The return of serve is a shot that every tennis player not only has to hit, but should strive to master. It’s important because during half of all the games you play your first shot of each point will be a serve return. Also, being on serve is an advantageous position and the serve is usually a weapon in many players’ games. By mastering an effective return of serve, you will cut deeply into your opponents’ advantage, or even possibly turn it into an advantage of your own. Andre Agassi was a great example of this.

The return of serve is also rarely practiced and simply doing so on a regular basis can give you an advantage over an opponent who does not. In this section, we have broken the return down into several steps, with a special focus on the footwork involved in the return. Your footwork, how you move to the ball, is the key to this shot.

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