placed serve is the first step in hitting an effective first
volley. The server must be able to move the serve and hit it
deep as a means of increasing the difficulty of the return.
Once the serve is placed, you must play the percentages with
your route towards the net. Finally, the first volley must be
strategically placed to gain the upper hand in the point.
a majority of the serves are hit to the inside corner of the
service box. A serve hit to the inside corner of the deuce court
is hit to the backhand side for right-handed players while a
serve to the inside corner of the ad court is hit to the forehand
side for right-handed players. (Diagram One)
of the serve to the inside corner minimizes the angle of possible
returns for the returning player. This makes it easier for the
server and net player to anticipate where the return will be
hit, which in turn makes it easier for the serving team to be
in position to hit a drive as a backhand volley.
other hand, serves that are hit to the outside corner can be
returned with a much wider angle, giving the returner more options.
In addition, serves hit to the outside corner are often driven
at the net player, thus putting the serving team in a compromising
position. Typically, the ball is served to the outside corner
as a change of pace or if this is the returning player's weakness.
the serve and volley are usually considered to be a tactical
unit, the recommended grip for the first volley is the continental
grip. Since this is also the recommended grip for the serve,
no adjustment is necessary.
there is a sense of urgency in getting to the net, the server
should move to the net under control. This will allow him to
be balanced when they hit the first volley. In other words,
the server should move to the net in a manner that will prevent
him from lunging to hit the first volley. Because many of the
first volleys will be hit below the height of the net, the face
of the paddle should be opened slightly.
of caution for tennis players - there is not enough time to
turn the shoulders when hitting a volley, as is often done on
a tennis volley. There is minimal, if any, swing and the contact
point is in front of the body.
a tactical standpoint, the first volley is simple. It should
be hit deep in the back-court, within three feet of the baseline.
In addition, the first volley should be hit in the middle third
of the court. A first volley that is hit low and to the middle
of the court will reduce the angle of possible returns for the
returning team. In addition, it may cause confusion because
it is possible for either of the back-court players to hit.
(Diagram One and Diagram Two)