What Is Poaching In Tennis?

What Is Poaching In Tennis

In tennis, poaching is a strategy that can only be used in a doubles match. Read on to learn more about poaching in tennis, including when to poach and how to effectively poach throughout a match.

Poaching Definition

The term “poaching” refers to the return volley of the player closer to the net when their opponent’s shot was intended for the player closer to the baseline. It is often a tactic used to strike back before an opponent has the chance to reset or collect themselves to return the shot.

As a net player, you have to catch your opponents by surprise when employing the poaching strategy. If they can see you brace yourself or tense in preparation to counter, they can easily be able to anticipate your next move. This will dampen the effectiveness of the swing.

When to Poach in Tennis

Poach Low Hit Balls

Being able to poach balls that have been volleyed low gives your opponent even less of an advantage when it comes to returning the ball in play. In order to keep it in play at all, they often have to pop the ball up and over the net, which makes for a lack of control over its direction.

Poach as the Stronger Player

If your partner in doubles is a weaker player on the ball, it is not uncommon that your opponents will recognize this and shoot for them more often. Poaching the ball in this situation will give you the element of surprise in turns of returning their shot.


What is a poach in tennis?

Poaching in tennis is when the member of a doubles team closest to the net intercepts a shot from the other team. Instead of waiting for the ball to bounce and reach the baseline player, the front player strikes the ball back over the net. Poaching is a very common and effective strategy in tennis.