closeup photo of tennis net

How To Play Doubles Tennis For Beginners

Tennis is like a dance: two people coming together in perfect harmony to create something beautiful. In doubles tennis, four partners come together and must work as a team to outplay their opponents. This can be intimidating for beginners, but with the right techniques and strategies, anyone can learn how to play doubles tennis. This article will provide an introduction to doubles tennis for beginners, including the rules, strategies and tips to get started.

Doubles tennis is a fast-paced game that requires coordination between teammates. While similar to singles play, there are some key differences that require players to adjust their strategies in order to succeed in this unique sport. To begin with, both teams have two players playing on each side of the court and they must remain on opposite sides of the net at all times. Additionally, when serving the ball, each player gets two chances instead of one like in singles play. Finally, most rallies are decided by either a team or individual error rather than an outright winner or loser.

Learning how to master the basics of doubles strategy takes practice and dedication but is well worth it for any aspiring tennis player who wants to take their game up a level. In this article we’ll explore different aspects of doubles play from basic rules and formations to more advanced tactics such as poaching and lobbing. With these tips you’ll soon be ready for your first match!

Understanding The Rules Of Doubles Tennis

Did you know that doubles tennis is the most popular form of tennis? According to the USTA, nearly 70% of all tennis players play doubles. It’s a great way to get fit and socialize while having fun.

If you’re new to doubles, it’s important to understand the rules first. The primary difference between doubles and singles is the presence of two players on either side of the court instead of one. This means that there are more shots available for each team and more points to be won or lost. Additionally, serves must always be diagonally across from each other, with a partner at your side for support and communication.

Serves can also be hit cross-court rather than straight down the line in singles tennis. Furthermore, when returning serves, players must allow their opponents time to reach the ball before hitting it back; if they hit it too early, then it’s considered a fault. These are just some of the key rules that differentiate doubles from singles tennis; becoming familiar with them will help you become a better player in no time!

Familiarizing Yourself With The Court

Imagine a tennis court as an arena, and each player as a gladiator. You must familiarize yourself with the court to become a successful doubles tennis player. To do this, it’s important to know the different parts of the court and understand how they affect your play.

The doubles court measures 78 feet long by 27 feet wide, and is divided into two sides by the net. The service line is 21 feet from the net and marks the halfway point of each side of the court. There are two alleys on either side of the singles sidelines, which are 4.5 feet wide for doubles play. Additionally, there are two service boxes that each measure 6-by-6 feet near both ends of the net.

Finally, there are two center lines that bisect each half of the court – one parallel to and 6 inches behind the net, which divides fair territory from foul territory; and one running parallel to and 3 feet in front of the net, which divides each team’s respective courts in half horizontally. Knowing these parts of a court will help you become more aware when playing doubles tennis and make better decisions on where to stand during play.

As you learn more about doubles tennis, understanding positioning and spacing will be key in helping you reach your goal of becoming an expert at this game.

Positioning And Spacing In Doubles Tennis

Are you ready to sink your teeth into doubles tennis? Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the court, it’s time to learn about positioning and spacing in doubles.

When playing singles, you are the only one responsible for covering the court. But in doubles, you must work together with your partner to cover each side of the court. The key is communication—you need to discuss positioning and spacing between points on how best to cover the opposing team’s shots.

The most basic positioning consists of one player at the net (the volleyer) and another player back near the baseline (the baseliner). The volleyer should stay close to the service line while the baseliner should stand somewhere between the service line and baseline. However, this isn’t always a hard rule–in certain situations, both players may move up or down depending on where they think their opponents will hit it next.

Each player must be aware of their position relative to their partner and not just themselves. Good movement and spacing allows players to cover more ground effectively as a team. Knowing when and where to move on a court can help give you an advantage against your opponents! As we move forward into serving and return strategies, keep these important principles of positioning and spacing in mind so that you can start playing successful doubles matches soon!

Serving And Return Strategies

Playing doubles tennis can be like a game of chess, with each move made carefully to create the best outcome. As the server and returner, you are in control of the court’s positioning and have the upper hand. It’s important to understand how to make good use of this power.

