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In D Zone
10-18-2007, 01:30 PM
I pretty much have a good command on my serves: down the T (Duece/ Ad), body shots (deuce / ad), and wide out (on Ad). However, my archilles heel is serving wide out from the deuce side.

I am not able to serve consistenly with a slice that kicks the ball out instead of going straight to the forehand (righty) of the opponent. I did manage to serve a couple of wicked slice but I cannot seem to be able to duplicated it without getting crushed with a forehand return. I used to be able to do it before when I was using the continental grip and toss the ball at 1 o'clock. Since I changed to the eastern back grip for my serve, I lost it - although my other serves were much more consistent.

Can you serve a slice using eastern back hand grip, or should I use a continental grip? I did not want to move change grip especially during a match - I tried it and it screwed me up on my serve.

Supernatural_Serve
10-18-2007, 01:38 PM
Can you serve a slice using eastern back hand grip, or should I use a continental grip? I did not want to move change grip especially during a match - I tried it and it screwed me up on my serve.Both work well. Try to hit the outside half of the ball and get more spin versus drive on the ball. I do this with a slightly altered attack on the ball. I sweep around the outside of the ball to help keep the ball short in the box with a lot of side spin.

A nice off-speed, short wide ball is very effective especially if you don't use it often and your T and body serves are hitting their mark.

But, I do hear you about a weak wide serve that isn't wide enough, doesn't have enough spin, and is deep in the box, and the righty returner unloads on it for a winner.

Cindysphinx
10-18-2007, 01:52 PM
I don't know if what I do is technically right or not, but it sure works. 'Cause I love that deuce slice out wide!

I use a Continental Grip + (meaning I edge it a bit farther over than Continental), and I try to swing straight at that outside edge of the ball rather than come around it. I actually think about aiming my racket frame toward the net post. (I get shoulder pain if I try to come around it).

With enough racket head speed, it curves in the air (drawing appreciative gasps from other 3.0s), and if I land it on the line it is a winner for sure. If it doesn't land on the line, it might land short with lots of slice, which is also a winner. If I miss up the T, then it curves into the body or the backhand, which is also Very Nice.

I get killed when I don't brush the side of the ball and instead just come around it with my arm and hit it too flat. Or if I chicken out on the racket head speed part of it.

Cindy -- who can't hit the T from the ad court for anything

In D Zone
10-18-2007, 01:57 PM
Both work well. Try to hit the outside half of the ball and get more spin versus drive on the ball. I do this with a slightly altered attack on the ball. I sweep around the outside of the ball to help keep the ball short in the box with a lot of side spin.

A nice off-speed, short wide ball is very effective especially if you don't use it often and your T and body serves are hitting their mark.

But, I do hear you about a weak wide serve that isn't wide enough, doesn't have enough spin, and is deep in the box, and the righty returner unloads on it for a winner.


That's what I want to use the serve for (surprise change)- off speed, short ball.

Do I still toss the ball at 1 o'clock ? just cannot somehow find that outside half of the ball (brush), I ended up hitting it with full contact due to too much racquet speed.

Slazenger
10-18-2007, 02:53 PM
That's what I want to use the serve for (surprise change)- off speed, short ball.

Do I still toss the ball at 1 o'clock ? just cannot somehow find that outside half of the ball (brush), I ended up hitting it with full contact due to too much racquet speed.

The slice serve out wide on the duece court is my favourite serve.

First off, are you aiming out wide? I find that slice serves that aren't aimed out wide end up going slightly wide but right into your opponents forehand (if they are right at the corner). You have to pick your spot.

You are hitting it with full contact not because of your racquet head speed but you are hitting squarely through the ball.
You want to keep that racquet head speed but apply it to imparting spin.

You can hit wicked slice serves with an eastern backhand grip.

I would just practise getting the feel for imparting slice on the ball. You can hear it when you are doing it correctly. The ball makes a brushing sound as you hit the slice serve.
Don't hit it hard or anything. Just work on getting that brushing feeling, while hitting the outside of the ball and seeing the movement of the ball. You want your slice serve to move/sidespin before AND after the bounce.
(Some slice serves move only before the bounce.)

