Return of service, service and first end are more than important blows to the padel. A fault and it is a gift point for the opponents. Let's focus on the return.

Au padel, each person, each country has its culture, its essence, its style of play, but you should never forget the basics. Whether you are Spanish, German, Thai or Chilean, if you return a serve incorrectly or worse yet, if you realize the foul, it will be a free point for your opponents.

So to help you become aware, here are some tips and tricks.

The importance of the return

Returning serve means hitting the first point of the point for your team. If you do not realize the importance of putting the ball in play, the well-being of your pair will be affected; and more at important points. So if you are right on the track, you have less responsibility because you never play the “advantage” points, but still. Your partner needs you to be comfortable.

Léa Godallier forehand return world padel tour

How to return?

This is the question. How can I return safely without being “murdered” by a destructive volley of my opponents?

  • First of all by seeking to make the waiter volley. In front of you you have a player who is already positioned at the net and ready to volley, and another player who has just served and is moving forward. This player is in a more awkward position, so try to play on him.
  • By playing a high ball. We are not talking about a lob but about a high ball. A quick service in the center or that will bounce off the side window is never easy to master. The solution, to play a high ball while moving back which will force the adversaries to play a bandeja or a smash. You don't take the net, sure, but you don't make the mistake while accepting the defense without losing your position.
  • By slowing down the pace. This is one of the major problems for players with “big arms”. The harder you hit, the harder I hit. The problem in this case is that we have our limits and we are in a defensive position so the opponents are “masters” of the net. It will be better to slow down to secure our return while forcing the opponents to play a weightless end, under the net and to the front.
  • By avoiding a winning return. In other sports, you can attempt things like the winning return. Here it is feasible but very difficult. So if you are risk-taking style, go for it, but only when you have the advantage, otherwise leave your enthusiasm in the locker room and play simple.
  • By taking little risk outside of the comfort zone. Realize that if you are in your comfort zone (home), you can speed up the ball because you are already ready for the next stroke. A ball played with speed away from the house will not give you enough time to get back up.

Juani Mieres reverse FIP return


Technical errors

When returning service, we can detect some technical errors which increase your chances of making the mistake:

  • La resumption of downforce forwards. It is common among tennis players. You start from the back window and when the server hits the ball, you throw yourself forward by making your recovery. It´s very good to set the pace, but maybe a little too daring, right?
  • Caring for preparation too ample. On the way back, time is running out. If your pala prep is too big, you will have less time to focus on the trajectory, rebounds, and other information you will have to process.
  • The change of grip. Try to always keep the same waiting time. Although it is possible to change the racket grip before impact with the ball, it is preferable to wait for the service with the same grip always. It can be forehand or backhand, depending on your preferences and your comfort.

It's your turn. We can say that padel, the point really begins after the serve, the return and the first end. To make the fault on one of these 3 blows, it is to give a point free to the adversaries. Is this really what you are looking for ?!

Julien Bondia

Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.