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TheBigToasty 07-15-2004 07:00 AM

Hard time getting into groove
In real matches I have a tough time getting into the speed of the game until a couple games in (though my warm-up is great). Can I fix this using the bounce-hit-bounce technique to keep me concentrated and would it make ANY sense to choose to RETURN serve? My thought process is even if I lose the first game (which I have a good chance of since I'm not into it yet), we're still on serve and I can just "sacrifice" this game (which he logically should win) in order to get used to returning serves and the speed of rallies. As opposed to losing my serve and then not being ready for his service game.

kevhen 07-15-2004 07:13 AM

Yes, I usually only give up my serve when it's very windy but sometimes I start slow too, which isn't bad as long as you finish strong. Unless your serve or your opponent's serve is huge, it's not a big deal to let them serve first. Then you can just focus on getting balls back and getting into a good rhythm and putting the pressue back on them if you do break them right away.

Camilio Pascual 07-15-2004 09:50 AM

You shouldn't talk yourself into expecting to lose your first return game. Even if you lose, don't make it easy for your opponent. Make him work as hard as you can to win the game so he feels lucky and not confident that he won the game.

jlei 07-15-2004 01:20 PM

I think its a great idea at a club level to return serve first if you have the choice. Brad Gilbert recommends this as well in his book "Winning Ugly".

Returning first gives you an opportunity to:

1. get in the groove (as you said)
2. take some chances and apply some early pressure

If you win, you have gotten an early break and immediately increased the pressure on your opponent. If you lose, don't worry about it because your still on serve. I see it as a win/win myself.

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