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View Full Version : Slice serve for a 2nd serve


Rickson
04-10-2008, 07:39 AM
I see that Rafa does this a lot, but I'm wondering how safe a serve this is compared to a kick serve. Is the slice serve indeed safer than a flat serve and nearly as safe if not as safe as a kick serve?

Nellie
04-10-2008, 08:02 AM
Almost every player I know hits some type of slice second serve at least sometimes. I notice that the old school players often hit a flatter slice with mostly side spin (toss about 2 feet forward and slightly to the right side (for a righty)) This ball seems to dip mostly due to gravity on the slower, fastly spinning ball.

The young players seem to hit more topspin slice, which comes from the slice serve tossed closer to the body to produce a more 5 to 10 o'clock spin the causes the ball to dip into the court. This is a very safe serve because it is dipping agressively into the court.

I think that lefties, like Nadal and McEnroe, use the slice more because it is harder to track that slower, bending serve to the left, whereas a slice to the right often puts it right into most righty's wheelhouse for return.

Rickson
04-10-2008, 08:12 AM
5 to 10? Are you a lefty?

Andres
04-10-2008, 08:16 AM
Nope, topspin-slice, from 5 to 10. Sounds correct. I'd say more like 4 to 10 or 4:30 to 10:30, but yeah.

Pure topspin from 6 to 12. Pure slice from 3 to 9. Topspin-slice (Goran Ivanisevic's main serve) from 4,5 to 10,5 ;)

montx
04-10-2008, 08:32 AM
Topspin slice is a hybrid between pure topsin 6 to 12 and pure slice 3-9, so topsin slice IS NOT 5 to 10, its 7:30 to 1:30 in its purest sense. Twist is 9 to 3 in its purest sense.

But above all things is finding a consistent serve, my flat is sometimes more reliable than my kick, but im at that stage trying to prove the axiom that kick is reliable.

It takes time and effort to develop consistency. It seems true about kick but I find it a little hard at this stage. Its all about doing things at an expert level, which Im not there yet.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 08:42 AM
At the moment I can only do slice second serves. I have pretty good success with it. I only double faulted once in 4 service games the last time I played. :)

dakels
04-10-2008, 08:49 AM
Slice may be 9-3 strike for lefty, opposite for righty. More realistic for higher pace shots is a 8-2R/4-10L. Twist is not going to 9-3 either. More like 5-11R, 7-1L (+-30 minutes for the extremely flexible). Anything more is pretty difficult.

Topspinny serves have an easier time staying in the court due to the obvious downward force. If not done with a decent placement and kick, they can be very easy to return if they sit like ducks.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 08:54 AM
Don't really know what clocks you guys are using, but how the heck could a righty swing from 5 to 10? You'd have to serve underhanded to do that. :lol:

Rickson
04-10-2008, 09:13 AM
Kick goes from 7 to 1 for a righty, not 5 to 11.

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:15 AM
Kick goes from 7 to 1 for a righty, not 5 to 11.
A topspin slice serve is not a kickserve. It's a slice serve with extra topspin. Check Goran Ivanisevic for a visual.

nousername
04-10-2008, 09:15 AM
Topspin slice is a hybrid between pure topsin 6 to 12 and pure slice 3-9, so topsin slice IS NOT 5 to 10, its 7:30 to 1:30 in its purest sense. Twist is 9 to 3 in its purest sense.

you (and all other posters) have assumed the axis of rotation is in the plane of the baseline, which it hardly ever is. it is actually a somewhat complicated 3d situation, with a combination of the axis of rotation AND the initial trajectory direction of the ball. this is esp important for the twist serve. twist is the situation in which a serve with a fair amount of topspin has an axis of rotation out of plane with the plane of the baseline. your description of a twist is completely wrong, twist is not inverse slice spin. no lefty should ever attempt to get 9-3 spin, and no righty should attempt 3-9 spin ... unless you really want to mess up your arm.

