How would you respond to the most powerful Tours services, such as those of Roger Federer, John Isner, Ivo Karlovic, Kevin Anderson and many others? The bombers are also found in the WTA Tour: just think of Serena Williams or Sabine Lisicki.
During the 1991 Wimbledon final between Boris Becker and Michael Stich the average duration of the point was less than three seconds! In the past Pet Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Lendl were among the greatest interpreters of powerful service.
The practitioner who will never face such opponents, but who will still be able to find a tennis player with a very powerful service, will have several weapons that can be used to destabilize his opponent. This can be effective both with a powerful service but also against a particular style of play.
It is about facing shots that go at supersonic speeds, but one of the secrets is to always try to respond. Although the opponent is having a super day, even if he hit an ace for every four services. Always responding is one of the first weapons that can be had to destabilize the bomber.
An example? Obviously Novak Djokovic. Nole often neutralizes the most powerful services, even that of Roger Federer, because he has the best response on the ATP Tour. But to get the best response, you need practice and always try to respond to your opponent, during the match.
According to Brad Gilbert one of the best things to do is to take two or three steps backwards or, in any case, to do something different in general, which can somehow destabilize the confidence that your opponent has. According to Gilbert, going back three steps few seconds before a super service can give more time to react and respond.
He also said this could also apply with an opposite verse: that is, to advance three steps towards the service line. The important thing is to try to vary as much as possible and give the bomber less certainty and less peace of mind.
Basically, to face a tennis player who serves like Roger Federer, you should try to have new positions that give few points of reference, make short movements both in de-directional and forward, and above all, try to be smart and make the emotional confidence of the opponent and his securities more fragile.