Do you play PROPER doubles?

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Do you play PROPER doubles?

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Published by Andy Magrath in Tennis Tactics · 20 April 2020
Tags: DoublesTacticsforTennisTennisTipsMTIDoublesTipsforTennis
Do You Play ‘Proper’ Doubles?

When you play doubles either socially or more on a competitive level what tactics do think about?
Most would think about needing to be sharp at the net, possibly even the need to serve and volley or chip and charge.

What about formations?
Again, club player would nearly always adopt the one up one down staggered formation. Players would be/are forced almost to stay at the net and frowned upon if they strayed to any other formation.

A true case study is of my close friend and student Terry, who was partially sighted and saw the ball late so playing at the net was a big health and safety ‘no-no’. So, we built his whole game from the baseline at which he was very good.

But when he played doubles with his Thursday afternoon club cronies, he had to tolerate many negative and quizzical comments when he took up position on the baseline next to his serving or returning partner.

However, he was like playing against a brick wall plus he was exceptional at lobs and only came in and volleyed when he had to. Although successful for the most part he still isn’t considered playing ‘proper doubles’. Just pure snobbery.

But Terry is not alone. Just listen to world renowned coach Louis Cayer discussing with former world no. 1 Doubles Player, Jamie Murray about how times and playing styles have changed from the top down.


At any level there are no more rules about how players should set up. If your game is power hitting from the baseline and hit through the net players then so be it and many at the top level are getting results however every game style formation can be countered and that’s the role of smart coaches and players to be able to scout future opponents and know how to play them.

Surely this is what keeps tennis at every level fresh and interesting?

Until next time
Take care

Andy Magrath

Click HERE for loads of tactical doubles drill ideas for you to practice.


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