in general:
topspin - rotation about horizontal axis
slice - rotation about vertical axis
twist - axis of rotation out of plane with baseline

fact:
nearly every serve has a component of topspin, slice, and twist. it's all a matter of degree, so in general serves are characterized by the most prominent component:

"topspin/kick serve": mostly topspin, little slice, little twist
"slice serve": mostly slice spin, little topspin, little twist
"twist serve": topspin/kick serve with a fair amount of twist (for those wondering a slice serve can have twist, but due to the near vertical axis of rotation, twist on a slice has little to no effect. twist is only meaningful on a heavily topspin serve.)
"flat serve": high velocity, but still a good amount of topspin

rule:
overhand serves *should* not ever have underspin or inverse slice.

.....

and to the OP: a slice is a good choice for a second serve ... heck sampras threw in all-out flats as 2nd sometimes.

nousername
04-10-2008, 09:19 AM
A topspin slice serve is not a kickserve. It's a slice serve with extra topspin. Check Goran Ivanisevic for a visual.
right, but a righty serve from 7-1 is certainly mostly topspin, and definitely a kick.

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:21 AM
right, but a righty serve from 7-1 is certainly mostly topspin, and definitely a kick.
Exactly. That's what I'm saying. Topspin-slice is hit from... around 4:30 to 10:30, while a kick is more like from 7 to 1.

nousername
04-10-2008, 09:25 AM
Exactly. That's what I'm saying. Topspin-slice is hit from... around 4:30 to 10:30, while a kick is more like from 7 to 1.
but, a righty cannot and SHOULD NOT ever hit from 4:30 - 10:30, it's basically impossible. topspin slice for a righty is more like 7:30 - 1:30.

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:31 AM
But... that makes no sense!

For a righty, if a pure topspin is from 6 to 12, and a pure slice serve is from 3 to 9, a topspin slice would be from 4,5 to 10,5.

The ball is struck in a diagonal way, from right to left, and from low to high on a topspin-slice.

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:35 AM
but, a righty cannot and SHOULD NOT ever hit from 4:30 - 10:30, it's basically impossible. topspin slice for a righty is more like 7:30 - 1:30.
No, 7:30 to 1:30 is for a kickserve/twist. A topspin-slice is not a kickserve.

4:30 to 10:30 is actually easier than 7 to 1. It's a normal 3 to 9 slice serve, with a more pronunciated low to high swing.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 09:36 AM
But... that makes no sense!

For a righty, if a pure topspin is from 6 to 12, and a pure slice serve is from 3 to 9, a topspin slice would be from 4,5 to 10,5.

The ball is struck in a diagonal way, from left to right, and from low to high on a topspin-slice.

Yes, and swinging left to right diagonally would be 7:30 to 1:30. I think what confused you was the slice serve. Unless you're hitting reverse slice a slice serve should be struck from 9 to 3, not 3 to 9.

boojay
04-10-2008, 09:36 AM
But... that makes no sense!

For a righty, if a pure topspin is from 6 to 12, and a pure slice serve is from 3 to 9, a topspin slice would be from 4,5 to 10,5.

The ball is struck in a diagonal way, from left to right, and from low to high on a topspin-slice.

You're lookin' at the clock backwards, buddy.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 09:38 AM
You're lookin' at the clock backwards, buddy.

Arrgggg, Boojay, I can't stop watching your "Epic Video"!

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:40 AM
Yes, and swinging left to right diagonally would be 7:30 to 1:30. I think what confused you was the slice serve. Unless you're hitting reverse slice a slice serve should be struck from 9 to 3, not 3 to 9.
Sorry, I meant from right to left for a righty server.
A slice serve for a righty is hit from 3 to 9. From right to left.

nousername
04-10-2008, 09:40 AM
No, 7:30 to 1:30 is for a kickserve/twist. A topspin-slice is not a kickserve.

