How To Hit Perfect Tennis Return of Serves In 3 Simple Steps.
The tennis return of serve is the second most important shot in tennis after the serve itself, however many tennis players think the return of serve is simply like a normal tennis forehand or backhand groundstroke.
This couldn’e be further from the truth, the return of serve in tennis is more like a forehand or backhand block shot (somtimes known as a jab shot) where the aim is to keep the swing as short as possible and redirect the ball using the power from the oncoming ball.
Here are the three simple steps to hitting perfect return of serves in tennis:
Step One – A good ready position and split step.
Holding the racket in the forehand grip on the bottom hand and the backhand grip on the top hand if you are a two handed backhand player or the throat of the racket if you are a single handed backhand player. Timing the split step so that you land around the time of contact on the opponents serve.
Slightly later will also work but if you land too late, you will be late for the return and put yourself at a disadvantage.
Their are two main ways to move into the split step, the first way is to take a step forwards and then jump into the split step, Andy Murray is famous for using this method. The second way is to stay on the spot and jump into a split step from the ready position, Novak Djokovic uses this method.
Step Two – Using a compact, abbreviated backswing.
On the tennis return of serve you want to go forwards to meet the ball out in front and cut off the possible angles that your opponent has to use, in order to do this you need to keep your swings smaller than usual so that you can time the ball out in front.
The biggest issue that most players face when returning serve is using a swing that is too big which causes them to be late for the shot. Using the shoulder and hip rotation and keeping the swing with your hand very compact will allow you to make contact out in front more often than not.
Step Three – The intention on the return of serve.
On the first serve your goal should be to get the ball back in play, however you do that. This might mean using a chip return.
Roger Federer is well known for using the chip return against bigger servers just to get himself into the point.
If you miss the return of serve you are giving your opponent a free point, they have simply swung their racket on the serve and win the point. By making the return, however you may do so, you are forcing your opponent to follow up their serve with a good first strike, over the course of a tennis match this pressure will build and you should be rewarded for this especially in the crunch moments of a tennis match.
On the second serve you have options, you can be more aggressive and attack their serve to put pressure back on them. That second serve might be the shortest ball you get all point, so why not attack it and give yourself the edge right away. You can also simply block the return of serve while taking it slightly earlier to take time away from the server.
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