best serve for short players

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by foolish38, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. foolish38

    foolish38 New User

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    if your about 5'3 what serve is best for this height to master. my friend in 6'3 and she hits flat serves @125 with no effort.
     
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  2. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Who on earth is your friend? There's only a handful of women in the world who can hit 125. Or are you talking about kph?
     
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  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    top slice and kick serves for the shorties :)
     
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  4. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    I don't know what level you are, but I saw a community college play who was abut 5 5" who hit about 110 mph. He had both spin and power, (I asked his coach what the speed was). But I think he's exceptional.

    You have about an 18 inch margin of error with a flat 60 mph serve. Your margin of error is about half that at 70 mph. I'm not much taller than you, and I use gravity to get my serves in. It's pretty consistent @ 60 mph, and sometimes on first serve I'll go 70 mph.

    If you're able to hit at higher than 90 mph, you'll need spin to make it go in often enough to matter, IMO. Unless you can get the ball to just skim over the net every time.
     
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  5. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I'm 5'10"; flat doesn't work for me.
     
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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 5'11" and don't find flat a high % shot either. All of us under 6' are basically shorties in tennis Imo. I tend to focus on the top slice as my #1 serve as you can get good power, dip and curve with it.
     
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  7. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    It's annoying to face a guy who's 6'4" and have him banging flat serves at me. I just have to remind myself I can cut his legs out from under him if I get his serve back.
     
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  8. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Also remember how much it bothers him every time one of his big serves comes back at him and make that happen often. Generally he will think he has to go bigger and tend to miss more
     
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  9. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Yeah, there's always that too. :)
     
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  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, I figured you had that in your bag of tricks as well, but doesn't hurt to throw it out there.
     
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  11. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Well, Justine was 5' 5 1/2" and hit 124 mph, so I don't think it's about height...
     
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  12. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Was that her record? Pretty sure her avg was far below that.and you have to realize her window was much smaller with that, right?

    nobody is saying it can't be done, but what is good advice with the % for rec players?
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I"m 5'10", and use my flat serve quite often.
    Of course, it goes IN around 25% of the time. But it's more a setup serve, to move the opponent where I want him to stand.
    If it ever goes in, well, even a blind squirrel can find an acorn sometime.
     
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  14. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Benjamin Becker hits in the 130s even though he is 5'9, so there is a limit but you haven't reached it yet. Your problem is technique and getting the consistency to hit the smaller window you get at faster speeds.

    I'm 5'7 and have my full out flat serve clocked around 115mph (there were a few between 110 and 120). Obviously I cant hit consistently at that speed only 25% or so go in, but I can get 60% or so consistency on a 100mph serve with a little spin, and about 90% hitting 80-90mph spin serves.

    Serving big is about contacting the ball as high as you can with control. You need to extend up to a high contact point, but not over reach. Looking at stills images of my serve I am almost a full foot above the floor, and fully extended upwards, at contact. Because of this my contact point is probably higher than a lot of taller players.

    There is a limit of course. It is a struggle to get consistency beyond 110mph if you are shorter as you have less leverage and a lower contact point. There is a reason Rochus doesn't tend to to hit much faster. It's not that he can't, its just that a 110mph spin serve will be much more effective at that height.
     
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  15. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    If she did, she'd be in that list.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_recorded_tennis_serves
    Not disputing she had a good serve for someone that short. That said, she was mainly hitting down the T on either side, so size was indeed a factor for her.
     
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  16. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Spin, spin and more spin.

    See the old Yandell statistics for Pete Sampras' serve. If memory serves me, Pete averaged over 2,000 on his first serve and over 3,000 rpm on his 2nd serve. Pete was over 6'1". Anyone under 6' should hit predominately all spin serves. Not slow spin serves but hard spin serves with some top/slice action for consistency. McEnroe is a very good example. He is 5'11" and I have sat within a few rows of the court and watched him play in his prime. Every serve he hit a good amount of spin.
     
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  17. foolish38

    foolish38 New User

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    well put!! thank you.. this helpful...
     
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  18. Connors Fan

    Connors Fan Rookie

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    Topspin, kicker. A very percentage spin serve will get you more points than a 25% flat serve. Depending on your level, spin serve may be more effective anyway.
     
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  19. ilovetennis212

    ilovetennis212 Professional

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    Topspin, kicker works for only 2sets with new balls.
    After that.. Nothing works.
    Been there
     
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  20. foolish38

    foolish38 New User

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    what do u mean nothing works?
     
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  21. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I think he means the balls get fluffy and slow after a while and then the kick serve loses its bite and starts sitting up asking to be poleaxed. I know that can happen to me with old fluffy balls. I hate it. I wish balls were cheap enough that at amateur level you could get new ones every 7 games.
     
