How To Play Doubles Tennis: Basics, Strategies, And Etiquette

By Patrick

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Want to learn how to play doubles tennis? Our guide covers everything you need to know, including , scoring rules, net play techniques, and communication skills. Improve your game with and follow proper to be a good sportsman.

Doubles Tennis Basics

Doubles tennis is a fun and exciting sport that requires teamwork and strategy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, it’s essential to know the of doubles tennis. In this section, we’ll cover , scoring rules, and serving order.

Court Dimensions

The doubles tennis court is 78 feet long and 36 feet wide, which is slightly smaller than a singles court. The court is divided into two sides by a net, which is 3 feet 6 inches high at the center and 3 feet high at the posts. The service court is a rectangle that is 21 feet long and 13.5 feet wide, with the net dividing it into two equal parts. The service line is located 21 feet from the net in the center of the court.

Scoring Rules

Scoring in doubles tennis follows the same rules as singles tennis, with some minor differences. The first team to win six games wins the set, provided they are ahead by at least two games. If the score is tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker is played. In doubles, the team that serves first in the tiebreaker also serves for the first game of the next set. The tiebreaker is played to 7 points, and the team that wins by two points wins the tiebreaker and the set.

Serving Order

In doubles tennis, the serving order is determined at the beginning of each set. The player on the serving team who is due to serve first in the first game of the set serves from the right-hand side of the court. After the first point, the player on the serving team who is due to serve next serves from the left-hand side of the court. The players on the receiving team also change positions after each point. The serving team must win the point to retain the serve, and the receiving team must win the point to break serve.

Choosing the Perfect Doubles Partner

Doubles tennis is a game of strategy, teamwork, and communication. Choosing the right partner can make all the difference between winning and losing. Finding someone with the same passion for the game can be challenging, but it’s crucial to make sure that your partner has the right traits to complement your playing style. Here are some important factors to consider when selecting your ideal doubles partner:

Playing Style Compatibility

The first thing to consider when choosing a doubles partner is your playing style. Are you an aggressive player who likes to play at the net, or do you prefer to stay back and play from the baseline? It’s essential to choose a partner who complements your style of play. If you’re an aggressive player, then you need someone who can cover the baseline when you move forward. On the other hand, if you prefer to stay back, then you need a partner who is comfortable playing at the net.

Communication Skills

Effective communication is the key to success in doubles tennis. You need to be able to communicate with your partner clearly and quickly during a match. It’s crucial to choose someone who is open to feedback and can communicate well. Your partner should be able to read your body language and anticipate your next move.


When choosing a doubles partner, it’s essential to consider their availability. You want someone who is committed to playing and practicing regularly. It’s important to choose a partner who has a similar schedule to yours and is willing to make time for tennis. Before committing to a partnership, make sure that your partner is committed to the game and is willing to put in the effort to become a better player.


Choosing the right doubles partner is essential for success in doubles tennis. It’s important to find someone who complements your playing style, communicates effectively, and is committed to the game. By considering these factors, you can find the perfect partner to take your doubles game to the next level.

Strategies for Doubles Tennis

Doubles tennis is a game that requires strategic planning and execution. It’s not just about hitting the ball, but also about positioning on the court, shot selection and net play techniques. In this section, we’ll explore some of the best for doubles tennis that will help you improve your game and win more matches.

Net Play Techniques

Net play is an essential part of doubles tennis. It’s all about getting to the net as quickly as possible and being prepared to hit any shot that comes your way. There are several net play techniques that you can use to your advantage, such as the volley, the half-volley, and the overhead smash.

The volley is a quick shot that’s hit before the ball bounces on the court. It’s all about positioning yourself at the net and being ready to hit the ball as soon as your opponent hits it. The half-volley is a shot that’s hit just after the ball bounces on the court. It requires excellent timing and footwork, but it’s a great way to keep your opponent off balance.

