View Full Version : How to capitalize on weak returns?

09-04-2007, 06:46 PM
3.0/3.5 here

I've been developing much better baseline strokes - forehands and backhands this past year. Also much better volleys. But here's the stroke I can't do.

When I mess up and hit a weak return the guys at my level almost always put it away, usually by placing the ball - hitting it where I'm not. But when they hit a weak return I do one of two things: 1) Hit a pretty good looking backhand or forehand which clears the baseline by at least three feet or 2) choke and do something really ugly like a hybrid volley/half volley/lob - something a 2.5 would be embarrassed by -which goes about 10 feet in the air and lands short of the service line.

Any remedies?

09-04-2007, 08:08 PM
u want to flatten out your return but dont overpower it. just practice getting the serve in play...thats your main objective.

09-04-2007, 08:11 PM
Perhaps try playing angles, it could become a useful stroke against that level of play, and you'll start to get a better feel for the court in terms of placement.

09-04-2007, 08:26 PM
I would just play a safe shot(lots of spin) in the corner and move up to cover the pass for an easy volley.

09-04-2007, 09:15 PM
I would just play a safe shot(lots of spin) in the corner and move up to cover the pass for an easy volley.

That is probably the best strategy. If you get it directly into the opposite corner, even if it is slow, it will make it difficult for your opponent to pass you.

09-04-2007, 09:20 PM
Get a bucket with about a hundred balls. Give it to your practice partner then stand about half way between the baseline and service line. Have him/her stand slightly to your side and toss you balls. Practice placing them (medium speed strokes) down the line and crosscourt- forehand and backhend. When you get proficient, have him/her vary the bouce height and direction- empty the bucket and repeat as necessary.

09-05-2007, 05:09 PM
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I've been watching the Open on TV and looking out for this type of opportunity. It seems that the player making the shot is putting an awful lot of topspin on it. Is that right? It would seem to make sense.

09-05-2007, 10:58 PM
Ah, the putaway shot.

I think it depends on how flat your shot is normally, if it's pretty flat then you want to swing in a way that guarantees more topspin, i.e. you start lower but make sure you're not hitting too much up on the ball.

If you normally hit balls with a higher trajectory, you're gonna have to flatten out your swing a bit and hit a little more down into the court.

Like bagumbawalla said, just practice it. You'll find the necessary adjustments in no time, keep loose and never be afraid to swing away. Nothing worse than a blown putaway, but nothing feels nicer than that clean winner.