Two-Handed Backhand – Return of Serve
*Recognition of Shot: both players have just landed from their split step and have recognized that the nall is going to their backhand.
*Posture: Notice the excellent posture where the back and shoulders are relatively straight.
*Wide Stance and Deep Knee Bend: This allows them to generate energy from the ground for a quick first step
*Stepping Out: Both players step out with the outside leg as opposed to stepping across.
*Unit Turn: They both have made a quick turn of the front shoulder, which initiates the racquet preparation.
*Storing of Energy in Preparation Phase: That quick turn of the front shoulder combined with the open stance preparation, creates a “pull” or “loading” in the front shoulders even though each player has a short back swing. This is one of the secrets to success on the return. From this position they can deal with a powerful serve as well as generate an explosive return.
*Short Back Swing: Both players have taken a full yet compact back swing. Andre’s back wing is even shorter then Serena’s.
*Back Leg: Andre is beginning to explode up into the shot with the back leg, which starts his weight moving forward and into the shot.
*Aggressive Return: Andre is hitting an extremely agrressive return. He is well inside the court, weight moving forward and contacting the ball well out in front of his body.
*Grip: Serena appears to be holding an eastern forehand grip with her right hand. As a Result she will not contact the ball as far out in front as Andre, who uses more of a standard backhand grip.
*Extension Through the Hitting Zone: Andre is perfectly “in line” for this return with the weight moving into the shot as he extends the racquet head through the hitting zone. Serena has been pulled out wide by the serve, yet she is also extending the racquet head through the hitting zone.
*Agassi Finish: Andre is completing a classic, textbook follow through. Perfect balance with the weight moving forward in the direction of the shot.
*Serena Finish: Serena is showing her athleticism by maintaining her dynamic balance as she adjusts to difficult serve that has pulled her into the alley.