Thursday, August 22, 2013

How to fend off a big server

Kristianne Bontempo | Towpath Tennis Employee | Online Shop Manager

John Isner made quite a run at last week's Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati before falling to Rafael Nadal in the finals. But in earlier rounds he had to overcome the top seeds in the world, such as Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro by fending them off with his biggest weapon—the serve. In a pre-match interview, Djokovic was asked how he was going to tackle the big server when he jokingly responded, "I don't know, do you have any tips?" So when he lost to Isner in a close match, the question still lingered in the air—how do you fend off a big server? You may not be able to return a serve by John Isner, but try the following tips and learn how to return like the pros. 
flickr pic
  • Stand back - Give yourself time to react and get to the ball.
  • Read the serve - One of the best ways to prepare for a big serve is to gauge its placement. You can do this by gauging the server’s toss, stance and swing.
  • Split step - Split step as their hitting the serve and move towards it's placement.
  • Rotate those hips - When you rotate your hips as you swing, your racquet is automatically prepped to return.
  • Shorten your swing - If it's coming at you fast, you're not going to have time for a loopy swing, so close it in with your elbow close to your body.
  • Block - If all else fails, this is an easy way to get the ball back in play. Keep a firm grip and aim deep or angle it off.
It's all about early preparation. If you're anticipating the serve, you'll be able to return almost anything that comes at you. But if you still find yourself struggling, know this—big servers have lower percentage serves, eventually they'll tire themselves out (we hope!).

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1 comment:

  1. In tennis during the game we have found many techniques used by the players. Serve and defending techniques are the best ever techniques we watch during the game. It requires regular practice to do a perfect serve through which players are able to gain points and beat the competitors. In this article also, we can get some useful instructions on how to do a perfect serve. Thanks for such wonderful tips.
    Tennis Techniques