Question on service returns

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennisplayer, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    I have a problem with service returns. I find that if I rip it, which I am able to do often, the server often just deflects it back into open court so that I either concede a winner, or am put at a disadvantage running hard to return it. In fact, I do much better by hitting a slower return - either a high, deep return, or a slice - even though I could have hit a hard return back. Should I make this my default return, unless I can smack it for a winner? I sure like ripping those returns! I guess as one progresses to more advanced tennis, sheer power doesn't cut it. :-(
     
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  2. moosryan

    moosryan Hall of Fame

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    make sure your returns are landing behind the service line. also, make sure you're recovering back to the center of the court OR if it's a very strong return, you can always come right up to net. I like to return deep with plenty of topspin, but I can have success ripping too. Also, if you return crosscourt, you'll have more time to recover, and less chance of your opponent screwing you over. if you rip a nice one down the line, don't be afraid to come to net and put the point away with a volley.
     
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  3. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Good points, moosryan - thanks.
     
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  4. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    i don't know why all my returns are dtl, i can't seem to hit cc shots anymore, oddly enough...
     
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  5. xtremerunnerars

    xtremerunnerars Hall of Fame

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    If you subscribe to tennis mag, their newest issue deals HEAVILY with serve returns, i suggest picking it up. It's probably available somewhere near you, most likely a library or newsstand.
     
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  6. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    When you go for service return winner, go DTL deep mostly of the time, the server will not be able to get a good ball back even if he can touch it. Oh, you need to hit the ball close to the baseline if not standing on it. It is a very risky attempt against great server.
     
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  7. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    I went against the same guy this morning - I did okay. I started by making the same mistake, ripping returns hard to his forehand, which he just blocked back hard. After I collected my wits, I took a step back, and started blocking his serve to his backhand, and rushing to net whenever I got him off balance. I did much better, and was able to win eventually, even though I muffed an overhead and a couple of volleys.

    This guy is a 4.0, but he's unusually fast with his hands and movement, and has a decent first serve (flat and hard). I find it hard to get winners past such guys. But man, hitting hard from mid-court and volleying makes a huge difference! I experienced something different today... thanks guys for your advice and hearing me out!
     
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  8. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    What i've seen is if they are serving big, watch their front shoulder, that should tell where it's going, watch the feet and that shoulder and you should do ok.
     
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  9. christo

    christo Hall of Fame

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    and the ball toss
     
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  10. Exile

    Exile Professional

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    True, depending on the toss you should know what TYPE of serve it will be.
     
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  11. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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  12. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Great article, Marius. Thanks! BTW, that woman in the pictures seems to have a great backhand return...
     
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  13. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    On a hard hit return you are running the risk of the ball being deflected to the open court which puts you more on the defense. You need to pick your times to return sharply.

    If you find yourself scrambling for it all the time, then you need to do several things:

    1. Identify if there is a pattern to his block. Is the ball ALWAYS going were you are not. Is it always short?

    2. Do not admire your own return. Hit the return hard with respect for the "lucky" shot. Most of the time club players are not disciplined enough to stay in the point. All your return did was start the point. Stay focused and ready to move. Recover immediately.

    3. Hitting returns that allow you to recover is simply smart tennis. If you don't think so, watch any pro. Watch Federer. A lot of times Federer just chips it back giving him time to position himself properly from his return.

    4. If you hit it hard, you need to place the ball better. This might make you use the hard return less if you can not place it well. Mainly because it puts you in a bad position if the server blocks your hard hit ball to a place were you have a hard time getting to.

    Most importantly you need to be ready for the reply, if you are day dreaming, or savoring your reply, it will be too late to respond.
     
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  14. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    1. Yes, return and react to reply from the server.
    2. If he is serving and volleying, trying to return low and short forcing him to volley up.
    3. You can also rip the return right at his body line depriving him of space to execute his volleys.
    4. Mix your returns with cross court and down the lines with occasional lobs to keep the server guessing.
    5. If he is serving and staying back, and it is a great serve, try to return it cross court or toward down the middle so that you are in equal terms with him in the rally phase!
    6. Practice return of serve against a basket from the T area!
     
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  15. Burt Turkoglu

    Burt Turkoglu Rookie

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    .....also, if a server serves you out wide and you rip it hard, you will be way out of position if he gets his racket on your return.....especially if you are on the slow side speedwise....good points by BB & MK....
     
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  16. tennisplayer

    tennisplayer Rookie

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    Great points, all! From what you all have pointed out, I have a lot of work to do on service returns. This is one aspect of my game that I have not developed very well. Thanks for your well thought out responses.
     
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  17. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

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    usually its not a good idea to hit a hard shot right at a good player. especially if you are not in the best position. keep smashing those return but don't hit it right back at him. hit it wide to his bh. also vary them! good luck.
     
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  18. lendl lives

    lendl lives Semi-Pro

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    one other thing start moving in on your returns and watch how good things happen.
     
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