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View Full Version : How to Return a Deep Kick Serve


kenshireen
02-11-2009, 12:46 PM
I am a lefty 3.5-3.75 player. I had a mixed doubles match b-4 alta against a deep kicking righty.. I play the ad court.
Now, I don't know if this is the best way to handle this serve...but this is what I did.
I would stand several feet behind the baseline and when the ball spun out wide and lost most of it's velocity I would hit it back cross court. Others have said that I should have moved up and taken it early

Any opinions.

woodrow1029
02-11-2009, 12:52 PM
I am a lefty 3.5-3.75 player. I had a mixed doubles match b-4 alta against a deep kicking righty.. I play the ad court.
Now, I don't know if this is the best way to handle this serve...but this is what I did.
I would stand several feet behind the baseline and when the ball spun out wide and lost most of it's velocity I would hit it back cross court. Others have said that I should have moved up and taken it early

Any opinions.
Usually better on a kick serve to take it early. A good kick serve can bounce way above the shoulder and out of the court. If you play it from too high and too far back, it is hard first of all to put it back in play. Secondly, if you do get it back you are way out of position to get to the next shot.

Noaler
02-11-2009, 12:55 PM
hit it down the line

JRstriker12
02-11-2009, 01:03 PM
hit it down the line.. so the person at the net can put it away? Don't think so.

Better early than late. If his kicker pushes you far off the court and back, it's going to be hard to hit a passing shot if the server comes in and may give his partner more time to poach.

But, if your return was working and not getting picked off, then you were probably okay.

Noaler
02-11-2009, 01:04 PM
Oh, sorry doubles

tennisdad65
02-11-2009, 01:29 PM
step in and take it early.. it is easier for you since you are a lefty and his righty kick out wide will be to your forehand.

I use a 1HBH and generally slice these serves after moving way in. If I stay back and slice it or even drive it, it will be eaten up by the netman.

This is a fairly difficult return with a good kick serve, and even more difficult if the netman is a lefty.

Rickson
02-11-2009, 01:32 PM
Return of serve a la Nadal.

Nellie
02-11-2009, 01:33 PM
It kind of depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your return - if you want to be agressive and take a chance, step into the court and take the ball on the rise, and follow the return into the net.

If you want to neutralize the serve, step back and take the ball as it is falling. Even if you really kill the return, you will be deep and will not be able to attack much. Instead, you plan to hit another shot as an approach after the return. If your opponent is staying back - hit deep and move slightly forward. If your opponent is coming in, then you need to hit shorter at his feet. Then, look come forward to hit hit the next shot.

raiden031
02-11-2009, 01:37 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with the "take it early" approach. I have found it impossible to return serves on the rise and don't know how that is supposed to make it easier. Maybe good for attacking the serve, but if you are having trouble returning it at all, does that mean you need advice on how to attack it? When I have trouble returning serve I usually move back so I have more time prepare for it. I can get a better read on a kick serve if I have more time to watch what its doing. Then after a few returns I can predict the path of the ball and it gets better.

wihamilton
02-11-2009, 01:41 PM
I am a lefty 3.5-3.75 player. I had a mixed doubles match b-4 alta against a deep kicking righty.. I play the ad court.
Now, I don't know if this is the best way to handle this serve...but this is what I did.
I would stand several feet behind the baseline and when the ball spun out wide and lost most of it's velocity I would hit it back cross court. Others have said that I should have moved up and taken it early

Any opinions.

I prefer standing back when playing singles. Doubles can be tricky because your opponent (should be) is closing the net. If you stand too far back you give your opponent plenty of time to get in. Also, if you're up against a savvy net man, he will poach very often if you are trying to roll the ball cross court. If I'm playing net and I see the returner do this, I'll tell my partner I'll poach pretty much every time. Easy points.

Standing closer prevents this from happening but, as you suggested, can make the return more difficult. You have to evaluate your competition when deciding on a return strategy.

