Handling soft serves

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ncchetty, May 27, 2004.

  1. ncchetty

    ncchetty New User

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    Hi,

    How would you handle soft serves coming in during a doubles game?

    Yesterday one of our opponents sprained his elbow and started using under arm serves.

    It looked too easy, when we returned it back hard, it either went into the net or went long.

    When we started returning it slow the net man at the opposite side simple smashed it out.

    How can we handle such situations?
     
    #1
  2. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    I like to drive the ball hard down the line in doubles if I get a soft serve. Most the time the netman can't handle a fast pace ball with lots of spin.. The netman will have to react very fast, and they may try to volley a ball that could go long too. And sometimes it goes to their left anyway. If they can handle those balls, than just drive the ball hard crosscourt. If your hits are going long, add topspin for more control, or just don't hit it so hard.. Hitting deep doesn't mean you have to hit hard.
     
    #2
  3. Rackethead

    Rackethead Rookie

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    peg the net man :)
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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  5. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Well move in and then aim hard at the net man, if his partner doesn't have a serve. Then he will back up either to the service court line or to the baseline and you can go back to hitting soft returns and getting them in. If you are playing recreational and not to win then just hit soft and crosscourt. You could also throw up lob returns but maybe start with your partner back at the baseline with you in case your lob is short.
     
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  6. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    If the netman is waiting until you strike the ball to make a play, then just comfortabley get it by him and play the point out. If he is trying to get right in your face to take advantage of the soft serve, then just smoke one right into his chest. That means he is arrogant and he deserves to be pegged.
     
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  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    kevhen has it fairly well covered. You have to move in more to cover the extra time the server has to get to the net by serving soft. I also make sure i have plenty of topspin off the slow serve to get it down. The lob over the partner is good too as you are closer to the service line than normal and have more room to get it over his head as well as him having less time to react.
     
    #7
  8. Steve H.

    Steve H. Semi-Pro

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    Instead of blasting, think of the slow serve as giving you extra time to place it where you want it. Depending on where your opponents go, this could mean a drive to the server's corner, a drop shot to his side if he's playing back, hitting at their feet if they are at the service line, or a lob over the net player if they are both coming in. The idea is to make a well-placed shot that makes your opponents move, then both of you come to the net. Don't try to hit an outright winner off the serve -- it's a low-percentage shot in doubles.
     
    #8
  9. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    I had this last night. I hit cross drop shots (backhand) into the ally. Worked great.
     
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  10. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    What do you mean with, 'the netman....taking advantage of a soft serve' ? I play with one guy who's so much fun and such a team player that it doesn't matter that he's 2.5-3.0, but when he serves, I stand back from the net (sometimes I stand at the baseline and we play parallel,) Is there another way to handle a partners soft serve ?

    (I don't mind so much if people think I'm arrogant - I'd like to win more with this partner)
     
    #10
  11. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Hmmmm that's a good one Cypo :) Me being me i would prolly play right on top of the net and back myself to block any hard shot. Of course the trouble is that they would just hammer an approach and the lower level partner would set you up for a hammering. You are probably doing all you can come to think of it.
     
    #11
  12. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Cypo, I didn't realize how difficult it would be for me to explain this. I based my statement on a mental picture of one of those serves that barely make it past the service line, because he was talking about an underhand serve. Now, if the netman is right on top of the net it makes it very tough to hit one fast enough to get one past him and still keep it in, and it would be difficult to put up a lob that is not easily attacked from that position. If an underhanded serve was hit close to the T and the net guy cuts off my angles, I would go right at him to draw a poor volley that results in a sitter for me or my partner to put away. If the netman is playing at his service line, then my options increase and I can go at his feet down the line or hit a sharp roller cross court. If both players play back, then I have even more options on the return. I hope that helps.
     
    #12
  13. Cypo

    Cypo Rookie

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    Thanks Kobble - I know exactly what you mean - it's like following a dropshot to the net (just don't smile when you do it, right Phil ?). This partners serve is too variable to count on that, but it's not a bad option to have in mind.
     
    #13
  14. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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    No, actually, I would prefer if you smiled when you do it. It would make it much funner for ME.
     
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