Return serve help

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by XRanger, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. XRanger

    XRanger New User

    Feb 24, 2004
    When my opponent serves really fast, sometimes I don't have enough time to change the grip, maybe because my reflex isn't fast enough(is there anyway to train reflex?). I use semi-western 2H backhand and forehand.
    What's your ready position when receiving serve? What grip do you use?

    and also when someone serves really fast in the middle right in front of you, how do you counter that?
  2. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    THe easist thing to do is to use two eastern forehand (flat) grips and not worry about changing. TAnother option is to hold the racquet with your backhand grip(s) and chip back serves to your forehand. The big serve right at you is the toughest to handle. Try to block it back like a backhand volley; otherwise, cheat/anticipate a bit to one side or the other and go for it with your best side.

  3. Big D

    Big D New User

    Feb 24, 2004
    Sorry Bcaz, I disagree. I'm not for using a different grip when returning especially if you use a 2h backhand. try holding a forehand grip with your right hand and hold a back grip with the left hand. don't try to hit with too much spin on the return. flatten it out a little so you don't mishit.
  4. Camilio Pascual

    Camilio Pascual Hall of Fame

    Feb 11, 2004
    There is a lot of talk about the mental game and ROS is where it can make a real difference. About a third of the guys I've played at 3.5 & 4.0 level telegraph their serves with enough consistency to be exploited. Watch your opponent like a hawk and see if he shows any telltale signs of what he is going to do, like watching a pitcher spend a little extra time putting his grip on a breaking ball or a base stealer who telegraphs his intention with his feet. Sometimes it is as simple as ball toss location, often he will go to the very same serve on break or game points and so on. Good guessing can buy you extra time for grip preparation and foot meovement. Good luck.
  5. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

    Feb 18, 2004
    I am right handed.

    I have my top (left) hand in its backhand-ready position, gripping the racquet with what amounts to a left-handed SW forehand. My right (bottom) hand grips the racquet in a SW forehand, as well.

    If the serve comes to the forehand, the left hand is already more or less positioned to simply loosen the grip and assist in the FH takeback with no additional thought or wasted motion.

    If the serve comes to the backhand, the left hand performs the physical work of the takeback. The right hand simply loosens and twists toward the continental during the takeback. Because the power of my 2HBH is so left-hand dominated, it doesn't matter if the right hand is a few degrees off, not quite cinched into position, or otherwise "unready" in some way come time to hit. I could hit that shot entirely without my right hand, if necessary, as a choked-up LH FH. The right hand is just there as a stabilizer. I actually practice hitting choked-up LH FH's against a wall a couple times a week. This has improved my BH/BH return immesurably. Anyway, with practice, the right hand moves into position pretty quickly and easily during the backswing, once you get used to the feel.

    That's how I do it.
  6. @wright

    @wright Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    I like to test the person to see if they are going to swing it out wide, because if they aren't, you can stand back a little further and bludgeon it for a winner or gain court position. If you can't get away with standing back, then you just have to try and see if you can read the toss at all to determine what side the serve is going to, because if you can you just bought yourself extra time to set up.
  7. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    If you are intersted in improving your reflexes try the Smash Return game at the BBC. It has helped my return. The grip change is a whole other issue. I find the eastern and a weak semi-western to require the least adjustment from forehand to backhand, which is especially good for blocking the ball back.
  8. sinoslav

    sinoslav Rookie

    Feb 21, 2004
    Or you can just split the difference by holding the racquet in continental for ROS. This has the advantage that continental is the best grip for the quick blocks and out-of-position shots that can make up a large percentage of returns. And when the serve is weak enough that you'd want to take a big swing at it, you'll have time to change to your regular grip.
  9. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    I'm mentally lazy on court so I don't bother with this but you should watch how the server shapes up for the serve and where they toss the ball to get an indication of where they are going to serve. If you can do this accurately you'll have 'more time' to prepare your return.

    It's been said many times that Sampras in particular had a difficult serve to read because whether he was going to hit flat, slice or kick the toss up and body shape was always the same. So your 'average' pro is fairly readable and your amateur should be easily readable if you 'read' their 'body language'. I don't because I'm lazy but if you want to move up to the next level you'll need to pay attention to these aspects.
  10. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Before making any changes you might be hold your waiting grip too tightly. Usually when you dont have time to change grips it is because your holding the racquet too tight. Loosen up!

    Also, you should (everyday) for ten minutes practice in front of the mirror changing grips as fast as you can. Play a game with this - see if you can switch grips faster then your first step towards the ball. You will soon see that you can. Switch grips with your eyes closed.

    If you know you can switch grips faster then your first step towards the ball and your switching your grips in your sleep - it may not be the grip change that is the problem.

    Maybe your not picking the ball up fast enough on which side it is going to or your misjudging the speed of how quickly the ball is going to get to you - thinking you actually have more time to switch grips then you really do.
  11. ilovetennis212

    ilovetennis212 Professional

    Jul 16, 2013
    Try to Watch the way balls coming.
    Stay low to watch incoming ball with same height.

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