Serve and Return


The serve and the return are arguably the most important strokes in tennis but many times the least practiced.  Every single point starts with a serve and a return and in many occasions the point will also end with one of these two shots.  The better your serve and return, the better your chances of winning the point. 

 In this section you will find everything you need to understand, practice and improve these two shots, including technical and tactical advice, drills, methodology  and plenty of examples from the pro tour to allow you to form a very clear picture of  the ideal way to execute these key elements of the game. 

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Serving in Balance

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This is a useful exercise to test the balance and finishing position on the serve. The player is asked to hold the finish. The player should land on the front leg with the back leg in the air. The racquet head should be pointing down in ...

The Toss

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A consistent toss is one of the most important aspects of the serve. Here you will find several ideas to help you improve your toss.This post is only available to members. Please register or log in.

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Return Collection – In the Air

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Although it is widely accepted that the return of serve is one of the most important shots in the game, practicing it enough is difficult since it requires someone to serve a high volume of balls. Here is an alternative, that although no...

Bounce Feeds Return

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A return is nothing more than a groundstroke with a short backswing. In order to force the player to shorten the backswing it is important to take away time. By standing close to the player and feeding fast bouncing shots, the coach forc...

In the Air Returns Collection

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Exercise 1 Against the Fence A good way to teach players to use short swings and meet the ball in front of the body is by having them stand against the back fence and rushing them with fast feeds that do not bounce. The players against t...

Disguising the Serve

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Ideally the player should learn to hit the serve in any direction off the same toss. The best way to practice this is for the coach to stand behind the player as the player serves. Once the ball is in the air, the coach will yell: T or w...

Minimum Movement Return

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A common problem on the return is moving too much and therefore loosing precision. In this drill the player works on staying totally still to return using as little body movement as possible. The idea is to work on stability. The player ...

Off the Bounce Returns

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A good way to practice the shorter backswing on the return is by having the player stand very close to the service line and return from there. From that position the player will not have time to take a large backswing and will get comfor...

Serve plus 1 Collection

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Exercise 1 Self Feed Here is a good way to practice the serve plus the next shot without a partner or in a large group setting where everyone is working on the serve. The player serves, tosses a ball up, gets in position and hits the bal...

Calibrating your Serve Long, Short

Tennis is all about being able to adjust when necessary. It is not uncommon for players to finish a match and complain about hitting every serve in the net or every serve long. Here is a drill to help them adjust when needed.This post is...

Calibrating your Serve Left, Right

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Here is a great exercise to help you develop precision on the serve. The idea is to purposely hit right of your intended target, then left and then at the target. The small adjustments will make you a much better server.This post is only...

Learning to Serve by Throwing

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Serving is nothing else than throwing the racquet at the ball. The building blocks for a great serve are throws. Here are a couple of examples of how one can practice the serve through throwing.This post is only available to members. Ple...

Checking for Balance on the Serve

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A great way to check if you are serving in balance is by checking the landing. If you are able to land on balance you where most likely balanced throughout the whole motion. Here is how to do this.This post is only available to members. ...

Developing a Smooth Serving Motion

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Developing a fluid serving motion will help you improve the effectiveness of your serve allowing for a better transfer of forces. Here is an exercise that will help you develop a continuous and loose serving motion.This post is only avai...

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