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View Full Version : Crazy Serve, What exactly is it and how to counter..


LightningZI
11-27-2009, 03:35 PM
Today I was at my Athletic Club playing a tournament in the 15-16 Division. I was up against some kid who was probably a 3.0 or so... When we started playing, He served, His First serve, of the game and his normal first serve were very weird. He'd hit it the same way as a flat serve, maybe pronating towards the end, The ball came by moderately fast during it's flight but when It hit, It bounced no more than 3 inches and it kicked straight behind me.

Can there really be a kick serve that barely bounces? Or a slice serve that is very fast after it bounces?

Thanks

LightningZI
11-27-2009, 03:40 PM
Also he hit this serve many times throughout the game and my correction it was about 5-7 inches not 3..

LeeD
11-27-2009, 04:08 PM
I've played some 6' tall lefties who could backspin/slice their serves maybe mid calf heights to me, but that's closer to 12" off the ground. Never faced lower, but if I did, I'd conti grip slice it back with just a little underspin, and give them that same shot back. Add some side, and they go a runnin....

Nellie
11-27-2009, 06:33 PM
Yes - I have seen some players, especially shorter players, who hit a serve with a eastern forehand/waiter grip, who chop down at the ball to produce a pure underspin serve that, although hit in the most back-*** way, is really tough to return

LeeD
11-27-2009, 06:37 PM
Get your rackethand down to that level. Makes it easier. Conti grips are made for this height ball, so consider it.
I"m old school from the '70's, so low skidded balls are easy to deal with. Twist me up around 10" higher than the top of my head, I've got problems hitting an aggressive return!

mordecai
11-27-2009, 06:42 PM
Yeah, just bend your knees and use a continental grip to block the ball back at him.

I would even consider a chip-n-charge so that he can't just start a junk war, force him to try to hit top-spin to keep him honest.

papa
11-28-2009, 07:23 AM
I've seen similar serves by left handed people which can be confusing at first anyway. They hit the ball with more of a right-handers spin and the ball does bounce funny. One of my partners had a serve like that which was effective for a few games but not so much after that. I never did/have taken the time to analyze what he was doing but the ball didn't have a great deal of pace. Worked, like most spins, better inside but the har-tru surfaces neutralizes its effect - one of the reasons the spinners like the hard courts.

LeeD
11-28-2009, 07:45 AM
I think my lefty bud who hits that kind of serve can hit it close to 100 mph, but gets in maybe 1 out of 30 in a match. He's easily 6' tall and has some angle. He gets frustrated at the 3.5 level when everyone gets it back.

papa
11-28-2009, 12:28 PM
I think my lefty bud who hits that kind of serve can hit it close to 100 mph, but gets in maybe 1 out of 30 in a match. He's easily 6' tall and has some angle. He gets frustrated at the 3.5 level when everyone gets it back.

That's not a very good percentage for anything unless its the lottery or football pool.

LightningZI
11-28-2009, 12:53 PM
Thanks for the replies, But the thing was, This person wasn't a lefty. LeeD, This person always used this underspin serve as his first serve. It almost always went in. I'd say 70-80% It was probably close to 60 mph. Nellie, I have to say, Your right on how it's hit in the stupidest way. At first I thought he was trying to copy a roddick style serve, cuttting out a motion of the flat. Papa, That was basically my situation. I didn't have much time to analyze his serve, It was indoors, When I played outside with my dad to replicate his serve and return it, The ball actually bounced a bit higher so I could actually return it easier.. I wish they'd make hard indoor courts .....

LeeD
11-28-2009, 02:40 PM
My bud happens to be lefty and uses that serve.
You can be rightie and still lead the racket with your wrists, and hit a underspin flattish serve that bounces low and skids. No big deal, I've seen it, most my level have seen it, and you just adopt a grip that can handle shin high balls.
NONE go 5-7" high at the baseline, unless it's hit softer than 60 mph.

papa
11-28-2009, 04:55 PM
Papa, That was basically my situation. I didn't have much time to analyze his serve, It was indoors, When I played outside with my dad to replicate his serve and return it, The ball actually bounced a bit higher so I could actually return it easier.. I wish they'd make hard indoor courts .....

Well, there are a lot of hard indoor courts and some are very fast. Spin works very well on these surfaces, as you know, and the reason many of these spin doctor's don't care for Har Tru.

I used to play against a guy who had many varieties of serves and all of them were "odd" but occasionally he would serve in a more conventional manner and throw everyone off.

I happened to be at a match a year or so ago where Jimmy Aries (sp) was serving to Currier, can't remember the other two that were playing. However, Aries said to Currier "you seem to be having trouble with my serve so I'm going to serve you this one backwards". He faced the rear fence threw up the ball and without turning to the front hit the ball and it went in to Currier. He was about 15 feet away from me - just floored everyone there. Didn't have a great deal of pace but it wasn't just a floater either. I tried it a few times with no luck.