Return of Serve Stance Angle?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TimothyO, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Which way do you stand on return of serve, especially against big servers on first serve, parallel To the baseline or angled to face the server?

    Angled seems easier to return big serves cross court. Parallel to the baseline seems like you're trying to change direction of the shot making a return more difficult. I've seen pros do it both ways and coaches offer conflicting advice.

    Any downside to angling slightly to facing the server directly?

    Note that we're focused on angle here, not inside, on, or beyond the baseline. Since part of the focus is facing big servers I suppose that we can assume somewhere behind the baseline on a first serve but the focus remains angle.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That'd depend on your own strengths and weakness's, as well as preferences.
    If you can hit a quick forehand without backswing ado, but are slow on the draw with your backhand, you should angle your feet to favor and help your backhand, since your forehand can take care of itself.
    If you're the opposite, and quickslice a backhand low and biting, while your forehand needs a long loopy prep, your stance needs to favor your less quick forehand so you can return effectively on that side.
    Bear in mind, at levels above 3.5, most servers will probe you backhand first and foremost, while an occasional serve to your forehand is only to see if you're still awake and alive.
     
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  3. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    I think one should take note that often players only stand parallel to the baseline in their ready position only - before their split step - often to help forward movement by taking one step forward - and then once they've taken their split step/forward step, they face the ball more than it seems.
     
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  4. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Definitely slow on the draw on backhand side. Can hit big returns on forehand side. So on BH I tend to just block back flat and deep crosscourt for consistency and get the point going.

    At 3.0/3.5 most of my opponents can barely aim a serve. Usual procedure is to over hit first serve long or into net and dink second serve. But some at 3.5 are smart enough to dial back the first serve and it comes in more consistently and hard, at least for our level (and age!) :)

    I've worked my butt off building a soild, spinny, hard second serve which has proven extremely effective at my low level as few expect it. The problem is that as I move up I encounter more players who are disciplined enough to do the same thing and returning their hard and consistent first serve is tough since you don't get to see/experience many of them.
     
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  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Most important thing is to start a couple steps back, then step in and split step when they are making contact. That is going to make things slow down a little for you. I hit with a few 3.5s now and then and can do anything I want with their serves just by doing this footwork every time.
     
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  6. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Most important thing is moving forward so that your weight shift is done just before impact with serve return like any ground stroke.

    :mrgreen:
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
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  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Always angled slightly while waiting, and then split step to start moving forward.
     
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