You can toss at 12, 1o'clock etc find what works for you. I personally toss at 12 o'clock for all my serves.

Check this video out. Not for what he says but look at his slice serve examples.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BFyOTHOvwc

Midlife crisis
10-18-2007, 03:15 PM
On another note, the slice serve out wide is much more effective if your opponent respects the fact that you can hit one right down the "T" as well. If they're camped out there wide because you never challenge them right down the middle, almost any slice serve is returnable.

LuckyR
10-18-2007, 03:44 PM
Good topic. I find the key is tossing to my right and aiming far shorter than the service line. If I miss the serve I miss it into the net. Of course the smart guys can anticipate the shot when you toss out wide so I use that same toss for slices to the T that crimp them on the BH and all they can do is poke it DTL to my backhand, which, naturally is where I am standing.

Slazenger
10-18-2007, 04:36 PM
Good topic. I find the key is tossing to my right and aiming far shorter than the service line. If I miss the serve I miss it into the net.

I'm totally with you on this.

In D Zone
10-19-2007, 09:04 AM
I have noticed more pro's are using the slice serve more effectively than the American Kick serve (mostly non- American players) . Well, I have seen them mix up the two and to throws the opponent off balance. Kick down the T or to the body and then wicked slice for the wide out.

Djokovic, Ferrero, Ancic, Federer, Gonzo and Nadal were some of the pro's I have seen that uses the slice effectively.

Doc Hollidae
10-19-2007, 09:10 AM
Where do you toss when going for an out wide slice? Assuming your are right handed, toss the ball a little more to your right side than normal. When I want to pull someone out wide, I'll toss a little more to my right than I would normally. That subtle change goes a long way with the angles you can produce.

In D Zone
10-19-2007, 09:16 AM
The slice serve out wide on the duece court is my favourite serve.

First off, are you aiming out wide? I find that slice serves that aren't aimed out wide end up going slightly wide but right into your opponents forehand (if they are right at the corner). You have to pick your spot.

You are hitting it with full contact not because of your racquet head speed but you are hitting squarely through the ball.
You want to keep that racquet head speed but apply it to imparting spin.

You can hit wicked slice serves with an eastern backhand grip.

I would just practise getting the feel for imparting slice on the ball. You can hear it when you are doing it correctly. The ball makes a brushing sound as you hit the slice serve.
Don't hit it hard or anything. Just work on getting that brushing feeling, while hitting the outside of the ball and seeing the movement of the ball. You want your slice serve to move/sidespin before AND after the bounce.
(Some slice serves move only before the bounce.)

You can toss at 12, 1o'clock etc find what works for you. I personally toss at 12 o'clock for all my serves.

Check this video out. Not for what he says but look at his slice serve examples.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BFyOTHOvwc



Thanks Slanzenger for the advise.
First off - I think I need to get my confidence back. I get really tentative when I am about to serve wide on the deuce.
Secondly -work on the contact; brushing the ball instead of the toss. I have had success tossing at 12 o'clock somehow I kept thinking I need to toss it more at 1 o clock .

Video you provide, mentioned to minimized the follow through - it got me thinking.... would that means hiting a follow through alters the contact point of the ball (hitting it more solid rather than brushing thru the ball to impart side spin)?

In D Zone
10-19-2007, 09:52 AM
I don't know if what I do is technically right or not, but it sure works. 'Cause I love that deuce slice out wide!


I get killed .....

Cindy -- who can't hit the T from the ad court for anything


Hey Cindy,
Hitting down the T on the ad.
Have you tried using the slice on the ad side? Try stand closer to the center of the court and toss the ball closer to 12 oclock (than away from you). Imagine pointing your racket down the tee before your serve, that will help you direct your shoulder and racquet when you slice. The ball should curve and kick to the left (righty). Like you mentioned in your comment, brush the ball to impart that side spin.

This is a money shot, I have seen Venus, Serene, Justine and Ana use this serve and have ace'd their opponent.
Hope this help!

Supernatural_Serve
10-19-2007, 10:02 AM
That's what I want to use the serve for (surprise change)- off speed, short ball.

