The lefty tennis players are just different enough to create a little chaos for your return of serve and tactics during point play. Even so, there are some tips and tactics that will help you come out on top in the chaos of a lefty serve. The following are ways you can alleviate the advantage that a left-handed server may have:
Tactic 1 – Move to your left and a step forward on the return of serve to help protect against the lefty hooking serve into your body.
Tactic 2 – Move in on the return of serve. By moving forward you will cut off more angles needing to cover less of the court.
Tactic 3 – Slice more returns. A shorter backswing will limit the chance of misjudging the spin of their serve.
Tactic 4 – Return cross court, this limits the distance necessary to recover to cover the majority of the court.
Tactic 5 – Lob more returns, this creates more time to recover from their wide serve and slows down the pace of the point.
Tactic 6 – Shade more towards the ad side of the court, this will help protect your backhand from the lefty forehand. If they do hit down the line it is more obtainable to hit a running forehand cross court changing the direction of the rally to your forehand and their backhand.
Tactic 7 – Crowd the service line on the return, this tactic should be reserved for if their serve is really causing you trouble. Being so close challenges the strength of their serve and gets in their head a little.
Tactic 8 – Serve to exit targets -1 & 4 more often to establish their backhand to your forehand rallies.
Tactic 9 – Forehand approach shots with a short low slice to create more high volleys.
Here are some key things to keep in mind while implementing these different tactics that will act as a guide to help you understand when and how to use them.