4:30 to 10:30 is actually easier than 7 to 1. It's a normal 3 to 9 slice serve, with a more pronunciated low to high swing.
nope. you are mistake about twist serves. the "clock face" descriptions of serve spin have nothing to due with twist (read my first post in this thread).

a righty serve always starts out between 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock. anything outside of that range is impossible, or have a high risk of injury.

i think you just need to rethink you serve motion, or maybe we are just looking at the "clock face" from a different perspective. i am assuming the clock-face is seen from someone behind the server, standing at the back fence.

GPB
04-10-2008, 09:42 AM
Exactly... you're all saying the same thing, just with different definitions of where the numbers on the clock line up. Let me clear this up for you.

12 - on the top
3 - on the right side
6 - on the bottom
9 - on the left side

The numbers move "clockwise" around the clock.

hollywood9826
04-10-2008, 09:43 AM
But... that makes no sense!

For a righty, if a pure topspin is from 6 to 12, and a pure slice serve is from 3 to 9, a topspin slice would be from 4,5 to 10,5.

The ball is struck in a diagonal way, from left to right, and from low to high on a topspin-slice.

i thnk you got your numbers mixed up it woudl be 9 (left) to 3 (right) for a right handed server.

for a lefty like goran it would be 3 to 9 or 5 to 11 ish for the topspin slice.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 09:44 AM
Sorry, I meant from right to left for a righty server.
A slice serve for a righty is hit from 3 to 9. From right to left.

Uhhh, no it isn't? :confused:

boojay
04-10-2008, 09:45 AM
Arrgggg, Boojay, I can't stop watching your "Epic Video"!

Uhhhh, sorry? Heh.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 09:46 AM
Uhhhh, sorry? Heh.

Haha, I meant that as a compliment, really. You're a solid player. :)

boojay
04-10-2008, 09:46 AM
Sorry, I meant from right to left for a righty server.
A slice serve for a righty is hit from 3 to 9. From right to left.

Dude, I gotta see your serve. I will bow down before you if you're right-handed and can serve 3 to 9 without killing yourself. I know righties who can do a reverse slice, but they don't swing 3 to 9.

boojay
04-10-2008, 09:49 AM
Haha, I meant that as a compliment, really. You're a solid player. :)

I know, thanks ;). I meant for it to be fun to watch. Glad you like it.

Andres
04-10-2008, 09:51 AM
I understand the spins: For a pure righty slice serve, the ball travels from 9 to 3. That's anticlockwise, seen from the top, right? That's clear.

But to hit it that way, the arm doesn't travel from 9 to 3, but from 3 to 9.

To make the ball spin from 9 to 3, you have to it it at 3 o'clock, not at 9 o'clock. If you hit the ball at 9 o'clock, the ball travels from 3 to 9, that is clockwise.

The ball spins from 9 to 3, but it must be struck from 3 to 9. That's what I'm talking about.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 09:55 AM
You've still got it completely backwards, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.

GPB
04-10-2008, 09:55 AM
I understand the spins: For a pure righty slice serve, the ball travels from 9 to 3. That's anticlockwise, seen from the top, right? That's clear.


I'm sorry, but that is not clear to me. If you picture your clock face as seen from the top, then how do you explain a topspin serve?

I've always understood the clock as being viewed from the fence behind you, as it would hang on a wall above your head (or wherever your toss is). I REALLY think we're all trying to say the same thing here. Let's clear up the clock issue and all go home happily :)

Andres
04-10-2008, 10:00 AM
I'm sorry, but that is not clear to me. If you picture your clock face as seen from the top, then how do you explain a topspin serve?

I've always understood the clock as being viewed from the fence behind you, as it would hang on a wall above your head (or wherever your toss is). I REALLY think we're all trying to say the same thing here. Let's clear up the clock issue and all go home happily :)
Yeah, probably. I just hit the fuzzy ball. Apparently, not that good with numbers :p

Rickson, if you can keep your slice serve low and un-attackable, without double-faulting, go for it. I still think you should develop your kickserve.

boojay
04-10-2008, 10:01 AM
I understand the spins: For a pure righty slice serve, the ball travels from 9 to 3. That's anticlockwise, seen from the top, right? That's clear.

