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Recieving serve

Published: 02 Dec 2009 - 20:52 by EdHend10

Updated: 26 Feb 2010 - 08:37

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As a relatively new squash player I would like to know the answer to this question;

How early can my opponent return the serve. Can he step across the centre court line (not sure if this is the technical name. The line that splits the court, front to back.) with one foot, both feet or neither feet to take the ball early??

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From rippa rit - 26 Feb 2010 - 07:56   -   Updated: 26 Feb 2010 - 08:37

Click Below for Attached Images

Return of Serve Feet Positioning

Sam - the biggest problem when returning serve is standing too far back, especially waiting for the server to serve, as well as standing too close to the side wall. In this return of serve video notice how Zac is actually taking the ball while he has moved into the service box area, and for most people they would never be able to do that as they stand too close to the back corner and side wall making positioning of the body and racket difficult when the serve approaches low and fast.

This diagram shows feet positioning though I recommend that position be varied depending on the server, and is probably a bit more appropriate for returning a lob serve.  I would find moving forward from this position to take a hard low serve a bit too crowded, and the body position may be a bit too front on to get the angle for a boast or drop shot.  Find a partner to practice serve and return and experiment with your footwork/movement and let me know how it goes.

As players get better they tend to have better, and earlier judgement/anticipation of the serve as it leaves the server's racket and are more or less ready for the shot, plus have a variety of options they can play from that position, eg stop volley drop, volley boast, length.

Personally, I like to stand practically on the "half court" line, opposite the corner of the service box, and use that position as a pivot point where I can then adjust my approach to the ball very easily, eg back corner, side wall, reach overhead, go forward, etc.. There is no need for a huge swing, just a very compact racket movement into position, and firm wrist.

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From SamBWFC - 26 Feb 2010 - 03:55

On the topic of return of service, this has always been my major weakpoint.

Can anyone give any good advice on return of service? What catches me out the most is the hard, fast serve (especially on backhand side) that usually hit the wall just about where I'm ready to return it. I've tried moving forward to volley which I've always found difficult, I've tried moving back and it's either nicked or forced me into a boast, what do you think the best thing to do is in a situation like this?

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From EdHend10 - 04 Dec 2009 - 02:03

Thanks all for the responses...looks like I need to spend some time on my serving technique.

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From rippa rit - 03 Dec 2009 - 11:16

Ed - all good advice from mike and dave.

It would be a good idea to go to the Return of Serve technique section and learn more about the Serve and Return.  If your opponent is bothering you with his return the problem is really coming from your Serve placement, etc.... a few minor adjustments should stop a lot of your problems preventing  the opponent stepping in so early.

Let's know how it goes.

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From mike - 03 Dec 2009 - 09:56

yes, your opponent can come across. In fact, AFAIK the rules don't even require the receiver to stand in the part of the court that is being served to, it's just an extremely strong convention (for obvious reasons).

The normal rules about giving the server room to swing would still apply though.

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From daveamour - 03 Dec 2009 - 03:12

The serve can be returned any time after it has hit the front wall.

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