Want to have a perfect tennis serve? Then maybe now is the time to look into how you can achieve that. Learn the theoretical basis of it with us today.
What is a serve in tennis? A tennis serve is basically a shot that starts a point in the game. A proper serving is when one hits the ball on the opposite side of their end of the net in the opposing player’s service box. A bad serve can very much affect your game in a negative way for you the server if not done correctly.
It’s even said by most professional players in the game that a proper or good serve is considered a weapon in the game, it’s not an illegal weapon its legal to the game. Here in this blog, we will be explaining the different types of serves done on the tennis court as well as how to execute them.
For the most part of it, players tend to mostly focus on the first serve however the second serve is just important as the first. Lets us start things off by explaining the different types of serves mainly used in the game, kick, slice, and a flat serve.
The Different Types Of Serves In Tennis
The three serves you should keep in mind of and know when to use them is the kick serve, slice serve, and the flat serve. It is a known factor that if you are a beginner just starting out in the game you would objective would be to just execute a good serve.
But as you advance in the game you will see and know the importance of the different types of serves and the benefits of each one. Without any feather delays, let us dive into the different types of serves and the advantage and disadvantages of them all.
1. The Flat Serve Technique
This is probably the most used served in tennis especially when it comes to beginners serving in their games. The moment you hear the term flat you already get an idea that serving like this you would put minimal to no spin on the ball with the tennis racquet.
The flat serve is said to carry the most powerful drive due to that nothing is really been added really to the serve more than brute power, so in terms of speed, it has a lot.
When executing the flat serve make sure you grip the tennis racquet in your had as firm and comfortable as possible. The correct and most efficient grip that you will be using for all the three techniques is the continental grip. If you are not fully familiar with this grip technique you can just type it in youtube to get a better view on it, it’s an easy-grip technique to learn.
When attempting to execute the flat serve one must toss the ball at least 14 to 18 inches in front of you and about 6 inches to the right of your less dominant hand. Accurate placement is the key the ball should not be tossed just any and anyway if you wish to execute it well.
- Due to the low bounce of the ball, it puts a strain on the opposing player to bend their back.
- Easy to execute
- Fast serve, it gives the opposing player less time to react to the ball as well.
- Gets points easy
- Its a bit hard to keep it in regards to in the service box.
- If not done properly it can result in giving away free points in the game.
- Provides you as well with a low reacting time when your opponent hit it back to you
The bottom line is that this serve can be both an advantage or the server and the player on the opposing side of the tennis court if it is not executed in the correct way. The next thing to keep in mind is that the flat serve is most dangerous when done in the middle of the net where the lowest point is.
2. The Slice Serve
From the moment you hear the term slice, you know off the top of your head that spin will be added to this serve. The slice serve can be very dangerous if you know how to execute it in the right and correct way. The danger to this serve is due to the fact that you will add a side spin hit to the ball, whenever the ball hits the ground it will bounce the opposite way in which it was hit, whether left or right.
The first thing to make sure of is that you grip your tennis racquet very firmly in your hand while you use the continental grip. With this technique, you will hear other players and persons recommending you to use the eastern grip but trust me you cannot go wrong with the continental grip.
The toss placements are basically the same as the one mentioned above, 14 to 18 inches in front and 6 inches right of your tossing shoulder level arm. With this hit, you are going to want to hit the outer edge of the ball to get the spin on point.
It needs to be accurate in a way that you keep the spin and straightness and doesn’t go off the tennis court, you should also hit up to create a bit of topspin dropping back down to the court.
If you are not fully familiar with how to execute you can watch a youtube video on how to execute a slice serve by adding topspin to the ball, am sure you will more comprehend how it is done.
- It pulls the opposing player out wide in the deuce court
- It is great for attacking players backhand
- Low bounce and spit making it not an easy task for the opposing player at hand.
- Very popularly used technique by the professional tennis players of the sport
- It’s easy to overhit due to the fact that it a good amount of topspin to execute, you can easily end up losing points.
When executed right the slice serve is a dangerous serve in the game, it gives the opposing player a bit of work to do on the tennis court. In most cases, the server will give away the type of serve that they are about to use by adding the bit to the toss however it still doesn’t provide the opponent with enough reacting time to weather you slice the left or right side.
3. The Kick Serve
Third we have the kick serve, this serve is the most difficult one out of the three however if executed the correct way its the most dangerous of them all. This technique takes a lot more time to perfect the skill but again its guarantee to give the opposing player a had time.
To execute this serve you would use the same continental grip as used in the other two serves mentioned above. In terms of tossing the ball it will be a bit different from the previous two mentioned above as well, however, it is going to be slightly identical at first.
when tossing the ball you should aim to toss the ball exactly above your head if anything you will want the ball to be a bit behind as well so that you can get a better hitting the ball from underneath. The toss is typically the same except for the ball placements 14 to 18 inches above your arm’s length about your head
The main objective of the serve is to try to get as much topspin as possible that you can get when hitting from under the ball.
