Challenge: A Pair of Deep Balls

A deep serve makes it harder for returners to establish themselves at the non-volley zone and a deep return means your opponents can do less damage with their third shot. What is tricky, however, is to hit a deep return after receiving a deep serve. That’s what this challenge is all about.

Goal: To be able to send a deep return after receiving a deep serve.

Purpose: To not let an opponent’s high-quality serve result in a poor return from you.

Method: Place a pylon or other object 5ft from the baseline on both the odd and even courts and do so on both sides of the net. The server hits her serve and tries to land it between the pylon and the baseline. The returner tries to send a return between the pylon and baseline. After 10 serves and returns have been hit, record how many ‘pairs’ were earned. Switch roles and repeat.

Equipment: Pylons or other objects.

Adaptations: Make the challenge harder by placing the pylons closer to the baseline. Make it easier by moving it farther from the baseline. Make the challenge harder by hitting the serve and return faster.

Notes: Players tend to find this drill much easier if when returning serve, they are standing well behind the baseline. The additional time to set up is valuable.

A Pair of Deep Balls


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