Rickson
02-11-2009, 01:42 PM
I think I'd rather stand back too. I saw one tennis pro who said he'd take the receiver right off the court with his kick serve on the ad and true to his word, the guy wound up running to his left and barely got any stick on the ball.

junbumkim
02-11-2009, 01:58 PM
Ideally you want to take it early, but it's difficult to do if you don't have a lot of experience dealing with this serve.

One key is not to be standing still. You want to have your weight move forward when returning.

As your opponent tosses the ball, take a step forward and split-step, so that your weight is going forward. Minimize backswing, which means wait with your elbows out in front of your body and try to block it crosscourt...

So, you can be standing around or just a little behind the baseline before your opponent tosses the ball, take a step or two forward as he tosses the ball, then split step.

LeeD
02-11-2009, 02:00 PM
Wait a minute here...
If the OP can return the serve effectively, who are we to say he should change anything? Winning strategy is using what works against your opponent.
Standing back works, if the netman can't poach to put it away, if the server doesn't charge in to put a offensive volley deep between the two returners.
Always use what works, not what any of us say to do.

drake
02-11-2009, 04:12 PM
I find that the "take it early" return against a high kicker only applies sometimes to the 2 hbk or if served to the forehand. Using a 1 hbk, the "hit it on the rise" is even difficult for the best of the pros. Stay back, shorten your swing, hit the ball in front and always move forward.

LeeD
02-11-2009, 04:21 PM
Seems to me...
Lefty playing ad court. Rightie serving out wide with twist goes to lefty's FOREHAND !
Once again, whatever works for you. You can also move forward, splitstep and use your volley stroke to take the ball early and hit it low crosscourt.

junbumkim
02-11-2009, 04:36 PM
Wait a minute here...
If the OP can return the serve effectively, who are we to say he should change anything? Winning strategy is using what works against your opponent.
Standing back works, if the netman can't poach to put it away, if the server doesn't charge in to put a offensive volley deep between the two returners.
Always use what works, not what any of us say to do.

There are different ways to react to different shots. Just because the OP has found one way to counteract a shot doesn't mean that he shouldn't experiment with other methods to counteract.

And, players adapt. Just becaue you find a way to beat someone doesn't mean it's going to work again and again.

Commando Tennis Shorts
02-11-2009, 11:10 PM
Well, take it early for a few reasons.

1) It will stop you from being off balance to start the point.

2) It will prevent your opponent from easily charging the net from the beginning (if you are playing singles)

3) It will keep your opponents on their toes and force them to make quick decisions (if you are playing doubles)

NamRanger
02-11-2009, 11:13 PM
I am a lefty 3.5-3.75 player. I had a mixed doubles match b-4 alta against a deep kicking righty.. I play the ad court.
Now, I don't know if this is the best way to handle this serve...but this is what I did.
I would stand several feet behind the baseline and when the ball spun out wide and lost most of it's velocity I would hit it back cross court. Others have said that I should have moved up and taken it early

Any opinions.



If he is consistently kicking it to your forehand, I'd say stand inside the baseline and send a message. Camp the doubles alley and FORCE him to go up the middle, where he would probably be more uncomfortable (on 2nd serves). Go for a big return, and force him into going for the more uncomfortable serve.

Kirko
02-12-2009, 01:03 AM
I am a lefty 3.5-3.75 player. I had a mixed doubles match b-4 alta against a deep kicking righty.. I play the ad court.
Now, I don't know if this is the best way to handle this serve...but this is what I did.
I would stand several feet behind the baseline and when the ball spun out wide and lost most of it's velocity I would hit it back cross court. Others have said that I should have moved up and taken it early

Any opinions.

hit early as it bounces. if not it will drag you off the court chasing it. I hit the american twist and could get cheap points right & left with it until I ran into a guy who understood it and cracked it when it struck the court.

halalula1234
02-12-2009, 04:15 AM
2 options. Taking it early on the rise or staying a way back and wait for it top drop a little.

