Novak Djokovic's return of serve is one of the most incredible shots of the WTA Tour: with his return, Nole sent his greatest rivals, such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in crisis. Can a practitioner learn the secrets of his returns? First of all, you need to understand a fundamental detail: with this shot, you will have to try to cancel the opponent's advantage when he serves.
The New York Times also suggests it, with the support of physiologist and biomechanical Mark Kovacs. Djokovic uses a waiting position with very wide feet to have maximum stability and use all the energy, as weight lifters do.
In this way, he uses the strength of the quadriceps to have an explosive force. The small jump that Djokovic performs when the opponent is about to hit the ball, serves to activate the kinetic chain but must be performed with perfect timing: it is the moment when Djokovic sees the opponent's service.
The moment Djokovic falls from the jump, he observes the direction of the service, in this case, directed towards his backhand. For this reason, he lands with greater energy on the right leg, which allows him to give a very consistent push towards the left leg, continuing that kinetic chain that was activated with the jump.
A reaction that develops with the rotation of the left hip first and then of the left shoulder, to then continue with the arms and hands and then end with the impact phase that always takes place well in front of the body, which finds himself in a position perfect for directing the ball correctly.
The secret of Novak Djokovic's return of serve
Thanks to this technique Djokovic manages to read his opponent's service, thus moving in the right direction to impact the ball. Djokovic's goal with the returns is not to always play a winning shot, because it would be a solution with a too low success rate, considering that his opponents often serve with high speeds and that the return is a complicated shot to manage.
The Serb simply wants to cancel the advantage of the opponent's service, sending the ball back to well-defined strategic areas, knowing that he has a good chance of winning the exchange from the bottom against any opponent.
Djokovic is perfect in responding to the opponent's backhand, especially when he has to retort a second service. And above all, it should be noted how you avoid any risk of error by staying far enough from the baseline.
The Serb begins the exchange in a certainly non-defensive position, albeit without too much risk, eliminating what should be a clear advantage of the opponent. Thanks to his shot, Novak Djokovic has founded his brilliant career, often canceling the services of his greatest rivals such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.