Where do you stand to return serve … same place every time? Well, if you watch the pros and your friends, you will see some big differences in positioning.
Nadal on Clay
Check out the picture of Rafa Nadal returning serve on slow, red clay. He is almost standing next to the back lines people! You can’t say that he is not effective, considering his incredible clay court record over his career.
But why doesn’t anyone ever try a soft, short spin serve to make him run in?
Clay on Clay
One of our good Naples tennis buddies, Clay Zyerfeld, returns serve standing WELL INSIDE no man’s land – just about three feet from the service line. He has very strong forearms and takes the serve on the rise and drives it cross court.
Me on Clay
I try to start just behind the baseline and take a hop step into the court as the serve comes my way. I say “try” because sometimes the server is weaker and just spins in a slow one (especially on second serve); so rather than having to charge in as the ball is coming, I will START in and take the offense.
On the other hand, playing against some younger guys, you will sometimes face the big, first serve boomer (especially on hard courts); and you should not let your ego get in the way to keep you in too close. Don’t be ashamed to drop back five or ten feet behind the service line – and maybe your doubles partner should start back as well.
How about you … where do you stand to return serve?
Hip Update: On The Court!
On my four-week anniversary of hip surgery this past Wednesday, I ventured onto the tennis court for the first time and used Spike’s ball machine for 20 minutes. On Thursday, I repeated the process for 35 minutes.
And it felt great!!
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!