Another key in this discussion, imo, is that we're talking about a "good" wide serve. To me this almost by definition means the returner is going to have trouble just taking it down the alley at will. If someone at your level is feeding you serves that you can accurately take down the alley consistently, either it's not that good of a serve or you are just some awesome alley-returner for your level (I haven't come across many of those, tho I have come across those that try way to often and are successful less than half the time.)
So if the alley return is low percentage, as the server's partner I'm not at all opposed to letting or even encouraging my opponents to try it.
On the other hand, if it's a good serve and they take the return crosscourt, it's a pretty easy shot to pull off if the net man is alley-hugging and giving up the whole middle of the court. It becomes much harder if the net-man is actively looking to cut off anything that ends up hanging over the middle of the court (which will be pretty common if it is, again, a good serve imo, it's easy to catch a good wide serve a bit later than you intended). Those floaty middle-court balls will be pretty easy to put away for the netman assuming he's looking for them and isn't letting them float on by, imo.
As a returner in those situations I personally greatly prefer the opposing net man to over the down the line like a hawk than for them to cut off my not perfectly struck/directed crosscourt return attempts (again, which will be common if the serve is good) for winners.
If we're instead talking about a weak, floaty sitter serve that just hangs there for the returner to hit wherever they want, then sure, the netman should stand his ground covering the line.
Last edited by dcdoorknob : 08-30-2012 at 03:34 PM.