Talk Tennis

Talk Tennis (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php)
-   Adult League & Tournament Talk (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   I have discovered the secret to 4.0 doubles service returns! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=456076)

Cindysphinx 02-27-2013 01:28 PM

I have discovered the secret to 4.0 doubles service returns!
 
Holy smokes.

A few months ago, I became frustrated with my inability to return the serves of strong male 4.0 servers. I took one lesson on hitting slice service returns against hard serves. The basics were Continental grip, bend knees, LH on throat of racket until the last possible second (to avoid reaching and to control racket face), go forward, hit the ball as though a volley.

This Saturday, I took this new service return for a test drive in social ladies 4.0 doubles. I was playing ladies who S&V behind strong, hard serves.

That slice service return is gold, pure gold. I am receiving close to the service line, so I get to the net first. My return is on the S&V server while she is deep in the court. The poach is useless because the poacher is robbed of time. My slice return is deep and stays lower than my topspin return would, so it cannot be easily lobbed.

And best of all, my opponents freaked out completely. They missed serves just because I was disrespecting their serves so much.

I also took it for a test drive against weak, airball serves this weekend. It works equally well against those serves too. Slice it short, slice it deep -- it's all good.

So. How come nobody told me about this shot?

OrangePower 02-27-2013 01:37 PM

It's a good return to have. As you pointed out, it allows you to stand in on the serve, take the shot early, and rob opponents of time.

One disadvantage is that you are more susceptible to wide serves / serves right up the T. You have less time to react and get to these serves.

I often adopt this strategy against S&V players, especially those rare few that have a decent 2nd kick serve and follow the 2nd to the net. Taking the return early also reduces the impact of the kick/spin. But in return I accept that I will be aced more often.

LeeD 02-27-2013 01:37 PM

Didn't we all advocate a sliced return with a volley grip against any difficult serve? It's just a high volley, then you move forwards.
The counter is the body shot serve, and the CC lob after you make a good approach shot.

goober 02-27-2013 01:40 PM

I have seen people do this return. Good servers though can adjust if they see you standing by the service line and just blocking slice returns back. Kicking a serve high or slice out wide is hard to return when you are close to the service line.

Ronaldo 02-27-2013 01:40 PM

Leander Paes, another strong 4.0 returner, discovered that secret too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oekxrr4MRy0

OrangePower 02-27-2013 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronaldo (Post 7240341)
Leander Paes, another strong 4.0 returner, discovered that secret too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oekxrr4MRy0

Paes though was never really able to make the full adjustment to 4.0 after getting the bump up from 3.5.

asimple 02-27-2013 01:50 PM

That has been my default doubles service return since I was a kid on first serves. I back up and take a swing on second serves. The body serve is actually relatively easy to handle even on big serves as it just is a reaction shot. The only issue with this return is you have be completely focused to consistently make a low cross court shot. I tend to give this up pretty quickly on bad days as this return can also lead to your partner getting hurt.

Ronaldo 02-27-2013 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangePower (Post 7240350)
Paes though was never really able to make the full adjustment to 4.0 after getting the bump up from 3.5.

Yeah, chose to play up for the money. Rather play 4.0 for the glory

Cindysphinx 02-27-2013 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goober (Post 7240340)
I have seen people do this return. Good servers though can adjust if they see you standing by the service line and just blocking slice returns back. Kicking a serve high or slice out wide is hard to return when you are close to the service line.

Yes, but . . .

I'm talking 4.0 ladies serves. *No one* has a great kick serve. Not many slice. All they can do is hit more and more pace, which is just as easy to handle, assuming the serve goes in.

Can 4.0 ladies hit their spots in the corners with enough pace or action so that any DFss will be offset by aces? Not so far, based on my experience. I have now played about eight sets doing this, and I have been aced twice.

The fun part is that I don't have to actually stand by the service line. Nope. I stand a foot or two inside the baseline, wait for the toss, take a few steps in and split. Unless I don't, in which case I don't take those steps forward and instead hit my regular topspin return.

This slice return is money, ladies. I'm tellin' ya. Money.

LeeD 02-27-2013 03:24 PM

And it's often the only way we can return the first serves of big servers, up to the pro level.
And you'll soon discover the sliced lob, which is better height control than flat or topspin, is easier to hit, but is not hit to get a winner. It's a neutralizer lob, to reset the point.

rufus_smith 02-27-2013 03:39 PM

Nice returning.
If they thought about it enough, the serving team they can play Australian formation against the slice returner to defeat it, but not many teams bother to do it.

Cindysphinx 02-27-2013 04:12 PM

How would Aussie be a problem? You mean when server and returner line up on the same side? Because then I have to change direction of the return and go up the line?

I suppose it could conceivably be more difficult for me to take the slice return up the line. Then again, it is also tougher for the S&V server to cross and volley the return because they have a bit more ground to cover.

jonnyjack 02-27-2013 07:16 PM

That's how I return serves. That way, I can keep the same grip for both my backhand and forehand. Like Cindy mentioned, it's money against 4.0 ladies and below. It's why I've been so successful in mixed. Most ladies can't get to it in time if I hit it short or they will pop it up weakly and I'm there at the net to put it away.

