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What are the different ways to return a low and short serve?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Birdy, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Birdy

    Birdy Regular Member

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    I typically drive them to the corners and get a nice weak lift to the back (where my partner can get it) but then I think there are better options.

    The other one I do is a net drop which forces the opponents to lift it up, but then I feel this one is so typical.. and not useful when your opponent lifts them so high and far back.

    And then there's my partner's nice push to the side (just at the service line) that catches opponents off guard. The reason I refer to as my partner for this service return is because I myself can't do it yet, but he does it so nicely.

    Any others, variations? Or ways to improve?
     
  2. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    depends on how good your opponent's serve is and where you stand to receive serve ...

    if really good and you're not toeing the line, you don't have much choice but to lift high to the corners or if you're daring, brush it to the sides just past the server or block it tight to the net
     
  3. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    Other variations not mentioned (or that I didn't pick up from description above), mostly attacking the center, all require rather aggressive receive stance (very close to service line):

    1. Push to server's body (or server's partner's body)
    2. Push towards server, but the shot drops before his partner (probably for cases when your two opponents have big enough gap)
    3. Fake a push to server's body (set up with #1 and #2 above), but instead play a net directly in front of the server - use this sparingly.
    4. Mid-court push to space between 2 opponents, esp. if they've inviting gap between.
    5. On right hand side, fake a push to server's body, but use fingers to rotate racket face so the shuttle actually ends up on the right tram lines.
    6. At lower level (or for fun) - fake straight net with exaggerated racket face orientation, then as server moves to attempt interception, switch direction to cross net to the other side. I find it work better when receiving on my right hand side.

    In general, the fast ones are preferable, though the fakes may be usable at times.
     
  4. Birdy

    Birdy Regular Member

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    Thanks! These variations are great! Hmm to clarify, for number 3, that's only possible when the opponents are standing side by side to receive correct? Otherwise, how do you get the gap between them to push it to?
     
  5. M3Series

    M3Series Regular Member

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    Are you referring to the 4th ? If it is then it's doable by doing a soft push toward the slightly behind the sides of the server. The ultimate goal for this tactic is for the server's partner to be forced lifting it and making an error.

    But if you are referring to the 3rd, it's simple. Just guide the shuttle to the front of the server.
     
    #5 M3Series, Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
  6. Birdy

    Birdy Regular Member

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    Yes, sorry! Thanks for clarifying me. So for number 4, it's actually pushing towards the mid court side as opposed to between the players (when they are side by side)?
     
  7. M3Series

    M3Series Regular Member

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    It's the sides of the midcourt. Not the centre of it.

    Usually when players are comitting a serve, the position is back n front. The only gap that they have is the sides of em. That my friend, is what we are aiming for
     
  8. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    These are gaps, but not the only gap. Some players leave a rather big gap between front and back players that could be exploited, esp. if you don't use it often (and previously set it up with the fast push to the server's partner body). The server would duck seeing you "rushing" his serve, and his partner is ready for a body shot. Like the return directly in front of the server, you probably can only use this once in a game/match, unlike the other faster pushes.
     
  9. M3Series

    M3Series Regular Member

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    If you are arguing my point about gap i suggest u backoff before u starts giving an advance lesson upon tactical placement of the shuttles.

    Yes there ARE other gaps but for someone who's trying to figure out which gap is critical since he doesn't have an advance stroke yet, i suggest let him figure it out once he already know how take advantage of that.
     
  10. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    It's not such a big deal, nor advance. If we assume he can manage to play to the mid-court on the side, he's already competent enough to execute this shot to the center. It requires movement speed, aggressive stance, timing, and no/little racket back swing. If he cannot yet, he can certainly spend sometime to work on it.

    What we're talking about here is awareness of gaps, that could show up. Keep this in mind, and he/anyone can find and exploit them. At the level OP is playing, I'd bet it's not uncommon to see big/inviting gap between server and his partner, even down the center.
     
  11. Birdy

    Birdy Regular Member

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    Thanks for the positive words! I will pay attention more to the gaps and aim for them.
     
  12. JamesP

    JamesP Regular Member

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    Good tips posted here. Another thing to keep in mind is opponents have shots they "dislike". For example an opponent may be fine with a fast push to the backhand corner but he may not be fine with a high push to the backhand corner. Also, you will find that opponents will "cheat" by moving closer to their weak side when receiving and you can take advantage of this by first recognizing this and then exploiting this by placing well placed push shots away in gaps. Also, treat each opponent as an individual and find out their weaknesses or at least their "dislikes" and exploit them.
     

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