View Full Version : Inconsistent fast servers

01-05-2009, 11:33 AM
For those of you who are about at the 3.0-3.5 level, have you ever played someone who serves inconsistently but at about 110 mph? Whenever i play one of these players, I get scared of their serves thinking its going to nail me in the face (or elsewhere....) before the bounce.

01-05-2009, 11:35 AM
Before the bounce, are you talking about doubles when you're at the net? If not just stand back really far or as far as you can without hitting the fence/curtain. This way the ball is longer in the air and will have slowed down.

01-05-2009, 01:24 PM
Well unfortunately, the only way to get used to those serves is to practice against players with that speed.
Gives me good practice partners most of my tennis playing days.
OK, first of all, you gotta be able to volley.
When you can volley a hard hit shot directly into your body, almost no serve is too fast for your reactions.
Stand one foot behind the baseline and MOVE IN when you recognise direction.
Use a volley grip and stroke.
No time for even a 3/4 swing, so no groundie return.
But shortening your backswing helps, and some players I serve to crush forehand and backhand returns against my fastest serves.
But then they're maybe 3 levels above 3.5.

01-05-2009, 01:56 PM
I would advice you to stand a couple of feet behind the baseline (similar to Murray), when the ball is tossed in the air - be light on your toes (shuffle them or hop), and move in when you recognise the serve.

Standing back enables you more time to get to the ball, but be wary of slice serves if they are good enough (since your so far back).

01-05-2009, 02:53 PM
And don't forget, anyone who's 6'6" and under cannot bounce a fast first serve up to your face, unless you're 5'4" tall.
I never stood in against Karlovic or Isner height guys, but lots of 6'6' college top 3's for sure. Most first serves still only shoulder high to me, and I'm 5'11".
If they want, they can hit my shoulders and upper chest, just don't hit me in my neck which is higher than they can hit!
But that jump serve guy......

01-05-2009, 03:26 PM
You just need to catch the ball earlier off the bounce.

01-05-2009, 03:33 PM
Sometimes it's really hard to see that first serve incoming at speed.
I played a qualifier in indoor CowPalace SF on slow carpet with high density lights that just bothered me to no end. I'd played there 4 rounds the year before, so not a complete stranger.
I also went 4 rounds THAT year, and no problem with the lights until the 5th round.
Not only was I aced over 20 times, but I aced RussellSimpson 6 times. Neither of us could really see!
Yeah, I suck worse, of course, but I'm talking serves where the reciever NEVER moved.
Bad lighting can make your vision basically useless.

01-05-2009, 04:38 PM
sometimes when i play matches ( we call serves etc.. out), the server serves so fast that i can't even tell if it is out or in

01-05-2009, 04:40 PM
Can't see it land clearly, it's IN.

01-05-2009, 04:49 PM
That why it is bad to practice serves or any ground strokes that causes the ball to hit so close to the line. Your opponent can easily call them out.