The Return of Serve Is As Important As The Serve Itself

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The return of serve is as important a part of the game as serving. Andre Agassi doesn't have a big serve. But his return of serve is one of the best, if not the best in the business. Another player, who is now retired is the legendary Jimmy Connors, who would return serves as fast as they are served to him.

Needless to say, those two great players won a lot of matches and tournaments with their returns.

In hitting the return, you primarily want to get the ball in play. In club or social play, the receiver often has the advantage because he knows more or less where his opponent is going to hit the ball and he can prepare mentally and physically to make the most of that advantage.

The Grip

You want to be ready for the shot which you like the least. If your backhand is not reliable, use the backhand grip. That way, if the serve goes toward that side, you are ready for it.

The Stance

Stand in the ready position with your weight on the balls of your feet and your tennis racquet held firmly in front of you at waist level and pointed straight out toward the net.

As soon as the ball leaves your opponent's racquet and you know whether it is coming to your forehand or to your backhand, you should turn from the waist and take your racquet back. If there's time, you can then move your feet.

Tips for Return of Serve

1. When faced with a hard serve, shorten your backswing as much as possible but use the follow-through if your return is to have pace and direction.

2. You can slice your return on a fast serve or simply block it back. The technique in doing that is: draw the racquet back slightly and stick it out in front of the ball. Make your wrist firm and the contact solid so as to make a good shot.

3. To handle a topspin serve, either take it very early before the spin has a chance to develop or very late, when the spin has had time to wear out.

4. Move in on the second serve especially if you know that it is coming to you soft. Move 2 or 3 feet closer to put the server off balance and allowing yourself to be in an offensive position.

5. Mix your returns so as to keep your opponent from anticipating where you are going to hit the ball.

6. Most importantly, always strive to keep the ball in play.

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World-Class Tennis Technique Book (Copyright 2001, 288 pages)

World-Class Tennis Technique Book (Copyright 2001, 288 pages)

Let the game's most brilliant players and coaches teach you World-Class Tennis Technique! You'll find the most up-to-date information, based on solid scientific principles and presented in a practical, easy-to-understand manner. No other book on the market offers the level of world-class instruction and expertise found here. World-Class Tennis Technique is written by some of the world's top experts in biomechanics, tennis technique, and coaching, including: Patrick McEnroe Jim Loehr Mary Joe Fernandez Stan Smith Tom Gullikson Pam Shriver Former world-class players National coaches Past or current Davis Cup Captains Together these venerable tennis pros present a detailed, comprehensive look at the optimal biomechanics and technique for playing tennis. Each chapter features an expert with a scientific or technical background matched up with one of the top internationally known coaches. They explain the modern game, including the return of serve, and share their research, knowledge, and experience. Their explanations are succinct and to the point, making the best techniques easy to learn. You'll learn to improve your technique in every aspect of the game, including: perfecting your strokes, improving your footwork and positioning, training the appropriate muscle groups, choosing the right racquet and equipment for your style of play, adjusting to different court surfaces, maintaining proper technique under pressure, and analyzing your own game. You'll find an in-depth analysis of the proper fundamentals of each stroke A()()AOE forehand, backhand, volley , overhead, serve, return of serve, and specialty shots A()()AOE presented with an incredible selection of full-color sequence photos. Learn the science behind the strokes to hit the ball with greater force, accuracy, and consistency. Then master and fine-tune your execution to excel in competition. With World-Class Tennis Technique, you'll soon play better than ever. About the Author Vic Braden is one of the most recognized tennis instructors in the world. Braden has authored five books, produced countless videos, and hosted several television series. He is a licensed psychologist, author, sports educator and researcher, videographer, and television commentator. Braden got his start as the head tennis coach at the University of Toledo in 1952. After a stint as an elementary school teacher and psychologist, he served on the management staff of the Jack Kramer Professional Tennis Tour and co-founded the Jack Kramer Tennis Club in 1961. Improve your return of serve with the teaching presented in this book.

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