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user92626
07-28-2009, 01:08 PM
In slice serve, where does your racket face at the point of contact?

Is it proper to have it face your front foot as you smack down?

MNPlayer
07-28-2009, 01:38 PM
At the point of contact, the racket face should be pointing almost exactly straight out into the court. This is true regardless of the type of serve. Depending on the degree of spin and pace, it varies a bit, but not as much as you might think. Take a look at slow-mo videos of pro serves.

If you are hitting topspin slice, you need to hit the ball up a bit more because the topspin component will pull the ball back down faster than just gravity. The opposite is true for underspin I suppose, although you don't see too many underspin serves (too hard to get over the net I guess).

Do not confuse the angle of the racket at contact with the direction of the swing. In a slice, the racket will be moving left to right across the ball to create side spin. Other serves require different swings to create the different spins.

BU-Tennis
07-28-2009, 01:40 PM
It is easier to think about having the leading edge of the racquet heading straight towards the right net post if you're serving to the deuce court. This would put your face pointing pretty much to the outside corner of the service box.

user92626
07-28-2009, 02:52 PM
It's difficult for my mind to comprehend that the racket faces "squarely" the area where the ball will go because where there's not much of stringbed to cut into the ball if you slice. I mean, if you slice something so straight, how is the sliced object gonna propel in the 90 degree (perpendicular) direction? :confused:

Bagumbawalla
07-28-2009, 04:29 PM
When you hit (for example) a topspin drive your racket head is pretty much perpendicular to the court surface and facing the direction you want the ball to go.

Same thing with the serve- the flat face of the racket will face the direction you want the ball to go.

As a "thought" experiment, hold the ball up to the center of your stings. No matter how you twist the ball, the "center" of the ball will always contact the strings- there is no hitting the "corner" or "oustide" of the ball. All the spin generated on the ball is generated by the path of the racket THROUGH the ball-- just as in a groundstroke.

In a topspin drive (for example) the path is low to high, in a slice serve, the path is left to right (if you are right handed).

pvaudio
07-28-2009, 05:12 PM
It's difficult for my mind to comprehend that the racket faces "squarely" the area where the ball will go because where there's not much of stringbed to cut into the ball if you slice. I mean, if you slice something so straight, how is the sliced object gonna propel in the 90 degree (perpendicular) direction? :confused:
Because what he's talking about is taking a freeze frame at contact. What that doesn't discuss is the movement of the racquet face before and after the contact. It's going left to right then back to the left for the follow through. It's the motion that gives you the spin on your serve, not the angle. Too much angle and you just have a floating spinny serve which is useless.

user92626
07-28-2009, 06:18 PM
Ok, the slicing motion eventhough from left to right there is a significant forward motion as well, right? I guess my confusion is where is the "hitting thru" force that propels the ball forward?

I can do a low power slice serve but whenever I increase the hardness of my serve, the shot just becomes very spinny instead of pacey! Basically I don't know and lack the hitting thru motion (to use FH analogy). LOL, at this point I kinda understand why many resort to pancake serve, ie hitting thru 100%. I dun wanna go there! LOL

MNPlayer
07-29-2009, 06:45 AM
This is why people always say you have to swing faster for a spin serve. Because much of the energy is going into generating spin insted of pace. This can be psychologically challenging on a second serve because it feels more risky to swing faster. In fact, with practice, a spin serve (at least topspin) is a safer serve, but it is difficult to get your brain to believe this. At least for me :)