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Spanish tennis great reveals his five top tips on how to improve your serve


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The return of serve can make a huge difference in winning or falling behind in the game – and now one of the game’s great warriors has given his tips on how you can take your game to the next level.

Former world No 3 David Ferrer has offered up some advice on mastering one of the fundamental skills on the tennis court, with your serve the core shot that your game can be built around.

Some of the best players of all-time have established their legends around booming serves, with Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic and Peter Sampras among those who won the Wimbledon title with the help of a power-packed serve.

Ferrer was more associated with his brilliant return of serves and his gutsy retrieving from the back of the court, but he had an underrated serve that helped him to reach the quarter-finals of all four Grand Slams, including an appearance in the 2013 French Open final against Rafael Nadal.

Here, Wilson ambassador Ferrer gives his five basic tips for returning in tennis, making sure every serve you face becomes a chance to gain an advantage:


Returning a serve in tennis is about anticipation, preparation, and execution. With David Ferrer’s help, players of all levels can improve their skills to make every return count.

Remember, each return is a chance to assert your presence on the court and shift the momentum in your favour. Watch the whole video to see Ferrer show these principles in action. Be confident on the court and ready to challenge every serve.

Mastering Positioning

The essence of an effective return starts with how and where you position yourself on the court. Ferrer emphasizes the need for a stance that allows you to move forward, enabling you to hit the ball with strength and precision. Proper positioning is the bedrock upon which you can build your return game.

Strategic Placement

Knowing where to stand is about reading your opponent. Ferrer advocates analyzing your opponent’s serving patterns to anticipate the serve’s direction. This understanding helps you change your position for the best effect, making sure you’re prepared to return strongly.

The Importance of Grip

A versatile grip can significantly enhance your return game. Ferrer, who favours a two-handed backhand, suggests a western grip for its adaptability. This is a grip where the base knuckle of the index finger and the heel pad of the hand are placed on the third bevel of the racket handle, allowing for maximum topspin on shots. The western grip ensures you can swiftly switch between forehand and backhand, allowing for quicker responses and more effective returns.

Developing Intuition

An acute sense of anticipation is your best ally. Ferrer believes it is crucial to observe your opponent’s serving technique.

This includes paying attention to where and how they toss the ball and their stance. By doing this, you can predict the direction of the ball. This intuition is crucial for positioning yourself correctly and preparing for an effective return.

Perfecting Timing and Ball Control

Timing is crucial for hitting the ball accurately. Ferrer stresses the importance of striking the ball in front of your body to maintain control and direct the play. Timing is important for strategic returns, allowing you to control the pace instead of just reacting to it.

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