topspin 1hbh returning

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by raiden031, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Question for players who play doubles at 4.0 and above. I usually return on the deuce side.

    How often are you able to hit a topspin 1hbh return as opposed to needing to slice it back? I find that almost every first serve gets to me too fast to prep for a topspin shot, and I'm not talking about blazing fast serves either. I end up hitting alot of weak slice backhands. Any tips on how to return better?
     
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  2. mikro112

    mikro112 Semi-Pro

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    Stay really close to the baseline and shorten your backswing as much as possible. Then, just block the ball back. And always remember to really step into the ball, even if it's very fast. Reducing the backswing should give you the necessary time to compensate hard serves/little time. ;)
     
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  3. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I've noticed the 1HBH can become a real liability when playing doubles at levels near 4.0-4.5. This was another big reason I switched to a 2HBH. I play a ton of doubles and usually play on the deuce side, since my FH is my stronger side. I had the exact same issue that you're having.

    If you choose to stick with a 1HBH, I'd suggest continue slicing it crosscourt... to get the ball in play. Don't be so concerned with crushing it on the return. Also, if you have a strong net player on the opposite side who eats up your CC slices... simply lob the return into the middle of the back court. It's an effective and very safe shot.

    BTW, since I've switched to the 2HBH... my deuce side serve return has turned into a nice effective weapon against anyone 4.5 (or below) aggressively playing the net. Those who used to poach my CC serve return slice now get the ball hit right at them (I know who they are). Those people are now standing at the baseline for my serve return... which also gives me additional options during the return.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  4. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I don't think I want to give up my 1-hander. I switched 3 years ago from a 2-hander because I didn't like how restricted I feel with the 2-hander.

    The issue here is that by blocking the ball back, the net player knows they can be more aggressive because they are getting a weaker return. I'm looking more for tips on how to hit better returns that are more inline with my forehand return.
     
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  5. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Returning off the BH wing from the duece court can be a challenge in dubs, given the limited amount of court you have to hit to. If the serve is heavy and/or flat, it can be tricky to hit an effective topspin return (i.e. a good dipper). It's better to do what some of the other posters have suggested and shorten your backswing and step into the ball and block it back aggressively. With this shot I often aim to return down the middle. This is higher percentage and it compensates for when I am slightly late causing the ball to slide out wide on the server as they approach.

    The only time I feel I can return using and aggressive topsin off the BH wing from the duece court is when the serve lands short and sits up. I have better luck returning with a topspin BH from the add court, although a slice is often just as effective, if not more.
     
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  6. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I used to feel that way until I learned how to hit it properly and more effectively (not that you weren't). I've been using it full-time now for 3 months straight and loving it more and more every month as it improves.

    Try simply lobbing the BH return deep into the center of the court if you have an aggressive net opponent. In effect, it will go to the server's BH... slow with little pace. Watch how much trouble most guys have with that shot :twisted:
     
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  7. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Bud- Are you suggesting hitting a topspin BH lob off the serve? I can see hitting a slice lob, but not with 2 hands...
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Simple solution: Play the ad side :)
     
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  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    No, just hit a normal lob (over the aggressive net person)... to the server's BH. A slice lob or a simple flat lob both work great.

    Also, referring to 1HBH here, not two.
     
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  10. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    If your gonna slice it step inside the court and get out in front of the serve and block it back, that will give your slices more penetration and make them harder for the net player to poach.

    You shouldn't always just slice it back tho, you need variety with your return or the net player will start to poach, if theyre any good at volleys.

    So you need to take a few chances on the return and try to hit through them occationally, so you need to stand farther back against those big serves to give yourself time to take a crack at it.

    If youre going to hit through the return or whip it with topspin youve got to make up your mind before they serve and be ready with the grip you want to use.

    When Im returning serve I use a continental grip to chip the return back or if I want to be more aggressive Ill switch to an Eastern Grip (Forehand or Backhand) and focus on hitting the ball aggressively with a short back swing, and hitting the ball while its in front of you.

    Since I use an Eastern Grip for my Forehand and Backhand strokes that's the grip Im ready to return with, if you use something different, be prepared with that grip when choosing to return serves aggressively.

