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How to return the highest level of serve in doubles

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by phantan123, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. phantan123

    phantan123 Regular Member

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    Hi again,
    Before you guys think that these are like some of Kevin Sukamuljo's serves...they are NOT!!. In fact, they are probably even crazier and more weird. Sounds ridiculous i know, even i couldnt believe it was possible. But my coach is an absolute god when it comes to the doubles serve. He probably even has more tricks i havent seen yet.

    First of all, the doubles serve is usually done right at the service line at the middle of the court and is hit with the backhand grip.This concept is known to all players but my coach NEVER, i mean NEVER does that. Now, on to how it is done.

    His serves always start half a foot behind the service line, in the middle of the service area and with the FOREHAND grip (He rarely uses his backhand, this is why he usually plays doubles). When he is serving to the right side of the court he serves it in a way that the shuttle flies very quick and flat through a bit of the left court and goes to my backhand side. As you normally receive the serve close to the service line while standing in the middle, you absolutely CANNOT even hit the shuttle with your forehand let alone trying to do a push. This not only catches you off guard but also makes you return very WEAK pretty much ending the rally before it even started.

    At first i started dealing with it by standing way back to where you would serve in singles and right next to the middle court line.You'd think his tricks stop there but nah. The moment he sees me doing that, he stands to the right side of the court, this time closer to the service line, still with the FOREHAND grip makes a hairpin serve (pretty much a cross court net shot) to the front-right corner of my court. This is even harder to get as you MUST lunge forward and make a lift( if you can make it there) and his partner finishes it off with a smash again, finishing the rally before it started.

    When he is serving to left side of the court tho it is easier to receive but i still have to stand in a less attacking position but the point is the same: to not let anyone be able to attack the shuttle reliably. I dont know how or even where he learnt this from, are there like some ancient badminton gods secretly giving people special powers or something?! If you guys know how to deal with this, i'd be more than happy to hear you out.
     
  2. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Right side from the receiver's perspective?

    Imagine you're playing singles. Your opponent plays a shot from half a foot behind the service line and in an upward direction. If you are not off balance and in a ready position, you should never have trouble returning any of his possible shots from that position (if there is no deception involved).

    The serve you describe is exactly played like this, except your opponent has to hit the shuttle in a much smaller rectangle than the complete singles court. He is also limited in deception as the serve has to be played in one fluid motion. Realistically, there is no way you should be having trouble with this. The only way for him to get anything from this serve is to surprize you. But after you learn his repertoire of serves you should be able to cover it without too much trouble. Remember, the doubles service court is not big at all. If you're at your base position there is no corner on the service court that you can't reach easily.

    His flat serve, if you're ready for it can be either returned with a counter drive if it's really flat, or if you crouch a bit you can smash it back. For his cross short serve, return his serve to the open space and at the very least they have to get it from below the net. His positioning leaves a huge hole directly in front of you, so just return his short cross serve with a straight net shot.
     
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  3. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    You mentioned you tried a singles position further back, near the centreline. Have you tried taking a forward position near the centreline instead?

    If you look at a standard receiving position, it's on the front service line, in the middle of the box. Every trajectory that the server can play must pass within racquet reach of the receiver (other than a flick, but that moves slower). This is with the contacting the shuttle roughly along the centreline, at the front.

    If the serve is contacted towards the middle of the box, and is aimed to the rear centreline of the receiver, the the receiver cannot reach the shuttle within 1 racquet length because he is too far away.

    As you correctly identified, moving to the centreline corrects this problem - but crucially, why move backwards to the singles distance? By doing so, you correctly identify that the crosscourt position allows a trajectory of serve that is further than 1 racquet length away from you too!

    Therefore, the answer is stay forward, and move towards the centreline more, that way you cut off the ANGLES that you were previously giving away.

    Now the straight drive serve through the left side court is EXACTLY the same as if you both shifted 2 feet to the right, which is the standard serve scenario. As for the crosscourt - it now passes in front of you, so you can play a drive/push down the right, with extra angle to attack with.
     
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  4. phantan123

    phantan123 Regular Member

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    #4 phantan123, Jun 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  5. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    It's a serve. A serve is hit at 115 cm at its highest. Then it has to go over the net which is 155 cm. If the serve doesn't go in an upward direction, it doesn't go over the net. If a shot has to go up before it comes down it's nearly impossible to play a successful attacking shot if the opponent is ready. You don't see aces in badminton as you see them in tennis because in badminton you can't hit the serve in a downward direction. The fact that is has to go up before it comes down means the receiver has enough reaction time to play a good return.

    The way to handle drive serves is to crouch and hit them with an overhead/ around-the-head motion.
     
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  6. phantan123

    phantan123 Regular Member

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    Oh yeah, my bad ://. But still hitting the shuttle in that position is still going to be pretty hard tho even if you generally know where its going to go
     
  7. llrr

    llrr Regular Member

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    It sounds like you need to practice your explosiveness when returning serves. This kind of server along with servers standing near tramlines only work for intermediate players. If you have the explosiveness to push off you can stand anywhere to receive a serve. For example, a player here serves forehand and he likes to flick towards the centreline or towards the short tramline corner. I just stand right at the service line as with receiving any other serve.
     
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  8. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Regular Member

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    ^this!

    It's a neat trick to use against beginners and mess with the rhythm of intermediates, but once you are able to move quickly and drive or even smash his flick and push his cross-court low serve it always becomes a disadvantage for the server. Flick - you will smash it and he will be in the defense from the get go. Cross-court low - opens up the whole court. His partner then has to cover the faster long-line push, while becoming vulnerable to the cross-flick.
     
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