Returning fast serves

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Teh_pwnerer, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Teh_pwnerer

    Teh_pwnerer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    This buddy has a big serve (when it goes in) and i gotta admit im kinda afraid of the ball hitting my precious, but i know i have a racquet to send it back, so what can i do to return a fast serve, really fast and kinda strong..

    THX
     
    #1
  2. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    5,048
    Location:
    Scotland ;-)
    Stand further back, and slip step into the ball. Also take a smaller swing and finally- Search the board for all the other tips aswell
     
    #2
  3. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,668
    You have a few options:

    1) Blocking the ball back. This means taking little to no backswing and just following through. The serve will provide more than enough pace for you to get the ball back at a decent pace and depth. Watch clips of Agassi. His strokes were so compact and he would used the pace of his opponent against them.

    2) Chipping the return. Watch Federer. He's a master at it. It's similar to blocking the ball back, but you're utilizing slice and keeping the ball low. It's a much more safe/defensive shot compared to blocking. With blocking you can often go on the offensive if struck cleanly. For doubles, chipping would be the preferred return since it keeps it low and at the server's feet.
     
    #3
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,609
    You're opponent has done a lot of work for you by hitting that hard serve. All you have to do (as long as it's within reach) is block it where you want it to go - more like a volley than a stroke. When you get comfortable with this, you can give a server fits without working hard at all. My pals have convinced me to use more of my hellraiser serves that spin and kick all over the place because of this feature. The heavy spinners are often tougher to return offensively, but they're usually easier for me to land at a higher percentage.

    Remember that as the returner, you can pick different spots to set up for your return and that can give a server "something to think about". If you sneak in as the server starts up to hit for example, you can catch him napping, chip a quick return, and climb on top of the net before he can blink.
     
    #4
  5. Seifersquall1

    Seifersquall1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    California
    Stay back, split step, and slice or block it.
     
    #5
  6. brownyazn

    brownyazn Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Messages:
    118
    block it
    but if you have to
    use a very short back swing
    don't go past your hip
     
    #6
  7. krz

    krz Professional

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    889
    Location:
    Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made
    don't forget to go continental for both sides
     
    #7
  8. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,668
    Not in all situations. Chipping yes, but not everything in general. For blocking use your normal ground stroke grips.
     
    #8
  9. Teh_pwnerer

    Teh_pwnerer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    Ok thanks guys ill try it today, all tips.
     
    #9
  10. krz

    krz Professional

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    889
    Location:
    Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made
    I find if I have enough time to change grips I have time to take at least a half swing at the ball.

    A big server with good disguise won't let me change grips.
     
    #10
  11. godprint

    godprint New User

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    Messages:
    45
    what if the serve is really flat and has a low bounce? how do i handle those?

    like blocking it back would mean i have to open my racket face quite a bit right?
     
    #11
  12. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,072
    No, not if it is a hard serve - you will hit it over the fence.
    If the ball is coming up at you at 30 degrees from the ground and your racket face is perpendicular to the ground, it will leave your racket going upward at 30 degrees (if the string bed were in a perfect world, which it isn't - but you get the concept, I hope)
     
    #12
  13. krz

    krz Professional

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    889
    Location:
    Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made
    I usually go continental and chip, blocking them back results in a lot of balls sailing long.
     
    #13
  14. Noveson

    Noveson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,241
    I use my normal grips, then hit the ball almost like a volley. By that I mean I basically have no backswing, just followthrough. Works especially well with my two handed backhand. I've hit with a lot of D1 players and this is the only way I could do it.
     
    #14
  15. Teh_pwnerer

    Teh_pwnerer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    533
    Thanks, thats what i ve been trying to do and it seems to work just ine:D
     
    #15
  16. BlahDow

    BlahDow Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    233
    when i'm playing someone with big serve i just stick the racquet out and hope i hit it..the ball usually goes fast enough i don't have to do much to get it into play
     
    #16
  17. Forza Milan

    Forza Milan New User

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27
    You can always move back...give yourself extra room and time to react to the ball...look to block the return like a volley instead of trying to swing at it.
     
    #17
  18. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,668
    I think a lot of people are confused with teh difference between blocking and chipping. When referencing blocking, think of Agassi's return. Short, compact, strokes, with little to no backswing. Chipping is more what Federer and Sampras do. In a way chipping is a form of blocking, but with underspin rather than flat or topspin. Also blocking is a much more offensive option.
     
    #18
  19. cliff

    cliff Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    131
    Check out Andy Murrays return, very simple and compact.

    www.procomparetennis.net has some great free clips of Murray in action

    His return clips really show why he is so effective at returning
     
    #19

Share This Page