How to Choose a Doubles Partner in Tennis

If you’re looking to take your doubles more seriously, then being able to choose the right partner to play with is essential. This is not always easy as you may not have a huge selection of players to choose from at your local club.

However, if you have a few options to pick from, it is worth thinking about what strengths and weaknesses you possess in your game, and how these could be complemented by a doubles partner with a different game style.

So, let’s take a closer look at how you can choose the perfect doubles partner.

Why is it Important to Know How to Choose a Doubles Partner? 

Picking the right doubles partner for you can make a big difference to your chances of success on the tennis court. Being a great player yourself can only take you so far when playing doubles. 

If there is clearly one player weaker than the other, then they will get targeted by crafty opponents. 

Understanding your own game, how your personality will click with your doubles partner and the tactical side of doubles tennis are all key parts of choosing the right perfect doubles partner. 

It always helps if you can actually play with the same partner relatively regularly, so you can form a proper partnership rather than playing with new people each and every time.

How to Choose a Doubles Partner in Tennis

So, how do you actually choose a doubles partner? Well, let’s find out. 

Consider Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the first things to take into consideration when thinking about who to play doubles with is what your own tennis strengths and weaknesses are. 

This is important to take into account when choosing a doubles partner, as it is important to form a partnership with someone that compliments your game. 

For example, if you have a huge forehand and a weaker backhand, then it would make sense to play with a doubles partner with a stronger backhand, so both sides of the court are covered by strong shots. 

Also, if you are a strong server and have a solid baseline game, but are not so comfortable at the net, it would make sense to choose a doubles partner that is quick, agile and confident with their volleys.

Should You Choose a Lefty or a Righty? 

Another fundamental question to answer when choosing a doubles partner is whether to choose a right or left-handed player. 

There have been many successful doubles partnerships over the years that have made the most of a righty and lefty combination, such as the Bryon brothers, the Murray brothers and Peter Fleming, and John McEnroe. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that a righty and a lefty playing together is essential, but there are merits to both partners having a swinging serve out wide.

Also, having a forehand covering the line on both sides of the court is a big asset to have on the doubles court. 

Ultimately, you should choose a player that compliments your game style, and temperament and that you’ll get along well with. Doubles is a social game after all!

But think about whether that righty and lefty combination may work well for you.

Pick a Player with a Different Game Style to Your Own

Whilst it is important to consider your own strengths and weaknesses in terms of physical attributes and specific shots, choosing a doubles player with a different game style altogether has its benefits. 

As a singles player, it pays to have a well-rounded game so you can minimize the weaknesses your opponent has to exploit. Whilst this is also true as a doubles player, it can prove beneficial to make the most of different game styles that complement each other well. 

Having one consistent baseline counterpuncher and one aggressive serve and volleyer means that regardless of the opponent, you’ll have all the bases covered. Having the option for one player to consistently rally from the baseline and the other to always be looking to poach a volley will make your doubles pair hard to beat.

Consider Your Personality Types

Another factor to take into account when it comes to choosing a doubles partner in tennis is the personality types of both players. 

Much like having a pair with opposing game styles and differing physical strengths and weaknesses, having one player that has a cool head and is very consistent in their approach to the game, and another who plays with more passion can be a lethal combination. 

This is definitely something to manage though as the last thing you want is to be clashing with your doubles partner, but understanding the merits of both approaches and how different personality types can complement each other.

Understand Doubles Tactics

Once you have found the right person to play doubles with, the next thing for both of you to master is the tactical side of the game. Since doubles can be quite a reactive game due to its fast pace and the quick reactions needed, you may think that implementing set plays may be difficult. 

However, if you use hand signals properly, communicate well, and learn about predetermined moves like the I formation, you’ll be well on your way to playing better doubles. 

Another way to take your doubles game to the next level is to take on dedicated tips and instructions from experts. That’s why we have put together our own Doubles Tactics online course to teach you the fundamentals of doubles without even having to step on the court. 

In our 41-lesson course, you’ll learn where to stand, how to dominate the net, and how to improve your teamwork with your new partner.

So, check out our Doubles Tactics online course today.

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Once You’ve Learned How to Choose a Doubles Partner, the Next Step is to Work On Your Volleys! 

Choosing the right doubles partner is a great way to take your confidence on the doubles court to the next level. Having the confidence that a solid partnership with strong communication and a clear game plan brings will really improve your chances of winning. 

Another way to improve your performance on the doubles court is of course to work on your volleys. Closing down the net with confidence and having a simple and effective volley technique will also help your doubles game to the next level. 

That’s why we have put together a comprehensive online course titled The Art of Volleying.

This course comprises 10 easy-to-follow lessons compiled by ourselves and our resident master performance tennis coach Dave Ireland. You’ll learn how to position yourself on the court, how to shorten your volley backswings, and improve your footwork. 

So, if you want to take your net game to the next level, check out our Art of Volleying online tennis course today.

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Simple Guide to Choosing a Doubles Partner in Tennis

Overall, choosing a doubles partner in tennis is an important part of maximizing your performance on the court. In order to do this effectively, you’ll need to consider your own strengths and weaknesses, the game style of your opponent, and also the temperament of both players. 

Ultimately, to get the most out of a doubles partnership, strong communication, an eye for tactics, and solid volleying skills all need to be in place. 

You can check out out more of our free tennis tips that will help take your doubles to new heights below: 

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