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The serve is one of the first shots that every player learns, not only does it start every game, tactically if you have a superior serve than your opponent then you can control the game.

So taking all this into consideration, how you return a serve is equally important. It could be the deciding factor who has dominance and control. When returning a serve you cannot control what type of shot is going to get hit at you, therefore you have to be prepared to face almost anything.

This blog intends to give you four tips that might help you with this dilemma.

Positioning On Court

Where you stand will often dictate what kind of return you can hit. You should definitely adjust your position when facing a second serve. If you are positioned slightly behind the baseline when the first service is delivered then it gives you the possibility of moving forward towards the ball, and also more time to react.

The second serve is generally slower and with more spin, in this case you need to be closer to the ball and not moving too much.

Forward Movement

This tip is really centered around footwork, and will help your over timing when it comes to return a serve. It is really important when making a split step to first take a forward step, as this will move you closer to the ball. This will then put you in a far better position to hit the ball cleanly and with the correct technique.

Split Step

The split step when returning the serve is all about timing. Study the server and when they are about to actually hit the ball you should be in the air. The perfect split step landing is just when the ball crosses the net, and you will be in a perfect position to hit your return.

Back Swing

Any tennis shot is about preparation, and it is crucial on the first serve. Because most first serves are hit with a lot of pace you need to make your back swing as short as possible.

By doing this you will then be hitting the ball on the rise, giving you a better chance of hitting the ball out front and upwards.In doubles this gives you the opportunity to hit the return low at the servers feet should he try to rush to the net.

The further you take the racket back to return a fast serve the more likely you are to hit late and pop the ball up. This will put you on the defensive in the point as soon as the serve is delivered.