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  1. #1
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    Question Legal/illegal serve?

    I was playing double in a club and really frustruated when there was this guy make a really weird serve to me which I can hardly return.

    I am going to attach a picture in order to make it easier to explain.

    I normally get ready in the mid of the court to receive a serve. While my partner likes to stand all the way back of the court to get ready. However, this guy (my opponent) who was serving would stand at point A and hit the shuttle pass through my partner's court and dropped at point B. The shuttle didnt even pass through my side of court at all until it dropped. By the time I reached to the back court, I was force to return the serve using my backhand and returned it high.

    Let's say if my partner was standing at the middle court to get ready, I bet the shuttle will hit my partner first.

    Do you think this is a legal or illegal serve?
    How can I return his serve without using my backhand?
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    Yes, it is a legal serve if the shuttle's final landing place is within your court. One way of dealing with this kind of serve is to turn your body so that you are kind of facing the server and stand a step or under a step from the T.

    The server will have three options. (a) as you describe which is probably the most common (to attach your backhand); (b) cross court short serve; and (c) back left corner. Both (b) and (c) do not attack your backhand but you need to be aware of the possibility so that you don't get caught out of position.

    To deal with (a) which is most likely going to be a drive serve (i.e. to get the shuttle over you quickly), you can use a round the head smash/drive back at the server or drop it cross court back to front where he and his partner have a long ways to go.

    If your reaction time is too late, you will be forced to use your backhand (which is the intended result from the serve). If this is the case, cross court drop it.

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    First of all, this is a prefectly legal serve. Fortunately for you it is also a very risky one for the server (not to say stupid), as it can easily attacked by the receiver:

    Stand as close to the middle line as possible when you receive it, and position yourself a little further back than usual (by the way, if you stand mid-court when receiving the serve in doubles that is considered very far back). By doing this, you should be able to jump sideways and intercept the shuttle and drive it back with a round-the-head forehand shot, or even better, do a fast drop to the net on his backhand side. He will have a hard covering that, and so will his partner, and he probably won't try that serve again on you...

    If he is serving REALLY high you won't be able to jump and intercept the serve, but on the other hand the shuttle will be in the air longer so you will have enough time to back up and attack the shuttle (or drop it again).

    If the server decides to "trick" you and do a short diagonal serve to your forehand, he is really in trouble too: the shuttle will have a long way to travel, and all you have to do is take two steps forward and push it over the net at his backhand side.

    This serve can cause some confusion initially and might win a few points, but is a strategic disaster: it means that the server is leaving most of the net area wide open to attack.

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    Default Too late again

    Oops, WWC beat me to it!

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    Default Why do people use this serve?

    I've seen people use this service method before and it never works in the long run. Yes, the first time one would get surprised by the serve and probably lose the first point. Of course, they will try it again. Your opponent has too much court to cover after he serves which you would win the point. Like Winex West described, you have lots of options to play this serve. I usually just drop it to his backhand side close to the net which he has to scramble to play a defensive shot. My other shot would be to smash it back to him. Remember, have your partner move up close to the T, since, you are receiving this type of serve so he can cover the front and you cover the back after the serve.

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    this type of serve usually effective against beginners up to mid intermediate but not against better players. It is not deceptive enough because the receiver know what the server is gonna do. The serving side is left with lot of open unprotected court space, a position that i like my opponent to be in the first place. Sorry if i had repeated some points made by other already.
    Last edited by cooler; 05-21-2002 at 01:55 PM.

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    Thanks all for your help. I will try it out tomorrow!

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    Hey guys, my old doubles partner used to serve from this position on purpose. He did this because, well to put it bluntly, to p*ss our opponents off.

    I have a new doubles partner now and whenever i play against my old partner(Dan), these are the 2 main shots i normally do. Coz Dan's new partner always stands at the back. Coz he expects the lift, however by putting the shot to either C or D. We get the oppotunity to smash 1st. if you put it to D, the back player sort of expects that so he rushes in to scoop it up. If put to C, the server will need to play some form of short lift, either way, we get to smash 1st. The best way to counter this kind of serve.

    But just as importantly, keep a cool head.
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    It is definitely clearer to explain with picture attached than just using our imagination.

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    I call this the 'old mans serve.' Pretty much any shot you do places the opposition on the defensive. In doubles I like to dare the opposition to flick or serve high to me. My standard tactic is to target the server with all the power I can. That way they stop flicking, allowing me to attack their low serve even more. Obviously you need to mix these thing up, but intimidation works well in this game.

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    Some sound advice - as always But just a word of warning about smashing back at the server. IMHO the server is likely to be expecting such a reply as it is the natural shot due to your likely body position if you're not quick enough to get right behind the shuttle. In my experience your partner is unlikely to have moved to the net position and you are likely to be slightly off balance. The front half of court you have just vacated will therefore be vulnerable to a cross court drop. So smash wisely. They'll be expecting a weakish smash and will be practiced at dealing with it. Just a thought.

    By the way excellent explanatory pictures everyone.

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    Other options that I've found successful to counter this kind of serve, that has not been mentioned yet, is the backhand drive.

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    Originally posted by jayes
    Other options that I've found successful to counter this kind of serve, that has not been mentioned yet, is the backhand drive.
    Do you have to reposition your feet or change your receiving stance for such a shot?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by Cheung


    Do you have to reposition your feet or change your receiving stance for such a shot?
    Yes, instead of the regular left foot forward (right handed), it will be my right-foot forward - thus becomes a backhand stance (hmmm, if there such a term?).

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