Links to videos go here.
|Step Up and Split
To start your return of serve you need to step up and hit your split step. Timing this first step is very important. The key is to be in the air — in the process of hitting your split step — at the instant your opponent makes contact with the tennis ball.
|Close on the Ball / Racket Back
Having hit your split step, the second part of the return of serve is to close on the tennis ball and take your racket back. It’s important that you shorten your backswing when you take the tennis racket back because you have less time to prepare when returning a serve. A good example of someone to copy is Andre Agassi.
|Step Across and Hit the Tennis Ball
Now that you have your tennis racket back you’re ready to hit the tennis ball. However, there is some additional footwork involved as you swing. As we alluded to in the introduction to this video series, this is one of the elements that makes the tennis return of serve unique. As you will see, you will be hitting many returns with a closed stance.
|Return of Serve Summary
This video summarizes the tennis return of serve from start to finish.
|Backhand Return of Serve
The technique for a backhand return of serve in tennis is virtually the same as it is for a forehand. This video demonstrates how the backhand and forehand returns share many similarities.
|Return Footwork Variation
The technique for returning serve we outlined in the several videos in this series is one of several ways you can approach the return. This video looks at another way of returning the tennis ball — a technique that is relatively common on the pro tour.
|Moving Up on a Second Serve
Generally, you want to stand closer in when returning a second serve in tennis. This allows you to be more aggressive and, hopefully, take control of the point. It also can make it easier to deal with the increased amount of spin most good players put on the tennis ball when hitting a second serve.