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How can you influence your opponentÂ’s second serve?


How can you influence your opponent’s second serve?

Returning a second serve often lets you take control of the rally.

Your opponent has to hit the ball in the serve’s sector, which means a guaranteed short ball.

Who serves can’t afford to jeopardize the second serve.





One of the most efficient ways to put your opponent under pressure is to return with anticipation from a position inside the baseline, at the peak of the bounce trajectory (or right after it).

The player who serves will have less time to recover and prepare for the next shot after their serve, allowing you to maintain an aggressive position on the court and speed up your return.

By staying behind the baseline, you can still put pressure on your opponent until they make a double fault.


To return inside the baseline


Returning a serve while staying inside the baseline lets you get into contact with the ball at its peak and steal precious time to your opponent.




You can influence your opponent also with the position you keep on the court.

For example, if you leave more room than usual on the forehand or backhand side, that you feel you can return better, could push them to hit that spot.



To understand when it’s early

Getting into contact with the ball at its bounce peak means you have to hit it exactly at the highest point between its first bounce and the second (imaginary) one.

Try to place signs where the first and the second serve’s bounces fall.

The impact with the ball will have to happen between them. Generally, this position is much more inside the baseline than you can imagine.



Francesco Tripodi

Tennis Pro of Italian Federation and Professional PTR.

Website:  www.tripoditenniscenter.com/