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The Disappearing Tactic: The Chip and Charge in Service Returns

People have long forgotten the art of the chip and charge.

For all you youths who don't know what I'm talking about, I'm referring to when the returner chips or slices the return and continues to the net. Every year the list of excellent chip and chargers gets shorter and it's possible we won't see another player with the ability since Tim Henman retired.

This technique has been in decline ever since the serves on the pro circuit have gotten too big to be able to execute it effectively. But for players at the clubs and on the weekends and in double leagues it can be just the right tool that you've been missing.

There are many advantages to using the chip and charge. The server is forced to really think about their serve as there is the possibility that their opponent will charge the net on the return. This can cause a lot of missed serves and double faults.

But why chip when you could return hard and follow it in? Because it gives a larger margin of error; it puts pressure on the opponent, which won't happen if you hit the fence on the fly return!

It also gives the returner more time to get into a better volleying position close to the net as well as keeping the ball low, forcing the opponent to hit upwards on the passing shot, giving you an easier volley to handle.

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