PDA

View Full Version : topspin 1hbh returning


raiden031
12-16-2009, 03:46 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

mikro112
12-16-2009, 04:07 AM
Stay really close to the baseline and shorten your backswing as much as possible. Then, just block the ball back. And always remember to really step into the ball, even if it's very fast. Reducing the backswing should give you the necessary time to compensate hard serves/little time. ;)

Bud
12-16-2009, 04:09 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

I've noticed the 1HBH can become a real liability when playing doubles at levels near 4.0-4.5. This was another big reason I switched to a 2HBH. I play a ton of doubles and usually play on the deuce side, since my FH is my stronger side. I had the exact same issue that you're having.

If you choose to stick with a 1HBH, I'd suggest continue slicing it crosscourt... to get the ball in play. Don't be so concerned with crushing it on the return. Also, if you have a strong net player on the opposite side who eats up your CC slices... simply lob the return into the middle of the back court. It's an effective and very safe shot.

BTW, since I've switched to the 2HBH... my deuce side serve return has turned into a nice effective weapon against anyone 4.5 (or below) aggressively playing the net. Those who used to poach my CC serve return slice now get the ball hit right at them (I know who they are). Those people are now standing at the baseline for my serve return... which also gives me additional options during the return.

raiden031
12-16-2009, 05:54 AM
I've noticed the 1HBH can become a real liability when playing doubles at levels near 4.0-4.5. This was another big reason I switched to a 2HBH. I play a ton of doubles and usually play on the deuce side, since my FH is my stronger side. I had the exact same issue that you're having.

If you choose to stick with a 1HBH, I'd suggest continue slicing it crosscourt... to get the ball in play. Don't be so concerned with crushing it on the return. Also, if you have a strong net player on the opposite side who eats up your CC slices... simply lob the return into the middle of the back court. It's an effective and very safe shot.

BTW, since I've switched to the 2HBH... my deuce side serve return has turned into a nice effective weapon against anyone 4.5 (or below) aggressively playing the net. Those who used to poach my CC serve return slice now get the ball hit right at them (I know who they are). Those people are now standing at the baseline for my serve return... which also gives me additional options during the return.

I don't think I want to give up my 1-hander. I switched 3 years ago from a 2-hander because I didn't like how restricted I feel with the 2-hander.

Stay really close to the baseline and shorten your backswing as much as possible. Then, just block the ball back. And always remember to really step into the ball, even if it's very fast. Reducing the backswing should give you the necessary time to compensate hard serves/little time.

The issue here is that by blocking the ball back, the net player knows they can be more aggressive because they are getting a weaker return. I'm looking more for tips on how to hit better returns that are more inline with my forehand return.

jrod
12-16-2009, 06:08 AM
Returning off the BH wing from the duece court can be a challenge in dubs, given the limited amount of court you have to hit to. If the serve is heavy and/or flat, it can be tricky to hit an effective topspin return (i.e. a good dipper). It's better to do what some of the other posters have suggested and shorten your backswing and step into the ball and block it back aggressively. With this shot I often aim to return down the middle. This is higher percentage and it compensates for when I am slightly late causing the ball to slide out wide on the server as they approach.

The only time I feel I can return using and aggressive topsin off the BH wing from the duece court is when the serve lands short and sits up. I have better luck returning with a topspin BH from the add court, although a slice is often just as effective, if not more.

Bud
12-16-2009, 06:14 AM
I don't think I want to give up my 1-hander. I switched 3 years ago from a 2-hander because I didn't like how restricted I feel with the 2-hander.

I used to feel that way until I learned how to hit it properly and more effectively (not that you weren't). I've been using it full-time now for 3 months straight and loving it more and more every month as it improves.

Try simply lobbing the BH return deep into the center of the court if you have an aggressive net opponent. In effect, it will go to the server's BH... slow with little pace. Watch how much trouble most guys have with that shot :twisted:

jrod
12-16-2009, 06:18 AM
...Try simply lobbing the BH return deep into the center of the court if you have an aggressive net opponent. In effect, it will go to the server's BH... slow with little pace. Watch how much trouble most guys have with that shot :twisted:


Bud- Are you suggesting hitting a topspin BH lob off the serve? I can see hitting a slice lob, but not with 2 hands...

mikeler
12-16-2009, 06:19 AM
Simple solution: Play the ad side :)

Bud
12-16-2009, 06:24 AM
Bud- Are you suggesting hitting a topspin BH lob off the serve? I can see hitting a slice lob, but not with 2 hands...

No, just hit a normal lob (over the aggressive net person)... to the server's BH. A slice lob or a simple flat lob both work great.

Also, referring to 1HBH here, not two.

Slazenger07
12-16-2009, 06:26 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

If your gonna slice it step inside the court and get out in front of the serve and block it back, that will give your slices more penetration and make them harder for the net player to poach.

You shouldn't always just slice it back tho, you need variety with your return or the net player will start to poach, if theyre any good at volleys.

So you need to take a few chances on the return and try to hit through them occationally, so you need to stand farther back against those big serves to give yourself time to take a crack at it.

If youre going to hit through the return or whip it with topspin youve got to make up your mind before they serve and be ready with the grip you want to use.

When Im returning serve I use a continental grip to chip the return back or if I want to be more aggressive Ill switch to an Eastern Grip (Forehand or Backhand) and focus on hitting the ball aggressively with a short back swing, and hitting the ball while its in front of you.

Since I use an Eastern Grip for my Forehand and Backhand strokes that's the grip Im ready to return with, if you use something different, be prepared with that grip when choosing to return serves aggressively.

My personal best return is the topspin forehand return, Ive gotten good enough with it that I can hit it against even the fastest serves I face which are around 110-115 mph.

To hit it I prepare with my Eastern Grip then use a very short back swing get in front of the ball and whip up the ball quickly, and finishing with the racquet over my head, (my typical finish on forehands) giving me lots of spin and margin over the net, because of the heavy topspin, its also a difficult shot for the net player to poach if I dont get enough angle on it.

I hope this helps

jrod
12-16-2009, 06:26 AM
No, just hit a normal lob (over the aggressive net person)... to the server's BH. A slice lob or a simple flat lob both work great.

Also, referring to 1HBH here, not two.


ok, agree. I was confused.

Slazenger07
12-16-2009, 06:27 AM
If your gonna slice it step inside the court and get out in front of the serve and block it back, that will give your slices more penetration and make them harder for the net player to poach.

You shouldn't always just slice it back tho, you need variety with your return or the net player will start to poach, if theyre any good at volleys.

So you need to take a few chances on the return and try to hit through them occationally, so you need to stand farther back against those big serves to give yourself time to take a crack at it.

If youre going to hit through the return or whip it with topspin youve got to make up your mind before they serve and be ready with the grip you want to use.

When Im returning serve I use a continental grip to chip the return back or if I want to be more aggressive Ill switch to an Eastern Grip (Forehand or Backhand) and focus on hitting the ball aggressively with a short back swing, and hitting the ball while its in front of you.

Since I use an Eastern Grip for my Forehand and Backhand strokes that's the grip Im ready to return with, if you use something different, be prepared with that grip when choosing to return serves aggressively.

My personal best return is the topspin forehand return, Ive gotten good enough with it that I can hit it against even the fastest serves I face which are around 110-115 mph.

