10 Tennis drills to practice with two players – For all levels


Practicing tennis with two players is hard to diversify. It is often restricted to you and your partner hitting balls to each other from the baseline. Despite being an excellent exercise, you should also work on other types of tennis drills, in order to cover more areas of the game.

With that in mind, we put together exmaples of tennis drills specifically to practice with two players, that will work for begginers, intermediate and advanced players.

These drills cover the following aspects of the game:

  • Control and depth
  • Cross-court control
  • Down the line aggressiveness
  • Approach and volley
  • Smash
  • Lob
  • Serve
  • Return the serve

10 Tennis drills for two players

1. Deep battle (depth control training)

Players compete for points from the baseline. One of the players start hitting an easy ball towards his partner. All balls must reach close to the baseline. If the ball bounces in the service area, the player loses the point.


The score must be established in the beginning of the drill. It can be, for example, who scores first 10, 15 or 21 points wins. It is also not allowed to go to the net. Points must be fully played from the baseline.

This drill forces players not to shorten the ball while working on improving groundstrokes and control.

2. The right ball (Cross-court control, aggressive down the line and volley)

Players exchange deep balls on the cross-court until one of them shortens the ball. When the ball falls short and bounces in the service area, the other player must hit it down the line and go up to the net. The point continues as in a normal game. As in the drill mentioned above, a score limit must be established to determine the winner.

tennis drills The right ball

If there are no short balls during the hit, the point lasts until one of the players misses shot.

Players must alternate sides, hitting forehand and then backhand.

3. Take down the castle (Cross-court control)

Cones should be placed at the ends of the court. Players exchange balls on the crusade with the aim of knocking down the cones. The player who knocks down all of his opponent’s cones first wins.

tennis drill take down the castle

Players must alternate sides of the exercise. It is possible to set a time limit for each side, with the winner having dropped the most cones in the stipulated time. Another possibility is to limit the number of balls. For every 10 or 20 balls, for example, whoever has dropped the most cones wins.

4. Fire ring (control, depth and angles)

Cones should be placed in a circle in the center on each side of the court. Players hit the ball, preventing it from bouncing on the cones or inside the circle, causing the point to be lost.

tennis drills fire ring

This training forces players to look for different angles in various situations in which they would normally hit the ball in the middle of the court. It is also excellent for practicing consistency in exchanging deep balls, always trying to recover on the spot while pushing the opponent out of the court.

5. Windshield or butterfly (cross-court and down the line)

Player on the left only hits down the line balls, while the player on the right hits only cross-court. Must established a time limit, points won or balls exchanged to interrupt the drill and alternate players roles.

tennis practice drills

The purpose of this drill is to make the player force his opponent to keep move on the court, while having to hit back in motion.

6.  Piece and Pain (cross-court and down the line)

A player stands at the baseline on one side of the court, alternating the streak between a down the line ball and a cross-court (peace). The other must move both ways and always return the balls towards his partner (pain).

Peace and pain tennis drill

A time limit, points won or balls exchanged must established  to interrupt the drill and alternate roles of the players. You should also alternate the sides on which the players are standing, to practice both forehand and backhand.

7. Approach and Lob (approach, lob and smash training)

Each point starts with a short ball, which is thrown by one of the players. The player who receives the short ball must perform an approach and go up to the net, preparing for a volley / smash to finish the point. His opponent must try to bit you with a lob.


Although the player who goes the net knows he is going to receive a lob, he must simulate a normal run to the net, getting as close to it as possible.

8. Half the court, dig your own grave (cross-court and down the line)

A player stays still in only half of the court, hitting the balls in the direction that he chooses. The other must run across the court turning the balls towards the half of the court where his opponent is.


At each point, whoever wins plays the next point in one half of the court. Due to the fact that the player who covers the entire court runs lot more, it is much more difficult to win the point. Each point a player loses  in a roll, more difficult it becomes to win the next one. For this reason, this drill has a nickname of “dig your own grave”.

9. Second serve and aggressive return (serve, serve return, defense and volley)

Each point played in this drill starts with the second serve, usually a spin serve. Your opponent must try to make the serve return in parallel, catching the ball on the rise, aggressively, and then going up to the net. After the return, the point goes on normally, with the players being able to adopt the tactics they want in order to win.

serve return tennis drills

This drill can be performed in several ways:

  • Whoever wins the point serves on the next one
  • A simple score of points with a pre-established goal
  • Simulate even more of a game, you can use the normal scores of a tennis match.

10. Follow the server (withdrawal training)

Serving drills should always be very objective and this is one that guarantees it well.

serve drills

Cones must be placed in the corners of the serving areas. The first player calls out which cone he is aiming for and has two chances. Then, the second player must try to hit that same cone. If you hit a cone that was not the target of that serve, it doesn’t count. Whoever drops more cones at the end wins.

A time limit or number of serves for each player should be established to end the drll.

These were the top 10 tennis drills to practice with 2 people. Do you organize of play tennis tournamens? Check out Leegues, a complete online platform for tournaments and leagues, 100% free!

Useful links: ATP and WTA


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