But to hit it that way, the arm doesn't travel from 9 to 3, but from 3 to 9.

To make the ball spin from 9 to 3, you have to it it at 3 o'clock, not at 9 o'clock. If you hit the ball at 9 o'clock, the ball travels from 3 to 9, that is clockwise.

The ball spins from 9 to 3, but it must be struck from 3 to 9. That's what I'm talking about.

I'm sure you know what you're talking about, but it should be apparent to you that you have the rest of us confused. Your reference point of "the clock" is definitely the issue here. Most of us don't visualize looking down at the clock from above, but rather, the clock face is hanging on a wall (usually above our heads).

mmeyer1
04-10-2008, 10:11 AM
Rickson, if you are a lefty then I would definitely think that a good lefty slider is an excellent 2nd serve choice. In some of my Usta matches I played against lefties who would do nothing but extreme slice serveson the AD court. It was really effective in forcing me to hit slice returns which they could capitalize on. I personally think that all lefties should have a solid slice serve in their repertoire to keep their opponents planted to the AD corner. I've rarely seen or played against a lefty that had a good topspin or twist serve, so it wouldn't hurt to keep one of those in your bag to keep your opponents guessing, and its always weird the first time a lefty twist serve kicks out high to the forehand if your always used to getting them to your backhand.

Djokovicfan4life
04-10-2008, 10:13 AM
Rickson, if you are a lefty then I would definitely think that a good lefty slider is an excellent 2nd serve choice. In some of my Usta matches I played against lefties who would do nothing but extreme slice serveson the AD court. It was really effective in forcing me to hit slice returns which they could capitalize on. I personally think that all lefties should have a solid slice serve in their repertoire to keep their opponents planted to the AD corner. I've rarely seen or played against a lefty that had a good topspin or twist serve, so it wouldn't hurt to keep one of those in your bag to keep your opponents guessing, and its always weird the first time a lefty twist serve kicks out high to the forehand if your always used to getting them to your backhand.
I'm pretty sure Rickson's a righty though.

JRstriker12
04-10-2008, 10:25 AM
I'm a righty - my slice starts at 9 and travels to 3. You would break your shoulder doing it the other way.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:5fCVFvCL62hqBM:http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/clock1.jpg


Path of Racket compared to clock face ================>>>>

mmeyer1
04-10-2008, 10:26 AM
Oh I thought he was a lefty, I must have him confused with someone else

JRstriker12
04-10-2008, 10:32 AM
http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_98_3.html

-Andres, are you talking about contact point?

- My swing goes from 9 to 3 but the contact point is at 3 o'clock for a righty - meaning you are hitting the outside of the ball.

http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/images/clockballsm.jpg

"Slice serves require that you hit the outside of the ball (3 o'clock position for righties and 9 o'clock position for lefties)"

Rickson
04-10-2008, 10:34 AM
But... that makes no sense!

For a righty, if a pure topspin is from 6 to 12, and a pure slice serve is from 3 to 9, a topspin slice would be from 4,5 to 10,5.

The ball is struck in a diagonal way, from right to left, and from low to high on a topspin-slice.

A slice is not 3 to 9 for a righty. That would be one crazy looking slice.

Nellie
04-10-2008, 10:37 AM
I really wish I had never used the clock numbers... Everyone here understands the contents of the discussion and have used up bandwidth to discuss the nomenclature.

boojay
04-10-2008, 10:53 AM
I really wish I had never used the clock numbers... Everyone here understands the contents of the discussion and have used up bandwidth to discuss the nomenclature.

I know! We should use a digital clock! It's easier to read!

...................

what?

LuckyR
04-10-2008, 11:21 AM
I see that Rafa does this a lot, but I'm wondering how safe a serve this is compared to a kick serve. Is the slice serve indeed safer than a flat serve and nearly as safe if not as safe as a kick serve?


Kick serves are more consistant than slices but many better players tee off on them with their returns so kick serves can be a liability. Slice serves are th opposite, a bit less consistant but harder to blast a return off of.