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-   -   How do you return serve? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=394279)

Fuji 08-26-2011 10:29 AM

How do you return serve?
 
I was practicing with my friend the other night, and he wouldn't attack any of my serves, even if they were short, or didn't have much on them. His reasoning? "Serves are serves, they really can't be attacked". The question came to me, how do you return serve? I personally go for almost ever serve I can. I take a full cut at the ball, and first serves I at least try to knock back with some good redirection. A lot of local rec players that I were watching, were just bunting the ball with a lob or just barely getting it back, when the serves were slow with no pace at all.

So the question TT! How do you return serve? I've always tried to attack weak serves, but I'm curious as to how everyone else fairs! :)

-Fuji

Larrysümmers 08-26-2011 11:04 AM

on hard serves i block it back and try to direct it CC short. for softer serves, but still hard, i try to add TS and go DTL. if i get a shot that i can attack, i will, i dont want to give them a free point on their serve. the best result for me, other than a full out winner, is to get it back in a hurry, deep and at their feet. because i know when i am serving, that is the hardest shot to counter.

LeeD 08-26-2011 11:26 AM

I use all your choices except the lob.
The lob, I use only when netman is atop the net and server is changing forewards.

Fuji 08-26-2011 12:08 PM

Interesting! :)

So far no lobbers! It's actually quite a common thing here to do. A lot of 3.0-3.5 players lob whatever serve comes there way, in a moonball fashion!

-Fuji

FedExpress 333 08-26-2011 12:25 PM

LOL i would smash those to death.

HiroProtagonist 08-26-2011 01:03 PM

Really depends on the serve. I play against a wide variety of style and skill level being mainly a public court pick-up player nowadays.

If I'm facing a competent server with some decent pace and placement I go with the abbreviated take back and redirect using their pace to fuel my own, usually aiming DTL or at their feet, but will go CC if their sere takes me that way.

If I'm playing a dinker or a spin it in type I usually step up and rip it going for the winner DTL or CC and accept the increased number of errors, it's just more fun.

I do play a 1HBH so against top notch servers I do block or slice the ball back off that wing, but I have actually developed a very consistent and effective FH serve return, very simple and compact.

So I guess I choose redirect since I have to pick one.

Cindysphinx 08-26-2011 02:44 PM

Ironically, I struggle to lob off of serves. I hardly ever attempt it.

One reason is that if the server is coming in, lobbing is not a good idea. Better is to just put it at their feet.

The other problem with lobbing is that it is rare for the serve to push me back behind the baseline. For most decent 3.5 ladies serves, I start inside the baseline. It's hard to get off enough topspin to get the ball up and down. For men's 3.5 serves, the pace and lack of backswing on my return makes hitting a topspin lob tricky.

I rarely try to win the point off of the return. I just seem to dork it up. Unless the serve is absolutely miserable, I just return it deep and crosscourt or to the server's feet and take it from there. If the server has a bad BH, I might get brave and return deep to the BH corner and come to net. Only when I feel brave, though.

Fuji 08-26-2011 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 5934042)
Ironically, I struggle to lob off of serves. I hardly ever attempt it.

One reason is that if the server is coming in, lobbing is not a good idea. Better is to just put it at their feet.

The other problem with lobbing is that it is rare for the serve to push me back behind the baseline. For most decent 3.5 ladies serves, I start inside the baseline. It's hard to get off enough topspin to get the ball up and down. For men's 3.5 serves, the pace and lack of backswing on my return makes hitting a topspin lob tricky.

I rarely try to win the point off of the return. I just seem to dork it up. Unless the serve is absolutely miserable, I just return it deep and crosscourt or to the server's feet and take it from there. If the server has a bad BH, I might get brave and return deep to the BH corner and come to net. Only when I feel brave, though.

Interesting! Thanks for replying everyone!

Cindy, here a lot of people "lob" by just getting under the serve and popping it up into a lob.

