Return Mastery: How to Handle Big Serves

Posted on Oct 10, 2013 in Return Lessons | 3 Comments


In a previous blog we discussed about the most important element related to your return. Focusing on the ball is mandatory and will allow you to react quickly and efficiently to hit a high quality return. What happens though if you face an opponent with a huge serve? A big server is always in advantage. He starts the point; therefore, if his serve is a big weapon, there is not much you can do besides hoping to hit a return back that will give you a chance to play out the point. In this case, focusing on the ball is not enough.
So, what can you do to give yourself a chance and hit a controlled return, when your opponent serves bombs at you? Just follow one very important tip:
The harder and faster your opponent’s serve the more you must shorten your backswing.
The shorter backswing:

  1. Offers you the much-needed time under those circumstances
  2. Allows you to block your opponent’s serve and use the ball’s speed as your only source of power
  3. Allows you to control the speed of the ball as well as the direction of your return
  4. Keeps your entire return technique under control

Next time you are facing a big server, shorten your backswing and give yourself more time to hit a higher quality return!
How do you handle hard-hit serves? Are you shortening your backswing? Did you enjoy the clip? Share with us your comments and thoughts below.


  1. jon
    April 1, 2014

    Another insightful video – I tend to pop the ball up high on hard serves (especially to my backhand) and I bet it’s because I’m not turning my shoulders. Also wanted to let you know how great the forehand master class is – I was taught that the wrist only should move in the radial deviation direction and so I was limited to very loopy shots. I actually argued with my coach and a few semi-famous online coaches who all said that the wrist stays lacked back – amazing that they are teaching like that when they themselves are probably using the wrist in the way you describe. Money well spent.

    • Vasilis Mazarakis
      April 1, 2014


      I am very happy that you enjoy the information of this blog as well as the content of the Forehand Master Class (FMC). Stay committed to the system within it, keep on working hard, and I am sure that you will be improving very quickly. As far as your return is concerned, as long as you focus on the ball and turn your shoulders immediately once your recognize the direction of the opponent’s serve, you will be on the right track to increasing the quality of your returns.

  2. sms lån
    April 13, 2014

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