Hi,i`ve been playing for approx. a year now and fell I`m a reasonable standard player and I know this will be a personal preference this but I`m curious where other players aim when short back hand serving, for example if I`m serving I try to drop the serve just inside the recievers court where the front and centre line meet but I feel other than making them hit up I could possibly do with aiming elsewhere to make it harder for them to return, what do think/do?
standard is straight at the T like you said, the other one is out wide, this is particularly good in some XD situations when you can serve from behind your partner to hide the direction of the shot. Gotta be warned though as it can put you in a tight spot if your footwork/shot reading isn't reliable as the return can be a lot quicker than serving to the T just due to the location of the straight lift that usually follows where it naturally will push to the corner. I personally try and keep that to when i'm serving so that they will be forced to receive the wide serve on their back hand. Other than that, I personally have a preference in MD when i'm serving to serve occasionally just straight at the player, not often mind you, but it helps to mix up the serve as well as can get the opponent in a bit of a tangle when they try to attack the serve as the shuttle can go a lot closer to them compared to serving for the side lines. Another one is a friend's personal favourite works best in XD and MS when your serving from a few paces behind the front service line, is to give it a push, so that it doesn't go the full height of a flick serve and lands slightly shorter in length, but has the benefit of serving to a mid court area with a low push that travels quite quick and is quite good to get your opponent off balance especially when their receiving such that their back hand is to the centre of the court. I have to say though that this is a very intriguing question and I'd love to hear if anyone else has their own targets to aim at.
For me, I find a very effective area to target is just between the cheek and shoulder on the racket side. It makes it difficult for the receiver do decide and change grip whether to take it forehand or backhand.
The most important thing is variation, so that the receiver can't anticipate so easily. Also pay attention to how the receiver prefers to hold the racket, whether fore or backhand. Then you just serve a few inches towards the other side.
On top of varying serve target, communicate with your partner. If you both know what's coming, then you can set up for the return.
For example, if you're low serving out wide, your partner knows to look for the down-the-line drive/block responses. You can then concentrate on the x-court drive. This can help you & your partner to take the 3rd shot a shade early, which makes you more likely to win the attack and hence the rally.
Variety is good, but add intelligence to it. What serves does each of your opponents return well? What return do they tend to play? If you can work out which serve/returns your opponents are uncomfortable playing, you can force more lifts out of them.
Done well, this takes pressure off your serve and puts it onto your opponents return. If you're able to win a few points in a row this way, you gain a massive advantage in the set.