To hit it I prepare with my Eastern Grip then use a very short back swing get in front of the ball and whip up the ball quickly, and finishing with the racquet over my head, (my typical finish on forehands) giving me lots of spin and margin over the net, because of the heavy topspin, its also a difficult shot for the net player to poach if I dont get enough angle on it.

I hope this helps

Geezer Guy
12-16-2009, 06:41 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

A lot of that describes me - although for whatever reason I seem to play on the Ad side a bit more. But, for duece: On many second serves I'm able to either take a good cut at a topspin backhand, or I can step around and hit a forehand. On a good first serve I'll do a variety of things: from about the baseline I'll slice it back deep & crosscourt or short and wide, or I may step in and while hitting the ball with technically a topspin motion it's really more of an on-the-rise blocking shot, or I may take the ball from a bit behind the baseline and try to drive it with my regular backhand topspin shot. When playing against a netman that poaches I'll go DTL more often with any of those shots. And, I also mix in lobbing returns (sometimes a bit more than is healthy) from the slice backhand.

Whatever I'm doing, I find it really helps to have a plan for each serve, and to try and visualize that return ahead of time - so that I'll have a definate shot in mind for either a forehand or backhand return.

Geezer Guy
12-16-2009, 06:44 AM
Oh - (just re-read your post) - there's nothing wrong with a slice backhand return, it can be very effective. You just want a GOOD slice backhand - not a WEAK slice backhand. Could be all you need is a half-hour with your pro.

seb85
12-16-2009, 06:50 AM
As you have correctly identified, at a higher level in doubles any sliced backhand off the return is going to get eaten alive.

I agree with what others have said- shortern the backswing but use as full a followthrough as you can manage. This will ensure that the blocked shot you hit will have some spin. Step into it aggressively and above all practise practise practise. Get together with a hitting partner- maybe someone who wants to practise serves- and hit loads of returns. This shot is a matter of timing rather than brute force.

Good luck

Seb

LeeD
12-16-2009, 07:59 AM
You guys don't know how to slice.
If you give them a slow floater head high CC, then the netman eats it up.
If you give them a hard, low, aggressive backspin slice return, the netman doesn't have time to react, AND, if he does, the ball is thigh high and spinning hard, making for a real tough poach.
Then again, with serves under 120 and right into your body or a foot from the sidelines, you CAN hit topspin return of serves. Just turn shoulders and little racketback, you punch it thru in plenty of time to admire your return. Problem is, most 4.5's and better CAN volley both slices, flats, and topspins, so don't admire too long.
As in the Federer Open Stance thread, you don't have to move your feet whatsoever, since the short punch topspin return is all shoulders and a little deltoided.

Bud
12-16-2009, 09:41 AM
You guys don't know how to slice.
If you give them a slow floater head high CC, then the netman eats it up.
If you give them a hard, low, aggressive backspin slice return, the netman doesn't have time to react, AND, if he does, the ball is thigh high and spinning hard, making for a real tough poach.
Then again, with serves under 120 and right into your body or a foot from the sidelines, you CAN hit topspin return of serves. Just turn shoulders and little racketback, you punch it thru in plenty of time to admire your return. Problem is, most 4.5's and better CAN volley both slices, flats, and topspins, so don't admire too long.
As in the Federer Open Stance thread, you don't have to move your feet whatsoever, since the short punch topspin return is all shoulders and a little deltoided.

True... but that type of slice isn't easy to produce when you have a good 4.0-4.5 server pounding your BH wing.

jrod
12-16-2009, 09:43 AM
True... but that type of slice isn't easy to produce when you have a good 4.0-4.5 server pounding your BH wing.


I don't know about you, but I find it easier than producing an aggressive topspin dipper...

Bud
12-16-2009, 09:45 AM
I don't know about you, but I find it easier than producing an aggressive topspin dipper...

No doubt.... but that wasn't the point of the post I was addressing. LeeD is discussing an aggressive low slice return. I'm saying that's probably not an option when faced with a good server.

Sometimes, an average CC slice is the only option for a 1HBH player when faced with a decent/hard serve to the BH. It's also why I suggested earlier to consider the deep lob on serve return.

jrod
12-16-2009, 09:49 AM
No doubt.... but that wasn't the point of the post I was addressing. LeeD is discussing an aggressive low slice return. I'm saying that's probably not an option when faced with a good server.


With real aggressive servers I find the block and chip lob are probably the only "reliable" options for me (right handed) in the duece court, BH wing. Any other options require me to anticipate (guess?) and are generally lower percentage shots.

Tennisman912
12-16-2009, 10:00 AM
I would agree with Slazenger07 in that you need to be comfortable hitting your 1HBH with topspin as well as slice because you will eventually have players good enough to poach aggressively when you slice it. It will eventually become a liability if you can only slice it.

As far as how to hit it, here are a few tips. First thing I would suggest is patience. I know it sounds counter intuitive but the biggest problem most people have is they panic and try to muscle the ball thinking they have less time than they really do. They panic and rush the shot hoping to save the day with some wrist manipulation. This may work up to a certain level but will hurt you if you rely on it especially against bigger servers. The first thing to remember is you have much more time than you think, even against big serves. To prove this to yourself, check the you tube video of Fed returning a 140mph+ serve from Roddick. Notice in the vid how far he takes it back on a serve that hard. My point is when you are facing the 80-100 mph serve of a 4.0, you have plenty of time IF you don’t rush it or panic.

This shot is all timing and when hit cleanly, you will be surprised how you don’t even feel a major jarring impact even against very big serves (like a drive of the golf ball on the screws so to speak). The first key is to keep a firm wrist. You want it locked into position. Try to keep a constant angle/relationship between your wrist and your forearm. Another thing to be conscious of is trying to hit it too far out in front of you (again, this is usually because you rushed the stroke, thinking you had less time than you really did IMHO). It stands to reason it also hurts your extension through impact if you have already extended to early. Try not to rely on using wrist manipulation to save the shot, as that will hurt you in the long run (also caused by rushing because again, you are too early). Next try to extend through impact, especially against the serves you are facing. This is very important and it is tough to do when you shortened the stroke too much and are already at full extension and thus can get anything on the shot (I hope you see the theme about the problems of being to early/panicking/rushing the stroke).

Also consider your grip and whether you change to hit the 1HBH return or wait with the BH grip. I personally wait in the forehand grip and change to the 1HBH grip when taking it back. As per the theme above, if I rush the shot and don’t take a full backswing (speaking relative here) I don’t get my grip turned all the way to my standard 1HBH grip. Obviously a problem, also caused by rushing the stroke so be wary of this. And for a double whammy, if you don’t get the grip fully turned, your contact point is slighty farther back than normal (again causing you to be early) if you try to hit it with the normal contact point which doesn’t work unless you use the wrist to try to save it (again, bad idea but admittedly does happen occasionally).

Make sure you keep your back arm behind you to keep from opening your shoulders too soon. This also can cause many problems and should be something to keep an eye on. You don’t need to move them as you can get all the pace and spin you need extending through impact with your arm and counter weight with your firm wrist. At that serve speed, you have time to get sideways on the return which will also help you hit the return more like a normal 1HBH shot, making you more comfortable with it. It should come together like this: split step at contact, recognize coming to your BH side step behind with and turn left foot (assuming righty and you have time), unit turn back (grip chang e on the way back if applicable, shoulders turn sideways, off hand (left hand) still on racquet to help facilitate shoulder turn, no need to lengthen backswing any more than this shoulder turn and automatic coiling from the shoulder turn), step into shot pushing off left foot (if time and you have time against the serves you are talking about), extend to your contact point with a firm wrist at contact, left arm staying behind as a counter weight and to keep shoulders opening (even more important for a righty returning a serve from the deuce side), extend through impact, keep head down and don’t pull head up to peek, follow through and then admire your great shot (hey, I am an optimist). This is a rough example of the things happening but all steps may not be applicable depending on many factors such as serve speed and so on.

