What Is Doubles Tennis & How Does It Work?


What Is Doubles Tennis?

In tennis, “doubles” refers to a match played by two players on each side, which contrasts with singles, where only one player competes on each side. In doubles, each team has two players who take turns hitting the ball back and forth across the net.

How Do The Rules Differ Between Doubles & Singles Tennis?

New tennis players’ most common question is about the differences between singles and doubles tennis. After all, both games are played with a racket and a ball, so how different can they be? The answer is quite a lot!

Before stepping onto the court, every player should know several key rule differences between singles and doubles tennis. Here is a rundown of some of the most important ones:

Court Size: The court measures 78 feet long by 27 feet wide in singles tennis. In doubles tennis, however, the court size is increased to 82 feet long by 36 feet wide. While this may not seem like a big difference, it can significantly impact how the game is played.

Serving Rules: In singles tennis, each player is allowed two serves per game. In doubles tennis, however, each team is only allowed one serve per game. This means that if one player on a doubles team misses their serve, their team will lose the point.

Scoring System: In singles tennis, the standard scoring system is used (i.e., love, 15, 30, 40, game). However, in doubles tennis, a slightly different scoring system is used. Instead of love, 15, 30, 40, game, the score goes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. So if one team is up 3-1, they need to win one more point to win the game.

These are just a few key rule differences between singles and doubles tennis. Of course, there are many other minor differences (e.g., serving order, court positioning, etc.), but these are the ones that have the most significant impact on how the game is played.

Are There Deuces in Doubles?

The simple answer is no; doubles tennis has no such thing as a deuce. However, the reason why this question arises is because of the way the game is played.

In singles tennis, the player who wins four points wins the game. However, in doubles tennis, the team that wins four points wins the game. If one team takes a 3-0 lead, they only need to win one more point to win the game. Conversely, they will need to win four points to take the lead if they lose three points.

This can often lead to confusion among spectators, as the team ahead can appear to be in a position to win the game at any moment. However, this is not the case because a team must first win two consecutive points to win a game of doubles tennis. If the score is 3-3, neither team has won the game yet.

Is Doubles Harder than Singles Tennis?

Many Tennis Players Say Doubles Is Harder Than Singles: Some may think winning would be easier because more people are on the court in a doubles match. However, this is not always the case.

Less Room For Error: With two players on each side, the court has less space, and the balls tend to come at you faster. This means you have to be more precise with your shots and have better timing.

You Must Rely More on Your Partner: You are the only one responsible for your performance in a singles match. But your partner’s mistakes can cost you the game in a doubles match, which can be frustrating and puts a lot of pressure on both players.

How Does The Scoring Work?

Scoring in doubles tennis works just like it does in singles. The first player to serve always starts the game with a score of zero (called “love”). The next player to serve then has a score of one, and so on. When a point is scored, the server’s score increases by one. If the receiver’s score was love, then it becomes fifteen. If the receiver’s score was fifteen, it becomes thirty, and so on.

The first team to reach four points wins the game – unless the score gets three points apiece, the game goes into a tiebreaker (as mentioned above). Each player serves twice a row before handing their duties to their partner.

After each player has served four times, they switch sides of the court. The game is over when one team has won four points (or seven points in a tiebreaker).

How To Succeed in Doubles Tennis

1. Communication: You need to be able to communicate with your partner so that you can effectively strategize and make split-second decisions. So being able to quickly exchange information such as where your opponent is and what shot you should play next. Good communication will also help you stay calm under pressure and focus on the match.

2. Shot Selection: Since you have less space to work with on the court, choosing your shots wisely is important. You’ll need to be able to hit the ball deep into your opponents’ court and make them run for the ball. It tires them out and gives you more time to set up your next shot.

Good Footwork: Meaning being quick on your feet and being able to change directions quickly. Good footwork will help you get to the ball faster and make it easier to hit winners.


To sum up, doubles tennis is a game that can be played with either two or four players. Two players form a team and play against another team of two players.

The teams stand on opposite sides of the net, and each player hits the ball alternately over the net into their opponent’s court. The aim is to score points by winning rallies, and the team that wins the most points in a match wins the match.