Reading a serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Koaske, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. Koaske

    Koaske Rookie

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    What else is there to read than the toss of the serve? How can you read the direction of the serve? Of course ,for example, if the toss is a slice toss , the serve will obviously come more to my right and thus it's possible to somewhat read the direction. But what if it's a flat serve, how do I know which corner of the box it's going to hit?
     
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  2. rilokiley

    rilokiley Professional

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    Hmm, to be honest i never really try to read ppl's serve. It is crucial when you are playing someone better than you; and I suppose as you go up on the NTRP level you won't be able to break if you don't read your opponent's serve. but i usually go with my instinct--I'd try to remember where the other guy likes to hit his serve and stuff.
     
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  3. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    you really have to watch the racket face right before contact and try to watch the ball out of the strings while you might be in the air from the split-step

    you will need a very focussed attention which will improve with experience

    not something very easy, or otherwise ARod will be just as good as Federer in this respect, which he isn't

    a lot of returning will help you; ask the server to serve for practice from his service line (not the baseline) in order to improve your reactions
     
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  4. Talent

    Talent Rookie

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    In addition to this, watch some clips of Andre Agassi. The perfect display of return of serve. Short, compact swing, extreme focus, etc. I recommend it. Andre takes balls early and on the rise like no other, and I hope his legacy lives on long past his career.
     
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  5. Koaske

    Koaske Rookie

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    Thanks for great posts everyone! I know that this is not the easiest thing to do in tennis, but now I know how to improve reading and returning if I want to be an good serve returner someday.
     
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  6. SageOfDeath

    SageOfDeath Guest

    Most people change their toss but as you meet better players all thier tosses seem to look the same. If their toss is uniform look at their stance, some people change their stance slightly. Other than that its pretty hard to tell for me.
     
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  7. eggnog

    eggnog New User

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    I've been wondering this myself after watching the movie "Wimbledon". I was always taught, concentrate on watching the ball from the moment it leaves the server's hand. In Wimbledon remember Kirsten Dunst advises the guy other little things that were telegraphing his serve, how is toe points or lifts up, if he rocks backward more. Do you really good players with good returns of serve look at the whole picture like this looking for more than one thing even up to the point the ball is struck? things like initial position (close to middle or out wide), body movement during serve, racquet motion, placement of feet, sound of the serve, even trying to see where they are looking? which are the ones most important to you? or is it better to keep it simple?
     
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  8. fantom

    fantom Hall of Fame

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    Looking at the player's grip as they throw the ball up in the air may tell you which serve is coming (flat vs. spin).

    I find that many people hold the racquet the same way during the starting point of their serve, but switch to the grip during the motion.

    There is a guy at my club with a huge flat serve and a slow kicker. I ALWAYS know which one is coming.
     
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