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  22. foolish38

    foolish38 New User

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    ah.. right right..
     
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  23. Cup8489

    Cup8489 Legend

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    Just take two cans every session, use one per set. works pretty well for me, then i save the old ones for drills/ practice serving. I figure if i can get it to kick reasonably well with dead balls, the fresh ones will have better effect.

    Still, haven't mastered the full kick serve yet. One day, I hope.
     
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  24. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    Best not to rely on one serve but have a mix of all three. I use mostly a slice/ kick but add in a flat on occasion.

    The slice & slice kick work especially well on astro (which I normally play on).
     
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  25. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Short players shouldn't really serve that differently from tall players IMHO. You might develop better kicker, topspin and topspin slice servers - and mix in your 'flatter' topspin slice less often.

    With a lot of practice you can learn to hit many types of serves to three different locations - giving you a ton of variation.

    The first serve you want to learn is the topspin slice serve (hit the continental grip) which can be tweaked slightly to give you either a 'flat' serve or a safe serve. Many pros still have a lot of spin on their flat serve.. With a continental grip and good technique its just a byproduct of the stroke. A REAL flat serve is actually hit by the hacks with an eastern grip - and for that it certainly helps to be tall..
     
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  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    From the Australian Open website:

    "Justine Henin Australian Open Women’s Tennis Players
    The retired former world no.1 in women’s tennis, Justine Henin, was known as the "Roger Federer of women’s tennis". She announced her sudden retirement from professional tennis in May 2008, while still ranking no. 1 in the world.
    Although the highly versatile Belgian turned professional in 1999, it was only in 2003 that Justine Henin claimed her first Grand Slam title by defeating fellow Belgian, Kim Clijsters, in two sets at the French Open.
    She then went on to defeat Clijsters again at the US Open, stealing the coveted no. 1 spot. She took the Australian Open 2004, again defeating the hapless Clijsters, and snapped up the French Open crown yet again, in 2005 – leading to her tenth consecutive final win.
    Early in 2006, Justine Henin retired from the Australian Open final against Amelie Mauresmo, due to injury problems. She did, however, manage to defend her French Open title, joining her idol, Steffi Graf, as the only 2 women in history to have done so.
    She withdrew from the Australian Open 2007, citing personal reasons. She has since divorced her husband, and has successfully worked on an acrimonious relationship with her immediate family, which resulted in them being present at her matches for the first time in her professional career.
    She was in dominant form before her retirement, her absence in the tournament has left the Australian Open women’s singles title wide open to players such as the Williams’ sisters and Maria Sharapova – who have had the better of her in the past. For live tennis betting and odds we use William Hill, one of the world’s largest and most reputable betting companies.
    Known for her incomparable intelligence on court and her pinpoint accuracy, Justine Henin is probably best known for her single-handed backhand, which is said to be one of the most powerful and accurate in tennis.
    She has the rare ability of being able to disguise this signature shot, often surprising her opponents with excellent drop shots. She usually uses her very dangerous forehand to dictate play and although tiny, she exhibits a powerful serve, which has been recorded at 124mph. Her court coverage, footwork and balance, as well as her technical proficiency, had made her very difficult to beat in grand slam tennis tournaments.
    Justine Henin fact file:

    •To date she has pocketed US$17 665 995 in overall prize money
    •She has won 7 Grand Slam titles – 4 French Open, 1 Australian Open and 2 US Open titles
    •In 2003 she was named ITF women’s singles world champion
    •She became the first woman, since Martina Hingis, to reach the finals of all 4 Grand Slams in a calendar year, in 2006
    •At the 2007 US Open, she became only the 2nd player in history to defeat both Venus and Serena Williams in a Grand Slam"

    The Wikipedia list you cite even says: "This list may not be historically complete"
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
    #26
  27. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    OMG! A thread about serving.... many posts about serve speeds...

    a LeeD post...

    and...
    and...
    wait for it...

    no mention of MPH, name dropping, or any reference whatsoever to the 1970s!

    Could this be the turning point we've been waiting for? :shock:
     
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  28. Mr.kevinle91

    Mr.kevinle91 New User

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    Im 5'10" and my flat serve is my biggest weapon, i have so much confidence in it, to where i can always put fear in my opponents eyes that i have a big flat serve waiting for them, It takes lots of technique and time to perfect it, I believe that even though you may be shorter than me, you shouldnt neglect the flat serve, Having all serves at hand can make a difference between your opponents having a rhythm or keeping them honest n on their toes
     
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