I also find that this is a confidence shot. If you have confidence you can hit it cleanly, you can and do. But when you start doubting it, your head gets in the way and it can go downhill fast (and your opponent will notice and feed you a steady diet of them or I would). In my opinion and experience, I miss many more returns from being too early than being too late.

To practice, have someone hit serves to your BH, wait in a BH grip to remove one variable if you want, work on the foot work (as usual important especially against slower serves or when you have to adjust to put yourself in position) and then it is all repetition and gaining confidence in your stroke.

Best of luck. Much easier to demonstrate on the court than explain out loud.

TM

LeeD
12-16-2009, 10:08 AM
I don't think any shot in tennis is "EASY TO REPRODUCE"....
You have to work on the shots like they are foreign, then when you finally start to get it, you move up your level and you lose that shot! :shock:
Harsh but true. You up your level, your previous "owned" shots starts to get elusive.
The chip/block return is the easiest.
A short backswing early prep blocking top is possible for serves under 120.
A hard aggressive slice like Rosewalls is the hardest to learn, only because you guys only want to hit with topspin for all your groundies.

Ripper014
12-16-2009, 10:23 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?


Not that difficult if you adjust your mindset... like someone has already mentioned... shorten your swing... square your shoulders to your target... (you may not be able to get your feet in position, but you can open your stance prior to starting the point), lean forward and stroke the ball back. It is all about using the time you have... so you need to find the time to make the shot.

LeeD
12-16-2009, 10:34 AM
Exactly...
Even at my barely 4.0 level, I can sometimes return big 125+ serves with a blocking topspin backhand. Confidence is key, of course, so you wouldn't try it every time.
Some of you modern topspinners might even suggest standing behind the backboard to return fast incoming serves with topspin ..... :):)

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 08:08 AM
Stay really close to the baseline and shorten your backswing as much as possible. Then, just block the ball back. And always remember to really step into the ball, even if it's very fast. Reducing the backswing should give you the necessary time to compensate hard serves/little time. ;)

Well, this is a mouth full. Easier said than done. In order to do all of this, wouldn't you suggest the player to practice his returns to learn how to block the ball back, hit closer to the baseline, and step into this shot? Maybe have his partner serve from the service line to get his timing down?

The return of serve is an eye/foot coordinated stroke. Much of it revolves around reading the server, anticipation, some guessing, and positioning yourself correctly for the spin coming, etc...

Timing is the key thing here and anticipation which both require practice. ;)

mikro112
12-17-2009, 08:32 AM
Well, this is a mouth full. Easier said than done. In order to do all of this, wouldn't you suggest the player to practice his returns to learn how to block the ball back, hit closer to the baseline, and step into this shot? Maybe have hit partner serve from the service line to get his timing down?

The return of serve is an eye/foot coordinated stroke. Much of revolves around anticipation, etc...

TIming is the key thing here and anticipation which both require practice. ;)

Of course I agree that practicing the return is totally necessary. But only that wouldn't help him either, if he doesn't know what to look for. I simply stated what I think is important to do, even if it might be difficult for some persons. Now, he could go out on the court and try what I've mentioned. For me, if I get a tip and want to improve something it is common sense to go out there and practice it. ;)

Your rethorical questions are all correct though.

jazzyfunkybluesy
12-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

For one work on developing a strong laserlike backhand slice.

If you are going to come over the ball keep a wide stance and roll your momentum forward on the backhand.

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 09:13 AM
Of course I agree that practicing the return is totally necessary. But only that wouldn't help him either, if he doesn't know what to look for. I simply stated what I think is important to do, even if it might be difficult for some persons. Now, he could go out on the court and try what I've mentioned. For me, if I get a tip and want to improve something it is common sense to go out there and practice it. ;)

Your rethorical questions are all correct though.

Common sense? Well maybe the thought of practice is common sense but not how to practice. And stepping closer to the baseline is not a catch all problem solver either. Some players prefer to stand a couple steps behind the baseline. Others further back. Still others a few steps inside the baseline.

What is important here is practicing his timing for the return and syncing his footwork to what his mind is reading. Many times the mind reads but the feet are slow to move which can affect timing.

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 10:03 AM
Common sense? Well maybe the thought of practice is common sense but not how to practice. And stepping closer to the baseline is not a catch all problem solver either. Some players prefer to stand a couple steps behind the baseline. Others further back. Still others a few steps inside the baseline.

What is important here is practicing his timing for the return and syncing his footwork to what his mind is reading. Many times the mind reads but the feet are slow to move which can affect timing.

Learning to read what is happening and providing him a way to get in rythym such as using HIT-BOUNCE-HIT or 1-2-3.



Agreed... it depends on what you are comfortable with... I like to stand on or inside the baseline, I have always found I return better that way. For me it is because I can close down the angles better and I handle the ball much better when it is below my shoulders (I like to take the ball on the rise and will step in further as the server tosses for second serves). For others they like to be further back... to have more time to react to the ball.

I will admit though that since coming back to the game... I am not returning the ball nearly as well as I did... but I assume that is due to slower reflexes and poorer eyesight. But moving back may not improve my returns since I would be dealing with balls outside my comfortable hitting zone.

I guess what I am saying is that for each person you need to figure out what works best for you. But this thread was originally started asking for help hitting a 1HBH topspin return, and if I remember correctly he/she was finding that they did not have enough time to hit the shot. So he/she needs to do things to find more time... shorter backswing, move back,.... etc. For me I find it easiest to just turn my shoulders, weight forward and making sure I finish my stroke. If the serve is that fast I might not be able to get my feet in position... so as long as I can square up with my shoulders and make clean contact I can hit a good return.

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 10:26 AM
I will admit though that since coming back to the game... I am not returning the ball nearly as well as I did... but I assume that is due to slower reflexes and poorer eyesight. But moving back may not improve my returns since I would be dealing with balls outside my comfortable hitting zone.

So you admit you are getting old? :) Welcome to the club! I hate it! Playing at night and indoors is crazy for my eyes. They just dont work anymore in that dimmer light!

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 10:45 AM
So you admit you are getting old? :) Welcome to the club! I hate it! Playing at night and indoors is crazy for my eyes. They just dont work anymore in that dimmer light!

Absolutely... and since we are in the middle of winter here all my play is indoors... it doesn't help that the background is painted a light color making it harder to pick up the opponents serve. But when I can see the ball I am making some quality shots so that is a positive sign, and my serve is finally coming around... I have been away 15 years and found that I was having troubles hitting out on my serve. But lately I am getting full extension again... could be I was instinctively protecting a old shoulder injury or age..??? Knowing what I want to do and having my body doing it has been a challenge but things are starting to look up.

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 11:06 AM
Absolutely... and since we are in the middle of winter here all my play is indoors... it doesn't help that the background is painted a light color making it harder to pick up the opponents serve. But when I can see the ball I am making some quality shots so that is a positive sign, and my serve is finally coming around... I have been away 15 years and found that I was having troubles hitting out on my serve. But lately I am getting full extension again... could be I was instinctively protecting a old shoulder injury or age..??? Knowing what I want to do and having my body doing it has been a challenge but things are starting to look up.