Some 4.0 guys are frustrated with it too since there's no pace and they just try to crush it but it's low and many times, they will hit it out. Obviously when I play against 4.5 guys and high end 4.0 guys, it's not as much of a weapon but I usually follow the forehand slice return to the net and attack the net. You better have decent volleys if you're doing this against guys though.

I just need to learn how to hit a slice return on the backhand side.

Cindy, keep working on the shot and when you're able to hit it harder and place it, it'll become a really good offensive weapon.

Overdrive 02-27-2013 07:26 PM

I hate players who return like this... :mad:

But when this happens, me (over 6'1) would just bend my knees and lob the player and net and then their partner would have to return the shot. If it's weak, my partner at net would put it away, if not and returned the ball to me, I'd just hit the ball near the doubles alley. :)

Timbo's hopeless slice 02-27-2013 07:44 PM

wow, I never thought of that.

that return is designed to combat really BIG serves at a high level (because there is no time to swing and the left hand just gives enough momentum to absorb the pace)

you can also use the left hand to help get the racquet around in a hurry.

the idea is to use the pace of the serve, like Lee said, it's essentially a volley like stroke and should produce an absolute bullet if correctly timed.
(lol at the guy who is going to lob it over the net men, I'd like to see that!)

but of course the same technique would work a treat against a slower serve taken super early!

Cindysphinx 02-27-2013 08:07 PM

Oddly, this new return is yet another reason to learn a 1HBH volley.

See, I always struggled with this shot because it would pop up or float. This was due to reaching and inability to keep a firm wrist rather than flail.

Pro had me hold the throat very securely with the LH and hold on until the last second before contact. That way I can just treat it like a 1H volley. If i was used to having two hands on the grip for BHs, the throat grip wouldn't work.

I am helpless when someone returns like this against me. So how come it took me so long to learn to do it myself?

NLBwell 02-27-2013 08:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7240306)
Holy smokes.

A few months ago, I became frustrated with my inability to return the serves of strong male 4.0 servers. I took one lesson on hitting slice service returns against hard serves. The basics were Continental grip, bend knees, LH on throat of racket until the last possible second (to avoid reaching and to control racket face), go forward, hit the ball as though a volley.

This Saturday, I took this new service return for a test drive in social ladies 4.0 doubles. I was playing ladies who S&V behind strong, hard serves.

That slice service return is gold, pure gold. I am receiving close to the service line, so I get to the net first. My return is on the S&V server while she is deep in the court. The poach is useless because the poacher is robbed of time. My slice return is deep and stays lower than my topspin return would, so it cannot be easily lobbed.

And best of all, my opponents freaked out completely. They missed serves just because I was disrespecting their serves so much.

I also took it for a test drive against weak, airball serves this weekend. It works equally well against those serves too. Slice it short, slice it deep -- it's all good.

So. How come nobody told me about this shot?

That's the standard way to return serve in doubles - or any time someone is serving and volleying. Keep it at their feet if they are coming in. You can hit it deeper if they stay back. You should be able to move forward to the net behind it.

I would have thought you would have learned that the first lesson that you had that even mentioned doubles.

Buford T Justice 02-28-2013 04:29 AM

Another good double service return IMO especially when facing a big kick serve on the ad side is to hit a CC backhand high and with as much topsin as you can muster on it.

fleabitten 02-28-2013 05:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cindysphinx (Post 7240625)
How would Aussie be a problem? You mean when server and returner line up on the same side? Because then I have to change direction of the return and go up the line.

He might mean, because I have seen this done, that the net player can sit in the middle of the court and jump in either direction to cut off your bump return. Often when we bump or volley back a strong serve our return is weaker which gives the net guy a chance to cut it off and put it away.

Cindysphinx 02-28-2013 06:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NLBwell (Post 7241032)
That's the standard way to return serve in doubles - or any time someone is serving and volleying. Keep it at their feet if they are coming in. You can hit it deeper if they stay back. You should be able to move forward to the net behind it.

I would have thought you would have learned that the first lesson that you had that even mentioned doubles.

Yes, of course it is smart to put the return at the feet of the server.

What I didn't fully appreciate is how much easier and effective it is to do this with a slice return instead of a topspin return.

See, if I am going to hit my regular topspin return, I cannot be at the service line. I need time to move around the ball if it is a body serve, and my spacing has to be correct or I will miss. Body serves are especially challenging.

With this slice return, I don't need any movement other than forward on the diagonal. Body serves are no big deal because I don't have to get out of the way. And because I can receive so close to the service line, even a higher return isn't too bad. Server is still deep in the court and has to hit an approach volley well enough to pass my partner and me.

I would guess the real vulnerability would be if the server (from her position deep in the court) can hit a lob volley. If she could get the ball over my partner's head, that would likely be a winner. 4.0 women with consistent lob volleys off of slice returns? Nah. Not gonna happen.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2006 - Tennis Warehouse