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Tennis_Monk
10-18-2011, 08:13 PM
Normally this isnt an issue as my first serve does the heavy lifting. Off late i am playing much tighter competition and it so happened that two matches in a row i had less than optimal results on my first serve as it was off a bit and needed heavy lifting by second serve.

My second serve doesnt have a lot of variety (i get it, i am working on adding variety but it takes time). It is basically a TopSpin serve that kicks up high.Majority scenarios this works for me.

Fast forward and this stiff competitors are being aggressive off my second serve. The issue is with where they stand. lets take Ad court.They camp out at their backhand corner (almost near the sidelines) and hope to take my second serve on forehand. This yielded good results for them and this is catching up quickly on other players in my group. I had good success with stil aiming the second serve to their backhand (from ad court) but i dont like the margins as i am focussing on hitting a small spot on service box so that they can hit a backhand. As a change up, i aim the second serve down the line but this isnt a 100mph serve and they have time to track it and put it back in play.

yes, i understand i need to improve and i am working on it. Who wouldnt want a mid 90mph american twist serve as their second serve. My guesstimate is that i wont have this for another two months atleast given my academic commitments.

I am looking to see if you have any tips or techniques in terms of using what i have now and optimizing it. Any suggestions on how i can quickly get better and add more variety to my second serve are greatly appreciated.

Fedace
10-18-2011, 08:30 PM
On 2nd serves, at least for me, more Junk spin the better. i have what you call a semi Topspin serve. i also mix in the junk slice serve in there to confuse them. but usually what worked for me is just More spin, you can put on the ball, the better

ahuimanu
10-18-2011, 08:33 PM
My high school coach advocated a slice second serve, especially in combination with a topspin or American twist second.

The slice has some margin of safety but properly struck there is usually a low skid action providing a little challenge for the returner. Takes a bit of practice but worth it when you need to get it into play while still being offensive (or at least neutral).

I think the key against better competition is variety on the second serve. Most good returners watch for serve patterns with an eye toward making an offensive play. Mix it up and see what happens. :)


Normally this isnt an issue as my first serve does the heavy lifting. Off late i am playing much tighter competition and it so happened that two matches in a row i had less than optimal results on my first serve as it was off a bit and needed heavy lifting by second serve.

My second serve doesnt have a lot of variety (i get it, i am working on adding variety but it takes time). It is basically a TopSpin serve that kicks up high.Majority scenarios this works for me.

Fast forward and this stiff competitors are being aggressive off my second serve. The issue is with where they stand. lets take Ad court.They camp out at their backhand corner (almost near the sidelines) and hope to take my second serve on forehand. This yielded good results for them and this is catching up quickly on other players in my group. I had good success with stil aiming the second serve to their backhand (from ad court) but i dont like the margins as i am focussing on hitting a small spot on service box so that they can hit a backhand. As a change up, i aim the second serve down the line but this isnt a 100mph serve and they have time to track it and put it back in play.

yes, i understand i need to improve and i am working on it. Who wouldnt want a mid 90mph american twist serve as their second serve. My guesstimate is that i wont have this for another two months atleast given my academic commitments.

I am looking to see if you have any tips or techniques in terms of using what i have now and optimizing it. Any suggestions on how i can quickly get better and add more variety to my second serve are greatly appreciated.

LeeD
10-18-2011, 08:36 PM
Player's cheating to cover their backhand, you slice one dead on the center line so it goes to DUECE court by the time it reaches the baseline. Then you hit your next shot behind them.
Learn a twist to reliably move them past the doubles alley.
Learn a top/slice so they have to return on their ad court from their duece side.
If you don't practice, you won't have any of those serves.

charliefedererer
10-19-2011, 08:36 AM
^^^ Listen to LeeD. Unfortunately there are no short cuts. It's deciding what you want and need to do and then practice, practice, practice.

fuzz nation
10-19-2011, 09:02 AM
My high school coach advocated a slice second serve, especially in combination with a topspin or American twist second.

The slice has some margin of safety but properly struck there is usually a low skid action providing a little challenge for the returner. Takes a bit of practice but worth it when you need to get it into play while still being offensive (or at least neutral).

I think the key against better competition is variety on the second serve. Most good returners watch for serve patterns with an eye toward making an offensive play. Mix it up and see what happens. :)

This is a very good suggestion I think. Some strong returners are just begging for a crack at that kicker that will pop up into their wheelhouse. While either a topspin or a twist second serve can be a great option, a slice second serve can potentially be the low and disarming option against a returner looking to unload that elephant gun.

Remember to use your full motion for your second serve, since you need to generate racquet speed to make enough pace and spin. You don't need to swing out of your shoes, but it's important to avoid throttling down too far when looking to land that second ball. You still need enough of a swing to control that serve and consistently land it.

Tennis_Monk
10-19-2011, 08:06 PM
^^^ Listen to LeeD. Unfortunately there are no short cuts. It's deciding what you want and need to do and then practice, practice, practice.

I am in agreement. I am not looking for shortcuts and i understand i need to practice. But that is a strategic solution. While i am working at it, i am also looking for some tactical adjustments i can make so that i dont cede too much of a ground.

For example, today when i saw the guy trying to wait for my kick to land in, i just uncorked another first serve. It landed in and you can guess the rest. It worked on a couple more points and then i also double faulted a few. Net result was i was able to put enough doubt in this guy that he was hesitant to stand that far into backhand corner and concede the DTL serve to me (most days this is a very high %age serve for me). So he moved in a bit and thats all i needed to comfortably hit the kick into his backhand.

Another option also worked for me with another opponent: Reduce the kick quotient. I hate these cotton puffy serves but if that causes my opponent trouble, then thats what i have to do.

I sincerely appreciate all your tips and advises and please keep 'em flowing.

olliess
10-19-2011, 08:21 PM
You don't need to swing out of your shoes, but it's important to avoid throttling down too far when looking to land that second ball. You still need enough of a swing to control that serve and consistently land it.

I haven't found throttling down to work at all on second serves. More swing, more spin, more everything! (Only more relaxed/less tension).

LeeD
10-20-2011, 11:34 AM
Basically, you have, for your second serve, a twist/kicker, a topspin, and a top/slice. So hit the one that your opponent doesn't expect.
On the first, most hit wide to the backhand the majority of the time, and sometimes into the body.
On the second, you go at the body or place it either side.
On the third, it's most often used wide duece court for rightie servers, but can be used wide middle on ad court.
Seems that's enough options for my dumb brain to accimulate.

6-2/6-4/6-0
10-20-2011, 08:10 PM
The other great option is a solid serve to the body. You'll need to take bit more risk to get the extra pace on it, but as a second serve, the body shot is a great one, and you're not aiming for the tiny spot to go out to their back hand. Even if you don't get it right into their body, you'll be jamming them so that they can't take a great swing at it...