SquashMatch Blog

Breaking an opponents rhythm with serve and return

By Fatema on 2015-10-08

By Nic Davies, Head Coach, The Squash Company

The serve and return of serve is perhaps one of the most underrated phases of squash, which is a shame because there’s a real opportunity there to do some damage, especially if your opponent is in a rich vein of form.

During difficult games, a few choice serves are a great opportunity to make things uncomfortable for your opponent and disrupt their routine. The body serve is a particular favourite of mine, as it can force your opponent into an awkward position and shot, which is exactly what you want if they’re playing very well.

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It’s also worth going for a few ambitious shots on the return of serve. As with the serve, by attacking them at this point you are stopping your opponent from getting the rally going, which is important if they’re on form. A few volley boasts or reverse boasts or quick drop volleys are very effective at winning rallies quickly and this not only stops your opponent from scoring any more points but it also shortens the rallies, which changes the playing field and the rhythm. If they’re playing well, it’s very unlikely they’ll want short rallies.

Naturally, these aren’t long term strategies as players will figure them out before too long but in those moments where you need to stifle your opponent, they are invaluable. Being pragmatic with the serve and return is a great way to halt an on-form opponent or a better player, so give it a go the next time you’re under the cosh.

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