    My personal best return is the topspin forehand return, Ive gotten good enough with it that I can hit it against even the fastest serves I face which are around 110-115 mph.

    To hit it I prepare with my Eastern Grip then use a very short back swing get in front of the ball and whip up the ball quickly, and finishing with the racquet over my head, (my typical finish on forehands) giving me lots of spin and margin over the net, because of the heavy topspin, its also a difficult shot for the net player to poach if I dont get enough angle on it.

    I hope this helps
     
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  11. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    ok, agree. I was confused.
     
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  12. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    If your gonna slice it step inside the court and get out in front of the serve and block it back, that will give your slices more penetration and make them harder for the net player to poach.

    You shouldn't always just slice it back tho, you need variety with your return or the net player will start to poach, if theyre any good at volleys.

    So you need to take a few chances on the return and try to hit through them occationally, so you need to stand farther back against those big serves to give yourself time to take a crack at it.

    If youre going to hit through the return or whip it with topspin youve got to make up your mind before they serve and be ready with the grip you want to use.

    When Im returning serve I use a continental grip to chip the return back or if I want to be more aggressive Ill switch to an Eastern Grip (Forehand or Backhand) and focus on hitting the ball aggressively with a short back swing, and hitting the ball while its in front of you.

    Since I use an Eastern Grip for my Forehand and Backhand strokes that's the grip Im ready to return with, if you use something different, be prepared with that grip when choosing to return serves aggressively.

    My personal best return is the topspin forehand return, Ive gotten good enough with it that I can hit it against even the fastest serves I face which are around 110-115 mph.

    To hit it I prepare with my Eastern Grip then use a very short back swing get in front of the ball and whip up the ball quickly, and finishing with the racquet over my head, (my typical finish on forehands) giving me lots of spin and margin over the net, because of the heavy topspin, its also a difficult shot for the net player to poach if I dont get enough angle on it.

    I hope this helps
     
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  13. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    A lot of that describes me - although for whatever reason I seem to play on the Ad side a bit more. But, for duece: On many second serves I'm able to either take a good cut at a topspin backhand, or I can step around and hit a forehand. On a good first serve I'll do a variety of things: from about the baseline I'll slice it back deep & crosscourt or short and wide, or I may step in and while hitting the ball with technically a topspin motion it's really more of an on-the-rise blocking shot, or I may take the ball from a bit behind the baseline and try to drive it with my regular backhand topspin shot. When playing against a netman that poaches I'll go DTL more often with any of those shots. And, I also mix in lobbing returns (sometimes a bit more than is healthy) from the slice backhand.

    Whatever I'm doing, I find it really helps to have a plan for each serve, and to try and visualize that return ahead of time - so that I'll have a definate shot in mind for either a forehand or backhand return.
     
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  14. Geezer Guy

    Geezer Guy Hall of Fame

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    Oh - (just re-read your post) - there's nothing wrong with a slice backhand return, it can be very effective. You just want a GOOD slice backhand - not a WEAK slice backhand. Could be all you need is a half-hour with your pro.
     
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  15. seb85

    seb85 Rookie

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    As you have correctly identified, at a higher level in doubles any sliced backhand off the return is going to get eaten alive.

    I agree with what others have said- shortern the backswing but use as full a followthrough as you can manage. This will ensure that the blocked shot you hit will have some spin. Step into it aggressively and above all practise practise practise. Get together with a hitting partner- maybe someone who wants to practise serves- and hit loads of returns. This shot is a matter of timing rather than brute force.

    Good luck

    Seb
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You guys don't know how to slice.
    If you give them a slow floater head high CC, then the netman eats it up.
    If you give them a hard, low, aggressive backspin slice return, the netman doesn't have time to react, AND, if he does, the ball is thigh high and spinning hard, making for a real tough poach.
    Then again, with serves under 120 and right into your body or a foot from the sidelines, you CAN hit topspin return of serves. Just turn shoulders and little racketback, you punch it thru in plenty of time to admire your return. Problem is, most 4.5's and better CAN volley both slices, flats, and topspins, so don't admire too long.
    As in the Federer Open Stance thread, you don't have to move your feet whatsoever, since the short punch topspin return is all shoulders and a little deltoided.
     