Finally, the overhead smash is a powerful shot that’s hit over your head. It requires a lot of power and accuracy, but it can be a game-changer when executed correctly. To improve your net play techniques, practice hitting these shots with a partner or against a wall.

Positioning on the Court

Positioning on the court is critical in doubles tennis. The court is divided into two halves, and each player has their own side to cover. You need to position yourself in a way that maximizes your coverage of the court and minimizes your opponent’s opportunities.

One of the most effective positioning is to stay in the middle of the court. This will give you the best chance of covering the entire court, and it will also put pressure on your opponent to hit more precise shots. Another strategy is to take advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses. If your opponent has a weak backhand, position yourself in a way that forces them to hit backhands.

Shot Selection

Shot selection is another critical element of doubles tennis. You need to choose the right shot for the right situation. For example, if you’re at the net, you should look to hit a volley or an overhead smash. If you’re at the baseline, you should focus on hitting groundstrokes.

One of the most important things to consider when choosing your shots is your opponent’s position on the court. If your opponent is out of position, you should look to hit a winner. If your opponent is in a defensive position, you should focus on hitting shots that keep them on the defensive.

Doubles Tennis Drills

Playing doubles tennis requires a combination of skills that players must master to succeed. One way to improve these skills is through practice . In this section, we will discuss three essential doubles tennis that help players develop their serve and volley, crosscourt rally, and lob and smash techniques.

Serve and Volley Practice

This drill focuses on developing the serve-and-volley technique, which is a crucial skill for doubles tennis players. In this drill, players start at the service line and practice hitting quick serves, then quickly move forward to the net to volley the return. The goal is to hit a powerful serve and then follow it up with a well-placed volley that forces the opponent to hit a difficult return.

Crosscourt Rally Practice

The crosscourt rally practice drill is designed to improve a player’s ability to hit accurately and consistently crosscourt shots. In this drill, two players stand on opposite sides of the court and hit the ball back and forth in a crosscourt direction. The goal is to maintain a consistent rally while keeping the ball low and hitting it with accuracy and control.

Lob and Smash Practice

The lob and smash practice drill is designed to help players develop the ability to hit lobs and smashes effectively. In this drill, one player stands at the baseline and hits high lobs to the other player who is positioned at the net. The player at the net must then smash the ball down into the opponent’s court. The goal is to hit the lob high enough to force the opponent back and then smash the ball down into an open space on the court.

Doubles Tennis Etiquette

Playing doubles tennis requires more than just skill and strategy, it also requires a good sense of . Here are some important things to keep in mind when playing doubles tennis.

Hand Signals and Communication

Communication is key when playing doubles tennis. You and your partner need to be able to communicate effectively in order to make split-second decisions on the court. One way to do this is through hand signals. Before the match, decide on a few basic hand signals that you will use to communicate with your partner. For example, you might use a closed fist to indicate that you are going to serve, or a finger point to indicate which side of the court you want your partner to cover. It’s important to keep these signals simple and easy to understand so that you can communicate quickly and effectively.

Conduct on the Court

In addition to communication, it’s also important to conduct yourself in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner on the court. This means avoiding any behavior that could be considered unsportsmanlike, such as arguing with the umpire or your opponent, throwing your racket, or using foul language. Remember, tennis is a game of skill and strategy, and the best way to win is by playing your best and respecting your opponent.


Sportsmanship is a key part of any sport, and doubles tennis is no exception. Good sportsmanship means showing respect for your opponent, whether you win or lose. It also means playing within the rules of the game, and accepting the umpire’s decisions without argument. Finally, it means being gracious in victory and defeat. If you win, don’t gloat, and if you lose, don’t get discouraged. Remember, tennis is a game, and the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience.

In conclusion, doubles tennis is a great sport that requires skill, strategy, and . By communicating effectively with your partner, conducting yourself in a sportsmanlike manner, and showing good , you can make the most of your doubles tennis experience. So grab your racket, find a partner, and get out on the court!

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