Do I still toss the ball at 1 o'clock ? just cannot somehow find that outside half of the ball (brush), I ended up hitting it with full contact due to too much racquet speed.Like Slazenger said, you can find the toss sweet spot that works best for you.

I come from a school of thought concerning serving in which all serves are hit with the same toss, maybe slightly altered for topspin or wide slice or for serving and volleying. And by slightly, I mean very slightly altered. I prefer to attack the ball in different ways instead.

Why? because I consider it a huge advantage not to advertise to my opponent where I am serving or with what kind of action I am putting on the ball. Also, mastering one toss and making it highly reliable is a handy skill, especially under pressure, fatiqued, etc.

Keep in mind its about spin not drive that will give you that wide softy curvy spinning slice. Too much drive and you've hit a ball a little too fast, too deep, with not enough spin right into the rightys rip a winner zone.

In D Zone
10-26-2007, 12:32 AM
Thank you everyone for the tips! Practiced for over an hour last Saturday, strictly using slice on the deuce. I fiddle with the toss - I can keep my toss closer to 12 o'clock. Made sure I made a brushing contact with the ball at 3 o'clock. I gained alot of confidence with this serve.

Played a match last Tues, starting with my flat and kick serve down the tee and to the body . Then I slowly worked the slice wide on the duece, managed to draw the opponent wide and moved right in to volley to the open court. I noticed double faulted only three times in the entire match. Did not have to worry about my second serve on the deuce side since I can now move my opponent around with my serve.
Yes, I won - 6-4 ; 5-0 (ran out of time).

SO I thought I was lucky, played with my 15 year old son today. He was practicing serve returns, I served the slice wide out. He hit it back with hard return and ran to the middle court (knowing I will try to volley to his left); I drove my approach shot back to his forehand instead of going left. He was shocked!

HEHE! Could not have gotten the confidence without your help guys!

Slazenger
10-26-2007, 01:00 AM
Video you provide, mentioned to minimized the follow through - it got me thinking.... would that means hiting a follow through alters the contact point of the ball (hitting it more solid rather than brushing thru the ball to impart side spin)?

I don't get minimizing the follow through. Can't see any effect it may have on producing sidespin on the serve. I put the video up because you can see him hit slice serves (with a regular followthrough btw!) with a very easy motion.

Slazenger
10-26-2007, 01:02 AM
Thank you everyone for the tips! Practiced for over an hour last Saturday, strictly using slice on the deuce. I fiddle with the toss - I can keep my toss closer to 12 o'clock. Made sure I made a brushing contact with the ball at 3 o'clock. I gained alot of confidence with this serve.

Played a match last Tues, starting with my flat and kick serve down the tee and to the body . Then I slowly worked the slice wide on the duece, managed to draw the opponent wide and moved right in to volley to the open court. I noticed double faulted only three times in the entire match. Did not have to worry about my second serve on the deuce side since I can now move my opponent around with my serve.
Yes, I won - 6-4 ; 5-0 (ran out of time).

SO I thought I was lucky, played with my 15 year old son today. He was practicing serve returns, I served the slice wide out. He hit it back with hard return and ran to the middle court (knowing I will try to volley to his left); I drove my approach shot back to his forehand instead of going left. He was shocked!

HEHE! Could not have gotten the confidence without your help guys!

BRAVO!! :D

Cindysphinx
10-26-2007, 12:50 PM
Hey Cindy,
Hitting down the T on the ad.
Have you tried using the slice on the ad side? Try stand closer to the center of the court and toss the ball closer to 12 oclock (than away from you). Imagine pointing your racket down the tee before your serve, that will help you direct your shoulder and racquet when you slice. The ball should curve and kick to the left (righty). Like you mentioned in your comment, brush the ball to impart that side spin.

This is a money shot, I have seen Venus, Serene, Justine and Ana use this serve and have ace'd their opponent.
Hope this help!

Oh, I wish I could do these things. I am wedded to not changing my toss much (I go for 1 o'clock for everything), and I never change my serve position.