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  17. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    True... but that type of slice isn't easy to produce when you have a good 4.0-4.5 server pounding your BH wing.
     
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  18. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about you, but I find it easier than producing an aggressive topspin dipper...
     
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  19. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    No doubt.... but that wasn't the point of the post I was addressing. LeeD is discussing an aggressive low slice return. I'm saying that's probably not an option when faced with a good server.

    Sometimes, an average CC slice is the only option for a 1HBH player when faced with a decent/hard serve to the BH. It's also why I suggested earlier to consider the deep lob on serve return.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  20. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    With real aggressive servers I find the block and chip lob are probably the only "reliable" options for me (right handed) in the duece court, BH wing. Any other options require me to anticipate (guess?) and are generally lower percentage shots.
     
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  21. Tennisman912

    Tennisman912 Semi-Pro

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    I would agree with Slazenger07 in that you need to be comfortable hitting your 1HBH with topspin as well as slice because you will eventually have players good enough to poach aggressively when you slice it. It will eventually become a liability if you can only slice it.

    As far as how to hit it, here are a few tips. First thing I would suggest is patience. I know it sounds counter intuitive but the biggest problem most people have is they panic and try to muscle the ball thinking they have less time than they really do. They panic and rush the shot hoping to save the day with some wrist manipulation. This may work up to a certain level but will hurt you if you rely on it especially against bigger servers. The first thing to remember is you have much more time than you think, even against big serves. To prove this to yourself, check the you tube video of Fed returning a 140mph+ serve from Roddick. Notice in the vid how far he takes it back on a serve that hard. My point is when you are facing the 80-100 mph serve of a 4.0, you have plenty of time IF you don’t rush it or panic.

    This shot is all timing and when hit cleanly, you will be surprised how you don’t even feel a major jarring impact even against very big serves (like a drive of the golf ball on the screws so to speak). The first key is to keep a firm wrist. You want it locked into position. Try to keep a constant angle/relationship between your wrist and your forearm. Another thing to be conscious of is trying to hit it too far out in front of you (again, this is usually because you rushed the stroke, thinking you had less time than you really did IMHO). It stands to reason it also hurts your extension through impact if you have already extended to early. Try not to rely on using wrist manipulation to save the shot, as that will hurt you in the long run (also caused by rushing because again, you are too early). Next try to extend through impact, especially against the serves you are facing. This is very important and it is tough to do when you shortened the stroke too much and are already at full extension and thus can get anything on the shot (I hope you see the theme about the problems of being to early/panicking/rushing the stroke).

    Also consider your grip and whether you change to hit the 1HBH return or wait with the BH grip. I personally wait in the forehand grip and change to the 1HBH grip when taking it back. As per the theme above, if I rush the shot and don’t take a full backswing (speaking relative here) I don’t get my grip turned all the way to my standard 1HBH grip. Obviously a problem, also caused by rushing the stroke so be wary of this. And for a double whammy, if you don’t get the grip fully turned, your contact point is slighty farther back than normal (again causing you to be early) if you try to hit it with the normal contact point which doesn’t work unless you use the wrist to try to save it (again, bad idea but admittedly does happen occasionally).

    Make sure you keep your back arm behind you to keep from opening your shoulders too soon. This also can cause many problems and should be something to keep an eye on. You don’t need to move them as you can get all the pace and spin you need extending through impact with your arm and counter weight with your firm wrist. At that serve speed, you have time to get sideways on the return which will also help you hit the return more like a normal 1HBH shot, making you more comfortable with it. It should come together like this: split step at contact, recognize coming to your BH side step behind with and turn left foot (assuming righty and you have time), unit turn back (grip chang e on the way back if applicable, shoulders turn sideways, off hand (left hand) still on racquet to help facilitate shoulder turn, no need to lengthen backswing any more than this shoulder turn and automatic coiling from the shoulder turn), step into shot pushing off left foot (if time and you have time against the serves you are talking about), extend to your contact point with a firm wrist at contact, left arm staying behind as a counter weight and to keep shoulders opening (even more important for a righty returning a serve from the deuce side), extend through impact, keep head down and don’t pull head up to peek, follow through and then admire your great shot (hey, I am an optimist). This is a rough example of the things happening but all steps may not be applicable depending on many factors such as serve speed and so on.