Totally with you. I moved from So. Cal to Boise and tennis is played indoors here in the winter. I have trouble playing under the lights at times and transistioning to outdoor courts in the spring is a bit weird too.

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 11:22 AM
Totally with you. I moved from So. Cal to Boise and tennis is played indoors here in the winter. I have trouble playing under the lights at times and transistioning to outdoor courts in the spring is a bit weird too.

I have to agree with you... I don't remember what it is like coming back out from indoors since it will be my first time back in 15 years... but this fall nearing the end of the outdoor season I didn't remember the lighting giving me this much trouble. I speculated it was because the sun was so low on the horizion changing the lighting on the court.

But all in all I am happy to be back playing... I just wish I would stop buying rackets. I was (am) happy using my 200g's and PS 6.0 85, but since I play for fun now and the people I play with are usually few levels below me I prefer to tinker with other frames old and new. I guess if I ever got serious about my game again I assume that would change. So from outing to outing it could be a wood slazenger or a T-2000, a Pro Staff Tour 90, a McEnroe Maxply or any of a small arsenal I have purchased since my return mostly from the Tennis Warehouse Forum, the bay or Craigslist.

Nellie
12-17-2009, 11:32 AM
although I don't hit a one-hander, I notice that the 1hbh players that crush returns have a lot of similarities. Short backswing, get the racquet head low, under the ball, and get firm contact mostly using the pace of the ball. I would bet that you have the some problem I do - I don't practice hitting that inside-out backhand at all because I would run around that shot every time in a rally.

jrod
12-17-2009, 12:12 PM
although I don't hit a one-hander, I notice that the 1hbh players that crush returns have a lot of similarities. Short backswing, get the racquet head low, under the ball, and get firm contact mostly using the pace of the ball. I would bet that you have the some problem I do - I don't practice hitting that inside-out backhand at all because I would run around that shot every time in a rally.


Nellie- That's an excellent point, particularly as it relates to 1HBH players. At the 4.0 and 4.5 level the inside-out BH is a rarity primarily because of what you say.

naylor
12-17-2009, 02:12 PM
... I notice that the 1hbh players that crush returns have a lot of similarities. Short backswing, get the racquet head low, under the ball, and get firm contact mostly using the pace of the ball...I don't practice hitting that inside-out backhand at all because I would run around that shot every time in a rally.

If you play against a strong doubles team, the server will regularly go down the T at your backhand from the deuce side. This is the standard serve in good doubles, because it pretty much takes out one third of the court for your return (from the opposition netman to his trams) so server and netman have less court to cover on your return. Also, it targets what's often the returner's weaker side. If the serve is down on power and relies mostly on placement - like, on a second serve - then you can slice it back cross-court and low over the net very effectively (and on second serves the netman tends not to be too aggressive with intercepts). But if the server can nail his first serve down the T with decent power, then you need one heck of a sliced backhand to avoid the netman's interception - so here, going for the blocked or topspin hard return back gives you a better chance of not giving away an intercept. And there's no time for a run-around on such a serve.

My 1H rightie backhand is stronger than my forehand, and I'm comfortable playing either ad or deuce side - but when playing against a strong pairing I always choose the deuce side because I know we'll get lots of serves down the middle, and playing deuce they'll come to my stronger side. The way I set up to receive is I stand 2 - 4 feet behind the baseline, with a backhand grip, and I split and take a step forward with my right leg as the server hits the serve. This gives me the shoulder turn for a backhand and places the racket low in the "backswing position"(no further backswing needed) - and I swing from there. I find that if the serve comes right into my hitting zone and I'm slightly early, then the netman becomes the target, which helps keep him honest. And if I'm slightly late because I had to adjust my hitting zone slightly, then the result is a good inside-out backhand (this one, more blocked than heavy topspin).

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 02:25 PM
If you play against a strong doubles team, the server will regularly go down the T at your backhand from the deuce side. This is the standard serve in good doubles, because it pretty much takes out one third of the court for your return (from the opposition netman to his trams) so server and netman have less court to cover on your return. Also, it targets what's often the returner's weaker side. If the serve is down on power and relies mostly on placement - like, on a second serve - then you can slice it back cross-court and low over the net very effectively (and on second serves the netman tends not to be too aggressive with intercepts). But if the server can nail his first serve down the T with decent power, then you need one heck of a sliced backhand to avoid the netman's interception - so here, going for the blocked or topspin hard return back gives you a better chance of not giving away an intercept. And there's no time for a run-around on such a serve.

My 1H rightie backhand is stronger than my forehand, and I'm comfortable playing either ad or deuce side - but when playing against a strong pairing I always choose the deuce side because I know we'll get lots of serves down the middle, and playing deuce they'll come to my stronger side. The way I set up to receive is I stand 2 - 4 feet behind the baseline, with a backhand grip, and I split and take a step forward with my right leg as the server hits the serve. This gives me the shoulder turn for a backhand and places the racket low in the "backswing position"(no further backswing needed) - and I swing from there. I find that if the serve comes right into my hitting zone and I'm slightly early, then the netman becomes the target, which helps keep him honest. And if I'm slightly late because I had to adjust my hitting zone slightly, then the result is a good inside-out backhand (this one, more blocked than heavy topspin).

This is true. The serve up the middle opens up plays, keeps the ball between the doubles team, and makes it easier to keep the court closed.

Cindysphinx
12-17-2009, 02:41 PM
Can I creep in and ask a quick question?

I believe Raiden said he used to hit a 2HBH, but didn't like the feel.

My question is: Why is it that more 1HBH players who are familiar with 2HBH don't hit their returns with two hands and then play the rest of the point with 1HBH?

The reason I ask is that many 1HBH players have trouble hitting topspin drives, yet topspin is easy to hit with 2HBH. Also, being able to hit a 2HBH *topspin* return from the deuce court into your alley is an awesome way to keep a poacher honest.

So how about it?

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 02:55 PM
Can I creep in and ask a quick question?

I believe Raiden said he used to hit a 2HBH, but didn't like the feel.

My question is: Why is it that more 1HBH players who are familiar with 2HBH don't hit their returns with two hands and then play the rest of the point with 1HBH?

It think it is just what we gro accustomed too. Many people don't practice their returns a whole lot. The onehanded backhand feels very natural to a lot of people mainly because it doesn't feel like it restricts movement.

Some people for some reason just don't get comfortable and relax with the twohanded backhand.

One of the first things I do with twohanded players is force them to relax their arms. Stiff arms spells a stiff uncomfortable "thump" as a stroke.

The feet and their position also play a role in this. A lot of onehanders turning to twohands use the closed stance too much with their twohander. that just blocks the hips and makes the stroke suck bananas.

The reason I ask is that many 1HBH players have trouble hitting topspin drives, yet topspin is easy to hit with 2HBH. Also, being able to hit a 2HBH *topspin* return from the deuce court into your alley is an awesome way to keep a poacher honest.

So how about it?

I don't know about that. I hit both but am better with twohands. I can drive the ball on the onehanded backhand. A lot of players can. Maybe you can clarify that.

Onehanded backhand players just dont learn how to block the ball back with pace on the returns. It takes discipline to learn how to do it. It is a very quick motion. Many players take too big of a swing and can't seem to square the racquet right for that trampoline block back shot. They just dont practice it and often wait for their time on court during a match to do it. When that doesn't work, they resort to slicing.

