The service or setting game au padel is not something to ignore. A good technique basic and a adapted tactic will have you start the point with a certain advantage.

The very first thing when you want to focus on service is technique. We have talked about it in previous articles, you will find several tutorials online, but the important thing is really to have safety to avoid making a mistake with a first ball and above all, not to make it with a second.

Tactically

There are 2 things to consider: am I serving to reach the net and my own position, right or left (Australian), or am I serving to reach the net in a position that will change each time point. Tactically you will not be able to serve in the same way. The Austrian is certainly the most used position today by players, but it is also the most complicated. Once in 2 you will have to think about modifying your serve to reach the net, otherwise you will pass with the return of your opponents.
In the case of “normal” positioning, this constraint is not to be taken into account.

Australian

Here we are. You play Aussie style and need to reach, for example, your right position at the net after a left-right serve. If the opponent hits the ball directly with their forehand or backhand, chances are you will be overwhelmed and under pressure on the return. What to do ?

The first thing to do would be to make the ball spend as much time as possible in the opponent's court, which will allow you to reach the net. Thus, it will be necessary to vary three parameters: the rebound on the glass, the depth of the latter and also and above all the curve and the speed of your ball.
Note: try to serve from that side with a first ball, even very, very slow. The pressure and the psychological weight on the returner will not be the same as during a second serve.

Service Jerome Inzerillo FIP Gold Perpignan

For all other services

The idea will be to look for the service that bothers your opponents the most. If you only have one type of service, the task will be complicated. So, from the start of the match, test, look for serves that allow you to reach the net without too much worry and without finding yourself under pressure. As soon as you have found it, keep it and continue like this until the adversary finds the solution; why change the method if it works...

Then, do not hesitate, at times, to modify your style of service. For example you were behind 0-40, you come back to 30-40. At this time you can attempt a service not performed until then. This change plus the pressure of the score can cause the returner to realize the fault for a “free” point.
Another situation, but this time when you have the advantage. 40-0 or 40-15, you're looking for an ultra-powerful serve or a drop shot. It works so much the better, it doesn't work, it's not very serious.

Variation is the key

Having a wide variety of services in your luggage will allow you to adapt to all styles of players. Remember that your objective is not to win the point with this serve but to achieve an offensive position at the net. And if during the return you are played a lob, perhaps the tactic will be to go up more slowly in order to play a bandeja offense or a high volley that will then allow you to move forward. Think carefully about all these possible options that will appear over the course of the matches, which will make your experience and which will put you at ease against all types of players.

Talk with partner

This will be the last tactical part. Before each service, take the time to talk with your partner. If only to motivate you or, more precisely, to inform about the type of service to come. Your partner may even have other tactical ideas. In short, the important thing will be to inform each other to be ready to volley and not be surprised by the return.

An example, imagine that you served slowly the whole match and suddenly you decide to speed up. If you haven't warned your partner and the returner plays on him, he may be surprised by the speed and not hit a good volley. On the other hand, if he is warned, he will already be ready and can if necessary stick to the net to get the ball out by 4.

Tactics are important

Having the right technique expands your range of shots. But the tactics will allow you to adapt to each situation, in pairs, to start the point in an offensive position. Vary, analyze, adapt. Let's go! 

Julien Bondia

Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife (Spain). Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his tutorials and tactical/technical articles padel.