    I also find that this is a confidence shot. If you have confidence you can hit it cleanly, you can and do. But when you start doubting it, your head gets in the way and it can go downhill fast (and your opponent will notice and feed you a steady diet of them or I would). In my opinion and experience, I miss many more returns from being too early than being too late.

    To practice, have someone hit serves to your BH, wait in a BH grip to remove one variable if you want, work on the foot work (as usual important especially against slower serves or when you have to adjust to put yourself in position) and then it is all repetition and gaining confidence in your stroke.

    Best of luck. Much easier to demonstrate on the court than explain out loud.

    TM
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I don't think any shot in tennis is "EASY TO REPRODUCE"....
    You have to work on the shots like they are foreign, then when you finally start to get it, you move up your level and you lose that shot! :shock:
    Harsh but true. You up your level, your previous "owned" shots starts to get elusive.
    The chip/block return is the easiest.
    A short backswing early prep blocking top is possible for serves under 120.
    A hard aggressive slice like Rosewalls is the hardest to learn, only because you guys only want to hit with topspin for all your groundies.
     
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  23. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Not that difficult if you adjust your mindset... like someone has already mentioned... shorten your swing... square your shoulders to your target... (you may not be able to get your feet in position, but you can open your stance prior to starting the point), lean forward and stroke the ball back. It is all about using the time you have... so you need to find the time to make the shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Exactly...
    Even at my barely 4.0 level, I can sometimes return big 125+ serves with a blocking topspin backhand. Confidence is key, of course, so you wouldn't try it every time.
    Some of you modern topspinners might even suggest standing behind the backboard to return fast incoming serves with topspin ..... :):)
     
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  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well, this is a mouth full. Easier said than done. In order to do all of this, wouldn't you suggest the player to practice his returns to learn how to block the ball back, hit closer to the baseline, and step into this shot? Maybe have his partner serve from the service line to get his timing down?

    The return of serve is an eye/foot coordinated stroke. Much of it revolves around reading the server, anticipation, some guessing, and positioning yourself correctly for the spin coming, etc...

    Timing is the key thing here and anticipation which both require practice. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
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  26. mikro112

    mikro112 Semi-Pro

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    Of course I agree that practicing the return is totally necessary. But only that wouldn't help him either, if he doesn't know what to look for. I simply stated what I think is important to do, even if it might be difficult for some persons. Now, he could go out on the court and try what I've mentioned. For me, if I get a tip and want to improve something it is common sense to go out there and practice it. ;)

    Your rethorical questions are all correct though.
     
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  27. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

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    For one work on developing a strong laserlike backhand slice.

    If you are going to come over the ball keep a wide stance and roll your momentum forward on the backhand.
     
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  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Common sense? Well maybe the thought of practice is common sense but not how to practice. And stepping closer to the baseline is not a catch all problem solver either. Some players prefer to stand a couple steps behind the baseline. Others further back. Still others a few steps inside the baseline.

    What is important here is practicing his timing for the return and syncing his footwork to what his mind is reading. Many times the mind reads but the feet are slow to move which can affect timing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
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  29. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed... it depends on what you are comfortable with... I like to stand on or inside the baseline, I have always found I return better that way. For me it is because I can close down the angles better and I handle the ball much better when it is below my shoulders (I like to take the ball on the rise and will step in further as the server tosses for second serves). For others they like to be further back... to have more time to react to the ball.

    I will admit though that since coming back to the game... I am not returning the ball nearly as well as I did... but I assume that is due to slower reflexes and poorer eyesight. But moving back may not improve my returns since I would be dealing with balls outside my comfortable hitting zone.

