How to return a kick serve??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tham123, Mar 31, 2004.

  1. tham123

    tham123 Guest

    hi guys,
    I have a problem returning kick serve on my single handed backhand. On my forehand is fine.. which is my stronger side. Usually i will hold a continental grip or eastern backhand for all backhand returns.
    Because of the unexpected spin of the ball, I will usually just try to slice it back... however, whenever I do that the ball just float long. I have used the same return motion on flat serve many times and have no problem. So my question... is there a difference in motion, grip, positioning, etc. when returning a kick serve. Thanks.

  2. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    You must step in and take it early ... fortunately, if you pay attention, you will always see it coming.
  3. brijoel

    brijoel Rookie

    Mar 9, 2004
    step in like bcaz said, so you can catch the ball before it gets to the real tricky part up in the air, but the reason the ball floats long off your slice from a kick is due to the spin. the reasoning is simple, so let's break it down so you can see exactly why you float the return long.
    1)your opponent hits the serve with.... lets say top spin.
    2)you try and slice the return from your normal return position.
    3)the ball rolls up the open face of the racquet as you swing down and through the ball since it was already being forced upward by the spin and takes a high bounce off of your racquet.
    5)you've succesfully floated it long

    stepping in and taking the ball early elimantes the ball's ability to jump to high up or get that wicked spin going.
    however, this does not solve your problem of floating the ball. basically you float the ball because you are returning it with an open faced racquet. the simplest solution would be to close up the racquet face to pretty much flat and simply block the ball back with a slight push forward. if it is a strong kick serve it is going to be very difficult to revers the spin with a one handed backhand. thus, an offensive punch/block up the line is probably your best shot.
  4. chance

    chance New User

    Feb 21, 2004
    Once you see your opponent's back/toss (giving away the kick), you can do one of two things: First, step in to the court then split-step at server's contact preparing to take (usually) a backhand on the rise. Or alternatively, backstep w/ your right leg (assuming your playing against a righty) thus closing (or semi-closing) your stance (turning your shoulders and left hand out in front, etc. . .) and force/rip the forehand. This second scenario is especially effective against second serves since you should have already stepped in to the court seting-up closer to the service box.
  5. cantaloupe

    cantaloupe Rookie

    Feb 21, 2004
    Hey Dudes,

    as a fellow one handed backhander I also struggle with the problem. What i have found helpful was to always prepare my returns with a backhand grip...incidentally sampras also does but it did nothign for his backhand :lol: ...

    But the point is that you should step into the return and take it no higher than chest height before it bounces above your shoulder, otherwise it becomes difficult to hit an agressive return. IF you do decide to hit a slice the you should make sure to turn sidewards and really drive through the ball, dont chop down the ball which leads to a floating return... I have really noticed this point recently.

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