When serving in doubles tennis, it’s important to keep your opponent off balance by mixing up your serves. Try going for an ace down the middle, followed by a slice serve that lands wide on their backhand side. This will make it harder for your opponents to anticipate where the next ball is coming from. Additionally, be sure to target each player with different types of serves – one person may prefer a high-bouncing serve while another may prefer a flat spin serve.

When returning serve, look for opportunities to hit aggressive shots that put pressure on your opponents. Try aiming for angles that force them out of position and don’t be afraid to go for drop shots or lobs if you think they won’t be able to reach it in time. Also practice reading your opponents’ body language so you know when they’re ready to pounce and when they’re vulnerable – there’s no point hitting into an open court if your opponents are ready and waiting! With these strategies in mind, you’ll be well positioned to take control of the court and put pressure on your opponents.

Communication with your partner is key in doubles tennis; without it, it’s easy for confusion and frustration to arise between players. Make sure you discuss strategy as well as who will cover which part of the court before playing any matches together.

Communicating With Your Partner

Communicating with your partner is an integral part of playing doubles tennis. According to the USTA, 70% of all doubles matches are won or lost due to communication errors between partners. To ensure you and your partner play as a cohesive unit, here are five strategies for improving your communication on the court:

First, set expectations for each point before it begins. Decide who will be serving and returning and who will cover which areas of the court. This can help avoid awkward situations during points where both partners are running to the same area of the court.

Second, use hand signals to indicate where you want your partner to hit their shots. For example, a fist pump can mean they should hit a powerful shot while two fingers pointing up could mean they should hit a high lob. This reduces confusion and allows players to focus on their own shots without having to worry about calling out verbal instructions.

Third, talk through strategy with your partner during breaks in between games or sets. Discuss what worked well and what didn’t work so well during the game or set that just finished, then plan accordingly for the next one. This helps keep players focused on winning points rather than trying to figure out strategy mid-game or set.

Finally, take timeouts when needed if there’s an issue between partners or if one of them is struggling mentally or physically during a match. Taking a timeout allows players to refocus and reset their energy so they can come back refreshed and ready to win points again later in the match.

By following these strategies, you’ll be able to communicate effectively with your partner and have more success in doubles tennis matches going forward!

Return Of Serve Strategies

Ah, that age-old question – how to play doubles tennis? You’d think it would be so simple. After all, it’s just tennis with twice the players, right? Wrong! Playing doubles tennis is a whole different ball game – and if you’re a beginner, it can seem downright daunting. But don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Here’s our guide to return of serve strategies for doubles tennis beginners.

First things first: communication is key in doubles. When returning the serve, make sure you keep your partner in the loop so that they know what kind of shot you plan on making. That way, there will be fewer unfortunate miscommunications when both players go for the same ball at once!

Second: timing is essential for returning an opponent’s serve. Don’t rush into your shot too quickly – wait until the ball comes across the court to position yourself and then make your move. Also remember that you can aim your return to wherever you have an advantage over your opponents – whether it’s a weak spot or their side of the court – as long as you maintain good communication with your partner throughout.

Finally: strategy should dictate your returns. Pay attention to where your opponents are standing and adjust accordingly; if one player has taken up position close to the net, consider hitting a deep return so they have less time to react and get back into position. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to take on any opponent! Ready for some volleying tips now? Let’s jump right in…

Volleying Tips

Volleying in doubles tennis is an essential skill to master in order to improve your game. Volleys are quick shots that are hit close to the net and require great hand-eye coordination. When volleying, it’s important to stay low, use your wrist, and be patient while waiting for the ball to come over the net.

When volleying with a partner, it’s important to communicate clearly and move together. This helps you cover more of the court so that you can put away any shots that come your way. Additionally, when playing doubles, aim for angles and try to send shots away from your opponents – this will give you more time to get into position before they return the ball.

Finally, practice makes perfect when it comes to volleys! Work on improving your technique by consistently practicing different types of volleys until you become comfortable with them. TIP: Switch up your position on the court during practice sessions; this will help you work on different angles and make sure you’re always ready for unexpected shots!