    I guess what I am saying is that for each person you need to figure out what works best for you. But this thread was originally started asking for help hitting a 1HBH topspin return, and if I remember correctly he/she was finding that they did not have enough time to hit the shot. So he/she needs to do things to find more time... shorter backswing, move back,.... etc. For me I find it easiest to just turn my shoulders, weight forward and making sure I finish my stroke. If the serve is that fast I might not be able to get my feet in position... so as long as I can square up with my shoulders and make clean contact I can hit a good return.
     
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  30. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    So you admit you are getting old? :) Welcome to the club! I hate it! Playing at night and indoors is crazy for my eyes. They just dont work anymore in that dimmer light!
     
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  31. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely... and since we are in the middle of winter here all my play is indoors... it doesn't help that the background is painted a light color making it harder to pick up the opponents serve. But when I can see the ball I am making some quality shots so that is a positive sign, and my serve is finally coming around... I have been away 15 years and found that I was having troubles hitting out on my serve. But lately I am getting full extension again... could be I was instinctively protecting a old shoulder injury or age..??? Knowing what I want to do and having my body doing it has been a challenge but things are starting to look up.
     
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  32. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Totally with you. I moved from So. Cal to Boise and tennis is played indoors here in the winter. I have trouble playing under the lights at times and transistioning to outdoor courts in the spring is a bit weird too.
     
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  33. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I have to agree with you... I don't remember what it is like coming back out from indoors since it will be my first time back in 15 years... but this fall nearing the end of the outdoor season I didn't remember the lighting giving me this much trouble. I speculated it was because the sun was so low on the horizion changing the lighting on the court.

    But all in all I am happy to be back playing... I just wish I would stop buying rackets. I was (am) happy using my 200g's and PS 6.0 85, but since I play for fun now and the people I play with are usually few levels below me I prefer to tinker with other frames old and new. I guess if I ever got serious about my game again I assume that would change. So from outing to outing it could be a wood slazenger or a T-2000, a Pro Staff Tour 90, a McEnroe Maxply or any of a small arsenal I have purchased since my return mostly from the Tennis Warehouse Forum, the bay or Craigslist.
     
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  34. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    although I don't hit a one-hander, I notice that the 1hbh players that crush returns have a lot of similarities. Short backswing, get the racquet head low, under the ball, and get firm contact mostly using the pace of the ball. I would bet that you have the some problem I do - I don't practice hitting that inside-out backhand at all because I would run around that shot every time in a rally.
     
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  35. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Nellie- That's an excellent point, particularly as it relates to 1HBH players. At the 4.0 and 4.5 level the inside-out BH is a rarity primarily because of what you say.
     
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  36. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    If you play against a strong doubles team, the server will regularly go down the T at your backhand from the deuce side. This is the standard serve in good doubles, because it pretty much takes out one third of the court for your return (from the opposition netman to his trams) so server and netman have less court to cover on your return. Also, it targets what's often the returner's weaker side. If the serve is down on power and relies mostly on placement - like, on a second serve - then you can slice it back cross-court and low over the net very effectively (and on second serves the netman tends not to be too aggressive with intercepts). But if the server can nail his first serve down the T with decent power, then you need one heck of a sliced backhand to avoid the netman's interception - so here, going for the blocked or topspin hard return back gives you a better chance of not giving away an intercept. And there's no time for a run-around on such a serve.

    My 1H rightie backhand is stronger than my forehand, and I'm comfortable playing either ad or deuce side - but when playing against a strong pairing I always choose the deuce side because I know we'll get lots of serves down the middle, and playing deuce they'll come to my stronger side. The way I set up to receive is I stand 2 - 4 feet behind the baseline, with a backhand grip, and I split and take a step forward with my right leg as the server hits the serve. This gives me the shoulder turn for a backhand and places the racket low in the "backswing position"(no further backswing needed) - and I swing from there. I find that if the serve comes right into my hitting zone and I'm slightly early, then the netman becomes the target, which helps keep him honest. And if I'm slightly late because I had to adjust my hitting zone slightly, then the result is a good inside-out backhand (this one, more blocked than heavy topspin).
     
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  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    This is true. The serve up the middle opens up plays, keeps the ball between the doubles team, and makes it easier to keep the court closed.
     
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  38. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Can I creep in and ask a quick question?

    I believe Raiden said he used to hit a 2HBH, but didn't like the feel.

