How to Win Doubles Tennis With a Weak Partner

  • Take More Chances Than Usual
  • Neutralize Your Partner’s Weaknesses as Much as Possible
  • Make the Most of Opportunities When They Come

   Your Guide

Gavin Davison   Gavin Davison

It goes without saying that it isn’t EASY to win a doubles match if your partner is an OBVIOUS WEAK LINK.

This becomes even tougher when you play a pairing that is much better than the level of your partner too.

How to Win Doubles Tennis With a Weak Partner

Believe me, I’ve been there!

With this said, it is still possible to get the win by following the tips I’ve presented above.

Of course, these tips aren’t guaranteed to get you the win, as there are many factors at play in all matches.

However, they should definitely BOOST YOUR CHANCES of bagging a win, even with a much weaker partner than usual.

So now that I’ve given you a quick introduction as to how to improve your chances of success with a weak partner…

..let me now dive deeper and explain how to follow through on these tips in the BEST POSSIBLE WAY.

Strategies Discussed in Detail

No matter what level of tennis you are currently at, if you play doubles, there will likely be a time when you compete with a Weak Partner.

This happens all the time, and it can be a rather large challenge to come out on top of your partner isn’t a great player.

That’s exactly why I’ve put these tips together so that you can hopefully take the steps necessary to turn things IN YOUR FAVOR.

So without further ado, let’s get into the various tips and strategies mentioned earlier.

1) Taking More Chances or Risks Than Usual

Once your opposition figures out that your partner is much weaker than you, they will likely start to target them to get the win.

Trust me, this can be PRETTY FRUSTRATING, but it’s not something that cannot be overcome.

After all, you are still guaranteed to hit 100% of the serves in your own service games and 50% of all returns when they are serving.

So really, you can still exert your own skills and presence on the court to a certain degree.

But with that said, you are going to need to play things a little riskier.

For example, when you are serving, you might need to increase the pace on your serve and hit closer to the lines.

If you get an ace, fantastic, but even if your partner then gets an easy volley, this is still a good result.

And on your returns, you might need to attack the ball immediately rather than trying to hit a neutralizing ball. 

Then when you are in open play, I recommend that you try and poach the ball more often, and take more chances with your groundstrokes.

Neutralizing Your Partners Weaknesses

Since your partner is a weaker player than you are, they will likely have obvious weaknesses that your OPPONENTS WILL TRY TO EXPOSE.

But with that said, this doesn’t mean that you cannot take the necessary steps to protect these weaknesses.

For example, if your partner has a weak backhand, you might want to put them on the Deuce side instead of the Ad side.

And if your partner has some suspect skills at the net, you can always play with both of you at the back rather than the usual staggered formation

While yes, it is tough to shield these weaknesses at all times, there are clearly ways to move the goalposts to some extent.

At the same time, you should figure out a way to shield these weaknesses in a way that will allow you to use your own strengths.

This can be very different from one partner to the next, so I’d recommend having a discussion with your partner to see how this can be done.

Taking Your Opportunities

This might sound obvious, but it is extremely important when playing with a weaker partner.

Of course, in an ideal world, you would take every chance that you get in tennis.

However, there are still ways that you can play the big points to increase your chances of taking such opportunities.

And since these opportunities might be few and far between if you are playing with a weaker partner, I’d recommend playing high percentage tennis, within reason.

For example, you might not want to pull the trigger and try to hit a clean winner with your return on a break-point.

But since I also believe you must take additional risks to win with a weaker partner, it’s important that you find a balance between risks and high percentage play when these opportunities arise.

At the very least, you don’t want to squander a break-point or even a set-point by hitting an unforced error – you should definitely make them win it.  

Bonus – Remain Positive

To thoroughly understand why this is so important, put yourself in the shoes of your partner.

They will likely be feeling more pressure than usual since they will probably be well aware that they are a weak link on the court.

In my experience, the best thing you can do is to constantly encourage them and PROVIDE PRAISE when they have done something good.

This will boost the morale that you share as a partnership, and it will also boost the confidence of your partner.

Ultimately, this will help them to play better, not to mention that doubles is all about energy. 

If the pair of you keep your energy positive and intense throughout, you will have a much better shot at winning the match. 


It goes without saying that even if you executed everything here to perfection, you might still lose the match.

But the good thing is that you will then leave the court knowing that you have done everything possible to try and get the win.

And at the end of the day, both you and your partner will be better for the experience, and you will live to fight another day.

Please let me know if these tips help you to turn matches around with a weak partner.

Should you have anything you’d like to add, feel free to do so in the comments section!

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