As I say over and over again, the return of serve is very much a eye/foot coordinated stroke. When the feet are right and set on time, the return is a lot simpler to learn.

jrod
12-17-2009, 03:34 PM
If you play against a strong doubles team, the server will regularly go down the T at your backhand from the deuce side. This is the standard serve in good doubles, because it pretty much takes out one third of the court for your return (from the opposition netman to his trams) so server and netman have less court to cover on your return. Also, it targets what's often the returner's weaker side. If the serve is down on power and relies mostly on placement - like, on a second serve - then you can slice it back cross-court and low over the net very effectively (and on second serves the netman tends not to be too aggressive with intercepts). But if the server can nail his first serve down the T with decent power, then you need one heck of a sliced backhand to avoid the netman's interception - so here, going for the blocked or topspin hard return back gives you a better chance of not giving away an intercept. And there's no time for a run-around on such a serve.....

Excellent post naylor. One of the key factors teams should consider when deciding which player should play the deuce court is the ability to respond aggressively and reliably of the BH wing.

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 05:47 PM
As I say over and over again, the return of serve is very much a eye/foot coordinated stroke. When the feet are right and set on time, the return is a lot simpler to learn.

I would say it is more of an eye co-ordinate stroke more like a volley... you will not always feel you have the time to move your feet. I treat it like I do my volley... good shoulder turn and short take away. The only difference is that on my return of serve I make sure I follow all the way through like any ground stroke.

Hitting a one handed return down the line on the deuce court is a no brainer... it is a simple cross-court return. The reverse-court backhand we are discussing in this thread is the one the OP is having issues with.

For most people it is easier for them if they line up a little open to help promote the reverse-court backhand return before the serve.

I like to say that sometimes you have to make the shot, and then the feet follow.

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 06:09 PM
I would say it is more of an eye co-ordinate stroke more like a volley... you will not always feel you have the time to move your feet. I treat it like I do my volley... good shoulder turn and short take away. The only difference is that on my return of serve I make sure I follow all the way through like any ground stroke.

Ripper I am not going to argue about this with you. It is because I know my answer is correct. Or at the very least it is a good answer as it can apply to the return of serve in general. So it doesnt matter if a player doesn't always feel he can't move his feet, the truth he has too. Foot movement is critcal in the return of serve. The feet not only need to move properly but they also need to move immediately upin recognizing where the serve is going.

That means split-step, step-out, etc.. and doing it immediately. One of the main reason people have a poor backhand return is because of improper and late movement of the feet. The upper body does perform a shoulder turn and players should have a short backswing, that is common knowledge. If a player neglects the lower body and how the feet are to work and move, a player will develop an inconsistent return.

The return of serve requires the feet to move. The serve is not always hit towards you. Many people move their feet to late even if they dont have to move much.

Hitting a one handed return down the line on the deuce court is a no brainer... it is a simple cross-court return. The reverse-court backhand we are discussing in this thread is the one the OP is having issues with.

The orginal post is about the return of serve. That is what I posted to. Are you now trying to qualify my posts? If you are that would be a losing battle. My concern with the return of serve is about his timing and how he ends up slicing the ball. And does it make a difference if I say the feet are critical in the return of serve for any these? The OP asked for help in his return. He can hit his return with a toothpick and shove it his eye and he still would need to move his feet.

For most people it is easier for them if they line up a little open to help promote the reverse-court backhand return before the serve.

I like to say that sometimes you have to make the shot, and then the feet follow.

I am not so concerned with what is easier. I am concerned with giving him the right answer that will solve the problem. If you feel your provided your best answer great. I felt the same about mine because I have been there and done that.

The feet are involved all the time in the return of serve. Whether you are leaning and performing a gravity step, stepping out, timing your split-step, stepping out and then crossing over, they are always involved whether they move from where they landed from a split-step or if they have to actuall make a step.

The feet are staying and pivoting, moving and pivoting, and both sides of the body need to support weight transfer and the upper body movement on every single return.

Cindysphinx
12-17-2009, 07:38 PM
I don't know about that. I hit both but am better with twohands. I can drive the ball on the onehanded backhand. A lot of players can. Maybe you can clarify that.



Don't know if I can clarify! :)

I think my question was premised on two ideas: (1) that it is hard for a 1HBH player to hit topspin, which is why you don't see club players at 4.0 and below hitting good topspin on 1HBH, and (2) if someone like Raiden already has the foundation of knowing how to hit 2HBH, why not use that shot when he wants to spank his BH service return?

How many of these ideas are false?

Cindy -- who thinks Fernando Gonzalez also has a hard time hitting a 1HBH topspin drive, so it's not just club players

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 07:49 PM
Don't know if I can clarify! :)

I think my question was premised on two ideas: (1) that it is hard for a 1HBH player to hit topspin, which is why you don't see club players at 4.0 and below hitting good topspin on 1HBH, and (2) if someone like Raiden already has the foundation of knowing how to hit 2HBH, why not use that shot when he wants to spank his BH service return?

How many of these ideas are false?

Cindy -- who thinks Fernando Gonzalez also has a hard time hitting a 1HBH topspin drive, so it's not just club players

None of your ideas are false Cindy. It is just there are some variables to them that make it difficult to give a pat answer.

For instance, sometimes the issue with players not being able to hit with tospin can come from several areas:

1. They are just beginning to raise the racquet with their swing from bringing the racquet down from the takeback and just as they are moving the racquet forward they make contact without much rise. They either hit flat or top the ball into the net.

2. Sometimes they are too high over the ball. This is where the lower body comes in (feet and legs).

3. Sometimes it is a combination of the above.

Quick footwork and the proper use of the legs contributes to the rise players need when they hit a return of serve. The return of serve to get pop on the ball is really about your feet and your weight transfer or chest lean into the ball.

Although it isn't common, I don't see an issue with a person using a twohanded backhand for their return of serve and a onehander for their groundstrokes. Some players play like that.

In D Zone
12-17-2009, 07:58 PM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?


Set up your position at the baseline during a return of serve. Stand slighty diagonal (righty) - right foot at or inside the baseline line; left foot behind the baseline. This will allow u to easily turn to the bh side as you move forward (closed stance). Hip and shoulder turn as one unit (racquet should stay fixed -let the shoulder /hip do the work. Eye fixed on the ball, and start moving the racquet to meet the ball -swinging low to high. There will be also times that you can punch/ block the ball back with you bh return _basically using the racquet as a wall.

Second option- it would not hurt to clip and charge as well - using carioca step.

Third option - I sometimes would drill a hard 1bhb shot down the line, directly to the net man. Knowing that I need to quickly get to the next shot, (I then would hit a short topspin cross court aiming more towards the doubles alley).

Hope this help..

GuyClinch
12-17-2009, 07:58 PM
I kind of agree that 1HBH are a bit more problematic then 2HBH especially on the return of serve. I actually really like my 1HBH but I find myself late on even some modestly paced serves. <g> I don't know what my problem is.

I don't feel I have a bad backhand though. Many of the best rally shots I hit are with my backhand. Its a little flat - but still pretty accurate and powerful overall. I am thinking maybe I should start guessing backhand (grip wise) and then switch to my forehand to speed things up a bit. In general I do things the other way around.