    My question is: Why is it that more 1HBH players who are familiar with 2HBH don't hit their returns with two hands and then play the rest of the point with 1HBH?

    The reason I ask is that many 1HBH players have trouble hitting topspin drives, yet topspin is easy to hit with 2HBH. Also, being able to hit a 2HBH *topspin* return from the deuce court into your alley is an awesome way to keep a poacher honest.

    So how about it?
     
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  39. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    It think it is just what we gro accustomed too. Many people don't practice their returns a whole lot. The onehanded backhand feels very natural to a lot of people mainly because it doesn't feel like it restricts movement.

    Some people for some reason just don't get comfortable and relax with the twohanded backhand.

    One of the first things I do with twohanded players is force them to relax their arms. Stiff arms spells a stiff uncomfortable "thump" as a stroke.

    The feet and their position also play a role in this. A lot of onehanders turning to twohands use the closed stance too much with their twohander. that just blocks the hips and makes the stroke suck bananas.

    I don't know about that. I hit both but am better with twohands. I can drive the ball on the onehanded backhand. A lot of players can. Maybe you can clarify that.

    Onehanded backhand players just dont learn how to block the ball back with pace on the returns. It takes discipline to learn how to do it. It is a very quick motion. Many players take too big of a swing and can't seem to square the racquet right for that trampoline block back shot. They just dont practice it and often wait for their time on court during a match to do it. When that doesn't work, they resort to slicing.

    As I say over and over again, the return of serve is very much a eye/foot coordinated stroke. When the feet are right and set on time, the return is a lot simpler to learn.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
    #39
  40. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Excellent post naylor. One of the key factors teams should consider when deciding which player should play the deuce court is the ability to respond aggressively and reliably of the BH wing.
     
    #40
  41. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I would say it is more of an eye co-ordinate stroke more like a volley... you will not always feel you have the time to move your feet. I treat it like I do my volley... good shoulder turn and short take away. The only difference is that on my return of serve I make sure I follow all the way through like any ground stroke.

    Hitting a one handed return down the line on the deuce court is a no brainer... it is a simple cross-court return. The reverse-court backhand we are discussing in this thread is the one the OP is having issues with.

    For most people it is easier for them if they line up a little open to help promote the reverse-court backhand return before the serve.

    I like to say that sometimes you have to make the shot, and then the feet follow.
     
    #41
  42. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Ripper I am not going to argue about this with you. It is because I know my answer is correct. Or at the very least it is a good answer as it can apply to the return of serve in general. So it doesnt matter if a player doesn't always feel he can't move his feet, the truth he has too. Foot movement is critcal in the return of serve. The feet not only need to move properly but they also need to move immediately upin recognizing where the serve is going.

    That means split-step, step-out, etc.. and doing it immediately. One of the main reason people have a poor backhand return is because of improper and late movement of the feet. The upper body does perform a shoulder turn and players should have a short backswing, that is common knowledge. If a player neglects the lower body and how the feet are to work and move, a player will develop an inconsistent return.

    The return of serve requires the feet to move. The serve is not always hit towards you. Many people move their feet to late even if they dont have to move much.

    The orginal post is about the return of serve. That is what I posted to. Are you now trying to qualify my posts? If you are that would be a losing battle. My concern with the return of serve is about his timing and how he ends up slicing the ball. And does it make a difference if I say the feet are critical in the return of serve for any these? The OP asked for help in his return. He can hit his return with a toothpick and shove it his eye and he still would need to move his feet.

    I am not so concerned with what is easier. I am concerned with giving him the right answer that will solve the problem. If you feel your provided your best answer great. I felt the same about mine because I have been there and done that.

    The feet are involved all the time in the return of serve. Whether you are leaning and performing a gravity step, stepping out, timing your split-step, stepping out and then crossing over, they are always involved whether they move from where they landed from a split-step or if they have to actuall make a step.

