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I personally love playing doubles. I feel like a totally different player when I play doubles. I feel like I have more control over the game, everything seems much simpler. Maybe I just don’t feel so alone, I can’t tell 😉
As with everything in table tennis, also in doubles there is a strategy, training, and little secrets that you need to do and know.
Not every player can be a doubles team with any player. There isn’t really a standard to follow to be able to say this style go with that style etc.
It’s a matter of two players “clicking”. Even the most unusual combination can produce a great doubles team. And that doesn’t just apply to the playing style but also to the players’ level combination. A pair with two top players can be a worst team than a team with a top player and a lower level player, for example.The combinations are unlimited and the outcome not always predictable.
One thing that is almost 100% definite is that a lefty, righty player team has advantages to a two right-handed player team. The reason is that you don’t have to cover such a great distance in order to leave room for your partner to play and you always have the whole table open to the player who’s turn it is to play. In a righty, lefty team you can just move slightly to the back and side and your partner has the whole table covered with his forehand facing you. Then he can step back and you come in and play. One thing you need to be careful in the righty lefty combination move fast out of the way so you don’t collide.
Where in a same hand doubles team, you have to run to the back and around the other player, never move just to the side when in a righty-righty team, you both can get stuck on one side and leave the table open for the opponents.Always run back and around towards the opposite side that your partner is playing.
The key to doubles in my opinion is to play a lot of practice games.
Keep the serves simple. Alternating under spin and no spin with the same motion is very effective. Then use a long surprise serve once in a while. Placement of the serve is most important. When serving to a right-handed player, serve as close to the middle line as possible, to pull him into the table thus leaving no space for his partner to step in and play.When serving to a lefty you don’t have a great advantage so my advice is to serve close to the net towards the sideline and leave as fast as possible to leave space for your partner to deal with the return.
It’s also important that your team initiates attack as soon as possible. If not right to the serve when you are receiving then the next ball. When you are serving make sure your serve is convenient for your partner to initiate attack.
And always, but always, have fun!
You may refer to this post for the rules of playing double game in table tennis.