Return of tougher serves is hurting me. Tips?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by guitarplayer, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    I'm in a 4.0-4.5 club league. When I'm up against the 4.5 guys, I'm losing way to many points returning serve. Their serves come in faster, kickers are a big problem for me thats for sure. If I can get past their serve, I can hang ok.

    This is indoor, the lighting is good...as good as can be expected. Outside in natural light I do better which is part of the issue I think.

    I seem to be a little late. Mis-hits and probably trying to do too much with the ball.

    Mainly, I'm just not used to these serves. I think if I could just practice returning these serves for an hour straight, I could get a handle on them. Since that doesn't seem feasible...any other ideas?
     
    #1
  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,265
    How do you usually return serves? Do you take a crack/swing at it, or do you block it back?

    With faster flat serves, try to meet the ball and take advantage of the pace to block it back. If you take a swing at it, you may find yourself late more often than not. Like you've already mentioned.

    For high kickers, make up your mind whether you want to take it early, before it gets too high for you to make contact. Or step back and let it fall back down to your contact. Never in-between. I personally like to take it early and not lose court position if I can help it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2013
    #2
  3. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    1,504
    Try watching their shoulder, arm, or hand as soon as they are getting ready to serve. I watch the shoulder but the guys that have a weird service motion and don't turn their body/shoulder or arm it too much throws me off.

    See if you can get a buddy to stand inside the court and hit serves at you to practice returns. Even if he isnt that great of a server, standing inside the court his serves should be getting to you faster, at a higher angle, and more consistently.
     
    #3
  4. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Thanks Ray!
     
    #4
  5. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    Edit - **What Ray said**
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
    #5
  6. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    this

    and improve your reflex volleys too (use ball machine close up, or close in against the wall).. Your first serve return improves as you improve your reflex volleys.
     
    #6
  7. guitarplayer

    guitarplayer Guest

    Good ideas! I appreciate the help.
     
    #7
  8. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2009
    Messages:
    3,995
    Location:
    1313 Mockingbird Lane.
    think:WWAMD. What Would Andy Murray Do. nice balanced low to high block to the center of the court, nothing fancy, does take practice.
     
    #8
  9. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    1,659
    Pretty much everything you need to know has been said already. I think you have to learn to take the kickers early, especially in dubs. As others have said, have someone stand on the service line rather than the baseline and hit serves to you. I also take a ROS lesson from time to time and have my pro hit hard serves at me. Once you get the hang of taking no backswing yet hitting through the ball, you will be fine.
     
    #9
  10. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    6 grams at twelve might help.
     
    #10
  11. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    Good tip.


    FYI, Tommy haas actually does this with his hitting partner. So it's not like it's a newbie rec player thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
    #11
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,320
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    If only kicker's bother you, adopt a slicing grip and hard slice the return aiming for short NML, mostly CC over the lowest part of the net.
     
    #12
  13. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    singles, prolly ok.... but i think 4.5 doubles usually punish a slice return.
     
    #13
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,320
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    For a slow floaty slice return, 4.5 poacher's can punish the return.
    For a hard slow slice, no 4.5, and no 7.0's, can effectively poach every return.
    Watch ATP doubles. Some guys still hit slice returns, if they start at or inside their own baseline. If they're farther back, they do need topspin.
    The reason is time. Starting your return inside your own baseline, on TWIST or KICKER serves, the netperson has little time to poach, and you automatically aim DTL a few times if he's edging towards poaching.
    Remember, OP is talking kick and twist serves, which you usually have time to set atop your baseline and move forwards during your stroke.
     
    #14
  15. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    #15
  16. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,380
    when you do the service line serve drill, low speed but high bounce is best to figure out movements. no high speed.
     
    #16
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,320
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I seriously doubt ANY of us would ever have the need to worry about our return of serves at any level higher than 4.5.
    Those of thems who are better already KNOW what to do.
     
    #17
  18. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    that's kinda true...

    return of serve really exposes a player's level in emergency lol... and you can't fake a good form in emergency.
     
    #18

Share This Page