I think the problem here is lack of guts and lack of practice, mostly. I will try the bit about imagining pointing the racket down the T. It's just a matter of aim.

skiracer55
10-26-2007, 01:19 PM
...and going down the T in the ad are almost identical serves, in terms of the "slicing around the outside of the ball" mechanics...you're just directing them to different spots. I didn't have these serves, all I had was a body serve and a flat or kick out to the backhand. Not having a wide slice to the forehand was a liability my coaches had me working on constantly. It's like a pitcher who can throw a fast ball and a curve or slider, but not a knuckle ball.

You have to be a pitcher with your serve, not just a heavy metal banger. Yes, you can get turfed if your wide slice isn't well executed, or if you go to the well too often...but, on the other hand, if all you do is plug away at the backhand, even the most clueless opponent is going to, after a while, figure out where to stand to hit the same serve, and how to shovel it back even if the backhand return isn't a strength. You'd like never to get burned on a wide slice to the forehand, but the facts are that it's going to happen. The idea is to try to out guess your opponent so the serve is unexpected...that and execute it well. One of the other concepts, too, is that you're not really trying for an ace. If it happens, fine, if not (and if you didn't get burned...), what you have instead is a setup for your next shot. It's what Brad Gilbert called "surf and turf." The most prevalent form of surf and turf is: huge serve, maybe a body shot, that elicits a floating return up the middle, step to the left, hit a huge inside out forehand for a winner. Another version, however, is: serve a wide slice to the forehand in the deuce, follow the serve, look for a weak return to volley cross court for the winner.

So the the whole concept of serving is not just what you do on any given serve, it's the serving pattern that you establish that will, if applied properly, constantly keep your opponent off balance and golfing up helium balls that you can belt away for winners or set yourself up to force and error or hit an easy winner to the open court...

In D Zone
10-26-2007, 10:38 PM
Oh, I wish I could do these things. I am wedded to not changing my toss much (I go for 1 o'clock for everything), and I never change my serve position.

I think the problem here is lack of guts and lack of practice, mostly. I will try the bit about imagining pointing the racket down the T. It's just a matter of aim.

Well, if that's the case (tossing at 1 oclock); then just stay where you most comfortable position (serving station).

Like me you just need some confidence boost - simply aim or better yet do like most NBA players do before every foul shot; they stroke their wrist as if they were shooting the ball. SO before you serve, swing your racquet towards you target it should help you with your aim.


And 'Thanks' Slazenger!

Cervantes
10-26-2007, 11:07 PM
In one of his books, one of John McEnroe's associates describes this serve... "the motion is like throwing a knife by the blade". John is a lefty, so this is his ad serve. But it works for the righty on the deuce court to kick out short and wide, and on the ad court to hit the T then kick to your opponents right. Sampras had this serve hit hard. Just see how far to the left of the T the ball hits the back fence when properly executed.

Boris Becker hit this serve consistently on the deuce side, not hard, but placed it well enough to draw his opponent wide and volley the return.

It works especially well against an opponent with a Western grip as they need an additional step to be effective.

I try to toss the same on every serve, altering only the plane perpendicular to my opponents line of sight, that is, into the court, or back, not side to side. This serve seems to work well the closer to you the toss.

Also, make sure you brush up on the ball, say 8 o'clock-2 o'clock up the side of the ball. For this, the ball needs to be up. If not, you impart sidespin which cancels any kick or spin and creates a sitter.

This serve is also good to hit on the deuce court to your opponents backhand side (if they're right handed) as it will land and kick across their body from backhand to forehand and confuse the feeble minded into an error or weak return, on a good day.

See:

http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionvideos/serve/serve.aspx?id=35852

Slazenger
10-27-2007, 07:58 PM
It works especially well against an opponent with a Western grip as they need an additional step to be effective.

Right on the money. It's a tactic often used against Justine Henin. If she reads it though, she creaming the return but at 4.5 level, works like a charm.



This serve is also good to hit on the deuce court to your opponents backhand side (if they're right handed) as it will land and kick across their body from backhand to forehand and confuse the feeble minded into an error or weak return, on a good day.

This I try not to do as much because I know when players do this to me, it doesn't work. I prefer the kick serve into the body.