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View Full Version : Does the topspin 2nd serve really have to clear the net by over 5ft?


Golden Retriever
10-12-2009, 12:26 AM
My topspin 2nd serve only clears the net by about 1 or 2 ft. I find it effective and if I hit it any higher it would go out. Is it ok?

no1
10-12-2009, 01:02 AM
My topspin 2nd serve only clears the net by about 1 or 2 ft. I find it effective and if I hit it any higher it would go out. Is it ok?

Yes. 10char

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-12-2009, 01:35 AM
My topspin 2nd serve only clears the net by about 1 or 2 ft. I find it effective and if I hit it any higher it would go out. Is it ok?

1 or 2 feet is decent to start. But if you want a serious kicker, you should at least aim for 3 feet. Granted the ball in reality only clears the net by 2 feet for most of the really good kickers (cause it's hit at 90+ mph) but still... When you want to develop a good one, you want to exaggerate the fundamentals of a good stroke.

Like for a groundstroke, I'd exaggerate height and depth. I'd probably exaggerate depth more than height, and I'd like to limit the exaggeration on height, but still. You want plenty of safety and a deep shot in a rally ball.

Anyways, back to the second serve... I aim roughly 5 feet over the net (okay, I don't aim at all... I just spin it as high as possible to get a LOT of spin). In reality, it clears the net by 2-3 feet. But once it reacts with the court, it kicks around 6 feet.

LeeD
10-12-2009, 09:01 AM
Personally, my topspin 2nd serves, which maybe go 75mph, usually clear the net by around 3', drop inside the service line by over a foot, and is basically 95 out of 100.
When I twist it up around the opponent's headheights, I clear the net more, hit with less speed, arc it much more, and aim for depth always. This serve leaves my racket UPWARDS and forwards, where the topspin serve leaves the racket about straight at the opponent, level with the ground.
IF you can really hit the ball hard and fast, with tons of spin, you can hit it fast AND clear the net by 5', giving you maybe 7' of bounce height at the baseline. I can't, but I know a few Div1 players who get very close. They're 6'6" tall, of course.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-12-2009, 11:51 AM
IF you can really hit the ball hard and fast, with tons of spin, you can hit it fast AND clear the net by 5', giving you maybe 7' of bounce height at the baseline. I can't, but I know a few Div1 players who get very close. They're 6'6" tall, of course.

Well they have an unfair advantage. And if you really put massive spin on the ball and clear the net by 5 feet, chances are the ball will kick higher than 7 feet unless you only put enough spin to get it in at a high speed. The ball bounce of ITF approved balls is about 55% of drop height (free fall, no spin). But with HEAVY topspin, you usually can get close to 70-80% return of peak height. But when you hit a heavily arched kicker (and one that goes 5 feet over the net), the peak height isn't 5 feet over the net. It's probably 6 feet over the net, which is 9 feet high at the very least. 70-80% of that is high 6 foot range to high 7 foot range. This is assuming ridiculous amounts of topspin of course, and the pace probably won't be that great. But it will be a very difficult serve to return nonetheless because of the high rate of rise off the court. Then you mix in the regular 6 foot kicker with pace at 3 feet over the net and the other guy is screwed on so many levels. Even more so if you can control the amount of twist on your serve as well.

LeeD
10-12-2009, 01:15 PM
I don't claim to have played very many Div1 6'6" players, but I have played with a couple. Never bounces over 6'6" in height over my head.
JoaroSoares was 6'4", #1 for Foothill when I played him 5th round Q. His twist out to my forehand (I'm lefty) was maybe 6' high.
My twist out to his forehand was maybe forehead height to him.
I don't see much chance of a real twist serve bouncing much higher than mid 6's in reality. If it's slow enough to get up there, some returners step in and take it strikezone.

LuckyR
10-13-2009, 07:48 AM
I have recently changed my second serve from a kicking low pace kicker to a medium to high pace kicker with little to no kick. While the old serve was sometimes troublesome for lesser players it was eaten alive by folks higher than my level. The new serve can catch lesser players with the pace and isn't taken advantage of by better players.

LeeD
10-13-2009, 11:06 AM
Is the new faster second serve as consistent? My only problem with adding pace is that I take out arc in the ball's movement, so long serves come into play here... talking second serves where an error is a lost point. I hate giving away points, I'd much rather make them hit at least ONE ball
Sampras was reknown for hitting 100 mph second serves, but at my level, a fast second serve might barely reach 75. I know I can hit some really high kicking twisters at 55mph.

LuckyR
10-13-2009, 11:47 AM
Is the new faster second serve as consistent? My only problem with adding pace is that I take out arc in the ball's movement, so long serves come into play here... talking second serves where an error is a lost point. I hate giving away points, I'd much rather make them hit at least ONE ball
Sampras was reknown for hitting 100 mph second serves, but at my level, a fast second serve might barely reach 75. I know I can hit some really high kicking twisters at 55mph.

No it isn't but the math works out something like this: the old second was extremely consistant, like 0 -2 DF per match, but against the wrong player would lead to many lost points (many would dial back their first to lower the number of seconds but I don't since I'm pigheaded about that). The new second has maybe 3-6 DF per match (200% increase) but although there will be return winners on occasion, they are low percentage shots and I get the occasional service winner.