You have perfected your serve and just delivered it, so what is the next step? Of course you have to be ready for your opponent’s return. Most players are already formulating shots in their heads, be it a slice or something deep. But this is a common mistake people make.
What To Do First
Firstly watch and see if your serve goes where you intended it to go, and then get prepared for your next shot. There are a couple of inherent problems that some players have with preparing for their next shot.
The first is that they wait to see if the serve has landed in court before getting ready, and the second is that the server is often slightly off balance after serving and has still not properly recovered.
- Seeing If Your Ball Goes In –
Don’t hang around to see if your ball has landed in play or not, you will be slow in reacting to your opponent’s return if you do so. You need to prepare yourself quickly, get your balance back and buy yourself more time for your next shot.
Practice with your tennis coach hitting a serve and moving straight away not dwelling to see if it lands in or not. If you do this exercise regularly will keep you on your toes and keep you alert.
- Regain Your Balance –
Once you have mastered the above you need to address the composure of balance. Practice serving and moving back about to just behind the baseline. This will not ensure total balance but if you move smoothly it will help a great deal. Practice this move so it is a natural reaction to serving.
Which is the most likely shot you elect to play after serving? If you are thinking like this then you are not thinking correctly. It depends on many factors:
- What type of shot does your opponent have difficulty with?
- How fatigues are you?
- Do you want to put pressure on your opponent with a power shot?
- Do you wish to lob him if he rushes the net?
- Are you in a position to play the shot you want?
Depending on your circumstances will more or less dictate your shot, as you advance the shot will almost be pure reaction.
There are certain factors that will more or less dictate your selection such as the position you are in. If you find yourself in a defensive position, a slice shot can keep you in the game till you recover. A slice shot is fairly easy to play and will give you more time to recover for your next shot.
If you find that you have not been placed under pressure, then you might want to play an attacking shot such as a drive. If you have a topspin or flat shot in your armoury then either of these would make a fine selection.
The top and bottom of it all is firstly get your balance, then react to your opponent’s return with the appropriate shot selection.