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-   -   Return of tougher serves is hurting me. Tips? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=451701)

guitarplayer 01-20-2013 03:28 PM

Return of tougher serves is hurting me. Tips?
 
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?

Say Chi Sin Lo 01-20-2013 04:42 PM

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.

Hi I'm Ray 01-20-2013 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guitarplayer (Post 7141769)
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?

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.

guitarplayer 01-20-2013 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hi I'm Ray (Post 7141985)
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.

Thanks Ray!

Nellie 01-20-2013 06:32 PM

Edit - **What Ray said**

tennisdad65 01-20-2013 06:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nellie (Post 7142224)
You can practice returning faster serves by having a buddy serve from inside the court (up to the service line). A 75mph serve from the service line feels like 140 coming from the baseline.

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.

guitarplayer 01-20-2013 06:59 PM

Good ideas! I appreciate the help.

Larrysümmers 01-21-2013 12:29 AM

think:WWAMD. What Would Andy Murray Do. nice balanced low to high block to the center of the court, nothing fancy, does take practice.

Maui19 01-21-2013 04:12 AM

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.

corners 01-21-2013 04:20 AM

6 grams at twelve might help.

Jay_The_Nomad 01-21-2013 04:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hi I'm Ray (Post 7141985)
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.

Good tip.


FYI, Tommy haas actually does this with his hitting partner. So it's not like it's a newbie rec player thing.

LeeD 01-21-2013 09:04 AM

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.

luvforty 01-21-2013 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7144176)
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.

singles, prolly ok.... but i think 4.5 doubles usually punish a slice return.

LeeD 01-21-2013 09:32 AM

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.

luvforty 01-21-2013 09:38 AM

7.0 forget about it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C-pEt8d9ts

4.5 .. maybe.. but i doubt OP has such a shot... not many 4.0 have that hard slice.

boramiNYC 01-21-2013 10:07 AM

when you do the service line serve drill, low speed but high bounce is best to figure out movements. no high speed.

LeeD 01-21-2013 10:07 AM

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.

luvforty 01-21-2013 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7144372)
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.

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.


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