We stand near the same position when returning serve it sounds like! I stand about 6 inches in, since I love to take the serve early and try to out right win the point. I'm okay with making errors, because I know once I get the timing down for any particular server, I can learn how to start teeing off on them. I play such attacking tennis, there is rarely any easy points for my opponents! :)

-Fuji

Fuji 08-26-2011 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FedExpress 333 (Post 5933717)
LOL i would smash those to death.

LOL, and that's how you advance in the score, and in your level of play! Most people I play against know, that if they return anything less then perfect with placement or pace, I'm going to be attacking it with pretty high percentages to boot! :)

-Fuji

larry10s 08-26-2011 03:04 PM

in singles i try and get it deep
on really fast servers that might mean a block
(i voted full cut)
but in general full swing but get it deep

in doubles if they serve and volley i want it to hit the service line
if i can get a full cut with enough topslin thats great
if i have to chip it to there feet (fh and bh)
thats ok too

all i want is for them to volley up

if the server stays back i like a moony type of ball deep(full cut alot of topspin high over the net)
the high ball is difficult to poach on (especially for the poachers backhand side) and the air time lets me get in to net:)

if the server is a net rusher and doesnt split step ill lob over the net player

Headshotterer 08-26-2011 03:05 PM

my choice isnt here.

shorten swing and hit a solid return

Fuji 08-26-2011 03:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Headshotterer (Post 5934078)
my choice isnt here.

shorten swing and hit a solid return

I'm pretty sure that's "Block it Back" under the options. I did forget to add your option though! Anyone know how to edit the poll options? :confused:

-Fuji

BurnNotice 08-26-2011 03:18 PM

I'll chip it back if it's a really fast serve or gets too high on the backhand side, forehand it's usually a block.

On medium paced serves I redirect the ball with some pace.

On slow spinny serves I go for hard cross court angles or take a real good whack and send it deep with pace.

Why anyone would dink back a dink serve is beyond me.

mightyrick 08-26-2011 03:30 PM

I'll either redirect on hard serves or poke it back just to change the pace.

I'll usually only take a full cut if the opponent serving is giving me a completely horrible, low-pace serve.

esgee48 08-26-2011 03:38 PM

Will redirect hard serves. Anything else is going to get a swing or a lob (in doubles) if the serve is truly horrendous!

Bud 08-26-2011 03:52 PM

I do all four, depending on the opponent and/or how I'm returning on that particular day. Many times, playing doubles, I'll also put up a DTL lob when returning a great server's ball. It's a more effective shot than hitting a short sitter.

Limibeans 08-26-2011 04:20 PM

Depends on the serve coming at me and what the opponent is doing. Also, singles returns are A LOT easier than doubles returns. For example, slicing a backhand return in doubles will probably cost you the point at your level which is 4.5. In singles, you can slice your return all day and you'll be ok.

Generally speaking, short swings, firm.

Backhand, more of a block, pushing forwards.
Forehand, more of a push, moving upwards.

I hardly ever get the chance to really "attack" someones serve. If its a high level serve its a gamble. If its a low level serve im probably playing for fun and crushing the ball is not in anyones best interest.

Cindysphinx 08-26-2011 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuji (Post 5934057)
Interesting! Thanks for replying everyone!

Cindy, here a lot of people "lob" by just getting under the serve and popping it up into a lob.

We stand near the same position when returning serve it sounds like! I stand about 6 inches in, since I love to take the serve early and try to out right win the point. I'm okay with making errors, because I know once I get the timing down for any particular server, I can learn how to start teeing off on them. I play such attacking tennis, there is rarely any easy points for my opponents! :)

-Fuji

Lob by getting under the serve and popping it up?

The hell, you say!! :)

Nope, not gonna do it. Too ugly. Style points matter. If I can't get some topspin and make the lob offensive, I'd rather not lob at all.

krizzle 08-26-2011 08:16 PM

Today, I was taking a full cut.
Tuesday, I was just trying to get the ball back.
Last Friday, I was trying to redirect it.
It really depends.

LeeD 08-26-2011 08:23 PM

The reason we don't mention lobbing as an option in singles is that we don't play singles against anyone less than 4.0, and those guys can hit overheads while moving forwards.
Guess what? 4.5's, 5.0's, and 5.5's can also hit overheads while moving forwards.


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