Variety on the return of serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by whodat, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. whodat

    whodat Rookie

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    I learned initially to return serve with a forehand grip because on the backhand side I have a two-handed backhand and can switch quickly once I got my left hand on the handle. I also step in and have a short backswing ala AA :lol: (not really but I hope you get the picture). Lately I was taught to use the volley technique to return serves, i.e. continental grip, step forward and chip the return similar to a volley. My understanding is that this is very effective for doubles because not only does the ball dips at the server's feet, it also cuts down the reaction time of the net person. Moreover, I can disguise a lob return with this technique.
    My problem is that because I am learning this stroke during league play, it is cutting down my RoS percentage :evil: . I would revert back to my usual method just to build confidence. Should I continue to learn this method and abandon the short backswing/flat stroke? If not, how can I incorporate both methods into my doubles or singles game? One additional note is that I cannot return extremely fast serves with the short backswing method :roll: .
    Thanks.
     
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  2. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    well since no one's responding, i will throw my 2cents

    It's usually the style of returning. Some people will try to crack returns here and there, other people try to chip it and get the ball back.

    But your idea on doubles is not necessarily true. Chip returns are usually slow. They do go over the net lower, but good volleyers will take advantage of these returns. And there is a possibility that the return will float a little bit, which you don't want to happen in doubles.

    It can also vary depending on what kind of server you are playing with. If he's hitting huge serves, you might be better of trying to chip it and get it in.

    Try to find out what works better for you. If you can hit forceful return and keep it in, then there is no reason you should be chipping it back.
     
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  3. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    Well, if you can learn to do both and mix it up - that would be the best alternative.

    If you want to pick one - don't go with the chips. Especially in doubles, I think - if it floats even the slightest bit, it's easy pickings. And you can't go down the line with it.

    In singles, the chips can get the rally started, or maybe can be used as approach shots if you want to - but they won't be as forceful as topspin returns.

    I say - don't abandon your topspin return in favor of the chip. If you can do both, that's great - you can mix it up. If that's difficult to do, then stick with the traditional topspin return.
     
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  4. whodat

    whodat Rookie

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    Thanks guys,
    I think that I will learn both just in case I encounter a lefty with a wicked kick serve. :wink:
     
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  5. Burt Turkoglu

    Burt Turkoglu Rookie

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    well....at the 4.5 level, the chip return has served me well. My strength is my quick hands, the chip allows me the time to get to decent position to utilize those strengths. However, a decent team will start poaching to protect the server so it is important to learn 2 other returns. The chip lob over the head of the netman....you must not let him set up too close to the net or your chip will be easier for him to poach. Learn to drive the alley from both wings. I usually let my partner know when I'm going to drive the alley so he can move to the center after I hit it. I have actually found success driving right into the netmans body. So, if he goes....he's beat. If he stays, he may be jammed and you'll get another shot....possibly of a weak reply. One last thing about lob returns....you must learn to lob from both wings. I poach alot myself, so if I notice a guy never lobs off of the forehand....I will instruct my server to serve to that side. Right as my server tosses...I move straight in on the net...I can really cut down the returners angle plus if I can get my racket on it.....I can hit straight down...the net is also less of an obstacle even on low returns. So, you have to show that you can lob effectively from both wings. He'll have to back up some and play honest....this will open up your chip return. Hopefully, you'll follow it into net on second serves at least.
     
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  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    In 4.0 doubles I think the topspin return is better. I hit the two-handed from the ad court crosscourt with good pace and spin. If I tried to slice it, it would give to much time for the netman to attack when hitting crosscourt since I struggle with my forehand slice return when playing the deuce court in doubles. In singles, the block\slice return works great against a big server but not as well in doubles unless you can really crank up the spin and get the volleyer to land one in the net. I say go with topspin in doubles or have a lot of control over the slice and keep it low.
     
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