Help on returning a fast flat serve.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by krprunitennis2, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. krprunitennis2

    krprunitennis2 Professional

    Oct 29, 2006
    United States
    xD Can anyone describe to me a really good return?

    Even go to minor details such as swing path, how to react to a fast flat serve, how to read the direction of the ball, etc. I really need it! o_O

    lol. I lost today just because of the return....
  2. burosky

    burosky Professional

    Nov 9, 2006
    Please do a little searching. There are lots of posts here that talks about this.
  3. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

    Apr 5, 2006
    A good return can be define in a couple of ways....
    - simple returning the ball to put the ball in play regardless on how it is done
    - attacking a return by placing the ball to a specific spot

    There is no definite term for a good return other than you are putting the ball back into play for the next point.

    What do you need to do when you are returning the serve?
    - By yourself some time: stand a foot behind the baseline, allowing yourself some time before you engage with the incoming serve. Adjust your distance as you see fit - sometime you may have to step back even over a foot (normally during first serve), to step back in the baseline or inside on second serves.

    - Mental readiness: prepare in your mind on what stroke to use if the ball is coming to your left (slice or a punch) and on the forehand (slice or punch). Punch is a short swing (like a volley), you are using your racquet as a baseboard to deflect the energy of the ball back to the court.
    Slice or chip is a great weapon to use especially on a fast / hard serves and when you are stretch wide on both sides.

    - Return placement: think in advance on where to place the return, this will help you focus on your stroke.

    - Eyes on the Price: do not loose sight of the ball; it starts from the ball toss. This will help you to concentrate and see the direction of the ball - you body will move to the direction of the serve before it even goes pass the net.

    - Stay loose and keep your feet in motion: don't get caught flat footed. You need to be able to move instanteneously.

    And lastly practice returning - have a friend serve to you by standing at the service line, use the following exercise so you can get use to it.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2007
  4. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

    Jun 3, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Chip/slice it back with a short or no backswing, i.e. Federer.
  5. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

    Aug 24, 2006
    The block/chip is the most effective for flat fast serves.
  6. ChocolatePie

    ChocolatePie Semi-Pro

    Jul 8, 2007
    If you're going to just push it back at a slow pace, then make sure to hit it deep and closer to the baseline because if you hit it short....not good.
  7. FatCat

    FatCat New User

    Jul 6, 2007
    Unless you can drop it really well. But if you're having issues returning the serve already, maybe trying to drop it isn't the best idea.
  8. Endless Met

    Endless Met New User

    Aug 19, 2007
    Oxnard, CA
    Sampras smash...
  9. jck01

    jck01 Semi-Pro

    Mar 12, 2004
    Shorten your backswing and if the serve is really fast, choke on the racquet handle. If you still can't handle the serve, take a few steps back, beyond the baseline.
  10. cliff

    cliff Rookie

    Nov 18, 2004
    There are key fundamentals that all good returners have. Look at the pro's today,
    the leg position is wide
    the split step and movement forward is crucial
    and the backswing is compact.

    It is not only a ready position, more like a ready condition. You must be extremly focused and relaxed so you can pick up the flight of the ball and move dynamically to it.

    Check out the video clips of pro's and see the fundamentals they go through. There are loads of FREE clips at

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