Returning against a serve-and-volley player can be a difficult task, mostly because this type of opponent possesses a good court coverage knowledge, has a great serve (some of them are masters at spinning the ball), and because the following rally is played at a faster pace due to the short distance between the baseline and net players.
The following tips will help you understand how to play and eventually control the point against this aggressive player:
– When serving with the intention of moving up to the net, the server takes some pace off of the serve so they can have more time to get closer to the net. Considering the slower serve, you will have more time to step into the ball and attack it either cross-court or short into the service court (to the server’s feet).
– You will have to hit the ball aggressively to counteract the spin that is usually imparted on the serve by the approaching player. A smart serve-and-volley player knows that a spin serve will buy them more time to advance and is more difficult to control by the returner. You, as the returner, should not try to block the serve as the player charges the net. Contact should be made early and hit through it with confidence to counteract the spin.
– Don’t rush into finishing the point too early – avoid going for winners on the first two shots. Build the point to where you get the net player either off-balance, stretching, or to you getting a short ball.