Return of serve - Grip

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by guedoguedo, May 25, 2007.

  1. guedoguedo

    guedoguedo Semi-Pro

    May 27, 2006
    I find i get a backhand return 80% of the time, so i set up with a 2hbh grip (continental) just by default, rather than a forehand grip. I read on a website that most pros set up with the forehand grip or a modified fh grip. This is interesting.

    The reason i ask is because whenever i get faster serve to my forehand, its as if i am not ready for it, so i dont have time to change grips, and i block it back with a continental FH. So i should change the grip, right????

    This more important in doubles IMO because the net player can poach if you do not have a well placed return.
  2. guedoguedo

    guedoguedo Semi-Pro

    May 27, 2006
    bumping the threaddddddddddd
  3. Koaske

    Koaske Rookie

    Jul 21, 2005
    In singles, blocking or slicing fast serves back deep with continental grip is just fine. If it's not that fast, you will have enough time to switch grips.
    You could also use something between your backhand and forehand grips as your waiting grip. That way you can quickly adjust.
  4. cam2

    cam2 Rookie

    Jun 26, 2006
    I hold mine in the backhand grip as well but it could be due to the fact I can hit great forehands with my backhand grip. I switch grips for groundstrokes but not for returns.

    There is nothing wrong with what you are doing as long as it works well for you.
  5. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

    Apr 5, 2006

    Continental Grip is fine. You do have a split second to react so there is no time to be switching around grip.

    It's all mental - What I found it best when you to prepare you mind each time where to return the ball. Once I decided where to direct the ball - I push my body to move and use my shoulders to direct the return regardless where the ball is coming from the serve. Try it - you'll be surprise how you can take control of the gameaway from the server; even win a point or two because you are able to place the return away from your opponent.

    Blocking is good but you are setting yourself up to get hammered by your opponent.

    Try Punching the ball with your forehand - shorter abbreviated swing (no backswing); meet the ball up front and move your body forward as you swing through across your shoulder (not over your shoulder- you may end up over hitting the ball).

    Another best way is to chip (forehand slice) the return (very effective against fast flat serve). Yes, even when the serve is down the line in the middle. Federer uses it against Roddick. Chipping allows you to stretch your forehand and reach for those fast and low flat serves. Once you get comfy and good with it, you can control the placement and hit it back with pace (heavy underspin).
    Think of it as a volley - it works exactly the same. If you play the net using continental you can also do it when returning a serve.

    Good luck!
  6. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

    Feb 2, 2007
    I have very good block-back returns on either side that I can keep low and usually get deep. So when returning in the duece court, I hold my grip semiwestern in anticipation of the return. If I get a forehand, fine, If the serve goes to my backhand, I'll block it back.

    Opposite in the ad court, where I'll be holding my racket ready to hit a two handed backhand, and if the serve comes to my forehand, I'll block it back.

    There are a couple of exceptions. If the guy has a huge serve, then I'll look to block back the return on both sides. Also, it a guy has a spinny, but not necessarily fast second serve, I may take a few steps back and allow myself the time to change grips so I can take a swipe off of either wing, rather than just blocking the serve back.
  7. fgs

    fgs Hall of Fame

    Jan 29, 2007
    Vienna, Austria
    having a 2hbh makes things easier - just try out this: holding the right hand (i assume you are righthander, if not just switch right for left and it will be ok again) with your regular forehandgrip and the left hand with the backhandgrip. if serve comes to the right than you're o.k., just release the left hand and hit your shot. if the serve comes to the left, losen up your right hand and start the backswing (abbreviated if fast serve). once you got the racquet back you grip firm with the right hand too and start to move the racquet to the ball and make your shot. surprise, surprise - if you have taken the racquet back (pointing to the fence behind you) with a backhandgrip on your left hand and grip in that position with the right hand, the right hand clicks in on a proper backhandgrip too. it will take some time to automatise this, you might be late on some shots because you think "losen up right hand, grip firm right hand", but once you figured it out it will work perfectly well - it works for me for quite some years now, and believe me, i have played some fast servers too.
  8. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

    Mar 27, 2007
    Cambridge, UK
    I just use a forehand grip and if I get a backhand I just use a twisted right hand and hold the left how I would for a backhand. I use an Eastern grip so it isn't much of a twist anyway.
  9. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

    Oct 17, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    i use a fh grip on all returns. first serves i will usually chip back if it comes to my bh.
  10. richw76

    richw76 Rookie

    May 10, 2007
    I may be off but for me My start grip isn't as important as a split second before the server makes contact with the ball I'll do a little split step or hop step not sure what the correct term is. Or I at least bounce up on the balls of my feet. Not tippy toed like I'm trying to get the oil from on top of the refrigerator more shifting my weight forward. I then try to look at contact and see if the ball is going left or right and turn my shoulders in that direction. Especially on days when I'm returning well the ball gets slow/slower and I have all the time I need to change my grip a little. If I'm being a little tired/lazy Or if the guy just has a huge serve(which I'm not seeing so far, I don't care if they ace me twice if they have a 20% first serve %) I'll do what everyone else is saying cont grip block in deep.
  11. Forehand Forever

    Forehand Forever Professional

    Aug 10, 2006
    New Jersey
    I have my two handed backhand grip when I am returning a serve and if it comes to my forehand my top hand helps me prepare for the forehand by twisting the throat a little so I can set up for the forehand.

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