Bungalo Bill
12-17-2009, 08:04 PM
I kind of agree that 1HBH are a bit more problematic then 2HBH especially on the return of serve. I actually really like my 1HBH but I find myself late on even some modestly paced serves. <g> I don't know what my problem is.

Trust me, it is your feet. When you coordinate the feet and work on their quickness and syncing ) with your immediate recognition of the ball, you wont be off balance which can play havoc on your return of serve.

The shortened backswing, the turning of the shoulders is icing on the cake.

Even when you make that quick shoulder turn and lean, your feet need to be in position to keep you in balance.

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 11:14 PM
Ripper I am not going to argue about this with you. It is because I know my answer is correct. Or at the very least it is a good answer as it can apply to the return of serve in general. So it doesnt matter if a player doesn't always feel he can't move his feet, the truth he has too. Foot movement is critcal in the return of serve. The feet not only need to move properly but they also need to move immediately upin recognizing where the serve is going.

I don't disagree with anything you have to say... and it would be ideal if I could set my feet and be perfectly balanced on every return. But that is not going to happen... there are times when I am at full stretch trying to return a serve. If it makes you feel any better, in my experience... I find that since I cannot get my upper and lower body in position... it is key that I can at least get my upper body in position to make a quality return. I also find it helps to square myself up with the server opposed to the lines on the court when returning serve. It helps when returning an inside out backhand, since you are already slightly open.

Ripper014
12-21-2009, 03:38 PM
I happened to see this on another thread and I thought this was the perfect example of what I meant. How you cannot always get your feet in position but you can square your shoulders and follow through with your return and then have your foot work follow after.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqKFUUepArw

86golf
12-21-2009, 04:12 PM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

From the deuce side, I like to hit down the net mans alley. (My partner is back just in case) Most righty's at net start leaning to the middle when the serve is down the middle so when I bust it past their backhand side they usually can't even make a play on it. Once you practice this shot, you'll think you have all day to hit the inside out return. If you hit a few of these winners, the middle of the court will start to open up for you.
Also, if you are returning righty serves, then most of these are kickers down the middle right?

jpr
12-21-2009, 04:40 PM
Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?

Raiden031

I'm going through the same issue, but possibly a tad further along than you. unlike you, i never had a 2HBH, just a 1H slice. once i got comfortable with the topspin 1HBH, i wanted to return with it because my slice return was a liability in doubles. i started by primarily playing the AD court since the BH return is not inside-out from that side. the inside-out return requires more footwork.

in my transition, i struggled with the grip change on a tough serve. i experimented with beginning with a BH grip instead of FH. i eventually stuck with a FH grip. after a while, i forced myself to return every 2nd serve with topspin 1HBH; on first serves it depended on my comfort level. Over time i began to return more 1st serves with topspin BH...typically those that didnt require as much movement (ie 2 steps or fewer).

for big serves, i have grown comfortable with a slightly flatter return taking the ball on the rise. like others have said, you have to shorten the swing, and stay low. these are difficult to practice. i practice with regular groundies rather than returns. when i get a deep, penetrating shot, instead of moving back i'll practice hitting it on the rise. after a while it has translated to being more comfortable returning big serves.

i cannot return all serves with topspin BH, but the mix is much better. my slice is now an effective change of pace. i find i'm getting fewer returns poached, and for weak serves i'll go down the line or at the net man...serves notice to guard their alley.

hope this helps

jrod
12-21-2009, 04:44 PM
From the deuce side, I like to hit down the net mans alley. (My partner is back just in case) Most righty's at net start leaning to the middle when the serve is down the middle so when I bust it past their backhand side they usually can't even make a play on it. Once you practice this shot, you'll think you have all day to hit the inside out return. If you hit a few of these winners, the middle of the court will start to open up for you.
Also, if you are returning righty serves, then most of these are kickers down the middle right?


sorry 86g, but do you realize what you are suggesting is probably one of the most difficult returns for a righty to pull off from the deuce court? talk about a low percentage shot...even for a lefty this shot is difficult as hell. I don't know about you but when I'm giving advice on something like this, my tendancy is to recommend high percentage shots and steering clear of something many pros would likely also avoid.

Ripper014
12-21-2009, 08:18 PM
sorry 86g, but do you realize what you are suggesting is probably one of the most difficult returns for a righty to pull off from the deuce court? talk about a low percentage shot...even for a lefty this shot is difficult as hell. I don't know about you but when I'm giving advice on something like this, my tendancy is to recommend high percentage shots and steering clear of something many pros would likely also avoid.

Actually it is the easiest backhand return you can make... you can just pull the backhand crosscourt. But I agree playing a high percentage return is a much better play, even if you cannot get it wide enough... keeping it low to the net is still effective at lower levels of play.

charliefedererer
12-21-2009, 08:53 PM
You've gotten plenty of tips here.
Now you have to go out and practice, practice, practice.
50% of points start as a return, but because you can't just take a bucket of balls out to the court and practice, like you can for a serve, most player's return game is not as good as their service game.
If you have great reflexes, the learning curve on a crosscourt backhand return will be shorter. But even then you will have to "take your lumps", if most of your returns are coming in doubles matches.
To speed up the learning process, you have to either have someone serve a lot to you, or set up a ball machine to practice serve returns.
Practicing returns with a ball machine is practical and efficient because each time you fill up the machine, you can turn the speed up another notch. Balls that would have seemed very fast at the beginning of an hour look routine after a few hundred balls. And you can keep cranking it up, and add in varying amounts of topspeed as well. (Most machines will not give you side spin, though.)
Devoting a couple weeks to several return sessions/week in addition to regular play can really get you "over the hump" if you have a sound topspin backhand to begin with, but are looking to develop the hand/eye neuromuscular reflex you'll need to return hard serves.
And even after you've improved, you likely will have to keep practicing (although at perhaps a less intense level) to keep up your new skill.

jrod
12-22-2009, 02:10 AM
Actually it is the easiest backhand return you can make... you can just pull the backhand crosscourt. But I agree playing a high percentage return is a much better play, even if you cannot get it wide enough... keeping it low to the net is still effective at lower levels of play.

So a flat bomb down the T to your BH side is easy to rip past the net man and into the alley? I'm impressed. I'm not aware of anyone at my level (4.5 dubs) that can pull that shot off.

Bud
12-22-2009, 02:39 AM
From the deuce side, I like to hit down the net mans alley. (My partner is back just in case) Most righty's at net start leaning to the middle when the serve is down the middle so when I bust it past their backhand side they usually can't even make a play on it. Once you practice this shot, you'll think you have all day to hit the inside out return. If you hit a few of these winners, the middle of the court will start to open up for you.
Also, if you are returning righty serves, then most of these are kickers down the middle right?

sorry 86g, but do you realize what you are suggesting is probably one of the most difficult returns for a righty to pull off from the deuce court? talk about a low percentage shot...even for a lefty this shot is difficult as hell. I don't know about you but when I'm giving advice on something like this, my tendancy is to recommend high percentage shots and steering clear of something many pros would likely also avoid.

Actually it is the easiest backhand return you can make... you can just pull the backhand crosscourt. But I agree playing a high percentage return is a much better play, even if you cannot get it wide enough... keeping it low to the net is still effective at lower levels of play.

So a flat bomb down the T to your BH side is easy to rip past the net man and into the alley? I'm impressed. I'm not aware of anyone at my level (4.5 dubs) that can pull that shot off.

I agree... not an easy shot for a 1HBH... much more effective shot for a 2HBH if you have an average net player. You're not going for the alley, however... you're going toward the net guy to force a good volley.

