Coaching Tip - December 2021

    Lift your return of serve percentage

    The return of serve is probably the least practiced stroke in tennis.

    Even if you are serving well and winning these games easily you will need to break your opponent’s serve to ensure victory in any tennis match.

    A player’s guide to returning serve
    • Keep low in your ready position
    You can then get below the ball for a better return
    • Use a short or volley type backswing for the return
    You do not have time for a full backswing but remember to follow through
    • Get the ball back into play at all costs
    This will put pressure on your opponent by forcing them to play that extra shot
    • Hit the return down the middle of the court
    You are therefore hitting over the lowest part of the net and at the same time reducing the angle that your opponent can hit his/her next shot
    • Clear the net by 1 to 2 metres
    This helps to reduce the number of returns into the net
    • Hit up through the ball
    Your return will then go deep into your opponent’s court
    This will lead to rally balls that land short about the service line so that you can put the shot away
    • Put away the short or weaker second serves from your opponent
    This will put pressure on your opponent’s serve and lead to double faults and rally errors

    Try out the player’s guide to returning serve at your next training/coaching session so that you can lift your return of serve percentage during your club matches and tournaments.

    Contact me if you have comments or queries in regard to the return of serve.
    In particular let me know if you have any other suggestions or helpful hints.

    Tennis the game of a lifetime

    Coach Steve