By: Andrew S. Rosz
South Florida Professional
Tennis Instruction, USA
SERVICE RETURN ABUSES
- Not acknowledging the service advantage.
- Emphasizing offensiveness over consistency.
- Attempting an offensive return in a defensive situation.
- Making your offensive/defensive service return decision BEFORE your opponent has served
- Attempting a great offensive service return against a consistent groundstroker.
- Favoring either a forehand or backhand service return.
- Reacting too slowly on the return.
- An incorrect service return ready position.
SERVICE RETURN TECHNIQUES
- Acknowledge the service advantage.
- Make your final offensive/defensive decision AFTER your opponent has hit the serve.
- Emphasize consistency and depth (over power) on all service returns, especially on
defensive service returns.
- As a general rule, use offensive returns against a serve and volley player and use
defensive returns against a consistent groundstroke.
- Emphasize the basic defensive special emphasis techniques on all defensive service
- Direct all defensive service returns to one of the three backcourt target points.
- Hit your defensive returns with only 60% power (neutral groundstroke pace).
- Watch the ball all the way to the strings (watch impact).
- Use an appropriate service return ready position.
- React quickly; early preparation using a two-step stroke.
- Use a short concise backswing.
- Maintain a firm wrist at impact.
- Turn TM2 sideways.
- Use efficient footwork.
- Use full strokes; follow-through completely.
- Hit the ball with an awareness of racket pitch at impact (open racket face at impact).
- Use low to high strokes.
- Recover quickly back to the ready position.
SPECIAL EMPHASIS TECHNIQUES
- Offensive Service Returns... 2,8,12,13,17
- Defensive Service Returns... 1,10,11,8,16,12
SERVICE RETURN EXERCISES
- The "Serve-Return" exercise. As a non-competitive exercise, one player serves
for 30 minutes while the other player hits returns. If both players elect, play each point
out. This is an excellent exercise for developing both offensive and defensive service
- Ball machine exercise. Some ball machines have an attachment that will allow them to hit
serves thus allowing you to practice your service returns. This is excellent for learning
and practicing the many techniques of a proper service return.
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