The returning serve should not be treated like a groundstroke swing – the ball from your opponent’s serve travels faster and you’ll have less time to react to it.
Therefore, when I teach the return of serve, I tell my students to imagine they have a wall or fence behind them. In this way, they should avoid taking the racquet back, otherwise, they’ll hit it against the imaginary fence/wall. A slight shoulder turn and abbreviated backswing should be enough to handle fast-coming serves (see picture below).
Shorten your backswing by imagining yourself returning the serve while having a wall/fence behind your back. That will help you make contact with the fast-coming ball further in front of you.
Enjoy your tennis!
Certified Tennis Coach
Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.