How to Practice Tennis Alone? 8 Easy Ways

When I started playing tennis I used to be baffled when people said to me they practiced playing tennis alone. I couldn’t get my head around how a game with a net and an opponent (or two) could lend itself to playing solo.

Then I figured it out. 

If Federer plays by himself then we all can.. 

It is widely known that if you want to get better you must practice. However, sometimes finding a partner can be challenging. This is why it’s so helpful to learn how to practice tennis alone.

It can be difficult to find a regular tennis practice partner depending on where you live. In particular, if you work a nine-to-five job, then you may be unable to play at times most others can.

Now and then, you might run into somebody who wants to play as much as possible. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find an opponent to hit against at any time of day (come rain or shine) to improve your game?

Tennis drills can help improve your game when you practice alone, and you can do several different drills on your own.

There are a number of exercises and drills you can do on your own to work on your skills and techniques.

In this post, we’ll provide some tips for how to practice tennis by yourself, as well as exercises you can do to improve your game.

So whether you’re stuck indoors due to bad weather or just want to get in some extra practice, following these tips will help you get the most out of your time playing tennis alone!

Here are some of the things you will learn about:

  1. Hit Against The Wall
  2. Practice with a ball machine
  3. Work on Stroke Mechanics
  4. Work on your Serve
  5. Practice using Ball Toss
  6. Fitness Training
  7. Work on Footwork Drills
  8. Find inspiration in other tennis players (watching matches / reading about the game)

How to Get Better at Tennis By Yourself

How can I improve my tennis skills by practicing alone?

If you don’t have a partner to hit with or a couch, there are many ways to improve your game without them. Tennis workouts are one way to build strength and conditioning. Tennis and other players can provide you with new ideas and strategies that you can use on the court by reading about them.

What are the benefits of tennis rebounders?

In the absence of a wall for hitting off of, they are a useful option for practicing hitting a tennis ball. Depending on your space and goals, you may be able to use different types of solo tennis trainers or rebounders.

Can I play tennis more than once a week?

This depends on how competitive you want to be and how much time you have. There are typically several games or training sessions per week for college and high school players. There may only be one or two games per week in community leagues.

How to get better at tennis without a court?

You can practice hitting and volley drills on a wall at home if you have one. In addition to hitting and tossing your tennis serve, you can also practice if you’re not on the court. You can improve your accuracy by setting up targets to hit.

You may enjoy reading Can Volleyball Shoes be used for Tennis?

How to Practice Tennis by Yourself

How to Practice Tennis Alone
How to practice tennis by yourself

Prior to practicing alone on a tennis court, make sure you have a plan for what you’re going to do.

Make a list of what you want to accomplish while practicing and think about whether there are things you need to improve on.

In order to remain focused during your practice time, you should take this step.

The practice of being alone will differ from the practice of being with a partner or in a group setting. When practicing by yourself, consider and remember these things:

  • Keep your stroke rhythm, form, and technique in mind.
  • Rather than swinging at a wall or rebounder or swinging at a ball that looks like it’s standing there, swing at the ball like it’s an actual person standing there.
  • Don’t be afraid to be aggressive! If you play alone, there is nothing to lose.
  • Run to the ball and pay attention to your footwork. While playing an actual match, we tend to overlook these things.
  • When working on your serve or doing drills, you’ll want plenty of balls on hand.
  • To get used to different types of pressure, play points at different speeds (slow, medium, fast).

Top Solo Tennis Practice Drills

Playing tennis alone is best when you follow these tips. It may be necessary to use a tennis court for some of them, but not for most.

These aren’t ordered in any particular manner, and they can be combined into one session if you want variety. My favorite, however, is the wall. Having to collect balls leads to fewer stoppages!

1. Hit Against The Wall

There is no better tool for improving reflexes, fitness, footwork, and consistency than a wall for practicing tennis.

Professional players often attribute their love of the game and consistency to playing against a wall as juniors.

How to Practice Tennis Alone
A Tennis Player Hitting Against The Wall

While recovering from his two knee surgeries in 2020, Roger Federer used his tennis wall at home in the Swiss Alps to practice.

Personally, I have found that practicing against the tennis wall (bouncing off the wall) is one of the best ways to practice. What’s the reason? Due to the wall’s constant accuracy, high intensity, and limited reaction time, you can’t react until the next shot is hit. You can find a great rhythm and feel like you’re pedaling to the metal.

As a result of the constant movement in a wall session, the legs usually feel it much more than after a match since you are trying to make the ball as high as possible.

A favorite drill of mine involves hitting several forehands down the line and then firing one crosscourt. To hit a backhand down the line, you have to make up quite a bit of ground. Once you have completed the drill with several backhands, you go crosscourt and repeat it with more forehands. It’s a killer on the legs.

Is there anything negative about it? Since the ball returns to you on a flat trajectory, you are not replicating match conditions. When facing shoulder-high balls, you can practice by hitting them on the floor and bouncing them higher. This is an excellent drill for putting away short balls by backpedaling and grabbing the ball at shoulder height.

