: A net strategy where you move towards the center of the net, leaving the sidelines open, and force your opponent to hit a shot into a smaller target. Pinching can be a risky strategy, but when executed correctly, it can create an opportunity for you to put away a volley or force a weak return. Pinching is most effective when you notice that your opponents are consistently hitting the sidelines, allowing you to intercept the ball.

So, next time you hit the doubles court, don't be afraid to poach, fake, or pinch your way to victory! These net strategies may take some practice and coordination with your partner, but they can give you a serious advantage over your opponents.

With a keen understanding of your rivals' game and a little bit of doubles finesse, you'll be sure to dominate the court and leave your opponents in the dust.

Practice the Three Net Strategies for Doubles

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Improving your tennis doubles strategy can help you win more double matches and enjoy more time on the court with your partner. Positioning, service line control, and advanced formations are all crucial components of a successful strategy.

Observing your opponent's footwork, hitting the ball early, and developing a reliable service strategy can all give you an edge over your opponents. To achieve better results, it's essential to communicate with your partner and work together as a team.

By practicing these techniques and working on your game regularly, you can play smarter doubles and win more matches, allowing you to enjoy more time on the court with your partner. So, take the time to learn these strategies and put them into practice, and you'll be on your way to dominating the doubles court.


How do I get better at doubles tennis?

To improve your doubles game, focus on your positioning and coordination with your partner. Make sure to cover the court effectively by positioning yourself based on the ball's location and your opponent's weaknesses. Hit the ball early and aggressively to keep your opponents on their heels. Also, practice advanced formations like the I-formation and the Australian formation to throw off your opponents and keep them guessing.

How do you play tennis doubles with a weak partner?

Playing with a weaker partner can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it work. Focus on your strengths and try to cover the court as effectively as possible. Encourage your partner and provide positive feedback to boost their confidence. Practice with your partner to identify and work on their weaknesses. Remember to stay patient and stay in control of the tennis match.

How do you dominate in doubles?

To dominate in doubles, communication, and coordination with your partner are key. Keep an eye on your opponent's feet to anticipate their shots and position yourself accordingly. Attack at the center of the court and press your opponents with aggressive shots. Use lobs and poaches strategically to keep your opponents off balance. Take advantage of your opponent's weaknesses and adjust your game accordingly. Remember to stay focused and think strategically throughout the match.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in doubles tennis?

One of the most common mistakes in doubles tennis is standing too far back from the net. This gives your opponents too much room to hit the ball, making it harder for you to put pressure on them. Another mistake is not communicating with your partner, which can lead to confusion and missed opportunities. Lastly, avoid hitting shots down the middle of the court, which can leave your team vulnerable to easy winners.

How important is footwork in doubles tennis?

Footwork is crucial in doubles tennis, as it allows you to move quickly and efficiently around the court. Good footwork can help you cover more ground, reach difficult shots, and maintain proper positioning. Practice footwork drills and exercises to improve your speed, agility, and balance.