Overhead Shots And Smash Strategies

When it comes to doubles tennis, overhead shots and smash strategies are a must-have in the arsenal. As the saying goes, “You have to learn the rules of the game and then you have to play better than anyone else,” so let’s take a look at what it takes to make these shots count.

To get started on overhead shots and smashes, you need to identify when your opponent will hit a high shot that is best suited for an overhead shot or smash. This means watching your opponents’ movements closely and predicting where they will hit their next shot. It also requires being in good position before the ball is struck so that you can react quickly once it’s been sent your way. Additionally, practice makes perfect—so don’t be afraid to spend some time honing your technique and learning how to set up for the right kind of shot.

Finally, don’t forget that timing is everything when it comes to successful smashes and overheads. You’ll want to make sure you’re hitting from a place of power and control, as this will give you more accuracy with each stroke. With some effort and practice, soon enough you’ll be sending overheads flying across the court like a pro! With all these tips in mind, you’re now ready to move onto playing at the net…

Playing At The Net

Playing at the net is an important part of doubles tennis, as it allows you to get to the ball quickly and take control of the point. To be successful in this area, there are a few key strategies you should keep in mind.

First, it’s important to decide when to move up to the net. If your opponents are hitting deep shots, it can be effective for one partner to stay back and hit returns while the other moves up. This way, when your opponents hit a deep shot, their return is more likely to be short and easy for you or your partner at the net to put away.

Once at the net, having good footwork is essential so that you can react quickly and stay in position no matter what kind of shot comes your way. You should also practice volleying with both of your forehand and backhand strokes so that you’re comfortable with either side. Finally, communication between partners is key when playing doubles – calling out who will cover certain shots helps ensure that both partners know where they need to be on each point. With these strategies in place, you’ll be able to dominate at the net.

Returning lobs is another key skill for doubles players; if done correctly it can help turn defense into offense quickly.

Returning Lob Shots

Returning lob shots requires returning with precision and poise. Part of playing doubles tennis involves understanding how to return the ball when your opponents hit a lob shot over you. The key is to be ready to move in any direction, and position yourself so that the ball can be returned with accuracy and power.

When the ball is sent up high, it can be difficult to anticipate where it will land. Practicing on a regular basis can help you learn how to read the trajectory of the ball more accurately, which will make it easier for you to determine where to run in order to meet the incoming shot. Returning a lob shot also requires controlling your emotions, so that you don’t get too frustrated if you miss the shot or aren’t able to reach it in time.

Having an accurate return is essential for successful doubles play. You must have the ability to send back a powerful response while still keeping control over the placement of your shots. To perfect this skill, take some time out on court and practice returning lob shots from different angles and positions around the net. With consistent practice, you will soon master this technique and become a formidable force at net play! Transitioning into cross-court play marks another important step in mastering doubles tennis for beginners.

Playing Cross-Court

Playing cross-court is the next step in mastering the basics of doubles tennis. It’s important to use this technique to keep your opponents off balance and prevent them from anticipating your shots. Here are a few key points to remember when playing cross-court:

  1. Utilize the width of the court – Play across the court to take advantage of its full width.
  2. Take time to set up – Don’t rush your shots, focus on accuracy and placement.
  3. Keep it low – Aim for lower shots, as they will be harder for your opponents to reach and return.
  4. Maintain control – Make sure you hit with enough power while still keeping control over where it goes. When playing cross-court, take care not to give away too much information about your positioning or shot selection, as this can make it easy for your opponents to anticipate what you are about to do. Instead, stay unpredictable and maintain an element of surprise by mixing up the angles and depths of each shot you play. With practice, you’ll soon be able to move effortlessly between defensive and offensive play with ease. Now that you’ve learned how to play cross-court, it’s time to start dealing with approach shots!

Dealing With Approach Shots

The thrill of the approach shot is like a rollercoaster – one moment it’s high, and the next it’ll have you in a spin! In doubles tennis, dealing with your opponent’s approach shot is a key part of the game. It requires an intense focus and quick reflexes, so let’s delve into the basics.