It can also be used for overheads and serves as well as volleys, approach shots with volley finishes, chip charges, touch plays, and overheads.

Many courts have walls or backboards as an integral part of their facilities, but if you don’t, any smooth wall does just fine as long as its width is wide enough and the surface in front of it is flat enough. You don’t want to have to go collecting balls every ten minutes, so choose one with a decent height.

How To Use Tennis Wall Properly

  • Make some targets using masking tape
  • Use proper footwork and split steps
  • Mark a line on the wall if there is none
  • Get your heart rate up by doing volleys, touch shots, overheads, and just pure powered groundstrokes during the session

Here is a video using a tennis wall:

2. Practice using a Ball Machine

Using a ball machine is the only method for practicing tennis alone but it comes at a price

Ball machines are easy to use, just set them up on one side of the court, and they will feed balls to you.

There are a variety of ways you can modify the machine’s speed, spin, trajectory, and direction. The exercise can be turned into a cardio workout by repeatedly hitting a particular shot.

How to Practice Tennis Alone
Simon Konov teaches a lesson using a ball machine

Are ball machines worth the money? You will have to consider the frequency of use and your disposable income when determining how much you can afford. I have started to use them and like them. 

Their helpfulness and fun make them a great team. The wall, however, works better for me because it takes no setup time, shoots the balls in the right place, and is cheaper.

Here is a video showing use of Ball Machine Drills

3. Work on Stroke Mechanics

The right fundamentals for stroke production are common to all high-level tennis players.

It’s true that some players have quirks and a funky style. While their techniques and results seem vastly different, most top guys still do the same thing.

Swing in a mirror or the garden to get a sense of the correct path, and practice stroke production without stepping on the court.

As a suggestion, I encourage you to watch some slow-motion videos on Youtube and some coaching channels that give you tips on fundamentals such as how to prepare early, establish racquet lag, rotate your shoulders, find the contact point, and so on. With shadow swings, you can mimic this.

How to Get Better at Tennis By Yourself
A player is using Topspin pro – A great tool to learn tennis

A training aid, however, is a better method of practicing stroke production. I find Topspin Pro the best.

In the modern game, topspin production is one of the most important skills, but it is not the easiest to master.

Topspin is a difficult skill to master for some players, but the Topspin Pro makes it easier by guiding the racket through the contact point, which speeds up the learning process. Both your forehand and backhand can be dramatically improved within a short period of time.

Using the Top Spin Pro anywhere is great, as long as you can swing a racket comfortably without knocking something over or hitting a hard surface with the racket.

Depending on the size of your garden, balcony, patio, garage, driveway, or living room, you may be able to set this up even if there are no free courts nearby.

Here is a video showing Topspin Pro:

4. Work on your Serve

One of the least practiced strokes at the recreational and even professional levels is the serve.

Players tend to remove it from practice because it is so important for winning matches, but for one reason or another, players tend to rally from the baseline instead of feeding from the hand.

Practice Tennis Alone
Hitting a perfect tennis serve

With a basket of balls and one serve at a time, a solo practice session will allow you to hit hundreds of serves.

Try hitting different serves at different times by bringing in targets (use a tube of balls).

I recommend serving as if you were in a match, rather than trying to hit your serves as quickly as possible. Take your time, go through your full-service routine and simulate match situations. As an example, here I am down a breakpoint, on my second serve, I’ll kick this one over to the backhand side of his body.

Here is a video showing tennis serve drills

5. Practice using Ball Toss

You can practice consistent ball tosses even without a court, and they are one of the keys to a good serve. 

One of my favorite drills is the ball toss target drill. The ball is thrown in the air by taking up the serving position as usual. You let the ball drop to a target inside the baseline instead of hitting it.

As many targets as possible are created with masking tape by creating small squares. Essentially, you just have to let go of the ball as late as possible rather than throwing it into the air. It’s trickier than you think, but you quickly learn to release the ball more consistently.

Intuitive Tennis’ Nick uses a trash can as his target in the drill you can see below.

Here is a video showing Serve Toss Practice

6. Fitness Workout

Imagine two players with equal tennis abilities and game styles competing against each other. The fitter guy usually wins those matches, so if you want to compete, you’ll want to build some muscle and work on your cardio so that you can keep up with your opponents.

How to Get Better at Tennis By Yourself
Gym Workout

It’s important for tennis players to train explosively in order to develop bulging biceps. My workouts often consist of 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest.

Here are some exercises I recommend:

  • Lunges | Squats | Jumping lunges | Jumping jacks | Mountain climbers | Calf raises | Dumbbell Step Up | Resistance band training

For some inspiration, take a look at Dominic Thiem’s regime below.

Here is a video showing Fernando Verdasco Tennis Workout

7. Work on your Footwork Drills

It is almost inevitable that you’ll hear the word ‘great footwork’ at least once during a tennis match, especially when Federer and Nadal play.

