View Full Version : great serving breakthrough for me

06-14-2005, 06:02 PM
wanted to post this on a big serving breakthrough for me... to experienced people this might be very obvious, but i've always liked to read what worked for other people.

anyhow, i can hit my serve pretty hard but i double fault alot but often not by a huge amount... told me that my mechanics are probably decent but i'm missing something.

anyhow between the research on sampras having huge spin on his serves and watching a couple of players at my club with good serves who almost never double-fault.....

I REALIZED THAT you want to come over the top of the ball somewhat, maybe the top or maybe the top corner... now people will say this is a topspin serve, but i find you can really crank it so it doesn't matter....

if you want to get as close as possible to a true flat serve, then i found you really need to get really, really high and either hit down or snap thru with a little bit of spin..


simple question: if sampras put all that spin on first serves, did he really ever hit a flat serve???

Phil Daddario
06-14-2005, 06:19 PM
Sampras didn't really have a "flat" serve. Both his first and second serves (especially second) have HUGE amounts of rpm. As you sort of did, he sort of mixed a topspin serve with a flat serve. This plus his natural physical abilities allow his serve to seem "heavy" and skid off the court.

It's also probably why his first serve could always stay at around 60% consistency.

What you're doing has definitely improved my serves. :D

06-14-2005, 06:33 PM
just wanted to add that the JJ serve analysis from last month's tennis magazine (that issue wasn't on shelves long, but i digress) really looked like JJ was hitting his serve pretty flat (i.e. not coming over the back, top that much.. but JJ is very tall, so i presume he can hit a "flat" serve alot easier (don't forget his arms are longer than ours too).

06-14-2005, 07:11 PM
Just make sure you dont lose the breakthrough. I get breakthroughs often and then I try it the next day.. its gone.. takes a while to find it agian.

06-14-2005, 08:14 PM
good to hear tom! i just broke through on my topspin/kick serve too.

All i had to do was change back to continental from eastern bh and swing up while pronating. Its the pronation part the really held me back on my 2nd serve, it would spin and dip, but not really kick and it would be pretty slow too. The great thing is that i can hit most of my serves from relatively the same toss.

06-14-2005, 08:31 PM
Just make sure you dont lose the breakthrough. I get breakthroughs often and then I try it the next day.. its gone.. takes a while to find it agian.

I have the EXACT same problem.

While we're on the subject, can someone kindly post a kick serve tutorial/walk-through? It'd be greatly appreciated. :D

06-14-2005, 08:41 PM
Do a search for posts by sonicdeviant. In one thread or something, he has a really nice sort of tutorial, and answers a lot of questions.

06-14-2005, 09:11 PM
:confused: Just make sure you dont lose the breakthrough. I get breakthroughs often and then I try it the next day.. its gone.. takes a while to find it agian.

i agree, i find this most in golf.... i'll shoot the lights out the last 4-5 holes in a round, so i'll be excited for the start of the next round, and i'd say almost always it's a disaster (and then maybe you get the feel back later).

the problem with breakthroughs and "swing thoughts" is that i think you start doing them to the exclusion of all else. as an example, now i have this hit over the ball thought, but i may start doing this but not extend much and wonder why they start falling short.

very interesting as people say wrist snap (pronation; but i actually do think it's a snap by how most people think and it shouldn't be highly forced), but i was snapping and then hitting flat, but it's natural to cut the ball with some spin with that wrist snap and to not do it is unnatural.

i know people say there is no flat serve i.e. all serves spin somewhat.... but i'll take it a step further. i think good players are trying to impart minor to moderate spin on most first serves.

anyhow, snap over the ball for moderate spin on your first and second serves and i think your double faults will be a thing of the past. :confused: famous last words.

06-14-2005, 09:57 PM
Gawd do I need help on my 2nd serve. :( I had it couple months ago but now I just lost it. I want to do it with continental but can't seem to figure out how.

What kinds of serves can you hit with continental? Pretty much everything if done correctly?

06-14-2005, 11:14 PM
you could hit hit any serve with continental. eastern bh allows for more spin so it could be a choice for your second serve. I had trouble serving correctly with eastern bh, but probably because i wasn't used to the grip. I'll eventually experiment a little more with this grip, but i found i can get more than enough spin with continental.

06-15-2005, 05:07 AM
I always use Continental. It is good for all types of serves..plus in the longer run it doesnt give an easy give away to opponent if i change grips for my serves (some players can read this and may be do a lil bit of cheat on us)....Also it is easy to move to net after the serve with same grip.