Written by Ian Westermann
Doubles Strategy — 06 January 2014
Doubles Serve and Volley Strategy

If you want to become a high level doubles player then being comfortable with serve and volley tactics is absolutely crucial!

Serve and volley doesn’t always work (nothing does!) but if you can’t execute it confidently and effectively when it’s needed then you’ll constantly find yourself playing more passive tactics than you should be.

Today’s video tennis lesson will show you my top tips for being successful in doubles at serve and volley. Enjoy!

Comments? Questions? Leave them down below. Thanks for watching!

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  1. Great information Ian. Thank you. Gillian

  2. Thanks a bunch Ian for putting together those two serve and volleys videos. Very useful. Your response and effort is much appreciated!

  3. Great Tips as usual Ian. All players should try/practise serve & volley. If nothing else it makes players move on court. It improves tracking,serve direction and volley,s. I have proved to intermediate players in my coaching session that it makes a more exiting energised game, as well as helping them achieve an advanced playing standard.

  4. Thanks again for another great video. Will work on volley placement tomorrow.

  5. Clear, concise, easy to understand, cleared me up on this.

  6. Well focused, easy to understand, on the money, concise, cleared me up on this.

  7. I am 3.5 and disagree with your comments that serve and volleys are essential to win.
    Perhaps it is true for higher level. I am able to guide the ball wherever I want from the baseline while my partner is at the net tracking down easy balls. I've won many times with one back.

    • You need to listen to my comments again :-) What I said is that being comfortable with serve and volley is crucial if you want to be a high level doubles player, if you want to play at advanced levels. There's no doubt about it: serve and volley isn't needed to win through the 3.5 level. In fact, hardly anybody uses it. If you're completely satisfied with 3.5 play then by all means continue to play one-up, one-back every point!

  8. Great tips, Ian. Once a doubles pair is on the offensive and at the net, what are your thoughts on how to handle shots down the middle, and lobs?

  9. Thanks for the reminder. All recreational players need to watch this over and over again.

  10. Excellent!! video ian!!

  11. Ian
    I`ve noticed that my volley seems to find the racket of my opponent at the net too often for my likeing. It`s not a weak volley being intercepted but hit with reasonable force towards the centre tee, should I be aiming body backhand/down the line more in this instance? or more cross court? On reflection this is generally only seems to happen on forehand volley from ad court, backhand from deuce court is normally a winner through the middle. I`m working towards an answer but cant figure a rule to follow.

  12. thanks a lot ian

  13. Great pointers when playing doubles. Plan to put them into effect when playing my match on Friday. Ian, you always have such great instructions to better my playing & match results! Thanks!!

  14. I agree with John C, in that it's an offensive shot. In my experience, the reason that we get burned by the framed shank response is because we relax thinking that our shot will automatically be a winner. Just because we're hitting an offensive shot from up close doesn't mean we can let our guards down until the point is actually over. (Now if I can only practice what I just preached! :-)

  15. As always, this was short/spot-on and instantly applicable.Ian,we love your passion.

  16. I would be careful with hitting offensive volleys in the direction of the opposing net person. I've seen too often a stick save shank land in the open court for a winner. Yes you did mention aiming for the alley/service sideline intersection too, but up the middle is an option or anywhere you can find space. Sometimes a cc drop volley will work too. Some guys just have amazing hands and hitting at them is a 50/50 proposition.

    • KW Tennis Nation,
      I think Ian's points here are that
      – the net player has half the time to react,
      – you can easily get it at the feet and possibly/probably get a popped up return,
      – your shot at his/her feet is much safer (less likely to go out than the deep one to the returner),
      – and much of the time the angle you can play at him/her is better/more acute.
      Remember he says this is on an offensive volley.