    The feet are staying and pivoting, moving and pivoting, and both sides of the body need to support weight transfer and the upper body movement on every single return.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
    #42
  43. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Don't know if I can clarify! :)

    I think my question was premised on two ideas: (1) that it is hard for a 1HBH player to hit topspin, which is why you don't see club players at 4.0 and below hitting good topspin on 1HBH, and (2) if someone like Raiden already has the foundation of knowing how to hit 2HBH, why not use that shot when he wants to spank his BH service return?

    How many of these ideas are false?

    Cindy -- who thinks Fernando Gonzalez also has a hard time hitting a 1HBH topspin drive, so it's not just club players
     
    #43
  44. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    None of your ideas are false Cindy. It is just there are some variables to them that make it difficult to give a pat answer.

    For instance, sometimes the issue with players not being able to hit with tospin can come from several areas:

    1. They are just beginning to raise the racquet with their swing from bringing the racquet down from the takeback and just as they are moving the racquet forward they make contact without much rise. They either hit flat or top the ball into the net.

    2. Sometimes they are too high over the ball. This is where the lower body comes in (feet and legs).

    3. Sometimes it is a combination of the above.

    Quick footwork and the proper use of the legs contributes to the rise players need when they hit a return of serve. The return of serve to get pop on the ball is really about your feet and your weight transfer or chest lean into the ball.

    Although it isn't common, I don't see an issue with a person using a twohanded backhand for their return of serve and a onehander for their groundstrokes. Some players play like that.
     
    #44
  45. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    Set up your position at the baseline during a return of serve. Stand slighty diagonal (righty) - right foot at or inside the baseline line; left foot behind the baseline. This will allow u to easily turn to the bh side as you move forward (closed stance). Hip and shoulder turn as one unit (racquet should stay fixed -let the shoulder /hip do the work. Eye fixed on the ball, and start moving the racquet to meet the ball -swinging low to high. There will be also times that you can punch/ block the ball back with you bh return _basically using the racquet as a wall.

    Second option- it would not hurt to clip and charge as well - using carioca step.

    Third option - I sometimes would drill a hard 1bhb shot down the line, directly to the net man. Knowing that I need to quickly get to the next shot, (I then would hit a short topspin cross court aiming more towards the doubles alley).

    Hope this help..
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
    #45
  46. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I kind of agree that 1HBH are a bit more problematic then 2HBH especially on the return of serve. I actually really like my 1HBH but I find myself late on even some modestly paced serves. <g> I don't know what my problem is.

    I don't feel I have a bad backhand though. Many of the best rally shots I hit are with my backhand. Its a little flat - but still pretty accurate and powerful overall. I am thinking maybe I should start guessing backhand (grip wise) and then switch to my forehand to speed things up a bit. In general I do things the other way around.
     
    #46
  47. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Trust me, it is your feet. When you coordinate the feet and work on their quickness and syncing ) with your immediate recognition of the ball, you wont be off balance which can play havoc on your return of serve.

    The shortened backswing, the turning of the shoulders is icing on the cake.

    Even when you make that quick shoulder turn and lean, your feet need to be in position to keep you in balance.
     
    #47
  48. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I don't disagree with anything you have to say... and it would be ideal if I could set my feet and be perfectly balanced on every return. But that is not going to happen... there are times when I am at full stretch trying to return a serve. If it makes you feel any better, in my experience... I find that since I cannot get my upper and lower body in position... it is key that I can at least get my upper body in position to make a quality return. I also find it helps to square myself up with the server opposed to the lines on the court when returning serve. It helps when returning an inside out backhand, since you are already slightly open.
     
    #48
  49. Ripper014

    Ripper014 Hall of Fame

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    I happened to see this on another thread and I thought this was the perfect example of what I meant. How you cannot always get your feet in position but you can square your shoulders and follow through with your return and then have your foot work follow after.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqKFUUepArw
     
    #49
  50. 86golf

    86golf Semi-Pro

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    From the deuce side, I like to hit down the net mans alley. (My partner is back just in case) Most righty's at net start leaning to the middle when the serve is down the middle so when I bust it past their backhand side they usually can't even make a play on it. Once you practice this shot, you'll think you have all day to hit the inside out return. If you hit a few of these winners, the middle of the court will start to open up for you.
    Also, if you are returning righty serves, then most of these are kickers down the middle right?
     
    #50

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