The Return Swing

Bill Tym

What are the swing characteristics on the return?

In the first two articles in this series we looked at six components in developing a great return. In the first article we looked at consistency combined with accuracy, the position of the racquet head, and watching the ball properly. (Click Here.)

In the second article we examined flexibility, shot selection and the split step (Click Here.) Now let's look at the actual path of the racket, including both the backswing and the forward swing.

Rotate and Bend

I use the phrase "Rotation and a Bend" to describe the return backswing. As you come down from the split-step and read the direction of the serve you rotate your upper body on both the forehand and on the backhand.

That rotation takes the racket back to approximately the unit turn position. That is all the backswing you need to return a serve hit with good speed--assuming your return position is not far back.

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Bill Tym, a USPTA Master Professional and past USPTA national president, has been involved in tennis as a coach, player and administrator for half a century. He coached the Vanderbilt University men's tennis team to its first NCAA tournament. As a player, Tym was a Southeastern Conference singles champion at the University of Florida. He also competed on the international tour and won 10 national and international titles.

As executive director of USPTA, Tym helped create a standardized certification test. Tym was named USPTA Professional of the Year in 1982, College Coach of the Year in 1989, and Touring Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2002. He also received the George Bacso Lifetime Achievement Award from the USPTA in 2001 and the International Tennis Hall of Fame Tennis Educational Merit Award in 1981.

Bill wishes to acknowledge Tennisplayer founding investor Ed Weiss’s help in preparing this article.

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