On Short Serves to the Forehand, Challenge the Forehand, Go Down the Line
Assuming two right-handers play, a common rally starts with a short serve to the forehand. Many receivers don’t understand the strategies in receiving this shot. The two main things to think about are this: First, if the receiver goes crosscourt, he has the long diagonal to go after (10.3 feet, instead of 9 feet down the line), as well as a wide angle. Therefore, if he attacks the serve (by flipping), he should usually go crosscourt. Second, because of the threat of this crosscourt wide-angle attack, the server has to guard the wide forehand angle. So the receiver should often fake this shot, and at the last second go down the line, to the usually weaker, and often unprepared backhand. (Similar strategies take place when one or both players are left-handers think them over.)
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