Let’s add the return approach to your repertoire.
Approaching the net is a winning strategy. It typically delivers a winning percentage right around 65% at Grand Slams across all surfaces.
Think about that for a second. If you go to the net three times, you win two. That’s legit.
The best way to approach the net from the back of the court is with a forehand approach shot to the backhand passing shot. It’s all about taking time away and rushing the pass.
There is also another way to come forward, and I bet you hardly (if ever) use it.
It’s the return approach, and when done well, is a highly effective way to win the point AND ramp up pressure on the opponent. Do you want to change the momentum of a match and become the aggressor? Throw in a few return approaches and its mission accomplished.
Take a look at the video below of Alexei Popyrin practicing the return approach in Marbella, Spain, as part of our 2022 pre-season camp.
Return Approach Drill
- Think about attacking the ball much more with your feet than your racket.
- Really important to have “active feet” which equals lots of little steps to adjust to the kick or slice of the serve.
- The length of the swing needs to be short. Use the power of the serve and redirect it back to the server.
- Your primary target area is straight down the middle of the court. You are aiming at a big target and also giving the server the least amount of angle to pass you.
- As you see in the video above, it’s a great idea to feed a volley to make it a two-shot combo.
We are always looking to add something to our game. I think the return approach is an ideal strategy to help you reach the next level.
All the best,