Now, if you receive serve on the deuce side to the FH... the alley can be a decent play if the serve is weak.

naylor
12-22-2009, 03:00 AM
So a flat bomb down the T to your BH side is easy to rip past the net man and into the alley? I'm impressed. I'm not aware of anyone at my level (4.5 dubs) that can pull that shot off.

Actually it is the easiest backhand return you can make... you can just pull the backhand crosscourt...

I wouldn't quite say it's the easiest backhand return you can make. But if you actually play for the shot - by standing 3-5 feet behind the baseline, and then stepping forward into the incoming serve - and the bomb down the T comes into your strike zone, you can cause a lot of damage because the return is back on the other side of the net before the opponents can react. If you swing slightly early - because you expected even more pace than you got - you actually get a hard cross-court right through the (rightie) netman and towards the trams on his backhand side. Hit it on time and it goes right between netman and incoming server. Hit it slightly late and you get a wicked inside-out hard block bouncing mid-court in the tramlines on the side of the incoming server. Of course, you may mishit it or miss it altogether, but if you commit early to play a positive return on a hard serve down the T, quite often the outcome is better than if you simply wait to see where the serve goes before you make the first move.

I play 4.5 doubles and can pull those shots off - more than occasionally (I'd like to think!). But my 1H backhand is way stronger than my forehand, so I play deuce side on the really tough matches.

jrod
12-22-2009, 03:02 AM
I agree... not an easy shot for a 1HBH... much more effective shot for a 2HBH if you have an average net player. You're not going for the alley, however... you're going toward the net guy to force a good volley.

Now, if you receive serve on the deuce side to the FH... the alley can be a decent play if the serve is weak.

Yep, FH down the alley is very useful, particularly early in the match. Let the net player know you can and will hit that shot in an effort to neutralize him/her.

As for the 1HBH pass down the alley from the deuce court, I've only hit this shot 1x. The serve was relatively close to my body and I was actually going at the net player and not for the clean pass. I simply got lucky.

Bud
12-22-2009, 03:43 AM
Yep, FH down the alley is very useful, particularly early in the match. Let the net player know you can and will hit that shot in an effort to neutralize him/her.

As for the 1HBH pass down the alley from the deuce court, I've only hit this shot 1x. The serve was relatively close to my body and I was actually going at the net player and not for the clean pass. I simply got lucky.

Agreed! IMO, at anything below professional levels of tennis, an inside out 1HBH serve return... from the deuce court into opponent's ad-side alley for a winner, is a pretty rare shot... and probably a fluke. I've never seen the same person hit that shot twice EVER.

It's probably one of the lowest percentage shots in doubles.

papa
12-22-2009, 04:22 AM
Set up your position at the baseline during a return of serve. Stand slighty diagonal (righty) - right foot at or inside the baseline line; left foot behind the baseline. This will allow u to easily turn to the bh side as you move forward (closed stance). Hip and shoulder turn as one unit (racquet should stay fixed -let the shoulder /hip do the work. Eye fixed on the ball, and start moving the racquet to meet the ball -swinging low to high. There will be also times that you can punch/ block the ball back with you bh return _basically using the racquet as a wall.

Second option- it would not hurt to clip and charge as well - using carioca step.

Third option - I sometimes would drill a hard 1bhb shot down the line, directly to the net man. Knowing that I need to quickly get to the next shot, (I then would hit a short topspin cross court aiming more towards the doubles alley).

Hope this help..

I like this post. Not sure I feel you can get "in" as much as described, depends on the serve, but the approach works. Sometimes I find myself six feet behind the baseline on first serves but the same reasoning applies.

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 05:14 AM
So a flat bomb down the T to your BH side is easy to rip past the net man and into the alley? I'm impressed. I'm not aware of anyone at my level (4.5 dubs) that can pull that shot off.

I play on a regular basis with 4.0-4.5 men currently and the majority of them can hit this shot. When hitting this shot you can basically pull the ball across your body... a much easier shot for most people. Also why it is easier for most people to play on the ad side of the court. It allows the player to pull the backhand crosscourt away from the net man.

In my opinion the inside out backhand is much more difficult to hit for most people.

You see this a lot in lower level mixed... where the woman struggles to keep the ball away from the net man with an inside out backhand from the deuce side... and the man looks like a hero returning backhands on the ad side (until they go to an australian formation).

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 05:23 AM
Yep, FH down the alley is very useful, particularly early in the match. Let the net player know you can and will hit that shot in an effort to neutralize him/her.

As for the 1HBH pass down the alley from the deuce court, I've only hit this shot 1x. The serve was relatively close to my body and I was actually going at the net player and not for the clean pass. I simply got lucky.

This is the same shot... you are just hitting it with your backhand opposed to your forehand.

86golf
12-22-2009, 06:18 AM
sorry 86g, but do you realize what you are suggesting is probably one of the most difficult returns for a righty to pull off from the deuce court? talk about a low percentage shot...even for a lefty this shot is difficult as hell. I don't know about you but when I'm giving advice on something like this, my tendancy is to recommend high percentage shots and steering clear of something many pros would likely also avoid.

Couple things-1-My partner is back, so if I hit it at the net man we'll both be ready for the incoming volley. If he poaches, it is a clean winner. 2-even if you miss wide, you've just showed your opponent that you are willing to hit that shot. 3-If net man makes a stab bh volley to the middle of the court, you or partner have an easy shot right down the open middle of the court for the winner.

This is a risk reward shot, but in doubles I've found it to be very effective and not any more difficult than an inside-out bh. If the net man is a lefty I won't try this shot, but for active righty's, I'll give them plenty of looks.

Doubles is about disruption.

darthpwner
12-22-2009, 06:20 AM
Shorten you swing and use your shoulder more by dipping you lead shoulder (right for righties). If you swing with your shoulders, you can hit a more powerful backhand stroke when the balls bounces around shoulder height and when your rushed for time such as when you return serve. Becker is a good example of a guy with a good backhand return of serve.

naylor
12-22-2009, 12:41 PM
... You see this a lot in lower level mixed... where the woman struggles to keep the ball away from the net man with an inside out backhand from the deuce side... and the man looks like a hero returning backhands on the ad side (until they go to an australian formation).

Too true. I played a 4.5 mixed doubles last weekend, and I took the deuce side because my partner's forehand is very strong (whereas her backhand turns into a floater under pressure) so she could hit forehand returns most of the time. The opponents thought "we were up to something" so they did likewise. The problem for them is that both I and my partner can serve down the T consistently, so we were in fact serving to the weak side of the man and the strong side of the woman - but on their returns I could go for big poaches (because I didn't have to bother minding my trams) and if it was past me there was my partner's booming forehand from the baseline coming back at them. Easy set.

For the second set, they switched back to the "normal" position - man on ad side. We lost that one - the set was a lot more even, the male opponent was able to target inside-out backhands to my partner's weaker backhand side and move up to the net, so my partner had to do more defending from deeper rather than come straight up to the net, and we lost a break and the set. The decider tie-break looked like a bit of a lottery, but we switched serving tactics - everything to the man's weaker backhand (and with some kick), and to the woman my partner would serve down the T to her backhand to try to get me a poach, whereas I'd go for first serve slider to force her to move out and play a weak push to my partner at the net. It worked well enough.

