One-on-One Doubles: Merging Tennis and Entertainment

Jorge Bernal competes to live music at the Shipwatch Super Saturday tournament in Largo, Florida. Photo courtesy of
One-on-One Doubles is evolving the game of tennis.

The new alternative format to singles and doubles is a half-court, serve-and-volley singles competition played on a doubles court.

The game provides a competitive format of play combining both singles and doubles skills all within one game. And with live music accompanying tournaments, this new format is an entertainment extravaganza.

Here's how it works:

Two players play a match (8 game set, 10 game set, or 2/3 sets) where they alternate points from the deuce court to the ad court. All points are played crosscourt with the alley included. All players must serve and volley on both first and second serves, with half-volleys permitted. The player on service return has the option of playing the baseline or coming to the net.

The competitive boundaries for One-on-One Doubles is approximately 2/3 of a regular singles court, thus allowing for a high level of serve and volley success. This half-court, serve-and-volley format forces players to improve their net play and volleying skills.

Former Harvard women's tennis coach and founder of One on One Doubles Ed Krass first showcased the game at his College Tennis Exposure Camp in 2003. Since then, the game has been played at USTA, ATP, ITA and USPTA national tournaments.

"This game is exciting to play and to watch as all of the game's shots come into play," said Krass. "It will truly build the all-court game for our nation's juniors and allow adult players to compete in a more injury-free game."

But it's not just the fast-paced format that adds to the growing popularity of One-on-One Doubles. A popular component of tournaments is the accompaniment of live music during match play and an after-party, making the event both a tennis event and an entertainment destination.

In Florida, where the game is sanctioned by the Florida chapter of the USTA, the tournaments and live concert after-party concept are catching on.

A recent? One-On-One Doubles adult tournament in Largo, Florida was accompanied by two live rocking blues bands to entertain the tennis and music fans. The tournament, hosted by Shipwatch Yacht and Tennis Club, featured three hours of exciting, half-court, Serve-and-Volley Tennis matches and four sets of live blues music. The tournament's after-party included live performances from Tampa's Juke Joint Kings and national recording artist Albert Castiglia.

College coaches throughout the country have also implemented the game as part of their challenge match regimen for their teams and the fun atmosphere of the tournaments.

This past Fall season, Stony Brook University hosted an eight-team, Division I women's collegiate One-On-One Doubles tournament. All One-On-One Doubles tournaments are played in a three- to four-hour timeframe and are played to rocking blues music.

Adding music to the game combined with a fun format for developing skills enhances the tennis industry's efforts to grow participation in the sport of tennis.

"One-on-One Doubles is a return to the glory days of our sport--an avenue for junior, college, and recreational players to embrace the tactical advantages of attacking the net and serve-and-volleying," said University of Alabama head coach Billy Pate.

Kelly Jones, formerly ranked No. 1 on the ATP doubles tour in 1992, said, "One-on-One Doubles is a great format of competition to get juniors coming into the net. The game gives them an opportunity to learn how to volley in a matchplay situation."

Can tennis and blues music fans unite to grow a new sports and entertainment showcase in the U.S? From the growing response to One-on-One Doubles, it appears the answer is a harmonious yes.

For information on starting and directing One-On-One Doubles tournaments, visit

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