At high levels of the game the return is without a doubt the hardest individual shot to get back in the court. You have no control on the location of the ball, its trajectory, the spin applied or the speed of the delivery. Some servers are going to make your life difficult no matter what, but there are some things that you control to keep them adjusting to you. In this article i’m going to go over some things you can do to influence the servers location of serve, some strategies for the return and how to adjust your positioning to take away specific locations and types of serves from great servers, and to generally have a plan to adjust or adapt in your return games to give your opponents the most trouble and make it difficult for them to hold. For this article my primary focus will be the 1st serve return.
Players shouldn’t be concerned with wins and losses on the practice match court. They should be focused on running plays, trying new tactics, working technique, sharpening your weapons, and developing parts of their games that aren’t 100% ready for live matches. Start looking at your practice matches as opportunities to hone your skills rather than focusing on winning and your tennis will improve. Being able to practice executing these things in a setting that doesn’t officially count allows players to become more confident in areas of their game that they otherwise may avoid in a sanctioned match.