The point is exactly want you said. A man can look a hero when he gets to play the natural cross-court backhand from the ad side, particularly if he only has to deal with pace (which he can use for his return) and not much kick/action that require him to make adjustment steps. But put him on the spot on the deuce side against someone that can pound it down the T, and the weakness appears.

darthpwner
12-22-2009, 06:57 PM
I play on a regular basis with 4.0-4.5 men currently and the majority of them can hit this shot. When hitting this shot you can basically pull the ball across your body... a much easier shot for most people. Also why it is easier for most people to play on the ad side of the court. It allows the player to pull the backhand crosscourt away from the net man.

In my opinion the inside out backhand is much more difficult to hit for most people.

You see this a lot in lower level mixed... where the woman struggles to keep the ball away from the net man with an inside out backhand from the deuce side... and the man looks like a hero returning backhands on the ad side (until they go to an australian formation).

I bet you got that from Vic Braden's video about mixed doubles:)

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 07:46 PM
I bet you got that from Vic Braden's video about mixed doubles:)

Not really... I am fimilar with Vic Braden and his some of his theories... since I grew up with him. But I have always played the deuce side when I played mix for this reason... unless my partner insists on playing the deuce side.

raiden031
12-22-2009, 07:50 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still reading and processing alot of the tips. Also enjoying Bungalo and Ripper going at it. :)

Don't know if I can clarify! :)

I think my question was premised on two ideas: (1) that it is hard for a 1HBH player to hit topspin, which is why you don't see club players at 4.0 and below hitting good topspin on 1HBH, and (2) if someone like Raiden already has the foundation of knowing how to hit 2HBH, why not use that shot when he wants to spank his BH service return?

How many of these ideas are false?

Cindy -- who thinks Fernando Gonzalez also has a hard time hitting a 1HBH topspin drive, so it's not just club players

I purposely don't use the 2-hander because 1) I actually can't hit it anymore since its been like 3 years since I hit one, and 2) I fear it would confuse me as I might instinctually go back and forth from 1 to 2 hands during rallies. I'd rather just improve my 1-hander.

Also I don't consider it hard to hit a topspin drive with 1-hand when I'm getting a moderate-paced ball in my strike zone. Although its true that my 1-handed topspin shot has much less shot tolerance than my forehand or even backhand slice, which is one reason why its so poor on service returns, as serves are the most difficult of incoming shots to deal with IMO.

Ripper014
12-22-2009, 08:27 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I'm still reading and processing alot of the tips. Also enjoying Bungalo and Ripper going at it. :)


I am not sure we are going at it... we are both just stating what each of us has experienced. We could both be right... and we could both be wrong. I guess in the end whatever works for you will be the correct answer.


Also I don't consider it hard to hit a topspin drive with 1-hand when I'm getting a moderate-paced ball in my strike zone. Although its true that my 1-handed topspin shot has much less shot tolerance than my forehand or even backhand slice, which is one reason why its so poor on service returns, as serves are the most difficult of incoming shots to deal with IMO.

I feel your pain.. even though my backhand is unquestionably my better shot... I tend to take too big a swing off the return of serve with it. It really is about keeping it short and sweet. What helped me was to only hit topspin backhand returns during some practice sets, it made the decision process simple... For me it was getting my shoulders turned, racket back and making solid contact...

LeeD
12-23-2009, 07:54 AM
Seems to me...
If a returner can consistently hit DTL off your hard flat up the middle serve, your hard flat up the middle serve is lacking disquise, speed, or placement.
Even my weakenned first serve, most 5.5's can't get early on it with consistency. Why you ask? Because I vary my first serves, so they don't get tuned into it's placement or speed. Plus, if I actually hit it within 8" of the intersect, they'd be hard pressed just to get it into my court past the netman, even the very best 4-5.5's I play wid.
Maybe the guys I play with, ranked 4-5.5's, just aren't as quick as other's.

jrod
12-23-2009, 08:47 AM
Seems to me...
If a returner can consistently hit DTL off your hard flat up the middle serve, your hard flat up the middle serve is lacking disquise, speed, or placement.
Even my weakenned first serve, most 5.5's can't get early on it with consistency. Why you ask? Because I vary my first serves, so they don't get tuned into it's placement or speed. Plus, if I actually hit it within 8" of the intersect, they'd be hard pressed just to get it into my court past the netman, even the very best 4-5.5's I play wid.
Maybe the guys I play with, ranked 4-5.5's, just aren't as quick as other's.

I agree...I don't care what level you are, this is a really difficult shot. I'm actually surprised that some posters are advocating this response. I suppose this being the internet and all, it shouldn't surprise anyone to find people who advocate shots that many ATP players struggle with....

LeeD
12-23-2009, 09:11 AM
Possibly, the RipperMan is using a specific case in mind....
Once out of every 7 or so returns, if the netmans shows potential for poaching, I'll preplan a return DTL, no matter where the serve comes, how soft, how hard.
I'd still like to think my first flat serve, no matter how slow it's become, should be fast enough to preclude a consistent DTL return.
As for DTL returns. My thinking.... if the returner can hit it flat or topspin into the middle of the alley, or wider, I can't expect my netman to cover it. It just meant my serve was placed wrong, was too slow, or the returner hit a great shot.

Ripper014
12-23-2009, 01:02 PM
Possibly, the RipperMan is using a specific case in mind....
Once out of every 7 or so returns, if the netmans shows potential for poaching, I'll preplan a return DTL, no matter where the serve comes, how soft, how hard.
I'd still like to think my first flat serve, no matter how slow it's become, should be fast enough to preclude a consistent DTL return.
As for DTL returns. My thinking.... if the returner can hit it flat or topspin into the middle of the alley, or wider, I can't expect my netman to cover it. It just meant my serve was placed wrong, was too slow, or the returner hit a great shot.

I don't hit a lot of shots into the alley, it is not because I can't. It is because it is a low percentage shot... if the net person is active, then I will hit a few down to hold them in place. What I am stating is that hitting essentially a crosscourt backhand into the alley is easier than hitting an inside out backhand for most players.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 03:43 PM
I wonder if one out of seven is considered a lot DTL....
Lefty ad court returns, my slice backhand is just fine, as it doesn't have to cross in front of the netman, it's from a return at the center of the court already. However, a more consistent topspinner would be nice against the better competition.

jrod
12-24-2009, 07:37 AM
I don't hit a lot of shots into the alley, it is not because I can't. It is because it is a low percentage shot... if the net person is active, then I will hit a few down to hold them in place. What I am stating is that hitting essentially a crosscourt backhand into the alley is easier than hitting an inside out backhand for most players.


Ok, I think we agree then. In general, a XC BH is easier than an inside-out BH. However, the XC BH off a heavy serve down the T into the alley is not what many would call an easy shot given the position of the net player, the limited real estate to hit into, the height of the net, timing, etc.

Ripper014
12-24-2009, 11:11 AM
Ok, I think we agree then. In general, a XC BH is easier than an inside-out BH. However, the XC BH off a heavy serve down the T into the alley is not what many would call an easy shot given the position of the net player, the limited real estate to hit into, the height of the net, timing, etc.

I am just saying that any shot is easier to pull crosscourt than to hit inside-out... including one hit down the center of the T for most people. Granted some people will catch the ball late and hit a great inside-out return, but if you can get to the ball... most would find it easier to hit the ball cross court.

But a good heavy serve down the T that the returner cannot get to is going to solicate a weak return anyway and that could end up anywhere.