The Serve is the most important stroke in tennis.
The Serve is not only the most important stroke in tennis, but also the only stroke that the player can have full control over. Great tennis servers, such as “Pistol” Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, Goran Invanisavic, have been able to hold their service games easily and get themselves out of trouble when down on their service games.
Pete Sampras’ serve, arguably the best of all time, earned him the nickname, “Pistol.” But it wasn’t because Sampras had the fastest serve, but the most unreadable: the combination of disguise, power, placement, and spin made his serve unpredictable. Often, when he was losing Love-40, he could quickly reach Deuce with three un-returnable serves. This ability to come back when losing puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the opponent.
- Order: Flat and Slice Serve are usually utilized for the first serve; Kick (Topspin) Serve is usually used for the second serve.
- Flat and Slice Swing: Flat and Slice Serve are similar in swing pattern and toss – hit down and through, with the Slice Serve hitting more from the outside of the ball.
- Kick Serve Swing: The Kick (Topspin) Serve is hit from low to high: once the racquet drops below the shoulder, you hit the ball while the racquet is accelerating upwards. If you imagine the ball resembling a clock, the strings of the racquet hit the ball at 7 o’clock, going up towards 1o’clock. It is more of a brushing motion that creates spin on the ball, instead of a through motion, which focuses on power.
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