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How to Return a Serve

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In this video you will learn how to return a serve.

Check out the videos on the forehand and the backhand.

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In this video, you will learn how to return the serve.

Stand in the ready position with the knees bent and the non racket hand holding the throat of the racket

The Preparation

Use a continental grip

The racket frame should be perpendicular to the ground and the base of the 'V' formed with the thumb and the index along the first bevel

This allows you to switch easily to the forehand or backhand grip

Depending on the strength of your opponent’s serve, stand either just outside the baseline or a couple of feet behind it and towards the alley

On the ad court, you could stand again close to the alley

For the second serve, you could step in to the court to attack

Jump or take a step forward with your non racket leg and do a split step before the opponent contacts the ball

Keep a close eye on the ball and be ready to move to either side

The Shot

Switch to the forehand or backhand grip depnding on whichever side the opponent serves

If the serve is to your foreahand, flex your racket knee

The backswing should be compact and you should use the pace of the serve to your advantage

It's important to switch from a fast preparation to a slow forward swing

Think about meeting the ball and not hitting the ball

Move in forward into the ball even if the serve is fast

Using your bodyweight into the return allows you to add momentum and balance the racket head

For a penetrative offensive return, transfer the weight into the shot

Take off and land on the non racket foot

If the serve is to your backhand, your strings should face to the side when you swing the racket back for a double handed backhand

When you contact the ball the strings should be flat and parallel to the net

Flex your non racket leg and transfer your weight on it

Straighten your non racket knee and push off forward and land on the racket foot

If the serve is on your body, slice or block it with a backhand shot

You could also try taking the ball on the rise to attack and give less time to your opponent

Ask your partner or trainer to stand in the opposite service box and feed you balls so that you can work on your reflexes

When the ball is in your court, you have to get in a solid return to neutralize the serve

Enjoy your game

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