best serve combo for 3.0

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by topdog123, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. topdog123

    topdog123 New User

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    Hi all,

    I'm getting prepped for the 3.0 spring league and I'm trying to decide which serves to learn this season.

    I have been using a flat serve on 1st, and a kick serve on my 2nd serve, but my technique is not that great on either serve yet.

    I'm taking several lessons over the next few weeks before the Spring league starts, and I'm trying to decide which serves to ask my coach (s) to teach me.

    Any suggestions?

    Regards,
     
    #1
  2. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Get a solid slice or kick serve. You honestly don't need a flat "bomb" at 3.0. Consistency is king on the serve, and spin brings the ball in.

    Good luck! :)

    -Fuji
     
    #2
  3. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    The single best shot any new league player can learn is a dependable second serve. The serve is the easiest stroke to practice on your own, and it is the shot that gives most rec players the most frustration.

    I would practice the snot out of the kicker. Once you have a second serve that you can count on to get in and not be attacked then you take the double fault out of the picture. Everything else loosens up for you after that.


    ----------------------

    As an aside, I often use the kicker for my first serve.
     
    #3
  4. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'm pretty much limited to a spin serve as my first due to a shoulder injury. It's amazing how it really hasn't hindered my game all that much, considering how much I used to rely on the big serve.

    -Fuji
     
    #4
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you truly are a 3.0, or 3.5, or even low 4.0, don't be fooled you CAN hit a consistent kick serve. You cannot, and especially not a twist serve.
    So, practice your top/slice serves. A fast one for your first serve, a slower spinnier one for your second serve.
    Once you solidly play 4.0, it's time to work on your twist and kick serves.
    You just don't have the consistent FAST swing speed up and outwards to hit kicks or twists.
     
    #5
  6. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Agree with the others. I used to try and bomb my first serve and then have a "Cinder-fella" second serve that looked bad and got crushed. I developed a good kick serve I could rely on for a decent second serve and will even use it to mix things up with a first serve when I get tired. I think practicing the heck out of a kicker helped my flat serve too since I was very conscious of my toss and technique.
     
    #6
  7. topdog123

    topdog123 New User

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    slice or kick?

    I'm still a bit confused.

    Preference between the slice or the kick on the 1st serve?

    Preference between the slice or the kick on the 2nd serve

    Does it matter?
     
    #7
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Learn a kick if you are a dude. If you can't get the hang of it (or if you are a woman), then learn a slice.

    Flat bombs are a waste, IMHO.

    Many players thrive on pace. I have never met a soul who thrived on spin.
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The idea of serving kick serves for your second serves, and a few of your first serves, it a valid notion, one worth striving for.
    In reality, as a 3.0, or 2nd year player, you do not have the racket control to swing up and out, or to swing consistently as fast from one swing to another.
    At 3.5, or 3rd year player, there is a chance, but not very good.
    At 4.0, or for most people a 4th year player, you can hit a few real kick serves, but don't plan on placing them into each of the 3 quadrants on demand...body, out wide left, out wide right.
    After your 4th year of tennis, hopefully somewhere around a 4.0, some of the kicks actually start to work.
     
    #9
  10. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Gotta agree with Lee.

    Kick second serve is great to have. But I have yet to see a 3.0 who can actually do it.

    You are going to get more bang for the buck working on a slice 2nd serve as a 3.0. Once you get that down, and get more experienced, then work on a kick. Most likely by then you will also no longer be a 3.0 :)
     
    #10
  11. spot

    spot Hall of Fame

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    Topspin serves to the backhand for both serves at that level. Once you learn to hit that topspin it gives you access to the other serves much easier.
     
    #11
  12. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Are you guys referring to topspin serves and kick serves as separate types?

    I think learning a consistent topspin serve to use as your 2nd serve is important as it reduces your double faults dramatically and gives you a safe and consistent way of starting points. You can even use a faster version of the same serve where you hit through the ball more as your first serve. A slice serve is easy to incorporate once you've master this.

    Leave the super-fast flat first serves for the practice sessions, not matchplay.
     
    #12
  13. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    At 3.0 (and perhaps 7.0) I'd think the most important part of the serve is location. Whatever type of serve you use, practice location.
     
    #13
  14. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    I know guys who are USTA rated 4.0 who still just roll their seconds in. One guy I play is a feisty ball retriever who got bumped last summer from 3.5. His first serve is flat with moderate pace..his second is flat with no pace. He has no idea how to hit a slice or kick serve.

    Off the ground he's a superior player to me, but I've been winning our matches lately because of serves and returns....I've been zeroing in on that second serve of his, and if my serve is on, he's starting every point of every game off in a major hole.

    Learn how to hit a reliable second serve kick now before you get into bad habits.
     
    #14
  15. lostinamerica

    lostinamerica Semi-Pro

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    If you really have a kicker, you are not 3.0.
     
    #15
  16. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    At 3.0, go with a "get the ball in play" serve. 3.0s aren't going to rip winners off a floater serve. Just make the thing.
     
    #16
  17. Mauvaise

    Mauvaise Rookie

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    As a 3.0 who does "rip winners off a floater serve", I disagree that we don't. Because my serve sucked (it's getting better) and I got broken so much, I worked incredibly hard on developing a very good return of serve. While the rest of my game lingers at the solid 3.0 level, my return of serve works well for me at the 3.0, 3.5, and 7.0 mixed levels.

    Example: I was playing in a tournament this weekend (social club - B division) and by the end of the first set, our opponents didn't know what to do when serving to me. They even threw out playing Aussie (didn't work) and playing two-back. I don't remember how many outright winners I hit, but more often than not even if it wasn't a winner, I would draw an error or a weak reply that would set my partner up.

    Now, I will grant you that my "ripping winners" off any shot is an entirely different stroke than a 4.0 "ripping winners", but all things being relative, there are 3.0 players that work hard on developing a 'weapon'.
     
    #17

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