Whether you’re on the court, in the gym, at the park, or in your garden, you can practice your footwork alone anywhere.

When I have the racquet in my hand, I like to shadow swing with the racquet in my hand.

One of my favorite exercises involves hopping sideways on my left leg and then jumping forward onto my right leg and swinging a closed stance-type forehand. Hoping back onto my left leg, hopping sideways onto my right leg, and then hopping forward onto my left leg, I swing a backhand. Continually repeat.

Here is a video showing Footwork Drills

8. Find inspiration in other tennis players

Find out how your favorite tennis player plays by reading this book or browsing the internet.

You can learn what works for others through this, which can be inspirational as well as informative.

Whenever you read something important, write it down and review it before your next match.

Find out if the strategies you learned work for you by trying them out.

How can I make the most of my solo practice time?

When you don’t have a coach or practice partner available, it can be difficult to know how to structure your solo practice time. However, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your time on the court.

First, try to mimic match play as much as possible. This means playing points rather than just hitting balls back and forth. Not only will this help you work on your shot selection and execution under pressure, but it will also help you get used to the rhythm of a tennis match.

Another important element of practice is variety. Be sure to mix up your practice routine so that you are working on all aspects of your game. This might include practicing your serve, working on your volleys, or spending some time hitting different types of shots.

Finally, make sure to focus on your strengths as well as your weaknesses. It’s important to work on improving your weaker shots, but you should also spend time polishing your strengths. This will help you feel more confident on the court and give you an extra edge during matches.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your solo practice time and improve your game even when you don’t have a coach or practice partner available.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Practice Tennis Alone

How to Practice Tennis Alone

When you are new to tennis, or any sport for that matter, the thought of practicing alone can be a bit daunting. After all, isn’t practice supposed to be fun?

The answer is: it can be both. Tennis is an individual sport, so at some point, you will have to get used to practicing on your own. And there are advantages and disadvantages to doing so.


  • You can practice at your own pace without having to worry about keeping up with someone else.
  • You can focus on the specific skills that you want to improve without being distracted by other people.
  • You don’t have to worry about other people’s agendas or expectations.


  • It can be easy to get bored when practicing alone.
  • You don’t have anyone to help you correct your mistakes.
  • It can be difficult to stay motivated without someone else to push you.

If you are considering practicing tennis alone, weigh the advantages and disadvantages to see if it’s right for you. And remember, even the best tennis players in the world had to start somewhere. So don’t be afraid to go out and practice on your own!

How can I stay motivated to practice tennis alone?

Practice Tennis Alone
The player is enjoying and too motivated to play tennis alone

It can be difficult to stay motivated to practice tennis when you don’t have someone to play with. However, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself motivated.

First, try to set small goals for yourself. For example, if you’re just starting out, your goal might be to hit the ball over the net 10 times in a row. Once you reach that goal, you can set a new one, such as hitting the ball 20 times in a row.

Second, make sure to vary your practice routine. If you’re always doing the same thing, it can get boring. Try to mix things up and keep yourself challenged.

Third, take advantage of technology. There are a number of great apps and online programs that can help you improve your game. Make use of these tools to keep your skills sharp.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. The more you play, the better you’ll get. So even on days when you don’t feel like practicing, push yourself to get out there and hit some balls. With time and effort, you’ll see your skills improve.

How often should I practice tennis alone?

This is a difficult question to answer because it really depends on your skill level and goals. If you’re just starting out, you may want to practice a few times a week. However, if you’re looking to improve your game and become competitive, you should be practicing every day.


Can I practice or play tennis alone?

Tennis matches can be practiced in the garage, the gym, or even in the backyard of your home. No partner or opponent is needed, and no judgment is required. You will be able to improve your game by playing the sport. Consequently, you get better performance on the field.

What are some other benefits of practicing tennis alone?

Some other benefits of practicing tennis alone include:

  • You can work on your weaknesses without being interrupted.
  • You can set your own pace and work on what you want to work on.
  • You can stay focused and avoid getting distracted by others.
  • You can get more reps in and improve your skills faster.
  • You can get more enjoyment out of the game by playing at your own level.

What’s Next?

Tennis is a great sport to get into if you’re looking for something that can be enjoyed alone or with others. Learning how to practice tennis alone has never been easy, I must admit I find it a little boring but it is essential to get better.

If you’re planning on practicing alone, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure to warm up properly before starting your practice session. Second, focus on one thing at a time and really try to perfect that stroke or shot.

And finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different strokes and shots. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great tennis player!

My favorite is the tennis wall, and if you can find the time to hit against it once a week, you’ll improve your consistency, footwork, and intensity without fail.

David Harris

David is the founder and chief writer at Tennis Pursuits. A tennis fanatic, David has extensive experience of the game and has reviewed 100s of products to date. He is passionate about helping others on their tennis journey.

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