low skidding serve - how to return?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by arun_mrk, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. arun_mrk

    arun_mrk New User

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    I have problem returning "low skidding serve"...either it goes into the .net or goes out (when aggressive)

    Can somebody suggest me on where to stand, how to position & what kinda stroke to play depending on the different serve placement?
     
    #1
  2. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    get into position, hit with more spin.

    these are slice serves going out wide, you can return with even a sharper angle cross court and pull him even further out wide.

    this can't be lower than sliced rally ball.... shouldn't be that tough if your footwork is there.
     
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  3. sunof tennis

    sunof tennis Professional

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    Is the ball on the way down when you are hitting it or still on its way up? What is the speed of the serve?
     
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  4. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

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    if the ball is skidding, just slice it back
     
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  5. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    assuming ball is skidding due to speed, what you need is a block or minimal swing return. at contact your feet must be in solid contact with the ground in good balance. practice split step then lunge and see if you can balance on landing of that lunge. lunge toward the ball and block as you control racquet face to make the ball back in court.
     
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  6. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Well, everybody has problems with these kinds of serves, or these kinds of well-paced low skidding, biting shots. Think in terms of placement. You're pretty much going to be blocking them back. But there's a good, even offensive, way of doing that and a bad way of doing that. Beyond that, I don't know what to say. Either you have the ability to hit these kinds of serves and shots back with good placement, or you don't. If you don't, then that's one thing you need to drill on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
    #6
  7. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    If you are going for an agressive return, prepare yourself to get down low- bend your knees- squat low to the ball- as much as possible like your best "normal" return-- but lower. Drive through the ball low to high. Stay fairly loose. Keep the stroke smooth and fluid. If you are going to hit out on the ball- do so with a long follow-through, because timing can be an issue with a skipping ball. Drive the ball to the far corner to get the benefit of longest angle.

    If that does not work for you, then shorten your take-back- stay low, but "Punch" through the ball much as you would with a half-volley- imparting topspin to keep the ball in the court, and shoot for the big, empty spaces over the low part of the net.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Zaps got it, slice it back to a corner.
    Just like you facing a low slice groudie, it's difficult to run over and hit hard topspin. You can also hit flat, but keep it low over the net.
     
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  9. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    West Coaster LeeD finally got out of bed. Good...I was waiting to hear his response. For me, returning serve on grass last summer in the National 65s in New Jersey was pure hell. It was almost impossible to get the racket face on the ball, what with the low skid on the thick grass where, incidentally, it had rained for several days. What's the solution, aside from crawling around the court on all fours? I really want to know.
     
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  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    try to get low and hit it or if you can't skid it back:).
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That's why, slick fast courts, like in the OLD days, continental grip for a slice return of serve.
    Now days, slow grippy courts, high bounce, more western grips to return higher bouncing serves.
    If your opponent skids a low one, use old style returns.
     
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  12. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    yes - get low. Bend the knees.
     
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  13. firepanda

    firepanda Professional

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    I don't like that. Especially at the higher levels, there's definitely not enough time to switch grips and hit an unfamiliar shot. I'd say just to slice, which is kinda cheap but works. Put it deep and in the middle, ideally at the opponent's feet. That way, he can't get the angle to hit a winner.
     
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  14. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Similar question from my last match. Played a leftie with a crazy side spin serve that I really struggled with. Even when I made good contact the ball spun off my strings into the next court wide. My team mate watching later told me I should have attacked spin with spin rather than blocking. Does that sound right?
     
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  15. decades

    decades Guest

    watch Djokovic handle a serve like that. then do what he does.
     
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  16. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I agree with slicing it back, or a half blocking volley. either way, you'll have to have more of an eastern or conti grip. You can't use a SW or W grip with such a low ball, it will go right into the net.
     
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  17. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    When you block the ball, you should have your body weight going into the shot. Even though the racket is moving very little distance, you are attacking the ball. If you are neutral or leaning back, you will not have control of the shot. As they say in baseball, "don't let the ball play you."
     
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  18. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    I think it depends on your skill level.

    If low to mid-level (say, 3.0-3.5) slice it back. Trying to hit aggressive topspin will do precisely what you noted: send it into the net or long.

    Worse case: block it back deep cross court.

    I know this because my serve does skids low. It's a decent pace but not super high pace and has loads of spin that drives it low, below the net after the bounce.

    Over-eager, low-mid-level Nadal-wannabes tend to cough up UEs trying to whack it. Others block it back or slice it (obviously higher level players can easily return it with interest...which is one reason among many that I'm not 4.0+).
     
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  19. HuusHould

    HuusHould Rookie

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    I play on synthetic grass courts in Australia, I recently played doubles on an evening where it had rained and the courts were damp and the ball was skidding. One of my opponents had an average paced first serve and his second serve was only a slight variation on the first. A lot of his serves were skidding through and actually not bouncing much higher than knee height, to add to that some of them were swinging (slice topspin style- as a right hander from my bh side to my fh) very late, so if I stood back I was lunging at the slider to the deuce court, then I stood in and he swung one into my body a bit quicker and I pulled the backhand into the side fence (attempting to step in and block it flat). As mentioned the balls were quite heavy and if you just used your arm on the return,no matter how hard you swung, the return wouldn't make the net. I tried to chip lob the net player twice, one he made me lunge at a slider and I dropped it really short and it was put away and the other I chipped a backhand that went about a foot long, so I maybe gave up on that too easily.

    I've seen some good ideas here like chipping the return, which normally you would try to avoid in doubles because it's easier for the net player to poach, but I needed to make them play something and with heavy balls kept low this may be hard to put away. Also getting down low. Can you ever be to low in the ready position? Or is it a case of the lower the better in slick skiddy conditions?

    I was wondering how people would suggest dealing with low serves swinging from the right handed returner's backhand to their forehand?

    Do you use an open stance so that the front leg doesn't get in the way if you have to sway out of the way, or would you use a neutral stance where you step into the shot and smother it before it swings too much. Or as someone suggested lunging forward and chipping the return, I find the swing on the incoming serve is generally more of an issue when trying to go over the ball, perhaps because the slice return is like a volley, with which you get more practice dealing with the ball coming into your body. Also when attempting to go over the ball swinging into your body, should you hit pure topspin, or apply a sidespin fade to the ball, to prevent pulling it with the swing?

    Any ideas are appreciated, I would be keen to avoid returning as sub standardly as I did the other night!
     
    #19
  20. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    Second the slice back approach for the backhand. It is easy to hit a biting slice.
     
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  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    A chip return works good on these type of serves.
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I also mostly chip, but it's my normal ROS.
    If it's something you do rarely, you need to practice it going deep mostly, but if the server comes to net, you chip low and short, to the service line. The underspin also allows you to lob easily, mostly going for CC depth.
    Remember, a underspin shot from the baseline can be attacked, so dont expect to fully neutralize the server's advantage until you make him run or dig for your ROS.
     
    #22
  23. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I block them back to the middle or to the backhand. It resets the point against players who aren't used to attack long floaters. It also uses their own pace against them. If they can attack it, then slice them back; the lower but still long trajectory should be less easy to attack.
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think most player's on here have faced the 1hbh slice backhand, so a underspin ROS is not going to bother them too much.
    ROS, it's most important to NOT hit the center of the court, especially short and up the middle, or you're setting the server up for offense.
    Short angles work well, as does depth TO the baseline, but those are harder to hit than just blocking it back with backspin short and up the middle.
     
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