Mark your calendars for the final grand slam of the year, the US Open in New York, held Aug 28-Sept 10. The pros are preparing right now on the hard courts in the US Open series.
Because the hard courts are a fast surface, we need good foot speed, agility, quick eyes and hands, great serves and service returns. So I thought I would focus on return of serve – the rituals and techniques that are key to a great return!
The best returners in the game do a few important moves:
#1 They take a walking step forward right before they split step. This move gives them forward movement before they split on their toes.
#2 Their split step happens as the server makes contact with the ball and helps the returner track and react to the serve.
#3 After the split step, their next (lead) step is with the foot closet to the incoming ball, followed by their other foot stepping in with the hit – efficient and balanced.
#4 A short backswing when returning a fast serve creates a more consistent, clean, early hit and may surprise an over-confident server.
Here are a few of the best returners in the game, past and present…Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray.
I hope you get a chance to watch some US Open matches – watch the pros return serve and work on it with your game!!! Contact Mindy Oki to work on your service return!