What is your most challenging shot? For many right-handers, it is the “off backhand” return of serve in the deuce court (and for lefties, flip over to the ad court). So, what can you do about it?
Regular reader, Winder Bill tells the story of a frustrated 65-year-old tournament player, who gave up on his one handed backhand and spent an hour each day on a backboard for a month learning to hit a short two-handed return. And he comments, “His determination and success at making a change needed to improve his game inspires me. Wish I had his work ethic.”
And I played one Monday/Wilderness match vs. veteran tournament player Joe McAleer who was AGRESSIVELY hitting that two-handed return.
Brian Gottfried’s Tip
Since most of us don’t have that determination (me included), I fall back to what American doubles champion Brian Gottfried advised me at Newk’s one year…
- Do not move laterally toward the ball,
- You need to come in diagonally and take the ball as early as you can
- Shorten your backswing and essentially block the ball back, using the server’s pace
- And (I add) develop an effective backhand lob of the doubles service return; so that your opposing net man cannot be too aggressive.
Any other tips on this tough shot?
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