- It will naturally decrease the player’s margin for errors.
- provides more control to the server
- As the name implies you get a very high bounce from the kick serve
- Due to that, the server will apply the maximum amount of topspin to the kick serve the play will loos power and may tobe as fast of the previous ones mentioned above.
So basically those three are the mains serves that you should know about in the game of tennis, am sure if you are to practice those three you ill serving like professional in no time building your points up.
Rules of a tennis serve
Scoring in tennis can be confusing for first timers. It’s a sport where love means zero and the scoring system is quite different for games, sets and matches.
Let’s take a look at the basics of scoring and a few tips that you may want to know before you hit the court.
- The serve starts a point in tennis and the good part is that you get two chances to put the ball in play
- When serving the first serve, you need to stand behind the baseline and between the center mark and the right sideline. The ball is then hit diagonally into the service box on the other side of the net. On the opposite side of the center mark from which the player is serving. Also note that you are not allowed to step on or over the baseline before actually hitting the ball.
- On the first point of the game, the first serve needs to go over the net and into the opponent’s right (deuce) service court. If the first serve does not go into the correct box, it is considered a ‘fault’. If you miss the second serve, it’s called a double fault and your opponent wins that point.
- When it’s either 15-Love or Love-15, the server serves to the opposite side of the court. This means that the player should stand behind the baseline and between the center mark and the left sideline and hit diagonally to the opponent’s left (ad) service court.
- If you serve a ball that hits the top of the net before bouncing into the correct service box, it’s called a let. You may take that serve again. If the ball hits the net and lands outside the correct service box, it’s called a fault. A served ball hitting the post is also considered a fault.
Things You Should practice
There is may more than what meets the eyes with tennis, even though we have talked about the different types of serve there are still few things we should practice so that things will be much easier on the learning bored. Let us get into exactly what I am talking about.
A. The Stance
In terms of stance, you have two main stances that most professional players of the sport tend to keep using, the platform stance serv, and the pin-point serves stance. The platform serve stance is when you let your feet stay in the same position through the complete serve.
The body formation for that would be to bend your knees, you are then going to coil and slightly tilt your body to push off upwards into the serve. That’s basically the formation for the platform serve stance, it’s quite simple and easy to do catch on with.
The pin-point serve stance is basically the same as the previous one mentioned above however at the toss you would bring your back foot closer to your front one then push off upwards to the ball. Statistics show that taller players tend to use the pinpoint serve a lot as well, none the less both are good serve stances used very often on the tennis court.
Most beginners would not simply know that their stance can off there game a lot on the tennis court, your stance is one of the basics that you should spend plenty of time perfecting. I know that for starters some stance will feel a bit uncomfortable at first and your stance should be the most comforting thing to portray but your body works into it am sure it will become smooth and well balanced for you in no time.
B. The Tennis Racquet
Yes, I know you may be thinking what does the racquet has to do with it but on all honestly, the racquet has everything to do with your serves. It is a proven factor that some tennis racquet will definitely create a better open window for better serves.
The basics are that all tennis racquet can be used to serve any game the thing is that some tennis racquet will provide more precision, power, and control over the others. Its good to find out from early the type of game you prefer to play so that you can fully equip yourself with the correct tool to get the best out of your playing performances.
The next is you should get very familiar with the tennis racquet that you are using so that you know first hand how it plays. The reason I am bringing this up is that a lot of players like use a new racquet when competing especially the beginners and some intermediate players.
C. Toss Practicing
This is something I know for a fact that most people don’t pay attention to or even spend hours on trying to practice. Because most think that you just throw the ball in the air and that’s a toss there is no need to practice that and it’s so easy but I can tell you, my friend, you are thinking wrong.
If you didn’t know, each inch you drop the toss lower or higher will give you a total different hit when serving on the tennis court, the slight angle you add to the tools in the air will impact the play allot. It is very important to practice your toss hits its not gonna take up a lot of your time but its definitely something you should all in your daily package when practicing the sport.
First, I must say thanks for reading our blog on tennis serve we hope you enjoyed reading and that you have learned a few things from reading. There are many ways to serve in tennis however the above-mentioned ones are the most recommended ones that all professional players tend to practice.
Perfecting your serves will take loads of time practicing because the simplest mistake you make can cost you a point lost. Ones you learn the techniques to perfect the serves above you will be hitting like a pro-tennis player in no time.
Last but not least please remember to visit some of the other related articles that we have on here like, The best tennis ball drills you can do alone and more.