Firstly, it’s essential to note that you should never hit an approach shot directly at your opponents. You should always look to go cross court if possible, as this will give you more time to react to any follow up shots. When returning an approach shot, try to use topspin as this will create a higher bounce and make it more difficult for your opponents to hit a winner.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to mix up your returns. If your opponent is expecting you to return their shot with a topspin or slice then surprise them by hitting it flat or using drop shots instead. This can help keep you one step ahead of your opponents and force them into making mistakes.

Finally, don’t forget about footwork when returning an approach shot; make sure that you are in control of the point at all times by getting into position early so that you can anticipate where the ball might go next. Doing this will put you in good stead as you move onto returning drop shots.

Returning Drop Shots

Returning drop shots can be one of the most difficult shots to perform in doubles tennis. It requires a combination of agility, quick reflexes and great hand-eye coordination. The following are four key steps for returning drop shots in doubles tennis:

  1. Keep your eye on the ball at all times – being able to anticipate where the ball is going helps you decide how and when to move.
  2. Move quickly towards the net – as soon as you recognize a drop shot is coming, move quickly towards the net so you can return the shot.
  3. Don’t overhit it – make sure to keep your shot low and don’t hit it too hard or else your opponent will have an easy put away.
  4. Get in position for the next shot – once you’ve returned the drop shot, get back into position quickly so that you are ready for your opponents next move. Practicing these steps regularly can help improve your ability to return drop shots in singles tennis. With time and practice, these tips will help you become more confident in returning this tricky yet rewarding shot in a game of doubles tennis. Now that we have discussed how to return a drop shot, let’s turn our attention to strategies for winning the match.

Strategies For Winning The Match

Coincidentally, winning a match of doubles tennis is often determined by the strategies employed by both teams. While the rules and techniques of playing doubles are relatively straightforward, it is the ability to play strategically that will set you apart from your opponents.

As with any sport, understanding the basics of doubles tennis is critical in order to compete effectively. This includes learning how to move around the court together as a team, returning shots correctly, and being ready for unexpected scenarios. In addition to this, having an effective strategy for winning the match is essential for success.

When playing doubles tennis as a team, there are several important aspects to consider when planning a winning strategy. You must be able to recognize when one player needs extra support from their partner and take advantage of opportunities such as double-teaming or taking turns in attacking and defending positions. Additionally, it is important for both players to work together on anticipating their opponent’s next move and communicating effectively during each point of play. TIP: A great way to practice developing your strategy for winning matches is by playing with different partners and experimenting with different techniques during friendly games. This will help you become more familiar with your partner’s style of play and give you an opportunity to test out various strategies before competing in official tournaments or matches.

Tips For Improving Your Doubles Game

Playing doubles tennis can be an incredibly thrilling experience! Not only do you have the opportunity to master your own skills and techniques, but you also get to collaborate with your partner to create a winning strategy. Here are some tips for improving your doubles game that will help you take your game to the next level.

Firstly, learn how to utilize both the forehand and backhand shots. While most beginners might just focus on one or two of these basic skills, it’s important to practice them all in order to become more confident and successful on the court. Additionally, focus on developing good communication with your partner so that you can better coordinate your movements and anticipate each other’s shots.

Finally, don’t forget to take some time out of practice sessions to work on your footwork – this is especially important when playing doubles because it allows you to move around the court quickly and fluidly in order to reach any shot. Regular drills focusing on agility and coordination will help ensure that you’re always ready for any situation that arises during a match.

By consistently working on these tips and strategies, you’ll be well-equipped with the skills necessary to improve your doubles game and make a lasting impact out there on the court!


Playing doubles tennis is an exciting way to enjoy the game of tennis with friends and family. It can be a great way to stay in shape and have some fun. With a little bit of practice and understanding of the rules, you can quickly become a competitive doubles player.

An interesting fact about doubles tennis is that it is much faster than singles. This is because there are two players on each side of the net, so rallies tend to be shorter. As such, when playing doubles, it is important to be quick on your feet and ready for anything.

Overall, playing doubles tennis can provide hours of fun and excitement for all levels of players. With the right attitude and knowledge of the rules, you can improve your game quickly and start competing at the highest level. So grab your racquet, head out onto the court, and get ready for an amazing game of doubles!