As with every serve you hit, make sure your partner knows what’s coming.

Percentage doubles is winning doubles. From the pros to recreational players, the teams that win most often are almost always the teams that hit high-percentage shots, rely on sound strategy and avoid unnecessary risks.

However, there may be times during matches where you and your partner will find yourselves in situations that call for unconventional attacks. In addition, you need to keep every opponents honest by varying your strategy from time to time. So when should you break the rules of percentage doubles? 

Wide Serve Slice

In doubles, 75 percent of your serves should go two places: up the T and into the body. These serves give your opponents the fewest options and force them to hit challenging returns. That said, the occasional wide slice serve can be a weapon. It will keep your opponents guessing and force them to stretch.

As with every serve you hit, make sure your partner knows what’s coming. Serving out wide gives the receiver a good look down your partner’s alley, so it’s not the time to poach. Instead, your partner should fake poach on this serve. When the receiver is pulled out wide by your serve and your partner fakes toward the center, the receiver will see a wide-open alley and might incorrectly aim for it. But your partner will be standing right there to hit a volley winner.

See Rule 4: The Short Slice here


Greg Moran is the Director of Tennis at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton, CT, and author of the Tennis Beyond Big Shots books.