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-   -   How do you return serves from very tall people? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=456332)

CrispyFritters 03-01-2013 09:21 PM

How do you return serves from very tall people?
 
I am 5'8" and I play against a guy that is a 6'4". His serve comes in at a very steep angle. It usually lands short in the box but it's got respectable pace on it.

If I return at the baseline, the ball is well above my shoulders and still rising. i can't really get a good swing at it. If I move in to take it early, I'm robbed of time, because the serve is still decently quick.

In singles, I can just slice/block it back. But in doubles, the net guy is having a field day off the weak returns.

Any suggestions?

Relinquis 03-02-2013 06:24 AM

Nadal's solution... stay even farther back, a couple of steps behind the basline, take one step forward as he makes contact (still behind teh basline, but momentum going forward) and hit heavy topspin?

Make sure your doubles partner knows to rush the net to cover any volleys as you'll be a couple of steps behind your usual position.

Or just get better at taking it early. Watch Davydenko. Easier said than done.

LeeD 03-02-2013 08:59 AM

High volley it back low with some direction. A volley return gives you more time than any groundstroke. Stand in far enough you take it at some height you can handle.
If you can't do it, you can't. But, OlivierRochus can return JohnIsner's serve.

eman resu 03-02-2013 09:11 AM

If you can slice/block on singles, you can also do it on doubles - just try to practice this stroke's placement (an angled and low crosscourt chip, for example)

boramiNYC 03-02-2013 09:28 AM

short players are inherently disadvantaged in returning against very tall and good servers. fast serves at the corners are unreturnable and need to accept that. your just have to be ready to make most of the ones you can return. and very importantly use pressure to lower the first serve % and accuracy by attacking second serves and win majority of them.

for doubles I'd say back up by quite a bit but should be able to return powerfully accurately to both CC and DTL and lob return. and mix it up and try to make it hard to guess. again tall players tend to serve much better when there's no pressure. so find a way to apply pressure.

always_crosscourt 03-02-2013 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7246318)
High volley it back low with some direction. A volley return gives you more time than any groundstroke. Stand in far enough you take it at some height you can handle.
If you can't do it, you can't. But, OlivierRochus can return JohnIsner's serve.

You're not allowed to volley a serve.

rkelley 03-02-2013 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7246318)
High volley it back low with some direction. A volley return gives you more time than any groundstroke. Stand in far enough you take it at some height you can handle.
If you can't do it, you can't. But, OlivierRochus can return JohnIsner's serve.

Quote:

Originally Posted by always_crosscourt (Post 7246384)
You're not allowed to volley a serve.

I think what Lee means is that you need to block it back with a volley motion. You are correct that you have allow a serve to hit the ground before you hit it.

Basically though you have two choices. Stand in and punch it back, or stand way back and take a cut at it. Even a shorter player that can get some good topspin on their first serve can make +100 mph serves kick up to your head as well.

LeeD 03-02-2013 10:39 AM

Thank you, RKelly....
AlwaysCC, if I wanted to stop a taller fellar from pummelling me with high bouncing serves, I'd just kick him in the nuts. After that, I'd break his rackethand fingers.
Please, we all play tennis here, and your comments are lower than 3.0 level thinking.

Overdrive 03-02-2013 10:41 AM

You can't return a strong low serve Mr. Lee... :cool:

LeeD 03-02-2013 11:02 AM

You are probably correct.
OTOH, nobody has a strong low serve..:shock: One of my buds at Albert'sField in Marin is 6'2" and hits a hard sidespin serve with some backspin component, so it skids around lower thigh high. I just slice it back to his backhand. This guy is #5 on the team, which is the winning 4.0 team in California two years ago.
I do have trouble with one of my practice partner's forehand. He hits it sidespin, REALLY hard, and the ball skids just below my knees. I cannot hit a neutralizing or offensive shot against it. OTOH, neither can the 5.5 we were hitting against.

