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  1. #1
    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Default How to return slice serve

    Slice serves really annoy me and I even got aced by one the other day by trying to be very aggressive at it, it looped past my racquet! What's the best response to it?

    a) very aggreessive, take it at it's heighest point and make the server eat it. I assume this is the correct response but I'm too slow for it so I run the risk of just diving in and get flick served or catching it wrong and hitting it into the net by misjudging the slice.

    b) let it drop and see where it goes? Seems wrong but if it starts going short it might be easy points for me and put the server off. Although every low serve I ever leave goes in and I look silly. The lack of speed makes it harder to return it to the net I think.

    c) my usual respose of taking it about shoulder height and pushing it flat and wide to mid or back court. I find with the spin it tends to drop shorter so I am more likely to get to it later and need to lift it, which I know I should try not to do.

    Thoughts welcome. I will accept "try harder" and "do better" as answers
    Last edited by DuckFeet; 03-27-2013 at 11:18 AM. Reason: formatting

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    what you mean by "slice" service?

    generally speaking, in doubles: you never lift the return, you always try to take it as aggressive and as early as possible. that might be a net kill, drop or soft-flat push between the server and his partner.

    if you're too slow: "try harder" and "do better"...

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    It wobbles and arcs in flight, so taking it at the highest point risks hitting the side/feathers. If i wait until it flies normally it so low that I can only lift reliably. I'll try and use the slow/awkward flight to my advantage to take the pace out of my return for a nasty netshot.

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    Be positive, lunge forwards quickly (quicker than normal) and use very soft hands to guide the shuttle to the midcourt or turn your racket at the last moment to drop it with a sharp angle back to the net. Never rush forwards unless you can cover flicks properly. Just take it earlier! Even if it is below the height of the net, you can still easily push it flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFeet View Post
    It wobbles and arcs in flight, so taking it at the highest point risks hitting the side/feathers.
    This kind of serve is extremely difficult to make consistent. Watch out for serves that may be falling short!

    It can be difficult to make a clean contact, but the reduction in serving accuracy should compensate for this. Concentrate on reaching the shuttle early and playing a simple shot. Do not aim for ultra-accurate drives towards the corners, as these could easily go out.

    As you mentioned, soft shots such as net shots and pushes can be effective against this type of serve. If you're worried about losing control, aim your shots into the centre of the court. This is very effective if you can take the shuttle while it is above net height -- and the inherent inaccuracy in this serve may give you the chance to do just that!

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Had the replay match last week, so facing the same guy. I wasnt fast enough to the net (will try standing further forward) so I went with a really horrible slice clear to return his serve. His partner at the back played some horrible mis-hits so at my amateur level it went ok. That and I stopped caring once I'd hit a flick serve over his head which he didn't even bother trying to return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFeet View Post
    It wobbles and arcs in flight, so taking it at the highest point risks hitting the side/feathers. If i wait until it flies normally it so low that I can only lift reliably. I'll try and use the slow/awkward flight to my advantage to take the pace out of my return for a nasty netshot.
    wobbles in flight? then it is probably an illegal serve!

    A return that gives you arguably the biggest room for error is a push straight back at the server - the aim is to make it too fast for the server to react to, and yet annoying short for the service partner. This does rely on you striking relatively close to the net, though.
    Last edited by amleto; 04-16-2013 at 03:42 PM.

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    wobbles, changes direction in that the cork pointed every which way in flight. There were a couple that sounded like there was no cork contact at all but I don't call foul serves at my level of play. Also watching professionals makes me think half of their serves are illegally high/racquet pointing up so I don't think I am a good service judge. I'd rather play than argue about a wonky serve anyway. I remember saying on the night that I wanted the guy to eat my return of serve but that didn't happen, we hit a good many winning smahes at him though so that was close enough.

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    On a serve, the shuttle must hit the cork first. It's difficult to tell sometimes when the feathers and cork are struck so closely together. If the feathers are hit first, then this is a foul serve.

    I'd quite like to see this serve. There was one type where the shuttle is held almost upside down and the feathers struck first slicing across.

    I did experiment with another variation - not as effective as the original. Perhaps I should bring that serve out again!

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    It was not 100% but there was a lot of feather contact given how many shuttles we got through due to them being abused from the serve. I definitely heard at least 1 or 2 feather-first illegal serves.

    It certainly is weird: flick the shuttle up slightly with left hand (to hit feathers first) then awkward jab like a spinning net shot but forwards not sideways. You may bring that serve out again AND SHOOT IT.

    At least this has prompted me to stand further forward so I may end up being better at service return from this

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    From the description, it sounds like a fault.

    However, it is possible to make the shuttle spin, wobble, or tumble without breaking the service laws. You can slice across the base of the shuttle.

    Still, the most erratic and effective of spinning serves require the feathers to be sliced first (i.e. they are a fault).

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