View Full Version : Returning monster serves

09-08-2006, 09:51 AM
What's the technique in returning monster serves like Roddick or B. Becker? While watching Agassi at the Open (what a great player) he was able to return most of Becker's 139 mph serves.

09-08-2006, 10:37 AM
Just block it back. No time for a long takeback and full swing. At least, that's what guys like me do when faced with the big serving heat. Now, Agassi, and other guys who return heat with heat, that's a different story.

Bottle Rocket
09-08-2006, 10:53 AM
I used to just try and block it back, like Fed tends to do, with a continental grip.
I started to realize I could either never hit them deep enough to be effective or I would hit floaters tha would float all the way back to the fence. It just wasn't worth it. Be aggressive on serve returns, take your chances.

Shorten your backswing a bunch and choke up on your grip a tad. Focus on hitting the ball cleanly.

Then just practice! It seems most of the big servers don't hit the corners, they often hit them right to you. They can become predictable, hopefully they hit consistantly to your forehand. Just keep practicing on it, don't just submit to blocking the ball black. Working on a solid return, at least in my opinion, will be worthwhile in the long run.

09-08-2006, 11:23 AM
One of the guys at my club hits 130 regularly. We do serve and volley drills with another guy so I get to see his serve one day a week. :( What I do, primarily, is guess, i.e. commit early. That gets my racquet on the ball about 70% of the time, but I only get about 30% of the returns over the net. I typically win about 1 out of 8-10 of his service points. The other guy is much younger than me but he only gets about 50% of the returns back over the net. All of which underscores the huge benefit on hard courts of a fast serve.


09-08-2006, 03:56 PM
Guess i'll have to see an instructor on the "Art of Return" for big servers! I'll work on it. Short take back with swing and hope for the best.

09-08-2006, 03:58 PM
Also i noticed when that big serve comes and i try to swing at it my wrist just bends back because it's alot of force. Is there a way to try to keep the wrist straight for the big return? Should i work out my wrist more or just swing harder?

Bottle Rocket
09-08-2006, 06:21 PM
Clean contact is the key.

If your wrist is "bending back" as you say when you hit, you're probably making contact too late and/or going for too much of a swing.

Solid contact in front of your body.

09-08-2006, 10:20 PM
Clean contact is the key.

If your wrist is "bending back" as you say when you hit, you're probably making contact too late and/or going for too much of a swing.

Solid contact in front of your body.

I'll work on that:)

09-08-2006, 10:27 PM
Just don't block it back to block it back. Aim for a spot you want to block it back to heh :p.

But there's really no time to prepare or do much. You just need to make clean contact with the racquet out in front.

I usually block it back down the line and then be ready for the reply cross court.

It takes awhile to really get used to the pace and adjust to it. I remember playing tennis for the first time and playing against my coach (hits 80-90 MPH serves). I thought they were incredibly fast and couldn't do anything. After awhile the balls just seem really slow now and my eyes, and body are adjusted to it. Now it feels more like a ground stroke as I can take a swing at it and have it go in.

09-09-2006, 06:20 AM
Just watch the ball like your life depends on it....
Split step just before the ball crosses the net...
Block it back, like a volley, focus on making clean contact with the ball.
Make sure ur body weight is going forward into the ball....
And that your body is relaxed...

09-09-2006, 10:17 PM
How do the pro's take full swings? Man i watched how hard it was for Youzhny to return Roddick's serve but he did get a few back. That's one heck of a serve.