When a serve pulls you off the court and you return down the line, you are very vulnerable to a forcing crosscourt shot from the opponent. Returning crosscourt or to the middle will leave you in a much better position to cover the court.
A second serve gives you a little more time to move and adjust. Therefore, it may allow you to run around and return with your best shot.
A kick serve will bounce high, and once the ball gets over your shoulders it is very hard to control.
A key tactical concept in tennis is to work the point until you get an easy shot to attack. Sometimes the opponent’s second serve is the first weak shot of the point.
If you run around, start the point inside out unless you are trying to hit a winner or as a variation.
If you are planning to move in, start moving forwards early, do not wait until you hit your return.
When returning and coming in, pick the outside shot to hit the return whenever you have a chance.
If you want to hit the return and attack to the net, hit to the opponent’s weak side if he/she has a very weak shot. If his/her forehand and backhand are about the same, hit down the line or to the middle. Hit cross court only once in a while to surprise.
On hard-courts players will take advantage of the speed of the opponent’s serve, stand close to the baseline and block the return. On clay-courts, a blocked return will not be as effective because it will usually be too slow. Therefore, players will back up and take a longer more aggressive swing.
The number one goal of the returner should be to make the opponent play. Everything else is secondary. Unless you are getting enough returns in the court, you will never get the opponent in trouble and will have a hard time breaking serve. Find a way to get the return in every time and you will see the difference right …
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