When facing an opponent that has a good low and flick serves, you can't just get prepared for the low serves.
You need to be physically and mentally ready for a low serve AND a flick serve at beginning of each rally. Have your racket higher up. Check the gap between your body and the center line. You may need to narrow it. If your opponent's flick is flat (but legal), you may not need to leap (nor have time to leap). Simply have the racket (with forearm, and wrist) intercept it with minimum arm movement but with enough pace in your shot to hit it downward. If it's higher, you should have more time to jump.
Practice drills on both forward and backward movements. You may want to experiment with your weight distribution to determine which one gives you best forward and backward agility. If your knees are too straight, as someone pointed out, you'd need to bend it more in order to generate more explosive power.
u can also experiment in standing "side" way, meaning the front foot, instead of pointing forward, u can point your foot 45% or more to the side. Some players find it easier to move backward, or push back with this stand. But I think it is more of moving and arching your body.
As for the swing, u can practice more on overhead swing, extreme low overhead swing, where your hand almost brush over the top of your head. This is un-orthodox, but I find it very helpful. You want to be able to hit the shuttle which has drop to your head's height (at your backhand side).
as everyone has already posted, it all comes down to your anticipation in both mind AND body
you have to be ready for both short and flick serves
not to make light of your situation, but i (as a right hander) also love to do this to a leftie when serving in the left court
and i'm also fully aware that a leftie can also do the same to me when he's serving to me in the right court
so mind and body preparation: bended knees in preparation, stand a little closer to the middle line, keep racket up at face level, split step when he serves, and EXPLODE from that position forward or backward once you've decided the direction of the serve
I use the flick serve a lot especially to the back hand side of left handed players but as others suggested its usually people who are small or crouched that handle it the best. If I mix it up with normal shorter serves then the opponent don't know when to expect it. Even top level players sometimes struggle against that serve because it is becoming more and more rare for players to do flick serves so they don't get practice with it. Left handers seem to struggle so much more than right handers for some reason.
Good advice from everybody.
I would say that putting your weight more centrally (in between the two feet) is better than on the front foot, because it allows you to be more ready for all possible serves.
In terms of distance from the centre line - if your backhand corner is down the centre, stand approximately 1 rackets length away from the centre line. If your forehand is down the centre, stand approximately one and a half rackets lengths from the centre line.
Bend the knees.
Boom. Take that shitty lifted serve!
One thing I would say about racket carriage though, is to keep the racket head no higher than the tape. If you hold your racket very high, you will be more prone to make errors when receiving a low driven serve or a tight short serve - you would have to drop your racket first in order to receive the low serve, or risk hitting downwards in to the net. Keep it at tape height, and then you can go forwards and attack whatever you want.
Hi everyone, I play doubles at a decent local league standard but I have one main weakness.
When i'm receiving a serve in the left side of the court, I keep getting beaten by a flick serve over my right shoulder down the middle line.
I stand to receive a serve with most of my weight on my front (non-racket)foot in order to step in and attack a short serve.
Any tips would be great.
hi, i'm a lefty and i struggle with the same thing for a long time and while you're smart enough to come here and ask. i was dumb enough to wait till someone saw what happened and gave me a pointer, and then i started watching tournaments and learned it the slow way.....anyway
what i do is, stand the same way you do, with right foot forward left foot back, 60/40 with more weight in the non racket foot, knees bent so that my eye level is a bit over the tape of the net. but the key that i found useful is that the handle of the racket is almost where my face is, and the racket head a bit over my eye level. of course the racket should be in front of you this whole time. this way, when they flick it to your right shoulder, your racket is close enough to rotate around, for an around-the-head return shot. almost 10 out of 10 when someone is trying to flick a fast one at low level by me, i can catch it either forehand, or around the head forehand on the right side. with this racket position, it will also allow you to jump on a short serve and a downward return which forces your opponent to lift in defense. and with this stance, with your knees bent, you're already in position to spring up or backward for a high flick serve. because it's around the head, it's a bit tricky and requires practice, but then so does every other shot