Think about all the lessons taken by players all over the world every day. What’s the primary focus? Forehands and backhands ad nauseam…
What is the LEAST practiced shot? It’s, without doubt, the return of serve…
Now. Answer this question. What’s the most common rally length (the mode) in our sport? It’s a ONE shot rally, which means that the serve went in and the return did not come back in play. FYI, rally length in tennis is all about the ball landing in the court – not the ball hitting the strings.
In the strategy course, The First Four Shots, the first chapter is called The Mode = 1. This is one of the most important statistics to know in our sport because it drives our decisions about where to dedicate our time on the practice court.
YES! We absolutely, positively need to work more on our return of serve!
Today I want to share with you a short five-minute video of me analyzing the return of serve on the Wimbledon Channel. The focus is on the important technical components of the return. Pay particular attention to the analysis of Roger Federer, where I compare the size of the backswing on his forehand return to his forehand groundstroke.
2018 Wimbledon Channel Video: Return Of Serve
0:00 – 1:30: The most common rally length in tennis is just one shot in the court.
1:30 – 2:21: Johanna Konta’s compact backswing.
2:21 – 2:32: Caroline Wozniacki contacting the return out in front of her body.
2:32 – 2:46: Yanina Wickmayer split-step timed to her opponent’s serve.
2:46 – 3:15: Roger Federer blocking his return.
3:15 – 3:56: Richard Berankis going backwards on his return of serve.
3:56 – 4:45: Thomas Fabbiano preparing the upper body first, rotating against the lower body.
Lots of takeaways for your own game!
All the best,
Roger Federer Practice With Tomas Berdych: 12.22 pm, June 26, 2015