Teamwork makes the dream work: Tennis Doubles Tips

Tennis is a sport where “Love” means zero and the scoring system is different for games, sets and matches. That is, it can be confusing.


Here, we’ll look at the most social and team-oriented aspects of the sport for a lifetime – doubles – with a few helpful tips that you may want to know before you take to the court.



In doubles, you and a partner play against a team of two players on the other side of the net, using the full court between the baselines and the doubles sidelines.


If you are on the team that serves first, either you or your partner may begin the match by serving the first ball. Either person on the opposing team may receive the first ball on the right (deuce) court. The partner will receive all serves to the left (the ad) court.


The same player must serve the entire game. So if you serve the first game, the opposing team will serve the second game, your partner will serve the third game, the partner on the opposing team will serve the fourth game and you will serve again on the fifth game, and so on. The serving order remains this way for the entire set but can be changed at the beginning of every set, just like the receiving order.


When it is your team’s turn to receive, you can choose which player will receive the first ball. You must then keep the same sides for receiving for the entire set, though you can switch sides for the following set.


If the server’s partner is hit with the serve, a fault is called. If the receiver or the receiver’s partner is hit with the serve before it bounces, the server wins the point.


In returning shots (except the serve), either member of a doubles team may hit the ball. The partners don’t have to alternate hits.



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