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Using the return and groundstroke attack early in a fifa 15 coins match can strongly influence the way an opponent plays and feels. It gives the returner the chance to dominate tactically by exerting time and pace pressure. these two forms of pressure may force an opponent to take some pace off her first serve to prevent the returner from facing many second serves. (If this hap-pens, there is no reason the returner shouldn’t pressure the first serve in the same way as well!) It also gives the returner the chance to threaten psycho- logically by taking up an intimi- dating playing position on or inside the baseline. this is an important point because the returning stance is perhaps the most noticeable position a player will take up during a match; the server literally looks directly at the returner before serving.
In doubles, this aggressive groundstroke return, hit from inside the baseline, is often played down the line—straight at the server’s partner. Figure shows how the returning team can take control of the court by returning down the line against the second serve hit wide from the advantage court. this tactic is used from both sides of the court and is most effective when played as the returner’s first or second shot of the rally because it prevents the serving team from settling into a rhythm. It is used in particular against a server whose strength lies in hitting crosscourt groundstrokes and also against a server’s partner who has a weak volley. the returner’s partner must know in advance that the returner is going to hit down the line because this will allow her to cover the middle part of the court in anticipation of a defensive volley. the returner continues to attack with aggressive groundstrokes hit either crosscourt or down the line until she forces an error or her partner can intercept with a winning volley.
Often during a match the returner will want to maintain her dominance over the server without having a planned shot to hit after an aggressive return—usually when the opponent has defended deep down the middle of the court. Instead, she will try to prevent the server from regaining a neutral position by hitting a sequence of dominating shots that continually increase the pressure on her opponent. She will look to finish the point only after a short ball or after a natural space has opened up.