How to Play Doubles Tennis/ 9 Tennis Doubles Strategies

how to play tennis doubles

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how to play tennis doubles

If you are simply new to playing doubles then this guide will allow you to learn how playing doubles is different compared to playing singles and how to play double tennis.

What is Doubles Tennis?

In doubles, a partner plays a team of two players on the opposing side of the net, using the full court involving the baselines and the doubles sidelines.

Due to the higher number of players, the player has more chances to score with the net. The score of doubles match is usually shorter than that of singles match.

With doubles, the rules of the game, the way of serving, and scoring will be different when playing singles.

How to Play Doubles Tennis for Beginners

Rules in Doubles Tennis

The first difference is that the size of the tennis court will include alleys. This means that when a player takes the volley, as long as the ball has fallen on the court is valid.

With serve, the rule of the serve is like singles, meaning that if the ball falls to alleys it will be considered out of bound. Players don’t need to take turns hitting the ball, so they can split the court the way they see fit during a volley.

As a rule of thumb, the position of the server or receiver is to the left or right of the baseline, and the other teammate should be in the middle of the service box (either near the net or in the center of the box).

Serving in Doubles Tennis

A coin toss is usually used to decide which team serves first.

The serving team will select who is going to serve first. Meanwhile, the receiving team will do the same, select the receiver of the first serving ball. After the first game, the receiving team will become the serving team. For the 3rd game, the serving role changes to the other team player. The same serving rule applies to the next games of the match.

To score the first point, the server has to hit the ball from the right side of the field, then he will have to switch sides for every score. For each winning point, the winning team gets 2 chances to serve.

With your first chance, serve hard because there’s a high chance that your opponent won’t respond quickly enough. If the first serve fails, be careful with the second serve to make sure the ball falls into the service box. You will get no points if both shots fail.

Scoring in Doubles Tennis

In tennis, 0 point is called “LOVE”. So when do you score points when you play doubles? 

  • When an opponent’s ball is not over the net or out of bounds (if the serving ball touches the net and then flies to the other side, they have to redo the serve) 
  • When the ball hits the opponent body instead of their racket
  •  If the server hits the ball on his teammate

In tennis, one winning point is scored as 15, 2 points is 30 and 3 points is 40. If you are in the serving team, and have two points, while your rivalry has 1 point, then “30-15” is called out by the serving partner.

The game ends if one team earns 4 points, and the other team earns less than 2 points.

The game is called “deuce” if both teams have 40. In this case the two teams will continue to play, the winner will have to score 2 points in a row. At this time, the referee will use “advantage in ‘(when the serving team scores) and‘ advantage out ”(when the opposing team wins) instead of counting the number. 

The two teams change fields after each win with an odd score.

1 set has 6 games and you must win at least 2 games ahead of your opponent. For example:

  • A set is settled at 6-4, it’s over.
  • A set is settled at 6-5, another game is on. If it is tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker game is needed.

The match ends if a team wins 2 sets in a row. If the two teams tie at 1-1, they will have to play a third set.

Tennis Doubles Positioning

The best position is the one that helps you respond to the opponent’s ball easily.

On your first serve, you should stay close to the net because there is a high chance that the opponent will not respond well. For the second serve, stand a bit further to strike back. With the volley, the center of the service box is the best position because this position helps you to bounce the ball well.

Serving position:

In doubles, it works best to create your serves from about halfway between the center of this baseline and the interior border of the alley.

When receiving a serve, a fantastic place to stand would be just to the inside of the street just behind the baseline.

Teammates need to decide very quickly on who will stand where to create a smooth combination. Communication during the game is very important. Arguing during the game will only bring failure.

how to play tennis doubles - positioning

Tennis Doubles Strategies: 9 Important Tactics.

How to play doubles tennis without strategies? To score more points, you need to have a good strategy:

#1 Aim the Ball at the Opponent’s Feet:

 The ball at the low range is more difficult to hit than the ball at high altitude. When you are close to the grid, it is easy to do this tactic. At this point, your opponent is forced to hit the ball high and you will easily respond.

#2 Focus on Attacking in the Middle of the Field

 People often underestimate mid-range shots and appreciate cross-corner and straight hits. When you hit the ball mid-range, you force the opponent to run to the center of the field and create confusion between the two opponents who will be the recipient of the ball. After that, you should get close to the net for the next corner and far, the opponent will take time to get to the support position.

#3 Net Attack

When both players approach the net to respond to the opponent team with volleys, there is a high chance that you will score points.

#4 Lobbing

Lobbing is a great strategy to get back your first serving ball. Lobbing alters the velocity and speed of the ball, distracting the other team, giving you chances to score.

#5 Poaching

The net player will find opportunities to poach when two baseline players are fighting each other. When the net player rushes in to cut the ball, it will surprise his enemy. This strategy requires the player to observe well and snap at the right moment.

#6 Don’t Let Your Opponents Anticipate Your Move

   The opponent will usually judge the moves of a net player. So if you are a net player move away from the net to trick your opponent, making them unable to guess where the return ball will fall. Your team will easily score points if your teammates understand what you are doing.

#7 Focus on Their Weakness

Most players will have very strong forehand and weak backhand. So focus your shots on their backhand. However, stay away from the forehands of the other player. If all players are right-handed, focus on the “T” zone (where the horizontal serve line is perpendicular to the center serve)

#8 I – Formation

With I-formation, the server is in the center of the baseline, the net player stands in the center of the “T” lane. And the net player’s movements are known only to teammates

#9 Australian Formation

With this formation, both players are on one side of the field, the other completely empty. This tactic works when your opponents are weak down-the-line or they always hit one person.


Playing Doubles is a rhythmic combination between 2 players. Hope this article helps you understand the rules of the game, how to score points and strategies to help your team win.

Bonus: Doubles Tennis Basics

How to Play Doubles Tennis/ 9 Tennis Doubles Strategies
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