Overdrive 03-02-2013 11:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7246484)
You are probably correct.
OTOH, nobody has a strong low serve..:shock: One of my buds at Albert'sField in Marin is 6'2" and hits a hard sidespin serve with some backspin component, so it skids around lower thigh high. I just slice it back to his backhand. This guy is #5 on the team, which is the winning 4.0 team in California two years ago.
I do have trouble with one of my practice partner's forehand. He hits it sidespin, REALLY hard, and the ball skids just below my knees. I cannot hit a neutralizing or offensive shot against it. OTOH, neither can the 5.5 we were hitting against.

I have a high toss and serve it deep, the results are that they are very low and the opponent has to bend their knees to return it.. similar to a low slice. :)

It sucks when my opponent yesterday did it to me.. He was in a bad doubles team and I still can't believe we lost to them....

"Oh my goodness, we finally beat you..."

Jerkface.. :mad:

LeeD 03-02-2013 11:41 AM

I never said I could beat you.
A low serve works pretty well, unless that is the only serve you can hit. Then the opponent just lowers his backswing and deals with it like a feed ball to start a rally.
Personally, I like the idea of having a twist that goes around 5'10" at the baseline, a flat that hits maybe mid tummy, a top/slice that goes mid chest, and a pure slice that slides past around upper thigh heights.
I could use a lower backspin slice, but then I could use a reverse serve and a 150 heater, but those won't come in my lifetime.

CrispyFritters 03-02-2013 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7246318)
High volley it back low with some direction. A volley return gives you more time than any groundstroke. Stand in far enough you take it at some height you can handle.
If you can't do it, you can't. But, OlivierRochus can return JohnIsner's serve.

Today, I watched some senior guys to this effectively. I think it's the way to go, but unfortunately, I'm in the "I can't do it yet" camp. Just not enough practice with it to make it reliable yet.

CrispyFritters 03-02-2013 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Relinquis (Post 7245967)
Nadal's solution... stay even farther back, a couple of steps behind the basline, take one step forward as he makes contact (still behind teh basline, but momentum going forward) and hit heavy topspin?

Make sure your doubles partner knows to rush the net to cover any volleys as you'll be a couple of steps behind your usual position.

Or just get better at taking it early. Watch Davydenko. Easier said than done.

I tried the Nadal method for awhile, but it really gives up so much time for the opponents to get into position. I found myself doing a lot of scrambling. Honestly, I don't know how Nadal does it.

Overdrive 03-02-2013 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7246535)
I never said I could beat you.
A low serve works pretty well, unless that is the only serve you can hit. Then the opponent just lowers his backswing and deals with it like a feed ball to start a rally.
Personally, I like the idea of having a twist that goes around 5'10" at the baseline, a flat that hits maybe mid tummy, a top/slice that goes mid chest, and a pure slice that slides past around upper thigh heights.
I could use a lower backspin slice, but then I could use a reverse serve and a 150 heater, but those won't come in my lifetime.

I didn't say that Mr.Lee. :)

I try to vary my serve. I can't find a correct way to hit a proper slice though.

DakotaM 03-02-2013 05:23 PM

The way I do it is to go about 2 feet in front of the baseline, and use an extremely short backswing to push it back (usually down the line). The more time I have, the larger the backswing I use.

NLBwell 03-02-2013 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CrispyFritters (Post 7245657)
I am 5'8" and I play against a guy that is a 6'4". His serve comes in at a very steep angle. It usually lands short in the box but it's got respectable pace on it.

If I return at the baseline, the ball is well above my shoulders and still rising. i can't really get a good swing at it. If I move in to take it early, I'm robbed of time, because the serve is still decently quick.

In singles, I can just slice/block it back. But in doubles, the net guy is having a field day off the weak returns.

Any suggestions?

Move even further into the court in doubles and block it back. By moving in further, you are taking away the net person's time to respond to your shot.

tennytive 03-03-2013 06:29 AM

I've had luck with blocking it short to the cc alley in dubs. Tall guys usually can't run that fast. If they do, then make sure you lob over their partner.


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