Tennis doubles is a fast-paced and strategic team sport that requires players to work together in order to win points and matches. In doubles, there are two players on each side of the court, and the rules of play are slightly different than in singles.
For example, the serve must be hit from the right half of the court, and players are allowed to hit the ball into the opponent’s alleys (the areas between the singles and doubles sidelines) in order to put pressure on their opponents.
It is important to utilize different strategies on the court and positioning on the court to take your opponents under pressure and get points. Players need to be aware of where their opponents are at all times and adjust their positions accordingly in order to cover as much of the court as possible.
Your grip, selection of technique, and timing will play a critical role in your game. Pair which will go with the right choice and decision get the desired outcomes.
Ultimately, the best doubles strategy will depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the players on each team. By working together and using their skills and abilities to the fullest, doubles teams can put together a winning game plan and come out on top.
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So, In this article, let us begin to share with you 12 tennis doubles strategies for your effective double match.
12 Tennis Doubles Strategies That Will Improve Your Game To the Next Level
Poach is a fundamental technique in which you move across the net when the shot is badly hit, or you are expecting a week short from your opponent.
In this technique, player changes their position from the deuce side to ad side or vice versa. For doubles game, it is essential that how much adequate grip do you have over poached strategy.
You may go for poaching when your partner serves deep in BH, slice return from a slow pace, and most importantly your understanding with your partner to attempt to poach on right time or go for it by the plan. good observation and timing are an integral part of Poach.
When your opponents are in an attacking position at the net then you can use lob as a cautious short to push them back by hitting high and targeting baseline to achieve your desired outcome.
Lobbing to the backhand is preferred but you can also target the middle to confuse your opponent. Shot with spin and height will increase the difficulty level.
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For an effective lob shot, it is recommended that you go with flow and direction of wind for proper execution rather than to play against it.
Pressure the Net
Taking the opposite side into pressure is a favorable condition in all games. In this strategy as a team, you will try to play the attacking game by giving less space to your opponents to revert with the same pace, you will push hard the ball into the net quickly and as a result, you forced your opposite players to play a defensive game. By putting pressure on the opposition, you will achieve the desired result soon.
During your game to get an edge on your opposite team, you will serve on different points of the game as per requirement. Many discussions and opinions are available from experts to become your serve most fruitful where you can place it.
Placement of serve is depending upon the strengths and weaknesses of your opposite pair. However, as per our experience and opinion, it will be more useful when you place deep short near to service line than fast, and you target body and backhand.
A variation on the placement of serves is also significant to confuse your opponent all the time. So, you need to try somehow all three types of serves out wide or deeper, shorter, and at your opponent’s body.
In tennis, you are playing on the net, but you also have the expertise to play with your opponent’s psychology. Like in cricket, you have observed that a fast bowler after bowling two or three short lengths suddenly goes for yorker-length to cheat the batsman.
The same as in tennis, you must be on your toes all the time and your body language reflects that you can go for any shot at any point of the game.
Approximately half of the shot’s returner hits, you should fake like you are going to execute poach. One can do it with a little turning and movement of shoulders, and you can achieve favorable results.
Use the block volley
Block volley is just holding your racket in a volley position without any movement. As per my experience, block volley is recommended for high-speed shots, the definition of the high-speed shot is 70 mph.
There will be no need to go for punch volley or drive volley on high-speed images because there is no need to put shots any takebacks or wavering of the racket will cause an error.
It is a basic rule for block volley to hold the racket with a looser and then with a regular grip and wait for the ball to just redirect it as per requirement.
Move-in after volley
It is another good tip for young club players for getting the winning point by putting pressure on their opponents. Tennis is all about your mental and physical strength, these both factors will determine your status as a player.
Footwork is very much important in tennis as per the expected response from the opponent pair. As per my experience after hitting the volley, you must need to move forward some steps instead of standing precisely in the same place.
you hit your first volley two feet behind from the service line and then you move forward some steps instead of maintaining the same position in a reaction if your opponent directs a shot towards your body then this time you may catch the volley approx. 5 feet from the front of the service line by moving forward some steps as described above.
Your opponent will probably go with forwarding hit so you split phase and now you will only 4 feet away from the net.
It means now you are controlling over the net and will get point most probably in the next shots by placing the ball on the right area or by expecting the wrong shot from the opposite pair due to pressure created by you with forwarding motion.
Communication is the vital key to success in every aspect of life and having the same importance in games. The priority will be at the highest stage when you are playing doubles with your partner.
Some players having the good habit of talking with the partner, but some are too silent, which will cause difficulty for you as a pair.
Before the game, you must discuss strategies with your partner and better you both understand each other, and match chemistry will lead you to win the game as a pair. During the match, you may communicate in two ways most often as per my experience.
i. Hand signs
When my partner is going for “poach” he gives me a signal with an open hand and the net man gives me an indication that “I am staying” with a closed fist. Similarly, you may set other multiple signals for each other by your hand signs and most of them will develop naturally when you are playing & practicing with each other.
ii. By talking with keywords
During the game, players will use different short keywords to implement their strategies, give suggestions, and avoid any confusion.
let me offer you some practical examples from own experience i.e., When i want to switch my position, I will call out “switch” so my partner will understand and i’ll change the position. similarly, if the ball is coming on middle I will shout “Mine” or “Yours” to avoid confusion.
Teamwork is the key to win the doubles game. Collaboration in the Tennis doubles game is that you understand your partner and are facilitating him by understanding him or her signals and motivating him during the tough time for instance when he is continually playing foul shots.
So, at this time of movement in a challenging situation, instead of blaming or showing your disappointment, go to him and ask partner to try other shot instead of this one or play on any particular area or try to hit your shots by targeting this particular are of court. By this, you can change the flow of the game in your favor.
Similarly, when he is playing good shots please encourage him by saying “Great Shot” or “excellent get” this will increase his or her confidence and be fruitful for your game as a pair.
Hit to their weakness
When you are playing a doubles game, you are facing two players in the net so in this scenario, you should get the edge on your opposite pair you go for the attacking game and target your opponent’s weakness.
My favorite attacking shot is well-placed lobe over the head of the net player. You can go for it when your opposite player is closer to the net and depends on their skills for how good they hit overheads.
The other option is hard struck groundstroke at the middle or hard struck shot directly towards the weaker player. It means in this strategy you will go for attacking shots by targeting the weaknesses of your opponents to get points for your game.
“Australian” formation in doubles means both players are on the same side of the court when playing. The significant advantage and use of the Australian strategy are that to protect your backhands.
Let me explain to you with an example, suppose my partner is a righty and serving from the ad side so traditionally I will stand on the deuce side of the net. Still, in Australian, I will do from the ad side it means I will position myself back of my partner.
After doing my partner move towards the right to cover the deuce side. Similarly, if a lefty serving on the deuce side his partner will position himself on the same side to protect his backhand.
Australian formation is not only for backhand, it changes the strategy of the net. Suppose you are in a challenging game with multiple deuces gone by so at this point, you may go for Australian to change the game and it will work for you.
I-Formation is an exciting formation and technique to confuse and attack your opponent player. This formation server positions himself close to the baseline and the net player stands towards the center line’s “T”.
Only the server will know where the net player will move after the service, which will help you confuse your opponent and get the desired point by targeting the right area.
We have shared the 12 most essential and top doubles strategies with our co-player’s experience. Some methods are easy to implement and for others, you need hard work and practice to implement them in the court.
To implement any strategy, you must have these necessary skills i.e., good observation, foot work, and communication skills.
Poach, Lob, serving and volleying are the key elements of tennis doubles game. Hopefully, the above-explained information will help you and play the part to improve your game.