View Full Version : Need help with flat serves

09-19-2004, 11:05 PM
When you do flat serves, do you hit it totally flat or do you add a little spin?
because everytime I try to hit hard flat serves, most of the time the ball would either go out or net, but when I add some spin, the ball is more likely to go in, but the serves aren't as fast.

I wonder how do you guys hit a really hard flat serves and still in? do you add a little spin or 100% flat?
anyone have a video of a pro hitting flat serves?

Max G.
09-19-2004, 11:37 PM
I'm assuming that their "flat" serves still have plenty of spin. Enough to make it go in, at least. I can't be certain of this though, but I definitely suggest staying with some spin on your serve instead of trying to remove *all* of it for the sake of a bit of speed.

09-20-2004, 05:12 AM
Totally flat with Eastern grip but being 6'4 and fully extended, I am striking the ball about 10' above the ground and just need to clear a 3' net. Maybe you could wear high heels next time you serve flat, just kidding. Mostly it just takes practice to get the ball to the clear the net by less than 6 inches.

09-20-2004, 06:25 PM
My flat serve is hit with a continental, and it's a flat serve I'm proud of (though always trying to improve upon, like any part of my game). I'd have to say my flat serve has a small amount of slice, but the slice is definitely there.

On good days, the momentum of the ball is going very straight, but that slice causes my "flat serve" to kick a bit and some of the advanced players have commented on this (in a good way, or at least complimenting my flat serve but noting that kick it has despite coming in seemingly flat). Thing is, it won't always just kick to my left, sometimes it seems to kick a tad right (my right).

On technique... I really pronate through the flat serve... at least at impact and it's really fast. My racquet will often end up for a short time on my right side during the follow-through, but it quicklys goes down or back to my left side shortly after. This isn't really done on purpose, or at least, I don't think anybody should try to force the racquet to go right. It sort of happens automatically for me when I'm thinking pronation (smacking through the ball is actually what goes on in my head).

My flat serves usually go in, even at their biggest pace. I'm 5'11" and the flat serves I hit can go low as in the middle of the box, surprisingly closer to the net when going out wide either way (like a little over 2 feet past the net?), and I often do hit within 8 or so inches of the line. I stand about 2 feet from the center of the baseline. I don't take a huge jump, but I do end up in the air when I hit my serve.


Joe Average
09-20-2004, 09:40 PM
I usually alternate between a flat serve and a little bit of spin for a first serve. My second serve is a kicker, which may lack some pace, but gets in there a good 90-95% of the time (this may be an exaggeration). The near certainty of the second serve allows me room to experiment with the first serve. As a returner, I find a serve with a little spin pretty easy to return, after I've gotten its read. The spin doesn't put me on the defensive, and I can use its pace. So when I'm serving a first serve with a little spin, I'm pretty mindful of placing it. A "pure" flat serve gives me a better chance for a cheap point.

I was chatting with one of the pros at the club I belong to: a young guy who used to play Division 1. We were talking about exactly this: Can someone who is not tall really hit a pure flat serve with any consistency? He thinks yes. He says that his best junior is 5'6" and has a great flat serve. "No spin?" I asked. "None," he replied. (Of course all serves have some spin, but we know what he means.) He said it takes timing, full extension, and a good toss. And I think he's right. There are times while just hitting practice serves when I can hit 10 flat serves, no spin, in a row. The problem is it's practice, and I'm not fully grasping what I'm doing right.