Footwork on the Return of Serve
by Head Professional, Kelly Parker

A good return of serve can give any player an advantage.  It is one of the most important shots to learn and master in the game.  There are several things to keep in mind when returning serve.

  1. Go forward. The importance of going forward and meeting the ball is key to a good return of serve.  As your opponent enters their service motion, you should be taking a step forward.  Right as your opponent contacts the ball, that is the the time for you to split step.
  2. Turn Your Shoulders. Once you make your split step, your next move is to turn your shoulders.  This will allow your racket to get into the correct spot without much movement.  If your opponent has a powerful serve, you will not have time to take a large backswing.  Keep it compact.
  3. Step with your outside foot first. If the ball is angling away from you, you will want to take a step with your outside foot first to the ball.  This will allow you to hit an open stance shot and keep a good base before making contact.
  4. Have a Target. Give yourself a target that is at least 3 feet inside the lines.  This will give you a good buffer make a solid shot, but also keep the ball in play if your opponent hits a good serve.