Pickleball Singles Strategy: 9 Best Strategies to Dominate Your Opponent

Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. It is a fun, fast-paced game played in singles or doubles. Although it is easy to learn, pickleball singles strategy requires a combination of skill level and strategy to master.

This blog will explore some great tips and techniques to help you become a better pickleball singles player. So grab your paddle, and let’s dive in!

pickleball singles strategy

Serving Singles Pickleball

In singles games of pickleball, the serve is key. It can be a crucial offensive weapon. Unlike doubles, where just getting the serve over the net is enough, you need to deep serve to force your opponent for next shot.

Aim for your opponent’s weaker side, if you’re not confident enough, serve a hard passing shot in the middle of the court.

A robust and deep shot beats a perfectly placed serve in a pickleball game. Hitting the ball with power will prevent your opponent to hit a drop shot.

What is Singles Pickleball

Pickleball singles is played with one player per side without a partner. It’s the same game as traditional pickleball but with only one player per side. The game is played on a court the same size as a badminton court, using the same rules and a similar scoring system as regular pickleball. The main difference is that the players must use strategy to outwit their single opponent.

serving singles pickleball

You must use physical and mental strength to cover the whole court, make every shot, and devise the right strategy. This is what makes singles pickleball different from doubles.  The rules of singles and doubles are also different, so adopting the best strategies for singles is essential if you are new to pickleball.

Best Pickleball Singles Strategy

The best strategy to play pickleball singles is to focus on controlling the center of the court. This means taking short shots to the middle of the court and using the angles to your advantage. Additionally, try to keep your shots low.

This way, you can prevent your opponent from playing volleys and can move them around the court. Lastly, be sure to use your serve to your advantage – if you can serve consistently, you’ll have control of the rally and can win more points

Deep Return

Return of Serve is key component of playing singles pickleball. It is important to understand the various spins and directions of the serve. It will give you time to react to anticipate where the return is going to land.

Additionally, it is essential to be able to read how an opponent is deep involved in his shot. By understanding return of serve strategy, a pickleball player can better anticipate where their opponent will hit the ball, thus increasing their chances of winning the point.

Return of serve strategy can also be used to set up counter-attacking shots, giving the player an advantage over their opponent.

Third Shot Drop 

 in singles pickleball game third shot is a tactic used to gain an advantage when playing against an opponent. By hitting a third shot drop, a player is trying to put their opponent in a position where they have to hit a difficult shot to make an unforced error. This difficult third shot aims to gain a short-term advantage by continuing to attack with various shots.

With this pickleball singles strategy, you can use a passing hard drive to pick up quick points instead of relying on short serves in doubles. 

Deep Serve

 Serve Deep in the Pickleball court helps pickleball singles to force in moving your opponent to the baseline and away from the net.

This strategy in singles also makes it difficult for the opponent to reach balls hit deep in the court. This can help create an advantage for the server and make it difficult for the opponent to set up a shot. Additionally, by serving deep it gives the server a better chance to dominate the court by controlling the pace and direction of the match.

Take the Middle

If you stay near the centerline of the court, you can cover the most space. This will help you reach shots that may otherwise be out of your reach.

It helps pickleball singles by giving the server more control over the serve because you have the entire court to cover.

By positioning themselves, the server can better judge the serve’s length and depth, allowing them to place the serve more accurately.

This pickleball singles strategy tip helps them to set up their opponent for an easy return. In addition, by positioning yourself near the middle line, the server can more easily judge where their opponent is located and can adjust their strategy accordingly.

Come to Kitchen Line

Staying in a non-volley zone or kitchen is a great way to improve singles play. This technique helps players to keep their shots low, opening up more court for them to hit. get to the kitchen line also increase control and accuracy. The player will be in position to hit behind the baseline. This technique allows players to get to the non-volley zone and compete more effectively if new to singles.

Coming to the Kitchen Line in singles pickleball provides an advantage by limiting the angles available to your opponent on the court.

 Vary Your Shots Selection

One way to keep your opponent on their toes and maintain the advantage is to vary your shot selection. This means changing your shots’ pace, spin, and direction so opponents never try to hit like doubles. For example, you could hit a soft shot one time and then a hard, flat shot the next. By varying your shot selection, you can keep your opponent off balance and force them to make mistakes.

Take Control of the Net

The net is one of the most important areas of the court in pickleball singles, and taking control of the net is a key part of any successful singles strategy. When you’re at the net, you can put pressure on your opponent and force them into making mistakes. To take control of the net, you should focus on hitting volleys and overhead smashes and approaching the net whenever possible. Additionally, you should be ready to defend the net and make quick, agile moves to get to any incoming shots.

Be Smart in Shots Placement

Pickleball singles play is a great way to challenge yourself and practice your strategy. You must be smart with your shots placement strategy when playing in singles. When hitting a shot, consider where your opponent stands and their weaknesses.  You can place your shots to maximize your scoring opportunities. Try to place your shots in areas that make it difficult for them to return the ball. This could mean hitting a shot deep into their backhand or hitting a high shot that makes them jump.

 You can take away your opponent’s options and force them to make mistakes. By adopting this pickleball singles strategy, you can gain an edge and improve your chances of winning the match.

Know When it Safe to play

While being aggressive is important in pickleball singles, it’s also important to know when to play it safely. There will be times when you’re facing an adamant opponent or a challenging situation; in these cases, playing it safe may be the best option in a pickleball singles match.

This could mean hitting a soft shot instead of a risky one. Knowing when to play it safe will help you avoid making mistakes and losing points, and it will also help you conserve energy for when you need it most.


If you hit a bad return of serve in pickleball singles, staying positive and focusing on the next serve is best. Take a deep breath, reset your body, and be ready to hit the next ball. You can also practice your return of serve to become more consistent and reliable.

1. Utilize your court space.  

2. Use a variety of shots.

3. Stay focused.

4. Serve strategically.

5. Be patient.

These pickleball rules for two players are slightly different than double rules. You must follow these, so you don’t miss any points to lose the match.

The official pickleball court dimensions for singles play are 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. The court is divided into two halves by a net placed at 36 inches high in the center. The two halves are divided into two service courts, each 20 feet wide by 11 feet long. The non-volley zone line is 7 feet from the net and the baseline is 15 feet from the net.

Final Verdict

Pickleball singles Strategy is different than doubles.  To succeed, singles require understanding full court especially the non-volley line. You should serve purposefully, stay active, and be aggressive when you’re playing. 

Singles’ pickleball strategies will greatly improve your game and increase your winning potential. By practising and implementing different strategies, you can become a more successful player on the court. Regardless of your level of experience, pickleball strategies can help you become a better player and increase your enjoyment of the game.

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