Return of Serve - part two


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Return of Serve - part two

here the first part of Return of serve.

The hitting phase and contact point

Forward swing

The main features of the forward swing are comparable to those described for groundstrokes. The distinct characteristics for the return of serve are a result of the tactical situation:

• For an offensive return of serve, the low to high path of the racquet in the forward swing is similar to that described for the groundstrokes. The length of the forward swing may be reduced in relation to the abbreviated backswing.

• For defensive blocked return of serve, the path of the racquet in the forward swing may be marginally high to low or horizontal, i.e., parallel to the ground. Knee extension and forward rotation of the hips, trunk and shoulder are considerably reduced (compared to a baseline groundstroke exchange). This is important in order to prolong the period within which the racquet remains aligned with the flight of the ball, i.e., forward swing through the line of flight of the ball.

RELATED: Before returning a serve, jump

Contact point

The important characteristics for contact are similar to those described for the groundstrokes. The distinct aspects for the return of seve are a result of the tactical situation:

• for the offensive return of serve, contact may occur more frequently at shoulder height (compared to groundstrokes) as the receiver attempts to attack the relatively high bouncing topspin second serve.

• in the situation of a defensive blocked return of serve, contact is closer to body compared to the offensive return, as a result of the continental grip. The racquet face may be either vertical to the ground or angled slightly backward, i.e., open. The trunk and shoulders remain aligned approximately perpendicular to the net. The feet remain in a semi-open or side on stance.

Follow through

The main characteristics of the follow through are similar to those, outlined for the groundstrokes. The distinctive components for the return of serve are a result of the tactical situation:

• For an offensive return of serve, the low to high path of the racquet in the forward swing is identical to that described for the groundstrokes. The length of the follow through may be reduced in association with an abbreviated preparation and forward swing.

* For a defensive blocked return of serve, the path of the racquet in the follow through is similar to that described for the volley. The racquet pushes through the region of contact in the intended direction of the stroke.