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tsongaali
01-02-2009, 03:32 PM
I always have this habit of serving incredibly well during the beginning of the match, but towards the end, like at 5-4 my serve's consistency starts to drop. I think maybe it's just since that I am getting tired, but I hate losing from too many double faults. Anyone else have this problem, and how can i fix this?

LeeD
01-02-2009, 03:38 PM
Start by practicing your serves at the END of your groundie and volley practice, after you've done your 2 mile run.
Then, you know exactly how your real serve really is!
Or breathe long and deep, slow your heartbeat, and then let one rip.
Just dreaming above, you gotta know exactly where your percentage of serves lie and choose the appropriate serve at the appropriate moment.
A low percentage flat first is not the choice when you're tight, tired, your opponent is sharpest and most interested, and you're about thinking of taking a powder.

junbumkim
01-02-2009, 11:58 PM
You have to find out why you are missing whether it's the nerve or fitness.

naylor
01-03-2009, 01:18 AM
Just popped down to watch the quali's for our local WTA pre-AO tournament.

I was surprised by the number of players gripping the racket somewhere between continental and semi-western for their serve - but not by the number of doubles or second serve dollies they dished out as a result. This was particularly so at crunch time after they got to 3-all in the set, when hardly any managed to hold serve, and many service games ended in a double as players were going for a more forcing second serve.

Go figure.

kelz
01-03-2009, 01:28 AM
Just popped down to watch the quali's for our local WTA pre-AO tournament.

I was surprised by the number of players gripping the racket somewhere between continental and semi-western for their serve - but not by the number of doubles or second serve dollies they dished out as a result. This was particularly so at crunch time after they got to 3-all in the set, when hardly any managed to hold serve, and many service games ended in a double as players were going for a more forcing second serve.

Go figure.

I don't get it. Do you mean that they're using a semi-western forehand grip?! If they've leaned towards a more eastern grip, it's probably because they want more action on the ball.

naylor
01-03-2009, 11:22 AM
I don't get it. Do you mean that they're using a semi-western forehand grip?! If they've leaned towards a more eastern grip, it's probably because they want more action on the ball.

They were using a (weak) forehand grip for serving. Try putting some action with that to play an aggressive second serve. Anything slightly hard was still missing the box by two feet. Also, no chance of putting overspin to bring the ball down sharper. And these were women pros ranked around 100, with their own coaches.

tenzinrocks
01-03-2009, 11:43 AM
I don't get it. Do you mean that they're using a semi-western forehand grip?! If they've leaned towards a more eastern grip, it's probably because they want more action on the ball.

if you turn your racquet grip a little towards the semi-western then the continental, you can get more spin

Kevo
01-03-2009, 02:21 PM
I started working a lot on my second serve when I decided that I was double faulting too much. I basically just go for a lot of spin variety and try to keep the other player guessing. Now I tend to hit a very low percentage first serve because I am so confident in my second serve. I plan on concentrating more on my first serve now to try to put the whole package together. But basically, find out how to hit a bullet proof second serve. There's no reason to hit more than a few double faults per set. I have recently started making it through sets with no doubles at all, and that's not because they're puff balls either.

Nellie
01-03-2009, 02:43 PM
Everyone, as they get tired and as the match gets tight, tends to toss too short and to drop their head. If you start missing, toss high and keep your head up. Even if you are tiring and are losing velocity, you should still be able to get the ball into the box.

JimW
01-04-2009, 11:48 PM
Simple suggestion: When you feel like you're tightening up or getting tired, take some pace off your 1st serve and improve your percentage. Most returners aren't looking to be as aggressive on the 1st serve. Don't have to worry about doubling when you get your 1st serve in.

GeorgeLucas
01-05-2009, 07:13 AM
if you turn your racquet grip a little towards the semi-western then the continental, you can get more spin

100% wrong. ALWAYS keep your serving grip at continental or eastern. Per the OP, as someone said before the two main causes would be fitness and nerves. To calm yourself when a hold means saving the match, get more playing experience or recite a mantra or something - I dunno... Mental toughness is tricky.

Obviously fitness is an easier fix. Near the end of the match, your legs start to give out and you get more lazy. Naturally, this translates to a sharp decline of proficiency in a complicated stroke like a serve. Jog or something so you don't feel so winded for the endgame.

LeeD
01-05-2009, 11:28 AM
Any decent level, serves from continental with a flavor of eastern backhand.
You promote overspin, deadball, or knuckle into your first flat serves.
You can swing as fast as you possibly can, using topspin, and the ball clears the nest by 3' and always goes in for your 2nd serves.
If your first serve flat is 100mph, your second serve should be somewhere around 70 but hit with a much faster swing!

badmice2
01-05-2009, 11:51 AM
if you turn your racquet grip a little towards the semi-western then the continental, you can get more spin

Whoa....hang on a sec; semi-western forehand grips on spin serve? Do you guys mean eastern "backhand" grip? A pan handle forehand grip on serve is bit tough.

Do you hit a hard first serve than a sloppy second serve? or do you have a decent 2nd serve with pace and spin? Have you consider serving 2nd serves as your first serves? Sound more like fatigue to me...both physical and mental. Practice serving 2nd serves for an entire set - assuming your ground game is good enough. If you're able win most of your points, and then go back to work on your firing your 1st serve. Otherwise, i would look into working on other elements of your game besides serves; that way you're not depended on serve alone. Not sure what level of play you're in; regardless...you cant win points if you cant get your serve in.

fuzz nation
01-07-2009, 09:05 AM
Really just guesswork without any video to help, but double-faulting often comes from getting tired. In your case, you may not be taking enough time between tougher points to catch your breath, but if you have a mechanical issue and you're using too much arm for your serve, then it can easily lose reliability as you fatigue in a match.

Even for second serves where you're trying to hit into a larger margin for error, you still need to "go after it" to generate good racquet speed. Make sure that you're still taking a good, deliberate wind-up and using a reasonable leg drive to make the energy that you need. Spin serves don't fly as fast as flatter serves, but you still need to get a good "whup" through the hitting zone to make enough spin for those shots to work well.

LeeD
01-07-2009, 09:23 AM
BadMice2, read and understand my posts.
That is the grip, period.

badmice2
01-07-2009, 12:47 PM
BadMice2, read and understand my posts.
That is the grip, period.

ok buddy...no need to take my head off on this. you're not the only one here that knows how to play tennis. I was simply trying to clarify grip positioning.

[osu]ilovecows
01-09-2009, 04:25 PM
LeeD, why do you feel the need to respond to a post that wasn't even addressed to you? Especially in the manner that you did? badmice2 was offering sound advice, and you come marching in like you're the only one capable of doing so. Please leave your elitism out of these boards, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. If one offers bad advice, others will correct them, we don't need you to moderate the entire board by yourself.