When you’re returning a serve in doubles, your main goal should be to keep the person on the other side of the net from returning a winning shot. Brian Kiggans, head golf pro at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center, says you should always view the return serve as a set-up shot.
To do this effectively, you need a plan. “You should already know where you are wanting the return to be directed before your opponent serves the ball,” says Kiggans. “You should have a plan on the forehand side and on the backhand side (or the same for both).”
According to Kiggans, you have three main choices when returning:
1) Back to the server
2) Toward the net person
3) Lob over the net person
“For example, if John Doe is serving to me, I have preprogrammed my mind that if the ball comes to my forehand I am going to return crosscourt back to the server. If it comes to my backhand, I am going lob over the net person,” says Kiggans. “This is my plan and I am sticking with it no matter what is happening on the other side of the net. If the serve is really difficult to handle and I can’t execute my plan, I just do my best to get the ball back in play.”
You should also plan the action you’re going to take after the return is made as to whether you are going to the net or staying back. Says Kiggans, “For example, I have planned to return crosscourt if the ball comes to my forehand and follow it to the net if it comes to my backhand. I am going down the line and staying back.”
In conclusion, planning ahead is one of the most important things you can do when returning serve and in life!
Get more information Hilton Head tennis clinics and lessons on our website or by calling us at 866-650-4130.