In general, you have a wide range of different techniques for the return. You can play it on the forehand and backhand side with topspin, slice or without spin.
But the main difference between the return and the groundstrokes is the backswing. Because you only have a short reaction time to return the serve, you can’t swing the racket all the way back. Therefore the backswing must be as short as possible. We recommend that you swing the rackt to the side at most.
Here we have a great exercise for you: Stand with your back against a wall. When you swing the racket backwards now, you must not touch the wall. This is the complete area for the backswing.
If your opponent is a strong serve, you will probably not have time to swing the racket at all. You should then try to block the ball with the racket and hit it into your opponent’s court. This is enough for fast serves, as you still use the kinetic energy of the ball for your return.
Remember that when you hit the ball, you move your body forward to take advantage of the swing. Also, the contact point with the ball should always be in front of your body. When you have finished your return, run back to the centre of the court.