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How to return very fast service ?

Published: 19 Apr 2005 - 04:59 by vitty

Updated: 19 Nov 2005 - 07:13

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  • Hello there,

  • I´ve one problem - one of my opponents serve in a tennis way (swing over head).He´s tall and strong,so the serve is enourmous fast.The ball hits the side wall just before service box,very high.So,at that speed of ball,and because of the height of ball,is quite impossible to volley,or it leads to weak crosscourt.

  • If I let the ball bounce on the back wall,the bounce is so low and near the glass,that boast is the only answer.Btw,the nick is being hit many times.Is there any way to return this kind of serve in a better way ? (Please,don´t tell me that the answer is BETTER VOLLEY :-))

  • Thanks for reply,vitty

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From rippa rit - 19 Nov 2005 - 07:13

Hi Vitty - Thanks for the update.  Yes, we all have thought at some time we have this "secret weapon" then all of a sudden the opponent catches on, and the whole game strategy gets torn apart, so it is then back to the drawing board.
Variety is a great asset too, so when you find you have a  "secret weapon", keep it, and use it when the opponent least expects, is a good idea too. 
So, you be unpredictable too Vitty, and move around in the service box, so that might just put a bit of fear in the server's  mind when serving, eg stand forward in the service box, and then move back just as the opponent is about to serve; be sure to watch the server and the ball closely though while doing this,

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From vitty - 18 Nov 2005 - 04:39

Hi Rita,

thank you for asking. I think I´ve figured out this kind of problem - my opponent gave up this serves :) and nowadays he serves standard lob-serve. We are not so concentrated on serve now, we´re not trying to get "ace", only thing that we want from our serve = to not to be attacked.

But I can feel my court movement isn´t perfect.  I´ll have to find a coach and take some 10-20 lessons on movement and footwork, but this time it´s impossible because of final exams on uni. I am playing squash hardly 2 times a week :(

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From rippa rit - 17 Nov 2005 - 20:59

Hi Vitty - I am only "short stuff" but with a racket in my hand I am 10 ft. tall and rising! True.
As the Serve is hard, just control the racket head, as the server is doing the power and speed for you, so no swinging is necessary to get the ball to the front wall. I would like to check out a couple of other things.  Are you?
1. Standing near the half court line to return the serve.
2. Watching the server closely.
3. Moving to take the ball on the full before the ball strikes the side wall, or maybe
4. Attempting a volley boast.
My other query is:-
If the serve is going so high, so hard, and so fast, it should be rebounding off the back wall at least 1m? If you are boasting the ball, my next question is, how long are you waiting for the ball to come off the back wall before attempting to hit it?
How is your return going now, as it is six months since the last post?

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From raystrach - 27 Apr 2005 - 08:04

hi vitty
that link that rita mentioned is :
The Other hard serve story..

if you can't volley the ball, you need to move back quickly and you will find that the ball sits off the back wall somewhat. you should be able t do something wit it. if it does not, you are probably standing too far back in the court to recieve serve. by stepping forward you can probably volley comfortably.

also, another back wall link:
Back wall pain relief

have fun.

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From rippa rit - 22 Apr 2005 - 17:48

Hi Vitty - We have recently had 5 posts on a very similar topic in the SquashForum from a question submitted by Shuaib dated 5/2/05 "Returning hard shots/serves". How do you find it?
Click on the Members Forum, Forum Archive, and scroll down to SquashForum - the last post was on 26/2/05. If you have any further questions after looking through these posts please let us know. One important reminder - move forward to volley the serve and attempt to take the ball before it strikes the side wall (that applies to all return of serves); use your opponent's pace to return the ball, hold your racket tightly. Good luck!

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From drop-shot - 19 Apr 2005 - 18:15

Better volley is the answer :-)
Huh, honestly i think you should attempt the ball between side and glass wall. but how to get it? I am not proffesional coach, Rita and Ray will explain it better, but I will try to help you in my amateur way.
First of all - your position on court while you do receive. You should face the front wall, watch the ball in your opponent hand and follow its flight. Your feet should (at lest i do it this way) be 30-40 cm from the corner of the service box. And the hint is - bounce on your toes to be ready to turn, step forward or back and pivot and longe. You should stay in the liquid movement if you understand. Then if the ball hits the sidewall high, do not even try to get it. You must try it when it flies to the back wall. Straigh stop volley would be good, but the best answer is to NOT HIT HARD. Go for a lot of practice and you will see the difference after few weeks. And do not loose your heart. The best weapon for hard guys is to make them weak. To not let them hit hard. How? This is different story.

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From msc - 19 Apr 2005 - 07:08

Hmmm. This one gets me sometimes, particularly when I play a few guys - however their serves aren't always in that location you have said. However if I find that a serve does have a familiar pattern (albeit hitting the side wall high above the service box and then hitting the back wall nick) I start to look at where ARE the possible places I can try and hit it - and what position do I need to be in to do that? I hate to say it but if it were me I would be trying to pick that ball off very shortly after it comes off that side wall as it heads towards the back wall...BUT I would be concentrating on keeping my distance from the wall (and ball) so that my racquets, arms and shoulders have room to move (though I'd like to keep my shoulders parallel to the sidewall to play a straight drive). This may mean I take a half step back from the normal position I stand in to receive a ball. If this guy hits it so hard it's unlikely you'll need too much extra power to get a return to length, just open the face slightly, control your swing through and make sure you have told your racquet and shoulders they are hitting a STRAIGHT drive to length so they must not swing wildly at that moment you hit the ball!!! :)
If you do allow the ball to bounce off the back wall KEEP YOUR DISTANCE from it, be prepared to "BEND ZA KNEES" and get that racquet under the ball OR if you must boast, open the racquet face up on impact so that you hit a high defensive boast, therefore giving you time to recover from the T.

Maybe ask your opponent if he can help you by just having a serve and return session so you can experiment a bit and get more comfortable with your spacing and watching the ball? It's to his advantage so you can get better rallies...My two-bobs worth anyway, I'm sure other more qualified people will have better advice - good luck!!

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Thanks a million, rippa rit! I'm going to the club now, actually

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