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Monday, October 3, 2016

Return the Serve Down the Middle, Right?

Many pros and instructors state that best strategy for returning a serve is to hit it deep down the middle. This return has several benefits including:
  • drawing both opponents to the middle and opening the sidelines to passing shots
  • potentially causing confusion and allowing the ball to pass unhit
  • hitting to the backhand of an opponent
Those reasons are enough for me to endorse this strategy and I have done so in this blog.

But Mark Renneson is a bit of a contrarian when it comes to conventional strategies. His latest quick tip presents an alternative view.

Quick Tip: Don't Return Down the Middle!

We've been told a million times to hit your returns down the centre of the court.

The rationale is that 1) your shot is still in even if you miss a little left or right; 2) your opponents might get confused about who should play the ball.

But guess what? When you hit down the centre of the court you give your opponents the choice of who plays the third shot. And that is a big advantage for them!

As we've argued before, a well-directed return is a far better idea. Sure, there is slightly more risk. But there is also a lot of risk when you let your best opponent hit the third shot of each rally.

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