The Service Return
is the second most important shot in Tennis just behind the Serve. It can be summarized
as either a block or swing but is a most difficult shot to master.
good server will be able to determine what type of shot a returner has most difficulty
with and will favor that side or type of serve on big points and take advantage
of the returner's problems. Having only half of a return game is a severe limitation
even more so than not having a volley, overhead or strong backhand.
The essential elements
of the return is being able to see the ball and anticipate where the server is
going. It is much like a batter and a pitcher in baseball. The returner must be
able to perceive what the Server is going to do and of course the server is attempting
to disguise the serve.
One great tip is to watch the ball from the moment it is tossed to keep the concentration focused on the ball. Reaction time on a serve is all anticipation. A ball served at 100MPH will cross your line at 80ft. from the opponents service line in under a second. There is never anytime to adjust after the ball is hit. You must be aware of it at the moment.
Being in the moment is a key.
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