LeeD
02-12-2009, 09:14 AM
Another effective reply is to tell your partner to back up 2 steps, then crack your forehand right at the netfemale. Hitting side hip is best, but don't puffball it.
If server always moves in, now's a great time to lob up the middle. His spin takes your ball down the line, over the netperson's head.
Another off pace reply is to volley the return short and angled, but your netgirl had better have quick hands:):)

Kevo
02-12-2009, 10:29 AM
I tend to try both up and back depending on what's going on. Either choice can be effective, but whichever one allows me to hit a more offensive return in, is the one I'll go with.

Sometimes a good kicker is hard to return in the right direction because of the movement on the ball. In those cases standing back may be better.

Sometimes an exceptional kicker is impossible to return without standing in. Those are the really fun ones to deal with.

Tennisman912
02-12-2009, 05:38 PM
Ken,

I always prefer to step in and take it early. As a lefty, the ball will be moving to your left right into your FH strike zone if you step in. As a fellow lefty, ripping the kicker is easier than the slice coming into you (IMHO). Just make sure when you step in you move diagonally in and not parallel to the baseline. You can also mix in some right at the net person as well. I am assuming most of these serves are in the middle of the box or out wide as a few I see at that level will be consistently hitting it up the middle to your backhand. If it is consistently at the BH, the kick makes it easier to run around and hit your FH. Also try moving more to the middle so they know you are going to crack a FH and see if it gets in their head and to see if they can actually hit the spot out wide you are giving them. My guess is they won’t be able to consistently and you can take advantage.

Also, the net person probably won’t be too aggressive in poaching (especially if you hit a few at them) so a good shot rolled to the oncoming server should be very effective. Good returning is mostly about confidence that you can be good at it and trusting yourself. Keeping constant pressure on their serve by them knowing you are going to step in and crack it will probably shake their confidence at bit even if you miss a few. That is much better than stepping back and contributing to your opponent’s good position at the net IMHO.

Good tennis

TM

Jim A
02-13-2009, 09:40 PM
everyone is different but I typically start a couple feet behind the baseline, as the server goes into his toss I start to move towards the baseline, then split and wind up taking it around the baseline or about a foot inside it..

too many 3.5+ people can just hit kick serves that will put you on the defensive early in doubles

with a 1hbh, I can often slice it back effectively since its not out of my zone

mtnpaul
02-19-2009, 11:16 AM
Actually there are two options and it depends on what the server is doing. If the server charges the net (a common tactic since this type of server typically allows the server more time to get to the net), stand back and hit a topspin lob down the line (or even cross court). The server is usually way to committed to coming in, which means the net guy/gal will have to try and retrieve it. This is of course best if the net player plays close to the net.

If the server does not charge the net, I would take it early and slice it wide cross court and take the net. When you come to the net move to the middle, and your partner should cover the alley.

If you don't know if the server is going to come in to the net or not, go with the second option as it will still be a decent play in both situations. Taking the server early even on a slow kicker will usually allow you to get it at the feet of someone charging the net.

spot
02-19-2009, 11:26 AM
You might as well be playing against me- thats my go to serve over and over. A couple things- in order to constantly peg that wide serve I stand wide to begin with and you should take advantage of that geography. You want to go down the line a few times to make sure my partner HAS to cover the alley. But this should open up the middle of the court for you- I am starting wide on one side, my partner needs to cover the alley- that means I hvae a lot of court to cover because of that wide serve.

The return that gives me the most trouble is when someone takes my high bouncing kicker and slices it back sharply crosscourt. ItI bounces high so you can hit down on it some to get a good angle. I am sending you wide so you ahve a ton of angle to use. And if you are slicing a topspin shot you are just adding spin to the ball and don't have to unspin my shot.

That said- if I am facing a lefty on the Ad side I just pound your backhand with kickers down the middle. I don't see any good reason to serve out wide to a lefty on the ad side when there are piles of advantages to hitting to the backhand.

crystal_clear
02-19-2009, 01:12 PM
Practise more return of kick serve... It is easy to say take the ball early. It is not easy to hit balls on rise/early if you don't practise enough return of kick serve.

OP has this question because he is not comfortable hitting balls early.