Originally Posted by tennytive
Hard serves… block it back.
Medium serves… attack. Full cut, chip and charge, or drop just over the net if he doesn't move well.
Dink serves in doubles… topspin lob over netman or sharp angle crosscourt either as a drive or drop shot.
Hard serves to the body are my weakest returns.
I have to agree with this. The return really depends on the incoming serve. I find that if you play different people, you will encounter strong servest even at medium low level. Off course those strong serves tend to be quite irregular, and may only be in one out of three times. But still, the times they are in you wanna get them back. In that case, it is often a matter of being sharp in reaction and trying to get the ball back in the best possible way. This can mean, block or half swing if you have the time. The fact that the incoming serve has a lot of pace means you don't have to make pace on it anymore. A buddy of mine can occasionally get serve bombs in. A few of those got smoked by me, by just concentrating on the ball and redirecting it, which has occasionally led to laser returns.
I feel that between first serve returning and second serve returning there is a world of difference, unless you play against a really bad server. I can't stress enough how important it is to get that second serve ball into play. Overhitting is bad, as is underhitting. I feel concentration really needs to be highest on second serve returns. I count my own UEs on second serve returns and every one I miss hurts me a lot, as those balls were points to be played and not missed.
Many people overestimate their offensive capacities. Only try to hit a winner against a second serve if you are sure it will land in, i.e. if you know the stroke you are executing is something you are good at and 9 out of 10 it will be in. If you can't hit a winner, try to get the best ball out of it you can. Which often means a deep ball. That will set up a rally in which the odds favor you.
Mostly on second serves I take a full swing but the most important thing is not hitting winners, but putting your opponent under pressure. That is why I scarsely chip and charge on serves. I rather hit the return +1 shot to appear at net, except if it is really a weak serve.