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    Default Third Shot Advice

    Hi all,

    There is a player at one of my clubs who hits the same return off of almost every serve. He hits a drive towards my left shoulder (I am right-handed), although it sometimes comes in at head hight. It usually lands in if I leave it. The problem is that it is really awkward to deal with this shot due to where it comes at me. It is awkward to play a lift, and if I try to drive down his forehand he kills it most times.

    What should I do?

    Thanks,
    C

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    This is in doubles, by the way

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    Variation is the key.

    Here are some possible returns:
    - deep lift
    - flat lift
    - cross-drop (rarely and only if he anticipates the straight reply)
    - drive
    - smash (if the shot is not too flat)

    Also you could try to adjust your position if he keeps playing the same shot over and over again. If you are in a good position the drive/smash is the best option, in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob3rt View Post
    Variation is the key.

    Here are some possible returns:
    - deep lift
    - flat lift
    - cross-drop (rarely and only if he anticipates the straight reply)
    - drive
    - smash (if the shot is not too flat)

    Also you could try to adjust your position if he keeps playing the same shot over and over again. If you are in a good position the drive/smash is the best option, in my opinion.
    I agree.
    I think if you expect him to play that shot, be ready for it and drive it right back.

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    Vary your serve. Leave the reply for your partner. Practice your serve - it's probably too high

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    If he can get a drive off of most of your serves:
    - Improve your serve! It sounds like it's too high.
    - Vary your serve, learn to flick and drive serve; you don't need to use them constantly, just enough to get them to back off of rushing your serve.
    - Vary your serve placement, learn to serve to the T and to the outside corners on low serves.

    As for drive rallies:
    - If you can't switch your grip fast enough, focus on returning it any way possible.
    - Don't be afraid to drop down into a more defensive position with lowered knees to get the flat push
    - In drive rallies, try to get on top of the shuttle to drive the shuttle downwards, the aim here is to get them to lift it high enough to smash or kill
    - Vary your shot placement and make them reach for it, I like to put the shuttle to different sides to make them reach out for it. Pressure them!

    Both of these are really easy to improve and work on. Serves, you can work on solo. Get a box of shuttles and practise practise practise. Drives, find yourself a partner. Because the rallies are flat and fast, you can rapidly practise these shots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amleto View Post
    Vary your serve. Leave the reply for your partner. Practice your serve - it's probably too high
    I think his partner is serving and the opponent (receiver) drives it towards his backhand side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob3rt View Post
    I think his partner is serving and the opponent (receiver) drives it towards his backhand side.
    Yeah, that's how I took it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob3rt View Post
    I think his partner is serving and the opponent (receiver) drives it towards his backhand side.
    I thought this as well. The key is to be stand face on the net, hold the racquet in a backhand grip and keep the racquet head in front of the body with the racket head held at above hip height.

    As you hit the shuttle, you have to sway the body a bit to get the optimal hitting distance from your body. You then have options to push down the line or back cross court.

    Try to get the shuttle to have a fairly flat trajectory across the net. Aim for 6inches above the net. The opponent would have to be quite good to kill at that height. More often a net shot or a lift will be played so you can prepare for those replies.

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    OP could be the server, or the server's partner. Either way. Best is if OP could clarify.

    In any case, someone needs to check the server's serve quality and variations.

    If OP is the server, he may need to step back immediately, and raise racket up to drive back.
    If OP is server's partner, Cheung's suggestion with preparation stance and grip are what I'd do too, maybe holding the racket even higher still, depending on the anticipated shot hit. I'd block to either side, rather than trying to do too much to it. When the oncoming shot is fast, it's not easy to generate enough power to drive back.

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    Like most people here, I'm not entirely sure of the exact situation.

    If the serve is to the 't' and the return is to a rear corner, the default response is down the line to the opposite rear corner. If the returner then over-commits to covering down-the-line, then the cross-block comes into play.

    However, it sounds like the return is relatively central. In that case, any 3rd shot to the sides is going to be slow and/or narrow to the receiver, who is good at kills.

    I agree that the receiver is probably getting the better of the server, especially if they are able to hit flat or down. If that is the case, your only viable 3rd shot is a defensive lift.

    If the return is coming through at head-height, the server's partner may be able to smash. Smashing centrally is not an awful option, because your opposition will be equally unable to play to the sides.

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    After 16 hours, the OP hasn't been back to check

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    After 16 hours, the OP hasn't been back to check
    tsk tsk, mabye he has read it, but hasn't responded

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    Quote Originally Posted by Line & Length View Post
    However, it sounds like the return is relatively central. In that case, any 3rd shot to the sides is going to be slow and/or narrow to the receiver, who is good at kills.
    Not sure why that is the case. If the block is flat (not the floating ones), and away from the center, I think it's an option the OP can (and should) try. If you (or the OP) are playing at a very high level, then I'm sure... I'm not at that level. But then if this is the case, I suppose the OP won't come here to ask for suggestions.

    My personal experience is that receiver most likely would be unable to move for a split second after the rush. So as long as you don't send the return back to him, it's probably fine.

    A crammed lift with difficulty in generating the needed power would result in a poor lift, which leads to another problem.

    Obviously, prevention is better. This gets us back to the quality and variety of the serves.

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